March 17, 2007

Saint Patrick's Day

The always opinionated Terry Nelson of Abbey-Roads2 blog has a post about St. Patrick's Day.

I am not Irish. Nope, not one bit. Lovely nation and people, I've been there.

If I were Irish, I would be really upset at the sight of so many of my brothers and sisters perpetuating the centuries-old ugly stereotype of the drunken Irishman every March 17th.

As a Native American (Anishinabeg), I am furious when people assume that all Native Americans are drunks. It's true that many of my brothers and sisters struggle with alcohol and substance abuse. I cry every time I see one of them fallen. I cheer when I see one of them get up. I, certainly, don't want to see a day, where in the name of a Saint of God, it's acceptable for them to be intoxicated. If the day ever comes when Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is canonized (I pray for that event regularly) should Native Americans expect they can honor the Lily of the Mohawks by acting like buffoons and drinking until they pass out?

As a Catholic, I'm really upset that a Saint's day is an excuse for people to forget that it's Lent and go get bombed. I also get upset when certain Bishops waive the Friday abstinence requirements during Lent if St. Patrick's Day happens to fall on a Friday. (For the record, I don't like the debauchery of certain Mardi Gras celebrations either). I think they all give the perception that any Lenten sacrifices can just be lightly tossed aside because, hey, even the Bishop thinks St. Patrick's Day should be fun!

Gentle Reader, you know I am no opponent of fun and games. But, there are times when "fun" should be moderated and I think Lent is one of them. I don't think St. Patrick's Day, as it is, all too frequently, practiced in the U.S., brings any honor to the memory of one of the greatest evangelists in the history of our Faith.


Blogger elena maria vidal said...

I love Saint Patrick's day, and I agree that it is sacrilegious for people to use it as an excuse for drunkenness. He was a great Apostle to the Irish. There are holy ways to keep Saint Patrick's day, though.

March 16, 2007 10:24 AM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

I'm Irish and I plan to have a pint o'Guinness tomorrow, but overdoing it in the name of the Saint is ridiculous.

And I just don't get the green beer thing. Yuck.

Great post!

March 16, 2007 12:33 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...

Great post, Cathy. I'm half Irish and half German, which means that we start wars and feel guilty about them afterwards...

Seriously, I'd like to remind everyone that next Monday is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and the following Monday is the transferred Solemnity of the Annunciation. As Ray pointed out over at Stella Borealis, Solemnities are not penance days (which is why Sundays do count as part of Lent even though we don't observe our penitential sacrifices).

Therefore, anyone who has given up something for Lent is dispensed from that on these two days. (And as an FYI, when they fall on Fridays in Lent, as they did a couple of years ago, the meat abstinance is also dispensed.)

This is purely optional on the individual's part as to whether or not you want to partake in anything particular on Monday. I think it is important, however, to know not only that this is done but why. And you're correct - I don't think St. Patrick's Day should fall into that category!


March 16, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...


You're Irish with a last name like yours? ;-)


March 16, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Boy, Cathy's keyboard has been just chock full of things that need to be said.

And I'm glad she said them.

We all should keep a list of our posts that bear repeating and put them in your computer's scheduler for revision and reposting every six months or so. Or when we enter the desert and get stranded.

March 16, 2007 4:13 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...

Well, of course we think everything we put up is worth repeating! We're working on our topics link list over at Our Word.


March 16, 2007 4:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Mitchell: Thanks for the clarification!

March 16, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...


I'm Irish on my Mom's side; Swedish on my Dad's. Remember, we're Americans; that makes most of us mutts. :-) Mom's side also happens to be French and German

But I know I have the Irish temperment, the Swedish propensity toward stubborness, the French taste for wine, the, heck, I'm a meat-and-potatoes girl, comes from good German blood. :-)

Anyway, about the Friday meat dispensation thing; I do believe that it is still subject to the local authority (Archbishop) to dispense from the not eating meat requirement.

March 16, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...


You're right when it comes to a day like St. Patrick's, but as far as the Solemnities, Canon 1251 seems to address this point, per EWTN:

Canon 1251: Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colin Donovan follows up thustly: "When solemnities, such as the Annunciation, Assumption, All Saints etc. fall on a Friday, we neither abstain or fast." Though he does not specifically refer to the Lenten period, the mention of the Annunciation, which frequently (if not usually) falls during Lent, would seem to suggest this, as does the application from Ray's post regarding the status of Sundays during Lent. (i.e. the status of every Sunday as a solemnity.)


March 16, 2007 9:34 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...

I should add though, that even when these days fall on a Friday in Lent I still abstain. Since we abstain on Fridays year-round, it's just easier...


March 16, 2007 9:43 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Cathy - Don't listen to these reprobates.

Irish people are tacky.

Kidding...just kidding! I'm so kidding!

(Cathy - great post - you go girl!)

PS: I'm so glad you are not Irish.

March 16, 2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Oh yeah - as you may have noticed, Irish people are delussional - they really don't have to drink.

March 16, 2007 10:30 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Terry: Way, to win friends and influence people! LOL!

March 17, 2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Hey, how come Terry never comments on my blog anymore?

I must have scared him away with my artwork...or my Irishness.

I'm offended. Cathy, tell Terry I'm offended.

March 17, 2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Because you are Leviticus, Keeper of the Bread Crust(y)!

Tell him on his blog!

March 17, 2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I don't know how anybody with two blogs and 20 posts a day can even read other blogs, let along comment on them.

March 17, 2007 4:56 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Yeah, Ray.

March 17, 2007 5:55 PM  

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