Washington DC News

By Ralph D. Day, President, the State Board of the District of Columbia

 

National President, Brendan Moore, Inducts District of Columbia State Board Officers, from left, J J Kelly (Veterans Affairs, Rituals and Degrees, Hibernian Charities), National President Brendan Moore, Ralph D. Day (President, DC State Board), Fr. John Hurley (Chaplain, DC State Board), John Patrick Walsh (Vice-President, DC State Board), Patrick Sturdy (National General Counsel), Jim Keenan (Secretary, DC State Board) and Mathieu Greenwood (Treasurer, DC State Board).

National President, Brendan Moore, Inducts District of Columbia State Board Officers, from left, J J Kelly (Veterans Affairs, Rituals and Degrees, Hibernian Charities), National President Brendan Moore, Ralph D. Day (President, DC State Board), Fr. John Hurley (Chaplain, DC State Board), John Patrick Walsh (Vice-President, DC State Board), Patrick Sturdy (National General Counsel), Jim Keenan (Secretary, DC State Board) and Mathieu Greenwood (Treasurer, DC State Board).

With the summer over, the AOH in the Archdiocese of Washington are getting back energized and better than ever. Whether coming back from our vacations at the beach, or even Ireland, we have returned and the first order of business was our State Convention held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral here in Washington, DC.

Over the past two years, we, the AOH have re-established a wonderful relationship with the LAOH and truly consider our organizations inseparable. Earlier this year we joined forces to showcase the AOH/LAOH to the world as they toured the Irish Embassy during the European Union’s Open House. We continued with having a combine State Convention.

Our Convention had the usual reports from Officers and Divisions. We elected Officers for the next two years. I was honored to be re-elected as President, and delighted that John Patrick Walsh is again Vice President and Mathieu Greenwood was re-elected as Treasurer. Our new Secretary is Mr. Jim Keenan, from Division #1, the Commodore John Barry Division. Our Chaplain is Fr. John Hurley of St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Our National President, Brendan Moore, installed the Officers.

The ladies joined us for our joint program, which featured Dr. Timothy Meagher, Catholic University Archivist, who spoke on the Irish Archives at Catholic University. Most of his comments were on the Fenian movement. He mentioned that the CU Archives are the official archives of the AOH, but he has very little. He was informed that the National President was in attendance and heard his plea for more AOH archives. National Presidents Brendan Moore and Maureen Shelton addressed the combined convention and encouraged us to renew our dedication to the AOH/LAOH and encourage our youthful Celtic Brethren and Sisters to join us, as an organization cannot grow without new blood and new ideas. They both noted the youth that are on our State Board, including our Vice-President and Treasurer.

Returning to individual sessions we were joined by members of the Virginia and Maryland AOH. They had been specifically invited to attend and hear the reports of the National Board Members present. Mr. J.J. Kelly spoke on Veterans Affairs, Hibernian Charities (especially the hunger project), and Rituals and Degrees. He noted that less than 30% of all Hibernians have their major degree. Mr. Sean Pender spoke on the Freedom for All Ireland effort and the success it has had over the last years and encourage our members to participate in the annual trip to Ireland, as well as contribute to the FFAI Christmas Appeal. We also learned that he is running for National Director. We heard from Jim Lawrecy from South Carolina who is running for National Director. Our final speaker was Mr. Patrick Sturdy. As most know, Brother Sturdy is our National Legal Counsel, but also head of the Constitution Committee. He informed us that the entire committee will meet immediately after the National President’s Testimonial Dinner to go over every input they have received. He also assured us that all ideas will be brought to the floor for a vote.

We had a great, if short convention. I am proud to be a Hibernian and even prouder to serve as President of the State Board of the District of Columbia. I hope to see all of you at the Testimonial Dinner.

Members of the District of Columbia State Board Welcome Ambassador Anne Anderson, from left, Keith Carney (Past National Director), John McInerney (President JFK Division), Mattieu Greenwood (State Board Treasurer), Ralph D. Day (DC AOH State Board President), Ambassador Anderson, Dr. Devine (partially hidden), Steve Brennan, Chip Lacey (President, Commodore John Barry Division – mostly hidden), Mike Delaney (President, Sons of Aidan Division), Fr. John Hurley (State Chaplain), Larry Dorney John Patrick Walsh (DC AOH State Board Vice-President) and Jack O’Brien.

Members of the District of Columbia State Board Welcome Ambassador Anne Anderson, from left, Keith Carney (Past National Director), John McInerney (President JFK Division), Mattieu Greenwood (State Board Treasurer), Ralph D. Day (DC AOH State Board President), Ambassador Anderson, Dr. Devine (partially hidden), Steve Brennan, Chip Lacey (President, Commodore John Barry Division – mostly hidden), Mike Delaney (President, Sons of Aidan Division), Fr. John Hurley (State Chaplain), Larry Dorney John Patrick Walsh (DC AOH State Board Vice-President) and Jack O’Brien.

DC News

Ralph D. Day “The Commodore,” President of the District of Columbia State Board and President of  Commodore John Barry Division, Division 1

On 4 March, members from the District of Columbia joined with our Brothers to the south and marched in the Old Town Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  This is the first time we have officially marched in this parade.  The parade is organized by the Ballyshanners led by AOH’s own Pat Troy.

The following week found us in the District of Columbia St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  This year we continued the Commodore John Barry theme with our float having a replica of the Commodore John Barry Gate  recently erected at the Naval Academy.  I rode the float as the “Commodore.”  As we were approaching the judging stand the announcer departed slightly from the script and reminded everyone that the float had a replica of the gate.  This was not in the script, so the effort to get the word out on our quest to erect the gate and memorial is getting out, mostly due to the efforts of John McInerney and Jack O’Brien (members of our JFK Division).  Also on the float was a brand new banner promoting the celebration of Irish-American Heritage Month.  The Monday after the parade I received an email telling us that our entry was considered the best in the parade!  There were over 150 entries in the parade. The Commodore John Barry Division is now the proud owner of a very nice trophy.

Addressing the Irish-American Heritage month, the State Board each year presents the George Washington Parke Custis Friends of Ireland award.  This award is presented to an individual or group that had extended support to the Irish community in the United States.  As a bit of a history lesson, George Washington Parke Custis was the son of George Washington’s adopted son.  It is he who built the Custis-Lee Mansion we now call Arlington.  While not a Catholic, nor of Irish descent, he nonetheless took an active role in supporting Irish immigrants.  On his death bed he requested that each March, “an honest Irishman would place shamrocks on his grave and say ‘bless him.”  This year there were four strong candidates for the honor with the eventual selectee being Mrs. Geri M. Garvey, administrator of the Irish Apostolate, USA.  In this capacity, she interacts with the staff and volunteers at the Irish Pastoral Centers and Outreach Programs, the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants, the Irish Government, the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, plus other faith and immigrant coalitions.  Geri has built upon the success of her predecessors, Fr. Tim O’Sullivan and Fr. Colm Campbell, in enhancing and expanding the outreach of the Apostolate Centers to Irish immigrants living in the United States.  After presenting the award, we proceeded to the grave of George Washington Parke Custis to plant shamrocks provided by the US Park Service and the Embassy of Ireland.  Mr. Kevin Conmy, Deputy Chief of Mission, represented the Irish Embassy.  Once the shamrocks were planted, the crowd of some sixty people all said in unison “Bless Him.”  What a day it was.

Our fund raising efforts for the Commodore John Barry memorial continue.  With the help of several divisions and joined by our Maryland Brothers and Sisters of the LAOH, we held a very successful fundraiser at the Stack Brother’s Irish Channel Restaurant in Crofton, MD.  The Stack Brothers have been very supportive of our efforts.  Not only did they provide numerous items for the silent auction, they also host our annual Right to Life breakfast at the District of Columbia restaurant of the same name.  This fund raiser collected greater than $13,500.00 in addition to two additional &5,000.00 donations announced at the event.

Irish Eyes of Blue and Gray

 

It has been 150 years since the first cannons sang through the air to begin the long song that would be the American Civil War. The War would last four more years, four excruciatingly long years that would claim the lives of more than 600,000 Americans of the North and South. As in every American conflict the armies of the nation, and in this case nations, at war were peopled by souls of many different countries. Immigrants from all over the world took up arms in the name of the Union or Confederacy to fight for their new homes. The Irish were among those immigrants to fight.

The Irish were not newcomers to the United States at the time of the Civil War, having fought in conflicts on American soil since King William’s War in the late 17th century. So when it came to the Civil War it is no mystery or surprise that the Irish found themselves with muskets in hand, nor should it be a surprise to history.

However, Irish involvement in the War was not limited to the venerated 69th Irish Brigade from New York, and the Irish found themselves on both sides of the War, wearing both Union blue and Confederate gray.

In the North, an estimated 150,000 Irish joined the ranks of the Union army, accounting for roughly 22 percent of troops available for duty at peak strength. Drawing on the large population of immigrants living in the numerous city centers of the North, the Union army was able to call on hundreds of thousands of newly arrived immigrants to their new army. Along with numerous enlisted recruits, the Irish also served as officers in the army, leading all Irish units, as well as a few mixed companies. One of those leaders was Colonel Michael Corcoran, the commander of the 69th New York Irish Brigade until his capture at the first battle of Bull Run. Corcoran was undergoing court martial when the shots were fired at Fort Sumter for disobeying a direct order. The order that he disobeyed was a refusal to march in a parade for the Prince of Wales during his visit to the City. Corcoran was also one of the founding members of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, a fact that led many Irish immigrants to enlist in his unit. Another famous commander was the man who took the reins of the 69th from Corcoran, and that was Colonel Thomas Meagher, who would end the war a brigadier general. The story of Meagher outlines the difficult choices the Irish had to face in America, for though Meagher fought for the Union, his three sons joined the Confederacy to fight against him. The Union commanders put him in charge of a native-born unit, but they resented having an Irishman in command, and Meagher was transferred. When Corcoran was captured at Bull Run, it was Meagher who kept the unit together during the disastrous Union defeat, and his heroism and courage inspired many New York Irishmen to enlist in his regiment when he returned to reform the brigade following the battle. It was he who led the 69th in the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Antietam 1862. T. Meagher was no stranger to conflict even before he left for the United States, as he was a founding member of the Irish Confederation and Young Ireland.

These men were two examples of Irish immigrants answering the call of their new country, as they had once done for their old country. But like the wars of ancient Ireland, the Gaels found themselves facing their countrymen from across the battlefield.

The Confederate Army drew many Irish immigrants and Irish already in the country into its ranks. To many the Confederacy was a means to fight the oppression that the Union represented to them, and that they identified with the British. An estimated 40,000 Irish enlisted in the Confederate Army, accounting for 15 percent of troops available for duty at peak strength. There were fewer all-Irish units in the South as their presence was less resisted; Irish officers even led native-born units, which was not practiced in the North. Among those units were the 24th Georgia, 26th Alabama and 16th Mississippi, which served with distinction. A number of regiments boasted “Emerald Guard” units, which became known for their ferocity in battle. But one is hard pressed to find famed all-Irish units in the South, as there was little need to split up native-born and foreign-born soldiers. The Irish found prominence in the South: William M. Browne was born in Co. Mayo and served in the British Army during the Crimean war. He served as the Confederate Secretary of State and rose to the rank of Brigadier as the personal aid-de-camp of President Jefferson Davis. Another notable officer of Irish origin was Patrick Cleburne, who was dubbed “the Stonewall of the West.” He began his military service in the British Army, but rose no higher than corporal. Starting the Civil War off as a private in the Arkansas Rifles, he was elected Captain, and eventually rose to brigadier general and was praised highly by Gen. Lee. General Cleburne was known for his skillful use of terrain and his refusal to surrender ground once it was won, an attribute common among the Gael. These two men are examples of Irish courage, resiliency and ambition.

Men like Meagher, Corcoran, Cleburne and Browne left behind a world of oppression, degradation and servitude for a chance to live in a land where they and their children could live without the bayonets of their occupiers poking them in the back, reminding them of their subservience. The Irish who fought for the North and the South saw it as their duty to defend their new home, and continue the fight they began in their homeland. For most Irish, the North was a beacon of freedom, where their family and kin had gone before them and found jobs and opportunity in cities such as Boston and New York. For the Irish in the South, they melded into a land that accepted them as farmers and businessmen, and they became a part of the history of cities such as New Orleans and Savannah. The Irish in America have always fought, one way or another, but that is another story.

The Civil War was a time when brother fought brother, and to the Irish the same song had been sung before. Ours is a history of violence, stories of ancient Irish kings at war abound in our myths, Brian Boru fought Irishmen in order to unite the island, and open warfare among the counties existed well after the Normans set studded boot to Ireland’s green and rocky shores. So it should be no mystery that in answering the calls of their new homeland, the Irish felt duty bound to defend their freedoms with the musket and the sword, and so they did, wearing Yankee Blue or Rebel Gray.

DC News

Here in our Nation’s Capital, summer is upon us.  In DC it really is true, if you don’t like the weather wait an hour.  I sit down now to what could be my last digest article, at least for a while as I will be leaving office in the Fall.  So much has occurred since my last article.

The DC State Convention will be held September 10, 2011, at the K of C Hall in Bowie, MD.  The State LAOH has been invited to join us in installing their new officers along with ours at the banquet which will follow an afternoon Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Bowie.  All proceeds generated from the convention will be donated to the Commodore Barry Project.

Great things are happening with the Commodore John Barry Memorial Project.  Thanks especially to the work of Brothers Jack O’Brien and John McInerney and the DC State Board, the Commodore John Barry Memorial will now be brought to fruition. The project is fully approved by the United States Naval Academy and Ball boards concerned, but needs funding entirely from outside sources for sustenance and maintenance.  To enable this, Hibernian Charity is the fundraising arm of the AOH.  Hibernian Charity is collecting all donations for the John Barry Memorial Project and will pay for all the construction expenses.  All donations are fully tax deductible since it is a 501(c)3.  Brothers, It is up to us to make this memorial to a great Irish American Patriot a reality.  Div 3 Monsignor Thomas Wells has already donated $300 specifically to the “Barry Gate” as part of the project.  Div 2 Charles Carrolton has also donated $500 to this charity and has issued a challenge to all divisions nationwide to match.  (We’ll be keeping track!!!)

Speaking about divisions, our newest, Div. 4 Sons of Aidan, based at the Catholic University of America have donated many man-hours to St. Jerome School’s social/fundraiser in addition to donating beverages.  The event raised more than $1,500 for the school.  Father James Stack, Pastor, was most appreciative of their work and dedication.  Div 4 plans on holding poker tournaments and other fundraisers to help Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Washington.  This is very important to our great order as it is the duty of every Catholic to promote Catholic education in America.

Div 2 is also sponsoring a Seminarian from their division who is currently assigned to ministry at a local parish in Ireland this summer.  Mr. Christopher Seith will be in the “other” Holy Land for his summer break from the North American College in Rome.  Also keeping up their work in Hibernia, Div 2 donated funds to the Sister Servants of the Lord (the Blue Nuns) who are operating a school in County Wexford.  These American Sisters continue their charism of evangelization by living the Gospel and teaching in Ireland.  The DC State Board also donated $1,500 to the Sisters to erect a statue of St. Joseph at their Novitiate house outside of Washington, DC.

Div 5 John F. Kennedy had two of their sponsored seminarians ordained this June.  Father Michael Paris of DC and Father Michael Roche of Pittsburgh were supported over the past years with donations to offset the many costs associated with their education.  We are very proud of them and pray for their ministries.

I want to thank all the Hibernians, local and nationwide who helped make these past two years most enjoyable and successful.  They really have flown by.  I am sure I will see you all in various other duties as the Good Lord will call and assign me.  I would be remiss if I did not give special thanks to our National Director and Editor, Keith Carney.  Keith does so much that is unseen and unsung for our great organization.  I also want to thank Past Presidents, Brothers John McInerney and George Rogers, for their help, guidance and support.  I Hope to see everyone at the next National Convention in upstate New York.  God Bless you all.

DC Division Celebrates Ordination of 2 Members

 

Two members of the DC John F. Kennedy Div 5 were ordained priests in June.  Both priests joined the AOH in 2010.

Father Michael S. Paris was ordained a priest by Cardinal Wuerl for the Archdiocese of Washington.  The ordination was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on June 18th.

Eight years ago as part of Project St. Patrick, the John F. Kennedy Div “adopted” Michael Paris and financially helped him at least twice a year.  “He became a part of our division’s life,” said division president John E. McInerney, “and we encouraged and prayed for him.”  He attended our social events and got to know the Hibernians well.  He studied Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmetsburg, MD.  LAOH and AOH division members attended the ordination and first Mass and received his priestly blessing.  As a special gift to Father Paris, the division presented him with a set of green Mass vestments.

Father Michael J. Roche was ordained June 26th Bishop David Zubik at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA.  He studied at Catholic University’s Theological College, and will be serving as a priest for the Pittsburgh Diocese.  President McInerney is a friend Father Roche.  McInerney’s brother Jim was his Godfather in baptism.  The division was represented at his ordination and first Mass.  Before he returned to Pittsburgh, the division raised funds to help with his chalice.

 

 

DC News

Here in our great Nation’s Capital, it is spring and all of our ever dependable pastimes are in full swing. Once again the Cherry blossoms are blooming, the Caps are in the playoffs and the Nats are still the losing but lovable underdogs.  I don’t even care to mention the NFL at this time, because there are so many more important things going on in our good order that I wish to share.

We had excellent attendance at the Hibernian ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery on March 19th.  In fact, we had the best attendance in over a decade.  As part of the AOH ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, the John F. Kennedy Division 5 laid their annual wreath at the grave of President Kennedy while the bagpiper, George Rogers played.  His son, Patrick Rogers (age 10) assisted with the wreath.  Deacon Michael Roche, seminarian for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, led us all in prayer as we paid tribute to President Kennedy.  Deacon Roche will be ordained a priest in June.

At Arlington House, the annual “George Washington Parke Custis Friend of Ireland Award” ceremony was held.  I presented this award on behalf of the DC State Board to Thomas and Garry Stack, owners of the Irish Channel Restaurants and Pubs in Washington, DC, and in Crofton, Maryland.  The Stack brothers were honored for their generous community service as well as for their charitable contributions to the Irish American community and to police and firefighters in time of need.

Also at Arlington House, we announced Brother John McInerney as the recipient of the “Hibernian of the Year Award”.  John has been tireless in his efforts to represent everything that we, as Hibernians, should strive to be.  Brother McInerney has, in the past, served on the National Board as Chairman of the National Political Action Committee to forward the AOH national agenda. He has also been active with our Order’s efforts in promoting vocations.  Brother McInerney, working with Jack O’Brien, has made great strides in making the Commodore John Barry Memorial at the Naval Academy a reality.  John also put forth strong and notable effort in erecting the Monument for the Irish Brigade at the Antietam National Battlefield.  Congratulations John!

Our powerful celebration concluded, again accompanied by pipes, when fresh shamrocks, provided by the Irish Embassy, were planted on the grave of George Washington Parke Custis, a leading advocate of Irish freedom in the early part of the 19th century.  Afterwards, a reception was held at the DC Irish Channel Restaurant and Pub.

I would be remiss if I did not extend a special thanks to my favorite and only son, Stephen April, as well as past president  Div. 4,  Brendan Koeth  for carrying the American and Irish flags at our Arlington ceremonies.

As a Lenten observance and outreach, our Hibernians assisted at Local Churches with Lenten meals and Stations of the Cross.  John F. Kennedy Div. 5 hosted Soup and Stations at Holy Family Church in Mitchellville, MD and Charles Carroll of Carrollton Div. 2, helped out with the Friday Soup and Salad at Ascension Church in Bowie, MD.  Once again we continue our work for Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.

Also on May 1st, our members were in attendance to help Fr. Sean McManus launch his new autobiography at the Phoenix Park Hotel. I urge all Brothers to purchasing it and order it on Amazon.com. You will learn a lot about his efforts in the peace process, and getting the U.S. Congress not to ignore the big picture that lies ahead.

Members of the Commodore John Barry Division attended a reception on St. Patrick’s Day held by the DC Friends of Ireland. Pictured (L- R) Kevin Dillon, Gerry Adams, Cathy O’Connor (1st Secretary of the Irish Embassy for Energy Policy) and Div. President Ralph Day.

Washington DC News

As I look back on the past few months since Christmas, so many great things have happened in our gracious and humble order.  To start in late January, we Hibernians in our Nation’s capital were pleased to host, once again, all of our national brothers, sisters, friends and guests for our annual Pro-Life prayer breakfast.  In attendance to our simple affair, was the pleasant presence of our National President, Seamus Boyle, National Vice President, Brendan Moore, and National Directors, Keith Carney, Jere Cole, Chris Norris, along with our National Pro-life Chairman, Bob Mott.  Also in attendance were many pilgrim Hibernians from across our great country from Ohio, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and of course, Washington, DC.  I also would like to extend a special mention to all of our LAOH sisters in attendance. The always affable Ralph Day, President of John Barry Division I – DC, was our Master of Ceremonies for the event.  Great job Ralph! Each National Director gave inspiring speeches to motivate us for the march ahead and the visit to our locally elected representatives.  Thank you Brothers for your encouragement as we embarked on a brisk Washington morning.

The US Naval Academy’s Memorials Oversight Committee approved the Commodore John Barry Memorial in January.  The team of O’Brien and McInerney is working diligently to make all of this a reality.

Our divisions have been very active in fundraising for the order and all our charitable works.  Sons of Aidan, Division III at the Catholic University has hosted poker tournaments and a Super Bowl pool as well. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Division II from Bowie is hosting their annual trip to Ireland raffle.  Only 300 tickets will be sold at $25 a chance. The winner will be announced at their annual St. Patrick Vigil Mass and Social.

Something new that may be of interest, on a National level, is our new program aptly named “Prayers and Pints.” This is a simple day of Spiritual Reflection, Reconciliation and celebration of the Eucharist led by our Assistant State Chaplain Father Rob Walsh (Division III,) followed by good natured fellowship at a local pub.  If anyone wants details on this type of event, contact me personally at bandbapril@verizon.net!

Washington DC News

Rose State Veteran’s Club Student Awarded Commodore John Barry Prize

A Veteran’s Club member at Rose State College with the highest fall GPA will win a $200 scholarship from a prize named for a Navy hero.  The prize, officially named the Commodore John Barry Navy “E” for Excellence Award, will be officially presented by Dr. John Wood, Rose State Political Science Professor, at the end of the semester.  “The Veteran’s Club of Rose State College is excited to have an opportunity to present this award,” noted Professor Wood.  “I hope that awards such as this will encourage students from any branch of the armed forces to join the Veteran’s Club.”  Del City residents Hal and Sharon Cousins are the proud sponsors and award donors.  The award was officially announced on November 18th at 3 PM in the main dining room of the Student Center, and is one of several veteran’s activities planned on campus during November.  During this time a presentation will be made by Captain Tim Pedersen, Commodore of the U.S. Navy.  Captain Pedersen of Tinker Air Force Base is currently Commander, Strategic Communications Wing 1 and Task Force 124.   Also making a presentation will be Charles D. “Chip” Kilburn II, President of the Oklahoma Navy League.  Hal Cousins will make a brief talk on the historical significance of Commodore John Barry.  Mr. Cousins, a former teacher at the University of Central Oklahoma, taught American government classes and is a member of the National History Honor Society and the Naval Historical Institute.  The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), of which Mr. Cousins is a member, proudly endorses John Barry prizes. The AOH is the oldest Irish ethnic and cultural organization in America. Revolutionary naval hero Commodore John Barry is officially recognized and honored as the first flag officer of the U.S. Navy by an Act of U.S. Congress.

Commodore John Barry, DC Division member Hal Cousins on the left and Dr. John Wood of Rose State College on the right.

AOH Meets with USNA on the Commodore Barry Memorial

Seamus Boyle (AOH National President) and Keith Carney (AOH National Director) joined Jack O’Brien and John E. McInerney, the leaders of the Commodore John Barry Memorial Project at the Naval Academy. They participated in a joint meeting between Academy officials and the Hibernians to discuss the proposed memorial honoring Commodore Barry on the Academy’s grounds. Russ Wylie (Philadelphia Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick), and Lt. Charles Cooper, USN, and a member of the Annapolis Barry Division, participated in the meeting. The committee and the Academy agreed on a possible memorial sight near the pedestrian gate, the naming of that gate honoring Commodore Barry, and naming the area the “Barry Plaza.” Nothing is official. This is still a work in progress. However, if all goes well, the Barry Memorial will be seen on a daily basis by both visitors to the Academy and by the midshipmen as they enter and leave the Naval Academy’s grounds.

Pictured (L – R) John E. McInerney (Public Relations Director; Past DC State Board President), Russ Wylie (Past President, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick); Lt. Charles Cooper, USN (AOH Annapolis Division); Sara Phillips (Architect and Execute Director, Academy Projects and member of Memorial Oversight Committee, USNA); Capt. Bob Hofford, USN, Ret. (Director, Special Projects, USNA); Seamus Boyle (National President, AOH); and Keith Carney (National Director, AOH). (Photo: by Louise Verret)

Washington DC News

I write this hoping everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. The National Convention in Cincinnati was a great time. I only wish that more Brothers could have attended from the DC State Board. The turnout overall was good, but I’m sure many more would have liked to have been there. The Convention was well planned and coordinated with many meetings, sessions and places to be, yet there was still time enjoy each other’s company. Thank you to our Brothers in Ohio for a great job hosting. I would like to proudly say that at the Convention – our own Division 2, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, won a National award for Missions and Charities. The DC State board congratulates the newly elected National Board, especially our own DC Board member, Brother Keith Carney, as National Director. The DC State Board along with the State Boards from Maryland and Virginia hosted a Tri-State hospitality suite for all to enjoy. We had many visitors from the Convention stop by and enjoy our entertainment and refreshments. I believe the coup de grace was the Cincinnati Ice Cream topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream on Friday evening. All Brothers should start planning to attend our next National Convention in 2012 in upstate New York. Now that summer is about done, the DC State Board is gearing up for the fall. We will be holding our September State Board meeting and Mass aboard the D.S.S. Commodore John Barry in commemoration of his birthday. Also on our agenda is to establish two new Divisions in Southern Maryland, the birthplace of American Catholicism. We also hope to host a few fundraisers to support our many charities. Plans are already shaping up the annual Right to Life Breakfast in January. These endeavors will require a lot of effort, but I am sure we are all up to the task. Lastly, I ask you to continue to pray for vocations and families.

Washington DC News

The DC State Board had the pleasure of presenting a check for $2,000 to Archbishop Broglio, who is the Bishop of the U.S Military Archdiocese. Bishop Broglio was very grateful to the AOH for the contribution and said “It would be put to great use for fostering vocations and supporting our Catholic chaplains who are fighting two wars and serve our Catholic servicemen and women worldwide.” The DC State Board would like to encourage all Divisions to consider this charity in the future. Their need is great. On March 13th, 2010 at the Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington National Cemetery, the DC State Board presented our annual “Friend of Ireland” award to Dan Layden of the Baltimore Railroad Workers Irish Shrine and Monument. Dan has given many hours restoring and rebuilding four houses in SE Baltimore, where Irish Immigrant lived and worked for the B&O Railroad in the mid-1800s. Tours are now available of these homes when you visit Baltimore, with thanks to Dan. When you visit, you will get a firsthand experience of what it was like to eke out a living as an Irish Immigrant in the United States. We also presented a wreath at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy on that day.  The JFK Division carries on this ritual each year to our only U.S. President that was a member of the AOH. On a Convention note, the DC State Board has wholeheartedly endorsed Brother Keith Carney to be re-elected to the office of National Director. Keith has done a wonderful job for the AOH; one just has to look at the improvements he has made with the Digest. Not to mention all the traveling he has done for the benefit of our order in the Mid-Atlantic States, to keep in touch with many Divisions and State Boards. I look forward to seeing everyone in Cincinnati.

The DC State Board had the pleasure of presenting a check for $2,000 to Archbishop Broglio, who is the Bishop of the U.S Military Archdiocese. Bishop Broglio was very grateful to the AOH for the contribution and said “It would be put to great use for fostering vocations and supporting our Catholic chaplains who are fighting two wars and serve our Catholic servicemen and women worldwide.” The DC State Board would like to encourage all Divisions to consider this charity in the future. Their need is great. On March 13th, 2010 at the Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington National Cemetery, the DC State Board presented our annual “Friend of Ireland” award to Dan Layden of the Baltimore Railroad Workers Irish Shrine and Monument. Dan has given many hours restoring and rebuilding four houses in SE Baltimore, where Irish Immigrant lived and worked for the B&O Railroad in the mid-1800s. Tours are now available of these homes when you visit Baltimore, with thanks to Dan. When you visit, you will get a firsthand experience of what it was like to eke out a living as an Irish Immigrant in the United States. We also presented a wreath at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy on that day.  The JFK Division carries on this ritual each year to our only U.S. President that was a member of the AOH. On a Convention note, the DC State Board has wholeheartedly endorsed Brother Keith Carney to be re-elected to the office of National Director. Keith has done a wonderful job for the AOH; one just has to look at the improvements he has made with the Digest. Not to mention all the traveling he has done for the benefit of our order in the Mid-Atlantic States, to keep in touch with many Divisions and State Boards. I look forward to seeing everyone in Cincinnati.

John and Michael McInerney present the AOH wreath at the Kennedy gravesite at Arlington Cemetery.

Washington, DC

The Washington, DC Hibernians have had a wonderful start to the New Year! On January 22nd, we hosted the March for Life Breakfast at the Irish Channel Restaurant in the revitalized Gallery Place section of our Nation’s Capital. After a delightful hearty feast, we were inspired and energized for the March by our highly capable speakers. Seamus Boyle, our National President along with Matt Nelligan, our National Pro-Life Chairman; both shared the importance of Hibernians keeping Irish Catholic Values in our personal as well as public lives, particularly concerning Pro-Life decisions. We just can’t say we are Pro-Life, we must live it!  DC Board Pro-Life Co-Chairman and scripture expert Mark A. Hammett provided a most spirited lesson on God’s Care for Women and the Unborn as shown throughout the Old Testament. LAOH National President Mary Ryan expressed her commitment to Life and the National March itself. She made it clear that if individual states like Massachusetts can start to effect a change on Life issues, than we as a nation can also make a change. It is up to us the voters!

Hibernians from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, the entire DC/ Baltimore area and elsewhere, as well as their family members, were in attendance at the breakfast. This annual event is definitely worth putting on your calendar for next year, especially if you already are attending the National March for Life.

As of this writing, 20 members form the DC Divisions will be making their major degree on February 28th in Bowie, Md. The Brian Boru degree team from Northern Virginia will be conducting the ceremony.

Also upcoming, DC Hibernians will be marching in the City of Alexandria, Saint Patrick’s Parade on March 6th and the Washington DC St. Patrick’s parade on March 14th. The Charles Carroll of Carrollton Division will be hosting a Vigil Mass in honor of Saint Patrick on March 16th in Bowie, Md. This annual event will also include a night of Irish Social festivities including food, dancing and live music.

Traditionally the State Board of the District of Columbia presents a “Friend of Ireland” award. This year’s honor goes to Daniel Layden of the Baltimore Railroad Workers Irish Shrine. Admiral “Rod” Flannery will be the recipient of the State Board “Hibernian of the Year” (posthumously.) The presentations will be made on March 13th at the Custis-Lee Mansion on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. Following the presentations, shamrocks will be planted at the grave of George Washington Parke Custis, a tradition continued since the 1800’s. Earlier that same day, the John F. Kennedy Division will lay a wreath at the resting place of their namesake as well as a single rose at the grave of Robert F. Kennedy.  In closing, we have accomplished a great deal and we have much to look forward to. If any Hibernians find themselves in the DC area, please make it a point to attend at least one of our many events. All are welcome!