To the editor:
I think St. Patrick (390-461) would be surprised to read that he had initiated the practice of private or auricular confession in Ireland, as Father. Dobosz asserts in the March (monthly) Courier. In fact, St. Enda (d.530) who was born 20 years after St. Patrick’s death, founded Ireland’s first historic monastery at Killeany. His disciples went out to build other monastic communities throughout the country. St. Finnian (d.549), one of Enda’s disciples who founded the monastery at Clonard (515) began that significant change in penitential discipline at Clonard. His students who went on to found other monasteries followed St. Finnian’s practice of private confession, which eventually spread to the continent of Europe.
It is a pity that St. Patrick is so trivialized in this country and even in Ireland, as he was truly a great example of a man who followed Christ, inspired pagans to convert and whose extant writings reflect his great humility and courage.
Eleanor G. Sementilli