PORTLAND---Masses and special events at churches across Maine will highlight the diocese’s celebration of the Feast Day of Saint Patrick (Friday, March 17).
The feast day holds special significance in the Diocese of Portland as Saint Patrick, along with Saint Jean Baptiste, are the diocese’s secondary patrons, recalling the proud heritage of the Irish and French foundations of the Church in Maine. Saint Patrick, who was captured by Irish raiders as a teenager in the fifth century, ultimately escaped his enslavement, entered the Church, and returned to Ireland where he brought the message of the Gospel to the very people who had kept him in slavery.
Bishop Deeley, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from County Galway, Ireland, will celebrate a Saint Patrick’s Day Mass on Friday, March 17, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located on 307 Congress Street in Portland. Following the Mass, Bishop Deeley will distribute potted shamrocks. Shamrocks have long been associated with Saint Patrick because it is believed he used the plant's three leaves to explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland.
Here are further details on other gatherings planned to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Patrick around Maine:
Friday, March 17
Saint Patrick Church, Newcastle
Come and celebrate the wonderful Irish heritage that was instrumental in the formation of Saint Patrick Church in Newcastle at a special Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the Cheverus Hall (next to the church) on 380 Academy Hill Road. A traditional corned beef dinner (roast chicken will also be offered) with all the usual side dishes, including home-baked Irish soda bread and desserts, will be served. The evening will feature performances by the Murphy Family as well as John Reinhardt. Join in the fun and sing along to traditional Irish songs! Raffles will include two gift baskets. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children under 12 years of age, or $40 for a family. Tickets will be available after all Masses at the church on March 11-12 or by calling Lynn Maloney at 207-798-2831. Tickets will not be available at the door.
Saturday, March 18
Saint Joseph Church, Bridgton
The Fr. Michael McGivney Council of the Knights of Columbus will serve a traditional Irish dinner at 5 p.m. (following the 4 p.m. Mass) at the church, located on 225 South High Street in Bridgton. Advance tickets are $10 ($12 at the door). Proceeds will benefit the Community of the Resurrection in Otisfield. For more information, contact Bob Pelletier at (207) 647-8440.
Saint Joseph Church, Farmington
The Knights of Columbus at Saint Joseph Church in Farmington will hold their annual Saint Patrick’s Dinner from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the parish hall, located on 133 Middle Street in Farmington. Entertainment will be provided by the Franklin County Fiddlers. Takeout meals will be available. Please call Paul Hersey at (207) 778-0586 with the number of people attending.
Saint Mary of the Visitation Church, Houlton
The Saint Patrick’s Bazaar, a Houlton tradition that began over 100 years ago, will be renewed at Saint Anthony Hall, located on 112 Military Street, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event will feature corned beef and cabbage, roast turkey, and all the fixings. Admission is $10, but $32 for a family of four. Doors will open at 2 p.m. for the traditional “cake walk.” The bazaar will also include a raffle and auction. For more information, contact the parish at (207) 532-2871.
Saint Pius X Church, Portland
The annual Knights of Columbus Corned Beef Dinner will be held at the church’s hall, located on 492 Ocean Avenue in Portland, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information, contact Bill Green at (207) 773-8619.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Church, Scarborough
A corned beef dinner in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day will be held at Saint Maximilian Kolbe Church, located on 150 Black Point Road in Scarborough, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults, $26 for couples, $12 for seniors ($22 for senior couples), and $7 for children ages five through twelve. Children four and under will be admitted free. Irish dancers from the Stillson School of Dance will perform at the dinner. Tickets will be available at the door or by calling the parish office in advance at (207) 883-0334.
Saint Mary Church, Wells
The Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance will be held in the church hall of St. Mary Church, located on 236 Eldridge Road in Wells, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The proceeds will benefit the Center for Grieving Children. The evening begins with a social hour at 5 p.m. followed by a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner (ham will also be offered) at 6 p.m. The dinner is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Admission is $25 per person. For tickets, call (207) 251-4009 or (207) 850-6488.
Saint Denis Church, Whitefield
Knights of Columbus Council #1423 will host a Corned Beef and Cabbage Benefit Dinner at Saint Denis Hall, located on 298 Grand Army Road in Whitefield, at 5 p.m. The menu includes corned beef and cabbage, onions, potatoes, vegetables, coleslaw, biscuits, and desserts. Donations will be accepted to benefit local charities. For more information, contact Pete Taylor at (207) 542-0820.
Sunday, March 19
Saint Bartholomew Church, Cape Elizabeth
A Saint Patrick’s Day dinner will be held at Saint Bartholomew Church, located on 8 Two Lights Road in Cape Elizabeth, at noon. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children. Children two and under will be admitted free. Tickets will be available at the door or by calling Judi Logue in advance at (207) 799-5528.
Sacred Heart Church, Hallowell
A Saint Patrick's Day Dinner will be held at the Sacred Heart Church hall, located on 14 Summer Street in Hallowell, starting at noon (following the 11 a.m. Mass). There will be a goodwill offering taken at the door. For more information, contact David Young at (207) 446-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“These gatherings are meant to celebrate Saint Patrick and his faith,” said Bishop Deeley. “They remind us that we do that best when we live as he lived, filled with the love of God he found in Jesus Christ and striving to carry the Good News of Jesus to others.”