This week starts what is, almost, the halfway point of the month of March. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the great Christmas blizzard of 2022 was a couple of weeks ago, rather than a couple of MONTHS ago…time flies! This weekend’s Mass is the 3rd Sunday of Lent, and although it’s not the official halfway point of the Lenten season, it is surely getting closer and closer.
This coming Wednesday is March 15th, more popularly known as the Ides of March. On that day, way back in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated by his “friends” and “supporters.” Maybe celebrate the day with a delicious Caesar salad, or a chicken caesar wrap…or if you’re feeling ambitious, sit down and read William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.” If you ever visit the ancient forum in Rome, they have preserved the site of what is believed to be the place where his body was cremated. Interestingly, people still bring flowers to this site on March 15.
This coming Friday is a special day for those of you of Irish heritage…the feast day of Saint Patrick! Although this day always falls during the solemnity and sobriety of Lent, people will often celebrate with corned beef and cabbage, plenty of beer and whiskey, soda bread, parades, Irish dancing, music, and everything else under the sun.
This year, because St. Patrick falls on a Friday of Lent, many US bishops issue a relaxation of the precept which forbids the consumption of meat on such a penitential day. This year, Bishop Fisher has issued a “commutation” for all Catholics of the diocese. What does that mean? Well, his letter indicates that this permission “commutes” the obligation to abstain from meat and changes it into a different practice. If you are going to eat meat this Saint Patrick’s Day, you are OBLIGATED to choose another day of this week in which you will NOT eat meat. So, in other words, Bishop Fisher is not “getting rid of the obligation,” but rather indicating that a person should honor that obligation on another day of the week (your choice).
I would like to suggest something else, in addition to what the bishop is allowing. Remember that we are in this holy season of prayer, penance, fasting, and almsgiving. As much as celebrating Irish heritage is a really, really fun time, I think if Saint Patrick was the bishop of Buffalo, he would refuse to issue such a relaxation and say to everyone, “Get over it!” Saint Patrick was, above all, a Catholic missionary and archbishop of Armagh (and Primate of All Ireland). His Roman Catholic faith was at the center of his whole life, and he expected that faith to equally be at the center of the Irish people as well. We have two writings that St. Patrick left behind, and both are considered historically reliable and authentic by scholars. These are the: 1) Declaration of St. Patrick (or in Latin, the Confessio) and 2) the Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus (or in Latin, the Epistola). Why not look them up online and read through them? That would be a great way to celebrate his life and accomplishments. Or, celebrate the day by highlighting the Lenten season (going to Mass, praying the rosary, the Stations of the Cross, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament) as St. Patrick himself would surely have done!
ST. PATRICK’S DAY FISH FRY AT ST. PAUL’S!
Want to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17th, in order to honor the holy season of Lent? Then come, one and all, over to Saint Paul’s Church in Kenmore for a delicious FISH FRY! As you all know, Fr. Peter and myself serve both Blessed Sacrament and St. Paul’s, and it would be good to have more inter parish interaction between our communities. I hope that some
of you will consider going to events at St. Paul’s and that people from St. Paul’s will come here as well! So, how about a delicious, beer battered piece of heaven on earth?! LOL
The fish fry starts at 5pm on Friday, March 17th in the parish center of St. Paul’s. If you come to St. Paul’s down Delaware Ave., there is a church parking lot on Westgate Road…that is where the parish center/meeting hall is located (directly behind the church). The address of the church is 33 Victoria Blvd., Kenmore, NY 14217…however, the church address is the rectory address, which is on Victoria Blvd. The front of the church is right on Delaware Avenue.
Ticket’s are $14.00 and if you dine in, it will include a beverage and a dessert. Take out and drive-thru are available, but they don’t include the drink and dessert. So come on out and enjoy yourselves! If you’ve never seen the church before, this is the perfect opportunity…I’ll be happy to give a tour (it is a BEAUTIFUL church, with a very prominent Divine Mercy image).
P.S. Just a head’s up about the feast day of Saint Joseph, which is normally March 19th. Because March 19th is a Sunday this year (Laetare Sunday, to be exact) poor St. Joseph’s feast gets bumped to Monday, March 20th. As I’ve preached on a few times in my homilies, I HATE when an important saint gets replaced by the Sunday…oh well…
~Fr. Martin Gallagher