The Solemnity of Saint Patrick

March 11, 2013

As the Cardinals in Rome work to elect the next successor to St. Peter, traditional Irish music and dance will fill the streets of downtown Washington in honor of Saint Patrick. Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, will celebrate Mass to honor the patron Saint of Ireland.

Friday, March 15, 2013
Mass begins at 11:30 a.m.; Prelude begins at 11:00 a.m.
St. Patrick
619 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC

Each year St. Patrick’s Church welcomes cardinals, bishops, and priests from the Washington area to our parish as we remember the life of this beloved saint. Before and after Mass, a bagpiper from the DC Fire Department’s Emerald Society Pipes and Drums will greet parishioners and provide music outside the church. Irish dancers from the O’Neill-James School of Dance will also perform outside the church. During Mass, brass instrumentalists from Ireland will perform traditional Irish hymns with the choir, accompanied by the church’s famous pipe organ.

Saint Patrick lived from approximately 385-461. According to tradition, he used the shamrock to explain the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. Just as the one plant consisted of three leaves, so does the one God consist of three Divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. St. Patrick was a missionary considered responsible for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland. The feast day of Saint Patrick is March 17.

A Novena to Saint Patrick will been said from March 9 through March 17, recited at all Sunday Masses and the 12:10 daily Masses.

St. Patrick’s Church was canonically established in 1794, primarily to meet the needs of Irish immigrants at work on the White House and the Capitol building. Bishop John Carroll appointed an Irish Dominican, Fr. Anthony Caffry, as its first pastor. The initial structure on the present property was a simple frame chapel/residence, one of the first church buildings in the new Federal City. For more on the history of St. Patrick parish, please click here.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 97 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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