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When is an obligation not obligatory?

It might depend on the day of the week.

In most years, The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—celebrated on August 15—is a holy day of obligation for Latin Rite Catholics. However, canon law allows for the conference of bishops in different regions throughout the world to make limited changes to that region’s holy days calendar. In 1991, that happened in our area when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a decree allowing for the obligation to attend Mass on this solemnity (and a few others) to be abrogated when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday.

At St. Patrick Parish, we’ll still be celebrating the day on which “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950). If you can, please join us for the liturgy at 9:00am on Saturday morning, August 15, 2020.

If you can’t make it, another great way to celebrate is to learn more about this beautiful dogma of the Church, which was defined in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. Watch “The Assumption,” part of the series The Bible and the Virgin Mary: Journey Through Scripture on It’s free when you register using Near West Partner Parishes as your parish name.