Benedictine Sisters take a walk on the Irish side

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The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia know how to honor a saint. On Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m., they kick off the area's St. Patrick's Day celebrations with their annual Irish music concert. Held to raise awareness of and funds for their "Place of Peace" - the largest private gardens in Prince William County that are open to the public - this concert is quickly becoming a local favorite.

The "Irish Celebration of Peace" or "Ceiliradh Siochana" showcases the talents of local groups and solo artists that are steadily gaining popularity in the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC music circuit.

Benedcitine Sister Pat Hagarty, who currently manages the "Place of Peace" is responsible for coordinating the concert and makes the fresh Irish soda bread and other treats that are included in a raffle to be held during the concert.

"This is the largest event for our monastery gardens and we are so grateful that the public supports it each year," said Sister Pat Hagarty, OSB. "Through God's grace we are always blessed with truly magnificent performances by artists who embrace our "Place of Peace."

This year's talent roster includes performances by McGrath Irish Dance, Scott Volles, master fiddler Brendan Mulvihill, Paul Tangren, Kenny and Terri Wolin and Clara Poffenburger. With a blend of soft ballads, sea shanties and rousing St. Patrick's Day favorites, this concert promises something for everyone.

Last year's event packed the monastery's chapel to overflowing and raised over $4,000. To accommodate a larger crowd, the concert will be held at Grace Life Church, 9560 Linton Hall Road in Bristow, across the road from Saint Benedict Monastery. Running from 2-4 p.m. March 10, the concert is free to the public with donations of suggested amounts from $15 to $25 gratefully accepted.

Last year's event raised over $4,000 for "The Place of Peace." Concert-goers are invited to take self-guided tours of the "Place of Peace" preceding the event and are reminded that the Saint Benedict Monastery welcomes daily visitors year-round. For more information call 571/428-2503 or visit

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013