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A St. Patrick’s Suggestion

Liz Harter | Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine’s Day – the day of same-side sitters in the dining hall, girls receiving chocolates and flowers and happy couples strolling hand in hand as they circle the lakes at Notre Dame or cross the bridge on Lake Marion at Saint Mary’s – is over.


Now we have all the time in the world to focus on the next religious and commercial holiday that will be celebrated on campus. And celebrate we will.

Bring on St. Patrick’s Day.

This year marks the first year that the holiday does not fall during the time allotted by the University for spring break since 2005. Originally, this year’s spring break was not scheduled for March 1-9, but the University changed the dates because they were in conflict with Holy Week and the Easter holiday.

Therefore, students will be able to celebrate the traditionally Irish holiday with their fellow Irish-faithful at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

Now, this inside column is not going to turn into the places and ways you can celebrate that one day, but rather, I am here to let you know of the incredible idea that our Irish brethren have adopted for this year, and this year only, of celebrating for TWO days.

The Irish Bishops announced in July of 2007 – see how late I am in letting you all know about this opportunity! – that because March 17 is the second day of Holy Week, the most holy week in the Catholic calendar, they are shifting religious celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day to March 15.

If you can do quick math in your head I know that you are already smiling. If you can’t and had to check your cell phone calendar like I did, let me save you the trouble.

The Irish Bishops have moved St. Patrick’s Day to March 15 – Saturday, March 15.

The Council of Bishops in the United States have not made a similar declaration of shifting the feast day to the previous Saturday, and I’m not sure if they are planning on doing so. Therefore I don’t think that we should exclusively celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 15.

Instead, I propose that we students spend two days celebrating the patron saint of Ireland who introduced the concept of the Trinity to the Irish people using the three leaves of a clover in whatever way you deem fitting.

Whether you plan to wear a bit of green, speak with an Irish brogue, attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade or partake in some green beverages, I hope that you enjoy yourselves on the upcoming holiday.

Afterall, who is more entitled to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than those who call themselves the Fighting Irish.