“Fourteen-year-old John Ireland comes to St. Paul. He later serves as bishop and archbishop of Minnesota for more than 40 years and promotes Catholic immigration to the state.” *
Lord, thanks for the blessings we inherit through John Ireland! It’s hard to sum up the impact this one man has made on the city of St. Paul. Known as reformer, he sought a cultural change of heart and a change of mind. Ireland’s means to this end was either the reformation of existing institutions, and creating them from the ground up. He received both ardent praise and criticism for extolling the virtues of being a good citizen, and was labelled and an ”Americanist”. **
Another focal point of the life of Ireland was building new bridges between distant Catholics, and Rome. He felt the conflict common of generations of Christians; the loyalty to one’s home, and the loyalty as a citizen of heaven. He went on to represent the frontiers, (i.e. Minnesota Territory) to the Church at Vatican Council I in 1869-70. ***
Bless him and his progeny for welcoming so many of our state! Thank you for his zealous example to Catholics, Protestants, and those searching for faith! Will You bless us as we continue to wrestle with the tensions of living with “dual citizenship”? May we serve our tribes, states, and nations, but never cease to represent our places and peoples to Your dominion? Amen!