ESSAY: For many Americans, being Catholic means being Irish Catholic

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(UNDATED) The patron saint of Ireland graces America’s most celebrated cathedral, and the country’s flagship Catholic university calls its student athletes the “Fighting Irish.” Somewhere between these poles of piety and pugnacity, between St. Patrick and the University of Notre Dame, rests the soul of Irish Catholicism — and, by extension, the soul of the […]

  • Jim Devine

    Calling one self Catholic does not necessary mean one is practicing Catholic. This is supported by surveys that show on many issues over 40% so-called Catholics and sadly even some clergy do not support the teachings of the church. 60% of Catholics who are in unity with the Pope and attend Mass weekly would favor the return to the Latin Mass. Many are Catholics in name only.

  • KLNobles

    There is a book, Why Catholics Can’t Sing (Thomas Day) which lays the current state of music in the American church at the feet of the Irish. As the Irish were forced to hide their worship due to persecution, they worshiped quietly, without music.

    As a child, all our priests were Irish, in an area of Los Angeles that was heavily Hispanic. Made for some interesting cultural conflicts. The joke in the 1960’s was that priests were Ireland’s biggest export.

    I have not been a practicing Catholic for almost 35 years, but the lessons learned from those Irish priests are still with me.