Seo í an litir a scríobh mé don "Irish Voice", (firstname.lastname@example.org
) don "Irish Echo" (email@example.com
)agus don "New York Catholic" (firstname.lastname@example.org
Ar ndoigh, scríobhfaidh mé litir buíochais don Chairdinéal go direach.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan on the occasion of his election as the Grand Marshal of the 2002 St. Patrick's Parade. Furthermore, as I have heard it said that this year's annual St. Patrick's Day Mass will include the Prayers of the Faithful officered in the Irish language, I would like to thank him for his bold move. Nearly 1,550 years ago, Saint Patrick brought the Word of God to many of our forebears through the Old Irish language. This year, many will present their needs to the Lord in Modern Irish.
Language is the soul of any culture. Cardinal Egan is himself an accomplished linguist. This latest development at St. Patrick's Cathedral clearly demonstrates his scholarly and pastoral concern for an important facet of New York's history and culture.
Recent historical research is taking a closer look at this aspect of New York's history, which is the past was largely ignored. We know now that Irish was spoken in these streets, by many of those who raised the funds and laid down the stones and mortar for St. Patrick's Cathedral, one of this City's finest gems.
We know too that the founding of New York's Cumann na Gaedhilge preceded Dr. Douglas Hyde's Conradh na Gaedhilge, which in turn, presented a practical plan for the goals of Ireland's Gaelic linguistic and literary revival. In fact, Dr. Hyde was inspired with the idea of the Gaelic League after attending a Cumann meeting in New York.
In November of 1997, I was privileged to attend a service in Irish at the Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast. This had been the first time in over one hundred years that a Presbyterian service had been conducted in Irish. I remember that, in his sermon, the Minister said that "a language is a way to talk to God".
It is obvious that Cardinal Egan shares this dynamic vision and for this he is to be congratulated further.
I am sure that in the future, we will see further developments in this direction. I look forward to a future St. Patrick's Day, when New York's liguistically-gifted Cardinal Archbishop will offer Holy Mass entirely in Irish and we will be able to join the Cathedral Choir in Irish-language hymns.
Go raibh míle maith agat, a Thiarna Cairdinéil!