If you are Catholic and you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage, you are already forgiven. Earlier this month, Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay granted dispensation to those who want to partake in the special holiday meal that occasionally falls on a Friday during Lent. Bishop Ricken recommends Catholics donate the cost of the meal to Catholic Relief Services, pray the rosary, or participate in the Stations of the Cross if they choose to partake in corned beef on Friday. St. Mary’s of Luxemburg and Holy Trinity of Casco Pastor Dan Schuster says it is a reminder that Lent is a time of reflection and it is not necessarily a time just to give up something but also to take something up.
Catholics are encouraged to give up meat on Fridays during lent as a symbol of Jesus giving up his flesh for us on Good Friday. According to the Archdioceses of St. Paul and Minneapolis, fish was not included because it was considered cheap, eaten more often, and not associated with celebrations at the time.