The Irish are known for their great faith in the almighty God and their great love for the holy Catholic Church and her sacraments. They have great love of life and happiness and family and good times, and humor and storytelling and a toast of the Irish spirits and the sharing of the blarney tales of Irish lore and legend and history.
They understand that St. Patrick is one of the most influential saints, espousing the holy tradition by use of the three-sided shamrock that there is one God and three distinct persons dwelling in oneness -- the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Irish have a great love of the chance to declare their love of their American Irish festivities.
I AM DESCRIBING to you what happens here in Augusta; Savannah; Dublin, Ga.; Chicago; Kansas City; New York City; and all places that have Irish families present to bring honor and praise and prayer to their patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, whose life and love of holy God prompted him to be such a herald of gospel values, loving principles and honored traditions among all Irish men, women and children all around the world.
I am requesting of all good Augustans and CSRA residents to bring themselves to downtown Augusta on Wednesday, March 17, for the celebration of Holy Mass at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity -- cherished by many who know it also as St. Patrick's -- to share in the mystery of God's love at noon, then to stay for the parade beginning at 2 p.m. through the streets of downtown Augusta and ending with many families gathered near the Savannah River a block beyond Reynolds Street between Eighth and Ninth streets for some good Irish stories and family times.
YOU SHALL experience for yourself the great richness of Irish devotions; Irish tales; Irish customs; Irish unity; and Irish strength of God, family, faith and values that are perennial, strong and deep in their blood and being as long as they live.
This is what St. Patrick's Day is all about -- a real chance to gain a bit of family unity and family traditions and family coming together for Holy Mass, a parade, some fellowship, some Irish dancing, Irish comraderie, Irish songs and Irish stories.
Yes, on this day, March 17 -- the day we honor a saint of the Catholic Church, St. Patrick -- it is a great day for the Irish, and a great wonderful day for us all. Erin go bragh . Ireland forever!
(The writer is parochial vicar at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta.)