The (Ash) Capital of the World
In the heart of midtown Manhattan, the marquee church of US Catholicism welcomes an annual onslaught of ash-seekers estimated at about 50,000 in a daylong convergence that begins before dawn and stretches into tonight. The imposition of ashes is spread out across somewhere around a dozen liturgies; between them, ministers man stations to serve those only able to make a quick visit and the throngs who, seeing the city awash in black-crosses-on-foreheads, spontaneously drop in off the street.
Take that, S. Sabina.
SVILUPPO: Yesterday, the world learned his annual penance. Today, for the second year in a row, Jim Martin SJ's Ash Wednesday meditation was aired on NPR here in the States -- a Lenten plug for joy.
PHOTO: AP/Kathy Willens