Traditionally, Catholics are required to avoid consuming meat on the Fridays leading up to Easter during the time of Lent.
However, since St. Patrick's Day lands on a Friday this year, some Catholic leaders are ruling in favor of this dispensation so that Catholics can celebrate the green holiday with a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.
While several dioceses are ruling in favor of enjoying the Irish celebration with a meat meal, Catholics are still encouraged to compensate for this exemption by participating in an act of charity or penance.
Information about this dispensation and the dioceses observing it can be found online on individual dioceses' websites.
Cardinal Blase Cupich released a statement last week saying, "St. Patrick's Day, March 17, falls on a Friday this year. Cardinal Cupich has given a general dispensation to Catholics from abstaining from meat on this day. Instead, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago who choose to make use of this general dispensation are asked to substitute another form of penance for the Lenten Friday abstinence."