PORTLAND — Masses and special events at churches across Maine will highlight the diocese’s celebration of the Feast Day of Saint Patrick on Saturday, March 17.

The feast day holds special significance in the Diocese of Portland as Saint Patrick, along with Saint Jean Baptiste, is a secondary patron of the diocese. Saint Patrick, who was captured by Irish raiders as a teenager in the fifth century, ultimately escaped his enslavement, entered the Church, and returned to Ireland where he brought the message of the Gospel to the people who had kept him in slavery.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from County Galway, Ireland, will celebrate Mass at 4 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St. Following the Mass, a feast of corned beef, cabbage and other traditional Irish dishes will be served at the Guild Hall, part of the cathedral, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Admission is $20 for a family of four, $6 for adults and $3 for children.

Details on other area gatherings planned to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Patrick are as follows:

St. Joseph Church, Bridgton

The Bridgton/Fryeburg Council, Knights of Columbus, will serve a St. Patrick’s Day corned beef boiled dinner beginning at 5 p.m. in St. Joseph Parish Hall, 225 South High St. Proceeds will benefit youth activities in the parish, including helping teens attend the youth convention. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The cost is half price for children under age 12. For more information, call 207-647-2334.

St. Joseph Church, Farmington

The Knights of Columbus will hold the annual St. Patrick’s dinner from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the parish hall, 133 Middle St. Entertainment will be provided by the Franklin County Fiddlers. Take-out meals will be available. Call Paul Hersey at 207-778-0586 with the number of people attending.

For more information, contact Dave Guthro, communications director for the Diocese of Portland, at 207-321-7810 or dave.guthro@portlanddiocese.org.

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