March 17th is not just a big day in Ireland but a big day for St.Patrick’s school and parish family. The day of celebration was kicked off with prayer for staff flowed by Mass at St.Patrick’s Church. The primary school was joined by Year 7 pupils from St.Patrick’s College and children from St.Patrick’s house at Christ the King School. Parishioners commented on how wonderful the singing, prayers and dance were in the very uplifting celebration of the Eucharist. Parish priest Fr.Pat O’Neill, a native from Tipperary, told the children they were honouring a tradition that stretches back for many generations. “Your parents, your grandparents and maybe even your great-grandparents went to St Patrick’s School and were part of this faith family,” he said. “Be proud of your green blazers and jumpers and let everybody know you’re proud it because this wonderful tradition is a huge part of Thornaby life.”  Fr Pat also blessed a banner for the Catholic community in Thornaby which was kindly donated by the parish and will be taken on special pilgrimages to Lourdes in France.

After Mass, parishioners were invited into school for afternoon tea and Irish dancing.  Pupils from Scoil Rince í Muir school of Dance danced and were even joined by assistant Head Kevin O’Donnell at one point. Local violin legend Mike Flynn entertained guests and accompanied by Cattle and Cane frontman Joe Hammill. A good day was had by all and the craic was mighty!