Bishop Dispenses Obligation to Abstain from Meat on Saint Patrick’s Day


The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, is granting a dispensation from the obligation of Catholics in the diocese to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17, 2023, the Feast of Saint Patrick.

Bishop Bartchak requests that any Catholic in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown who chooses to accept this dispensation should perform some other act of penance in its place. The choice of such penance is to be determined by the individual. The Bishop recommends that the penance reflect the spirit of Lent, that is, acts of prayer or charity to the poor.

Catholics who choose to observe the traditional Lenten abstinence from meat on that day are not required to perform any other penitential acts.

Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland and is the patron saint of that country. His feast day is one of celebration in the Catholic Church and throughout secular culture.