I used to think that St. Patrick’s Day was a national holiday.
I attended Catholic schools in Los Angeles, and all the Bishops at the time, the ones who set the calendars for all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, were Irish. Thus St. Patrick’s Day was always a school holiday. Always. Along with Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, and All Saint’s Day.
Then our school got a young new principal, Sister Nathaniel. She was Italian American, with dark brown bangs peeking out of her white habit, a matter-of-fact way of speaking, and a brisk efficient stride. She declared that since St. Joseph’s Day (March 19) was about the same time as St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), we would celebrate both saints’ days together.
I have often thought of this story as one which shows the difference one person can make. Because she was Italian American, she understood the importance of St. Joseph’s Day to our many Italian-American families; no one else even knew. (click on link for more)
Kiss Me I'm Irish. Kiss Me I'm Italian! Kiss Me I'm Chinese? Wearing our cultural pride on St. Patrick's Day - AnnArbor.com