Bishop Parkes to experience first St. Patrick’s Day parade as leader of Diocese of Savannah

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 12:17 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - St. Patrick’s Day was different in Savannah the last two years.

But it will feel different this year for Bishop Stephen Parkes, who will experience the parade for the first time in his second year as the spiritual leader of the Diocese of Savannah.

He helped turn the Forsyth Park fountain green and attended the Celtic Cross festivities in his first year in town. But this year, Bishop Stephen Parkes will experience the full feeling of a Savannah St. Patrick’s Day.

“I’ve heard so much about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, all the festivities, also the legacy of families, how they celebrate that particular day. I look forward to being a part of that and witnessing it,” Bishop Parkes said.

And he will witness it as a true Savannahian - from the inside - riding in his first St. Patrick’s Day parade since being appointed to lead the Diocese of Savannah 17 months ago.

“I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited about it. I’m about to put some decorations on the Bishop’s residence here in downtown. I’ll do that later this week. So, I’m happy to be a part of it and happy to be here in this community. I love Savannah. I’m very happy to be here and very happy to serve the people of God here in this city and in this diocese.”

He is participating in as much as he can out of curiosity. But also, with a sense of service, to represent how faith has brought us all back to this celebration after the last two trying years.

“I think just to be a part of it and to ensure once again that spirituality is a part of our day and our festivities. Grateful for the spirit that exists here that does weave the ability for us to pray and be together. I think we have to be grateful first and foremost that, after a two-year hiatus, we’re able to have the parade once again. And that’s a sign of hope, a sign of healing that is happening within our society at this time. Very grateful for that. I look forward to being a part of it and celebrating here fully with the community in Savannah and with our visitors as well,” Bishop Parkes said.

Thursday will also be the first time Bishop Parkes gives a blessing to the parade grand marshal on the steps of the Cathedral. The parade committee did not elect a grand marshal last year.

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