"I think there's other ways of celebrating than eating meat on Fridays."
Like wearing a Shamrock! Sybil Breiwa isn't Irish , but she's a devout Catholic and is wearing her pin for two reasons.
"Shamrock is what St. Patrick used as a way of teaching of the Father, Son and Holy Spirits. I'm wearing my Shamrock, my green, so I don't get pinched!"
We almost had to pinch her when we told her some of the 197 U.S. dioceses lifted the no meat rule for Catholics this year.
"Yes, I'm surprised it's the first I've heard of it!"
Kentucky's dioceses haven't lifted the no meat rule, but some archbishops say if you must eat the traditional corned beef, to observe Lent on a different day that week.
The practice of abstaining from meat started during the Middle Ages, and likely stems from the idea of disciplining the body as a form of penance. Catholics were supposed to abstain from meat every Friday of the year until 1966, when the Vatican changed it to every Friday during Lent.
"I think the Church has changed a little."
The Catholic faith has a reputation of strict rules, but the Church has surprised many of it's faithful over the years by letting those of the Irish ancestry celebrate their heritage and observe Lent without giving from either end.
"By eating meat, even if the dioceses say its okay, it would be my personal sacrifice not to do so because I want to show my faith as being stronger than that."
So, while some are eating corned beef others like Sybil Breiwa will don their Shamrocks.
Other substitutes for eating meat on Friday during Lent for Catholics are
a next-day act of penance, a work of charity, extra time in prayer such as the rosary, a visit to the sick, a donation to the poor – any corporal or spiritual work of mercy.