Friends of Saint Patrick Centre offers Young Ambassador Program

Submitted by Rick McMahon

At a recent Milwaukee Division meeting, Jim McLaughlin, chairman of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Friends of Saint Patrick Centre, presented a wealth of information on their Young Ambassador’s Program for 2015.

Candidates for this program have the opportunity to experience a two-week summer study program in Northern Ireland that is designed to promote a greater understanding of shared cultural interests.

Candidates are U.S. residents, ages 20-25, who are actively enrolled in or graduates of a university or other accredited higher education system.

The Friends of Saint Patrick Centre provides airfare, accommodations and transportation while in Northern Ireland as participants in the program.

For additional information, visit their website:


Milwaukee Division President Shawn Lundie with Friends of Saint Patrick Centre Mil-waukee Chapter Chairman Jim McLaughlin.




NEW TASTE OF IRELAND’ Scholarship Event a Resounding Success!

The Milwaukee Division celebrates the overwhelming success of our expanded scholarship event- ‘TASTE OF IRELAND’ held on September 18, 2014 in downtown Milwaukee with advanced sales of over 500 tickets! This event was the result of several months of creative planning and hard work from a team of volunteers in the Milwaukee Division. Scholarships are awarded annually to Milwaukee Catholic schools including St. Rose of Messmer Elementary School, Nativity Middle School for Boys and Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee.

The format included 9 local Irish restaurants competing for “Best of” awards by a panel of local dignitaries and media celebrities, and also votes of the attendees. The main dish prepared by each restaurant was Irish Stew, and then a 2nd specialty food item. Amazing entertainment was provided by Tallymoore, Ian Gould, Niamh Dunne and the Beglan Academy of Irish Dance. Also, local affiliates from ABC and CBS covered the event.


The winning restaurant honors went to:

Best Irish Stew – Judge’s Choice:              Burke’s Irish Castle

Best Irish Stew – People’s Choice:            Mulligan’s Irish Pub & Grill

Best Wild Card Item – Judge’s Choice:    O’Sullivan’s Public House ~Shepard’s Pie

Best Wild Card Item – People’s Choice: County Clare Irish Pub ~Bread Pudding


Congratulations to all participating restaurants musicians and dancers, and thanks for your support and participation in the Milwaukee Division 2014 scholarship event. Our warmest thanks to all who planned, participated and attended this ongoing event. See you in 2015


Submitted by Rick McMahon


Milwaukee Division announces new scholarship event : Taste of Ireland


Submitted by Rick McMahon

We continue to make a difference in the lives of deserving young people in our community.  For many years, the Milwaukee Division Hibernian Foundation has been hosting fundraising events that have raised nearly 300 thousand dollars in support of Catholic education in Milwaukee.

This year, we were excited to introduce a new event that should help create an even bigger impact. On September 18th, we hosted a Taste of Ireland event at Turner Hall, featuring food from nine top Irish restaurants/ pubs in town, live Irish music, Irish dancers and an Irish stew competition among many other activities.

In launching this new event, we expanded the scope and reach of our fundraising efforts; we significantly increased attendance over past events; and better engaged the entire community and ultimately help raise more money for our cause!


And at a recent Division meeting, we were honored to host one of the three schools that the Milwaukee Division supports through our scholarship. Mary McIntosh- President of Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee and 2 other guests presented some exciting information regarding their curriculum and growth/expansion plans for their schools serving Latino students.

Mary reported outstanding results for Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee:

Current statistics report 162 young women in Grades 5-8 at Notre Dame Middle School, and 203 boys and girls in grades K5-4th grade at Notre Dame Elementary School.

Student to Teacher ratios are an exceptional 15:1

Academic Excellence Outcomes show 99% high school graduation rate and 86% of students attend college/university

Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee also offer extended day/extended year enrichment programs and summer camps for students. Graduate Support includes HS placement with scholarships, study hall with tutors, available mentors and college prep support. Mary also is very appreciative of the strong community partnership with 33 organizations/companies including the AOH Milwaukee Division. Congratulations from all members of the Milwaukee Division to the students and wonderful staff!


Mary McIntosh, left, Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee President, Shawn Lundie- AOH Milwaukee Division President, Emilia Melendez and Annelisa Melendez- Notre Dame Middle School.

Mary McIntosh, left, Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee President, Shawn Lundie- AOH Milwaukee Division President, Emilia Melendez and Annelisa Melendez- Notre Dame Middle School.

2013 Milwaukee Irish Fest and Annual Liturgy for Peace and Justice

The 33rd Annual Irish Fest was celebrated on August 15-18 at Milwaukee’s Maier Festival Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Crowds from across the nation estimated at 130,000 enjoyed Irish culture, music, food, theatre, sports, children’s activities and the Annual Mass for Peace and Justice.  The Mass, held in the Marcus Amphitheater, is reported to be one of the largest outdoor Masses celebrated in North America.

Members of the Milwaukee Division who served as ushers at the Annual Liturgy for Peace and Justice concelebrated by Irish-born brothers, Bishop Raymond Boland and Bishop J. Kevin Boland, and Milwaukee Division Chaplain Fr. William J. Kelly, SJ.

Members of the Milwaukee Division who served as ushers at the Annual Liturgy for Peace and Justice concelebrated by Irish-born brothers, Bishop Raymond Boland and Bishop J. Kevin Boland, and Milwaukee Division Chaplain Fr. William J. Kelly, SJ.


Wisconsin 1B


Wisconsin News

WisconsinJohn Gleeson , Co-Director of Celtic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, addressed the AOH Milwaukee Division membership about Irish cultural/historical anniversaries in 2013. John holds a master’s degree in Applied History and an MFA in Film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He directs UWM’s Colmcille Semester program in Ireland and teaches in the Ethnic Studies Program. He also leads study tours to Ireland and Scotland through the College of Letters and Science’s Community Programs and UWM’s School of Continuing Education.  He has lectured extensively on Ireland and is a regular consultant and contributor to print and broadcast media on Irish issues.  John is well known as a speaker and cultural activist.  He was voted 1993 “Irishman of the Year” and is numbered among Irish America magazine’s “Top 100.

Please consider this your personal invitation to join your Hibernian Brothers and their families at the annual Milwaukee Irish Fest Celebration on beautiful Lake Michigan this August 15-18, 2013. The Milwaukee Division hosts an ‘AOH Hospitality Suite’ on Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17 with room for the whole family. Come and join us. Also plan to attend the annual Irish Fest Mass for Peace and Justice on Sunday morning August, 18 at the Marcus Amphitheatre on the Irish Fest grounds.

Wisconsin News

‘gniomhaiochtai Milwaukee’

(Milwaukee Activities)

Milwaukee Irish Fest is a yearly ethnic festival held at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, every third weekend in August. More than 130,000 people attend the Fest each year to take in nearly 250 acts on 17 stages. The four-day downtown festival started in 1981. Irish Fest is the largest of the ethnic festivals held at the Summerfest grounds, and holds claim to the largest celebration of Irish Culture in the world.

Festival highlights include:

  • performances from local, regional and national Irish Dance troupes,
  • · music from nearly 250 artists from around the world, sung in English and Irish,
  • stages for Céilí dancing, and an area to learn Céilí dancing,
  • celebrations of Irish sport and culture,
  • Liturgy for Peace & Justice held in the Marcus Amphitheater on Sunday morning.


The annual closing event is the Scattering, a gathering of many of the festival’s musicians playing together in one combined session, with 50 or more musicians on the stage at one time not uncommon.

Irish people the world over come to see the festival from as far off as England, Scotland, Egypt, Pakistan and Ireland itself. Many of Ireland’s news stations will send reporters over to cover the festival. Irish Fest celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005.

The Milwaukee Division annually provides a welcoming Hospitality Area for all AOH members, family and friends who travel to Milwaukee Irish Fest from all over the nation.


Archbishop Jerome Listecki presided over the Liturgy for Peace & Justice Mass for at least 11,000 people Sunday, August 21, in the Marcus Amphitheater during Irish Fest. Organizers say it is the largest outdoor Catholic Mass in the country.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki meets with 40+ AOH members after the Liturgy for Peace & Justice who volunteer as ushers during the annual Mass held at Milwaukee Irish Fest.


The Milwaukee Division proudly supports multiple local activities, Catholic schools and institutions.  One of those most endearing to the hearts of Hibernians and the Milwaukee Irish community is the great landmark treasure, the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center of Wisconsin.  For many years, Irish Americans in the Milwaukee area dreamed of creating an Irish community center and in the early 1990s, a determined group set about the task to preserve our Irish heritage.  On March 25, 1992 the group incorporated as the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (ICHC) of Wisconsin, Inc.  Members of the many Irish organizations in the Milwaukee area were included in the planning and fund-raising efforts.  Some of the highlights of these activities included two cruises in memory of the Lady Elgin shipwreck, raffles at local Irish bars, a friendly wager with the Italian community over the Ireland-Italy World Cup soccer match in the USA (Ireland won), and two softball tournaments.  Early in 1996 the ICHC board of directors began meeting with the Grand Avenue Congregational Church council, with the aim of the church building becoming the Center we had long dreamed of.  This became a reality on December 2, 1996.  The official grand opening celebration was held on St. Brigid’s Day, February 1, 1997.

The current site (2133 West Wisconsin Avenue, formerly Grand Avenue) was purchased by the congregation in 1886, and the church itself was built the following year.  It is said that the site was originally part of a former Catholic cemetery, and that two skeletons were uncovered when construction began in the basement.  In 1910 a magnificent 4000+ pipe Kimball organ was added.  In 1986 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  A principle feature of the building was the remarkably large church auditorium, which was equipped to seat 1,300 persons.  For over 60 years this remained Milwaukee’s largest auditorium for public use.

Nearly every day since February 1, 1997 the public and Irish or other Celtic groups take part in a wide range of cultural and educational programs, committee and board meetings, at exhibits, dances, weddings, concerts, lectures, genealogical research etc., with the convenience of two pubs.  Several organizations are permanently located at the ICHC as their focus of operations.  (Discover more at  Milwaukee’s Irish community invites you to visit the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (ICHC) located in the landmark Grand Avenue Congregational Church building just west of downtown. The impressive limestone structure retains almost all of the original features from its 1887 construction.  Whenever you are in the area please make this edifice one of your stops.