Archbishop: Catholics can eat meat this Friday


The Loyola community gathers in Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for the Mass of the Holy Spirit last fall. Catholics in the area will be able to break their Lenten fast for St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Colleen Dulle

Every few years, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent, forcing Catholics to choose between fasting from meat and celebrating the holiday with a corned beef dinner.

Thankfully, this year, area Catholics won’t have to live on cabbage alone: the archdiocese said this morning that meat is OK this Friday, as long as the faithful fast on another day.

“If a Catholic residing in the Archdiocese of New Orleans wishes to participate in St. Patrick’s Day festivities and desires to eat meat, they may be dispensed and choose another day of the week for abstinence or may choose to perform an act of penance that is a greater sacrifice,” the announcement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond said.

St. Patrick’s Day “dispensations,” or special changes to church laws, have been popping up in dioceses across the country in recent weeks. The diocese originally made the announcement in an email to local parishes last week.