On March 17, as the saying goes, everyone's a little bit Irish! Some celebrate by boarding a watertaxi down the dyed green waters of the Chicago River, or by downing a pint (or two) of beer. But what if, after all the celebrating, you just want to polish off the evening with a good story?

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Ignatius Press and the Augustine Institute Radio Theater offer two new releases of special interest for Catholic Hibernophiles:

 

Sons of Saint Patrick: A History of the Archbishops of New York from Dagger John to Timmytown

Authors George Marlin and Brad Miner meant no disrespect when they referred to the ten archbishops of New York by their informal nicknames. It was the New York Post, they explain, that coined the affectionate name “Timmytown” to describe New York City – acknowledging the popularity of their new Archbishop Timothy Dolan after he quipped, at his first press conference, that he “had already learned how to order a hot dog from the cart outside the cathedral.”

Interestingly, all ten of the men who have led the Archdiocese of New York have been of Irish descent, either by birth or by heritage. In Sons of St. Patrick, Marlin and Miner paint a colorful portrait of the ten extraordinary men – saints and sinners, movers and shakers, politicians and pastors – who helped to make New York one of the greatest cities in the world.

Through candid reflections on New York's ecclesiastical leaders, the reader learns about the early persecution of and discrimination against Catholics in America; about the Church's rise to power under New York's first archbishop, “Dagger” John Hughes; about the Vatican's emerging awareness of New York's preeminence in American political life.

Sons of St. Patrick packs a history lesson onto every page: Leisler's Rebellion, and the martyrdom of Father Isaac Joques. The Draft Riots of 1863, and the role of New York's Irish immigrants in fighting against the South in the Civil War. The Third Plenary Council, and the clashes between America and Rome over the Americanist heresy. The erection of seminaries and the establishment of newspapers to spread the message of the Faith across America.

 

The Trials of St. Patrick

Is there a road trip in your future? I love to pop in a CD during a long drive, and spend the hours on the road lost in an adventure of learning. The four-CD audio drama The Trials of St. Patrick, produced for the Augustine Institute Radio Theater, comes with a discussion guide.

This eight-part audio drama tells Patrick's story – from his abduction and six-year enslavement in the pagan land of Hibernia, to his escape, his reunion with his family, and his years of study in France, to his encounter with a demon in the forest, and finally, his ministry during his final years. And the course explains “Saint Patrick's Breastplate,” an old Irish hymn attributed to St. Patrick, which begins with an invocation to the Trinity.

The Trials of St. Patrick was recorded at The Soundhouse Studios in London and features a cast of accomplished, award-winning actors.