Categories: General
      Date: Mar 20, 2017
     Title: Bishop Leahy’s St. Patrick’s Day homily at Sarsfield’s Barracks
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Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

Dara Fitzpatrick and others “strong sense of giving” recalled in Bishop Leahy’s St. Patrick’s Day homily at Sarsfield’s Barracks

Friday 17 March 2017: The sense of heroism and mission displayed by St. Patrick is still very much evident in the acts of Irish Coast Guard pilot Dara Fitzpatrick and many others who sacrifice much, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy stated today.

In the now traditional St. Patrick’s Day Mass by the Bishop of Limerick for members past and present of the Defence Forces and their families in the city, Bishop Leahy said we cannot but think today of someone like Dara Fitzpatrick who dedicated her life to others so fearlessly.

Linking the selfless kindness of St. Patrick to that of Dara Fitzpatrick, her colleagues, the defence forces and many others, Bishop Leahy said that the heroic pilot was an inspiring example for all of us.

“I was struck by her comments in the Rescue 117 documentary she featured in, which was played back on Wednesday’s news on RTE. She said ‘there’s no way in the world we would do anything else in life’. Dara had a strong sense of ‘giving’ to others. A pilgrim on life’s journey, like all of us, she seemed to be a person who got up each day thinking of helping others.

“I even noted over recent days a video on the online Catholic channel iCatholic about the importance of finding the balance with alcohol. She participated in that video to promote responsible use of alcohol. She spoke of how she had far too great a responsibility to her job to ever allow a drink on any night get in the way of work the following day. Saving lives was her priority and she lived that out to the end. Certainly, an inspiring example for us all on this St. Patrick’s Day.”

Bishop Leahy said that on the national feast day, it was important to be grateful for the reminder of the Christian story at the heart of our culture.

“Let’s be grateful for all those, like Dara, whose generous spirit reminds us of the measure of love: to love without measure.

“Let’s acknowledge the sacrificial love witnessed also in the Defence Forces who, at times, spend a long time away from their loved ones, often in war zones in the Middle East and Africa. Here in Limerick you have been deployed to help with flood relief in the past. You share in that sense of giving and the rest of us are truly grateful.  Perhaps you don’t always explicitly think of it but there is always a risk involved in your mission, and that risk has a name. It’s called being ready to lay down our lives. There’s a heroism in that.

“Surely, St. Patrick would recognise in you and in people like Dara Fitzpatrick the measureless measure of love being lived out so quietly but effectively day by day across this island.  Yes, it’s good to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together here this morning. Remembering the great foundation story of St. Patrick and the great continuing stories of modern day heroes brings so much inspiration to us all.”

Ends