Heroes walking among us
By Joseph Concannon
A Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all! Today I remember and hold deeply in thought and pray for the life of a good friend, Bernadette Ferguson. Bernadette is showing the courage and persistence of our patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick, born in Roman Britain, was kidnapped by Irish pirates at age 14 and made a slave in the home of druids and pagans in Ireland. Despite his circumstances, Saint Patrick courageously persisted though circumstances which were challenging to say the very least. Skipping the trials and triumphs of Saint Patrick, today he stands out as one of the most famous saints in the world.
Bernadette Ferguson is a current member of our club and a regular at our monthly meetings. Bernadette is a proud Republican through and through. Almost a year ago, my friend Bernadette was involved in an auto accident not too far from her home here in Bellerose, NY. Anyone viewing the crash scene would have been amazed to learn that Bernadette was still alive. By August, months after the accident, Bernadette’s brother Patrick included the undersigned, and other club members, family friends in her updates and the daily challenges. Bernadette is a fighter, a strong woman of strong Catholic faith. We all pray for her full recovery, and to welcome her back to an independent life.
Saint Patrick and Bernadette both suffered many challenges. Saint Patrick’s started at a very young age and Bernadette as well with health issues. Both are tremendously courageous and stubbornly persistent. For those of us who are Irish we’d have it no other way! Bernadette is fighting for life every day and for the improved quality of her life. Patrick, Bernadette’s brother, smiles from ear to ear every time he sees her and reports back to us. Bernadette is always surrounded by a family of deep love and compassion. Bernadette’s friends from Astoria keep tabs on her and talk to us upon visits just to let us know it’s a long road but Bernadette is fighting!
The shamrock is a symbol of the Trinity (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit) in the Catholic faith. The shamrock is often used to illustrate the Trinity. The shamrock is a three-leaf plant. Today, we look for the four-leaf shamrock which is in Irish folklore a symbol of Irish luck. We wish to extend to Bernadette and her family near and far the luck of the Irish as she toils each day with the challenges to reclaim her health and brighten all our days with her wonderful humor and a great smile.
For Bernadette in the name of Saint Patrick we pray:
“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”
A heartfelt Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all in our club, families and friends. Our political challenges today pale in the face of what Saint Patrick and today’s modern-day heroes just like Bernadette Ferguson face every day. Please do remember, all politics is local and what you do today will count for years to come. Elections have consequences and voting matters.