Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all at home and abroad

I arise today through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.


This week we want to wish all our parishioners and those who listen into our webcam services

 ‘A Blessed St Patrick’s Day’.

Mass Intentions next weekend        

Friday Mar 19th 7.30pm                 Mary & Michael Woulfe and their daughter Catherine.

Saturday Mar 20th 7.30pm              Margaret O’Connor (2nd Anniversary).

Mary (Babe) White & Thomas White. Nora O’Connell.

Bridie & John Tom Scanlon.

Sunday Mar 21st 10.30am Betty Murphy. Jack & Peggy Danaher and their son John.

St Patrick’s Day – Wed March 17th

St Patricks Day mass will be celebrated on Tuesday evening at 7.30pm and on Wednesday morning at 10.30am – again if you would like to remember family abroad at this special time please contact Fr Brendan or Siobhan .

Lenten Pack

There are still some Lenten Packs available in the church which includes a Lenten prayer card and the Trócaire box.

The Rosary, The Devine Mercy Chaplet and The Stations of the Cross.

The Rosary will be recited before mass on Friday and Saturday evening at 7.15pm and on Sunday morning at 10.15am. The Devine Mercy Chaplet will be said each Thursday evening at 7.15pm and the Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening at 7pm before the rosary and mass.

All masses are live streamed on the Church Services TV network via the following link


Church opening

The Church is open daily for private prayer. If you wish to book an anniversary mass, a wedding or baptism date or get a mass card signed please contact

Fr. Brendan on 087-0562674 or Siobhan on 087-2237858.

A word of ‘Thanks’ to Hannah Mai Collins for the lovely flowers she has placed in the church over the past few weeks – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and this week St Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day                       By Fr. Brendan Duggan

According to “Ireland’s Own” magazine the first recorded Parade to honour St. Patrick was in St. Augusta, Florida on 17th March 1601, where Spanish people marched to honour St. Patrick under the direction of the Irish P.P. Richard Arthur.

The first Boston Parade was on 17th March 1737 followed by New York 15th March 1762. During the Great Famine of 1845-50 many Irish people emigrated to England, the USA and Canada for work and better living conditions. There were many Irish Aid Societies which developed in New York. 17th March celebrations became widespread in Boston, Chicago, Savannah and Philadelphia. The New York Parade was led by the 69th Regiment serving in the British Army from 1762. the NY Parade was a show of strength for Irish Americans, both Protestant and Catholic as well as a “must attend” for political candidates. The “Friendly Sons of St. Patrick” and the Hibernian Society decided to unite the parades to form one official New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Ancient Order of Hibernian became the official sponsor of the parades as individual Societies merged under a single Grand Marshal. Captain Patrick Kerrigan, an officer of the Irish Dragoons was the first NY Parade Grand Marshal in 1851.

In 1903 St. Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland and the first Irish Parade took place in Waterford in 1903.

On 17th March 1916 the Easter Rising Volunteers organised 38 local parade3s in Ireland, a month before the 1916 Rising.

The first official State sponsored Parade was in Dublin on 17th March 1931. In 1927 the Irish Free State Government banned the sale of alcohol on 17th March although it remained legal in Northern Ireland. The ban was not repealed until 1961.

In Ireland the biggest parade apart from the Cities are in Downpatrick, Co. Down where St. Patrick is said to be buried. The shortest St. Patrick’s Parade formerly took place in Dripsey, Co. Cork. The parade lasted just 23.4 metres and travelled between the Village’s two pubs. The annual event began in 1999 and lasted 5 years until one of the 2 pubs closed.

St. Patrick’s Day Churches

In the USA 461 Parish Churches are dedicated to St. Patrick, including the five Cathedrals of New York, El Paso (Texas), Lead (S. Dakota), Rochester (NY) and Corpus Christi (Texas).

In Baltimore, Maryland (1792) the first Mass there was celebrated by Bishop John Carroll with 12 people in 1795 St. Patrick’s Church was built.

The Old Cathedral in New York was built in 1809. It still exists. New York has two Catholic Cathedrals. The New St. Patrick’s Cathedral began in 1878. It was recently renovated at a cost of almost $180,000,000 by Irish construction companies in NYC.

In Canada 65 Churches are dedicated to St. Patrick including one Cathedral in Hamilton, Ontario.

In Ireland St. Patrick’s Protestant Cathedral in Dublin was formerly a Catholic Cathedral before the Reformation. St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral is in Armagh. There could be up to 150 Catholic Parish Churches in Ireland and also many Protestant Churches dedicated to St. Patrick. The largest St. Patrick’s Parades are in New York and Chicago, then followed by Savannah in Georgia, Cleveland.

Bill Clinton from Little Rock, Arkansas was educated in primary school by Irish Mercy Nuns from Naas who had an Academy and College in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Nun teacher in Naas got a Christmas card each year from Mr. Clinton.

The Catholic Cathedral, Bridgetown, Barbados, Caribbean is St. Patrick’s. This refers to a time when Irish people were sold as slaves by Mr. Cromwell in the middle 17th Century.

Irish names + Patrick’s are common in many Caribbean Islands.

The Island of Montserrat also has a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Catholic Cathedral in Karachi, Pakistan is called St. Patrick’s. The best known Boys School there was St. Patrick’s Academy in Karachi. An Irish Christian Brother’s School which educated the elite of Pakistan, all Muslims.

Benazir Bhutto their only Lady President was educated by Irish Nun Missionaries as was the Empress of Japan educated by the Irish Sacred Heart Sisters in their Tokyo School Academy.

In the Diocese of Limerick, we have St. Patrick’s Churches in Tournafulla, Limerick City, Ardpatrick, Ballysteen, Bruff, Donaghmore, Garrienderk, Parteen. St. Patrick is more popular than St. Ita or St. Munchin.

In Cashel and Emily Archdiocese we have St. Patrick Churches in Doon, Golden, Anglesboro, Kilteely, Patrickswell, Knocklong, Cullen and Boher.

In Kerry Dioceses we have St. Patrick Churches in Ballydesmond, Kilgarvan, Millstreet, Sneem, but none in North Kerry. St. Patrick seemingly is not so popular in North Kerry. I heard it said that when St. Patrick reached near Athea, he was discouraged by the landscape so he never entered Kerry.

Enjoy Our National Feast Day

Thank You

The Athea Tidy Towns Committee would like to offer our thanks to Eddie Barrett for cutting the grass in both the village and graveyard last week as well as sweeping the street. Eddie completed this work on his own, off his own bat.  A local hero!

Athea Community Council would also like to thank Eddie for offering to do this work for us. He spoke to Jim Carmody (C.E. Supervisor) offering to keep the village and graveyards tidy while the C.E. Scheme is suspended due to Covid.  Jim in turn supplies him with petrol for the lawnmowers etc.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

By Domhnall de Barra

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. For the second year in a row we won’t be able to celebrate the festival in the traditional manner but maybe that is not such a bad thing. You don’t need to be drunk in a pub or be part of the  parades that take place all over the world to enjoy the day  and maybe think more seriously about what we are celebrating. Of course the parades are important but when you take away the bands, majorettes and circus acts there is very little spiritual about them.  St. Patrick is accredited with bringing Christianity to Ireland which was then a Pagan country

His exploits are well documented and we have honoured him for years by naming our children after him. Patrick was the most popular name in Ireland for generations. It was customary to give children the names of saints and especially the apostles. That is why we have so many Johns, James, Andrews, Peters etc  and since it was also customary to name children after their grandparents the names lived on until recently. Patrick was such a popular name that it became our nickname abroad. We were referred to as the “Paddies”, a term some people objected to but I must say it never bothered me. There are many variations of the name such as  Paddy, Patsy, Patsheen, Pádraig, Pauric, Paud, Paudeen, Padden, Pat and Patty. The girls weren’t left out either with “Patricia” being very popular. Customs have changed and nowadays a child is more likely to be called after a film star, pop star or footballer than Patrick or any other saint. It is a great pity if some of the traditional names die out altogether because pop stars and footballers come and go and in a few years time some of the fancy names will have been forgotten but the saints will still be with us.

I am not a great fan of Joe Duffy who presents the programme “Lifeline” on  Radio 1 every afternoon. He sometimes makes the show about himself rather than the people who phone in with their problems. He also has a tendency to champion his own ideas and values but maybe I am being too picky. One day last week he had a woman from Castleisland on and it was the best bit of radio I have ever heard.  She told of being taken to Killarney by a cattle jobber and his driver from the midlands some 50 years ago.  The cattle jobber fancied her but she preferred the driver. I won’t spoil the story because it is available on podcast and well worth a listen but she fell in love with the driver and they had  a while together until he did not appear anymore and the jobber told her he had been killed in a road accident. She was heartbroken but eventually started going out again, met the man who was to be her husband and was within two days of being married when she found out the driver was still alive and she met him again. The jobber had been lying to keep them apart. She went to America and  raised a family but her husband is now dead and she is looking for the other love of her life. I hope she succeeds in finding him. After castigating Joe Duffy at the beginning of this piece I must now commend him for the sensitive way he handled the interview with just the right amount of levity to make it so entertaining. If you can, listen to it.

It  brought me back to the days, in the middle of the last century when Abbeyfeale had one of the biggest calf markets in the country. It was held on Monday mornings early and jobbers came from all over the mid-lands to buy up the calves that were very plentiful at this time of the year. Most of them travelled down on Sunday and stayed in the many inexpensive lodging houses that were dotted throughout the town. There was a doss house in “Boithrín  Coch Much” (not a very fancy name!) that had two charges. A shilling on your back and sixpence on your side!  There was no such thing as having your own bed in those days, you had to share so only two could be accommodated on a double bed sleeping on their backs but four could be squeezed  in, spoon-like if they slept on their sides. I kid you not!  The younger ones might go to the dance at Tom Tobin’s Hall on Sunday night. All the jobbers dressed alike in knee-length overcoats and brown boots with either a cap or a hat and they always had a stick in their hands. They dropped the uniform going to the dance and blended in with the rest of us. There was one young lady from Tournafulla who started “doing a line” with one of the better looking jobbers from West Meath.  Eventually marriage was discussed and as things got serious they became more intimate until she told him one night that she was pregnant and they would have to bring the wedding forward. That was the last she saw of him. She tried writing to the address he had given her but the letter came back marked “not known at this address”. She eventually met another jobber who knew him and when she asked if he had any news of him he replied: “don’t mind that fellow, he has women everywhere including a wife and children at home.”   She was only 19 at this stage so she had nothing better to do than emigrate to live with her sister in Chicago where she eventually met and married a very successful building contractor and she had a very good life with him. This story has a good ending but there were many gullible young girls that hadn’t such a happy outcome. Far away hills may be green but they may not always be better than the ones on our doorstep.

The following piece comes from a pamphlet produced by the Divine Word Missionaries in Roscommon. It is called “Positive Thinking” and contains some very nice verses.

One day, a partially deaf four-year-old child  came home with a note in his pocket from his teacher which read: “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of school”. His mother replied: “My Tommy is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself.”

That Tommy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb. He had only three months of formal school and was partially deaf.