This year St Patrick's Day fell on a Sunday, which kind of meant we could celebrate all weekend. (Well he is our Patron Saint and it is very good to celebrate his feast day as best we can). Although because it fell on the 5th Sunday of Lent we had to use the readings etc for the 5th Sunday of Lent rather than for St Patrick's Day, but they were very fitting. To prepare to celebrate our Patronal feast we held 40 Hours of Adoration in the Parish. It was a beautiful time and many people came to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.
|Decorating the community centre|
As well as preparing spiritually we also needed to prepare some practical things for the weekend, such as decorating the community centre and preparing the Shamrocks that were to be blessed and distributed at all the Masses over the weekend. We had a lot of fun deciding where to put all the different decorations. There were loads of them! The Shamrocks were interesting, there was absolutely tons of them! They took forever and we had very green fingers when we finished. But it was all worth it when we seen how pleased people were to be given some at Mass.
|Some of our shamrocks ready to go|
|Fr Alex blessing the shamrock|
|Community centre all decorated|
We were very blessed over the St Patrick's weekend to have Fr John Harris OP with us as our main celebrant. Fr John is the Regent of Studies for the Irish Dominican Province and also the National Spiritual Director of Youth 2000 Ireland. He was great, a true preacher. He spoke well about the New Evangelisation and how we are called to show we are Christian and to proclaim Christ to all. Before Fr John left on the Monday morning he found some time to give us a lecture about the challenges of the New Evangelisation. We very much enjoyed having Fr John with us for St Patrick's Day and we learnt a lot from him.
Instead of the usual tea, coffee and sweet stuff after the 11am Mass on Sunday we had some traditional Irish food. We had some very tasty Irish stew and colcannon as well as some lovely cakes, apple tart and cheesecake.