Early in the week I asked the twitterverse whether it was polemical to wear orange instead of green on St. Patrick's Day. I am Protestant, after all. And yes, I am part Irish, but isn't everyone today? I'm also Scottish and English and countless other northern European things. Even my married name means "The Dane." But still. Irish.
My father’s family is big and Irish and Catholic. My dad was supposed to be the priest in the family. He even went to seminary for a time; it didn’t stick. Exhibits A, B, C, and D: my siblings and I.
He died a Presbyterian seeker, heavily influenced by the spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The summer before Robert and I got married, we were at a McKibben family event and someone asked us whether our wedding was going to be in the church. I said yes, seeing as how it was a verbal question… I didn’t pick up on the capital letters. Yes, we’re getting married in the church as opposed to Hermann Park or VFW Hall. They were asking about The Church.
My grandparents are as staunch as you can get in their Catholicism. I’m sure it grieves them that few to none of their dozen-plus grandchildren are Catholic.
But I got a letter from them recently, and it was addressed to the Rev. MaryAnn Dana.
In it they shared a hope that they could someday come and hear “their number 1 granddaughter preach the Word of God.”
I'm wearing green.