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Groundbreaking Service For St Patrick’s Day In Spain

When Paul O'Riordain, who lives in Tortosa, a city in Southern Catalunya in Spain, wanted to celebrate his native St Patrick’s Day he asked if he could hold a celebration mass in English in the local Roman Catholic Cathedral. He was eager to invite members of other churches to join and members of St Christopher’s Anglican congregation on the Costa Azahar (covering a large stretch of coastline north of Valencia) were happy to join.

The congregation was mostly Catalan people fascinated by this unusual Mass service in English and they warmly welcomed the ministry of women – with the inclusion of Reader-in-Training Jenny Hoskins from St Christopher’s taking a prominent part. Jenny says she was overwhelmed to be asked to share the distribution of communion. She was also heartened by the encouragement for a greater role for women in ministry from an Irish woman who has lived near Tortosa for about 40 years.

Jenny is pictured with the celebrant Fr. Jordi, from Sant Jaume d'Enveja on the Ebro Delta. She says she is sure St Patrick would be delighted with this ecumenical celebration of his special day