I wish all of you a happy St Patrick's Day. May the great Apostle of Ireland, he whom we Irish call our Spiritual Father, intercede for all your intentions and watch over you and your families. May he keep you in his heart and guide you in your daily living of the Gospel of Christ.
Yesterday at Mass, as I announced the schedule for today's solemnity, I reminded our parishioners that on this day we do not celebrate being Irish, we celebrate being Christian. Patrick did not bring Irishness to these shores, he brought the proclamation of the Gospel, and he probably doesn't care what nationality we are as long as we are faithful disciples of Christ. To take St Paul's point: there are neither Jews nor Greeks nor Irish for we are all [to be] one in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal 3:28). But of course I'm not saying we don't aim to have to good time, or to use those things which are Irish to celebrate this solemnity, just to bear in mind what this feast is all about: being Christians. That said, have a great day and feast, insofar as Lent allows.
For all our friends overseas, please say a prayer for Ireland and for the Church here.
For all my readers in Ireland, you're welcome to join us here in Rathkenny for a special Holy Hour of prayer for Ireland followed by Holy Mass at St Patrick's Church, Rushwee, beginning at 6.15pm. You can find the church on Google maps. It starts early and it will finish leaving people time to spend some [more] time to celebrate the feast.