200 worshippers and more, asking for the Irish blessing

200 worshippers and more, asking for the Irish blessing


It’s a great day for the Irish to have this old Gaelic blessing, every year and since more than a century, Catholics in and around have gathered to pray and entreat blessings of the patron saint of Ireland.

The church closed its doors and the congregation merged with St. Kilian in nearby Hartford in 1999 while many people thought that the tradition might die because of that. thats happened again last year, when the Rev. David La Plante of St. Kilian was too ill to preside at the annual Mass

About 200 worshippers filled the pews, many donning green attire or the woolen sweaters of the Aran Isles, with more than a few redheads in the mix at this year.

Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel, who had moved to the area years ago because of the church, said “This is such a blessing, a miracle”.

Like many of the longtime members, Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel was devastated when St. Pat’s closed. She said that there’s just so much history and tradition and love for this church that had been the center of a community for nearly 150 years, where she returned to revel in the memories of marriages and baptisms, and the rhythms of life in this rural church.