New Year’s Day Mass honoring fallen first responders

Members of the Padraig Pearse Division #1 annually arise early on New Year’s Day to assist with the celebration of Mass honoring fallen first responders at St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church in Kansas City. Missouri.

The Mass, led by Fr. Ernie Davis, is the revival of a tradition that had fallen aside. A few years ago Fr. Davis asked two volunteers to clean an old chalice he had found in the church basement. The volunteers discovered an inscription on the chalice — “In loving memory of Dennis Whalen, by his wife Anna Whalen.”

Church members learned that Dennis Whalen was a Kansas City police officer fatally shot on New Year’s Eve 1923 while answering a report of stolen property at an 18th Street pawnshop. The parish oral history relates that Anna Whalen had all of the gold and silver jewelry that her husband had given her over the years of their marriage melted into the chalice, which she donated to the church. Until the 1960’s the pastor at St. Therese who knew the Whalen’s annually offered a Mass in memory of Officer Whalen. Once the story of the chalice was known, Fr. Davis revived the tradition of a Mass expanding the intention to all fallen first responders; complete with a full gospel choir on New Year’s Day.

AOH members serve as escorts to the priest, servers and bag pipers, take up the collection, and provide whatever assistance Fr. Davis’ might need. In 2014 the Pearse Division presented a $500 check to law enforcement officers for a memorial bench to be built in honor of KCMO police officer and AOH member John O’Sullivan killed in the line of duty in 1978.

 

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AOH Pearse Division KCMO – Christmas 2014

As part of their Christmas celebration, the members of the Padraig Pearse Div #1 in Kansas City, Missouri, collected over $300 in clothing items to donate to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception’s Morning Glory Ministries. During the dinner night of revelry members raffled a gift and through the raffle raised $350, which was delivered to the Ministries director Karen Miller at the same time the clothes were brought in.

Morning Glory provides an essential and broad set of services to the homeless in downtown Kansas City Missouri. A daily warm breakfast to homeless, disabled, and elderly in a comfortable and homelike setting; emergency assistance for a variety of needs; and on Saturday and Sunday a “to-go” lunch is available to clients. Ms. Miller shared that the inspiration of the name Morning Glory Ministries came “from God`s great glory and compassion, which is new to us all each morning as evidenced through the beauty of each new sunrise.”

Plans are underway for continuing the relationship with the Ministries including volunteers as servers and in other capacities.

 

At the presentation were, standing with Ms. Miller, AOH members Brian Powell, Joe Flanagin (Division President), John McEvoy, Lew Hendricks and Jerry Lonergan.

At the presentation were, standing with Ms. Miller, AOH members Brian Powell, Joe Flanagin (Division President), John McEvoy, Lew Hendricks and Jerry Lonergan.

Speech gets high praise

On April 12, 16-year-old Josh Thomas represented the Michael J. Roarty Division of the AOH from St. Charles, MO, at the 99th Anniversary of the Easter Uprising Ceremony held at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. At the ceremony Josh gave a speech on the historical events leading up to the Easter Rising.

For his efforts Josh received a letter from Sinn Fein’s representative to the United States, Rita O’Hare, congratulating him for his “informed, informative and passionate” speech.  Mrs. O’Hare pointed out that Josh “put in the proper historical context of a struggle for Irish freedom which is centuries old, and not as some portray it, a recent aberration of ‘protestants against catholics’ in the northern six counties.”

The Easter Rising was commemorated by a march to the Republican Monument in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. The Monument was built to commemorate those who are buried there who participated in the wars for Irish Independence. The program included the reading of biographies of some of the men and women who participated in the Rising and the reading of the Easter Proclamation. The Commemoration has been held each year and plans are being made for the special Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary in 2016.

Josh Thomas spoke in St. Louis of the Easter Rising and the events that preceded it.

Josh Thomas spoke in St. Louis of the Easter Rising and the events that preceded it.

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Pearse Division 2014 Irish Classic Golf Tournament

At the Jameson Table – First Liar Never Wins!

 

On a beautiful fall day, October 20th, at Kansas City’s Hillcrest Golf Course, the Ancient Order of Hibernians Pearse Division #1 KCMO held its annual Irish Classic Golf Tournament. In partnership with the Kansas City Irish Center and Museum the division hosted teams from throughout Kansas City in a fundraiser for the charities it supports.

A highlight of the round of golf is a stop at the Jameson’s Table for relaxation and exaggerated and made up stories of golfing skills. This year (from left in front) John McEvoy, Steve Page (back to camera) and Bill Quinn hosted the table which annually is a most profitable undertaking. In the picture along with two participating golfers is the Pearse Division’s good friend, Denny Dennihan (fourth from the left) the president of the Kansas City Kansas Fr. Donnelly Division.

Pearse Division Vice President Lew Hendricks headed up the golf committee and the event grew in both numbers and profit for the third year in a row. The goal of the Division and Irish Center is to have this become the premier fall event for the Irish in Kansas City.

Remembering the Penal Times

On Sept. 21, the St. Patrick Division in St. Joseph, MO., held their first annual Hedgerow Mass, commemorating the time in Irish history when faithful Catholics were forced to celebrate Mass in hiding due to the Penal Laws imposed by the English. Mass was held on the grounds of the Knights of Columbus Council 5067 hall, with Rev. Jack Fitzpatrick as the celebrant. Fr. Fitzpatrick is a St. Joseph native and a member of the St. Patrick Division, ordained to the priesthood in May 2014. He gave a powerful homily challenging those in attendance to be mindful of the struggles of the Irish during Penal times as we try to live as faithful Catholics. Approximately 175 people attended. Mass was followed by brunch consisting of a full Irish breakfast prepared by division members Bill Gall, past State President Pat Casey and others.

The division organized the first road bowling event in St. Joseph on Oct. 19. The event had been a pet project of past division President Pat Byrne, who passed away unexpectedly this summer. President Tim Garvey, Financial Secretary Bob Fitzpatrick and John Byrne took up the planning and re-named the event the Pat Byrne Memorial in his honor. It was held on a beautiful Sunday morning with a number of teams from St. Joseph and Kansas City participating, including a team representing the Fr. Donnelly division from Johnson County, KS.

The St. Joseph boys plan to hold these events on an annual basis as part of our effort to share our Irish culture, heritage, and history with the community.

 

Bill Gall, Fr. Jack Fitzpatrick and Pat Casey at the breakfast.

Bill Gall, Fr. Jack Fitzpatrick and Pat Casey at the breakfast.

Fr. Jack Fitzpatrick gave a powerful homily at the Hedgerow Mass.

Fr. Jack Fitzpatrick gave a powerful homily at the Hedgerow Mass.

Scholarships in Kansas City

On August 14th at the Irish Museum the Kansas City Missouri Ancient Order of Hibernians, Padraig Pearse Division #1 welcomed fellow Hibernian, The Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, and the winners of the annual AOH Scholarship Essay Competition.

Annually students who will be enrolled in a Kansas City metropolitan area Catholic high school are invited to submit an application which includes a profile of their church, school, and community activities. They, also, submit a 500-word essay about a topic of their choice which relates to Ireland or the Irish. This year the Pearse Division received over 30 applications and teams of AOH members scored and ranked the essays which had the students names removed to insure objectivity of the judges.

The winning students this year were; Lexi Chirpich, John Perlik (four-time winner), Brenna Killen (her second win), and Diana De La Cruz. Each winning essay will soon be posted and available to read at the AOH website (www.aohkc.org). Winning essays ranged from a piece on famous Irish scientist to a Commodore John Barry biographical essay.

The students read their winning essay and receive from Bishop Finn a $500 check from the Pearse Division made out to the school they are enrolled in.

 

Garin Nolan, Scholarship Committee Chair; Lexi Chirpich; Bishop Robert Finn; Brenna Killen; Diana De La Cruz; and  Division President Joe Flanagin (missing - John Perlik was at football practice).

Garin Nolan, Scholarship Committee Chair; Lexi Chirpich; Bishop Robert Finn; Brenna Killen; Diana De La Cruz; and Division President Joe Flanagin (missing – John Perlik was at football practice).

Missouri News

Missouri 1BMick McDonough, past-president of the Cardinal Glennon Div. 2 in St. Louis, was honored at the recent 237th Marine Corps birthday ball.

Mick is the former Missouri state chairman for Freedom For All Ireland, state historian and state political action chairman.

The 3rd battalion, 24th Marine regiment, 4th Marine division presented Mike with a memento: a plaster-cast of the renowned Eagle Globe and Anchor for being the oldest former member of the unit in attendance. As such he received the first piece of the ceremonial cake and shared it with the unit’s current youngest member, in keeping with Marine Corps tradition.

In addition, Mick was honored by his Marine Corps League Detachment 725 with induction into the Marine Corps “Military Order of the Devil Dogs,” the honor and fun society of the League.

Missouri News

The Easter Rising was commemorated by a march to the Republican Monument in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Past National President George Clough was joined by Missouri State President John Wilson and Ladies Missouri State President Loretta Sheerin and members of Divisions from St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, Missouri and St Clair County, Illinois.

The program included the reading of biographies of some of the men and women who participated in the Rising and the reading of the Easter Proclamation.

The Monument was built to commemorate those who are buried there who participated in the wars for Irish Independence. The Commemoration has been held each year and plans are already being made for the special Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary in 2016. Those attending the 2014 National Convention in St. Louis will be able to visit the Monument while at the Convention.

Half Way to St Patrick’s Day in Western Missouri

The ninth annual Kansas City Irish Fest took place over Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, at the Crown Center Square in Downtown Kansas City. The Kansas City Irish Fest celebrates the city’s deep Irish roots with seven music stages featuring traditional music and Celtic rock from international, national and locally-known bands such as Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Kila, The Killdares and hometown Celtic rockers and the city’s favorite band, The Elders. The Irish Fest also features a comedy stage, heritage displays and workshops, shopping, ethnic food, a massive area just for kids and the city’s largest outdoor Catholic Mass on Sunday morning.

Kansas City Irish Fest has been named the “Best Festival” in Kansas City and the “Best Ethnic Festival” many times over in the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association’s Visitor’s Choice Awards. The Kansas City Irish Fest is also the third-largest Irish festival in the nation, with more than 100,000 people attending in 2010 and with reports that 2011 surpasses all previous attendance records. This is a great place to meet Hibernian brothers from throughout the Mid-West who were working the festival and enjoying all the great entertainment.

Weston, Missouri, founded in 1837, is just 30 minutes north of Kansas City, and 30 minutes south of St. Joseph. The town of Weston was the boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody and is the home to the Weston Irish Festival at O’Malley’s Pub, founded in 1842, where the Festival was celebrated October 14th through the 16th in 2011.

The Weston Irish Festival began in 2000 and has grown to a three-day event of all things Irish. The Irish Fest brings over 10,000 festival goers to this town of a little over 1,000 on the three-acre property that encompasses O’Malley’s Irish Pub, American Boman Restaurant and the Weston Brewing Company.

The fest served delicious Irish fare, had 15 acts on four stages, including many of the premiere acts in Irish music. Headlining this year’s event were the Screaming Orphans, The Elders, Enter the Haggis, Barleyjuice and The Mickey Finns. In addition, many local Irish entertainers, Irish dancers, and marching bands, the St Joseph, Missouri, Hibernians have been helping work the festival since its inception in 2000.

No trip to Kansas City, Mo., would be complete without stopping at Browne’s Irish Market established in 1887 noted as North America’s oldest Irish business and proclaimed this by the Irish Trade Board. It is considered to be Kansas City’s oldest retail business. When they first opened, proprietors Ed and Mary Flavin, both immigrants from County Kerry, conversed with locals and traded pennies for cured hams and embroidered pieces of lace. Flavins Market, at 27th and Jefferson in the front of the family home, was a place for neighbors to meet. It was Ed and Mary’s aim to provide quality food, wares and Irish hospitality to their many customers and friends. Accommodating their growing needs, in 1901 the Flavins built a new store on the outskirts of town — at the corner of 33rd and Pennsylvania. Their daughter, Margaret, and her husband, James R. (Jim) Browne, also from Kerry, continued the family business after their marriage in 1915, keeping the same friendly atmosphere. Now, the fifth generation can be seen bringing Irish smiles to customers and carrying on the tradition at the store. Kerry Browne and her husband, John McClain, have owned Browne’s Irish Market & Deli since July 1, 1981, when they bought it from her mother, Margie Blake Browne. The store is split between the deli and a section in the building that sells Irish imports, Irish foods, clothing and house wares. St Patrick’s Day brings long lines of customers and also to their street festival held every June.

Browne’s Market is located at 3300 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. 64111     phone. 816.561.0030.

Missouri News

Members of the St Louis-area Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrated Mass on Aug. 20 to honor Our Lady of Knock,

Father Harrison, a member of the St Louis Chamber Chorus, was the celebrant and beautifully sang ‘Our Lady of Knock’ after Communion.

Oliver Cromwell had wanted the landless Irish forced west, and to settle in places like the Burren in Clare, known “to have not wood enough to hang a man, water enough to neither drown him, nor earth enough to bury him.” This is the area that the apparition of Our Lady of Knock had appeared to more than a dozen local people in this tiny village in County Mayo in August 1879. This area, which Cromwell thought so little of, has been blessed by Our Lady’s appearance, and it was our honor to thank Our Lady on this day by the members of the AOH.