The original Shamrock Shake

How a clover unites our diversity


Father Mark Niehaus of St. Patrick Catholic, Church located at 1225 W. Main St. in Whitewater.

Father Mark Niehaus

March arrives each year with smiling leprechauns and pots of gold. 2020 slowed the consumption of corn beef and cabbage, but the cheeriness of St. Patrick’s Day was not lost. Forgotten, however, is the Irish apostle who gave the day its name. 

In the fifth century, an English cleric arrived in Ireland. The Emerald Isle was a tapestry of clans, with multiple ways of thinking and living. Patrick’s message was simple: God who is single and triple can unite your diversity. A three leafed clover has a single stem, all are created by an omnipotent God. Its three leaves—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—rejoice in the uniqueness of each princess, farmer and herdsman.

The shamrock was the tool Patrick used to share the Gospel. Few others have condensed Jesus’ message so simply, shaking so many people to reexamine their own lives. The original Shamrock Shake. 

Fr. Mark Niehaus

March 4, 2021

St. Patrick Parish Administrator 

Whitewater, Wisconsin