Press Release

Bishop Grants Dispensation from Abstinence from Eating Meat on St. Patrick's Day

Diocese-Green-Bay-LogoGREEN BAY, Wis. (March 9, 2017) -- Bishop David L. Ricken has granted a dispensation from abstinence from eating meat on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2017. Typically, Catholics ages 14 and older abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. Every seven years or so, St. Patrick's Day will fall on a Lenten Friday.

Fasting, Abstinence Important Parts of Lent

In his decree, Bishop Ricken writes:

"Catholics are to be reminded of the obligatory days of fasting and abstinence that are important parts of the penitential season of Lent (Canon 1250-1252).

This year, The Feast of St. Patrick, which honors Ireland's patron saint, falls on March 17, 2017, a Friday in Lent. Many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations occur on this day, honoring this faithful servant of Christ who converted thousands and built churches, forming dioceses across all of Ireland.

To honor his work of making disciples of Jesus and in accord with the norm of law (Canon 1253), I grant to all Catholics of the Diocese of Green Bay a dispensation from abstinence from meat and meat products on The Feast of St. Patrick in the year 2017. I encourage all who make use of this dispensation to engage in another sacrificial or charitable act that day."

Catholics may eat meat on this Lenten Friday, the feast day of St. Patrick, and are encouraged to participate in another sacrifice or charitable act on that day.


Who We Are

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay works to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ by helping people in need and by providing academic, leadership and spiritual formation opportunities to parish and school leaders. Established in 1868, the Diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.


Justine Lodl
Director of Communications 
Phone: (920) 272-8213 
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Sarah Bradford
Communications Coordinator
Phone: (920) 272-8209
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