a) A note to any Grown-Ups that may read Finney’s little story-rhyme blog…
My hope is that these little story-rhymes are read aloud…either to yourself or, even better, to or with someone. The best ever is if you have the great privilege and blessing to read to a child!
The words in these little story-rhymes are, hopefully, rich in tempo, rhyme, and rhythm…that they deliver the relaxation and entertainment that is hoped for…that they bring imagination to life and vigor to our expression…that they cause our minds to welcome the animation and fun that comes with a good story…and, that they may bring a special time of togetherness for reader and listener(s).
The written word made audible has a “music” of its own with the harmony of sounds and symphony of words that provide unique “melodies” in and of themselves.
There can be such great delight when we allow ourselves to be drawn into the world of lyrical adventure, especially when, as is the case with these little story-rhymes, it is based in the mystical wonder of Irish culture, history, and lore.
The following footnotes are numbered to match the number at the end of each little story-rhyme.
I hope many are able to hear your…Happy Reading!
51. Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney tries to be a good Friend to the Birds?
Suggested Answer…Yes…Finney loves the birds. Finney especially loves the song of birds!
49. Question for younger readers…Does Finney think that it’s ok to watch the birds as long as he doesn’t try to bother them?
Suggested Answer…Yes…but Finney tries very hard not to bother the birds or hurt them in any way.
47. Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney loves the treats his Mum makes for him?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney helps him Mum and loves to eat what she makes for him!
(Refers to Post #47 – September 1, 2015)
45. Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney appreciates the efforts his Mum makes to take care of him?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney speaks of how good a Mum he thinks she is…he is her Finney!
(refers to Post #45 – August 25, 2015)
43. “Then God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear…God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. (Genesis 1:9-11)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) teaches that the sun, the moon, and gravity are all part of the tidal happening. “In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton explained that ocean tides result from the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon on the ocean of the earth (Sumich, J.L., 1996)”
Question for younger readers…Does Finney see that the ocean provides food for some birds of the earth?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney loves to sit by the seashore and watch the birds come and go!
(Refers to Post #43 – August 18, 2015)
42. “Noah was six hundred years old when the flood waters came upon the earth…For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth…As the waters increased, they lifted the ark, so that it rose above the earth…The Lord wiped out every living thing on earth: man and cattle, the creeping things and the birds of the air; all were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left…” (Genesis 7) “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. As the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings – all mortal creatures that are on the earth. God told Noah: “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all mortal creatures that are on earth.” (Genesis:9)
Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney loves water?
Suggested Answer…Oh, Yes! Finney loves to talk about all the good things that water brings to all on Earth, thanks be to God!
(refers to Post #42 – August 14, 2015) (Have to just say…did you notice that the picture of the water that had splashed on the floor has an approximate shape similar to the shape of our Ireland?)!
Special thanks to Stevie Towne (2 rainbow pictures marked with *) and Jean Kohout (1 rainbow picture marked with **).
41. “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. time A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)
Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney counts on God for everything?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney knows God takes care of everything…He will always help us know what to do.
(refers to Post #41 – August 11, 2015)
40. The Dominicans Ireland website (www.dominicans.ie) tells us that “the Dominicans first arrived in Ireland in the year 1224…Two foundations were made in Ireland that first year, one in Drogheda and one in Dublin.” The Dominican Order “was founded by St. Dominic de Guzman in 1216, in response to an urgent need for informed preaching. The Albigensian cult was gaining ground to an alarming extent, because most Christians of the time were very poorly instructed. The cult saw the material world as evil, and escape from it the only route to salvation. Dominic’s sermons have not survived, but he must have placed a strong emphasis on the goodness of creation and of the human body: today we might use the word “holistic” to describe this.”
Question for younger readers…Do you think St. Patrick and St. Dominic both loved Jesus and tried to teach about Him?
Suggested Answer…Yes. St. Patrick and St. Dominic both devoted their lives to teaching about Jesus, Our King!
(refers to Post #40 – August 8, 2015 – The Feast of St. Dominic)
39. The story of Gaedhal comes mostly from Seumas MacManus’ The Story of the Irish Race. Also http://www.libraryireland.com gives us information that Keating, however, also mentions Gaedhal in his writings (Bonwick, James, Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions 1894). The story of Moses and God’s command to mount the serpent on the pole is from Numbers 21:19.
Question for younger Readers…Do you think the Leprechauns listened to what St. Pat had to say?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney talks about St. Pat all the time!
(refers to Post #39 – August 7, 2015)
38. As you can see, Finney loves his flowers. Many thanks to Tina Morris of Saratoga Springs, New York, the O’Shea Family of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Jeb Towne Family for allowing us all to share in the beauty of their gardens!
Question…for younger readers…Do the flowers sometimes help Finney hide?
Suggested Answer…Yes, and sometimes when Finney is in a hurry, he gets himself all over the place in the flower plants!
(Refers to Post 38 – August 4, 2015)
37. Ireland is filled with the beauty of nature and there are many wonderful places where a leprechaun can hide! The pictures in this story-poem give us an idea how many different kinds of places may very well be the entrance to the secret underground kingdom of the leprechauns!
The beautiful picture of the rainbow in this story-poem is provided courtesy of Jean Kohout!
The pot o’ gold is provided by Finney himself!
Question for young readers…Is it easy to see that it isn’t hard for Finney to find a place to hide in gardens, forests, mountains, or even someone’s home or a Church?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney is small and quick, and the plants, trees, rocks, and Churches seem to have plenty of hiding spots for him!
(Refers to Post #37 – July 31, 2015)
36. *This Finney story-poem refers to the story of Moses and the Golden Calf made by the people when he was receiving the 10 Commandments from God. See Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34.
Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney is serious about the work God is trusting him with?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney understands how much difficulty that love for gold can cause.
(refers to Post #36 – July 28, 2015)
35. *“For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt — I, the Lord! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.” (Exodus 12:12-13)
**The Irish cottage in the pictures is an authentic Donegal Irish cottage that “was carefully disassembled and shipped across the great Atlantic Ocean in pieces and sections; first the chimney and center wall and then all of the rest including many of its original handmade Irish furnishings and arrived in New York Harbor where it was unloaded and shipped to East Durham, NY and reassembled.”
“The cottage was originally built over 200 years ago in the townland of Carrickataggart (the rock of the priest) 8 miles from Ardara, in County Donegal, a small and typically beautiful Irish town with a population today of about 725 people, and lived in for generation by the Shovlin Family. Philanthropist Gerry Laverty, a well known Irish designer of Dunkineeley, County Donegal, purchased the beautiful cottage for his wife and four children and live there for a number of years. The thatched roof and stone structure are typical of cottages found throughout Ireland and still in use today.”
Question for younger readers…Does Finney have to hide sometimes so no one can see him?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney’s special work (just for Leprechauns) makes it necessary to not be seen sometimes!
(refers to Post #35 – July 24, 2015)
34. Every year in July, East Durham, New York, welcomes Irish hearts to come and enjoy music, singing, dance, stories, and many types of Irish fun! East Durham is known as the Emerald Isle of the Catskills and welcomes, during this time of Irish Arts Week, teachers of all things Irish to all who want to learn. There truly are shamrocks on the street and sidewalk, and green is the scene! Our Lady of Knock Shrine proudly wears the beautiful stained glass windows Finney is so happy to show you! The shamrock rug and curtain rests in the Shamrock House which is a fine dining and lodging establishment with a wonderful front porch where Irish musicians were casually gathered to “make music!” The Shamrock House has a wonderful Irish history which is a fun read at http://www.shamrockhouse.com. The Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre is the toe-tappin’ spot each evening of Irish Arts Week with performers extraordinaire of Irishness…many who come over the pond, just for this amazing week. Maybe you will consider coming next year! (www.CatskillIrishArtsWeek.com) Finney will be on the lookout for you!
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney enjoyed his holiday with his Nannie?
Suggested Answer…You betcha! He wants to tell you all about it!
(refers to Post #34 – July 21, 2015)
33. Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of a shamrock? I guess none of us really knows the answer to that. But certainly we know the story of St. Patrick and the shamrock is known and loved. Sometimes, though, it is thought that the shamrock is the national symbol of Ireland. This is not so as the national symbol is the harp! (Towne, Susanne O., Irish Food For Thought)
*The verb be is intended to be said “be” instead of “am” or “are” as would normally be used in the sentences with the asterisks. Also, my Dad, born in Cobh, Co. Cork (see footnote for Post #13) ,would often use “be” in this way. I love the sound! I have also come to think that using “be” in this way (all grammatical considerations aside) is a strong statement of the reality of something. Just a thought…
**Go raibh mile maith agat is Irish for a thousand thanks! (sounds something like “go rev mee-la mah a-got”)
Question for younger readers… From what Finney says, do you think St. Patrick loved the Irish people?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney also speaks very freely of how much St. Patrick is so loved!
(refers to Post #33 – July 16, 2015)
32. “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Ireland is an island country. Surrounded by water, it is never too far to get to the beach!
Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney knows that all good things come from God?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney is grateful for all God’s gifts.
(refers to Post #32 – July 14, 2015)
31. The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus into Heaven “…as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight! (Acts 1: 9)
When Our Lord Jesus comes again “…men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into Heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him going into Heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney thinks St. Pat is telling the Truth?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Leprechauns remember well all that St. Pat taught!
(refers to Post #31 – July 10, 2015)
30. There are plenty of ants in Ireland! (www.Irishgardeners.com)
“Lord, extolled in the heights by angelic powers, you are also raised by all earth’s creatures, each in its own way.” (Liturgy of the Hours)
*The Fianna – One of the Irish heroes of old is the great Irish warrior, Finn MacCumhaill (Finn McCool), who is famous as a poet AND a warrior. The Fianna were his warrior men. Finn commanded this “Fenian corps…the exploits of its heroes are a favourite topic with the bards.” ( Cusack, Margaret Anne, An Illustrated History of Ireland — libraryireland.com)
Question for young readers…Do you think ants are mighty builders?
Suggested Answer…Finney thinks they are because they are such hard workers!
(refers to Post #30 – July 7, 2015)
29. “…the Hill of Tara is a mystical place. The archaeological evidence we see before us in looking at this land does not exhude the magnificence of the history associated with it. But if you take some time to read about Tara and the significance it has in Irish history…well, take my word for it, that the awe and respect you have for Tara will not only begin, but flourish within you with the more you learn. Perhaps you might even be moved within your soul at the mystery and things unknown that are not evidenced by the motionless land with the hills and circles.” (Towne, Susanne O., Irish Food For Thought)
“Tara’s story is Ireland’s story. Tara’s symbols are Ireland’s symbols – the harp, the shamrock, the ancient gold. Prominent in our oldest myths and legends, the hill has been at the center of things Irish since the earliest times. In some mysterious way, Tara touches the very soul of Ireland.” (Slavin, Michael, The Book of Tara)
“Various inconclusive mounds and earthworks indicate the locations of the old palaces, banquet hall and Bronze Age burial sites, and many artefacts have been unearthed.” (Hunt, Lindsay – Ireland, An Island Revealed)
Question for young readers…Do you think Éire (pronounced air-uh) has secrets yet to be found?
Suggested Answer…Well…Finney sure thinks so!
(refers to Post #29 – July 3, 2015)
28. Bord Bía, the Irish Food Board, has published Your Guide to Irish Famhouse Cheeses. It says, “Irish Farmhouse cheeses are the product of unique interactions between people, place, and pasture. Farmhouse cheeses are produced across the country yet each cheese is an expression of its own particular part of Ireland, encapsulating very different elemental aspects of our native landscape.” (www.bordbia.ie) Check out this website for some very fun info…might inspire you as to what to put in your picnickin’ hamper!
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney tries to be a good Friend to his cousins Daíthí and Pronshi when they have a picnic and play ball?
Suggested Answer… Yes! Finney knows that is the right thing to do!
(refers to Post #28 – June 30, 2015
27. “There are many stories about the leprechaun and otherworld creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns exist in a world of the imagination and the unknown. To many people this world existed right outside their door and as the evenings grew dark, the land came alive with the people of the other world.” (www.leprechaunmuseum.ie)
Question for young readers…Why do you think Finney had to be secret about certain “workin’s” that he and other Leprechauns do?
Suggested Answer… It is a special service they are asked to do and only in certain special circumstances are they allowed to tell. Finney even has to ask his Dad what he can say and what he can’t.
I wonder if Finney will ever be able to tell us!
(Refers to Post #27 – June 26, 2015)
26. “From the days when the ancient Celts drove their chariots from miles away to gather in assemblies and participate in athletic competition until now, the Irish have been crazy for their sports. The Irish are passionately competitive with each other and outsiders…The Irish never need an excuse to compete with one another on an athletic field.” (Massie, Sonja – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Irish History and Culture)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney and his Family Friends would ever cheat or not play fair?
Suggested Answer…Of course not! Finney and his Family Friends love to play together and have fun!
(refers to Post #26 – June 23, 2015)
25. “The gardens of Ireland are as diverse as the country’s ever-changeable weather. What unites them is an uninhibited vitality and exhuberance, echoing the dramatic character of Ireland’s landscapes, its equable climate, and the outgoing nature of its people.
Undoubtedly the biggest impact on both late 19th- and 20th- century Irish gardening was the concept of the naturalized or “wild” garden advocated by the Irish horticulturist William Robinson.” (Reeves-Smyth, Terence – The Garden Lover’s Guide to Ireland)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney loves plants, flowers, and trees?
Suggested Answer…Of course he does! We can see the many pictures of him in the flowers and the trees. We also see him taking cover from rain in the plants, and also hiding in them!
(refers to Post #25 – June 18, 2015)
24. St. Patrick tried to teach about Jesus and His Gospel. The Irish people have carried his teachings all over the world. Kevin Vost says, in , Three Irish Saints, “…on March 17, in the 123rd year* of his life, God’s apostle would meet the Master who sent him. Surely that Master smiled wide upon him, well pleased with him who had carried His message to the ends of the earth.”
*The Annals of Clonmacnoise support this age for St. Patrick
Question for young readers…Do you think St. Pat would like to know we are being kind to our Friends, and each other? Do you think Finney tries to do what St. Pat taught?
Suggested Answer…Oh, Yes! St. Patrick taught about God’s Love for each of us and how God wants us to love each other and be good to each other! Finney very much wants to be a good Friend!
(refers to Post #24 – June 16, 2015)
23. A pooch lover expresses an “opinion”…www.thebark.com reports that “Of the many legends surrounding St. Patrick, the ones that resonate for us involve this most famous (St. Patrick)and dogs.” After being enslaved and put to work as a shepherd, Patrick had “only a dog and some sheep for companionship.” An angel told Patrick, in a dream, how to escape, by getting to a certain ship. Patrick found the ship to have many Irish wolfhounds on board. His “calming effect on the feisty Irish canine cargo” helped him gain passage. “According to Irish folklore, this kindly saint repaid all his doggy pals by allowing the legendary Irish hero Oisín to take his hounds to Heaven with him.” (“St. Pat’s Dogs”)
Question for younger readers…Do you think Finney is afraid of
Suggested Answer…No! Finney loves to play with Murphy-Girl!
(refers to Post #23 – June 12, 2015)
22. “Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and He made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was.” (Genesis 1: 14-18)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney is scared of the dark, or do you think he loves to look at the sky at nighttime as well as the daytime?
Suggested Answer…Finney loves to see the Moon and the stars!
(refers to Post #22 – June 9, 2015)
21. * Éire can be prounounced Air-uh.
“Traditionally, living trees have played a central role in the practical daily and spiritual lives of the Irish people.”
Trees may also provide a nice and cozy home for leprechauns. If you go back and read Post #9, “Where Do I Live?” (April 27, 2015), you can read (out loud, please!) about different places that leprechauns could make their homes.
In the story of Finney Hides the Pot o’ Gold, you will discover the secret that leprechauns know about trees, and how their branches and leaves help leprechauns in another fine and wonderful way!
Question for young readers…Is it true that trees are very helpful to leprechauns?
Suggested answer…Oh, yes! As you can see, trees provide shelter in the rain. Trees may also provide a nice and cozy home for leprechauns.
(refers to Post #21 – June 5, 2015)
20. * Thank you for the comment from sanctanomina, for Post #12, which included the link to the airport Irish dancing!
Irish dancing is famous worldwide with many folks of all ages of many nations embracing this wonderful art! Riverdance has brought even more attention to the dancing that has been symbolic of Ireland for generations. Could there possibly be anyone who hasn’t heard of the Irish Jig?
Hopefully, everyone has heard the toe-tapping tune of the Irish Washerwoman!
“The Irish word céili* originally referred to a gathering of neighbours in a house to have an enjoyable time, dancing, playing music and storytelling.
Today it refers to an informal evening of dancing. Céilis are held in large towns and country districts where young and old enjoy together group dances. The céili can be traced back to pre-famine times, when dancing at the cross-roads was a popular rural pastime.” (irelandseye.com)
*sounds like kay-lee
Question for young readers….Do you think dancin’ brings joy to Finney’s Mum, Áine?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Áine Róisín O’Keley dances at every opportunity she has!
(refers to Post #20 – June 2, 2015)
19. Post #19: Pronunciation of Irish names and words, in general, is so much less difficult when someone is able to hear it spoken. For myself, I have found help in the websites of babynamesofireland.com* and talkirish.com. Both provide an audio that enables you to hear pronunciations.
babynamesofireland.com* was my source for some pronunciations and information.
babynames.com** was my source for some information, as well.
The Leprechaun Museum in Dublin has much information on its website
http://www.leprechaunmuseum.ie. The website provides the information that “There are many stories about the leprechaun and otherworld creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns exist in a world of the imagination and the unknown.”
Question for young readers…Did St. Patrick teach many wonderful things?
Suggested Answer…Yes! St. Patrick taught about how much God loves each of us.
(refers to Post #19 – May 29, 2015)
18. Post #18: The great significance of Family and kin for the Irish is evidenced by the Ó and Mac beginnings of names. A name could also relate to a Saint…like Mulrennan (Ó Maoilbhreanainn) means “descendant of a follower of St. Brendan.” Also, occupation could play a part, as in clerks — Ó ‘Clery
(Ó Cleirigh), bards — Ward (Mac an Bhaird), and smiths — McGowan
(Mac Gabhainn). Names can have a descriptive source, as in the name Tracey (Ó Treasaigh) from “treasach” which means “war-like”.
(Irishtimes.com), or Roohan (Ó Ruadhain) — descendant of Ruadhan which is a diminutive of ruadh (means red) (Irish Names and Surnames by
Rev. Patrick Woulfe, 1923 — libraryireland.com and houseofnames.com)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney is proud of the Family/Clan he belongs to?”
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney proudly says he is “from the great, grand Clan O’Keley!”
*”Red Beard” is a very real, down to earth guy named Matt Baker, who truly goes by the name Red Beard! “Of course”, as Finney says, Matt has a red beard! Red Beard is a Brewery Representative at Adirondack Brewery in Lake George, New York. Red Beard is quite an amiable fellow and would be glad to help you choose just the “right” beverage! Check the Brewery out at AdkBrewery.com. If you ever decide to stop in for a great meal, just know that Finney would want you to say, “Red Beard is the reason I’m(we’re) here!”
Also, un-Anglicized Irish words/names can be very difficult to know how to pronounce. Babynamesofireland.com is my great reference and aid in that regard!
(refers to Post #18 – May 26, 2015)
17. Post 17: “When (St.) Patrick explained his God to pagan inquiries, he did not make metaphysical distinctions but described:
Our God, God of all men,
God of heaven and earth, seas and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all the stars,
God of high mountains and lowly valleys,
God over heaven and in heaven, and under heaven.
He has a dwelling in heaven and earth and sea
And in all things that are in them.
(from The Questions of Ethne Alba)
The sense of Divine Presence in everything created gave the Irish an awareness of God that penetrated all the circumstances of life, the flow of happenings, ordinary and extraordinary.”
(“The Spirituality of the Irish” – by Sr. Margaret Dorgan, DCM)
Question for young readers…Are the story-poems Finney tells meant to be fun for you?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney loves to tell stories in rhyme that bring fun to you!
(refers to Post #17 – May 25, 2015)
16. Post #16: “Besides personal names, our Irish ancestors had from an early period, and even from pre-historic times, a complete system of fixed clan-names by which each family-group and its subdivisions had its own distinct name. These clan-names are of great importance in tracing the early history of families. (Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, 1923 — http://www.libraryireland.com)
Question for young readers…Does it seem that Finney appreciates his Family?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney talks so much about the sharing and caring that goes on in his Family!
(refers to Post #16 – May 21, 2015)
15. Post #15: “God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the Earth.”
The Irish radio station, RTE (accent ´ on the E) Radio One, has a show “Mooney Goes Wild” which tells us that “Much folklore is associated with our (Ireland’s) robin and how it acquired its redbreast. It is said that the robin helped Christ on the cross by removing the thorns from His head and that His blood splashed onto the robin’s breast.”
Question for young readers…Do you think Mr. and Mrs. Robin are trying to take care of their baby robins?
Suggested Answer…Yes! They worked hard to build a nest for their babies, and, feed them and protect them after they were born.
(refers to Post #15 – May 18, 2015)
14. Post #14: Part One, Chapter Two, Article 6 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father”, is the source of this rhyming effort to celebrate today, Ascension Thursday. The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 1, Verse 9, tells us that “He (Jesus) was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their (the Apostles) sight.”
St. Patrick is known all over the world for his work with the Irish people about 1,500 years ago. He gave his life to the people of Ireland as he taught of Jesus and His teachings. St. Patrick’s own writings in his “Confessio, reveal the thoughts of Patrick as he lived the life he believed God had called him to.
The amazing fruits of his efforts, by the Grace of God, are evidenced by the spread of the Roman Catholic Faith all over the world by the people of Ireland.
Question for young readers…Does Finney seem to appreciate what St. Patrick did for all the people of Ireland?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney repeatedly speaks about what the “wee folk” heard St. Patrick say!
(refers to Post #14 – May 14, 2015, Ascension Thursday)
13. Post #13: My Dad (Pop), God rest him (1904-1995), was born in Cobh (pronounced Cove) in County Cork and came to America when he was only 16. Dad never knew what it was to have very much of the material blessings of this life, but he always had his strong Roman Catholic Faith. He always had his Rosary in his pocket, and I still have a Miraculous Medal and small statue he carried with him. Now, I’m not sayin’ he always behaved 🙂 (Who of us does?!), but I will say that he knew every good thing comes from God. When he spoke he would often say “me” where others would say “my” and I fondly remember the sound of it. So, this Mothers’ Day Post #13 is entitled “Me Mum” because of my own personal experience! “Me” own Mum, Annie, God rest her (1910-1991), is who, however, I would like to dedicate this post, on this Mothers’ Day of 2015! Finney would be pleased to know I say Thank you, I love you, Mum! [and to my Dad (Pop) — Thank you, I love you, Dad!]
Another couple of notes…St. Brigit has been described as “pure and sweet…lovely and gentle.” She is likened to Our Blessed Mother Mary and due to this, she is also referred to as “Mary of the Irish” (www.catholic.org) or “Mary of the Gael” (MacManus, Seumas, The Story of the Irish Race).
Lastly, for a beautiful rendition of “Ireland Must Be Heaven For My Mother Came From There,” sung by Kevin Prendergast (Irish singer from near Ballyhaunis in County Mayo), go to YouTube for 2 minutes and 56 seconds!
Question for young readers…Does Finney seem to appreciate all his Mum does for him?
Suggested Answer…Yes! He seems to know very well how hard his Mum tries to take care of him!
Happy Mother’s Day to each of you who “mother”!
(refers to Post #13 – May 11, 2015)
12. Post #12: St. Patrick, himself, in his own writings, St. Patrick’s Confessio, tells us “…Turn in good faith and with all your heart to the Lord my God, to Whom nothing is impossible…” – presented by Newport J.D. White and published by Macmillan Company in 1920.
Our Lord Jesus tells us…”Peace I leave with you, My own Peace I give to you; a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid…”
“No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
Draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)
(Scripture selections – Magnificat, May, 2015)
(refers to Post #12 – May 7, 2015)
Question for young readers…Does God always hear our prayers?
11. Post #11: “The robin has become one of the great symbols of Christmas” in Ireland.
(refers to Post #11 – May 4, 2015)
Question for young readers…Did the Robins have to work hard to build the nest?
Suggested answer…Yes! They “worked and worked and worked!”
10. Post #10: P.W. Joyce, in A Smaller History of Social Ireland, written in 1906, tells us that “the leprechauns are an ancient race in Ireland, for we find them mentioned in some of our oldest tales…From the beginning they were of diminutive size; for example, as they are presented to us in the ancient tale of the Death of Fergus macLeide, their stature might be about six inches.”
(refers to Post #10 – April 30, 2015)
Question for young readers…What is different about the world of a leprechaun?
Suggested Answer…A leprechaun is much smaller than we are, and everything he uses is smaller, too.
9. Post #9: On the website of the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin (www.leprechaunmuseum.ie), there is much fun info about leprechauns and their place in Irish folklore. Information on the site tells us that the “word leprechaun comes from the Irish Lu* Chorpain meaning small body.” Also that “he (the leprechaun) lives in a secluded spot, usually a small hole in the ground, where he has a comfortable home…Leprechauns come from a mythical land under the sea and when they arrived In Ireland decided to make their home here.” (* Lu should have an accent over the u, but I can’t seem to do that with my keyboard.)
I must also mention that Finney’s beautiful home was made by Wayne Rhude of Wilton, New York, whose business is Creative Laminates.
(refers to Post #9 – April 27, 2015)
Question for young readers…Do leprechauns sometimes try to be in places where no one can find them?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney tells us that sometimes a leprechaun needs to be in a place where he isn’t likely to be seen.
8. Post #8: Kevin O’Hara in his Last of the Donkey Pilgrims tells us that Harold Speakman who journeyed around Ireland in the early 20th century said he(Harold) “would meet strange little men who appeared from time to time.”
Question for young readers…Does Finney work each day before he takes time to play?
Suggested Answer…Yes! He knows this is what must be done.
7. Post #7: Ireland is abundantly blessed with so many beautiful flowers of every color you can imagine. The wildflowers are exquisite and I’ve never seen roses like you see in Ireland. So, with the “forty shades of green”, the natural beauty is breathtaking.
A note of special interest is that on the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, “are found growing side by side Arctic, Alpine, and Mediterranean flowers, and with these southern and northern species are also found other plants, rare to Ireland or Britain.” (Oileán Árann, The Aran Islands by Leo Daly) (refers to post #7 – April 20, 2015)
Question for young readers…Do Robins sing?
Suggested Answer…Oh, yes! Finney makes a point of telling us how sweet he thinks her song is!
6. Post #6: The Robin is one of Ireland’s favorite birds! (www.irish-birds.info) (refers to Post #6 –
April 16, 2015)
Question for young readers…Did Finney try to bother the bird he was watching?
Suggested Answer…No! Finney would never want to bother or scare “Bird”. That is why Finney stopped trying to get too close to Bird.
5. Post #5: Of course, Finney always wants to see the green! Who hasn’t heard the phrase describing beautiful Ireland as having “Forty Shades of Green?” However, how many folks realize that the wonderful song by that name was written by Johnny Cash in 1959 while on a trip to Ireland? “He was captivated by the green beauty of the Emerald Isle over 50 years ago.” (www.discoverireland.com)
If you have 3 minutes and 21 seconds to spare, consider going to YouTube to listen to the Irish singer, Daniel O’Donnell sing a beautiful rendition of “Forty Shades of Green” (refers to Post #5 – April 13, 2015).
Question for young readers…Do you think it sounds like Finney is very grateful to God for the beautiful plants that grow?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Finney seems to be very excited to find a new leaf or even a blade of grass!
4. Post #4: Some Irish Christmas traditions include the candle in the window (placed on Christmas Eve…primarily as a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter); the laden table (after Christmas Eve meal, the kitchen table was again set, and on it were placed bread, milk, and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could feel welcome). Another tradition we will mention here is the custom of visiting from house to house on St. Stephen’s Day. A traditional decoration is a ring of holly on the door, and this and all other decorations remain until Little Christmas (historically January 6). To say Merry Christmas in the Irish, one might say ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ (pronounced ‘null-ig hun-a dit’).
(c) Copyright http://ireland-information.com (refers to Post #4 – April 9, 2015)
Question for young readers…Do you think Finney loves Christmas?
Suggested Answer…Of course! Finney doesn’t even like to take down his Christmas tree…ever! Celebrating the birthday of Baby Jesus is a celebration he likes to have each and every day!
3. Post #3: St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. The Catholic Book Publishing Co. offers us Lives of the Saints by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O. Cist., Ph.D. Fr. Hugo suggests that Patrick was born about 389, and died on March 17, 461. Patrick is generally known to have been responsible for the winning the nation of Ireland for Jesus Christ. (refers to Post #3 – April 6, 2015)
Question for young readers…Did St. Patrick teach people in Ireland how much Jesus loves us?
Suggested Answer…Yes! Also, many people know the story of how St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the Blessed Trinity…that our God is three persons in one God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. Post #2: Notice that Finney is sitting in his rocking chair with a rainbow afghan on his lap to keep him warm. Many people have heard the story of the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. In her Irish Leprechaun Stories, Bairbre McCarthy also tells us that “The leprechaun is the keeper of the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow…” (refers to Post #2 – March 30, 2015)
Question for young readers…Does Finney sound happy he is seeing signs of spring?
1. Post #1: Leprechauns love to play and have fun! Bairbre McCarthy in her Irish Leprechaun Stories describes leprechauns as “fun-loving,” and dressed in their suits of green and “fine leather shoes adorned with silver buckles.” (refers to Post #1 – March 28, 2015)
Question for young readers…Do you think there is any reason to be afraid of Finney?
Suggested Answer…Of course not! Finney says plainly he will never try to hurt you in any way.