On this great feast of St. Patrick, it’s important to remember why we celebrate this saint’s life.

As Father said so perfectly in his homily today, St. Patrick didn’t make the Irish Irish.  He made them Catholic.

Those of us with Irish heritage should be proud of Irish culture (and everything that comes with it– including the magic they make with roasted barley and hops) because that culture stems from a Catholic, sacramental worldview.  One that sees the gifts of God in everything and, in turn, offers everything back to Him.

So before you go get plastered tonight, think about why and how you’re celebrating.  St. Patrick is a saint to be emulated, not a icon to be toasted with drunkeness.

He is a saint because he took Christ seriously when He commissioned us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).

On this great feast, pray for the Irish.  Pray that they have the courage to retain their Catholic culture.

Pray for Irish Americans.   Their ancestors fought for their rights and the ability to practice their Faith in this country.  They fought for their dignity, and they’ve accomplished so much.  But with great power comes great responsibilty.

As our country sits on the edge of history, will our Irish Americans choose the Faith?  Will they choose to stand up for life?  As their fathers fought for freedom and the dignity of the downtrodden, will they stand up for the vulnerable? Will they follow the example of St. Patrick, courageous to the end, fighting the fight of Faith against even the threat of martyrdom?  Or will they cave into threats and turn their back on the faith of their fathers?

St. Patrick, pray for us!