"The 17th of March is a huge day for any Irish community," said Mark Dempsey, president of the Shamrock Club of Columbus. He said that Irish-Americans "rely on that day (to communicate) a huge tradition of public service and charitable giving that Irish organizations do throughout the year."
Bishops in Boston and New York have not made objections to the local parades coinciding with Holy Week.
In Chicago, traditional celebrations such as dyeing the Chicago River green and its parade are always scheduled for the Saturday before March 17.
According to the Southtown Star, a parish priest in Chicago foresaw the conflict in 2006 and brought it to the local St. Patrick’s Day committee’s attention. Father Frank Kurucz, pastor of St. Cajetan’s Church, was new to the parish when he looked at future calendars.
"I was looking at Easter for the next five years," he said. "I wondered, 'When's the parade?' "
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
After checking the calendar, he noticed the conflict.
"I thought, 'Uh-oh,' " Kurucz said.
"All of the credit for everything going so smoothly and avoiding some of the issues that are plaguing some other organizing committees goes to Father Frank," said Mary Beth Sheehan, the Chicago parade’s spokeswoman.