In accordance with the prescriptions of the Code of Canon Law, canons 87 § 1 and 91, I hereby officially dispense all Catholics in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau from the requirement to abstain from meat on Fri., March 17, 2017.
March 17, a Lenten Friday, is also the Commemoration of St. Patrick. St. Patrick is highly-revered as the Patron of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with numerous observances throughout the diocese. This day is to serve as a reminder to both honor the memory of the Irish Catholic immigrant forebears of yesterday, and to welcome the immigrants of today.
With due regard for the penitential character of Lent, I encourage Catholics in the diocese to adopt another day of abstinence in place of March 17 or to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
The Most Reverend
Edward M. Rice, Bishop of