Dóchas linn Naomh Pádraig, Aspal mór na hÉireann,
This is the first line of a traditional hymn to St Patrick originally written in the eighth century. It calls St Patrick the great apostle of Ireland and the first virtue it applies to him is “dóchas”, hope. For the last 1,500 years how many people have prayed to Patrick for hope!
Hope in so many different situations. Ninety years ago, with great faith and no little hope Fr PJ Whitney realised his dream of setting up a Missionary Society. On St Patrick’s Day 1932 St Patrick’s Missionary Society was officially ‘born’. Hopes and dreams abounded. With St Patrick as patron the Society has flourished, sharing the gospel in so any places. No wonder. That same hymn calls Patrick “solas mór an tsaoil”, the great light of the world. He continues to bring that light to new worlds.
We celebrate 90 years today on the feast of St Patrick. We give thanks for the great vision of Fr PJ Whitney and the heroic generosity of so many missionaries down the decades. We look forward with hope.
“Dream with us St Patrick”
We give thanks for our supporters and benefactors throughout the 90 years and we remember them today in our Masses and prayers in a very special way. We wish you all a very blessed, holy and hopeful St Patrick’s Day.