In his decade as pope, Francis has tried to usher in a more positive, frank approach to the topic of sex in the Catholic Church, urging the institution to reckon with the real-life experiences of faithful today and addressing topics ranging from pornography, abstinence and dating apps to orgasms.
With Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day this year, West Central Abbey found a way to couple their usual Lenten season kick-off with something unique to the holiday. “Our plan is to make Valentines from God for each other,” the Rev. Katy Shedlock said in an email.
For the first time since 2018, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day. It has happened three times in the last century – 1923, 1934 and 1945 – and will happen again in 2029 for the final time this century.