Missing Pat

Dear Brother and Sister Hibernians,


July 19, 2013, was the first anniversary of the passing of Pat Shannon.

We members of St. Patrick’s Division 2 still feel the loss of his knowlwedge and leadership but most of all his friendship. The past year was difficult, but was made easier by the support we received from the National, New York State and Suffolk County boards as well all of our fellow Hibernians nationwide. As head of the Tara Court Major Degree team and all of his hard work, Pat’s loss was felt across the country.

Please keep Pat, his wife, Della, and son, Kevin, in your prayers. And Pat, until we meet again, may God hold you in the Palm of his hand.

Man, I miss that smile!!!

Yours in Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity,

Jerry Belmont

President, AOH Division 2

Babylon, NY

Editor John O’Connell

I drove through Long Beach, Long Island, in mid-January and it was clear that residents and businesses are still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I’m sure it’s the same in the other Long Island communities like East Rockaway, Point Lookout, Oceanside, Island Park, also the Rockaways, Staten Island, and the hard-hit areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.

It makes me so proud to be a Hibernian when I see division members and officers, county officers and state officers drive sometimes hundreds of miles to help fellow Hibernians in such need. Thanks to your donations, our national board’s relief fund is a Godsend to many families who are still struggling just to have decent shelter and the basic necessities. It is also so wonderful that brothers came to those areas with strong backs and helpful hearts. This was hard labor to help homeowners rip out sheetrock and clean homes, but Hibernians demonstrated all three dimensions of our motto by giving up their own time to travel in some cases long distances to help their brother and sister members of the Order.

God bless the Hibernians who have contributed in whatever way they are able to help their fellow members of the Order.



For all those national officers, state presidents and others who want to submit articles to the Digest, here are the general deadlines for getting your copy and high-quality photos to me: I need your submissions no later than the first of the first month of each issue. For example, Jan. 1 for the Jan-Feb issue, May 1 for the May-June issue, Nov. 1 for the Nov-Dec issue. There are two exceptions: The deadline for the March-April issue will be immediately after St. Patrick’s Day; and the deadline for the July-Aug issue is right after your conventions. Otherwise, St. Patrick’s Day events would be seen in June (too late!) and convention news wouldn’t be read until October! So the March-April deadline is March 22 and the July-Aug deadline is 19. Any questions, just email me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com.


Digest volunteers

My fellow Nassau County Division 8 brother, Robert Lynch, is the new assistant editor with responsibility for the online version of the Hibernian Digest. His email address is anpiobaire@aol.com. The former online Digest assistant editor, Joe McDonald, was appointed by President Brendan Moore to be the National Webmaster, so I’ve asked Bob Lynch to replace Joe on the “Digital Digest.” Don’t send any online Digest inquiries to Joe anymore; he has enough to do with the national and New York state websites — and doing a fabulous job at it! All questions and submissions for our digital Digest should still go through me and I’ll pass them ob to Bob Lynch. Congratulations to Robert and to Joe.

Another vacancy exists, however, on the Digest’s staff of volunteers. We need a sales manager to sell advertisements for the Hibernian Digest. Printing the Digest every two months is a major expense for the Order. Our annual dues pay for that expense. The only offset is revenue from advertising. As you can see, not many ads are being sold. This would be the perfect part-time activity for one of our brothers who is a retired salesman. Even a currently employed salesman may have the time to manage our sales effort and sell some ads. Please contact me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com so we can talk.



Political Education – Joe Roche

The National Re-Unite Ireland Campaign has been launched. All levels of our organization should be planning a local effort to gain as many completed endorsed messages of hope for a timely reunification of our ancestral homeland.

Individual members should be aware that all related resolution-gaining materials are in the hands of their state presidents and the national directors assigned to their individual states.

We ask each brother and sister Hibernian to become a committee of one to review the sample resolutions provided to select his or her target group, be it a labor union, community organization or fraternal/social group. Each brother and sister Hibernian should then request a time when they could ask for support in gaining a resolution to gain a 32 “County Ireland.”

The “Action Alert Package” sent to each division includes a list of nine “Talking Points” that should be helpful in convincing interested groups that a Reunited Ireland would bring peace and stability to that troubled part of the world.

You might ask what to do with the completed resolutions from your local area? First and foremost, publicize the accomplishment in your local news in an effort to educate the public that Ireland is still divided and in need of our country’s assistance and public support. Second, if you have started small and got a local union or school board to complete a resolution, use that as a spring board for a larger elected body such as a city council or state legislature. They could be influenced by your success.

Our ultimate goal for the campaign is to gain as many certified resolutions to be presented to our country’s leaders to convince them that it is the will of the people that Ireland should be free and united from sea to sea and to be able to form their our destiny.

So that we can recognize your efforts properly, please send your completed resolutions to Sean Pender and myself. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments – e-mail us. We’re here to help.

Remember, we all took an oath to work through legitimate means to secure a United Ireland.

Joe Roche Sean Pender
P.E.C. F.F.A.I.
jar32aoh@aol.com paddyspeed@yahoo.com

From The Editor’s Desk

I hope you enjoy this end-of-year issue of the Digest.

I think it’s important to note that more then 90 AOH and LAOH members contributed the contents of this edition. And who knows how many other brother and sister Hibernians helped them produce that copy and take and caption the photos on these pages.

It’s understandable, but wrong, to think that the newspapers and books we read, the shows we watch, the websites we visit, are things, somehow automatically produced, disembodied from the minds and hearts that informed their creation. Don’t we often refer to a newspaper article by saying “The New York Times wrote…”? We forget that some person actually wrote the story, is responsible for the research and reporting, took the time to craft the article, choose the right words, go over it and over it until it’s just right.

It’s the same with all the projects Hibernians take on and accomplish. Whether it’s the Barry Gate, Project St. Patrick, the 175th Anniversary Celebration, the 175th Commemorative Coin, the actions taken on immigration, freedom for political prisoners, and the hundreds of state, county and division charities and missions activities the Order engages in, the achievements aren’t automatic. Whatever gets done is accomplished by at least one and more typically a group of Hibernians acting in friendship and unity to perform acts of Christian Charity and other works the Order.

And why? Because those who take on the tasks believe in the Order and its good and welfare and want to build the Order up, strengthen it, expand it, and help it achieve its missions.

With this in mind, officers should remember that there may be many members at our meetings and events who are ready, willing and able to work. One of our goals as leaders should be to identify those members and figure out what we can ask them to do for the Order. Then we guide them and follow up on how they’re doing. This is how new leaders are developed. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who isn’t doing anything now to do something. No one joined the Order to sit in a meeting room once a month, right? Many are waiting to be pressed into service.


On a different matter: I’d appreciate your suggestions for how the Digest can be improved. What’s not here that you think ought to be? What’s here that you don’t like so much? What could make this better? Let me know at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com.

Also, if you know of an Irish store in your community that does business online as well as locally, that you think may want to advertise in the Digest, where they could promote their products to so many Irish-American men and women, please ask them to write to me at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com or send me their name and address and I’ll contact them. We need more ads in the Digest!

And while I’m on the subject of advertising, if you have sales experience and would like to help me get ads, I could use some help. Write to me and let me know if you can assist the Order in that way.

There are great articles and reports in this issue. I hope you enjoy them all.

The deadline for the next issue is December 17.

A very Merry and Holy Christmas to all!


President’s Message

It seems as though I just wrote my last column – time seems to fly by.   I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by first attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.  Then I had the honor of spending the evening at the White House in Washington.  This will be a St. Patrick’s Day that I will cherish for a long time to come.  Thanks to the diligence of our Brothers of the AOH I received an invitation to join them at the White House.

I traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for their State Convention which was held in April and enjoyed their hospitality as well as their meetings and came home the winner of several of their beautiful baskets.  They are hard at work preparing for the National Convention to be held in 2014.  Since the tornados in St. Louis I have been in touch with some of our Sisters there and they have informed me that although there was a lot of destruction from the storms our brother and sister Hibernians are okay.  Please keep them in your prayers.

The winner of the Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award is Clara Reilly.  Clara has spent the past 35 years fighting for human rights and human dignity and is well deserving of this prestigious award.   Clara will be presented her award at the AOH National President’s Dinner in October of this year.

Several of our Board Members have joined our Brother Hibernians as they celebrated their 175th Anniversary here in New York with Mass at the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a reception following.

Having just completed a conference call in order to choose the recipients for our Project St. Patrick Grants, I urge all of our ladies to continue to support this worthy cause.

With May the month of our Lady, we need to pray for her guidance for our upcoming conventions and remember to pray the rosary.

National LAOH President Margaret Hennessy, National Assistant Editor Hibernian Digest Kathleen Conway, AOH New York State Past President John Hennessy, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Commodore John Barry Memorial Becoming a Reality

The US Naval Academy’s Memorials Oversight Committee approved the new Commodore John Barry Memorial on January 11th.  Written confirmation was signed February 7th.  The project will be completed in two phases.

Phase one will be the erection of the new Barry Gate at the pedestrian entrance on Prince George Street.  The majority of people entering and leaving the Academy pass through this gate.  The Barry Gate hopefully will be erected soon sometime this year once details are worked out.

Phase two will be the erection of the Barry Memorial inside the pedestrian gate.  This part of the project will take longer since the Hibernians will have to first raise all of the funds necessary to erect the memorial.

Once all of the final details are competed and the papers signed, an announcement will be made to the Irish American community and to the media.  At that point fundraising can start.  “This is where we need the help of brother and sister Hibernians in all states.  States should consider making donations at their conventions,” declared Bob April, President of the DC State Board. “The team of O’Brien and McInerney has worked diligently to make all of this a reality and we are now asking Hibernians across the country (states, counties, divisions and individuals) to consider helping make the Commodore Barry Memorial a reality.”

“The Barry Memorial will bring to the forefront the decisive role Commodore Barry played in founding the American Navy under the Constitution at the direction of President Washington,” said Jack O’Brien, Barry project coordinator.

John E. McInerney, the project’s public relations director, expanded that,  “With the Barry Gate and Memorial, future officers of the Navy will know who Commodore Barry was in our nation’s great naval history. This memorial will become the pride of the Navy and of Irish Americans,”

Greetings from the Desk of President Margaret Hennessy

On August 21th we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Knock.  It has been 131 years since Our Lady appeared at Knock in County Mayo, Ireland and her unspoken message has been heard around the world.  I attended Our Lady of Knock Mass held by Suffolk County, NY at Div. 2 Hall in Babylon as well as Mass in honor of our Lady in Orange County, NY.  Both Masses were well attended and It was good to see so many of our brother and sister Hibernians come together to celebrate the Eucharist and honor Our Lady. Having just returned from Turning Stone in Verona, New York the site of our next National Convention, I can say that you will be in for a treat in 2012.   The property is spacious and the staff is more that helpful.  Plans underway will make the next National Convention one to be remembered.  Getting down to business, we are trying to improve communication between the National Board, State, County, and Division Boards as well as set up a working data base of our membership.  Please, when you receive information from the National Board Officers it is important that this information be filtered to the Counties and Divisions.  Soon you will be receiving information on putting your membership list in an excel spreadsheet and forwarding an electronic copy to the National Secretary so that this data base can be established and kept up to date.  I ask everyone’s cooperation.  Also, keep that news coming on the Junior Divisions around the Country.  I ask the vice presidents or junior coordinators to submit articles to our Assistant Hibernian Digest Editor Kathleen Conway at laohkathy@yahoo.com

Greetings From the Desk of Margaret Hennessy – National President

I am proud and humbled to be elected to lead the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians.  When I joined the LAOH in 1985 I wanted to get involved and learn more about my Irish Roots never thinking that one day I would be National President.  The board and I are here to serve the membership of this great Order and I promise to do my best.

Whatever previous differences, we need to leave them behind.  I ask God to help us go forward in the spirit of Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity.  Together we can achieve so much in our service to the Church, in promoting our culture, and in our charitable works.

Some of the Goals that I have set:

  • Enhance communication on all levels of the Order
  • Increase our membership, especially our Juniors who are the future of this Order.  I plan to reach out to all states, especially those that do not yet have an LAOH Division
  • Establish a working electronic database of our entire membership that will be kept current.
  • Boost donations to Project St. Patrick for our Seminarians, Priest and Sisters
  • Most importantly, continue to be united with God, and our brother and sister Hibernians.

One of my favorite poems is Footprints in the Sand.   I know that as I have traveled thru my personal and Hibernian life He has been beside me, but more often He has carried me.  His love is unconditional and sometime we get caught up in everyday life that we forget to say Thank You.

I want to thank Mary Ryan and Her Board for their dedication and congratulate the newly elected officers of both the AOH & LAOH.  I know that we will work well together and accomplish a great deal. I especially appreciate the wisdom so readily shared by the Past National Presidents.  They have been, and will continue to be, a great resource.

I also thank my brothers and sisters of Ohio for all their hard work in planning and putting forth a grand convention.

You can’t get to this level without the help of great people.  Let me thank my sisters from the State of New York, County of Suffolk, and most especially my Division 2 in Babylon for all their support and encouragement along the way.  Also thanks to the Ladies of Auburn for providing my banner each time as I moved up the chairs.  Thanks to the members of my Celtic degree team from Suffolk County for helping with the installation

My family has been most supportive and understanding, especially when I ask them to change a date or time so that I can be at a meeting or function.  While not all of my four daughters were present at the Installation, my daughter Theresa and my sister Catherine were able attend.  Finally, to my husband John, I thank you for always being beside me and supporting me in everything I do.

I ask God to guide me thru the next two years.  I also ask the Ladies of the Order to assist me. Yours in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.

New York Endorses Mary Hogan For LOAH Nat’l Secretary

Mary Hogan, LAOH National Treasurer is pictured receiving her honorary sash as Aide to GM of Brooklyn Irish American Parade in March 2010 from Irish Vice-Consulate Brendan O’Caollai.

Mary Hogan has been unanimously endorsed by her sisters in New York for the office of LAOH National Secretary. Mary has been a member of the LAOH for over 20 years and is the current LAOH National Treasurer, she has served on the Natl. Board for since 2004. Mary is a past County & Division President as well as a past NYS Missions & Charities, Catholic Action Officer. Through her 20  years of service to the LAOH Mary has held many positions and has spearheaded several initiatives including the National Board’s “Spirit of St. Brigid” charity project and the NYS Boards first statewide email newsletter, “St. Brigid’s NY Connection”.  When you speak with Mary about the LAOH one of the things she always points out is the enormous amount of charity work our Order accomplishes and the generosity of our Divisions and members. While serving as the Natl. Catholic Action Officer she spearheaded a new initiative the “Spirit of St. Brigid” a hands on charity project that will take place at each of our National Conventions. No matter what position Mary holds she will always tell you being a Hibernian is about helping, helping one another and helping those in need.  Mary hails from Brooklyn, NY is the daughter of Dorothy and John Hogan; she is one of 13 children including a brother and sister who are also Hibernians. Mary grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, St. Anthony Parish. She has been employed by Verizon Communications for 32 years and is a member of the CWA, Local 1101 and the Telecommunications Workers Emerald Society. Mary is a graduate of Iona College, she currently lives on Staten Island, is a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Rosebank. She is the Assistant Director of the Singles Ministry at the St. Francis Center for Spirituality on Staten Island. Mary is a member of the Commodore John Barry Club of Brooklyn, and is the current Recording Secretary of the “Brooklyn Irish American Parade.” She participates in the Bloody Sunday & Maryland 400 Commemorations; she is also a coordinator of “History Alley” at the Tara Festival in Brooklyn. Mary believes it is up to us, the Irish to make sure our history is being told and being told correctly; if we are not willing to do it then we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Mary is active in the Pro-life movement; each year she participates with the LAOH at the “March for Life” in Washington DC. Mary will always tell you “I am proud to be part of a national women’s group that is willing to stand up from coast to coast and be counted as Pro-Life. This is what Catholic Action is all about.” She believes that as Catholics and as Hibernians we must be vocal in defending and protecting life at all levels, we cannot be silent on this issue. Mary is looking forward to attending this year’s convention and the camaraderie that is found among our sisters.