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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
            Friday, March 14 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterSt. Patrick

It was somewhat gratifying and a bit amusing to read in Thursday's news that one of the most famous and outspoken pro-British Presbyterian ministers in Northern Ireland has come out strongly for St. Patrick as a role model for Protestants and claiming that in reality Patrick was more Protestant than Catholic. It's undeniable that based on his writings St. Patrick was more "evangelical" than any Catholics I personally know, and he didn't profess some of the dogmas of today's Roman Catholicism because they hadn't yet been propounded, but on the other hand, in his time there was no such thing as Protestantism nor was there any teaching of the Protestant fundamental doctrine, sola Scriptura (which makes the claim amusing).

I don't know why I've always felt such strong affinity as I do to my Irish roots, as both of my parents' ancestors arrived in Pennsylvania before 1800, but it's probably related to two strong factors: 1. Kennedy was a relatively unknown family name in my childhood, and it was definitely an Irish one (though there's also a Scottish Kennedy clan). And 2. my mother loved and often sang the Irish songs made famous mainly by Bing Crosby: "Galway Bay," "Mother Macree," "Over in Killarney," "The Rose of Tralee," and others. But because I was an Eirephile, St. Patrick's Day was always a big deal to me, and probably because of that, St. Patrick himself became a big deal.

The simple granite marker on St. Patrick's
grave in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

A great pleasure of the past decade has been opportunities to visit Ireland several times and climb some of the same hills Patrick stood on, visit the cathedral of his see as the Bishop of all Ireland, in Armagh, and see his final resting place in Downpatrick at the site of his first church in his mission ministry.

Click for information

Like the Ulster Presbyterian minister Ian Paisley, Jr., I was for most of my life a Protestant who identified with Patrick. But it's been only in the past seven or eight years that I've been able to feel I really know him and what manner of man he was. Having lived more than 500 years before the schism between the Roman and Greek churches, he's one of the thousands of early-church saints we Orthodox share with the Catholics. Now I sit next to his life-size icon every Sunday and daily ask for his intercessory prayers, knowing that our's is a God of the living, not the dead.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Texas soldier

A large group of Iraqi soldiers are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a sand dune, "One Texas soldier is better than ten Iraqi soldiers!" The Iraqi commander quickly sends 10 of his best soldiers over the dune, whereupon a gun battle breaks out and continues for a few minutes, then silence.

The voice then calls out, "One Texas soldier is better than one hundred Iraqi soldiers!" Furious, the Iraqi commander sends his next best 100 troops over the dune and instantly a huge gunfight commences. After 10 minutes of battle, again silence.

The Texan voice calls out again, "One Texas soldier is better than one thousand Iraqi soldiers!" The enraged Iraqi Commander musters one thousand fighters, and sends them across the dune. Cannon, rocket, and machine gun fire ring out as a huge battle is fought. Then silence.

Eventually, one wounded Iraqi fighter crawls back over the dune and with his dying words tells his commander, "Don't send any more men, it's a trap. There are two of them!"

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Lenten thought for the day

The judgment

Although I am imperfect in many things, I nevertheless wish that my brethren and kinsmen should know what sort of person I am, so that they may understand my heart's desire. I know well the testimony of my Lord, who in the Psalm declares: "Thou wilt destroy them that speak a lie." And again, He says: "The mouth that betrays, kills the soul." And the same Lord says in the Gospel: "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment." And so I should dread exceedingly, with fear and trembling, this sentence on that day when no one will be able to escape or hide, but we all, without exception, shall have to give an account even of our smallest sins before the judgment of the Lord Christ.

— St. Patrick, c. 385-461, Confession

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
Xnmp, news that signifies
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