New Jersey News

The New Jersey State Board sent the following letter to the AOH Board of Erin in support of their efforts to keep Ireland pro life .


June 28 2013

Brother Harry McCabe,

Secretary, Board of Erin

On behalf of the New Jersey State Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, I write to you this day to pledge our support for the Board Erin’s fight for an abortion free Ireland. We your Brothers of New Jersey are aware of the importance of your fight. In May of this year, the New Jersey State AOH Convention was held, with the motto of “Honoring life and promoting vocations” Holding true to that motto we were able to hear from director/president of Life House Ireland, Scott Schittl, who informed us about the present issue in Ireland.  We also had an enlightening presentation by our Pro-Life Chairman John Hughes and the ongoing work of many of the life-saving programs around the state of New Jersey. After the convention the Hibernians of New Jersey returned to their home divisions with an incredible amount of knowledge and a renewed heart to defend life.  We will continue to pray for your work and for all the aborted and the suffering of those that have dealt with this terrible issue.  I would like to commend the great work of Brothers Martin Corey, Donal Muldoon, and all those that have assisted with “Hibernians for Life” I pray for the intercession of The Blessed Mother,  St Patrick, St Brigid, and all the saints that the horrible act of violence is no more.  We will continue to hold in our hearts the truths of the teaching of Jesus Christ and to the motto of our order.  Our Catholic faith will continue to guide us in this most important issue of life.

As Pope John Paul II stated in his Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Viyae (The Gospel of Life)

“O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.”

May God continue to bless you in your efforts to defend life.



                July 8, 2013, In Dublin, 60,000 participants, came out to participate in the All Ireland Rally for Life, it was the largest pro-life event in Irish history, organizers have said. Participants expressed their opposition to the government’s proposed abortion bill, and demanded a referendum, required by Irish law to overturn the nation’s constitutional pro-life provisions, carrying signs saying, “Let us vote.” Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said at the rally, “If you refuse, Taoiseach (Prime Minister), to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge.

In Support of the Rally for Life in Dublin, Division 16, Monmouth County (St Oliver Plunkett) attended Mass at St Rose of Lima, Freehold NJ on July 8, 2013 and offered up their prayers for the Unborn and all those that continue to fight for Life.

                As a continued effort to more clearly identify the AOH as Catholic and pro-life, The Monmouth County (NJ) Board is currently putting together a Hibernian for Life society. The society plans on moving around the County attending First Saturday morning Mass each month at a different Parish to pray for the unborn. The society will be open to all Brothers and sisters of the order and their families.

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

– St. Augustine

Go mbeannaí Dia duit

John M. Keane Jr

Catholic Action Chairman

AOH New Jersey State Board


Father Brian Patrick Woodrow – NJ State Chaplin

Father Daniel Cahill – NJ State Chaplin – Emeritus

Sean Pender – NJ State President

Sean Hughes – NJ State Vice President

Patrick Jockel – NJ State Treasurer

Larry Prelle – NJ State Secretary

John Hughes- NJ State Right to life Chairman

Jack Cronin – NJ State Right to life Chairman- EmeritusNew Jersey

The Culture of Life versus the Culture of Death

During the 20th and 21st centuries mankind has encountered a major conflict that is a civil war of ideas – namely the Culture of Life versus the Culture of Death.

The Culture of Death has been rampant.  Consider the first and second world wars plus the many other bitter conflicts, genocides, massacres and the killing fields sacrificing the lives of millions of innocent human beings.

Consider the savagery of the holocaust.  Consider the damage to human life caused by demonic madmen – men without conscience – men full of anger and hate – men who lived and acted like savages.  The names of Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Pol Pot, and the list goes on and on.  Remember the perpetrators of the Nazi genocide and great purges in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and elsewhere.  At the same times, think of all of the great advances of the 20th and 21st centuries especially the medical advances to enhance and preserve human life.  Yet at the very same time the human race in many ways also stepped backwards when it came to protecting human life.

The culture of death is still alive.  Consider also the innocent lives lost in abortion clinics around the world – millions of babies are sacrificed to the likes of the gospel of “NARAL’s Pro-Choice America.” Their lives are snuffed out before they can enjoy the light of day, the sunshine, and the loving embraces of their parents.

In Denver in 1993, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that the “culture of life means respect for nature and protection of God’s work of creation. In a special way, it means respect for human life from the first moment of conception until its natural end.”

Today, we, activists and pro-life believers, are really counter culture.  Why?  We reject society’s culture of death.  We are politically incorrect when we defend unborn human life.  That is good.  By our lives and actions we silently preach the culture of life.  We stand up for human life and we will defend it.  We celebrate and welcome each new child into our lives and families.

In proclaiming the culture of life today here on the streets of Washington and before the Supreme Court, we need to consider and ask ourselves if we are consistent across the board in our pro-life thinking and beliefs.

When we proclaim to be opposed to certain practices as destructive of human life, do we include embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, capital punishment, and unjust wars of agression?

All of us need to seriously think all of this over, and that takes time and thought and prayer.  We should try to be consistent across the board as we stand up for human life and proclaim to others the culture of life.  This article was written by Past DC State Board President, John E. McInerney.

Chaplain’s Message

October-The Month of the Rosary

The month of October has been traditionally dedicated to the Rosary of Our Blessed Mother. On October 7 we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II has stated: “It could be said that each mystery of the Rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. To pray the Rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. The Rosary does indeed mark the rhythm of human life, bringing into harmony with the rhythm of God’s own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life’s destiny and deepest longing.”

The life of Mary, according to the Scriptures, is as humanly true as it can possibly be, but in this human quality it is filled with a mystery of divine communion and love, the depth of which is incomprehensible. The Rosary points us in this direction.

October 1, 2010 will be the thirty-ninth anniversary of the Rosary being on the radio every night in the Western Pennsylvania area. It has been my privilege to lead and be the voice of the Rosary for those thirty-nine years. The Rosary is still broadcast every night at 7:00 p.m. on WHKB, 620 on the AM dial. Over those thirty nine years, the Rosary on the radio has survived many different circumstances, such as several changes in stations as well   as increased prices for air time.

As Catholics we were brought up to say the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. However, a few years ago, Pope John Paul II approved the use of a new mystery of the Rosary, the Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of the Light. It has been suggested that we recite the Mysteries of the Light on Thursday evenings. The Vocation Director of the Diocese of Pittsburgh has suggested that on Thursdays we pray the Mysteries of the Light for the intention of the fostering of religious vocations.

Since the AOH is so instrumental in helping religious and seminarians financially with Project St. Patrick, the members can help the religious and seminarian spiritually by offering their Rosary on Thursday for vocations. The following are suggested mediations for the recitation of the Mysteries of the Light:

  1. Jesus is baptized in the Jordan — All of us are baptized in the Light of Christ. A Priest celebrates this special sacrament of Baptism and gives new life in the Church.
  2. The Wedding Feast of Cana — Jesus performed his first miracle at Cana. A Priest witnesses the Sacrament of Marriage for the new couple uniting as husband and wife.
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom — Jesus proclaimed the Good News to the people. A Priest proclaims the Gospel and teaches about the faith to the people of God.
  4. The Transfiguration — Jesus was transfigured on the mountain with Moses and Elijah. At a Priesthood Ordination a man is transfigured into a Priest as the Sacrament of Holy Orders is bestowed upon him.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist — Jesus is the Body and Blood of Christ. A Priest changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at the Eucharist. This is the center of our faith.

May Christ, the Divine Priest, and Mary his Mother continue to send more laborers for His harvest and help Priests and Religious persevere in their vocations.

Chaplain’s Message

On Sunday, June 20, 2010 we will be celebrating Fathers’ Day. Every one of us has many father images – Our Father in Heaven who created us; our earthly father who with his love for our mothers has given us life; and our Priests who are spiritual Fathers to all of us.

Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, in an address said that St. Joseph can teach Catholic fathers by always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand His will and obeying it with your whole heart. The Pope went on to say: “Faith nourished by prayer. This is the most precious treasure that St. Joseph transmits to us. Generations of fathers have followed in his footsteps that, with the example of a simple and laborious life, imprinted in their children’s spirit the inestimable value, without which every other good might be in vain.”

Pope John Paul II further urged me to be of a robust interior life and fulfill their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way.

By virtue of his Baptism, the mission of the modern day father, like that of Christ, is the salvation of souls. The difference between them is the fact that Christ’s mission is universal, concerned with the salvation of all. The father’s mission is limited, concerned primarily, together with his wife, the salvation of his own family. Sharing in Christ’s grace through the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony, a father shares the grace of Christ’s death and resurrection with his children. Like Christ, a father is priest, prophet and king. He is a priest, in the sense that he brings his children to the sacraments; a prophet, in the sense that he is the bearer of God’s message and fulfills his obligation to teach them the Catholic faith; a king in the sense that he is the spiritual head of his family.

Our Heavenly Father calls all earthly fathers to an indispensable mission, remarkable holiness and indescribable happiness. Fatherhood is the vocation to which the great majority of A.O.H. men are called. By living up to the Hibernian motto of “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity”, AOH fathers can fulfill their calling in life.

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers!

Deputy Chaplain’s Message

As a young priest stationed at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, I was very impressed by another young priest who visited us in the summer of 1979 as an advance man for the visit of Pope John Paul II.  The Priest was Fr. Robert Lynch and he had a very forthright manner.  Today he is the Bishop of St. Petersburg, Fl.  Over the years he has faced many a challenging situation with that same candid, forthright manner that I witnessed in the summer of 1979.  I am grateful that he granted permission to reprint the following article that grapples with such a sad and devastating chapter in the life of the Church we love so much.

Bishop Robert Lynch

There has been quite a lot of media attention directed towards the Church in Ireland and the Irish government with regard to how both entities have dealt with reports of sexual misconduct against minors in the past. A devastating report issued about six weeks ago laid the blame squarely at the feet of the bishops and the police (in the Dublin archdiocese) demonstrating massive cover-ups on both parts and the reassignment of offenders. This study also examined claims of misconduct leveled against religious sisters, brothers and lay employees. As a result, the present Archbishop of Dublin asked a number of the former auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese to resign their Episcopal duties. Such a request won the Archbishop high praise from most quarters of the Irish media but irritation and anger from many of his priests. The turmoil was enough for Pope Benedict XVI to call a meeting of all the Irish ordinaries (residential bishops but not auxiliaries) in Rome. The Holy Father met for two full days with the Irish bishops in attendance, allowed each of them to address the situation from their perspectives and at the end, at least publicly issued a statement saying that the bishops needed courage in dealing with the events at home, that he, the Pope, would write a letter to the Irish Catholics in which he would apologize for the mistakes of the past and would condemn such acts against minors as heinous crimes and sins. That letter should be forthcoming sometime shortly after Easter. Left unanswered was whether or not he would accept the resignations of the former auxiliaries of Dublin as called for by the present Archbishop. The media in Ireland have had a field day with all this and the victims of abuse probably feel their hurt even deeper.

The challenge to the moral credibility of the Church on this matter is not going to disappear quickly, even in our generation or the one which follows us, in my personal view. The credibility of persons in authority in the Church (bishops like myself no matter how hard we have worked to insure the future safety of children), the ministry of our priests with young people, the relationship of priest and bishop, have all been dramatically altered in the last ten years. Now, at least in Ireland in general and Dublin in particular, the relationship between the bishop and his brother bishops is challenged. I have a strong sense that after many years of writing much of this off as media-hatred for the Church and a local matter, the Holy See and this particular Pope now get it and they furthermore get the consequences for Church ministry for the future. It has become easier for bishops to seek release of a priest predator from his priestly promises and vows. There was a time early in my ministry when the burden of proof sat almost wholly on the shoulders of the bishop and the predatory priest was protected.

The Church in the United State suffered significantly in the last decade from the clerical misconduct situation. There is no question in my mind that we lost membership by people who either just could not believe what they were hearing and/or reading or chose to use this as a moment to leave the Church which might have hurt them in other ways. The morale of our good priests tanked in some instances. Our path to recovery is still long and daunting. But with our various “Child Protection Programs” and Codes of Professional Conduct, we are doing probably the best we can do in righting this horrendously wrong situation. Cover-ups should be out of the question and lay review boards who are privy to accusations against Church personnel should inform the public when they think I or any other person in authority is not living up to the claims of the Dallas Charter. As a bishop I must answer not only to a higher authority in the person of the Lord but in this matter to the collective wisdom of competent lay advisors who review all allegations and recommend action. Ireland has begun this process in an attempt and hopes to regain trust.
Finally, sexual abuse of minors is not just a Church problem or issue. It is a societal issue. It needs to be addressed by society at every level. Almost all of my priests would tell you that most cases reported to them have nothing to do with Church personnel but rather a parent, family member, in-law, step-father or step-mother. Here in the Tampa Bay area the news of misconduct in recent years has centered on public school teachers, scout leaders, doctors. We have tried to do what we can to reduce the incidences in the Church knowing that it will be practically impossible to prevent every instance. Awareness on the part of the whole Church will help, from parents and elders observing behavior to the codes of professional conduct which require supervision from authority and observation from all. My heart goes out to the Church in Ireland at this time. We have been there. In some ways we are still there though we are clawing our way back to credibility and trust one incident at a time. Our goal is that children will always be safe on the grounds of or in activities of their Church.