Saint Damien’s a ‘sea of green’ to celebrate Irish heritage

Saint Patrick’s Day holds a special place in the heart of the Saint Damien’s Catholic Primary School, where a traditional mass was held for students on Friday.

Saint Damien’s parish board member Robby Lane Naglewicz said the day resonated with the community because of its importance in the Catholic religion and Irish culture.

“It was Saint Patrick that converted the Irish people to Catholics, he worked for 40 years converting the Irish pagans and druids,” Ms Naglewicz said.

“He was captured by the Irish pirates, and taken to Ireland when he was 14… when he got back to England, he had a vision to go back and help the people of Ireland.”

The school’s morning mass was welcomed by a group of students who have learnt Irish dance, dressed in traditional costume.

Students sang songs in Irish to celebrate the culture and history, led by music teacher Majella Burns.

Ms Naglewicz described the mass as a “sea of green”, because the students got to wear free dress as a fundraiser for the parish.

She explained the colour was worn on Saint Patrick’s Day to identify with the Emerald Isle, and also to signify the shamrock, which with its three leaves Saint Patrick famously used to describe the Holy Trinity.

“It was for the children once again to learn about Irish culture and tradition... there are quite a few Irish families that attend our school, we have a big connection with Irish heritage and being Australian,” she said.

“It’s a way of coming together and acknowledging a very special saint.”