March 3, 2023

Catholics may eat meat on Friday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, but abstain on another day

Many parishes and cities across the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are planning on holding St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 17, the feast of St. Patrick. March 17, 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 17.

Commutation means that those persons in the archdiocese who wish to eat meat on the Friday of St. Patrick’s Day are free to do so, provided that they abstain from meat on some other day during the week of March 19 in addition to Friday, March 24. †

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