Reflection March 17

         Thomas Cahill in his book, “How the Irish Saved Civilization” writes that Patrick “was a good 
and brave man…his love for his adopted people shines thru his writings.” Using the shamrock to teach about the Trinity may be a legend but he certainly taught them that all of creation is good and holy. There is no dualism with the human separated from the Divine.  This fit the Irish perfectly as their ancient spirituality had a great love and respect for nature. The trees, wells and rivers were sacred places. The Celts believed that certain places where people feel strongly connected to God are called “thin places”, where two worlds are near.  The beauty of Ireland makes it easy to recognize God’s presence and  many “thin places”. Patrick built on the old beliefs, the calendar, the sacred places, the belief in life after death and Christianized them.

   Patrick wrote with appreciation and concern for Irish women.  He worried especially about those enslaved.  Cahill notes that Patrick was the first recorded voice speaking out against slavery. Patrick admired the courage of the Irish but  led them away from violence and human sacrifice. He preached of a God whose Son died for us all so there was no longer a need for bloody sacrifice. Patrick’s missionaries spread the faith over the entire island. When he died there were bishops in all the provinces. According to tradition he is buried at Downpatrick, in County Down.

             Here are the words to one verse of the “Deer’s Cry” or the Breastplate of St. Patrick. The tune is the air, “Morning Has Broken”  and sung in many churches for St. Patrick’s Day.
     Christ be beside me, Christ be before me,                                                                                   
    Christ be behind me, King of my heart.
    Christ be within me, Christ be below me,
    Christ be above me, never to part. 
    Beannachtai Phadráig daoibh ! (May the blessing of Patrick be on you!)

  Le meas,

          Anne Emperor, Taoiseach



Tim Maher and Marian Quinlan Curtin outside Templemore Town Hall Easter Sunday morning 2014 reading her poem Island Today

Island Today

As I laid my head on my pillow
With a big eiderdown 
At my feet
Lying there cosy and warm
Hoping to sleep until morn.

And as I lay there in slumber
A dream appeared in my head
I was somewhere in Dublin
I was outside Kilmainham Jail instead.
I turned to the person beside me
He had a newspaper in his hand
I glanced at the date on the paper
It was dated May 12th 1916

The headline on the paper
Gave the names of the men 
Executed For Ireland

The names were as followed

P.H Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Thomas J. Clarke. May 3rd 1916
Willie Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly, and Michael Hanrahan, May 4th 1916
John MacBride, May 5th 1916
Cornelius Colbert, Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin and Sean Heuston, May 8th 1916.
Thomas Kent, May 9th 1916
James Connolly and Seán MacDiarmada, May 12th 1916

Is the beauty in dying?
Or is the victory in death.

Then I saw a boy at the corner
Reading a sheet in his hand and the first two lines I was glancing were familiar in my mind,
In the name of God and of the dead generations
In my unconscious mind
It was the words of Our Proclamation

I awoke And then
I thought I was not born
I did not live
Back in nineteen sixteen
But those brave women and men
Gave me my freedom of speech
My right to say
What I want
For my Island today.

Written on Friday, May 23, 2008
Marian Quinlan Curtin © Copyright

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Curtins in the News

(send us a link if you know of someone who should be listed)

The Esk Choir from Australia is performing at the Cork International
Choral Festival April 30 to May 4.  Clan member Peter Curtain is a member.  (4/21/2014)

Joseph Curtin
Senior Policy Advisor,  appeared on RTE 1 Radio discussing climate change. Audio link.  (4/21/2014)

John Curtin's grandson, poet Toby Davidson,  is guest lecturer at Curtin University (4/21/2014)

Anne Fahy Curtin selected as Jefferson Award Medalist (4/17/2014)

Maria Curtin named Dean of Faculty at Stonehill College. (4/17/2014)

Black Dyke's Gary Curtin busy over the Easter holiday. (4/16/2014)

Erica Curtin participates in Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts state finals (4/6/2014)

Barbara Curtin retires as Oregonian reporter after 50 years of writing. (3/30/2014).  Sets great example to others (4/6/2014)

Jim Curtin officially retires from Chicago Fire (soccer) (4/5/2014)

Austin Curtin named Medicine Hat's Business Person of the Year (4/4/2014)

Cathy Curtin answers 11 questions (4/2/2014)

Jim Curtin Joins Surya as Vice President of Sales (4/2/2014)

Chris Curtin, chef-owner of Pennsylvania's Éclat Chocolate (4/1/2014)

Dr. Brian Curtin joins OrthoCarolina (4/1/2014)

Ed Curtin finds clues to life in 19th century Albany, NY (3/31/2014)

Patrick Curtin promoted to lieutenant, Norwich, CT Fire Department (3/29/2014)

David Curtin speaks at National Infantry Museum - video (3/28/2014)

Hayley Curtin does not let her learning disability stand in the way (3/26/2014)

Peg Curtin is Grand Marshal of New London, CT St. Patrick's Day parde (3/16/2014)

Kim Curtin named outstanding Job Corps employee in Dunkirk, NY (3/15/2014)

Curtin Marine returns with shipwrecks that endangered coral reefs in Palmyra Atoll (3/14/2014)

Story about Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin, "inventor" of green beer in 1914 (3/13/2014)

Kim Curtin, owner of Boxcar Gallery in Greenfield, CT (3/13/2014)

High School senior Maeve Curtin ears dual volunteer honors. (3/12/2014)

Thomas G. Curtin named director Delaware County Preservation Parks (3/11/2014)

Ryan Patrick Curtin named recipient of Military (Navy) Child of Year (3/5/2014) 

Chelsea Curtin, member of Harmony Honey, playing in Santa Cruz, California (2/27/2014)

Dennis Curtin  wildflower photos on display in Marblehead, Massachusetts (2/26/2014)

Tansy Curtin is curator Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia (2/21/2014)

Mary Zastrow singing career gets a jump. (2/20/2014)

Dan and Rosemary Curtin renew marriage vows - 50 years - video (2/15/2014)

Dr. Brian Curtin joined OrthoCarolina (2/15/2014)

Jerry Curtin appointed president of Cultivate by Standard Process (2/15/2014)

Elaine Curtin named one of the most influential people in British biking (2/14/2014)

Bob Curtin teaches aviation to High School students in Peterborough (2/7/2014)

Georgetown Bank names branch office after its late founder Curtin Winsor III (2/5/2014)

Maureen (Plotke) Curtin appointed Director of Sales (2/3/2014)

Peg Curtin to serve as Grand Marshall of St. Patrick's Day parade (1/31/2014)

James Curtin - Wrestler "Rockstar Spud" returning to UK. (1/29/2014)

Jimmy Curtin - The Toast of the NZ Coast Again. (1/25/2014)