La Crosse churches celebrated Ash Wednesday, officially marking the first day of Lent.
The celebration often involves the placing of ashes across the foreheads of parishioners.
At Blessed Sacrament parish, three masses across the day honored the holy day.
According to Father Peter Raj, "We are called to make a journey, and see how far we are from God. We can reconcile with him, with ourselves and others, with our brothers and sisters."
Lent means fasting and prayer for forty days that lead up to Easter Sunday.