On parade in Harrisburg

The Capital Region Association of Irish and Celts (CRAIC) held its Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Harrisburg PA.  The following attended the Pre-Parade Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral:

In the front Row: Laureen Dean, Joan Gorley, Annie Gaughan, all of LAOH Cumberland #1.

2nd Row: Mary Ann Lubinsky LAOH National Catholic Action Officer, Margaret Ferraro, Maureen Dunleavy-Smith, Colleen McCann, Ginny Brink, all of LAOH Cumberland #1, Michael Delaney AOH National Director, Barry Foltz, and Kevin Hall, both of AOH Dauphin County #1.

3rd: Morgan Williams- Fake (CRAIC President), Johanne Slattery LAOH Cumberland County #1 President, Jim Williams AOH Dauphin County #1.

4th: Jim Jones AOH Cumberland County Color Guard, Rodney Owens, Piper, Fr. Thomas Rozman, Pastor of Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick, Tom Kane and Sean Kane of AOH Color Guard.

 

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Allegheny County Div. 4 Donates to 12 Angel Funds

The Tuition Assistance Fund Committee of the AOH St. Patrick Division 4 of the North Hills held a check presentation ceremony on Friday, March 13, at St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford for twelve Catholic elementary schools from the North Side and North Hills. St. Alphonsus is in the midst of celebrating their 175th year as a parish and 125th anniversary of their school.  Each school received $750 for their Angel Funds. They were Assumption School (Bellevue), Northside Catholic, Christ the Divine Teacher Academy (Aspinwall), St. Alexis (McCandless), St. Alphonsus (Wexford), St. Bonaventure (Shaler), St. James (Sewickley), St. Kilian (Cranberry), St. Mary (Glenshaw), St. Sebastian (Ross), St. Teresa of Avila (Perrysville) and St. Ursula in Hampton.  Due to prior commitments and last minute issues, only six of the twelve schools could be present. The monies raised for this event comes from AOH Division 4’s Irish Heritage Golf Classic held in late September at Diamond Run Golf Club in Ohio Township. The event has been held the last seven years and has raised nearly $25,000 for the mentioned schools.

 

At the presentation were: Kevin Parry and Ryan Parry (8th Graders at St. Alphonsus) holding the banner; front row, from left, Principal Mary Ann Miller (Assumption School),  Principal Robert Reese (St. Alphonsus School),  AOH Div. 4 member Larry Tielsch, Dr. Michael Pendred (Principal St. Teresa of Avila School) and Principal Rosanne Kwiatkowski (Northside Catholic School). Back row: Bob Parry AOH Div. 4 Vice President,  Regional Vicar Fr. Phillip Farrell, Fr. Chris Donley of St. Kilian Parish, Fr. Kevin Fazio Pastor at St. Alphonsus, and AOH Div. 4 Chairman of Tuition Assistance Fund Committee Patrick Regan of St. Bonaventure Parish.

At the presentation were: Kevin Parry and Ryan Parry (8th Graders at St. Alphonsus) holding the banner; front row, from left, Principal Mary Ann Miller (Assumption School), Principal Robert Reese (St. Alphonsus School), AOH Div. 4 member Larry Tielsch, Dr. Michael Pendred (Principal St. Teresa of Avila School) and Principal Rosanne Kwiatkowski (Northside Catholic School). Back row: Bob Parry AOH Div. 4 Vice President, Regional Vicar Fr. Phillip Farrell, Fr. Chris Donley of St. Kilian Parish, Fr. Kevin Fazio Pastor at St. Alphonsus, and AOH Div. 4 Chairman of Tuition Assistance Fund Committee Patrick Regan of St. Bonaventure Parish.

Montgomery County Communion Breakfast

The Annual Communion Breakfast took place for the Notre Dame Division 1 of Montgomery County, Pa., at the Holy Trinity Hall. It was a great success with over 100 people attending.

Prior to the breakfast, Mass was celebrated at Saint Mary’s the Assumption. The Church was packed and the sounds the Irish Thunder Pipes and Drums led the members of the AOH and LAOH into the church to the delight of the Saint Mary’s congregation.

The guest speaker at the breakfast was Wally Nunn, a member of the Friends of the Medal of Honors Freedom Foundation. The members of this organization have been working to improve the grounds of the Medal of Honor Grove located in Valley Forge, Pa. This 52-acre grove is dedicated to those who have received the Medal of Honor. There is an obelisk there that represents each state of the Union, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and one for Priests. Each obelisk has the state seal and a list of those Medal of Honor recipients from that state. The AOH obelisk has those listed who have no home state. They may have gotten right off the boat coming to America and went right into the army. So you have the Irish and several other countries listed of those who fought for freedom and were not even U.S. citizens.

If you are in the Valley Forge area make a stop at the Medal of Honor Grove. Or if you are going to attend the Pa. State Convention in July, or the AOH Irish Festival June 5th, 6th and 7th in Mont Clare, make it a point to attend the grove. All these events are close to the grove, you won’t be disappointed.

— Submitted by Pete Hand

Remembering the hungry

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Brothers and family members from Doylestown, Division 3 gathered for a photo after purchasing and dividing approximately $6,000 worth of food for delivery to three community food pantries. Division 3 conducts this ministry twice annually to help feed the poor of Central Bucks County.

Numbers matter less than commitment

This article is to encourage all divisions out there who may face the challenges of being few in numbers of brothers. To quote Margaret Mead, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Shortly after relocating to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania from Long Island, I met Brother Jimmy Johnston selling daffodils for the American Cancer Society after mass.  As I approached the table, I noticed his jacket for the local Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sean MacDiarmada Division 1, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. We chatted a little while, and of course he invited me to the next division meeting.

When I attended my first meeting a couple of weeks later, it was not exactly what I expected. My first division when joining the AOH was Father Francis Fitzgerald Division 8, Suffolk County, New York. We had a hall of our own, and we never had a shortage of brothers attending a meeting, taking Irish language classes, sponsoring dart teams, stopping by the hall on a Friday night for a pint, or hosting a portfolio of events to benefit the community and division.

What was to become my new division had seen some recent struggles with declining membership. Some brothers had moved away, a few passed away, and unfortunately a few no longer had the time to be active with the division due to life circumstances. The division had not been able to secure a meeting place of their own.  However, what I quickly found was that this division had a, albeit small, core group of brothers who embodied the principles of friendship, unity, and Christian charity.

From that first meeting, over the past four years, Sean MacDiarmada Division 1, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, has been able to accomplish great things. We have sponsored seminarians through Project St. Patrick, held a golf tournament in memory of a departed brother that benefitted our local no-kill animal shelter, given an annual scholarship to a deserving graduating student from our local Catholic high school, sponsored the Celtic Thunder basketball team on their trip to the United States, purchased gifts for local children at Christmastime, and assisted the Pocono Irish American Club with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We are even privileged to receive our monthly Irish history lesson from Division Vice President and Historian Brother Martin Hickey and hear a story or two from Treasurer Brother Michael Murray.

One of the Division’s recent initiatives has been to have a mass said, “To Jesus in his divine mercy for protection of the unborn from abortion” at two local parishes, St. John’s of Marshalls Creek, PA and St. Matthew’s of East Stroudsburg, PA.  We have had 56 masses said since the inception of this program in January 2013. It is our hope to take this initiative to the next level and involve divisions from across the entire state and country. If you would like to join us, please send an email to aohmcdiv@gmail.com in order for us to track how many divisions across the country are joining us in this important cause.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something. Sean MacDiarmada Division 1, Monroe County, Pennsylvania may not be able to do everything, but we are able to do something!  For those smaller divisions across the country that may not have resources or property or volumes of members, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Christopher O’Brien
Sean MacDiarmada Division 1, Monroe County, Pennsylvania

Hosie named Mitchell Man of the Year

Every year, on John Mitchell Day, the Hook O’Malley Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Scranton, PA, honor this legendary leader of the United Mine Workers of America.  Mitchell was a hero to our ancestry who came to this Country to better their livesand their families.  During the Anthracite strike of 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt called upon John Mitchell to help end a five month work stoppage that was crippling America.

This great man, John Mitchell, who loved Northeaster Pennsylvania so much as to be buried here in the heart of the Anthracite Region and the site of his greates triumph.  The Hibernians lay a wreath upon Mitchells’ grave at Cathedral Cemetery  and flowers on his wife’s grave, Kathleen O’Rouke Mitchell. A small history of  John Mitchell is also given.

Tradition also is the announcment of the John Mitchell Man of the Year.  This years recipient was Joseph Hosie of Jermyn, PA, receiving a proclamation and a plaque, from Charter President of the Hook O’Malley AOH and Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley stating his 30 years of safe driving  as a member of the Teamsters 449, UPS Circle of Honor Award, service as a volunteer fireman for the past 45 years and currently serving as Chief Engineer for the Artisan Fire Company, Jermyn.   Joe is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Msgr. Wm. Farrell, Carbondale, PA.  He restored the AOH Lackawanna County Board serving as President for 4 years.  He also served at the AOH State Level as State Chairman of Charities and Missions for 4 years, and now serves as the AOH State Director of the Scranton Diocese. Joe and his wife, Katie, have 3 sons, 8 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

AOH helps in the community

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Father Patrick Healey Division 6 of Scranton volunteered for the 14th consecutive year working traffic control for the Steamtown Marathon on Oct. 12.

Chaplain O’Shea revives Westmorland County, PA. after 59-year hiatus

Father O’Shea has been a very active Chaplain serving as Chaplain, Allegheny County Division 32, Deputy Chaplain for Allegheny County, as well as an active participant in State and National Conventions. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, his work as an organizer culminated with the installation of a new Westmorland Division #1, The Bishop William G Connare Division.

Pennsylvania State President Dan Devinney and National Treasure Danny O’Connell were on hand to initiate 18 new members and install the division along with a host of Allegheny County members including Allegheny County President Jim Green, Allegheny Division 32 President Bob Kelly, Allegheny Division 1 President Rich O’Malley, State Director Kevin O’Donnell, and Past National Director / Organizer Denny Donnelly.

Newly elected President Thomas Grace, Vice President Peter Flanigan, Recording Secretary Edward Pultz, Financial Secretary Gerald Wilcox and Treasurer Paul M. Whalen will lead the Bishop William G Gonnare Division. Father O’Shea will be their Chaplain.

From left, Paul Whalen, Treasurer;  Charles Stack, Sentinel;  Gerald Wilcox, Financial Secretary; Danny O’Connell, National Treasurer;  Thomas Grace, President; Fr. Jeremiah O'Shea, Chaplain; Peter Flanigan, Vice-President; Daniel Devinney, PA State President; Edward Pultz, Recording Sectry; Judge John Driscoll, Historian.

From left, Paul Whalen, Treasurer; Charles Stack, Sentinel; Gerald Wilcox, Financial Secretary; Danny O’Connell, National Treasurer; Thomas Grace, President; Fr. Jeremiah O’Shea, Chaplain; Peter Flanigan, Vice-President; Daniel Devinney, PA State President; Edward Pultz, Recording Sectry; Judge John Driscoll, Historian.

Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Hibernians participated in the Installation of Westmorland Division #1 seen here with the newly elected officers and division members.

Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Hibernians participated in the Installation of Westmorland Division #1 seen here with the newly elected officers and division members.

Good luck fundraiser

The First Annual Division 25 Horseshoe Tournament raised over one thousand dollars and was held at American Legion Post 497 in Cheltenham, Pa., Oct. 25, was a perfect fall day, and the event is sure to pick up steam each year. Mark it down on your calendar for the Saturday before Halloween every year.

 

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A tribute to Gen. Thompson

 

On Sept 3, the General William Thompson Division (Cumberland County 2) offered a memorial service and tribute to Thompson, the third being the anniversary of his death. While the division has been offering the memorial service since 1999, this year it was expanded to include prayers and TAPs for all the Irish-Americans and Veterans buried at the Carlisle Old Town Cemetery. This same cemetery is the resting place for Mary Hays McCauley (Molly Pitcher) and General John Armstrong.

Thompson, the first commissioned colonel in the U.S. Army, was a Revolutionary War hero that led the 1st Rifle Battalion, the Thompsons Rifles. The rifles consisted of Irish, Scotch-Irish and Germans assembled from Central Pa. Thompson commanded men of all faiths in our country’s bid for freedom. During his short lifetime Thompson was a surveyor, judge, property owner, businessman and one of the founding fathers of Carlisle Pa.

This year the division was honored to host Carlisle’s Mayor, the Honorable Timothy Scott who offered words honoring Thompson, the more than 750 Veterans buried on the grounds, Irish Americans, and the Division.

“I am honored to be here to say thank you to The Thompson Division of the AOH, for keeping alive the memory of our local patriots, and for their continued efforts to promote their motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. It is through their continued community activities and work with the church as well as their religious tolerance that the Carlisle Community continues to benefit from their contributions,” said Scott.

Through publicizing the event with local media outlets the division enjoyed one of its’ largest audiences to date.

 

At the memorial service to Gen. William Thompson were, from left, Sean Kane, Bill Irwin, Jim Jones and Ed Gallagher.  Photo by Jason Valmont

At the memorial service to Gen. William Thompson were, from left, Sean Kane, Bill Irwin, Jim Jones and Ed Gallagher.
Photo by Jason Valmont

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