Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Mass, Parade Highlight Festivities For St. Patrick’s Day

By ERIKA ANDERSON, Staff Writer | Published marzo 9, 2006  | Available In English

Published: March 9, 2006

ATLANTA—The Cathedral of Christ the King will be awash in shades of green on March 17 as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass is celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory at 10 a.m.

Sponsored by the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, the Mass draws native Irishmen and women, as well as those who are “Irish for the day.”

St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint and one of the world’s most popular saints, lived from 389 to 461 A.D. St. Patrick was kidnapped, enslaved and exiled, and from this harsh beginning emerged a saint who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and converted the pagan people of Ireland.

“I was like a stone lying in the deep mire,” St. Patrick wrote, “and He that is mighty came, and in His mercy lifted me up, and verily raised me aloft and placed me on the top of the wall.”

In 441 Patrick is believed to have climbed a mountain in Ireland now known as Croagh Patrick and fasted there for 40 days and nights for the conversion of Ireland. From his preaching and faith came forth a people converted to Christianity. During his lifetime, St. Patrick continued to preach, build churches and work miracles.

The St. Patrick’s Day Mass in Atlanta will be concelebrated by various priests of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, including Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue, and will be followed by a reception.

The Cathedral is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, in Atlanta.

On Saturday, March 18, more celebrations of this saint’s day will continue with the 125th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the seventh largest Irish city in North America—Atlanta. The parade will wind its way through the streets of downtown Atlanta beginning at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Ralph McGill Boulevard. The parade is slated to pass Woodruff Park and end at Underground Atlanta, where free entertainment, music and vendors will be offered to revelers in attendance.

The parade is staged by Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, Inc. and is an outgrowth of the 148-year-old Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta. The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Foundation augments the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade by raising awareness and giving financial support for the treatment and research for childhood diseases. This year’s recipients include Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and St. Baldrick’s, a program that raises funds for childhood cancer research by encouraging volunteers to shave their heads.

The 2006 Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade will have 200 units, including at least 25 major floats, bands of every kind, military units, six bagpipe & drum corps, thousands of children, Irish dancers, clowns, high tech firefighting equipment, police units, drill teams, dogs, horses, antique cars, dignitaries from Ireland, Atlanta government leaders, celebrity grand marshal Ronald McDonald, and grand marshal Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Organizers anticipate an even larger crowd than the more than 125,000 people who attended last year’s parade.

For more information about St. Patrick’s Day festivities, visit the Hibernian Benevolent Society’s Web site at