SCARBOROUGH — 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 fifth century, ultimately escaped his enslavement, entered the Church, and returned to Ireland where he brought the message of the Gospel to the very people who had kept him in slavery.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from County Galway, Ireland, will celebrate Mass on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located on 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.”

In Scarborough, Knight Council #11747 will be sponsoring a traditional Irish Corn Beef and Cabbage dinner with all of the “fixins” on Saturday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at St Maximilian Kolbe Church on 150 Black Point Road. Entertainment by the Irish Dancers from the Stillson School of Dance will begin at 7 p.m. All are welcome.
Here are further details on other gatherings planned to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Patrick around Maine:

Other celebrations will take place, on Saturday, March 14, in Bangor, Farmington, Houlton, Lewiston, Limerick, Lyman, Old Town, Portland and Wells; on Sunday, March 15, in Camden, Cape Elizabeth and Hallowell; on Tuesday, March 17, in Newcastle and Portland; and on Saturday, March 21, in Brunswick and Whitefield.

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