The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released an offical announcement from Archbishop José H. Gomez regarding the Memorial of St. Patrick (St. Patrick's Day) which falls this year on a Friday in Lent. The full text of the announcement is included below:
Archbishop José H. Gomez, in accord the Code of Canon Law (canon 87), has granted a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from the obligation to abstain from meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick – Friday, March 17, 2017 since Saint Patrick is the secondary patron saint of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The United States Bishops prescribe as a minimal obligation that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent. This is a corporate gesture of penance observed by all members of the Church in the United States.
In certain circumstances, such as the coincidence of Saint Patrick's Day and a Friday of Lent, the diocesan bishop may grant such a dispensation from the observance of the corporate gesture of penance on a penitential day. However, if a Catholic makes the choice not to abstain from meat, then some other penance of choice is to be observed in honor of the passion and death of our Lord on the cross.
On Saint Patrick's Day, the memory of this missionary apostle to Ireland recalls his preaching of the Faith and encouragement to live authentic Christian lives. The Faithful throughout theArchdiocese may observe March 17, 2017 with another choice of penance rather than abstaining from meat.