Michigan held their 80th Annual AOH State Convention May 1 and 2 in Flint, Michigan. Everyone in attendance agreed the event was a great success. The Convention kicked off on Friday night with a Hooley where guests in attendance were treated to the music of Michigan’s own Diggers. The business meeting convened on Saturday morning with National Director Patrick Sturdy in attendance. Director Sturdy spoke to the membership about the need to make membership development the highest priority.

Kevin Burke, long time member of the Patrick Ryan Division, was elected as the new State President.  Mike Kelly, long time member of the Stephen Walsh Division, was elected the new State Vice President. Tim Higgins, also a member of the Patrick Ryan Division, was elected as the New State Recording Secretary. And, Gerry Mato, longtime member of the Thomas Kelly Division, was re-elected as State Treasurer.

The Convention festivities conclude on Saturday with a Banquet at which Monsignor Russ Kohler, the AOH State Board Chaplin was awarded the Pat Kileen Award. The Pat Kileen Award is given biannually at the State Convention to a Michigan Hibernian who has shown dedication and commitment to the Order.


Kevin Burke presenting Mnsr. Russ Kohler with the Pat Kileen award. The picture of four are l to r are Mike Kelly (Vice President) Patrick Sturdy (National Director) Kevin Burke (State President) and Tim Higgins (Recording Secretary). The final picture shows National Director Patrick Sturdy investing State President Kevin Burke with the emblem of his new office.

Kevin Burke presenting Mnsr. Russ Kohler with the Pat Kileen award. The picture of four are l to r are Mike Kelly (Vice President) Patrick Sturdy (National Director) Kevin Burke (State President) and Tim Higgins (Recording Secretary). The final picture shows National Director Patrick Sturdy investing State President Kevin Burke with the emblem of his new office.


The women of the LAOH Rose Kennedy Division, in Detroit, Michigan celebrated Irish Culture with Irish Heritage Day, September 13.

Our Division is fortunate to be affiliated with the only AOH Hall in Michigan. Heritage Day hasn’t been held in a few years, so it was our aim to bring it back bigger and better than ever-just like our new hall! We hope Heritage Day will become an annual event at our new “home.”

We would like to acknowledge Barry’s Tea, Bord Bia, Kerrygold and the Irish Tourist Board who were generous donors to this event.

Heritage Day featured ceili and stepdancers from the Ardan School of Dance, celtic harpers, storytellers, bodhran instruction, Irish literature, soda bread making and tasting, Aran knitting, heraldry, Irish language, kilt making and a history of Irish pubs in Detroit.

In addition to the presentations and performances family, friends and community members enjoyed displays of Irish art and artifacts, recipes provided by Bord Bia, booklets and literature from the Irish Tourist Board, a children’s craft area, a powerpoint presentation highlighting all the Irish organizations in the Detroit area, a tea room that featured Irish fare, and a vendor of Irish merchandise. The day concluded with the celebration of Mass, which was followed by more Irish music,singing and dancing.

All in all a wonderful day for Irish and Non-Irish alike!


Dancers from Ardan School of Dance.

Dancers from Ardan School of Dance.

Michigan News

Michigan State President Patrick Sturdy presented the Champions Perpetual Cup to Faith Harris from Ft. Meyers, Florida at the 2013 Detroit International Feis.

Michigan 1A

Michigan LAOH State President Maureen Kelly and AOH State President Patrick Sturdy.

Michigan 1B

Local Food Banks Receive Check

A check for $4,000 was given to the St. Vincent DePaul Society (St. Joseph’s Church, Adrian) and St. Mary’s Church (Adrian) Food Banks by the Lenawee County Ancient Order of Hibernians. The presentation was made recently at the AOH/LAOH Christmas Party at the Lenawee Country Club.

Participating in the check presentation are, from left, AOH St. Patrick Division President Patrick Maguire; Lillian Haddad, representing St. Mary’s; Sonja Matejewski, representing St. Vincent DePaul; and LAOH Our Lady of Knock Division President Mary Roesch.


Michigan News

Presenting a check to Sr. Patricia Fisher, principal of St. Joseph’s Academy in Adrian, and April McCaskey, principal of Sacred Heart School in Hudson, was Patrick Maguire, left, president of the AOH Adrian Division, and Tom Brennan, AOH division officer. St. Joseph Academy and Sacred Heart School are the only Catholic schools in Lenawee County, and appreciate the Hibernian’s donation each year.

The Adrian Division is celebrating its 17th year serving the community.

Michigan News

From left, State V-President Kevin Burke, Bill Knight, Don Detter, Tom McKeon and Jim O'Kelly.

The AOH in the great State of Michigan continues to engage in various fund raising activities while taking full advantage of the warm sunny weather. As one might expect, the activities consist of picnics and golf outings. The State’s oldest continuously operating Division, the Fr. John Whalen McGee Division in Grand Rapids, held their annual picnic on July 17.

Detroit’s Stephen Walsh Division followed with their annual picnic and fund-raiser on a hot, sunny Sunday in Livonia, on July 31, and Plymouth’s Patrick Ryan Division held their picnic at the residence of their Chaplain, Fr. Patrick Casey, on August 7.

All of these events began with Mass at noon followed by food, libations and music.

Two Divisions held their annual fundraisers for Charity. More than 125 members and guests of the Walsh Division of Detroit gathered at the Glen Hurst Golf and Country Club for the Larry Kelley Memorial Classic on August 8. The event raised money to benefit Hospice of Wayne County. The Brothers of the J. Tom Kelly Division of Brighton hosted their annual benefit for Hospice of Livingston County on August 15. One hundred and forty-four brothers and their guests played the Lakeland Golf and Country Club on yet another warm, sunny day.

This Division, the newest in the State, boasts of the fact that in just six years they have passed the ,000 mark in donations to Hospice.

From left, AOH State VP Kevin Burke, LAOH State Chaplain Fr. Tim Hogan, AOH State President Patrick Strudy.

Newly elected AOH State President Patrick Sturdy and State Vice President Kevin Burke led the brothers of Michigan, who, along with their sisters of the LAOH, gathered in the AOH Hibernian Hall on Sunday afternoon, August 21, to honor Our Lady of Knock with a Mass celebrated by the LAOH State Chaplain, Fr. Timothy Hogan. A social followed the celebration.

State President Patrick Sturdy convened his first full AOH State Board Meeting in July. Brothers from seven Divisions were on hand. Patrick reports that his new Board is moving in a number of directions to improve both the communications and the retention issues in the State. Brother Mick Lane, State Organizer, is working on the creation of another Division in Battle Creek by the end of the year.

Michigan News

Michigan held its 78th Biennial State Convention in Brighton, on Saturday, May 20, 2011.  Hosted by the States newest AOH Division, the Tom Kelly Division and co-hosted by the LAOH Sarah Regan Division of Livingston County. The gathering convened at the American Spirit Centre beginning with an ice breaker on Friday evening. The Convention was attended by members from across the entire State who were afford the hospitality of one of the State’s premier VFW/American Legion facilities. The Convention was dedicated to all Veterans of the United States Military.

National Director and National Organizer, Brother Danny O’Connell was in attendance, representing the AOH National Board.  He displayed an impressive “power point” presentation on the importance of retention and organizing and was able to distribute information this subject to all present.  The election of a new Board of AOH State Officers included Brother Patrick Sturdy to the office of State President. Rounding out the new State Board were Brothers Kevin Burke, Vice president, March Jefferies, Recording Secretary and Gerry Mato to the Office of Treasurer.  This year’s State Convention was judged to be one of the best and the largest in years and is a tribute to the combined efforts of the AOH/LAOH Convention Committee who brought it to completion.

The Michigan Hibernian Rifles were present for the dedication of a monument to the twenty-two Union Soldiers, of the Michigan Regiments of the famous “Iron Brigade”, who perished during the Civil War, from the City of Royal Oak.  The dedication was a part of the ceremonies connected with the annual Memorial Day Parade in that City. AOH Brothers Steve Zannetti, Norman O’Brien Division President and Greg O’Sullivan, Division Financial Secretary were on the Parade Committee and invited the AOH to participate.

The summer AOH golf outings commenced with the Daniel P. O’Kennedy Division hosting their outing at the Romeo Golf Club on June 11th.  The monies raised by over 80 golfers were donated to Operation KINDNESS (Kids In Need Deserve Necessary and Essential Surgical Services), founded by local physician Michael Busuito.

Dr. Busuito was in attendance and explained to the golfers how he and other physicians working with Operation KINDNESS travel to foreign countries to provide surgical care to children suffering from severe deformities (mostly cleft lips and palates) that would otherwise go untreated due to lack of medical care and technology in their homeland. The children treated by Operation KINDNESS are the poorest of the poor – without its services, these kids would have little to no chance of leading a normal life.

Operation KINDNESS travels to areas where the need is greatest and continue returning until all the children are treated. For the past seven years, Operation KINDNESS has been traveling to southern Mexico near Guatemala despite the dangers presented by the ongoing drug war and violence in Mexico.

The second of this summer’s AOH Division golf outings took place in Grand Blanc, Michigan, on a beautiful Saturday morning on June 18th.  Hosted by the AOH Sullivan and O’Sullivan Division of Flint.  The event raised significant monies for the Division charities in the Flint area.  Over 80 golfers participated in the annual “Shillelagh Swing” held at the Jewel on the River Golf and Country Club.

New elected Michigan State President Patrick Sturdy, Peter Hogan, Jim Odea and Kevin BurkeSullivan and O’Sullivan Division Members who participated in the golf outing.


Sullivan and O’Sullivan Division Members who participated in the golf outing.

Michigan News

Terry Collins Receives Hibernian of the Year Award

Terry Collins of Adrian, a member of the Lenawee County St. Patrick Division recently received a plaque from Division President, Patrick Maguire, for his achievements in the AOH and serving the Adrian community as its Chief of Police. The proclamation read in part that “Terry Collins, a loyal and dedicated member of the AOH, who has exemplified the doctrine of our organization with his deeds and lifestyle, promoted and nurtured his family, supported the missions of his church, honorably served as Adrian City Police Chief, promoted his Irish heritage in his everyday living, and is recognized for his many contributions to his home town of Adrian, Michigan, be recognized as Hibernian of the Year.”  Collins, a charter member and officer, was instrumental in the founding of the St. Patrick Division of the AOH in 1995. He served several terms as its president and other offices. Collins also served on the state board for the Michigan AOH.  As Adrian Chief of Police, Collins and his department were credited recently for solving a four decades long murder investigation in Adrian that received state and national publicity with the suspect being convicted and sentenced to life without parole.  A proponent of Catholic education, Collins was quoted in a publication, “My Catholic education and faith has always been very important to me,” he said. “Many times, you have a hard time and you have that faith to retreat to, a rock to lean on.” Collins and his wife, Carol, have three daughters, a son and six grandchildren.

Daniel P. O’Kennedy Division Christmas Party 2010

Members of the Daniel P. O’ Kennedy Division, Macomb County, Michigan, enjoyed a night of Christmas fun and cheer at Dooley’s Irish Pub in Roseville. The entertainment was provided by our good friend Dan McCarville, local Irish singer and musician. The celebration was a special thanks to the members for all their contributions to the success of the many charitable fund raisers during 2010. The night of laughter and fun was culminated by a donation of $3,000 from the Division to ‘The Rainbow Connection’ a local charity whose mission is to grant wishes to Michigan children with life threatening or terminal illnesses. The Division’s annual golf outing ‘The Wesley’, is the main charity fund raiser and this year will be the 12th year for this event. This year’s golf outing will be June 11, 2011 at Romeo Golf Course. We invite our Hibernian brothers and sisters to come along this year and help us with our charitable endeavors.

Pictured (L – R) Front Row– Jeff Galloway, Paul Gowdy (President) Brenda Moore (Rainbow Connection) Philomena Lessnau. Back Row – Roy Gowdy, John LaForest (Treaserer), Joey Lessnau, Padraig Pearse McMahon (Financial Sec.), Gerry Stewart (Vice Pres.), Jim Galloway.

19th Annual Souperbowl


October 17th 2010 was the occasion of the 19th Annual Souperbowl fund raising party to benefit the Capuchin Monastery ‘Soup Kitchen’ in Detroit. The committee began planning for this party in May having monthly meetings all through to October.  Past National Director G.W. (Billy) Byrne chaired the committee. The event was hosted at the Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights MI. The sponsors were the Fr. Solanus Casey AOH, the Daniel P. O’Kennedy AOH and the Ethel Kennedy LAOH. All three divisions are from Macomb County in Michigan. There were over 600 attendees who enjoyed as much soup or chilli as they could eat from the over 400 gallons donated by local restaurants and friends. Breads, cakes and other goodies were donated by a many local bakeries. (At the end of the day all the surplus food was transported to the Detroit Soup Kitchen to be shared with the needy who visit there daily.) Local businesses and friends donated many door prizes that were raffled off over the course of the days’ celebration. There was continuous entertainment provided by many Irish musicians and Irish step dancers who volunteered their time without hesitation. All the while, approximately 120 members of the AOH, LAOH and their families and friends worked diligently all day, volunteering their time to make this event a great success. As a result of the party, the AOH/LAOH OF Macomb Co., were able to donate $12,000 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen along with $2,000 to the Capuchin Guild. The checks presentation, in the presence of many members of the Macomb AOH and LAOH, were made at the Capuchin Monastery in Detroit, after the anniversary Mass celebrating the 140th birthday of Fr. Solanus Casey.

Pictured (L – R) Paul Gowdy, Pres. Daniel P. O’ Kennedy Div. AOH, Capuchin Brother Jerry Smith, Agnes Gowdy Pres. Ethel Kennedy LAOH, Capuchin Brother Richard Merling, Kevin Connolly, Vice Pres. Fr. Solanus Casey Div AOH.


Michigan News

Michigan’s Kelly Division golf outing raises ,250 for Hospice of Livingston County

The newest AOH Division in the State, the AOH Tom (Jack) Kelly Division, is barely six years old and has already established itself as a leader in charitable donations among the 14 AOH Divisions in Michigan.  Again this year, thanks to the Members and a huge outgoing of local Community support, the Division golf outing was able to donate $16,250 to the Saint Joseph Mercy Home Care and Hospice, of Livingston County. Division President Timothy Corrigan praised the Membership of the Division for their support and noted that in five years the Division has donated over $75,000 to their favorite Charity. He also thanked Karen “Cookie Lady” LaBelle, for her continued efforts in support of the annual event. This year’s basket of five dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies fetched an incredible $1,700! And yes, they are that good.  Terence Murray, the Charter Division President and current Chairman of Charities and Missions, stated that the event is so successful because everything is donated; the food and drink as well as the gifts. Brother Murray looks for continued success with what has become a premier event for the AOH in Brighton Michigan.

Pictured are (L - R) Timothy Corrigan, Div. President, Gerry Mato, Div. Treasurer, Colleen Conway-Svec, Executive Director of Hospice of Livingston County, Barbara Duguay-Blackmere, Nurse Liaison Hospice of Livingston County and Terry Murray, Div Chair Missions and Charities along with other Michigan AOH members.

Michigan News

Michigan Remembers An Gorta Mor

The Brothers and Sisters of the Order gathered on the grounds of the Shrine of Saint Joseph, along the old Chicago toll road, in the Irish Hills region of Michigan, on May 16th, to remember An Gorta Mor. The Shrine is the location of the impressive memorial erected by the AOH Saint Patrick’s Division of Adrian, as a reminder of the tragedy that England allowed to play out in the period known as “Black 47” or the Great Hunger of 1845-49. The failure of the only crop that fed the native Irish, held in bondage by the invaders of their land from the mid-1600’s, resulted in the dislocation of more than two million and the deaths of more than a million Irish. The Memorial is the only one in the State of Michigan and was formally dedicated in 2004. It was designed and executed by a committee that included AOH Members from Michigan and Buffalo, New York, under the direction of the then Division President, and Past State President, Brother Patrick Maguire.

The ceremony began with a Mass Con-Celebrated by the Parish Pastor, Fr. Carl Simon and Division Chaplin, Fr. David Hudgins. Fr Dave gave an impressive homily and thanks to his Irish heritage, was able to weave bits of history regarding the shameful event, into all phases of the homily celebrating the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven.  Fr. Carl was presented a beautiful award by Brother Maguire and Division President Sean Murphy as a thank you for all his efforts which led to the completion of the Monument on the parish grounds.

The assembly then proceeded to the Memorial where, during the ceremony, President Sean Murphy placed a wreath and then a wreath was placed by the LAOH Division President Susan Maher-Muck, followed by a third wreath placed by Brother William Lynch Representing the Fr. Magee Division of Grand Rapids.

The event was attended by Director Danny O’Connell of Ohio, representing the AOH National Board, State President John McInerney, State Vice President Patrick Sturdy, State Financial Secretary Gerald Mato, State Veterans Affairs Chair Terence Murray and State Historian James O’Kelly.  Brother G. William Byrne Past National Director and Brother Maury Collins representing the AOH of Toledo Ohio, Brother Jerry McNally representing Mahoning Co. Div 6, Youngstown, Ohio, LAOH President Sue Maher-Muck and many more Brothers and Sisters of the Order participated, on a beautiful warm sunny afternoon in the center of Michigan, in this International Remembrance of man’s inhumanity to man. A reception was held, following the ceremony, in the Parish Hall hosted by the AOH Saint Patrick’s Division and the LAOH Our Lady of Knock Division’s of Adrian Michigan.

(L to R) Patrick Maguire - Past State President, Danny O'Connell - National Director, John McInerney - State President, James O'Kelly - Past State President, G. William Byrne - Past National Director.