My Irish Uncle Was a Simple, Just Man Like St. Joseph
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
I’ve heard the Irish use the names of the Holy Family as profanity, not unlike the way many Americans say, “Oh, God.” But on my Uncle Michael’s lips, these words sounded like a prayer of often-experienced wonder at life. Actually, the words were not so much on his lips as in his throat, since he had the Irishman’s way of inhaling as she spoke.
Uncle Mike was the oldest son of a poor County Cavan farm family of McGoverns. Michael immigrated to the U.S. after World War II. He was followed by his sister (my mother) when she