Reverend Timothy J Harris, T.O.R.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, and through our fellowship in Saint Patrick, I bid you well. It is an honor and privilege for me to be addressing you as a Deputy National Chaplain for the Ancient Order of Hibernians. At our recent national convention, our worthy president Brendan Moore asked me to assume this office. I first asked him if he was sure, for it had been a long convention and he looked tired, and after he assured me he was, I then humbly accepted.
I have been blessed to be able to serve our Hibernian brothers in the past as, first and foremost, a division chaplain for the Col. Thomas Cunningham Division in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia. I cut my teeth there and learned from my brothers how to be a holy Hibernian. I was then asked to serve on the state level and, for the past several years, have been delighted to serve the great commonwealth of Virginia as her state chaplain.
As I assumed both of these roles, I sought to truly honor the presidents who offered these appointments to me by working my hardest to infuse both my division and state with a lively, engaging Catholic spirit that has always been at the very heart of the AOH since its inception. As an Irish-American and as a priest, my faith is the very foundation upon which I live my life. Thus it was so natural for me to seek admittance to our Order, which not only has embraced its Catholic faith in its heart, but has put it into practice throughout the decades. Our continued commitment to true Christian Charity is a beautiful manifestation of the Love of God. And as a priest, let me just say to our brothers and sisters throughout history who took seriously their commitment to safeguard our faith and our clergy, thus allowing my Celtic vocation to come about, Thank You. I pray that each of us will continue to have the same courage and passion for our Catholic faith that those who laid the foundation of our Order witnessed to through their sacrifices and fraternity.
As I assume this new role that President Moore offered to me, I am once more humbled and honored to serve. I look forward to working with Fr. Tom O’Donnell and Fr. Martin Burnham as your national chaplains as well as with all of our highly regarded national officers.
As our worthy national president stated so eloquently in his article from the last edition of the National Hibernian Digest, I also would like to thank all of our Hibernian sisters and brothers from St Louis for their great efforts to put on a wonderful convention, especially in the face of several big challenges. And I would like to personally thank Fr. James Byrnes from the Fr. Dempsey Division in St Louis for all of his efforts in organizing and providing the “grunt work” behind the scenes for all of the liturgy for the weekend, well done Fr Jim.
For any of our state or division chaplains throughout our viewing area, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you in your most needed ministry as shepherds to our Hibernian divisions. The presence of a chaplain, even if only occasionally or for part of an event or meeting, is pure gold to our members, and a Catholic resource of great value. May the Lord Give You Peace.