Early Irish History, Irish Catholic History, Irish in Connecticut, New Haven County Connecticut, Patrick Maher
When I speak with my friend, Jane Lyons, owner of the amazing web site, From Ireland, she reminds me what an unbelievable work of fate and luck our meeting is. That I have been studying a particular subset of Irish immigrants into New Haven County, Connecticut, and have found several of the specific places from which they arrived, and that Jane has been studying the same from her end is one phenomenon. That we have become friends, that she flew all the way from Ireland to attend my first book signing, and that I could bring her to the primary cemeteries in Waterbury and Naugatuck and point to the specific graves that link back to her neck of the woods is another. That I will be spending the last part of my huge Irish research trip with her and that we will be scouring together the area that I have honed in on is a true miracle! What were the odds back in 2006 when I was just learning how to do Irish research that I would be, essentially, collaborating across the ocean with the person who set me on my path and showed me the way? Although I am no longer on her massive listserv, Y-IRL, she has been at my home in America, we talk on the phone, and I will be at her home in another week! (Although I thanked them in my book, I thank again the members of Y-IRL who gave me so much welcome advice all those years ago.)
On this trip I am thrilled that I will also be meeting people I feel to be friends that I met “in real time” when my husband and I were in Ireland three years ago. I will also be lucky enough to meet some new friends that I have only conversed with through email. This is truly a dream! While it is a bit unnerving to anticipate driving on the left side and managing my way to and through so many places alone (until I get to Jane’s), I am grateful for my husband’s support in this “obsession” which is clearly not yet over. He’ll hold down the fort—and water my garden—while I proceed upon this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am eternally lucky on so many fronts!
Last week several of us attended a visit to Waterbury Connecticut’s third Catholic Church — from 1880, St. Patrick’s. I’m including here a photo of a portion of one of its majestic windows, the bottoms of which include The Lorica of St. Patrick all the way around in Gaelic. This image illustrates Patrick’s dream in which an angel showed him a scroll upon which was written “The voice of the Irish call you.”
As the voice of the Irish is calling me loud and clear, I wish you all well in the big spirit of it all!
©2014 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair
All Rights Reserved
Dr. Jane Lyons said:
Janet got tears in me eyes here…..
and I shouldn’t be smiling which I am……because this is actually one of the most fantastic Irish American projects there is – I am so glad you are my friend
As am I, and we should, indeed, be smiling! It’s a wonderful thing.
Looking forward to meeting you on your trip! 🙂
As am I! Margaret, what a surprise! I had no idea that you are the author of this blog! – http://ayearinredwood.com
I seem to have magically found you, someone clearly aligned with my own heart, gardener and all! See you soon!
Dr. Jane Lyons said:
Wow – Janet, you’ll probably have received an email from me at this stage and in all honesty I have to say that the world has worked for both of us all round.
I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and as I wrote that email it dawned on me, Janet, you and another friend had gone through so much more than I did.
Now, to read messages and see this……what can I say but “Wow”
I think Janet,the world has worked in positivity for me many ways – and yes, one of those ways was in the meeting of you – not only meeting you,but in the way we clicked.
Thank you for your kind words re me in this message and even if we don’t achieve eerything when you are here, I can cover bits when you are gone.
Fate did lead us to meet one another.
On my way today! xxx