Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori will celebrate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent with a visit to two masses and the unveiling of the world-renowned "Homeless Jesus" statue.
According to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, "Lent is the 40-day period when the Catholic Church asks the faithful to give themselves to prayer and to the reading of the scripture, to fasting and to giving alms, in an effort to sharpen their senses and focus mind and heart on the reign of God."
Lori will mark the occasion by attending mass at the Baltimore Basilica at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday.
There he will unveil the "Homeless Jesus" statue, a full size park bench with the prone figure of Jesus. The statue, which has been commissioned for placement in cities around the world, including the Vatican, is meant to remind Catholics that Jesus is present to all, including the less fortunate.
The bronze sculpture was given to the Archdiocese by an anonymous donor and will be on permanent display at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in downtown Baltimore. The parish has long had a vibrant ministry to the homeless of Baltimore.
A lightweight, resin version of the piece will be on display in schools and churches around the Archdiocese, beginning with the Basilica, America's oldest Catholic cathedral.
Lori will then attend mass at The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen at 5:30 p.m.