Published March 3, 2016
ATLANTA—Mass for St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Thursday, March 17, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will be the principal celebrant of the Mass at 10:30 a.m. with priests of the archdiocese concelebrating.
The Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta sponsors the annual Mass. All are welcome.
The Mass will be followed by a lively reception in Kenny Hall with Irish music and performances by Irish dance schools and where soda bread and other authentic baked goods prepared by the Irish community will be served.
On Friday, March 11, the society will also host an annual memorial ceremony and wreath laying in honor of Father Thomas O’Reilly, Civil War Irish pastor of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta. The priest is credited with protecting five churches and several civic buildings from destruction as Atlanta fell to Union forces under Gen. William T. Sherman and was largely destroyed by fire.
At 11 a.m., there will be a reception at the Shrine. Father O’Reilly was interred in an area beneath the main altar at the church and the crypt can be viewed. At 12:10 p.m. daily Mass will be celebrated at the Shrine and at 1 p.m. a wreath will be laid at the monument honoring Father O’Reilly on the grounds of Atlanta City Hall. Units from the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society and Fire Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta, bagpipers and MAPES honor guard, and police, fire and city officials will take part in the wreath laying. The memorial is located at the corner of Washington Street and Mitchell Street. The public is invited.
On Saturday, March 12, the 134th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, the longest running event in Atlanta’s history, will step off at noon, rain or shine, at the intersection of Peachtree Street and 15th Street and will continue down Peachtree to Fifth Street. It is free and open to the public. Last year more than 80,000 spectators viewed the parade. Started in 1858 by the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, it is now coordinated by the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, Inc.
More than 2,000 dancers, musicians, cheerleaders, clowns, nine marching bands and Irish and local dignitaries will participate. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be a highlight of the parade.
This year will also include a pre-parade 5K run/walk through Midtown. The race begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of 12th and Juniper streets. The top male and female overall winners will be invited to ride in a special parade float.