On March 17 we celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. In Ireland, March 17 is a public holiday. Celebrations also occur in Great Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Russia, the Caribbean, and in various parts of Asia.
St Patrick’s legacy has had a profound impact on the founding of Catholicism in Australia and in the geographical area that has become the Diocese of Parramatta in 1986. His legacy inspired many Irish born priests, brothers, religious sisters and lay people to be pioneers in setting up parishes and schools in our Diocese. Many people of Irish decent have played their part in the 19th and 20th century in building on these foundations to help make our Diocese what it is today.
Aside from Australia, St Patrick’s missionary example has inspired many Irish missionaries over the centuries to go to places across the globe. The religious communities and schools that Irish missionaries established are still playing a role across the Western world and also in Africa, India, Asia and South America.
While St Patrick’s Day has a special significance to those in our community that were Irish born, the day is also an occasion to celebrate the amazing sacrifices of the priests and religious men and women who left their green shores to establish and grow parishes, schools, religious communities and other outreach structures across the globe.
On Saturday March 18, the Life Marriage & Family Office is organising a St Patrick’s Family Festival from 2-5pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral Precinct, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta. Everyone is welcome to attend to celebrate the great gift of faith and service that St Patrick inspired throughout the world. For more details on the event go to: http://www.parralmf.org.au/st-patricks-day