On the Feast of St. Patrick

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. In our secular culture, St. Patrick (and his feast day) is remembered simply for his connection to shamrocks, leprechauns and green beer. In fact, St. Patrick was a native of Britain. While still a teen Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland; he spent six years there as a slave. After escaping and returning home, Patrick had a vision. As he later wrote:

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish.” As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea — and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.

Patrick, now a bishop, returned to Ireland where he baptized thousands, ordained native priests, and converted the sons of kings. He won over the people who had once enslaved him and is now the patron saint of the Emerald Isle.

Like the Irish of the 4th century, our diocese is waiting for a bishop who will “come and walk among us.” It has been extraordinarily heartening to see and hear of the many people around the diocese who are praying for our new bishop through intercessions, litanies and the Eucharist. Whoever he is, our new bishop has been cloaked in the prayers of the faithful and entrusted to the care of our Blessed Mother. And we pray that, like St. Patrick, he will teach us to walk in the joyful company of the Triune God.

Lord God,
you are our eternal shepherd and guide.
In your mercy grant your Church of Springfield in Illinois a shepherd
who will walk in your ways
and whose watchful care will bring us your blessing.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.