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Catholics have gotten plenty of tough press lately, between coverage of their disagrements over health care reform, same-sex marriage and family issues in Washington, D.C. and Boulder, Colo., and the investigations of the clergy sex abuse scandals embroiling Europe and battering Pope Benedict. At least on St. Patrick’s Day, the cathedral Masses and high-spirited masses — along with some much-needed church fundraisers in St. Patrick, Mo. and elsewhere– are the talk o’ the mornin’ instead.

If you’d like to put some of the St. Patrick back into St. Patrick’s Day, check out this Huffington Post column by the Rev. James Martin and this Houston Chronicle story. For those of you more interested in guzzling green beer, don’t press your luck: police are cracking down on public intoxication in New York City, home of the world’s largest St. Paddy’s Day parade, and beefing up drunken driving checkpoints across the country.

My Irish relatives assured me their patron saint’s festivities aren’t quite as crazy over there, when I visited the Emerald Isle last year. In the spirit of the holiday, I should try to figure out whether I took this photo off the Ring of Kerry or outside Waterford:

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Any ideas?


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