Our Lady of Knock, August 21

On the evening of August 21, 1879 Mary McLoughlin, the housekeeper to the parish priest of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland, was astonished to see the outside south wall of the church bathed in a mysterious light; there were three figures standing in front of the wall, which she mistook for replacements of the stone figures destroyed in a storm. She rushed through the rain to her friend Margaret Byrne’s house.

After a half hour Mary decided to leave and Margaret’s sister Mary agreed to walk home with her. As they passed the church they saw and amazing vision very clearly: Standing out from the gable and to the west of it appeared the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John. The figure of the Blessed Virgin was life-size, while the others seemed to be neither as large nor as tall. They stood a little away from the gable wall about two feet from the ground. The Virgin was erect with her eyes toward Heaven, and she was wearing a large white cloak hanging in full folds; on her head was a large crown.

Soon a crowd gathered and all saw the apparition. The parish priest, Archdeacon Cavanaugh, did not come out, however, and his absence was a disappointment to the devout villagers.

The next day a group of villagers went to see the priest, who accepted their report as genuine; he wrote to the diocesan Bishop of Tuam; then the Church set up a commission to interview a number of the people claiming to witness the apparition. The diocesan hierarchy was not convinced, and some members of the commission ridiculed the visionaries, alleging they were victims of a hoax perpetrated by the local Protestant constable! But the ordinary people were not so skeptical, and the first pilgrimages to Knock began in 1880. Two years later Archbishop John Joseph Lynch of Toronto made a visit to the parish and claimed he had been healed by the Virgin of Knock.

The village of Knock was transformed by the thousands who came to commemorate the vision and to ask for healing for others and themselves. The local church was too small to accommodate the crowds. In 1976 a new church, Our Lady Queen of Ireland, was erected. It holds more than two thousand and needs to, for each year more than a half million visitors arrive to pay their respects to the Blessed Virgin.

The Church approved the apparition in 1971 as being quite probable, although it has never been formally stated. The Shrine at Knock is opened year round. In 1994 three life-sized statues were erected of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John.


Our Lady of Knock Prayer

Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to our people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise: “Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find.” Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick or lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the holy Mass. Pray for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Ideas your Division can do to help a local Parish or Catholic Charity.

  1. Hold a family barbecue at a Parish. Money raised at the event can be used to purchase a new grill and equipment for the Church.
  2. Hold a yard sale. The funds can be used to support a local seminarian and local religious education programs.
  3. Sponsor an ice cream social for Parish members and their families.
  4. Clean a stretch of highway near a Parish.
  5. Repave the sidewalk at a parish.
  6. Sponsor a community rosary program that included lectures about the Pope and instructional sessions on how to pray the rosary.
  7. Built a wheelchair ramp for a member of the Parish with disabilities.
  8. Run a money wheel at the annual parish fair for the church.
  9. Co-sponsored a town hall meeting on health care changes.
  10. Hold a dinner to benefit parochial schools.


Thank you,

Ed Brannan

Ohio Division 6

Hibernians To Celebrate 175th Anniversary at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

At a February 23rd meeting at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, chaired by General Chairman Past National President Ed Wallace with co-chair Tom Beirne, NY County President, Msgr. Sakano, National President Seamus Boyle and many 175th committee members, final plans were made for the parade, Mass and reception on May 21st, 2011 commemorating the 175th anniversary of the AOH.

This site and date in May 2011 were chosen to recognize the founding of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America at nearby St. James Church (now closed) 175 years ago on May 4, 1836 by a ‘handful of Irishmen.” A letter dated 5/4/1836 “From the Brethren in Ireland and Great Britain to the Brethren in New York.” read:

“Brothers, greeting: Be it known to you and to all it may concern that we send to our few brothers in New York full instructions with our authority to establish branches of our society in America.” The letter goes on to explain qualifications for membership, use of the motto Friendship, Unity and true Christian Charity, and what is expected of the new branches and its members.

It was at Old St. Patrick’s that the call went out to the Hibernian brotherhood by Archbishop John “Dagger” Hughes to save the church from the Know Nothings in the mid 1800’s when those bigots were burning catholic churches. The AOH surrounded and saved the Cathedral and later built the wall around it.

To note the founding of our Order, Hibernian members wearing sashes, and guests are asked to assemble on Mulberry Street near Precious Blood Church just north of Canal St. at at 9:00 am on May 21, 2011. The parade will step off at 9:30 am and go north on Mulberry St. to Prince St., right on Prince St., left on Mott St. to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. This route retraces a similar route, depicted in the famous lithograph, of the 69th Regiment in April 1861 on their way to the Civil War parading to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and past the then AOH headquarters at 41 Prince Street. The 175th parade will be led by AOH color guard, clergy, AOH National Bd, first two divisions organized in 1800’s, LAOH Nat’l Bd, pipe bands and state, county and division officers and members with their flags and banners. Representatives of the Fighting 69th will also be part of the march to the Cathedral.

An anniversary Mass to be celebrated by the AOH National Chaplain Father Thomas O’Donnell of Pittsburgh and con-celebrated by the pastor Msgr. Sakano, AOH State, County and Division Chaplains bishops and priests will take place at 11:00 am in the Old Cathedral. The Mass will be sung by the Hibernian Festival Choir under the direction of Maura Allen.

This choir has sung at the White House and at many venues in Ireland, N. Ireland, Canada and the U.S. and have always added to the solemnity of the liturgy. AOH members will act as ushers and altar servers under guidance of a committee headed by Past National Director Martin Kelly of Brooklyn.

Following the Mass, a reception will be held in the Youth Center across from the Cathedral. Catered food and refreshments and entertainment will be offered starting at approximately 12:30 pm. A short program and introduction of visiting dignitaries will take place during the reception.

The reception will be chaired by Sir Patrick Allen, a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and a brother Hibernian. A fee of $20.00 per person will cover cost of reception and day’s activities. All who plan to attend the May 21st celebration is urged to respond by April 30, 2011 with number attending and check made out to: AOH 175th  Anniversary and send to: AOH 175th Anniversary % Mr. Patrick Allen 1713 Summit Avenue Union City, NJ 07087. Registration and receipt of wrist band of all pre-paid responders will take place at parade assemble area prior to start of parade and again for rest of attendees immediately following the Mass. All are urged to respond by the deadline.

For anyone coming to the 175th celebration at Old St. Patrick’s and wishing to stay over the night before should make their own hotel arrangements at several of the hotels in the immediate area such as: Holiday Inn Soho 138 LaFayette Street at 212-966-8898 Use Code AOH for $179/night Fri/Sat (contact Brendan Moore 631-363-2388 or brendanaoh@yahoo.com and he will get more rooms added); Hotel East Houston 151 E. Houston St. at 212-777-0012 or The GEM Hotel –Soho 135 E. Houston St at 212-358-8844. Each of these are within a few minutes walk of the Cathedral. Other hotels can be found online.

To get idea of numbers attending on 5/21/11, everyone is asked to contact asap either 175th Chrmn. PNP Ed Wallace at 315-686-3917 or email ewallac2@twcny.rr.com or Nat’l Pres. Seamus Boyle at 215-820-1547 or email shay39@comcast.net.

California News

Bishop Ward marks 90th birthday

Retired Auxiliary Bishop John Ward, one of only three living U.S. bishops who participated as a bishop at Vatican II, celebrated his 90th birthday on Sept. 28th. Bishop Ward, born Sept. 28, 1920 in Los Angeles, attended Holy Cross School, Los Angeles College (the former junior seminary) and St. John’s Seminary before he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1946, the last to be ordained by Archbishop John Cantwell. He was named an auxiliary bishop by Pope Paul II in 1963, and chose Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the date for his episcopal ordination. Bishop Ward is a lifelong Hibernian and came from a Hibernian family and treasures his AOH affiliation and Hibernian pin dearly. He has been a member of Los Angeles “Pat O’Brien” Division One for nearly 60 years. His family was early pioneers in late 1800’s and helped the Hibernians to grow and flourish into a vital part of Los Angeles life. Bishop Ward previously was honored as 1968 Irishman of the Year by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Los Angeles and Hibernian of the Year by the Los Angeles County Board AOH. During the third and fourth sessions (in 1964 and 1965) of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Ward was assigned by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre to participate. The only other living U.S. bishops who served in that capacity at Vatican II is retired Archbishops Raymond Hunthausen (89) of Seattle and Philip Hannan (97) of New Orleans. Bishop Ward served in numerous administrative capacities for the archdiocese and was also a pastor for many years while a bishop at St. Timothy Church, West Los Angeles. He was the first regional bishop of the Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region, retiring officially in 1994 but continuing to serve the archdiocese on a consultative basis on numerous matters. He lives privately in Los Angeles.

Food Drive for the Homeless

Rev. Father Charbel R. Grbavac, Norbertine Abbey of St. Michaels Celebrates Mass at the Big Irish Fair to the crowd attending the Los Angeles County Board sponsored Mass at the Fair.

The Hibernians of Los Angeles Divisions One and Two are collecting food for the Second Harvest Food Bank at the Great American Irish Fair and Music Festival in Irvine California. Flanked by members of the “3rd West Cork Brigade.” (Protecting the food supply) this historical group tells stories of the Irish War of Independence at the fair. The members of the AOH and the Irish Fair Foundation sponsor the annual Irish Memorial Mass at the Big Irish Fair and Los Angeles AOH “Pat O’Brien” Division 1 and Los Angeles Division 2 jointly sponsor the  Hibernian Food Drive for the Homeless at the Big Irish Fair at Irvine Meadows. Over two tons of food for the homeless has been collected for Second Harvest by the efforts of the AOH Brothers of Los Angeles.

Officers of Los Angeles Division 1 and 3 with the food drive collection. Pictured (L – R) Bill Leahy, President of Division 2, Terry Anderson President of Division 1 and a past State President, Rev. Father Charbel R. Grbavac, Griffin Healy, Ed MacGilfrey and Allyn Anderson, County President.

"Friends Outside" Christmas Party - Pictured (L – R), front row - Bill Donahue, Jeff Gallagher, Jerry O'Keefe, Daniel Murphy, Mick O'Keefe, Ken Jamieson, and Eric Linden. Back row: Mark Mowen, Kieran Scott, Austin Daly, Chuck Gildea, Mark Skeffington, Daniel McGowan, Chris Wittman, Eric Reiss, David McKenna, Kevin O'Keefe, Jim Walsh, Chris O'Keefe, Kevin Spaeth, Sean Gunning, Jim McGuirk, Father Michael Hanifin, Jim Weston, and Tim Weston. Hibernians also in attendance but not pictured Terry McCarthy, Eamonn Knuff, Joe Harvey, and Ernie O'Leary.

On December 11th, once again Orange County and Long Beach Hibernians of California came together to support the Saint Vincent de Paul “Friends Outside” Christmas party at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. We had a great turnout of our Brothers from all three Orange County Divisions, and the Long Beach Division, who shared their time, effort, and Christmas spirit with these needy children, who have one or both of their parents in prison. Our own, Jerry O’Keefe, past AOH National Director did a masterful job as Master of Ceremonies, and kept the program moving. Our Hibernians had the honor of serving a full Christmas meal donated by Frank Garcia of Casa Garcia Restaurant in Anaheim, and distributing a Christmas toy to several hundred excited children. Father Michael Hanifin, AOH Division #3 Chaplain, John Welter, Anaheim Police Chief, and Randy Bruegman, Anaheim Fire Chief will were the guests of honor. We also had the pleasure of having our own Terry McCarthy, and the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Bagpipe band lead the procession. Also, many thanks to Eamonn Knuff for providing his musical talent to entertain the children. I know that we are all looking forward to sharing our Christmas spirit with the children at next years’ event!!!

On November 13th the 5th annual AOH Hawaiian Luau was held in Anaheim Hills. Many thanks to Mick and Melanie O’Keefe for offering their lovely home for the event. A special thanks to Terry McCarthy, our official AOH County bagpiper, for once again performing and entertaining the Brothers with his wonderful talents and to Brothers and Sisters who brought food for all to enjoy. Terry always keeps the party going. I can assure you that all in attendance would say that the Luau was an extreme success. During the joint meeting before the Luau, Division #2 elections were held and the results are as follow: Kieran Scott, President, Tim Weston, Vice-President, Mick O’Keefe, Treasurer, Eric Linden, Recording Secretary, and Daniel Murphy, Financial Secretary. Please join me and show our support for these worthy Brothers in 2011-2012. On a special note, I want to congratulate Melanie Murphy-O’Keefe, for being elected the President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians here in Orange County. Over the last 15 years, Melanie has been extremely supportive of our AOH Brothers. Did I mention that she has hosted some great parties over the years? If any of your wives or daughters is interested in joining the LAOH, please have them contact Melanie directly at gra2u1@aol.com.

AOH Hawaiian Luau - Pictured from (L – R) John Farrell, Jerry O'Keefe, Mick O'Keefe, Mark Mowen, Kieran Scott, Michael Histon, Eric Linden, Ken Jamieson, Daniel Murphy, and Terry McCarthy.

Donations To Old St. Patrick’s

Members of The Francis P. Beirne AOH Division 9, NY County at the presentation of $10,000 check to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. (L to R) Brian Andersson, NYC Commisioner of Archives; Pete Coyle, Division Treasurer; Paul Mahoney; Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor and NY County Chaplain; Martin Beirne, Division President; Archbishop Timothy Dolan; Brendan Lynch, Past Division President; Mary Beirne; Tom Beirne, NY County President; John Pesche, South Florida State Organizer; Sir Patrick Allen.

Members of The Francis P. Beirne AOH Division 9, NY County at the presentation of $10,000 check to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. (L to R) Brian Andersson, NYC Commisioner of Archives; Pete Coyle, Division Treasurer; Paul Mahoney; Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor and NY County Chaplain; Martin Beirne, Division President; Archbishop Timothy Dolan; Brendan Lynch, Past Division President; Mary Beirne; Tom Beirne, NY County President; John Pesche, South Florida State Organizer; Sir Patrick Allen.

Members of the AOH attended a memorial Conference and Mass to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal John O’Connor in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday May 3, 2010. Cardinal O’Connor was a proud Hibernian, a member of Division 9, NY County, recipient of the John F.Kennedy Memorial Medal from the AOH National Board; and the 1996 Grand Marshal for the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

After the conference and prior to the Mass Martin Beirne, President of the Francis P. Beirne Division 9, NY County AOH presented a check for $10,000 to Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and to Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Division 9 has pledged $30,000 as part of the Cathedral’s 200th Anniversary Capital Campaign; to cover the costs of installing transparent doors into the burial crypt under St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.  The Division is proud to help with the restoration and improvements at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, which the AOH were called on by Archbishop John “Dagger” Hughes to defend by force during the 1830 and 1840’s.  The AOH defended the church grounds and prevented the “Know Nothings” from destroying St. Patrick’s old Cathedral.  A reenactment of the defense of the Old Cathedral was made on Sunday June 7, 2009 after a Mass and Parade to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the laying of the Cornerstone for St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Archbishop Timothy Dolan announced at the St. Patrick’s Day Mass in the New Cathedral that St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was granted Basilica status by the Holy Father.

Monsignor Donald Sakano, who in addition to his duties as pastor of the Old Cathedral also serves as chaplain to the New York County AOH Board, said “I am both grateful for the practical support shown by Division 9 of the New York County AOH, and moved that its membership is still standing “shoulder to shoulder” in defense of the Old Cathedral, as their forebears did long ago.  The gift of the members, which is the first donation tied to a specific 200th Anniversary Campaign project, will enable visitors to the Old Cathedral to see through transparent doors, emplaced in the Mott Street courtyard of the Old Cathedral, into our one of our most notable features, our historic crypt, which contains the remains of many prominent New Yorkers, as well as many of the pioneering priests of the Archdiocese going back to the early 19th century.  As we undertake a number of restoration projects in connection with the 200th anniversary of the Old Cathedral, this generous gift is deeply appreciated.”

Plans are now under way for the 175th Anniversary of the AOH in America and many of the events, including masses and tours of the Old Cathedral, are currently being planned for the Fall of 2011.