From Downpatrick to Tampa, St. Patrick and St. Francis


Dr. Tim Campbell, left, director of the St. Patrick’s Centre in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, visited the Franciscan Center in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 27. He is shown here with blogger Mark Holan, a member of the Franciscan Center’s board of directors.

Campbell was on a week-long tour of the United States to promote the County Down centre dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint, and to encourage more charitable activity among “Friends of St. Patrick’s” groups.

During his Tampa visit, Campbell met with members of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at St. Leo University, and with Tampa Councilwoman Mary Mulhern and Mayor Bob Buckhorn. His day concluded with a reception at the Franciscan Center.

On March 2 and March 16, the city of Tampa and the Salvation Army, in partnership with the St. Patrick’s Centre, are collecting canned food for the needy in the spirit of St. Patrick. “Homelessness and hunger have been very familiar to generations of Irish immigrants,” Campbell said at the Franciscan Center.

The Milwaukee Irish Fest has led the way for making such charitable activity part of its annual celebration of Irish heritage. Now Tampa is trying to do the same as it prepares for the Mayor’s Second Annual River O’ Green Fest.