Lenten fast and abstinence is a call to a deeper spirit of penitential conversion. Ideally, this personal penance should reach out to the rest of the world through acts of charity and mercy. The real purpose of the fast and abstinence is “to develop the inner freedom to resist.”
Abstinence means not eating meat (beast or fowl). All Catholics, age 14 and older, are obliged to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and the Paschal fast of Good Friday. Fasting means not eating as much as usual. This means only one full meal with two smaller meals (the sum of which is less than the full meal) and no solid food snacks.
All Catholics between the ages of 18-59 inclusive are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Exceptions: The sick and infirm and those for whom these rules do not meet their real physical needs (not just desires) may adjust their fast as necessary. For clarification and other exceptions, contact the parish office.