I ain’t Mad, How Much March Madness Was in Your March?

I ain’t Mad! Editor’s Corner

How mad was the March madness in your March? Mine was mighty, warm and filled with faith, friends and family. I am an active advocate of telling people you love them, how much you appreciate them, while they are still here to hear it. We too often don’t take the time, until after time has already run out.

Many St. Pat’s Honorees got to hear how much they are loved last month, during all the parade and surrounding activities. I love hearing their stories, preferably first hand. I like watching older folks unobserved, to see the light in their eyes, what stirs them. I wonder what they have seen, what they are remembering, and how to connect with them, so they will share with me.

As I get older, wisdom, perhaps, allows me to see the tragedy in her story, the hurt and the beauty in his eyes, behind the shining. The beauty in a person or a people is readily evident, despite instant gratification impulses. Gotta let it steep; gotta let them know.

April 2016, Editor's Corner
April 2016, Editor’s Corner

One of my favorite people is Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist Regina Brett. She writes with and of common sense, caring, leaving the judgement at the door in a life well-lived and the lessons learned. She says in her book, God Never Blinks, “People don’t want to be saved; they want to be loved; that is how you save them.”

We could all use a little saving I suppose. In turbulent times, Demons draft with glee. But a little love leaves a long legacy. Sometimes, people just need a break. Surely tomorrow, that extra bit of time you gave today won’t be missed by you. But for them, it will be life changing.

St. Patrick’s Day, like Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or perhaps too, the festivals, slows things down enough for us to see the gathered gifts we have gotten, the graces and breaks we have received. To those that paved the path, that planted seeds or nurtured their growing, to those who received the honors and the appreciation, and those who did it without any recognition at all, I wish to say, Thank you.

The Easter Rising Commemorations are in full swing. Many events are listed within. Commemoration is important, to not only say thanks, but to learn or remember; who we are is not limited by from where we came, but it is certainly influenced by it. Knowledge is power and there is power in remembering, and saying Thanks.

Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
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***

Milestones:

Our condolences to Paul and Peggy Baker, on the loss of Paul’s mom on Friday March 11th. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Congratulations to: The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Irish history contest year focused on the women’s’ involvement in the Easter Rising. The winners of are:
Level 1: 1st place – Ashlyn Garthwaite; 2nd place – Brigid Donnelly; 3rd place – Brian Royea. Level 2: 1st place – Morgen Donnelly; 2nd place – Liam Craig; 3rd place – Delia Lowry. Honorable Mention – Sophia Murphy

Congratulations to Writer and Director Sean Lackey, whose movie, ‘The Yank‘, a romantic comedy about a clueless four-generations Irish descendant returning to Ireland for the wedding of his friend, will be now available in DVD & VOD by Vision Films.

Congratulations to Katherine Boyd, named Host on the Morning Edition, WCPN Ideastream’s 90.3.

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration
April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

How Do You Celebrate St. Pat’s?

Editor’s Corner

How do you celebrate? I start out with my family, and my extended loving family, the West Side Irish American Club, with the annual mass at St. Colman’s, whose gorgeous marble, and design, commissioned to Irish men in Dublin, I appreciate more and more each year; I may be daydreaming, but ghosts seep out of the marble for me. Then it is off to this year’s 149th Annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I walk with the Sheriff’s Dept. at the front of the parade, then circle around and march with the WSIA family, again.

I absolutely love it. The massive crowds are awesome to see, a culture like no other, one that invites all cultures to join us as we celebrate roots, family, and a passionate heritage that touches every curve and corner of the globe, through our own hard work, perseverance, and passion for freedom, in so many forms.

After walking the parade, we walk to a local hotel, and eat, drink and make merry, as outside our walls, downtown clears out. A few other parties and must go to appearances fill out the day, until we all reassemble at the Folks, for dinner, stories and as many cups of tea as your nerves can handle.

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish is my personal social media tag line and has been my credo for as long as I can remember; it is a life urgency instilled by my father, to make a difference as you trade each day of your life, for something; let it be worthwhile. You can find that same credo throughout the Irish community; it translates to any culture. Be aware, be awed and be grateful.

There is much to do this month; of course musical and event lists and labels run rampant in this issue. Deliberate, and then deliberately, pick your passion; pick your company, and Live More Life, as the Irish are wont to do.

We would love to hear and share how you celebrate – send me a note (jobrien@ianohio.com) or post on our FB page. Pics are welcome, as long as you own them. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages listed below and Opt-in to our Cleveland Irish Fest (clevelandirish.org) and Ohio Irish American News (ianohio.com) occasionally and respectfully sent and guarded email list, and win prizes like fest tickets, an annual OhIAN subscription, books or CD’s. We will run favorites in our April issue; share your memories, share your milestones, share all that being Irish, means to you.

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Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

ianohio_0316_40_pages_page1

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
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Who Was St. Patrick?

Who Was St. Patrick?

Patrick wasn’t Irish, yet America’s biggest Irish celebration is held in his name; he wasn’t the first bishop sent to Ireland, yet he is responsible for launching the evangelical push that converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. He never drove the snakes out of Ireland – there weren’t any, at least not in the literal sense.

St. Patrick is one of three patron saints of Ireland (the other two are Brigid and Columba). He was born in the late 4th century, most sources say 387, somewhere on the coast of Britain, perhaps in Wales or Scotland. As early as 431, Pope Celestine sent a bishop named Palladius to minister to the Christians in Ireland. Patrick came to Ireland when he was sixteen, but he came against his will, as a slave.

Fortunately, we have his own words left to us in the form of his autobiography, referred to as his Confessio, and his Epistola, an admonition of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

StPatrick
Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders who were searching for slave labor, a common practice in those days. He worked for six years as a shepherd, and in those lonely times, as he later explained in his Confessio, he began to pray in earnest and trust God. He escaped and made his way back to his homeland.

Later he became a bishop and had a dream or a vision in which he heard the voice of the Irish calling to him to come and walk again among them. He did return, and apparently had several run-ins with pagan kings. Patrick stood up for his beliefs and was instrumental in guiding the Irish people to Christ. His predecessor, who was probably already in the country when Patrick returned, had been sent to minister to people who already believed; Patrick ministered to the unbelievers.

Did Patrick convert all of Ireland? That would have been a near impossible task in one man’s lifetime, especially since it was done without warfare, unlike Europe during the Crusades. Others came after him and carried on his work in Ireland and beyond: Brigid, Columba, Brendan, Aidan, and Columban to name a few. But St. Patrick is the name today that identifies all things Irish. The holiday is no longer just a religious observance; it is a day of cultural pride for all those with Irish blood.

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Irish Symbols and things to know for St. Pat’s

The Irish Sweater:

The ubiquitous Irish sweater. On St. Patrick’s Day, it seems as though everyone dons one, whether traditional ivory-colored, hunter-green, or high-necked and fuchsia. The cabled patterns of the Irish fisherman’s sweater are reportedly symbolic. The foundation, the cable, represents the lifeline for the fisherman’s survival. A honeycomb pattern symbolizes the industry of the bee. Various patterns hearken back to the Book of Kells, and ancient Celtic drawings found on megalithic stones and burial sites.

A romantic idea exists that each Irish fishing family had its own pattern knitted into the jumper, or sweater, so should Fate turn against the fisherman, his body could be identified when it washed up upon the shore. Historians believe this notion to be purely fabricated for storytelling purposes. In John M. Synge’s “Riders to the Sea,” there is a reference to the knit on the jumper of the drowned fisherman, but a specific family design is not mentioned.

Regardless, the traditional cabled fisherman sweater has been worn by sailors in Ireland and the United Kingdom for generations. Crafted with natural, untreated wool, báinín the lanolin from the sheep was retained and provided a waterproof barrier between the wearer and the harsh elements of nature.

As early as the beginning of the twentieth-century, a group of economically industrious women realized the market for the Aran knit among the tourists and artists who began to visit their Aran Islands. Profit could be had for their skillful knitting. Thus, the Irish fisherman’s sweater became known as an Aran knit. The cabled pattern soon became quite popular and was even featured in Vogue fashion magazine in a 1950s spread.

Claddagh
The Claddagh is a ring traditionally given to a lover for an engagement or wedding, or as a symbol of affection. Originating in the fishing village of Claddagh, near the city of Galway, it was first produced during the reign of William and Mary in the late 1600s. The heart, hands, and crown of its distinctive design stand for love, friendship, and loyalty respectively, and the ring can be worn in different ways to indicate the relationship status of the wearer. A Claddagh worn on the right hand with the point of the heart facing down, toward the end of the finger indicates a single wearer, while turned around, it signifies romantic attachment. Worn on the ring finger of the left hand, the ring indicates engagement or marriage.

Celtic Cross
Popular legend holds that the Celtic Cross was introduced to Ireland by St. Patrick or St. Declan, in order to explain the importance of the cross to Irish pagans. In the early days of Christianity in Ireland, Celtic crosses were used as freestanding monuments. A number of huge high crosses were erected in the eighth century and probably followed earlier versions constructed from wood. These crosses were often decorated with ornate Celtic art and occasionally displayed inscriptions carved in runes. This tradition later evolved into a custom of using Celtic crosses as grave markers, a practice which became particularly fashionable in the 19th century. From this point onward, it also became a symbol of Celtic heritage and pride and is today a popular design

Rest in Peace Volunteers Celtic Cross
St. Brigid’s Cross
Made from rushes or occasionally from straw, St. Brigid’s Cross first appeared in the 17th century, but the legend of its origin is set in pagan times. Legend says that St. Brigid was called to the deathbed of a dying Celtic lord by some of his Christian servants in order to try converting him to Christianity before his death. When Brigid arrived, the man was too delirious to understand her, so she began weaving together rushes from the floor of his sickroom. When asked what she was doing, she explained that she was weaving a cross, and the lord’s delirium slowly gave way to questioning. Converted, he was baptized just before he died.

Later, it became tradition to weave St. Brigid’s Crosses on February 1st, the Feast Day of St. Brigid. These crosses were hung in Irish homes to ward off evil, particularly fires, and were therefore most common in kitchens.

The Harp
Played by Brian Boru, the last true and now legendary High King, who ruled all Ireland in the 8th & 9th centuries, the harp has been a symbol of Ireland ever since. In 1542, it was adopted as an official symbol. In 1922, the Republic of Ireland adopted a left-facing harp, based on the Trinity College Harp located in the library of Trinity College in Dublin as its official symbol. It appears on state documents and seals, along with the cover of every Irish passport. The medieval tradition of printing harps on Irish coins also continues into the present with the left-facing Trinity College Harp featuring on Irish printed Euro.
Shamrocks and Four-Leafed Clovers

While the two plants are commonly confused, the shamrock and the four-leafed clover have very different meanings. The first has three leaves and is a symbol of Ireland and the Christian Holy Trinity; the second is one of the best known good luck charms. While the three leaves of a shamrock are sometimes said to represent Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the leaves of a four-leafed clover are said to represent faith, hope, love, and luck. Additionally, the shamrock is a specific kind of clover, the three-leafed old white clover, while four-leafed clovers can be found in any clover species. In fact, the shamrock’s name indicates its uniqueness among clover. It comes from the Gaelic seamróg, a diminutive of seamair, the name used to refer to all clover. However, in spite of shamrock referring to a specific species, four-leafed clovers, produced by mutation, are rarer. They only occur in 1 out of every 10,000 clovers, which must be why it’s considered so lucky to happen upon one.

17 Amazing Things To Do in March to celebrate the month of St. Patrick!

17 Amazing Things To Do in March
to celebrate the month of St. Patrick!

1. #17DaysofMarch – @Croagh Patrick’s, features music, special events, toasts, and fantastic food, with a different theme and special each day. www.facebook.com/Croagh-Patricks-Pub

2. Irish Music Sundays every Sunday @Music Box Cleveland www.musicboxcle.com

3. March 8th – Kathleen Linn – Rebel Doctor (Film) – Never before shown in the US, the film celebrates the rebel Dr., commanding officer, medical pioneer and humanitarian. River’s Edge 3430 Rocky River Drive (next to St. Joe’s Academy). 7pm

4. March 11 – We Banjo 3 @ Logan’s Irish Pub www.LogansIrishPubFindlay.com

5. Pogues Tribute w Boys from the Co Hell @MusicBoxCLE

March 12:
6. #StMalachiChurchRun www.hermescleveland.com

7. LunaLaunch – #LyricsofIrishFreedom – Luna Team Shop is the new, year-round provider of amazing and fun gear for Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. To celebrate the launch, Luna and surrounding shops are offering great specials from 11am to 3pm. Author John O’Brien, Jr. will be signing his new book, The Lyrics of Irish Freedom, the story behind the Irish songs of rebellion and freedom, with bagpipers, Irish Wolfhounds and more. Luna is at 113 Front Street, just 4 miles from the festival grounds. www.lunateamshop.com

A Hooley ~ @Luna Team Shop Mach 12th - author John O'Brien, Jr, Irish Wolfhounds, Bag Pipers and more
A Hooley ~ @Luna Team Shop Mach 12th – author John O’Brien, Jr, Irish Wolfhounds, Bag Pipers and more

8. Claddagh Ball @ West Side Irish American Club www.wsia-club.org

9. March 14TH – #LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish If you would like to volunteer to help “Make the Irish Fest Great Again” (Sorry Donald), the magnificent Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival Creative Team, charged with nurturing new ideas and making sure guests and volunteers alike have a blast, meet Monday March 14th, @PJ McIntyre’s (17119 Lorain Road at Kamm’s Corner, in their basement Party room) 6:15pm. Good food, good friends and exciting new things coming for 2016. We need your ideas, but most of all, we need YOU.

34th Annual Cleveland Irish Fest
34th Annual Cleveland Irish Fest

10. March 15th – If you want a say in making a better America, you have to have a seat at the table – PLEASE VOTE!

11. March 17th – Sober 17th – non-alcohol alternative Bash with James Kilbane, Mary Agnes Kennedy, Brady-Campbell School of Dance, St. Ignatius Circus Company: great food, fellowship and family fun. Ahern’s Banquet Center 726 Avon-Beldon Road. 5-8pm sober17th@gmail.com
12. THE High Holy Day! Many start with Mass at one of the local Irish parishes. The 149th Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 1:04 pm: parties, pomp and great craic fill the day at pubs and clubs across the state.

Happy St. Pat's
Happy St. Pat’s

March 18th:
13. Win a trip to the Auld Sod! And support Historic St. Patrick’s Church on Bridge Avenue in Cleveland. Tickets are $5 ea or 3/$10 Kathy Pierce @ 216.49.9064.
14. Welcome Home – Irish artist Kathleen Dorsey show at 78th Street Studios (West 78th Street, Cleveland) – amazing paintings of Ireland. 5pm to 10 pm. She is in Room 105, but all the studios are open that night.

15. March 20th – Emmitt Cahill (Celtic Thunder) @ West Side Irish American Club www.wsia-club.org

16. March 29th – Speak Irish Cleveland new classes begin, every Tuesday, 6:15 to 8, all levels welcome. Jobrien@ianohio.com

17. March 30th – #CIFF – the Cleveland International Film Festival kicks off March 30th. 193 feature films and 213 short films fill Cleveland Tower City and surrounding theatres. Supporting the arts is part of our blood; check out CIFF at www.clevelandfilm.org

CIFF40_OhioIrish_300x100-C

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