17 Mar 2018

A St Patrick's Day potpourri

Christ be with me,
Christ be beside me,
Christ be before me,
Christ be behind me,
Christ be at my right hand,
Christ be at my left hand,
Christ be with me everywhere I go,
Christ be my friend for ever and ever.

Who is St Patrick? - A reflection with Fr Micháel Liston

Originally broadcast on 17th March 2013, a dear friend of the programme, Fr. Micheal Liston, joins John and Ann Keily to celebrate the solemnity of St. Patrick (Patron Saint of Ireland). 

Fr. Micheal introduces St. Patrick as someone who suffered a lot in his youth, but in the middle of all his suffering, he became conscious of God's presence and love. Fr. Micheal encouraged us to set aside the external celebrations of St. Patrick's day to look at the model of St. Patrick as someone who had discovered the mysterious presence of God in his life. We are invited to reflect on the reality that God is here with us as He was for Patrick. God is fond of us. God has time for us. 

St. Patrick is also a great model of how we should respond to God's grace in our lives. Patrick recognised his own limitations and the abundance of God's grace working in his life. Fr. Micheal invited us to confess, as Patrick did, that with all our limitations, it is God who has done this good work in our lives. Patrick gives glory to God, because the glory is God's. God has a sheer ghrá (affection/love) for us and we are called through prayer and humility to imitate Patrick by responding to God's grace and love with a spirit of self-giving and gratitude. This is the true spirit of Patrick.

You can listen to Fr Michael's reflection HERE (podcast) and HERE (Dropbox link).

iBenedictines - St Patrick and Slavery

Message of Archbishop Eamon Martin for Saint Patrick’s Day 2018
From the Cathedral City of Saint Patrick in Armagh, I am delighted to connect with the Family of the Irish, at home and abroad.  With you this year, I am very much looking forward to the World Meeting of Families, to take place in Dublin at the end of August. 
Family is all about ‘connection’.  Family connects us to a home, ‘ár muintir féin’ the people who are our flesh and blood.  It links us to a community, a parish, a county and an ever-expanding network of people and places.  Family also connects us to a history and culture, a language and tradition, to our ‘DNA’, our roots, to our past, present and future.  For many of us Family connects us to faith and values, to baptism and the community of believers.  I pray that Ireland’s hosting of the World Meeting of Families will enable families, especially those who know and love Ireland,  to ‘connect’ and ‘re-connect’ at a whole variety of levels, both with each other and with the wider ‘family of families’ that is their Church.
On this Saint Patrick’s day, I am praying especially for those for whom the connections within family life are broken by distance, by disagreement or breakdown, or simply by the pace and distractions of fast-moving everyday life in the twenty-first century.  Sometimes we are so busy that families lose touch or drift apart for want of quality time spent together.  Simple things like telling each other how we are feeling, eating together, making the effort to be in each other’s company, sharing memories and news of what’s happening in each other’s lives, and of course praying together even for a few moments – these are the links that connect and re-connect families with each other.
‘Críost linn, Críost romhainn, Críost in ár ndiaidh, Críost istigh ionainn – Christ with us, Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ within us’ (from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate).
On this feast of our Patron Saint, I bless from Ireland families all over the world, as Saint Patrick often did, in the name of God as a ‘Family of Persons’ – Father, Son and Spirit – and I pray that God will be in your heart, home and family today and always. 

Archbishop Warda video message to annual Armagh Saint Patrick’s Lecture
On 16th March, the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day, the two Archbishops of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke participated in the annual Saint Patrick’s Lecture reflecting on the ministry and legacy of our National Patron, Saint Patrick. As part of this year’s event, Archbishop Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq, addressed the audience in a specially prepared video message for the event. Archbishop Warda is Archbishop of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities which is now facing extinction. Archbishop Warda once lived in Ireland for two years, last visiting in 2011, where he spoke on the persecution of Christians in Iraq at Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Dundalk, Co Louth. 

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