Lufkin church merges spirituality and traditional St. Patrick's - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin church merges spirituality and traditional St. Patrick's Day celebrations

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The day after St. Patrick's Day, many are still finding ways to celebrate. Sunday afternoon St. Patrick Catholic Church in Lufkin hosted its annual St. Patrick's Day festival.

"The faith and the community have come together," said Jason Joy, festival coordinator.

A tradition coordinator, Joy says he remembers from his childhood.

"As far back as I can remember and its brought a lot of people of all ages and all cultures," said Joy.

The church was filled with food vendors, games and activities for the whole family.

Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden honored the church with the key to the city.

"We have people that got involved, businesses like E-Tech, we got Friends of the Forest from SFA," said Marco Morales, festival coordinator.

While children observed snakes and prepared for sports competition. Father O'Dowd's focus was reconnecting spirituality with St. Patrick's Day cheer.

"The commercial that is put on is just taking away from the spiritual and the social aspects. I'm trying to continue tradition here at St.Patrick in Lufkin to celebrate not just St. Patrick's Day but the community coming together," said O'Dowd.

O'Dowd comes from an Irish background, he says some traditions he had never experienced.

"When I came to the United States people pinched me on St. Patrick's Day I said 'Oh Lord, what have I got myself in for?' I didn't know what was going on," said O'Dowd.

A pinch in good fun isn't bad, but O'Dowd says a green shamrock should serve as a reminder of the day's importance.

"St. Patrick identified with the holy trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which unites all the Christian families," said O'Dowd.

He hopes the annual festival will do the same.

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