Catholics, others marking 40-day holy season of Lent

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There’s something unique about Lent 2013, according to Father Ben Brown. 

“It will start with one pope and get to Easter with another one,” Brown told attendees at a Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Catharine College. “But that change is not as important as the change that Jesus asks for in your heart.” 

Local Catholics and other Christian denominations marked the 40-day holy observance of Lent beginning on Feb. 13 — just days after an aging Pope Benedict XVI announced his plans to retire from the papacy. He is 85. 

About 50 attended the 12:30 p.m. Mass at St. Catharine College and others attended Ash Wednesday services at various locations and times throughout the county. 

During the 40 days of Lent, which commences just before Easter, many believers commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. 

Tom Bystrek, who attended Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Catharine College, said he’s abstaining from soft drinks during Lent. Bystrek sometimes drinks as many as four diet sodas a day and said he drinks even more regular sodas throughout the day.  

Joe Ballard of Bardstown, who also attended Mass at the local college said he plans to give up dairy — but largely because his wife Caitlin is lactose intolerant.