From Orange to Green on St. Patrick’s Day

The Irish, as most of you know from history, have been separated by religion—the Roman Catholics vs. the Protestants. Having been raised as a cradle Episcopalian, with my mother who was a Methodist before she married my father, I always assumed that my Irish parts were of the later. So, I always wore orange on St. Patrick’s day. It was a thing with me. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing green.

My aunt Billie Webster loved to research the origins of my mother’s side of the family, and found that protestantism wasn’t part of our beginnings. So as the story goes, and this is a rough sketch, I had great grand parents who lived in Kentucky. He was a poor Irish cobbler, and she was French, and yes, they were Roman Catholic.

One day the priest of their local parish came by to admonish them for not paying their tithe to the church. My grandfather tried valiantly to explain that they were doing the best they could, but giving to the church at that time just wasn’t possible. The priest told them that this was unacceptable, and proceeded to excommunicate them from the Roman Catholic church. This is how that side of the family became Methodists.

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Yes, I have been wearing green ever since on St. Patrick’s day. And I do so proudly.