This Friday, March 17, we will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Although I am proud of my Irish heritage (I’m half Irish since my father was 100 percent Irish), this holiday is really for all of us. As they say, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Why is that? Perhaps people in the United States in particular share a sense of camaraderie with the Irish people.
When large numbers of the Irish immigrants came to America during the 19th century potato famines, they were not easily accepted here.
But they worked hard and emphasized the importance of education for their children. I could sense that emphasis in my own father, who was a teacher and encouraged his children to be diligent students.
The Irish Catholics also held fast to their faith and built many local churches and schools. They were proud to be Catholic.
Also, I think the Irish people are generally outgoing, friendly, and compassionate. They enjoy singing, dancing, good food and, of course, good drink.
On my two visits to Ireland, I was very impressed by the warm hospitality of the Irish people and their welcoming attitude toward visitors.
So it’s no surprise that so many people in the United States will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by wearing something green, including a shamrock, and lifting a glass in remembering the great St. Patrick, who brought the Catholic faith to Ireland and ultimately to the whole world.