I went to the 12:15 pm mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica on Ash Wednesday. The place was “sold out.” Standing room only. They even had an overflow group downstairs in the basement following the mass on a giant TV screen. Distribution of Holy Communion was total chaos because everybody was so crammed. Awesome.
As I looked around, I was shocked at how many men were in attendance. Typically on a weekday mass, the women outnumber the men by at least 3 to 1. But on Ash Wednesday, the crowd was pretty close to 50-50.
Why so many men on Ash Wednesday? I think it has something to do with the fasting and the associated sacrifice. Me thinks this confirms what Pacheco, Voris and others have said about how men are generally turned off by the effeminate trends in the Church but are more motivated when they have a chance to exercise their grit, determination and self-sacrifice. In other words, to be real men.