Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I'M GLAD SAINT PATRICK'S DAY ISN'T CELEBRATED IN MACON!
However, Savannah has one of the largest Saint Patrick Day parades. It is usually somewhat family friendly if you watch it near the Cathedral, but the closer you get to River Street the more questionable it becomes and then after the parade the public drunkenness at River Street is something to behold-NOT!
Augusta has a smaller St. Patrick's Day parade and party afterwards and the parties can get a bit rowdy. The Catholic schools in Savannah and Augusta are closed (in fact all schools and offices are closed in Savannah, it is a big holiday for the city).
I don't think Augusta or Savannah has to contend with the overt politicization of their parades with Gay groups wanting to parade with their gay banners. I don't think the straight groups have straight banners either, if I'm not mistaken. I suspect, though, that straight and gay people have been in the parade together since day one, the only difference being no one made an issue of their sexuality, lack there of or their orientation. It wasn't open to bragging rights in a parade for a Catholic saint.
The biggest controversy to hit the Savannah parade occurred when I was stationed at our Cathedral and it was around 1986 or '87. A street vendor decided to sell condoms with an image of the jolly green saint imposed upon it. Yes, you got that correct and this was before it was politically correct to talk condoms publicly or in polite company let alone on a blog by a Catholic priest!
This got Bishop Raymond Lessard and a goodly number in the Catholic Irish community up in arms; I guess you can say it got their Irish up!
So the parade committee at the prompting of Bishop Lessard demanded that the street vendor stop selling these condoms. And I guess a little bit of strong armed Irishness let the vendor know that he should and he did.
But it was a spectacle hearing a Catholic bishop in 1986 speaking to the press about condoms with Saint Patrick on it. I thought to myself at the time that this was surely a spectacle and sign of the end times. Bishop Lessard had a peculiar way of pronouncing the word; he said "con-dome."
As fate would have it, as I was sitting on the Cathedral plaza watching the parade, WTOC TV News interviewed me about the con-dome, I mean condom controversy. Rather than turn green I turned red!
My how times have changed. Now we have women hawking Viagra on prime time, family time TV praising its results.
Maybe the end times are here?????
In the meanwhile, maybe the Church should get out of Saint Patrick Day parades while the getting out is good and simply have a Eucharistic Procession with a statue of Saint Patrick leading the way around the neighborhood church!