ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Christians around the world are making their way to their local churches as part of Ash Wednesday, marking mark the beginning of Lent.
Here in Rochester, one local church continued its tradition of providing ashes to parishioners beginning at midnight.
Saint Monica's Church on Genesee Street opened up at midnight for prayer, ashes and confession and will stay open until 6 p.m. Wednesday when it wraps up with a service.
Father Ray Fleming, who leads the event every year, says the season of Lent is meant to remind people to communicate with god, and to do that, people should reach out to those in need of support.
"More than ever, especially here in our city of Rochester we are told that the number of homeless people has grown, there aren't enough shelters for the homeless," he said. "There are children who go to school everyday without enough food. There are people who suffer from all sorts of unspeakable violence and are in need of our help, support and goodness."
Another tradition continues as well, Saint Monica's is offering "ashes to go" so worshipers can take ashes to people who can't make it to church.