BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bishop Richard Malone gave out ashes to a large group of Catholics during an afternoon Ash Wednesday mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.
On Ash Wednesday, Church guidelines ask Catholics to not eat meat, and only eat one meal during the day.
The celebration comes just days after Pope Benedict XVI resigned because of old age. He was the first pope in more than 600 years to resign the position. The Vatican says it hopes to have a new pope by Easter.
In the Diocese of Buffalo, the number of Catholics has decreased over the last decade, shrinking by more than 68,000. There are currently just over 631,000 Catholics in the eight counties making up at the Diocese of Buffalo.