Added on 17/03/2014
Bishop urges us to describe an attractive future for a new generation
This St Patrick’s Day we’re at a point in our history where we cannot agree on some critical issues of the past which are profoundly important for our future.
The questions raised by the Haass talks simply cannot be avoided, and placing them on the back burner during a period of elections is not good enough. The issues of parading, flags and emblems, and the past have always the potential to derail our society, but especially so if we put them to the back of our minds rather than facing up to them with all the pain and challenge involved.
St Patrick has something to say to all of this. The challenges of Ireland in the fifth century were even greater than they are today, but this one young person was able to paint a picture of a world which was different, and of truly Christian values which had the potential to transform society. We celebrate his life and witness in 2014 not just as a story from the past, but as a sign of hope in the present. If we simply cling on to the old divisions of the past, there will not be a future for this place, only a past which repeats itself over and over again.
We are claiming more for an up and coming generation. We want an island where our offspring will be glad to set up home, a place they will be proud of, and a context in which they can flourish. That is our prayer this St Patrick’s Day, and we will not give up on that prayer until we see it fulfilled. Politicians, business people, artists, church leaders, all of us, need to give ourselves to describing the future in such a way that it becomes more real and attractive than the past.
Photo above: Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, setting for St Patrick’s Day Festival Service following pilgrimage walk from Saul Church.
For further information, please contact
Down & Dromore Diocesan Communications Officer
Church of Ireland House
61–67 Donegall Street
Tel: (028) 9032 2268
Fax:(028) 9023 1902
Mob: 07595 231958