The Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade should have an in when it’s time to arrange the weather for the 2019 parade.
Father Patrick “Paddy” O’Donovan has been named Grand Marshal for the March 9 event in Morristown.
“Father Paddy has been a major part of Irish culture in Morris County for over 40 years. Since coming over from Ireland to be a priest in the US, he has served the people of Morris County in countless ways. We are thrilled to be able to honor his service by asking him to be our Grand Marshal for the 2019 parade,” said Arthur Flinn, of the selection committee for the The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Irish American Association of North Jersey.
Father Paddy is pastor of Notre Dame of Mt. Carmel in Cedar Knolls. He’s former pastor of the Church of Christ the King in New Vernon, and also has served at Saint Joseph Parish in Newton and Saint Patrick in Chatham.
Born in Bruff, County Limerick, Ireland, he completing his studies for the priesthood at Saint Patrick College, Carlow. He was ordained on June 10, 1972, in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow.
His father had worked briefly in the U.S., and Father Paddy fulfilled a dream by serving here.
“I decided it was time to give back to the good people in the US through priestly service,” he told Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Paterson.
Father Paddy earned a master’s degree in education from Fordham University in 1979. In 1991, he became campus minister at Drew University and Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison.
He also is chaplain for the New Jersey Professional Golf Association, and has been active with Kindred Hospice, the Visiting Nurse Association and other causes “for the poor, marginalized and forgotten,” according to Catholic Charities.
“Father Paddy has always been a part of our celebration of Irish culture and his service and dedication to the promotion of our parade has been an important part of its success,” said Mike Leavy, publicity director for the parade.
You can hoist a glass in Father Paddy’s honor this Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, at 3 pm in Morristown’s Dublin Pub on Pine Street, where parade organizers will celebrate the “Halfway to St. Patrick’s” mark with music by Paddy and the Pale Boys.