Happy St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2024

Today is March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. Patrick was born in the 4th Century, in England. When he was in his teens he was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was sold into slavery to a man who was a Druid tribal leader. Although raised in a Catholic home, he had not embraced his Catholic faith on a personal level. When in Ireland, he began praying every day and became a strong believer and a holy man.
Patrick was a dreamer, somewhat like St. Joseph, whose feast day we also celebrate this week. He had a dream in which he was told that he would soon be going home. In another dream he was told to leave his master and make way to the shore, where he would be taken by boat to England. Eventually, having decided to become a priest, Patrick went to France where he completed his studies. In another dream, a man from Ireland begged him to return to Ireland and to bring the Gospel to the people there.
Eventually he arrived in Ireland and began preaching the Gospel. With many trials and difficulties, Patrick began making progress as he travelled around the Celtic countryside winning converts and enemies (the Druids) wherever he went.

In the mid-1800s, as the Irish people were facing starvation during the Potato Famine, millions of Irish Catholics began fleeing hunger and starvation and fled to the United States. Trying to hold on to their Irish roots, they brought many traditions and stories with them. One of the most prominent traditions was their devotion to St. Patrick.
Throughout the country, those who descended from Irish immigrants have held St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations. Most of these are good, wholesome family affairs. Sadly, many people (often not Irish) have turned a celebration of the Catholic faith and Irish heritage into an excuse to drink abusively, with no concern for the Catholic faith. I pray that they will find some other event in which they can celebrate in this entirely pagan event.
We will have a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish this Sunday, immediately after the 11:30 Mass. We will have corned beef and cabbage, fried chicken (for those who for some reason do not like corned beef and cabbage) as well as other sides.
There will be music, fellowship, and fun. Please join us.
—Fr. Mike Comer

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