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Holyoke St Patricks Day Parade 2017

Written on February 1, 2016

2017 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Sunday March 26th 2017 
Starts: Downtown Holyoke Information from 413 533-1700

Sister Jane Morrissey chosen 66th Grand Marshal of Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade

Michael J. Moriarty, president of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, left, stands with Sister of St. Joseph Jane Morrissey, center, and Patricia C. Devine, right, the grand marshal of the 2016 parade. Morrissey was chosen grand marshal of the 2017 parade on Wednesday,

Sister of St. Joseph Jane F. Morrissey is the choice of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee to be the 66th Grand Marshal of the annual parade in March, officials said Wednesday.

– Sister of St. Joseph Jane F. Morrissey is the choice of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee to be the 66th grand marshal of the annual parade in March, officials said Wednesday.

“The mission of our committee speaks to God, heritage and service. Sister Jane represents each of these facets, and in particular, the creation of Homework House is a legacy of service to the city of Holyoke that is immense,” Parade Committee President Michael J. Moriarty said in an email.

“We are thrilled that Sister Jane has accepted this honor and we look forward to March 19, when she will lead the parade down the streets of Holyoke,” he said.

The grand marshal is the highest local honor that the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee gives to a person who has distinguished himself or herself as a loyal person to career, family and Irish ancestry, the email said.

The 66th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade will be held on March 19. The 3-mile march usually begins at 11:30 a.m. at Whiting Farms Road and Northampton Street, turns right on Beech Street, right on Appleton Street and left on High Street to its end on Hampden Street three to four hours later.

A Westfield native, Morrissey former President of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. She graduated from Elms College in Chicopee in 1962. She worked among the poor in Holyoke and Springfield as well as abroad in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala.

In the early 1980’s, Morrissey and other nuns opened the Gray House in Springfield’s North End to provide civic, social and educational services to residents.

In 2006, Sister Maureen Broughan and Morrissey opened Homework House in the Flats Neighborhood in Holyoke to offer tutoring and mentoring to elementary school children from poor neighborhoods. Homework House has opened a second facility in the Churchill Neighborhood.

Patricia C. Devine, the former city councilor who was 2016 parade grand marshal, said she was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph growing up in Holyoke.

“I am proud to have our next grand marshal follow me in a year that brought me much happiness and pride, and pretty good weather. Congratulations to Sister Jane,” Devine said in the email.

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade has been a cherished institution since 1952. Each March, our city streets fill with happy folks from near and far celebrating Irish heritage, civic pride, faith, family, friendship and tradition. A regional event attracting over 400,000 on street spectators, this Parade is the Pioneer Valley’s biggest homecoming of the year!

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city. A toast for St Patrick’s Day, “May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”Saint Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide. Why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

The most important element of Saint Patrick’s Day, after mass, is the Saint Patrick’s Day Parades. Over 300 Saint Patrick’s Day Parades around the world celebrate this famous Saint Patrick’s Day .

The beating  heart of these Saint Patrick’s Day Parades are the Pipe Bands with their stirring music &powerful presence.