Celtic garden is blessed at St. Patrick’s Parish, Arlington

ARLINGTON — A new Celtic garden added to the landscaping on the southwest side of St. Patrick’s Church here was blessed and dedicated following the 10:30 a.m. Mass on June 24.

Its design replicates miniature gardens found throughout Ireland and features a Celtic cross, meditation bench, imported stepping stones inscribed with an Irish blessing, and a variety of low-light plantings. Two black granite plaques flank the cross on either side, one of which is inscribed with a history of the Celtic cross and the other with the subjects of its dedication.

The garden — a gift to the parish by Dr. Richard and Ruth (McDonald) Pommier in celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary — was dedicated to three groups, including:

— earlier generations of Arlington residents who built St. Patrick’s Church;

— the priests of the Diocese of Peoria and the monks of St. Bede Abbey, Peru, who staffed the parish since it was established in 1863, and

— the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery (in Nauvoo and later Rock Island) for 50 years of service to St. Patrick’s Parish and to the community while teaching in the Arlington Public School District 88.

Father Patrick Fixsen, pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, and Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey, concelebrated the Mass. Benedictine Sisters Mary Jean Feeney, Sister Charlotte Sonneville, and Sister Mary Schmidt represented St. Mary Monastery and served as gift bearers. As the Mass ended, the assembly followed the celebrants in procession to the garden, where Abbot Philip conducted the blessings.

A private luncheon followed at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf Club, LaSalle.

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