Bishop Edward Rice issues St. Patrick’s Day dispensation
Given the penitential nature of the Season of Lent, the Bishops of the United States have preserved in our dioceses the tradition of abstinence from meat on each of the Fridays of Lent, “confident that no Catholic Christian will lightly hold himself excused from this penitential practice” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Statement, Nov. 18, 1966, n. 13).
The law of abstinence binds those Catholics who have completed the 14th year of their age (can. 1252).
In 2023, the Memorial of Saint Patrick falls on Fri., March 17, 2023, during the Third of Lent. It is well-known that Saint Patrick’s Day is a day of celebration for many American Catholics.
Bishop Edward M. Rice, therefore, decrees that on Fri., March 17, 2023, all Catholics of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, no matter where they may be, are, by his authority, dispensed from the obligation (can. 87 $1).
It is not required that anyone make use of this dispensation. However, those who do wish to make use of it are requested to pray the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
—The Most Rev. Edward M. Rice
Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau