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30th Anniversary in Ireland - celebrate in local Catholic community

We are in the infancy stages of planning our 30th anniversary trip to Southern Ireland and will be there on our actual anniversary which is April 16th. We will be flying into Dublin and don't have time to visit the whole country. 30 years is quite an accomplishment given everything we have been through. We are celebrating all the odds that were dealt against us even though we have always known we are soul mates. We were not able to celebrate 25 years the way we would have liked to. We don't want a fancy ceremony and prefer a very local Catholic Church on Sunday with a simple thing where we just attend church, fit in and the celebrate with the locals at the local pub. We are both born, raised, married and devout Catholics. My mothers family was born in Ireland and immigrated to the US many many years ago. Any city/ church and special bed and breakfast suggestions in Southern Ireland would be greatly appreciated. Our itinerary is wide open right now and we are looking for place where we could celebrate the beautiful people of Ireland as much as we celebrate us.

Posted by
1276 posts

I'd suggest you ask yr local priest, perhaps he knows somebody who knows a parish priest in ireland....

Posted by
2817 posts

Do you know which part of southern Ireland your family came from? Imagine it would be especially meaningful to visit that town or region, if the family history information is available.

Posted by
5 posts

No I don't but that's a great suggestion. I could try to find out from some distant relatives but it would be a long shot.

Posted by
8293 posts

When you do go, it would probably be a good idea to call the country the Republic of Ireland so as not to offend.

Posted by
8293 posts

When you do go, it would probably be a good idea to call the country the Republic of Ireland so as not to offend.

Posted by
337 posts

Maybe you should start with a specific destination, and then arrange things around that?

Ireland is, of course, chock-full of small towns and villages, and each one probably has its own church. Just like in the US, some churches are old and beautiful, and some are more modern and utilitarian. Maybe choose a town that you'd want to visit anyway, and start investigating what churches are in the area.

Then, contact someone at that parish (they should all have websites and email addresses) and ask for whatever kind of acknowledgement or celebration you are hoping for. I would keep my expectations very modest, unless you're willing to make a contribution to the parish or something. You might ask for a mention during the intercessions or the announcements at a specific Mass. You could also ask the priest to announce an invitation to the pub and that you're offering to buy a round of pints, but that might be more trouble than it's worth. You might just wing it: walk into a cozy pub, announce proudly to the bartender, "It's our 30th anniversary and we are so happy to be spending it here!" If you say it loudly enough, you'll probably get people to raise their glasses in a toast, and open up a conversation or two.

Then, in the evening, go to a nice restaurant for a special meal.

Howth is a nice town, on the water, and not far from Dublin. I remember a pretty gray stone church in the town, but didn't go in. There are also a few nice pubs, and some good seafood. But really, there are lots of possibilities, depending on your interests and inclinations.
Happy anniversary!

Posted by
1172 posts

Trying to tread gently here.... Although many Irish still identity as Catholic, the numbers that actually attend church on Sundays is very low. If you google, you will find that it is at about 25% for Ireland overall and only 3% for Dublin.
I am sure that you will be able to find a church to attend but may not sure that you will have the experience that you are describing above
Congratulations on 30 years. That is a great accomplishment and I know that you will love Ireland.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for all the suggestions! We have changed our minds and are not going to do anything big. Just attend church in the town that we choose to stay and celebrate afterwards at a local pub. Definitely don't want to offend anyone. Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.

Posted by
908 posts

It's a lovely idea, and I think it's less about offending than it is about being realistic in expectations. I'm Roman Catholic and have attended mass in Rome, Dublin, London, and Germany. It was somewhat depressing. At most masses I was the youngest person there. Granted, Saturday vigil often draws an older crowd anyway, but even on Sundays, the churches just didn't have the energy that many U.S. Catholic parishes have. Could also be because I was in the cities and not in the suburbs.

We have some priests from Ireland where I live, so priests stateside may have some contacts. Likewise, if you belong to the Order of Hibernians, they might have connections. Could you possibly celebrate in Irish style at your home parish in addition to your Ireland trip by having a mass with Celtic songs and a small celebration at a pub in your town?

Best wishes & congratulations!

Posted by
439 posts

We were married here in the states but my husband's family wanted me to have a blessing in the church my husband grew up. We small ceremony in the church with his family, dinner afterwards, and then a huge party in the local pub. It was great fun and meant a lot to his family. I don't think as long as you ask nicely and are respectful of their views/practices they will not be offended. Irish don't offend easily.