I wish all my family members, friends and fans who are Irish (or wannbe Irish) a beautiful, bountiful and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I can trace family back a few centuries to County Mayo and also Galway and someday will publish some names in case the cousins in Ireland are reading Joan’s Rome!

Enjoy a pre-prandial (or post-prandial) or any-time-of-the-day-that-you want green beer!

Would you be enjoyin’ corn beef today now? Is it Irish or American? Or Irish-American? Here’s the answer: The Complicated History of Corned Beef (Why Is Corned Beef Called Corned Beef? (

Does your menu include Guinness (that dry Irish stout) brownies! If not, why not? The NYT tells you how to make them! Guinness Brownies Recipe – NYT Cooking (

Now, what’s missing from your day? Maybe a little Irish Dance? (29) A MUST SEE TAP DANCE DUEL BY US SEMINARIANS!! – YouTube

And everyone knows what happens in Chicago! (NBC image)

And here’s the only way to end St. Patrick’s Day (or perhaps your day started with this blessing)!

An Old Irish Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day

May your days be many and your troubles be few.

May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you, may your heart be strong.

May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us.

May the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us.

May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore.

Amen. (attributed to St. Patrick)






Because of recent, exciting news from the Jesuit-run Vatican Observatory, in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” this weekend, I bring you on a visit to the Vatican’s specola or Observatory.

What was the news? Well, in February, the Observatory announced that the Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) published their latest batch of named asteroids that includes 3 Jesuit astronomers and a Pope. The Vatican is a prestigious member of the IAU.

Two Vatican telescopes are on the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo but the Vatican’s latest generation of telescopes –   VATT (Vatican Advanced Telescope Technology – are on Mount Graham near Tucson. The Special I’ve prepared will tell you why they are in Arizona.

VATT Mount Graham

Telescopes at Castelgandolfo

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The Pope was Ugo Boncompagni (1502-1585), Pope Gregory XIII, who directed the reform of the calendar   – the Gregorian calendar used worldwide today – and began the tradition of papal astronomers and observatories. The observatory statement notes that, “the four asteroids, or “minor planets”, all have connections to the Society of Jesus — the “Jesuits”. Over thirty asteroids now bear the names of Jesuits.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.