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Ash Wednesday services today in Manteca and Ripon churches
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Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. In Catholic churches, it’s the day the faithful receive the sigh of the cross on their foreheads in ashes.

The ashes will be distributed as part of the Mass or scripture service. Below is the schedule of those services at St. Anthony of Padua on East North Street in Manteca and St. Patrick’s on East Highway 120 in Ripon.

• At St. Anthony of Padua in Manteca: 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. (Mass in English); noon (bilingual scripture service); 6 p.m. (Mass in English); 8 p.m. (Mass in Spanish).

There will be Stations of the Cross as well in the church from Friday, March 7, to Friday, April 11 starting at 7 p.m. Soup nights during lent beginning on Monday, March 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. These simple meals with the community will be held Mondays during Lent.

• At St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon: 8 a.m. (Mass in English); noon (Liturgy with ashes); 5:30 p.m. (Mass in English); 7 p.m. (Mass in Spanish).

There are two days of fasting during Lent – on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Fasting means Catholics age 18 to 59 should only eat one full meal and two lighter meals during the day; however, this does not apply to persons who are ill.

In addition to fasting, Catholics should abstain from meat during the two days of fasting and every Friday during Lent. The law of abstinence from meat on those days applies to Catholics over the age of 14.