Archdiocese clears Houston-area Catholics to eat meat today to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

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Friday, March 17, 2023
Cardinal says local Catholics can eat meat on Lenten St. Patrick's Day
Cardinal DiNardo says despite Lent, you're free to celebrate big for St. Patrick's Day! But, Catholics are asked to do something in exchange if you choose to eat meat that day.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston says local Catholics can eat meat on Friday, March 17, despite it being Lent -- and it's all thanks to St. Patrick's Day.

Catholics are getting a pass from the usual obligation to abstain from meat because St. Paddy's Day fell on a Lenten Friday this year.

"After consideration of the traditions often related to this festive holiday, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is granting a dispensation from meat on March 17, 2023, for local and visiting faithful in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston," the Archdiocese said in a statement.

If you choose to indulge in celebrating the holiday, DiNardo asks you to do an extra act of charity or penance in exchange.

Lent is the 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, the day before Easter.

Catholics traditionally fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and do not eat meat on any Friday during the 40-day period. Because of this, many Catholic churches participate in fish fries on Fridays during Lent.

Every year, March 17 commemorates St. Patrick as the Patron Saint of Ireland and the missionary credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday and holy day of obligation.