Ash Wednesday marks the observance of the Lent season for many. Reverend David Konderla is the pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church, and he said this special Wednesday gives believers room to ask for forgiveness and recommit to their faith.
"It is a day when we come to church to have our foreheads marked with ashes, which is a sign of our repentance which is a sign of our desire to love God and to obey him," Konderla said.
According to him, Lent is the annual journey of Christians of various denominations who want to improve their walk in their faiths by facing their sins and showing their desire to be better believers.
"[It is] a journey of conversion, a time to grow closer in their relationship with Christ," Pastor Konderla said.
During this time participants traditionally avoid eating meat on Fridays as a sign of penance or self-sacrifice. In addition, some Christians vow to give up other items or activities for the entire Lent season. This is done as a demonstration of denying self and uplifting God.
A number of Texas A&M students attended the noon day mass at St. Mary's. Austin Muck is one student who said he is giving up something and dedicating time to his faith.
"I am giving up eating fast foods because I [want] to do something for my body," Muck said. " And I am going to try to read a a chapter of the Bible every night [in order to] do something for my soul."
Student Brittany Pool said she is also planning to give her religion more attention.
"I am blacking out time in the mornings and at nights to read scriptures," Pool said.
Konderla said the season of Lent traditionally ends with the observance of the three Holy days: "Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday in preparation for the celebration for the good feast of Easter," Konderla said.
For those participating in Lent, it is an old way to bring new power to their faiths.