San Antonio archbishop grants Catholics dispensation from fasting, abstinence on Ash Wednesday

Ashes are allowed to be given at the end of masses through the weekend, officials say

Image courtesy of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Due to the ongoing winter storm, San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller has granted Catholics a dispensation from fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and says ashes will be allowed to be given at the end of masses through the weekend if parishioners don’t receive them Wednesday.

Archdiocese officials said that many churches in the area are canceling or reducing the number of services due to the winter storm.

“In recognition of the challenges almost all families are facing in the archdiocese due to widespread lack of electricity and water, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller has granted the faithful a dispensation from the law of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday,” officials said in an announcement on Facebook.

The archdiocese said to check in with local leaders and monitor social media for Mass times.

Archdiocesan statement regarding Ash Wednesday Lent begins tomorrow, February 17, with Ash Wednesday. With...

Posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

According to officials, even though Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is a “very meaningful occasion,” and the archbishop is also allowing all parishes of the archdiocese to distribute ashes after masses this weekend.

Additionally, the archbishop requests that everyone continue to “pray for those waiting to have their electricity restored, those in need of a warm place to stay, as well as first responders and other essential workers who brave the elements to serve others at this crucial time.”

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About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.