(Cindy Schultz photo)
(Cindy Schultz photo)
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Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger celebrated Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany on Feb. 17 with Masses at 12:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, the Diocese of Albany recommended that ashes be sprinkled on top of the head, a practice common at the Vatican and across Italy. Bishop Scharfenberger (clockwise from top) sprinkles ashes on top of the heads of the faithful in the first two photos; Joe Rotello, a parishioner at St. Pius X Parish in Loudonville, prays after he receives ashes; and Father Paul J. Mijas, parochial vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, demonstrates how ashes will be sprinkled on those in attendance. (Cindy Schultz photos)