Well actually I have been for the last week but I have been in denial! It has been very hard to adjust back to cold, wet and dreary when you have had a week of pure R&R in a sunny climate.
Straight into Holy Week too seems to make the whole experience even more of a drastic contrast.
We celebrated St. Patrick's Day today (15th march) following orders from our House of Bishops, as apparently it is not appropriate to celebrate any Saints during Holy Week! So poor old St. Patrick got the heave ho! It seemed totally bizarre this morning celebrating the Eucharist of St Patrick for a faithful few who like me were bemused by the whole experience. On reflection it seemed to emphasize the disconnect that the Church continually demonstrates from the World in which it finds itself. It is one thing to resist the vagaries of changing culture and traditions in the name of a constant faith but it is another entirely to become so slavish to principles that we lose contact with our environment and the communities we are supposed to serve. The naivety of thinking that we were going to convince the nation that St. Patrick's Day is NOT St. Patrick's Day would be funny if it were not so tragic!
I personally do not see why it would be wrong to remember the one who is largely credited with bringing the Christian Faith to these shores at the beginning of the week when we remember the central events of the Christian story. So on the real St Patrick's Day the only Eucharistic feast in this parish will be Green Beer and cocktail sausages! But at least the Church won't be involved in this Saintly celebration - Perish the thought!