DISPENSATION FROM THE LAW OF ABSTINENCE
On Friday, March 17, 2017
RESCRIPT FROM BISHOP BRENDAN J. CAHILL, S.T.D.
Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria in Texas
In response to several requests, I hereby issue this rescript and I grant a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence on Friday, March 17, 2017, which is the commemoration of Saint Patrick, for all those so desiring it. I encourage the faithful to exercise due moderation and temperance in festivities and celebrations honoring this great saint, in keeping with the penitential nature of our Lenten observance, and to perform some other salutary work of penance or charity on that day or another chosen day. This dispensation is for all the Catholic faithful who reside in the Diocese of Victoria in Texas and all present in this diocese on March 17, 2017.
+Bishop Brendan J. Cahill
LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE REGULATIONS
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Lenten Fast and Abstinence Regulations are, as follows:
1. Fasting and abstinence from meat, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
2. Abstinence from meat on all Fridays of Lent. The law of abstinence from meat is required of all those fourteen years of age and older.
3. The law of the fast means only one full meal may be taken during the day. Two light meals are permitted, but are not to equal one full meal. The consumption of solid food between meals is prohibited, but liquids may be taken at any time.
4. The law of fast binds those who have completed their 18th year and have not yet reached their 60th year.
5. Those, who by reason of their young age, are not bound by the laws of fast and abstinence, should be taught the true meaning of penance.
It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of which is turning away from sin and returning to God, includes some form of penance, in order for a Christian to remain on the narrow path and be saved. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has written: “Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can so this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”
Apart from the special Lenten activities of individuals and parishes, Lent also affords a special opportunity for families to grow deeper in their commitment to Christ. Within the family, penitential practices and devotions can be conducted, including the use of Scripture, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and other forms of family prayer and devotion.
Click here for Pope Francis Lent Message 2017.
We encourage you to take advantage of Lent as a wonderful time for spiritual renewal. Below you will find a variety of articles, activities, and other resources that will aid you in this special time of prayer and preparation.Click here for more information and resources.
Dynamic Catholic’s free Best Lent Ever email program will take you on a 40-day spiritual journey to encounter Jesus—and yourself—in a deeply personal way, and begin (or nourish) a habit of daily prayer. http://dynamiccatholic.com/bestlentever