Ring in St. Patrick's Day
A couple of my brothers are on a Facebook crusade to right a wrong. Whenever they come across a St. Patrick’s Day-related promotion that has a four-leaf clover, rather than the three-leaf shamrock the nation’s patron used to symbolize the Trinity, they post a photo of it with a caption such as “Wrong!” or “Fail!” Apparently a lot of companies -- and even President Obama’s re-election campaign, which recently trotted out a t-shirt and two-glass set with four-leaf clovers and the words "O’Bama 2012" -- opt to promote luck over faith this time of year.
We’re confident St. Patrick would be proud of the evangelization effort. We’d like to endorse another as well.
The nation of Ireland and the Catholic Church within are again enduring trying times. Ireland’s economy is in crisis, while the church has been rocked by clerical sex abuse scandals.
But the faith is in a period of renewal as the church prepares to host tens of thousands of pilgrims for an International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin June 10-17. To raise awareness, a “Ring for Renewal” initiative urges people to pause for a moment on March 17 to ring a bell “and reflect on how they can be renewed as individuals and members of the church.” That's a good idea here across the pond, too. One ceremonial bell has been touring Irish parishes for months, and Pope Benedict XVI rang it on Wednesday. According to tradition, St. Patrick left a bell in every church he consecrated as a way to call people to the Eucharist.
St. Patrick’s Day has many symbols. The very best ones are symbols of faith. -- Thomas J. Dermody