.- Their mission was to spread the Gospel, not just wear the green. A Catholic lay apostolate participated in their local St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the aim of putting faith back into what has become a largely cultural event.
One Bread Lay Apostolate organized a group of Catholics from various parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh to march in the local downtown parade March 11.
They distributed St. Patrick holy cards among the 20,000 spectators. The cards included an invitation to attend mass at a Catholic church nearby and to receive free information about the Catholic Church.
"Many people are not knowledgeable about Church history," said One Bread member Karen Matthews. "They think St Patrick’s Day is about shamrocks and leprechauns. We want to bring back the spiritual aspect of the holiday and use the parade as a teaching moment to tell the world about one of the world’s great evangelists."
Matthews said the spectators seemed glad to receive the holy cards and to learn more about the man who converted the Irish people in the 4th century from paganism to Christianity.
This was the third year the group has marched in the parade, but the first year that it invited Catholic youth groups to compete for the Catholic Youth Evangelization Award. St. Luke’s the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh won the trophy for their cheer.
After the parade, One Bread offered free information about the Church at their booth in Moore Square, where they also sold food, soft drinks, Catholic books and gifts.