“I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to God. God showed me how to have faith in him for ever, as one who is never to be doubted. He answered my prayer in such a way that in the last days, ignorant though I am, I might be bold enough to take up so holy and so wonderful a task, and imitate in some degree those whom the Lord had so long ago foretold as heralds of his Gospel, bearing witness to all nations.
“How did I get this wisdom, that was not mine before? I did not know the number of my days, or have knowledge of God. How did so great and salutary a gift come to me, the gift of knowing and loving God, though at the cost of homeland and family? I came to the Irish peoples to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.” —
From the Confession of Saint Patrick, bishop
From our Bishop, Most Reverend Douglas J. Deshotel
DECREE — Whereas, the disciplinary practice of abstaining from meat and meat products on the Fridays in Lent is an important dimension of the penitential nature of the season and applies to all Roman Catholics who have reached the age of fourteen (14) (Canon 1252); Whereas, this year, the Feast of St. Patrick, March 17, 2017, falls on a Friday in Lent, and given the many celebrations that occur on this day in commemoration of Saint Patrick and especially of the Irish heritage, in accord with the norm of law;
Therefore, I herewith grant to all Catholics of the Diocese [of Lafayette] as well as all present here that day, a dispensation from abstinence from meat and meat products. All who make use of this dispensation are to engage in another sacriﬁcial or charitable act that day.