Although our official New Year begins in January, September always seems to be the “unofficial” beginning of a new season. Fresh from a summer hiatus, activities begin again. School starts up for the kids. Clubs and organizations begin to meet. The cool autumn air is crisp and clean. September even feels like the best time of year for a fresh start.
Although there is a sense of freshness in the air, the importance of history still remains. As we look forward to a new season in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, let’s take time to remember back to our roots and the cornerstones on which our Order is founded: Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. This is the motto of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. These three characteristics are more than just words. They have profound meaning attached to them. This is the core, the essence, of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
The motto Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity has a strong and proud history as the foundation of our organization. The Ancient Order of Hibernians was founded in New York City on May 4, 1836, but it can trace its roots back to a parent organization of the same name, which has existed in Ireland for over 300 years. The Order evolved in the early 1600’s to protect the lives of priests as well as to aid and comfort the Irish people by whatever means available. Similarly, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded to protect the clergy and to help Irish Immigrants fleeing famine issues in Ireland in the late 1840′s.
Today, the Order of Ancient Hibernians continues to be committed to its motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. We do this through a variety of ways. We provide aid to the newly arrived Irish. We foster and preserve Irish culture — art, dance, music and sports. We advocate for issues concerning the Irish.
Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. In all of our actions, in all of our pursuits, these are the three elements that we ultimately want to encourage and inspire. As we look forward to a new season, let’s remember our heritage. As we remember back, let’s take stock of our current role in promoting our motto. As a community, think about the following questions:
ü What is your division currently doing to encourage friendship, unity and Christian charity among your members and within your communities?
ü What are ways that your division can strengthen its commitment to friendship, unity and Christian charity this coming year?
ü Does your personal commitment to friendship, unity and Christian charity extend outside your division into your daily life?
As Hibernians, our tradition is to build friendship, to promote unity and to practice Christian charity in all aspects of our lives. As we start this new season, let’s keep this tradition strong and growing!