Madison Catholics can enjoy meat on St. Patrick’s Day, bishop says

In Madison Diocese, parishioners will be permitted to have corned beef and cabbage in honor of...
In Madison Diocese, parishioners will be permitted to have corned beef and cabbage in honor of Ireland’s patron saint.(fotek/Getty Images via Canva)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:17 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Madison Diocese is making sure Catholics in southern Wisconsin know this is one Friday when it’s okay to dig into that corned beef sandwich.

In conjunction with dioceses across the country, including Green Bay, Bishop Donald Hying is granting dispensation on March 17, i.e., St. Patrick’s Day, from the traditional Friday abstinence during Lent.

Hying explained, while the norms in U.S. require Catholics not to eat meat on these Fridays, those same norms allow them to substitute another act of penance in lieu of skipping meat on Fridays during the rest of the year.

With that in mind and in wanting to allow people to honor the fifth-century bishop who went on to become Ireland’s patron saint, Hying extended the dispensation for the holiday. His rescript does urge those who do choose to chow down on come corned beef and cabbage or shepherd’s pie to perform an act of charity or work of penance, “so that they might unite themselves more perfectly with the suffering and death of our Lord.”

Earlier this week, Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay diocese issued a similar decree, describing St. Patrick as “one of the most successful Christian missionaries in history.”

Ricken offered as examples donating the cost of a meal that day to the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl program, praying the rosary, or participating in the Stations of the Cross.

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