YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Local Catholics can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the meal of their choice, even though the day falls on a Friday during Lent.

Bishop David Bonnar of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has granted a dispensation from the obligation of abstaining from meat on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Under the rules of the church, Catholics over the age of 14 are required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday during Lent. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday.

However, Bishop Bonner acknowledged that St. Patrick’s Day is an important occasion for many people in the Diocese of Youngstown.

He urged those who take advantage of the dispensation to “make some other act of Lenten sacrifice of charity.”

Kristy Regula contributed to this report.