Pastor's Corner

2024 03-10  The Feast of Saint Patrick

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Sunday we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.  Major parades take place in New York, Savannah, Atlanta and many other cities celebrating the life and contributions of Saint Patrick to the Catholic faith and to Irish culture. It is a special day for Msgr. Marren and many other of our priests who were born in Ireland and who faithfully serve the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Saint Patrick was a priest and later became a bishop in the fifth century. As a youth, he lived in Britain, was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he lived as a servant.  After about six years, he escaped and went back to Britain.  He later returned to Ireland as a missionary and taught the people about the Christian God and prepared many of them for baptism and entrance into the Catholic Church.  He often made use of a shamrock, a three-leaf clover, to teach about the Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  He worked tirelessly in his ministry and won a very special place in the hearts of the Irish people.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that the bishops of Ireland stated that Saint Patrick was called to serve and bring God to a people far from his homeland. They quoted from “The Confession of St. Patrick” in which Saint Patrick said,

“May it never befall me to be separated by my God from His people whom He has won in this remote land. I pray God gives me perseverance, and that He will deign that I should be a faithful witness for His sake right up to the time of my passing.”

St. Patrick prepared the following prayer asking for the Lord’s protection and guidance:

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ below me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left hand,
Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

As we celebrate this day, we are reminded to focus on Christ and our faith as we continue on our Lenten journey and reflect on the glory of the Resurrection that awaits us. The season of Lent is a good time to enhance our spiritual life in the spirit of St. Patrick and bear good fruit in our lives. We are invited and challenged to follow the example of St. Patrick and truly be faithful witnesses to the Gospel as we continue to answer our call to discipleship.

2024 03-17 Congratulations to Tricia Borah and Ben Whitehead, the Saint Brigid Woman and Teen of the Year
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