post-Catholic Boston

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 21, 2008

This year St. Patrick's Day falls during Holy Week: a fact that calls for some shuffling of liturgical calendars. Not even a beloved saint-- not even the patron saint of the New York and Boston archdioceses-- takes precedence over Holy Week observances.

In South Boston, however, the annual St. Patrick's Day parade takes precedence, Holy Week or not. Parade czar Wacko Hurley (yes, that's the name he goes by) says that the parade will step off on schedule on March 16, regardless of the fact that it's Palm Sunday. (And just by the way, March 16 isn't St. Patrick's Day on any calendar.)

Church leaders might not be happy about the scheduling, but nobody is asking them what they think. Parade organizers are famous for their pugnacious independent spirit. Thus Hurley tells the Boston Globe: "We aren't scared to do things that aren't fitting to, say, 'peace on earth' and all that."

Thanks for that concise summary of what the Catholic faith means in South Boston today: "peace on earth and all that." Oh, and Wacko, just wondering: Have you read Phil's book?

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 25, 2008 5:20 PM ET USA

    I don't get it. Can't they march on Monday? or Saturday? Monday, the 17th is not part of the Triduum (sp?) is it? In NYC they used to march on the day, weekday/workday or not! I remember, cause I watched from my office window! And at lunch and break-time I was down on the Avenue for a closer look. If Boston is trying to avoid Holy Week they need to move a day earlier, Saturday, right? So, it seems they're marching on Sunday only because they'll get a bigger crowd than on a work-day, Monday.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2008 6:25 PM ET USA

    Sundays are in Lent but not part of the 40 days, so going to Palm Sunday Mass followed by a parade for St Patrick would not be against any Lenten observances. It's not like the New Orlean's Mardi Gras week long debaucle, its just a couple of hours. St Patrick's Day is on a Monday(can't have the parade on Monday) and at least we dont' have to worry the Irish bishops giving dispensation to all the "Irish" for Friday abstinence, we can all have corned beef and cabbage and pray for Ireland!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 22, 2008 3:13 PM ET USA

    Hey! Adamah, I will share the postage with you.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 22, 2008 10:17 AM ET USA

    In his own words Wacko says, "Hey, I was Irish before I was Catholic." Hmm. True, I suppose. But wvcatholic is right..."Plastic Patty's" that are more wacko than Hibernian should be careful to understand their real heritage. In Ireland they are laughed at.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2008 9:44 PM ET USA

    What goes on in San Francisco has, I can attest, nothing whatever to do with St. Patrick, the Church or the Savior. (Unless, perhaps, to test his infinite mercy.) In concert with many of his confreres, Abp. Niederauer has transferred the Solemnity of St. Paddy to the Friday before it occurs---and dispensed the faithful from the Lenten abstinence on that day, with the suggestion that they voluntarily observe abstinence on one other day that week. And a good time wasz had by all.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2008 6:46 PM ET USA

    Of course your making the big assumption that Wacko can read.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2008 4:15 PM ET USA

    The correct way to understand "The Day" is as a Rite of Spring. That's why they hold parades in New York and Savanna, they dye the river green in Chicago, and in Texas they execute a leprechaun!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2008 12:47 PM ET USA

    "Saint Patrick's Day" in the United States has as much to do with the Irish Saint as "Saint Valentine's Day" has to do with the Roman martyr(s). That is true not just in Boston, but across the entire United States. It is simply an Irish-American social/political celebration that has at times had some point of contact with the liturgical life of the Church. To see this clearly, simply look at how "Saint Patrick's Day" is actually celebrated in Ireland.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 21, 2008 9:54 AM ET USA

    Hmmmm.....maybe Phil can send Wacko a free signed copy of his book. If not, I'd be willing to foot the bill for that one.