Life March

By Edward J. Wallace

On Jan. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; Cardinal O’Malley of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities had urged the full House to support H. R. 7. Focus now turns to the U.S. Senate, where Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and 25 co-sponsors have introduced the companion measure (S.946). (Sen. Wicker’s bill does not include the text of the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which was added to the House bill.) The bill would place in permanent law a consistent policy that the federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion. Since 1976, this principle has been embodied in the Hyde amendment to annual appropriations bills funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in numerous similar provisions governing a wide range of domestic and foreign programs. There has long been popular and congressional agreement in favor of this policy, and recent polls continue to show a majority of Americans agree that the government should not be funding abortions.

Contact your senators by phone: Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121 and urge your senator to please co-sponsor and support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. (S.946). Our tax dollars should not be used to fund or promote abortion.

Washington, DC Hibernian Pro-Life March for Life:   SAVE THE DATE!

When:  Thursday, January 22, 2015

What:  Pro-Life Breakfast at Irish Channel Restaurant @ 9:00 AM  (Approx. $20);  Mass – St. Mary, Mother of God which is near the restaurant – 12:00 pm.

Where:  Rallying point for Hibernians – Northeast corner of 7th St & Penn Ave.

GAR Memorial on Penn Ave. Bring your banners, wear your sashes.

Meet up at 12:30 PM to join the march.

Who: Any Hibernians (officers and members) AOH & LAOH who respect life should make every effort to join the Pro-Life March for Life in Wash, DC on 1/22/15.

Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites 500 H Street NW, Washington, DC/Downtown

Reservations: 202-289-5959;  Ask for Special AOH and/or senior discount or group rate

Join the Order!








Members of AOH Bronx County and Woodlawn Division 5 joined County President Bob Nolan, Dan Dennehy and Div 5 President Galvin at a recent event to invite qualified members of the community to join the AOH!

Veterans Affairs


J J Kelly, Chairman

A special thank you to all the state level and division/county level Veterans Affairs chairmen who attended the St. Louis convention, and who attended the session devoted to Veterans Affairs. I continue to be impressed by the work you all are doing to support our veterans, our active duty members of the armed forces and their families. From spreading the word, to raising funds for education and helping our wounded warriors, you all are doing wonderful work. I encourage you to keep letting me know what you are doing so that through this venue and others we can get the word out to others.

One area where I encourage all to get involved is in support of those needing assistance at our VA hospitals and medical facilities. So many of our elderly and disabled veterans need help in getting to and from their appointments, and even just navigating the hallways of the hospitals. Every VA facility has a volunteer coordinator. Please find him or her, let them know you are an AOH member and are available to help.

Irish Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Project

We covered a lot of areas in our discussions in St. Louis, but an area I need to stress again is the Irish Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Project. To iterate, this project has as its goal to honor and memorialize the service and sacrifice of those Irish nationals who gave their lives in service to the United States during the Viet Nam war. A permanent memorial has been designed and approved to be built in the City of Ennis, County Clare. It will list the names of those 29 individuals who lost their lives. This is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization. For more details, go to their web site at

Some help from Congress

I suspect many of you, as I, continue to follow the troubles and scandals ongoing in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It sure looks like help is on the way with new folks at the top, and Congress getting involved. Both the House and Senate voted to allow many more thousands of vets temporary access to private-sector health care at government expense. It is only a stop gap measure, but at least it is a good first step.

One other item. Have you ever heard yoga and Army used together in the same sentence before? One of the new approaches the Army is trying to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) is an ancient yoga practice known as Yoga Nidra. You may be aware that the Catholic Church has some reservations about yoga and its meditative practices. So we will just have to see where this process goes.

Finally, please remember to thank a Veteran or an active duty Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman or Coast Guardsman. They are a constant reminder that our cherished freedom is not free.

Post-Convention Constitution Report

By Patrick Sturdy

I would like to formally recognize and thank the following members of the Constitutional Committee for all of their hard work during the preceding two years: Chuck Curran (Virginia), Dick Thompson (Massachusetts), Tom O’Donnell (New York), Dan Devinney (Pennsylvania), Paul Gowdy (Michigan) and George Clough (Missouri). I would also like to thank the membership for the patients and understanding shown during the debate on the proposed Constitutional Amendments. The following is a very brief summary of the amendments adopted by the Membership at the National Constitution at the 2014 Biennial Convention is St. Louis, Missouri. The complete text of each amendment will be available in the revised National Constitution, which will be available for download from the National Website shortly. The membership adopted 15 different General Revisions to the National Constitution. These General Revisions do not change the meaning of the Constitution, instead, they merely clarify language and remove duplicate language, etc.

Additionally, over the two day period in which the Constitution was discussed, the membership adopt seventeen Specific Revisions to the National Constitution. These Specific Revisions change the rights and responsibility of the membership, and are summarized as follows: (1) Divisions are no longer required, but may have regular committees on finance, employment, entertainment, Irish History, sick, publicity, Catholic Action and such other committees as may be necessary; (2) A member is not considered to be in good standing if he previously resigned from another division while charges were pending against him until a final adjudication of those charges which absolve him of the allegations contained within the charge(s); (3) The National President may now appoint members positions as he deems appropriate, however these appointees are voting members of the National Board, and any expenses are subject to prior approval of the National President; (4) All Elected and Appointed Officers of each jurisdiction are now required to attend Conventions of their respective jurisdiction, unless excused by the President of that jurisdiction; (5) The District of Columbia was recognized as a State for purpose of the National Constitution; (6) Divisions located within Cities not within a County may now form County Boards; (7) An amendment was adopted governing notice of National Board meetings; (8) Language related to an Ethnic Understanding Committee was eliminated from the Constitution.; (9) The membership also voted to adopt rules governing the distribution of minutes; (10) An amendment defining the requirements for members eligible to be appointed to the position of Veteran Affairs was adopted; (12) The Convention also modified language in the Constitution which required Conventions to always begin on Wednesday; (13) The term 2/3 in sessions was defined to mean 2/3 of the 1/3 necessary to conduct business; (14) The membership also adopted language which addresses limitations that are imposed upon each jurisdiction in entering into agreement which bind superior jurisdictions; (15) Another change include the adoption of language which allows for the creation of Hibernian Rifle Units as separate legal entities; (16) Rules on elections was modified with clarifying language; (17) the National Treasurer is required to have in place an accounting system which is in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures and provide certain reports to the membership.

Chaplain Fr. John Ahern

No one could tell me where my soul might be, I sought out God but God eluded me, I sought out my neighbor and found all three:  Friendship, Unity and true Christian Charity!

The motto of our Irish-American Organization is a challenge to all of us more than ever before.  There are serious signs all around us that indicate a falling away from positive living.  The problem is that there is too much of the wrong kind and purposeless living.  May we never forget that the days of us Irish Catholic being persecuted are not over and the challenges of our faith have not ended!

Years ago there was an old Irish sailor who had charge of a Coast Guard station on the rocky coast of Maine.  On a bleak stormy night an SOS call came to him.  They reported a wrecked ship that was sinking fast.  The elderly captain had a new crew and he shouted to them: “Launch the boat”.  One of the young seamen paled with fear and stammered:  “We are not going out on a night like this, are we?  Why, we’ll never get back”.  The captain lifted himself to full stature, his broad shoulders expanding and his eyes flashing with courage.  He looked the young seaman straight in the eye and repeated his command:  “Launch the boat.  We have to go out, but we don’t have to come back.”  This is always the stern imperative of faith’s venture.

Brothers and sisters, it is well to remember that great ventures of faith have brought us where we are today.  Think always of the faith our Irish ancestors had when they came to our American shores.  The prejudices and poverty that they faced and lived through all because they wanted religious freedom and because their faith was undaunted.

We today must always remember that our Irish Christian Faith makes possible the seemingly impossible.  In the spirit of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity we must not forget the persecution of the Irish people in Northern Ireland.  Have we come far in peace negotiations, not really?  All talk; all shaking hands but still injustice and persecution exist.  Let us be united in the cause of social justice and true peaceful negotiations for all Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland.  We must never fear the journey of faith.

Deputy Chaplain Fr. Tom O’Donnell

For about nine years I have been semi-retired and spend most of the cold months in Ft. Myers, Florida. I am only semi-retired since I still am a Judge for the Marriage Tribunal for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I had lived in a mobile home in Florida, but had to move since the rent was eating up half of my pension. Therefore, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Blessed Pope John XXII Vilas which is a low income senior citizen housing apartment built by HUD on the southwest end of the property of Blessed Pope John XXIII Church in Ft. Myers. It seems that the name of our church and apartment building will have to be changed to Saint Pope John XXIII.

The announcement that the beloved John XXIII, who is associated with Vatican Council II, was approved for sainthood came as a surprise as he had not been associated with a second miracle; something that is normally part of the sainthood process. Vatican Radio reported on the explanation given by Vatican spokesman: Fr. Lombardi stated that a canonization without a second miracle is still valid, given that there is already the existing miracle that lead to the Pope John XXIII’s beatification. He also pointed to ongoing discussions among theologians and experts about whether it is necessary to have two distinct miracles for beatification and canonization. Certainly, he added the Pope has the power to dispense, in a Cause, with the second miracle. Reacting to the news, the Jesuit author Father James Martin wrote: “The announcement that will make millions of Catholics happy. I deeply admire John Paul II and John XXIII is my great hero. The Vatican has not announced when the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII are expected to take place, or whether they will be done jointly, as Vatican Radio Reports: Fr. Lombardi did not rule out that both celebrations could coincide, and he did express his belief that they would take place by the end of the year. The canonizations will most probably take place on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception since the Pope generally schedules such great events to coincide with a major feast day.

As a young priest I remember how Pope John XXIII said that he was opening up the windows of the Church as he convened Vatican Council II. Now as an older priest I am happy that Saint John XXIII Church and Villas has opened up its doors to me and has helped me to enjoy my retirement years in love, peace and dignity.


Fr. Thomas O’Donnell

Deputy National Chaplain

National Vice President – Judge Jim McKay

Dear Brothers;


The summer has flown by and fall will be descending on us by the time you receive this issue.  By this time, the majority of state conventions will have been held and new state officers elected and in place.

I had the opportunity of attending the Ohio and North Carolina conventions and I can tell you first hand that Hibernianism is alive and well in these states and throughout the country.

I know that many of our Degree Teams have been very active this past year, especially in the summer months making many appearances at state conventions to initiate new members to our Major Degree.  I have been in contact with our eight Major Degree Teams requesting their appearance schedule for the rest of the year.  As this information comes in I am forwarding it to our Hibernian webmaster, Joseph McDonald, so that he may insert it on to our National website.  It was felt that this would be the easiest method of disseminating schedule information for all of our members who may be interested in obtaining their Major Degree.

We should continue our prayers for those who died or were injured in the Boston Marathon massacre.  Such mass violence and human casualties shock the senses.    We also pray that our country maintains the ability to handle these types of attacks in a strong and prudent manner.

The National Board continues to diligently work on our next conventions in St. Louis in 2014 and Atlantic City in 2016.  In St. Louis, the committees are all in place and planning a great event which is only about a year away.  The same consideration and attention is being given to the Atlantic City convention by that committee and while it is almost three years out, most know it will be on us before you know it.

By this time you should be well aware that Michael “Mick” Dunleavy has been selected as our Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award winner and will be honored this October at our National President’s Dinner in New York in October.   This will also coincide with our National Board meeting.  President Moore conducts many National Board meetings by phone throughout the year but this is the one time besides our National Convention where the Board will meet face to face.

My wife and I traveled to Europe this summer to the south of France, but found time to go through Dublin on our way.  We had the opportunity to have dinner with Nial Burgess and his wife the night before we left for France.  I had the opportunity to thank Nial Burgess for all the friendship he has shown the AOH not only during his time as Consul General in New York, but also in his present position as Director General of Ireland.

I hope that you all had a relaxing but productive summer and look forward to seeing many of you at our President’s Dinner in New York.


James F. McKay III

National Vice President





Secretary Tom McNabb and Treasurer Danny O’Connell

Brothers, we have seen great improvement in the reporting of membership and per capita from our divisions around the country. Recent changes in the IRS policies make it critical for your Form 11’s and per capita to arrive on time. Without this form and per capita payment by February 15, 2014 your division may not be included in the non-profit recognition form filed with the IRS.


Together we have worked on updating the forms used for reporting so we can provide the IRS with critical information. It is necessary for your to use the forms provided and include 1) your local EIN number 2) complete contact information for your president and financial secretary including name, address, telephone number and e-mail. If the president or financial secretary do not have an e-mail they should use one from a division officer who can forward hard copies to you. This information will be included on our IRS report.


Financial Secretaries:

1)     Every division received a list of members for update, removal and correction including name, address, membership number, and degrees. This list should have been updated and returned by October 22th.

  1. This is a critical deadline for membership card corrections.
  2. Members, it is your responsibility to report any corrections to your division financial secretary.

2)     Membership corrections submitted are made by the National Secretary’s office

3)     2014 membership cards (based on your divisions corrections) are sent to all divisions current on their dues in late November.

4)     2013 per capita is due to the National Board no later than February 15, 2014.

  1. a.      Division’s late paying dues are not in good standing. Additionally, divisions not filing their Form 11’s with Per Capita on time can not be included in the IRS Blanket Exemption for nonprofit recognition.
  2. Only Divisions in good standing may participate in National, State, and county conventions.
  3. Delegates for all conventions are based on the number of members in good standing as reported and paid by each division for the previous year.

i.      2014 delegates are based on your paid members as of December 31, 2013.

5)     Certificate of Election form 9 must be sent to the National Office within 15 days of the election. This should be the first order of business of a newly elected board.

  1. This form should also be used to report any change of officers created by a vacancy within 15 days.

6)     Membership report, form 11, must be sent to the national office no later than February 15, 2014. This form should include a check for 2013 per capita and a separate check for 2013 initiations.


1)    Every check you send must have your division name, county, number, state and telephone number on it. If its not printed on the check please write it in legibly.

2)     You must encumber your national and state per capita. Place these funds in a restricted status; these funds can only be used to pay you per capita in January of the following year.

3)     Pay your national per capita no later than February 15, 2014.

  1. Membership report, form 11, must be sent along with you per capita check.
  2. A separate check for initiations should be send along with your per capita.

4)     Keep your canceled checks. Place a copy of the canceled check with your membership report form 11.

5)     Remember, national per capita collected in 2013 is due by February 15, 2014.

Degree Notifications:

1)     Within ten day’s of conferring the Major Degrees, the Degree Team secretary must submit a report to the National Secretary stating the time, place, Membership Number and Name of each member who received the Major Degrees.


Questions can be directed to AOH National Secretary Tom McNabb or AOH National Treasurer Danny O’Connell. Thank you,

Historical Happenings

By Mike McCormack, AOH National Historian


I dislike starting my column on a sad note, but I must pay tribute to the late John Hennessy. Most Hibernians knew John from Conventions where he was a familiar face and a jovial personality. I was honored to have brought John into the AOH in 1969 and to this day I count it as one of my greatest accomplishments for he was always ready to lend a hand, chair a committee or hold an office (sometimes several at one time). His knowledge of AOH rituals, bylaws, protocol and constitutional requirements was second to none and demonstrated his admiration for our Order and he insisted they be followed as a matter of honor. He was proud to wear his Life Member Medal wherever he went – I often joked that if we had given him a waterproof one, he’d have worn it in the shower. I don’t know if Jesus gave him a robe when John arrived at the golden throne, but I do know that if He did, the first thing John did was to pin his Life Member Medal on it. On second thought, this is not opening on a sad note, it’s a happy one for those of us who can’t help but smile when we think of that rare Hibernian and how happy we were to have known him.


Great Hunger

On a historical note, the initial rush to publish and capitalize on the 150th anniversary of the Great Hunger caused many false accounts of the tragedy to be circulated around 1995.  Some attempted to tone down the severity of the event to avoid inflaming hatred in Northern Ireland, which was volatile at the time. There were even some so-called ‘officials’ who proclaimed that the Hunger was over in 1847. Then we had the Anglophiles who can always be depended on to minimize England’s cruelty to the Irish.

Fortunately, as time passed, more intelligent authors took issue with the revised versions of the catastrophe and more diligent research produced enlightened accounts of the greatest calamity to ever hit the Irish nation.

Yet, the task for today’s student remains choosing the wheat from the chaff on their library shelves and the best way to do that is to examine the credentials of, and other writings by, the author.


Watch the facts about the Rising

The Easter Rising is about to become the subject of similar amateur coverage, which will no doubt be colored by nationalist sentiment or political correctness as we near the 100th anniversary of that milestone.

Some will rely on the three largest Dublin newspapers of the day that portrayed the Rising in derogatory terms, highlighting the fact that citizens hurled insults and garbage at the patriots as they were marched off to Richmond Barracks. Will they ignore the fact that William Martin Murphy owned those newspapers?  That must to be considered.

Murphy was the head of the Dublin Employers Federation whose attempt to destroy the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union founded by Jim Larkin and James Connolly led to the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913 when 20,000 workers were fired for joining Larkin’s Union. Many of the workers had revenge on those businesses during the Rising but Murphy’s newspapers denigrated them as looters from the tenements citing their ‘disgraceful’ behavior. After the Rising, Murphy and 763 influential Dublin businessmen signed a memorandum encouraging the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Ireland to deal with the patriots as he saw fit and endorsing Martial Law.

As for the animosity of the citizens toward the patriots, it should be noted that the prisoners were marched off along the quay where many upper class loyalist Dubliners, merchants and British Army pensioners had gathered. Those who had sons serving in the British forces were upset over the possibility of their funds being cut off and some showed support for the winner in fear of retaliation on themselves. However, at Boland’s Bakery, the South Dublin Union and other spots, the patriots were cheered by the citizens for the courage they demonstrated in Ireland’s cause.

Those of us who had the golden opportunity to interview participants in the Lockout and the Rising and share their memories as well as the recollections they shared with their immediate descendants will be able to look at the soon-to-come accounts with a jaundiced eye and determine their accuracy. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope that the writings pass the test of truth, for those men and women who participated deserve no less!

Poetry and history, online!

Did you know that Oscar Wilde’s mother was a dedicated Irish patriot?  Check out her story on the history link of New York State AOH Website at You might also want to learn about the Plantation of Ulster. If so, that story is on the September Historical Happenings link of the National Website at  Mentioning websites, check out for a book of verse that reads like a novel and is now available in a Kindle version. The talented National Webmaster, Joe McDonald, also compiled a website for our Irish History books, CDs and DVDs which make great Christmas stocking stuffers.  For that one go to

Until next time, keep well, keep the faith and keep our traditions alive!


Immigration – Dan Dennehy

By Dan Dennehy, Chairman


AOH US Representative LETTERYour help on Comprehensive Immigration Reform is still needed. Sincere thanks to the many Hibernian Brothers and Sisters who have already made calls to their Congressional Representatives on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. If you have yet to make the call, here are the simple, yet important, steps:


1) Please call your member of the House of Representatives today. The number for the Congressional Switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

2) Give your zip code when requested and ask to speak to your Congressman’s Office.

3) When directed to that Office, ask to speak to the Legislation Officer or Immigration Liaison for your Representative. If they are available, let them know that (a) You support Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a voter, who is Catholic, Irish American, and a Hibernian; (b) and “If Irish America feels that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is good for Irish America, it is good for the rest of Americans too!”

4) If they aren’t available, ask to leave a message stating: “I would like to hear from my Representative, your Chief of Staff or the Representative’s Immigration person as soon as possible.”

5) If your Representative indicates to you their support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, THANK THEM! If your Representative indicates opposition, ask them to reconsider that position and thank them for their time.

6) In conjunction with your call, please send a copy of the letter elsewhere on this page in the Digest from our National President to the Representative, along with your own message as a constituent.

This issue remains crucial and requires action of every Hibernian. Since 1965, Irish people have struggled to come to the US. Nearly 50,000 Irish people, many with American-born families, have been unable to share great moments of joy, weddings, births and graduations, or great sadness, like illness or the burial of a loved one, with their families in Ireland. Most of us know our Irish undocumented. They live in and are active members of our communities. They pay their taxes, support our Catholic Churches and schools and work hard in their adopted land. We may never get a better opportunity to correct the lack of legal paths to immigration for Irish people than we have now. If we are not part of the equation, we may have to wait another 20 years for a voice in the immigration reform process. I will be happy to provide you with any supporting information that you require.

I have spent the summer speaking to Hibernians and working with our Irish Coalition partners, the Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, the Embassy of Ireland and Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, along with members of our Irish Catholic Clergy and lobbyists Manus Cooney and Bruce Morrison to reach as many Congressmen as possible. Thanks to Geri Garvey from the Irish Apostolate USA for her generosity in sharing ways that we can improve outreach on this issue and both Catholics and Irish Americans.

Please continue to support the affiliated Irish Immigration Centers of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers by making a personal or Division donation, volunteering at your local Center or by attending their fundraisers. The work that they do for our Irish Seniors, young families and Irish immigrants is much needed. When Comprehensive Immigration Reform finally passes Congress, the Irish Immigration Centers will be on the front lines of guiding future Irish Americans.


Upcoming Fundraisers:


October 4- Aisling Irish Community Center – 10th Annual Dinner Dance at Lake Isle Country Club honoring Brigid Flynn of Flynn Irish Dance School


October 25 – The 25th Anniversary Emerald Isle Immigration Center Dinner Dance will honor Senator Charles ‘Chuck’ Schumer for his lifelong support in championing U.S. Irish Immigration at the Astoria World Manor in Astoria, Queens.