Columbus Dilemma

by Maureen McCabe on February 24, 2008

It’s a Catholic dilemma according to CNN.   ” St. Patrick’s Day causing Catholic dilemma”*says:

“COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — That famous saint named Patrick will have his green-drenched party this year, but it’s unclear when the guests are supposed to arrive.

For the first time since 1940, St. Patrick’s Day will fall during Holy Week, the sacred seven days preceding Easter.

Because of the overlap, liturgical rules dictate that no Mass in honor of the saint can be celebrated on Monday, March 17, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But a few Roman Catholic leaders are asking for even more moderation in their dioceses: They want parades and other festivities kept out of Holy Week as well.”

The CNN article about St. Patrick’s Day lays out how various US cities dealt with the fact that St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is during Holy Week this year.  Some cities moved their St. Patrick’s Day festivities forward.  Other cities are “doing it” on March 17, despite the fact that it is Holy Week for the Christian faith, including Catholics.

Meredith Heagney of the Columbus Dispatch wrote about St. Patrick’s Day 2008 plans in Central Ohio back in January:

 ”Calendar throws St. Patrick’s Day for loop”

The Columbus Shamrock Club’s Parade and Irish Family Reunion will be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2008.  Some Catholic groups and individuals will not participate in the Columbus parade, including The Royal Hibernians.   Bishop Campbell of the local Catholic Diocese had asked last fall that the date of the parade and celebrations in Columbus be moved to a date outside Holy Week, according to the Columbus Dispatch article.

It does not seem like that big a “dilemma” to me.  Or maybe Columbus is lucky to have Dublin Ohio and their parade the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate… Those to whom celebrating St. Patrick’s Day means drinking green beer will probably not notice a big difference in 2008.  Those who want to drink green beer can do so from the 15th through the 17th… they can not drink green beer and go to a St. Patrick’s Day mass in Central Ohio though…

The Shamrock Club of Columbus site (not a Catholic organization but has many Catholic members) says:

“Friday, March 7th we’ll be celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick at St. Christopher’s Church with continued activities that include a visit to City Hall and Painting of the Shamrock’s at Broad 7 High at 12 noon.


Mark Dempsey, President”

One of the people quoted in the CNN article is Mike Cronin, co-author of  “The Wearing of the Green: History of St. Patrick’s Day”   (the book priced at 19.50 on the Amazon site… only 8.50 on this site… or is the 19.50 something other than US dollars?) who said:

“The U.S. remains one of the few countries in the world to retain any religious traces of St. Patrick’s Day, Cronin said. In Ireland, where the government sponsors the Dublin parade, the holiday has morphed into an arts festival that draws millions of people, he said.

Recognizing that, bishops there have moved the feast of the nation’s patron saint to March 15 this year. March 17 will remain an official Irish day off work and the Dublin parade will go on as scheduled.

Had Ireland’s bishops shown the same insistence as some of their American counterparts, Cronin said, their comments almost certainly would have been ignored.

“It’d be like the (American) bishops arguing to move Super Bowl Sunday,” he said.”

The same AP story on MSNBC is “Irish dilemma: St. Patrick’s Day vs. Holy Week”

St. Patrick’s Day 2160 is the next time St. Patrick’s Day will fall in Holy Week…

*Edit March 2013 the CNN Article’s link is no longer available so I broke the link to an error page on CNN.  The 2008 Columbus Dispatch article is still working.

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1 Karen Moorhead March 5, 2008 at 08:55 am

I love your blog. How long have you been writing it? I have a ton of ?’s but I love this topic. St Patty’s day and Holy Week. I’ve been looking through your other topics as well. Great blog!!

Congrats. Karen

2 Maureen McCabe March 6, 2008 at 05:30 am

ths blog was born New Years eve 2006 so it is about 15 months old now. I have another blog called Discover Columbus which was originally called Columbus Best Blog that I started in August 2005. I was going to kill that blog when I started but it is still alive. Discover Columbus gets more traffic than this blog.

Thanks for visiting Karen.

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