Skip to main content

In anticipation of St. Patrick's Day....

'Top of the morning to you"... "and the rest of the day to yourself" is oft heard exchanged between the  descendants of the Irish immigrants that cleared and settled the Upper Ottawa Valley where my cottage is located. My own ancestors from my entire patriarchal line hail from such hardy peasant stock as settled and developed the Quebec side of the river, carving out along the way a small corner of 'la belle province' where English has remained the overwhelmingly dominate language and culture.

As St. Paddy's Day draws closer, in church halls from one end of the Valley to the other, the sounds of fiddle and step dancing rehearsals fill the air. The 17th of March is a touchstone day for many - a day marked by sitting with family and friends in crowded bars, drinking green beer and listening to traditional Irish jigs, ballads and reels. As Fred Meilleur, local legend and hotelier from Chapeau onces said: there will always be 'spiritual' services celebrated in honor of Ireland's patron saint - some 'spirit' coming in bottles and glasses,  and the other from the mouth of a 'Fr. Harrington' (members of that clan having served as pastor in the area for almost 70 consecutive years!) Given that my grandfather's family owned a series of hotels from Quyon to Portage du Fort, Qc. in the first half of the 20th century and; having served under the direct authority of the last of the famous 'Harrington' line of pastors, Rev. A.T. Harrington for over five years... it's no wonder that I've always understand that the name of "God" rings out in both the secular and religious celebrations at least once a year, if not entirely with the same intent or meaning.

In honor of these days of preparation for the 'wearing of the green' on the 17th (which we Catholics of Irish heritage rightly placed in the middle of Lent - who knows better the value of a 'break' from the rigors of faith than an Irish Catholic!), I've adopted a new brighter and green template for this blog.

Here's hoping that St. Paddy smiles upon us all to bring 'the luck of the Irish' to us all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sisters of Life

Here is an excellent website for any and all interested in the pro-life cause. The Sisters of Life are a religious order than began in New York City under the authority of Cardinal Jon O'Connor (RIP) in the 1980's. Their traditional religious lifestyle and clear charism have led them to grow much faster than many other orders. As a result, these wonderful women are moving beyond the boundaries of NYC and have opened a convent in Toronto. Here is a link to a news account from LifesiteNews which explains in greater detail their history and mission in Toronto. The Sisters of Life count among their numbers a woman from our Parish here in Mattawa who is soon to take her final profession. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have received as a parish. Anytime a religious vocation comes forward from a parish community, many graces flow back to the local church. I can only pray that as the Sisters of Life establish their ministry in Canada that more and more women will join

Canadian Euthanasia Information

The May 2010 Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter can now be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Newsletters/Newsletter108(May2010)(RGB).pdf Bill C-384 was soundly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59. Check how the Members of Parliament voted at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/HowTheyVoted.pdf On June 5, 2010, we are co-hosting the US/Canda Push-Back Seminar at the Radisson Gateway Hotel at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. The overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 proved that we can Push-Back the euthanasia lobby in the US and Canada and convince people that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a dangerous public policy. Register for the Seminar at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/2010SeminarFlyer(RGB)(LetterFormat).pdf The Schindler family are being attacked by a Florida television station and Michael Schiavo. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is standing in solidarity with the Schindler family. My blog comments: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/05/att