Director Jere Cole

When Hard Work Spills Into Lost Perspective

            Together this year, we have been seeking to understand how to promote and create a pro-life atmosphere amidst very realistic and serious issues in our current culture.  These issues – such as abortion and immigration – are so important because the way we approach them truly can decide whether or not we are promoting life….or opposing, if we are stifling life.

How, you ask, can we be stifling life?  After all, we care about these issues because we believe in life.  We promote these issues because we believe that life is important and should be treated as such.  We work on these issues because we believe that we are called as human beings to protect the sanctity and uniqueness of life that is given to us.  So, how is it possible that we can be stifling life?

Just like anything else that we truly care about in life, sometimes we get so involved in an issue, we spend so much time working on it, and our hearts are so fixed on making sure that the “right” thing gets done, that we lose our perspective on why we are fighting for this issue in the first place.  Sometimes, the “what” overshadows the “why?”  What are we going to do?  What is the outcome?  What is our next step?  The “what” is not bad by any means.  We need to act, we need to be proactive.  But, if the “why” is not clear and is not the basis of what we are doing, it is so easy to lose perspective in our desire to support pro-life.

So then, the important question is: Why are we promoting these issues?  The Conference of Catholic Bishops states that our role is to protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence.  That is a good start.  But let’s look at something that Jesus says in the Gospel of John.  In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus came so that all people would have life, and not only life, but life to the full.  His desire, God’s desire, is that all people would have abundant life….life that is overflowing.  Abundant life is God’s will for his people.  Broken life, therefore, is contrary to God’s will for us.  This is so important to remember, especially when working on pro-life issues.  When we promote life, it should be in a way that stimulates abundant life.  Because when our efforts steal and kill and destroy life, it is not God’s true desire for us.

So, as we continue to journey through these issues, let’s also ask ourselves these important questions: Is this making people more whole and healthy?  Is this helping people to heal?  Is this creating a life that is more abundant and overflowing?  Because that is God’s ultimate desire for all of us.

 

Irish American Heritage Month

By Neil Cosgrove, Chairman

 

“… local AOH Divisions are hereby urged to unite in this worthy mission by appointing Divisional IAHM Committees charged with developing and implementing strategies for the promotion and expansion of Irish-American Heritage Month celebrations in taxpayer supported institutions”

That was a resolution passed by the Order at its national convention in July 2004.  How is your Division doing with this charge?  Do you have a Divisional IAHM Committee? Does your County or State?  If not, now is the time to start one.  When you read this column we will be approximately six months away from Irish American Heritage Month 2014, and the time for planning is now.  The protection and furtherance of our heritage is one of our reasons for existence as an organization and a basic duty of us as Hibernians.  If we are not foursquare behind IAHM, no one else will be.  To those of a pessimistic bent, I point to the fact that other Heritage initiatives often began with the idea of one person and are now nationally recognized.  Are we saying that the Irish can’t succeed where others have?  The history of our people says a resounding “NO”, the Irish have always succeeded when others said they couldn’t.

Strategies for promoting Irish American Heritage Month need not be overly elaborate or expensive.  Does your area have a person or site connected to Irish Heritage (what area in the United States doesn’t?).  How about a Divisional IAHM commemoration of that person or place in March, coordinating with local press coverage?  Does your division run a scholarship contest with an essay portion?  Do any speak to the role of the Irish in the History of America?  Again, why not coordinate their publication by your local paper in March?  What a great message not only on our Heritage, but the fact that it is alive and well amongst the next generation.  Ask your local schools and libraries what are they doing to recognize Irish American Heritage Month and be prepared to back this up with a commitment to lend you and your divisions support and expertise.   The time for action is now, while we have an opportunity to get on organizations calendars and have time to prepare.  Also, begin reaching out to your elected officials and ensure that Irish American Heritage Month will be proclaimed in your State.  As a wise man once noted “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Let’s make Irish American Heritage Month 2014 a success.

Our Heritage is who we are and why we are the way we are.  I was reminded at the NY State Convention in the recognition of some of the many Divisions that came to the aid of their fellow citizens, both Irish and non-Irish, what a truly remarkable group that Irish Americans are.  I believe that the overwhelming aide of the Irish American Community, especially you my Brother and Sister Hibernians, is a direct result of our heritage making us “the way that we are.”  Let us always be proud of “who we are” and ensure that proud heritage is recognized and carries forward into subsequent generations.  That is why Irish American Heritage Month is such an important program.

If you have ideas on how to promote Irish American Heritage Month, if you wish to contribute to this worthy effort please do not hesitate to contact me at Neil.Cosgrove@aoh.com

 

Digital Digest

Sometimes numbers do tell the story and in the case of the Digital Digest, the tale being spun is pretty compelling.

The best way to see how a website is doing is by checking its stats. Sure, it’s all fine and dandy to have a great looking site, but to paraphrase an old expression, “If you have a website and no one comes to it, does it make a sound?”

Well the numbers say the Digest site definitely does make noise. Using Google’s Analytics program, Keith Carney and I keep a keen eye out on how the site it doing and we can see where the traffic numbers are from, while also taking into account what content is being viewed.

So let’s open the books and take a tour of the numbers over the last 13 months. Overall the Digital Digest had 14,191 visits over that period. From the United States, 12,780 viewers came with 434 showing up from Ireland, 379 coming from the United Kingdom (ie. Northern Ireland) and 119 from Canada. Most visitors stay an average of 3:42 minutes on the site and a little over 93 percent view more than one page.

Overall that may not seem like many, but it’s incredible when you consider that the Digital Digest is a startup and the numbers are still growing as more people learn of our existence. To help expand our numbers, we encourage you and your Division webmasters to link to our website www.hiberniandigest.com Over the past year, The AOH.com national site was our biggest referrer sending us 2,150 visitors and facebook gave us 861 while Google was the biggest organic source with 5,991 or 42.22 percent of our total number.

You can help with the Digital Digest’s growth if you link it on your local division’s site. The Hibernian Digest’s site is a great source of material for Brothers and guests. It also could be used as a recruiting tool for you as many potential brothers can see what the Order has to offer when you are looking for new members.

Over the past year, it has been a pleasure getting the Digital Digest up and running, but that was just the beginning. We hope in the next 12 months, the site will grow with more and more Brothers using it as the No. 1 source for AOH information as we keep the transformation going into the 21st century.  The Digital Digest is provided at NO COST to the AOH – so please use it!!

Vice President’s Message

On Moving Forward

The 2010 Cincinnati National Convention is not merely a memory. Our convention delegates saw to it that certain changes to the National Constitution were studied, discussed, and voted. A similar inclusive process took place with resolutions received from throughout the Order. This process not only sets a direction for the AOH as an organization, but for your National Board as its governing body. Similarly, candidates’ endorsement speeches were attentively listened to by everyone. State caucuses were then held to enable candidates for various offices to state their positions and goals, thus providing delegates an opportunity to voice their own questions and concerns, while at the same time forming an impression or perception of each of the candidates coming before them.

This is how our conventions work. But none of it means much unless there is an increased sense of unity flowing out of the convention itself. It is this sense of unity and common purpose that is the reason for our existence as this country’s premier national Irish-American organization. We are clearly not all the same, but that being said, we must strive to nurture a sense of unity while fully recognizing (and accepting!) our diversity.

The summer is over and fall brings its own burst of energy. It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on what needs doing at our division, county, state, and national levels. Together let’s embrace two major needs that require the attention of us all. Let’s get back to addressing each other as “Brother” because we need to think that way and act that way (and it’s not always easy for many of us!). Let’s initiate a period of discernment or at least discussion throughout the Order (but most especially at the division level) on the topic of recruitment of new members. If we clearly radiate unity, vitality, and purpose, then both young and old will be flocking to join us. If they are not “flocking,” then we should be asking ourselves and each other why not.

THE LABELS ARE COMING!!! Soon you will be receiving AOH address labels. We want you to use them with a sense of pride in being a member of the AOH. We are proud of you and all that you help us accomplish. Please send a donation (if you can) to support our National Board’s charitable contributions.

THE 2012 NATIONAL CONVENTION: July 2012 will find us at Turning Stone Resort and Casino just outside Syracuse, New York. The Cincinnati Convention was but a month behind us, but already on August 23rd a joint AOH-LAOH team met to start planning and raising specific questions with Turning Stone personnel following our tour of this attractive facility. Combining an abundance of convention experience and an enthusiastic local committee, our AOH National Convention Chairman, Matt Nelligan, is looking forward to tackling those challenges that the next twenty-two months will assuredly bring.

MAJOR DEGREE CALENDAR:

DATE          TEAM             LOCATION           CONTACT        PHONE                  EMAIL

10-09-10       CuCulainn       Rockaway, NY       Jack King           718-948-2555         jkcuhulain@yahoo.com

10-24-10       Tara Court       Babylon, NY          Walter Butler     631-736-2171         wbutler547@aol.com

10-31-10       Isle of Erin      Philadelphia, PA     Dan Cline           610-420-5973         Mulcleen619@comcast.net

11-06-10       Tara Court       Monmouth, NJ       Jack Sullivan      732-291-5708         fenian1881@aol.com

(PLEASE NOTE: All candidates for 10/31 Degree are requested to pre-register at isleoferin6@gmail.com)

New Jersey News

Division 10 of Mercer County, New Jersey held its third annual Gael Scoil for children on March 6 and 7 at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.  Most remarkable is that we sold out. Enrollment for our two day program has doubled every year for the three years it has been in existence and this year we could not have accepted any more students. The Gael Scoil is not a fund raiser for Division 10 and most of the material we present is available for free or at a very low cost and the kids love it. Many of them were returning for their third year. Our Gael Scoil Committee is comprised of just five AOH members. We meet once a week and produce a high quality product that is in demand throughout the region. One of the goals we set for ourselves is to encourage other Divisions to put their own Gael Scoil together. We haven’t been successful in achieving that goal as of yet. Our Committee would be happy to help any Divisions get their programs rolling. Meanwhile the Committee is already thinking about our 2011 program and how we can expand to allow more kids to attend. Please follow this link for pictures and information on our program. http://www.aohdiv10.org/

Jersey Brothers Raise Money for Injured Soldier

On April 17, 2010 The Fr. Mychal Judge/ Hudson 1 Division attended a fund raiser for Iraqi war veteran Brendan Marocco.  The division had 20 members in attendance.  Alex Marocco, Brendan’s dad, spoke to fellow brothers of the rehabilitation that Brendan is doing.  Jim O’Donnell, AOH Div1 Financial Secretary said it best “We had to come” when thanked by Alex Marocco.  Almost a year to the day, in the early morning hours of April 12,2009 Brendan’s unit was returning from a night mission, his vehicle was hit directly by a Explosive Fired Projectile (EFP).  The attack killed a fellow soldier. Brendan lost both arms and legs, had a severed carotid artery, fractured face and eye socket and a pierced eardrum. Brendan was saved by his platoon medic and fellow soldiers long enough to be transported to a US Army trauma hospital in Tikrit, Iraq. Today Brendan is currently recovering and undergoing physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed hospital.  A trust has been set up, to help Brendan when he returns home.  The fund will offset costs for Brendan and his family to make his home compatible to his disabilities.  The AOH/Hudson 1 is planning a fund raiser for Brendan is the fall. If you would like to know more about Brendan, please visit his website at www.brendan morocco.org. He is one remarkable person, a real inspiration.

Brendan Marocco receives a check from Jim O’Donnell and the Hudson Div 1 AOH. (L to R) Tom Murphy, Jim Donovan, Pat Murphy, P Coleman, Jim O’Donnell, Alex Marocco, Brendan Marocco, Ed Coleman, Pete Walsh, Tom Donlin, and Mike Collum.

New Jersey State Board Endorses National Candidates

The NJ State Board on Saturday April 17th at a board meeting endorsed the following candidates running for office this July in Cincinnati Ohio at the National Hibernian Convention:

Jere Cole – Director

Seamus Boyle – President

Brendan Moore – Vice President

Tom McNabb – Secretary

Jim McKay – Treasurer

Danny O’Connell – Director

Keith Carney – Director

All incumbents and candidates were unanimously endorsed.  “It’s the leadership and experience and energy that makes these men great leaders”, stated State President Cole

Tomhas na Teanga

Táim i mo eagarthóir ar an leagan nua den tseaniris cháiliúil An Gael. I am the editor of the new version of the famous old publication An Gael. Ag deireadh an naoíú aois déag, bhí a bunaitheoir, Mícheál Ó Lócháin, fós ina eagarthóir uirthi.  At the end of the 19th century, its founder, Michael Logan, was still the editor. Duine an-suimiúil ab ea é, agus an-díograiseach i leith na teanga agus i leith saoirse d’Éirinn.  He was a very interesting person, and very enthusiastic about the language and about freedom for Ireland. Radacach ab ea é, le fírinne.  In truth, he was a radical. Agus ní raibh sé sásta ná foighneach le daoine nach n-aontaigh leis maidir le cúrsaí polaitiúla nó cúrsaí teangan.  And he was not happy about or patient with people who didn’t agree with him concerning politics or the language.

Rinne mé taighde ar an tseaniris le déanaí, agus fuair mé an tagairt seo, a scríobh MÓL in 1891, d’Ord Ársa seo na nGael:  A while ago, I did research on the old magazine, and I found this reference, which MÓL wrote in 1891, to this Ancient Order of Hibernians:

“In last Gael we asked our Hibernian and other Irish-society friends what they had done during their existence to preserve Irish nationality.  We have received no answer yet—nor never shall!”

Bhuel, a Mhícheáil, seo duit do fhreagra.  Well, Michael, here’s your answer.

Cheap Ó Lócháin nach rabhamar ar a thaobh maidir leis an teanga.  Logan thought we were not on the language’s side. Pé tuairim ia bhí aige agus pé dearcadh a bhíodh ag an ord san aois sin, is léir nach amhlaidh an scéal sa lá atá inniu ann (buíochas le Dia).  Whatever opinion he had and whatever outlook the order had at that time, it’s clear that that’s not the case nowadays (thank God). Ní mise an chéad cholúnaí Gaeilge ar an nuachtán seo, agus tá colún rialta agamsa ó Bhealtaine 2002.  I’m not the first Irish language columninst in this paper, and I’ve had a regular column since May of 2002. Tá a fhios agam go mbíonn ranganna Gaeilge ag an AOH in áiteanna éagsúla, agus tá taithí pearsanta agam ar Scoil Ghaeilge Ghearóid Tóibín, atá lonnaithe ag rannóg a dó sa Bhablóin ar Inis Fada, i Nua-Eabhrac.  I know that the AOH has Irish language classes in various places, and I’m personally familiar with the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School, which is located at division 2 in Babylon on Long Island. Tá SGGT ar an bhfód le breis is fiche bliain, le tacaíocht ón AOH.  The GTILS has been around for more than 20 years, with the support of the AOH. Agus roimh an scoil, bhíodh Gearóid Tóibin féin (ar dheis Dé go raibh sé) ag múineadh sa halla céanna.  And before the school, Gerry Tobin himself (may he be at God’s right hand) teaching in the same hall.

Bhí agus tá ranganna ag rannáin eile ar Inis Fada, r.8 in Selden agus r.7 in Islip Thoir, mar shampla.  There were and are classes at other divisions on Long Island, i.e. div.8 in Selden and div. 7 in East Islip. Nuair a bhí Vic Vogel (ag a bhfuil teastas gur chríochnaigh sé féin cúrsa sa Ghaeilge) ina uachtarán ar Bhord Chontae Suffolk, chruthaigh sé post Oifigeach na Gaeilge, agus tá an post sin ag Cathal Gaoidh.  When VV (who has a diploma saying he himself finished an Irish language course) was president of the Suffolk County Board, he created the position of Irish Language Officer, and Charlie Gee has that job. Insíonn sé don bhord faoin a mbíonn ar siúl a bhaineann leis an teanga, agus foghlaimíonn an bord roinnt paidreacha as Gaeilge, freisin. He tells the board about all that is going on with the language and the board learns some prayers in Irish, too.

Bhí Gaeilge ag an bhFeis Nassau le blianta fada, le Seosamh Ó hAllagáin á heagrú, ar dheis Dé go raibh sé. There was Irish at the Nassau Feis for years, organized by Joe Halligan (God bless him). Tá fós ag an bhFeis Suffolk le Bernard De Brún á eagrú.  Bernard Bruen still does this at the Suffolk Feis. Sa chomórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean nós a bhíonn ag an bhFeis Nassau, is iomaí duine a chanann as Gaeilge.  In the traditional singing contest at the Nassau Feis, lots of people sing in Irish.

Níl mórán eolais agam faoin nGaeilge ag rannáin ar fud na tíre, ach rinne mé scagadh ar an idirlíon, agus feicim go bhfuil cúpla focal agus cúpla nasc ar a suímh idirlín.  I don’t have a lot of information about Irish at divisions throughout the country, but I did a little checking on the internet, and see a few words and a few links on their websites. Tá daoine ag foghlaim na cúpla focal.  People are learning a few words. Molaim go dtabharfar níos mó aire don litriú agus do na hacmhainn nua atá ar fáil, fiú don colún seo, atá sa chartlann anseo:  I recommend that more attention be paid to spelling, to the new resources that are available, even this column, here is in this archive: http://www.scoilgaeilge.org/t_na_t/

Is iomaí ball den AOH ag a bhfuil Gaeilge. Lots of AOH members speak Irish. Ní bhfuair mé riamh, agus mé i mo bhall, go raibh aon duine diúltach maidir leis an nGaeilge. I’ve never found, since I’ve been a member, that anyone was negative about the language. Ceapaim go raibh Mícheál glan mícheart in 1891.  I think that Michael was totally wrong  in 1891. Gabhaim leithscéal don AOH ar son An Gael as an rud a dúirt ár n-eagarthóir fadó.  On behalf of An Gael, I apologize to the AOH for what our editor said so long ago.

Má tá eolas agat faoi stair na Gaeilge san AOH, scríobh chugam, le do thoil, ag JamusN@aol.com.  If you have information about the history of the language in the AOH, please write to me, at JamusN@aol.com