Florida News

President Conrad Osborne, the Officers and Brothers of the Fulton J. Sheen Division are proud to welcome Rev. Peter Walsh as their Division Chaplain. In the tradition of the Order, Fr. Peter was initiated at their Division meeting October 19.

Father Walsh was recently assigned as an Associate Pastor at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Community in Viera, Florida, after spending five years in campus ministry at Saint Thomas More, the Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University.

While at Yale, he worked with graduate students, developing social and spiritual programs that connected Catholic graduate students with each other and with the intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church.

“Theology on Tap” was one particularly successful program that brought graduate students together to share theology and libations at the graduate-student level.

Father Walsh also worked with undergraduate student-athletes, called Cathletes, who explored the spirituality of the student athlete. In addition, Father Walsh led alternative spring break trips to Biloxi, Miss., where students worked with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina and to Lima, Peru.

With his background in campus ministry, Father Walsh will work with programs for young-adult Catholics as part of his new responsibilities as associate pastor in his new parish.

Born in Boston, he remains a faithful Red Sox fan. His Irish roots take him to County Galway, where he visited his ancestral farm shortly after his ordination.

When asked to reflect on his initiation, Father relayed that while he took his Hibernian oath he was reminded of similar feelings when he visited the water font at St. Colman’s well in Kilmacduagh. “This is a source and renewal of our Irish heritage.”

After graduating from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, he entered the Congregation of Holy Cross and was ordained a priest in 1989.

He attended seminary at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with a Master’s of Divinity degree and a passion for Notre Dame football. He also has a master’s degree from Boston College in English literature with a concentration in Irish poetry and often brings insights from literature into his preaching. Father Walsh enjoys hiking, reading, independent films and all kinds of music.

We welcome Fr. Pete into the Order and our Division.

De fide et operibus nostris
Guide us in our faith and actions

Patrick Keane, AOH Florida State Barry Commission

Proposed site of the John Barry Monument at Brevard County Veterans Memorial Park on Merritt Island.

As the cruise ship passed by it is likely that few
knew the Alliance, her Captain or Crew.
They leaned on the railing, with no chance of hearing,
You could see their lips mouthing, “Who are they Cheering?”

Asking each other, they now wondered aloud,
“Why the Green shirts?, “What’s all th’row?”

What flag is that, with the Red White and Blue?
It waves so briskly, “Do you know who?”

Who fought for us so that we could have Freedom?
Who was the man that was there to lead them?

Who are those people, and why do they stand,
All with reverence, and some at command?

What battle was here, you could imagine them say,
What happened here, on this beautiful day?
Standing on shore our speakers did tell!
The story of Barry, and how he “Gave ’em hell!”

A Man of Wexford, Ireland!
That’s who he was!
He sailed this ocean, and with fervent cause!

Hibernians are we, who remember him dearly,
The Flag, it’s the Tri-color! Of Ireland clearly!

From humble beginnings did Barry once come,
rising quickly through ranks, now with 36 gun!

He stood tall in stature, a glint in his eyes,
The Alliance below him, and wind in the skies!

He defended the freedom that all men should have,
We cheer him, we morn him, and we understand.

Barry Captained the ship known for speed and agility,
from sea to Philadelphia, none questioned his ability.

We’re here today to celebrate his life!
His victories, his sorrows, and our people’s strife.

Said he “spurned the eyedee of being a treater.”
When they tried to bribe him, he knew Freedom was Greater!

Off these shores, the War of Independence did end,
Barry and Crew again did Defend!

George Washington and Senate, gave the command,
Commission #1, to be Freedom’s right hand!

To the visitor we thank you for coming to this place,
and to wonder what happened, at this time and space.

So know us, and join us, and remember on your way,
the reasons we celebrate,
John Barry Day!

John Barry
Born: 1745 at Ballysampson, Our Lady’s Island, Tacumshin Parish,
County Wexford, Ireland
Died: September 12, 1803, at his home known as Strawberry Hill
Buried: Philadelphia USA, Old St. Mary’s Churchyard
Commodore, and Father of the American Navy
Member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
Hibernia Fire Company
Society of the Cincinnati
Charitable Captains of Ships Club

The State of Florida and the Fulton J. Sheen Division of Brevard County, began their celebration of John Barry “The Man” with an invocation by State Historian Patrick Moynihan.

Chairman of the Florida Barry Commission Edward Kelly, State Pres. Seán Denny, Division and County President Conrad Osborne and Malcolm MacLouth, President of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Navy League all spoke about Barry and his life. Florida State VP Phil Mulrenin and LAOH Florida President Margo Neurendorf were also in attendance.

Following the ceremony at Cape Canaveral, the group, including State President Seán Denny and guests Jim Gillis and Jim Prior from the Pinellas 2 Division proceeded to the Brevard County Veterans Memorial Park on Merritt Island. There they surveyed the site to be used for the placement of a John Barry Monument.

Ground Breaking will take place before the end of the year. Chairman Edward Kelly and Patrick Keane head the project. Both are members of the Fulton J. Sheen Division.

Plans are to erect a statue similar to that in Philadelphia outside Independence Hall (Barry pointing out to sea) to be placed near water’s edge at the Veterans Park. Currently located there are two helicopters in flight and a World War II tank at the entrance. The property hosts an impressive courtyard with Memorials for all American wars and conflicts, representing all branches of the armed services. Recently a 9-11-01 Memorial was added.

The Division concluded the day of celebration, remembrance and Hibernian camaraderie at their annual Barry Day Luncheon.

Patrick Keane told the story and answered the question: “Why did cannon balls often “bounce off” the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”?

The Answer?

Because Commodore Barry knew that evergreen, southern live oak, is native to the southeastern United States and is hard as a rock! Imported from St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1794, the wood was used to construct the Constitution’s frame!
Pictures of the Divisions Barry Day Celebration and proposed location of the Barry Monument can be found on the Division’s website www.AOHBrevardCounty.com

Half Way to St Patrick’s Day in Western Missouri

The ninth annual Kansas City Irish Fest took place over Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, at the Crown Center Square in Downtown Kansas City. The Kansas City Irish Fest celebrates the city’s deep Irish roots with seven music stages featuring traditional music and Celtic rock from international, national and locally-known bands such as Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Kila, The Killdares and hometown Celtic rockers and the city’s favorite band, The Elders. The Irish Fest also features a comedy stage, heritage displays and workshops, shopping, ethnic food, a massive area just for kids and the city’s largest outdoor Catholic Mass on Sunday morning.

Kansas City Irish Fest has been named the “Best Festival” in Kansas City and the “Best Ethnic Festival” many times over in the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association’s Visitor’s Choice Awards. The Kansas City Irish Fest is also the third-largest Irish festival in the nation, with more than 100,000 people attending in 2010 and with reports that 2011 surpasses all previous attendance records. This is a great place to meet Hibernian brothers from throughout the Mid-West who were working the festival and enjoying all the great entertainment.

Weston, Missouri, founded in 1837, is just 30 minutes north of Kansas City, and 30 minutes south of St. Joseph. The town of Weston was the boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody and is the home to the Weston Irish Festival at O’Malley’s Pub, founded in 1842, where the Festival was celebrated October 14th through the 16th in 2011.

The Weston Irish Festival began in 2000 and has grown to a three-day event of all things Irish. The Irish Fest brings over 10,000 festival goers to this town of a little over 1,000 on the three-acre property that encompasses O’Malley’s Irish Pub, American Boman Restaurant and the Weston Brewing Company.

The fest served delicious Irish fare, had 15 acts on four stages, including many of the premiere acts in Irish music. Headlining this year’s event were the Screaming Orphans, The Elders, Enter the Haggis, Barleyjuice and The Mickey Finns. In addition, many local Irish entertainers, Irish dancers, and marching bands, the St Joseph, Missouri, Hibernians have been helping work the festival since its inception in 2000.

No trip to Kansas City, Mo., would be complete without stopping at Browne’s Irish Market established in 1887 noted as North America’s oldest Irish business and proclaimed this by the Irish Trade Board. It is considered to be Kansas City’s oldest retail business. When they first opened, proprietors Ed and Mary Flavin, both immigrants from County Kerry, conversed with locals and traded pennies for cured hams and embroidered pieces of lace. Flavins Market, at 27th and Jefferson in the front of the family home, was a place for neighbors to meet. It was Ed and Mary’s aim to provide quality food, wares and Irish hospitality to their many customers and friends. Accommodating their growing needs, in 1901 the Flavins built a new store on the outskirts of town — at the corner of 33rd and Pennsylvania. Their daughter, Margaret, and her husband, James R. (Jim) Browne, also from Kerry, continued the family business after their marriage in 1915, keeping the same friendly atmosphere. Now, the fifth generation can be seen bringing Irish smiles to customers and carrying on the tradition at the store. Kerry Browne and her husband, John McClain, have owned Browne’s Irish Market & Deli since July 1, 1981, when they bought it from her mother, Margie Blake Browne. The store is split between the deli and a section in the building that sells Irish imports, Irish foods, clothing and house wares. St Patrick’s Day brings long lines of customers and also to their street festival held every June.

Browne’s Market is located at 3300 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. 64111     phone. 816.561.0030.

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.