By Paul Schmitt
With steak dinners and chocolates the mainstay for celebrating Valentine’s Day dinner, Roman Catholics and other Christians who observe Ash Wednesday around the world face a dilemma today. Church doctrine calls for Ash Wednesday to be a day of fasting and abstaining from eating meat. Fr. Bob Stegmann, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay, says people can always wait until the weekend to indulge.
This year is the first time Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have fallen on the same day since 1945. Last year, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Friday during lent and many U.S. Bishops issued a dispensation to permit Catholics to eat corned beef and cabbage, the traditional Irish meal.