St. Patrick's Parish celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Irish dancers

Card. Wilton Gregory expressed his gratitude to the Irish monks for preserving historical records during his homily on St. Patrick’s Day. Image: gdtography|Pexels

St. Patrick's Parish celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a special Mass and some performances from Irish dancers. 

During the Mass, Card. Wilton Gregory mentioned an Irish book that references the country's heroic role. 

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Catholic Leaders

Outside the church, students from the O'Neill James School of Irish Dance in Arlington, Virginia, performed to wrap up the Mass. At the same time, inside, a Law Enforcement Massed Pipes and Drums piper played the anthem.

According to the Catholic Standard, Cardinal Gregory celebrated the event, along with other Catholic leaders like Auxiliary Bp. Roy E. Campbell Jr., newly-appointed auxiliary bishops Juan Esposito-Garcia and Evelio Menjivar-Ayala, and Bp. Mario Dorsonville.

The report also stated that The book "How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe" by Thomas Cahill was mentioned by Cardinal Gregory during his homily. The book details the historical record of the enormous number of manuscripts saved by Irish monks. 

The cardinal thanked the Irish monks for diligently hand-copying and conserving many of these magnificent works for future generations. To tie up his sermon, he expressed his hope that all Irish and those of Irish descent would feel a sense of pride in their history on St. Patrick's Day. 

Lake Braddock High School senior Natalie Brace, accompanied by dancers from the O'Neill James School of Irish Dance, performed before and after the Mass. 

Since she was in fourth grade, she has been dancing regularly.

"I really like when I practice hard and then I get the results I want, like when I learn a new step or how to do a fancy move," Brace said, as quoted in the report.

About St. Patrick's Parish

Because of the large number of Irish immigrants who were employed in the construction of the White House and the Capitol Building in 1794, St. Patrick's Parish was founded.

Its first pastor, Fr. Anthony Caffry, was a Dominican priest from Ireland who Bishop John Carroll selected.

One of the earliest places of worship in the developing community of Federal City, the original building on the site was a modest frame chapel/house. This occurred before 1800 when the nation's capital relocated there.

According to its history, St. Patrick's peaked as a major American church in the first two decades of the new century. Its liturgy was unparalleled in its magnificence, and the vitality of its many parish organizations was unrivaled in the United States.

St. Patrick's continues its rich history of liturgy and music and enters its third century of service to the Church and the Federal City. 

The church serves as a spiritual and cultural refuge in the center of a bustling area of office workers and inhabitants.

Music at St. Patrick's

St. Patrick's has a long history of fostering musical liturgical adornment. 

Per its website, the musical history from the 19th and 20th centuries is intriguing. It all began in 1815 when the parish purchased the first pipe organ in town. 

Nowadays, they aim for both a singing congregation and suitable choral and instrumental music in the service. 

In addition, they warmly welcome both musicians and music fans to their musical events that take place outside of the liturgy.

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