Iowa News

Fellow Hibernians:

The John Wayne Birthplace is thrilled to announce that Irish-American screen legend Maureen O’Hara and her family will be joining us in Winterset, Iowa on May 24 & 25 for our annual John Wayne Birthday Celebration. O’Hara, who starred with Wayne in “Rio Grande”, “The Quiet Man”, “The Wings of Eagles”, “McLintock!” and “Big Jake”, considered Duke her best friend and, in this public farewell to her legions of fans, she’ll discuss their life-long friendship.

The two-day event will feature all aspects of Wayne’s film career including the U.S. Cavalry, cowboys, World War II and, of course, Ireland. In tribute to Miss O’Hara this year’s dinner gala will reprise many of the highlights of last year’s Quiet Man celebration; music from that film classic performed by Irish songstress Catherine O’Connell, Chicago’s Shannon Rovers Pipes and Drums and world champion Irish dancers, the Fabulous McKay Sisters.

Our website will be regularly updated as more details are available.

Iowa News

The Iowa Dubuque County Div 1 continued its support of local clergy with its third annual monetary gift to local seminarian, Tony Kruse. Mr. Kruse was ordained a Deacon in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Oct. 7th and his ordination and first mass will be in June of 2011. Over the years, AOH’s gift to Brother Kruse has coincided with his annual trip to Rome to help supplement his personal costs.  In September, the division held its annual “Half-Day Golf Outing” (Half way to St. Patrick’s Day). The outing is meant to honor local Priests, introduce prospective new AOH members to the Division and raise money for Beckman Catholic 8th grade students making a pilgrimage to Washington, DC for the annual March for Life. As it has for the past several years, the Catholic Financial Life organization (formerly Catholic Knights) matched funds with the AOH and for their support, the Division is eternally grateful. On a day that resembled “a fine soft day in Ireland”, brothers, Priests and guests braved rain, wind and cool temperatures and enjoyed a day of golfing, fraternity and charity.

Iowa Dubuque County Div 1 members took seminarian Tony Kruse to lunch to present him with a contribution towards his annual trip to Rome. Pictured (L – R) Standing: Patrick McCarthy; Greg Keegan; Patrick Scherrman; Leo Woods, Dan Zitelman; Michael English. Sitting: Paul Ahern, Deacon Tony Kruse and Michael Murphy

Iowa News

New home for statue honoring Sullivans

A 54-year-old religious statue honoring Waterloo’s five Sullivan brothers killed during World War II is being restored and will soon have a new home. The statue, erected in 1956 on the site of now-closed St. Mary’s Catholic Church, was removed in July for restoration and will be relocated to the Waterloo Knights of Columbus Council 700 hall, 1955 Locke Ave., at Locke Avenue and La Porte Road. The statue will be rededicated at a ceremony Nov. 13, the 68th anniversary of the brothers’ deaths. The statue’s future has been the subject of speculation since St. Mary’s closed several years ago. “This has been a longtime process, figuring out where the best place was for it,” said Kelly Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter and grandniece of the Sullivan brothers. It is the result of several organizations’ and individuals’ efforts and was done with the support of the Sullivan family. Those involved, among others, included the Sullivan Brothers Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Order of Foresters. The Roman Catholic statue depicts Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Queen of Peace, and its base notes it is dedicated to George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert Sullivan, who died after their ship, the Navy cruiser U.S.S. Juneau, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and exploded on Nov. 13, 1942. Only 13 sailors of the Juneau’s crew of 700 survived. According to an April 15, 1956, Courier article, the statue was imported from Italy and is made of rare Carrara marble. It was purchased “with funds contributed by Sullivans throughout the nation” to honor the five brothers’ memory. The fund drive was started by Sullivans in Boston and spread from there. St. Mary’s, the brothers’ home parish, was the original location for the statue. When the parish property closed as a worship site in 2003, Loughren said a number of new locations were considered but were either deemed inappropriate for a religious statue, or the sites lacked a direct connection to the Sullivans. Plans finally came together this past St. Patrick’s Day, when Loughren, the Hibernians and Council 700 members congregated at the K of C hall. “We were concerned about the future of the statue and the Knights were, too,” said AOH member Michael Magee, who for years has served as unofficial historian of the Sullivan family. Loughren and her father, Jim Sullivan, son of Albert Sullivan and the only child of the five brothers, supported the move, and suggested Nov. 13 for a rededication ceremony. Rededication plans include a 2 p.m. Mass at St. Edward Catholic Church and a short program and banquet at Council 700. “We’re real excited about it, and honored to be able to preserve the history of the Sullivan brothers, and to have a part of St. Mary’s,” said Ed Hau, grand knight of Council 700. “This is an important thing for the city of Waterloo, and there’s historic value for the Catholic Church here in town.” Through donated funds, labor and equipment and a successful fundraising breakfast by the Foresters and Council 700, the statue was removed from the old parish site and sent to a company in Fort Dodge for restoration. “The condition of the statue is just unbelievable,” Hau said. “It’s night and day” from when it was removed for refurbishing. Loughren said the statue will have great visibility at its new location. It will be along La Porte next to Council 700’s teardrop-shaped Memorial to the Unborn. Major donations and fundraising was conducted by Council 700 and the Catholic Order of Foresters, Hau said. About $7,000 has been raised so far and final costs are estimated to be $11,000 to $13,000. Donations are still being accepted and may be made by calling Knights of Columbus Council 700 at (319) 234-6908.

Iowa News

When Iowa’s Dubuque County Div 1 was approached last year by their chaplain, Fr. Douglas Loecke, to help with a priest appreciation gathering, the stage was set for a new tradition. The brothers quickly rallied together to co-host the event. This year, the second annual Priest and Deacon Appreciation Day was held June 13th, at Fr. Loecke’s home in Cascade, Iowa. The brothers donated and prepared a ‘low country boil’, including shrimp, potatoes, onions, sausage and corn, served with bread and a selection of pies and beverages. Tents were erected for the comfort of the guests and the weather proved to be perfect for the event. Division President Greg Keegan received a note of gratitude from Deacon Ray Noonan and his wife that read Carol and I want to thank you and all of the fine AOH’ers for your generosity and hospitality at Fr. Loecke’s last night.  What you good men do for the Catholic Church, clergy, and community is an extraordinary example of Christian charity to which we are all called.  Please extend our appreciation and best wishes to all the other AOH members.  On June 6th, the St. Francis Xavier Basilica of Dyersville, Iowa celebrated its annual Corpus Christi procession. For the second year running, the AOH was called upon to participate in the procession as canopy bearers and to march beside other Catholic organizations. Each year, the Dyersville procession draws several hundred participants to honor our Lord’s presence in the Holy Eucharist. The brothers were honored to be involved in the ceremony and hope to assist for years to come.

Rev. Robert Gross, Associate Pastor (gold vestment) and Rev. Mr. Fredrick J. Pins, Deacon, precede the Holy Eucharist, held by Rev. Phillip F. Kruse, Pastor, as AOH members (from left to right: Keith McCarraher, Patrick Valant, John Gallagher and George Graham) carry the canopy for the annual Corpus Christi procession through Dyersville, Iowa.