Dispensation Granted for St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2023

Lenten Guidelines of Fasting and Abstinence

     Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for every Catholic bound according to age and health.  In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence from meat.

     For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until 59.  The norms on abstinence from meat are binding upon the faithful from the age of 14 and onward as long as one’s health permits this practice.  These Lenten practices unite us to our Savior, Jesus Christ, who through His sacrificial death upon the cross wrought our salvation.  They also unite us to the plight of our many brothers and sisters who endure suffering, persecution and poverty.

     Lent also calls to mind those who have gone before us and who have been outstanding in the proclamation of the faith.  On Friday, March 17, 2023, we celebrate the commemoration of Saint Patrick’s.  In accordance with canon87, ;1 of the Code of Canon Law, and noting the many commemorations of the saint that will occur on that day, I hereby grant a dispensation from abstinence to all the faithful of the Diocese of Rochester.

     While granting this dispensation, I encourage the faithful to observe the abstinence from meat on another day during that week.  Also, attending Holy Mass on Saint Patrick’s Day truly would honor the memory and work of this great apostolic saint of the church.  Therefore, parish celebrations honoring St. Patrick should rightly include the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as the eucharistic sacrifice is “the summit toward which the activity of the church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows.”  (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no 10; dv. Lumen Gentium, no 11).

     The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, ordinarily observed on March 19th, has been transferred to March 20th this year since March 19th falls on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.  No dispensations in this regard are needed.

     I wish everyone a very blessed Saint Patrick’s Day and Saint Joseph’s Day!

     Given at the aula of the chancery of the Diocese of Rochester on the sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-three.

                                                                                                The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano

                                                                                                Bishop of Rochester