Office: 028-22828, Open: Tues, Wed, Thurs from 10.00am to 12.00.

E-mail: skibbereenparish@gmail.com / rathandtheislands@gmail.com


Catholic Faith Communities of Skibbereen, Rath and the Islands

Spiritual

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St Patrick, Bishop, Principal Patron of Ireland

St Patrick Happy St Patrick’s Day! – a day when we remember the roots of the Christian faith in Ireland. There is no doubt that to be a Christian in Ireland today is difficult. Often it is easier to hide our faith, to avoid ridicule, arguments and debates which can wear us down. However, today we should take example and energy from St Patrick. His story was not a walk in the park either. We celebrate our Christian identity today and celebrate the Gospel message that a courageous Patrick brought to us, a message that was preserved and passed on; a message that is very relevant to today’s world and which continues to nourish and sustain us.    Take heart from the parable of the Mustard Seed in the Gospel today. The mustard seed plant is sometimes wild and out of control. Author and activist, Shane Claiborne, compares it to kudzu, a wild vine that could blanket entire mountain areas, smother trees, even crack stone buildings and footpaths. The shrub was banned in certain areas of Palestine because of how it could completely take over gardens. When we are struggling with being a Christian in modern Ireland, feeling excluded in a world that wants to forget God, we can take courage from the parable of the mustard seed. It grew in places where it was not wanted. You might recall the people in your own life who nourished your faith and who guided you along your spiritual path. ‘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 shield to protect me.’ (St Patrick’s Breastplate)

 Jane Mellett - mellettj@gmail.com