PORTLAND — Masses and special events at churches across Maine will highlight the diocese’s celebration of the Feast Day of St. Patrick.

The feast day holds special significance in the Diocese of Portland as St. Patrick, along with St. Jean Baptiste, is a secondary patron of the diocese. In addition, St. Patrick Church in Newcastle was the first church in the country named for St. Patrick. It was dedicated by Fr. Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus on July 17, 1808, a year before the cornerstone was laid for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The original St. Patrick Church has been in continual use longer than any other Catholic church in New England.

St. Patrick, who was captured by Irish raiders as a teenager in the 5th Century, ultimately escaped his enslavement, entered the Catholic Church, and returned to Ireland where he brought the message of the Gospel to the people who had kept him in slavery.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, whose parents emigrated from Ireland, will celebrate Mass on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., in Portland.

“These gatherings are meant to celebrate St. Patrick and his faith,” said Bishop Deeley. “They remind us that we do that best when we live as he lived, filled with the love of God he found in Jesus Christ and striving to carry the Good News of Jesus to others.”

Here are details on other gatherings planned to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Patrick around Maine:

Saturday, March 14

Bangor

The Knights of Columbus will host a traditional Irish dinner (with entertainment) following the 4 p.m. Mass at St. John Church, 217 York St., in Bangor. Tickets are $12.50 adults and $5 for children. They can be purchased in advance at the parish office. For more information, call (207) 217-6740.

Lewiston

A St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner will be held after the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday, March 14, at Holy Family Church, 607 Sabattus St., in Lewiston. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family. The dinner is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus councils from Lewiston, Lisbon and Sabattus.

Limerick

St. Matthew Church, 19 Dora Lane in Limerick, will host a St. Patrick’s Day dinner on Saturday, March 14, from 4:30-6 p.m. The Irish boiled dinner includes cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots and turnips. There also will be macaroni and cheese, casseroles, hot dogs, salad and fresh-baked Irish soda bread and Irish brown bread, along with beverages and dessert. The cost is $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12, and no charge for children 5 and under. For more information, call Helen Parlon at (603) 522-5387 or Barbara Britten at (207) 636-7972.

Portland

In celebration of the Feast Day of St. Patrick, come and enjoy a traditional corned beef and cabbage meal, along with other traditional Irish dishes, on Saturday, March 14 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception’s Guild Hall, 307 Congress St. in Portland. The dinner will be served immediately following the 4 p.m. Mass at the cathedral. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children and $20 for a family of four. For tickets, call the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes Pastoral Center at (207) 772-7746.

The annual Knights of Columbus Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner will be held in the hall of St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Ave., in Portland at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, contact Bill Green at (207) 773-8619.

Scarborough

Knight Council No. 11747 will be sponsoring a traditional Irish corn beef and cabbage dinner on Saturday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at St Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough. Entertainment by the Irish Dancers from the Stillson School of Dance will begin at 7 p.m.

Wells

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance will be held in the hall of St. Mary Church, 236 Eldridge Road, in Wells on Saturday, March 14. Corned beef and cabbage, along with ham, will be on the menu. Music will be provided by Tom Pomeroy. The evening begins with a social from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $30. To reserve a spot, call (207) 646-6870 or (207) 850-6488. This year’s benefactor of the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance proceeds is baby Ophelia. She is a six-month-old relative of parishioners. Ophelia needs a liver transplant. Shortly after birth, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease called biliary atresia. She is under care at Boston Children’s Hospital. The constant medical care has caused severe financial hardship for her family. Even though they have insurance, much of the treatment is not fully covered. Although some parishioners do not attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance, anyone wishing to make a donation may do so after Mass at the Knights table in the narthex. Checks should be made out to the “Knights of Columbus.”

Sunday, March 15

Cape Elizabeth

A St. Patrick’s Day lunch will be held at St. Bartholomew Church, located on 8 Two Lights Road in Cape Elizabeth, at noon (following 11 a.m. Mass). Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for children two and under. Tickets will be available at the door, at parish offices, and after Masses. For more information, call (207) 799-5528.

Hallowell

A Saint Patrick’s Day luncheon will be held at the Sacred Heart Church hall, located on 14 Summer Street in Hallowell, starting at noon (following the 11 a.m. Mass). There will be a goodwill offering taken at the door. For more information, contact David Young at (207) 446-3412 or [email protected].

Tuesday, March 17

Newcastle

Come and celebrate the Irish heritage that was instrumental in the formation of St. Patrick Church in Newcastle at a special Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Cheverus Hall (next to the church) on 380 Academy Hill Road. A traditional corned beef dinner (roast chicken will also be offered) with all the usual side dishes, including home-baked Irish soda bread and desserts, will be served. Join in the fun and sing along to traditional Irish songs! Raffles will also be held. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12 years of age. For more information or tickets, call Bernadette Steele at (207) 832-6163. Tickets will also be sold after Masses on March 14-15.

Portland

Bishop Deeley will commemorate the Feast Day of St. Patrick with a Mass on Tuesday, March 17, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., in Portland.

Saturday, March 21

Brunswick

A St. Patrick’s Day party to benefit the All Saints Youth Ministry’s teen mission trip to Philadelphia will be held on Saturday, March 21, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 132 McKeen St., in Brunswick. Join us for live Irish music, dancing, singing, a raffle, and a silent auction. Irish soda bread, coffee, tea, and desserts will be served. Tickets: Adults $10, Children (12 and under) $5, Family maximum of $25.

Further details and information are available on the St. Patrick’s Day page of the diocesan website, portlanddiocese.org/feast-saint-patrick.

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