In observance of the March 17 Feast of St. Patrick which this year falls on a Friday, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has addressed questions about the Lenten rule requiring Catholics to abstain from eating meat.

“There are very few days in the Church year for penitential abstinence from meat as a sacrifice,” stated Bishop O’Connell in a memo that he sent to all pastors in the Diocese. “It is serious enough an obligation as to be listed as one of the ‘Precepts of the Church.’ I am happy this year to give a dispensation from the Lenten abstinence requirement for those attending a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in a parish or other Catholic organization, but ask our Catholics attending that dinner/event to transfer the Lenten abstinence sacrifice to Thursday, March 16.”