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‘May you always walk in sunshine’

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CATHEDRAL DEANERY — The March sun played hide-and-seek with the thousands who marched in or reviewed the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cincinnati March 14, but the Irish blessings were still abundant.

Father Don McCarthy was in green from head to toe as he led the first contingent in the parade. (CT/Tony Tribble)

The 43rd annual parade offered a special salute to the local Catholic Church with Father Donald McCarthy, a retired priest in residence at St. Ignatius Parish in Monfort Heights as honorary grand marshal. The 2009 parade was dedicated to the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati because the Sisters of Charity nationwide are celebrating the 200th anniversary of their founding by St. Elizabeth Seton, the first native-born American saint who is credited with initiating the Catholic school system in the United States.

When the Cincinnati parade began in 1967, local members of the St. Patrick, Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), began a procession through downtown Cincinnati in the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day itself. Catholics of the city and others left work, stores and bars to join the procession. What began as a small religious procession became a large parade finally moved to a weekend day to avoid traffic disruptions.

In its 43 years, the parade has never been cancelled, observes the AOH. Whether rain, snow, sleet or what have you, the Irish of Cincinnati come out in all weather to celebrate the life of one of Ireland’s greatest saints.

Click here to see more photos from the parade.

CT/Tony Tribble

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