March 8, 2019

Catholics may eat meat on March 15, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day, but have to abstain on another day

Many parishes and cities across the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are planning on holding St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 15 this year—the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day, which is on Sunday, March 17. March 15, a Lenten Friday, is a penitential day for Catholics when they do not eat meat, or soups or sauces made from meat.

Recognizing that this is a traditional day of celebration for many Catholics and that a person cannot celebrate and do penance at the same time, Archbishop Charles C. Thompson has commuted the obligation for Catholics of the archdiocese to abstain from meat on March 15.

Commutation means that those persons in the archdiocese who wish to eat meat on the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day are free to do so provided that they abstain from meat on some other day during the week of March 17 in addition to Friday, March 22. †

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