St. Patrick’s Day Falling On A Friday Poses Dilemma For Catholics

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fish is usually the main course for Catholics who abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent. Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional dish on Saint Patrick’s Day. But this year, St. Patrick’s Day takes place on a Friday. What to do?

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik solved the dilemma.

“We can do two things. Give honor to Saint Patrick, who’s an inspiration to so many people, and at the same time not forget what it means to be disciples of Jesus in the season of Lent.”

With those words, Bishop Zubik gave Catholics special dispensation to eat meat on this particular Friday. And at pubs like Claddagh, at the SouthSide Works, that means corned beef on the table.

“My family normally would not eat meat on Friday,” says a woman savoring a corned beef wrap.

Today, there’s not a fish to be found on this table. Family members agree.

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“I had the shepherd’s pie.”

“I usually eat stew, so that’s what I had.”

“I had lamb stew. I had corned beef. I’m finishing everybody’s leftovers.”

Many scarf down corned beef wraps as appetizers, while some go with corned beef sandwiches.

“I’m Methodist,” a woman explains. “So it doesn’t matter to me.”

But for the Irish, corned beef is a tradition from the old country. Right? Claddagh operations manager Justin O’Driscoll, a native of Ireland, says that’s not so.

“Definitely not. I think the first time I had corned beef was when I came to this country.”

Now, that’s a shocker. Meanwhile, Sue Mackey’s family is still hooked on fish.

“It’s still Lent,” she says. “It’s still Friday, and I honor that tradition, regardless of Saint Patrick’s Day.”

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