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

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.