Statement from Bishop Parkes Concerning Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bishop Parkes has received questions regarding whether a dispensation from the discipline of fasting and abstinence will be granted on Ash Wednesday as it coincides with Valentine’s Day. He is not inclined to grant a dispensation from this discipline for two main reasons:

  1. Ash Wednesday is one of the only two days on the liturgical calendar (the other being Good Friday) when fasting and abstinence are observed by Catholics.
  2. For most people, Valentine’s Day is primarily a secular celebration rather than a religious observance.

Members of the faithful are encouraged to observe Valentine’s Day with greater simplicity, due to its convergence with Ash Wednesday or they may choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, February 13 or even during the previous weekend (February 10-11).