HOUSTON -

It was a special day for thousands in Houston. Men, women and children filled cathedrals around the city for Ash Wednesday.

"It's a time of reflection to remember what we went through," said Elizabeth Gerrer, who attends Our Lady of Guadalupe with her two children. "It's also a time for self evaluation and for us to think about what we need to be doing for others."

"For me, it's a time of forgiveness and prayer," said Adriana Guzman. "We try to go through what Jesus went through. Reflect on His sacrifices, and make some of our."

Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, which will start off 40 days and nights of fasting.

"Yes, you can give up food, but I spoke to my kids about giving up some of the things we do. We want to stop the name calling, getting upset when driving and be a better person," said Guerrer.

Wednesday was also the first day Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance since announcing that he will be resigning on Feb. 28.

"He will be in my prayers," said Sandra Brown. "I think he's very brave, and he's the only person that knows when it's time for him to give the position up."