The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Ash Wednesday Chicago: Where to Get Ashes, Pope's Idea for What to Give Up

By DNAinfo Staff | February 9, 2016 2:53pm | Updated on February 10, 2016 8:13am
 Pope Francis is seen in this file photo.
Pope Francis is seen in this file photo.
View Full Caption
Getty Images/file photo

CHICAGO — Feb. 10 is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and opens a season of fasting and prayers for many Christians.

Roman Catholics, and others, wear ashes on the foreheads, symbolizing the dust from which God made humans.

Traditionally for Catholics, the priest applying the ashes will say, "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." Catholics also wear ashes as a visible sign of penance.

Here's where to get ashes in Downtown Chicago:

Daley Plaza, Courtesy of Urban Village Church South Loop

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Water Tower Place, Courtesy of Urban Village Church South Loop

Noon to 1 p.m.

Chicago Board of Trade, 141 W. Jackson Blvd., Courtesy of Grace Episcopal Church

 Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent.
View Full Caption
Getty Images/File Photo

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash Ave.

Mass with distribution of ashes:

6 a.m., 7  a.m., 8 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 2 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Prayer service with distribution of ashes:

9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

St. Peter's in the Loop, 110 W. Madison Ave.

6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Old St. Patrick's Church 700 W. Adams St.

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Assumption Catholic Church, 323 W. Illinois St.

Mass with distribution of ashes

7 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 6 p.m.

Ashes at parish hall from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Old St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave.

Mass with distribution of ashes

8:30 a.m., noon, 7 p.m.

Grace Episcopal Church, 637 S. Dearborn St.

Mass with distribution of ashes

6:30 p.m.

Also available: ashes are available at some red line stations: click here for more information. And, at 63rd Street, there's an "ashes to go" operation set up at the red line CTA stop there by the Xperience Church. 

For Lent, Catholics often make special sacrifices. This year, Pope Francis in his Lenten message, suggests being nice on social media might be a worthy goal.

"Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups," the pope writes.

He describes the digital world as "a public square, a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks." He prays, he says, that people engage in "fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better."

Such communication should be free of  "every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination,” he said.

"The internet can help us to be better citizens. Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbor whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing," he said.

“In a broken, fragmented and polarized world to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family.”

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: