Commuters participate in Ash Wednesday at Union Station

For many Catholics, their commute was interrupted by a re-direct toward their spirituality this Ash Wednesday – here in the middle of Union Station.

The Catholic Archdiocese offered ashes at CTA stations, trains and the city's airports, allowing the faithful to fit the tradition into their routine, commuter cups in hand, earbuds on pause.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten Season. The ashes are applied to the forehead in the shape of a cross and serve as an outward expression of faith.

It seemed busier this year, for Bernadette Gibson, Director of Pastoral Care at Old St. Patrick's Church. 

"I think it’s a reminder of beginning a 40-day journey towards our most sacred Holiday, Easter. Reflection."

Michelle Vodenik took the train in from Bartlett. She lit up when she found Chaplain Gibson. 

"I was really happy to see her. It's really nice to be able to get ashes here on my way into work," Vodenik said.

Raquel Dinglasan stopped for ashes on her way to work, too. 

"I'm just so happy it's here, I don’t have to go to church because I don't have time today," Dinglasan said.

Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine's Day this year. Some Catholics might choose to delay indulging. 

For those who aren't into Ash Wednesday, there's something for them, too. A Valentine's Day treat, from Old St. Patrick's Church.