The Memorial of Saint Patrick and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA
My Dear Parishioners,
This week we will honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland on his Feast day, Friday March 17, 2023. Archbishop Nelson Perez, grants a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from the obligation to abstain from meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick this year. (Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage!) The following explanation was given by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces that Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, in accord with the Code of Canon Law (canon 87), has granted a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from the obligation to abstain from meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick – Friday, March 17, 2023.
The Catholic Bishops of the United States prescribe as part of a minimal penitential obligation that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent.
In certain circumstances, such as the coincidence of Saint Patrick’s Day and a Friday of Lent, the Diocesan Bishop may grant a dispensation from this obligation. 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.
Saint Patrick’s Day, recalls the memory of this missionary Apostle to Ireland; his preaching of the Faith; and his encouragement to live authentic Christian lives. Faithful throughout the Archdiocese may observe March 17, 2023 by choosing a penitential act other than abstaining from meat.
Sunday, March 19th would normally be our parish patron St. Joseph’s Feast day, but because it falls on a Sunday in Lent, the Feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, is transferred to Monday, March 20th for this year. We will celebrate our traditional Triduum of Prayers in honor of St. Joseph beginning on Monday, March 20th. All are invited to join us for the 8:00 Morning Mass followed by some special prayers to St. Joseph on Monday March 20th, Tuesday March 21st, and Wednesday March 22nd.
I apologize that I did not publish the letter for last week’s Second Collection in the previous week’s bulletin. Here is the letter from the Archbishop. If anyone still wishes to contribute to the collection for the Military Archdiocese, feel free to submit a donation, just mark it for the Military Archdiocese.
God Bless You,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA was established by Saint John Paul II in 1985 to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries to those in the United States Armed Forces.
The mission of the Archdiocese is to “serve those who serve” by providing the pastoral care and services to Catholics serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, enrolled in U.S. Military Academies, undergoing treatment at any of the 153 Department of Veterans Affairs’ Medical Centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam, working in civilian jobs for the federal government beyond
U.S. borders, and the families of these populations. The Archdiocese and its endorsed priests and deacons are responsible for pastoral service to approximately 1.8 million Catholics. However, unlike a conventional diocese, the Archdiocese has no parishes or parish registries and no weekly collections. It relies solely on the generosity of private donations to support its programs and services.
Pope Francis has told military ordinaries from around the world that “The role of military chaplains is to accompany and support [those in need] on the journey, to be a comforting and brotherly presence for them all.” (Pope Francis, Address to participants in the 8th Humanitarian Course, 26.X.15.) Your support of the Archdiocese for the Military Services will bring the Gospel, the sacraments and other forms of spiritual support to men and women who serve our Country and defend our freedoms, including parishioners and families from our own diocese.
The Collection for the Archdiocese for the Military Services will be conducted in your parish on a weekend during Lent as determined by your Pastor. I ask your continued prayers and generous financial support of this collection.
Gratefully and with best wishes in Jesus Christ,
+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia