The period from August to present has been an eventful one for the Bobby Sands MP Division. Your Hibernian brothers here in Tulsa, OK, have been exceedingly busy remembering our past, promoting Irish culture, extending Christian charity to our neighbors as well as actively participating in the pro-life movement. On 14 August 2010, chapter members traveled to Atoka, Oklahoma, in the heart of the Choctaw nation, in order to visit the site of the first ever Catholic parish church. A Cavan born priest, Father Michael Smyth, established St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in 1872 in what was then known as Indian Territory. Ireland’s link with the Choctaw was not confined to that moment, however. Prior to the arrival of Fr. Smyth, the Choctaw organized substantial aid that was sent to Ireland during the Great Famine (an Gorta Mor). Recently, in May of 1995, Mary Robinson, while still President of Ireland, traveled to meet with tribal leaders to express Ireland’s appreciation for the greatly needed support given by the Choctaw. Believing that the link between Indian Country and Ireland should not be forgotten, members of our chapter spent the day together traveling to Atoka in tribute and commemoration of the links still visible between our two peoples. On Saturday, 2 October 2010, we participated in the Global Oklahoma Festival just outside of Oklahoma City on the campus of Rose State University. The theme for the festival this year was Ireland and, as such, many Irish-American organizations were invited to take part. Our involvement garnered us the opportunity to raise awareness about the organization and to raise money for this year’s Christmas campaign.
Our Christmas project this year is to take four needy families from the diocese and treat them as our guests to a traditional Irish Christmas. On Christmas Eve, in the Monsignor Halpine room of Holy Family Cathedral, we and our guest families will enjoy an evening of singing, gift-giving and general merriment. We will treat our adopted families to all the warmth and camaraderie of a traditional Christmas along with an immaculate meal equipped with roast goose, plumb pudding and all the rest. To top off the day, we will attend midnight mass together with our guests. Members of the AOH in Oklahoma have been actively providing security and serving in other areas during the 40 Days for Life campaign this year. For more information consult the following: www.40daysforlife.com/Tulsa. In addition to our participation at each of the three rallies, chapter members gathered on October 10th at the Garden of Hope, a diocese owned plot located across from an abortion clinic, to pray from midnight until 6:00 am for an end to abortion.
We are now on Facebook. We can be found as AOH Tulsa. All AOH members are welcome to friend request us so as to keep each other informed and get to know one another better. Slan achairde agus go raibh maith agut