During Lent, Catholics, who have reached their 14th birthday, are expected to abstain from meat on Fridays. This year, however, St. Patrick’s Day happens to fall on a Friday during lent, which may have many Catholics wondering if it’s ok to eat their traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. After much consideration, the bishops of Wisconsin have announced a special dispensation from adhering to the law of abstinence on Friday, March 17, 2017. On this special occurrence, which only happens once or twice a decade, this Lenten dispensation will allow the faithful to celebrate their family traditions with a clear conscience.
Although Bishop William Patrick Callahan has waived the rule of abstinence for St. Patrick’s Day this year, Catholics who choose to make use of this dispensation are encouraged to choose another day during the second week of Lent as a day of abstinence from meat, in substitution for the observance of Friday, March 17. It is also encouraged for those who are to celebrate this memorial to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on that day or at least to participate in some other pious action, such as the praying of the rosary, whether individually or as a group or as a family.
For the full decree for the Diocese of La Crosse, click here.