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Rev. Neil Pettit, St. Landry Catholic Church pastor, administers holy ashes onto the forehead of parishioners during Ash Wednesday services. Ash Wednesday is important because it marks the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected. The ashes symbolize both death and repentance. During this period, Christians show repentance and mourning for their sins, because they believe Christ died for them. See a photo gallery of the event at