stpatricksdayOn the annual celebration of all hues of Irishness, much of the world is turning green today for St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s first major tourist event of the year, packing hotels and pubs with visitors seeking an all-night party. New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was stepping off on Fifth Avenue with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as the grand marshal. The parade also features New York’s famous “Fighting 69th,” whose history stretches to the U.S. Civil War. Gov. David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were attending a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral before the midday parade today.

Bishop Seamus Hegarty’ said, “While our primary focus must be to ensure that we prevent another lost generation, we must also ensure that for those who decide to emigrate, they are neither abandoned nor forgotten.”