Pennsylvania Endorses Mary Ann Lubinsky for National Office

The LAOH State Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill County Board, John F. Kennedy Division #2 Pottsville and all State Divisions are proud to place into nomination the name of Mary Ann Lubinsky for the office of National Catholic Action Chairperson or any higher National office that may become available.

Mary Ann joined the LAOH in 1994 and received the Major Degrees of the Order in 1995.  She has been very involved with her division, John F. Kennedy #2, Pottsville, PA, previously serving as Irish Historian and Vice-President and is currently in her fifth two-year term as Division President.  Mary Ann established the Division website and also serves as Webmaster.

She was instrumental in establishing the Schuylkill County Board in 2004 and served as the first County Board President, Vice-President, and is currently Past President and Catholic Action Chairperson.

On the State level, Mary Ann has served as Catholic Action Chairperson, Irish Historian, Secretary, Vice-President, the 2005-2009 Pennsylvania State Webmaster, 2007-2009 State President, and is currently the 2011-2013 Webmaster/Publicity Chairperson.

On the National level, Mary Ann was appointed the 2006-2008 National Webmaster by National President, Dorothy Weldon in Boston in 2006; and in 2008 in New Orleans, was re-appointed the National Webmaster for 2008-2010 by National President Mary Ryan.  On every level—whether it be Division, County, State or National—she has served admirably in all offices, including concurrently serving as State President and National Webmaster.

She has served as a Pennsylvania Delegate to the National Conventions of 2002, 2004, and 2006 including the Constitution Convention, and National Board Delegate in 2008.  She was to serve as a National Delegate at the 2010 convention, but was summoned home from Cincinnati due to a family emergency just prior to the start of the convention.

She is the daughter of the late John J. and Anna Valent Rehnert.  Mary Ann is the widow of Edward P. Lubinsky, to whom she was married for almost 33 years.  She is the mother of two sons and has two granddaughters, and has two “daughters”-in-law.  She has spent the last fifteen years researching her Irish roots through her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth McKeon Rehnert and great-grandmothers, Sarah McCabe McKeon and Margaret Gallagher Rehnert.

Mary Ann is very active in her home parish of St. Stephen Church in Port Carbon where she is a Lector and Extraordinary Minister and where she serves on the Parish Advisory Council.  For the past two years, she has been the Parish Coordinator of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  Mary Ann retired from her job of seventeen years with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare in May 2006.  Since September 1, 2009, she has been employed at St. Stephen’s Church as Parish Secretary.  The job has many responsibilities including superintendent of the parish cemeteries.

In addition to the LAOH and her church, she is active in her community and a member of other organizations including the Historical Society of Schuylkill County where she serves as Secretary of the Board; the Saint Clair Community and Historical Society; and Phoenix Fire Co. #2, Pottsville, where she is the photographer.  She is also a member of several Irish Genealogical Societies and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.  The enjoyment she receives from family history and doing websites has resulted in her involvement with the IrelandGenWeb and PAGenWeb/USGenWeb projects where she serves as Webmaster for seven Irish websites and eight Pennsylvania genealogy websites respectively.  Mary Ann is a volunteer for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia; and serves each year on the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital/Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament Committee.  She is presently involved with the videotaping of WVIA Channel 44, Public Broadcast Station’s production of “Our Town Pottsville.

It is with the utmost pride and enthusiasm that we nominate our worthy sister, Mary Ann Lubinsky, to the Office of National Catholic Action Chairperson or any higher National office that might become available.


Pennsylvania News

Newly-installed Pennsylvania State Officers:

From left:  Shirley Murphy, Catholic Action; Rae Dispaldo, Treasurer; Ellen McCrane, Secretary; Maureen Lavelle, President; Nancy Cullen, Vice-President; Mary Ann Amesbury, Irish Historian; Maria Gallagher, Missions & Charities.

From the recent Pennsylvania State Convention, National Board Officers with
newly-elected PA State Board Officers:

First row from left:  Colleen Bowers, Immediate Past State President; Sarah Mains, National Missions & Charities and Past State President; Dorothy Weldon, Past National President and Past State President; Mary Ryan, Immediate Past National President; Theresa O’Connell, National Treasurer.

Second row from left:  Shirley Murphy, State Catholic Action; Rae Dispaldo, State Treasurer; Sheila Lynch, National Auditor; Maria Gallagher, State Missions & Charities; Mary Ann Amesbury, State Historian; Maureen Lavelle, State President; Ellen McCrane, State Secretary; Nancy Cullen, State Vice-President; Sr. Louise Grundish, Past State Chaplain.

At the recent PA State Convention, Immediate Past State President Mary Ann Lubinsky presented Kathleen Fanning of Philadelphia Division #39 with the 2011 Anna C. Malia Ruddy Award.  The award is presented at the Biennial Convention to an outstanding Pennsylvania Hibernian in acknowledgement and appreciation of her actions and deeds within the LAOH as well as her community.  Scranton PA resident Anna C. Malia Ruddy was elected the first National President of the LAAOH in 1906.  She held the office for six years, and continued to be active in the LAOH for another fifty years.

Massachusetts News

The Massachusetts 2011 AOH/LAOH State Convention was held at the Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA during the weekend of June 3-5, 2011.  The members were honored to have our LAOH National President, Margaret Hennessy and Immediate Past LAOH National President, Mary Ryan in attendance.

Newly elected offices pictured (L – R) Mary B. Ryan, State Missions & Charities, Anne-Marie Nyhan-Doherty, State Secretary, Paula Paoli, State Vice President, Margaret Hennessy, National President, Beverly Horowitz, State President, Margaret O’Connor, State Historian, Kathleen Hair, State Catholic Action and Mary Whidden, State Treasurer.

Lowell, MA LAOH, Division 1 attended their Annual Hibernian Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church followed by a catered buffet brunch at the Immaculate Conception School Hall. Massachusetts State President Kathy Rafuse and Past Massachusetts State President Ellen Barr were honorary guests and they installed Lowell’s newly elected 2011-20012 Officers.

Pictured (L- R) Helen Picanso, Treasurer; Carol McCarthy, Vice President; Joyce Burgess, President; Anita Campbell, Immediate Past Division 1 President and Pat O’Brien, Sentinel. Standing in the second row is Ellen Barr, Past MA State President; Kathy Rafuse, MA State President; Joyce Lloyd, Office of Missions and Charities; Charlene Cesarz, Mistress-At-Arms; Donna Curran-Salyards, Financial Secretary; Maureen Barter, Recording Secretary and Helen Marie Ledoux, Irish Historian.


Maryland News

By Kathy Lay

Sisters and Brothers: On behalf of the Maryland LAOH, I want to express our sincere thanks for the many cards, prayers and masses offered for our sister, Sarah (Sally) Murphy during her illness and on her death.  We especially appreciate the kindness of our National Officers, President Margaret Hennessy, Past Presidents Mary Ryan and Mary Dolan, as well as AOH President, Seamus Boyle whose presence at Sally’s funeral meant so much to us. We are grateful to God for her life, and for the Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity of our sister and brother Hibernians.

Thank You From Maryland

Sisters and Brothers,

On behalf of the Maryland LAOH, I want to express our sincere thanks for the many cards, prayers and masses offered for our sister, Sarah (Sally) Murphy during her illness and on her death.  We especially appreciate the kindness of our National Officers, President Margaret Hennessy, Past Presidents Mary Ryan and Mary Dolan, as well as AOH President, Seamus Boyle whose presence at Sally’s funeral meant so much to us.

We are grateful to God for her life, and for the Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity of

our sister and brother Hibernians.

Kathy Lay, President

Maryland State Board

AOH and LAOH National Board Irish Way Scholarship Recipient Announced

William J. Sullivan, National Chairman

AOH National President Seamus Boyle and LAOH Past National President Mary Ryan were pleased to announce the winner of the National Board’s 2010 Irish Way $500 Scholarship. Caroline Halpin, a student at Monroe-Woodbury in Central Valley, New York, was selected as the recipient of this year’s award.  Caroline is the daughter of John and Maureen Halpin, who is a member of Division 2 in Orange County, New York. At Monroe-Woodbury High School, Ms. Halpin plays soccer and lacrosse. Her hobbies include horseback riding, music and dance. Caroline is a member of Saint Patrick’s Parish, Highland Mills, New York, where she is a member of the church choir, as well as a member of their community service team. Caroline is also involved in therapeutic horseback riding at Ivy Rock Farm, in New York. Information of the AOH and LAOH National Board’s 2011 Irish Way Scholarship will be available in the next issue of the Hibernian Digest.

Phyllis Moylan Awarded the St. Brigid of Ireland Humanitarian Award

On July 9th at the Friday Night Banquet of the AOH/LAOH Convention in Cincinnati, Phyllis Moylan, a member of St. Francis Division in San Francisco California was awarded the prestigious 2010 St. Brigid of Ireland Humanitarian award.  This National award embodies the significant difference that members make in the lives of others, their community and church.  The initial nomination was by Phyllis’ Division, endorsed by the State President Lynn Burkhart and then on to the National LAOH.  A Committee of Past National Presidents reviewed nominations received from throughout the country and recommended that Phyllis receive the award.  Mary T. Leather, Past National President, chaired the Committee.  Phyllis was born in county Wexford, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1949.  In 1956 she married another immigrant from County Tipperary, John Moylan.  Together they raised seven children.  Currently there are eighteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Seated (L to R) Terry Kelleher, Past National President, Phyllis Moylan, Recipient of the Award, Mary Ryan, Past National President Standing (L to R) Grace Bloom, St. Rose Division, Sonoma, Margaret McAuliffe, Past California State President, Lynn Burkhart, California State President, Katy O’Shea, Past California State President, Peggy Cornish, St. Brigid Division, Orange County, California, and Mary T. Leathem, Past National President.

Charities and Missions

Pictured at the Convention (L to R) Fr Michael Dodd (Columban Father), Pat O’Connell (Former Mission and Charities Officer) Mary Ryan (Past President), Phyllis Moylan (St Brigid Award Honoree), Sr. Corona Colleary (Columban Sister).

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.

From The Desk of Mary Ryan – Past National President

As my term of office is over, I wish to thank each and everyone on my National Board, Past Presidents and Appointees. Most of you have been there for me through thick and thin. Father Healey you have been a great chaplain through all the LAOH ups and downs. You have given us spiritual guidance as well as great advice and I must say, in my own way, you are a great thinker before you speak, I wish at times I thought before I spoke.  Being around you for the last two years has been an inspiration has helped me manage some pretty difficult situations.  I thank Margaret Hennessey and Beth Lynch for all their efforts, especially working with the AOH to resolve a few issues.  I anticipate we can all work together to achieve our common goals of helping the needy and our organizations can both work in unison toward a productive future.

Many long hours and thoughtfulness have been put into the voting process which brings the LOAH another step closer to defining and documenting procedures and guidelines for our Officers and members.   A special thank you is in order for Pat Doyle for leading the team to an amicable solution.  Pat has been an incredible source of support and sounding board for the team with her legal expertise and leadership.   Along with the team members, Carol Ann Carley, Mary T. Leathem, Sheila Lynch, and Marilyn Magigan you have all produced a solid process for our current and future LAOH members to benefit from.   A very grateful and heartfelt thank you to all of you for your dedication and extra hard work throughout the entire process.

Carol Schyler and Judy Letty have both been working very hard over the past two years organizing and planning the next 2010 LAOH National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio for July and their work will continue throughout the Convention.  My most appreciative thank you seems so small for all They’ve done bringing the next LAOH National Convention to fruition.

Thank you to Sheila Lynch for doing such an outstanding job on the 500 Club and raising so much money in her fundraiser that we had to increase the ticket sales and call it the 750 Club.   Sheila’s enthusiasm, dedication and hard work for the LAOH are admirable and I owe her many, many thanks.

I give a special thank you to Beth Lynch who held the position of National Secretary these past two years.  More has been asked of her during her two year term than normal and I appreciate all her patience during the many issues we resolved together during some pretty difficult times.   As secretary, the normal responsibilities would have included such things as communicating National Board updates to all 28 states and their Divisions.  However, these past two years our LAOH organization asked a lot more of its National Secretary and Beth has certainly gone above and beyond her duties.  Beth Lynch was asked to work on the constitutional changes, having the AOH look at revising their constitution so that we, the LAOH and the AOH are all on the same page.  Her work on our new beautiful Charters was a job and half.   Those of you who have been past secretaries can realize the time commitment the normal responsibilities require.  Yes, Beth stepped up to the plate and delivered more than traditionally is expected of one in this position and I’ll always be grateful for her help, her expertise and her friendship.

This National Board has done an outstanding job and can take pride in its accomplishments. Some of these accomplishments are as follows:

  1. New Tax reports for Annual Reports – Margaret Hennessy
  2. Two new state divisions Delaware and Arizona – Dorothy Weldon
  3. New Protocol Books – Donna Reidy
  4. The History of the LOAH (final document to be submitted)  – Mary Dolan
  5. Credit Cards for the National Board – Mary Hogan
  6. A New Voting Process – Pat Doyle and her committee
  7. New Charters – Beth Lynch
  8. Constitution agreement with the AOH – Beth Lynch and Margaret Hennessy
  9. New dues cards for the LOAH and Juniors – Mary Ryan and committee

The hard work of my National Board was evident when they gave their reports. Their dedication and caring ways give credit to their living the life of our motto, Yours in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk and I’m proud to be a Hibernian with them all.

My humble thanks and sincere appreciation to all of you who gave me your support over these past 10 years of my journey in the LAOH, Inc.    Since joining the LAOH, Inc. and serving as Mission and Charities Chair through the various ranks and ultimately to my current position of National President, your unending support is appreciated more than my words can express and I’ll always cherish your friendship as we continue our journey together.

My congratulations to those of you who were elected in Ohio, I hope everything goes smoothly and my best wishes to you all for a successful two year term.  To those of you who were not elected at this convention, there will be future elections to consider and many positions needing your energy and talent so please consider running again.  In the meantime, as Hibernians, there is always work to be done within our own Divisions and States.  Start planning your strategy now and set yourselves up for future success as the elections approach, the LAOH, Inc. is always in need of new leaders.

I wish everyone a safe and happy summer and please keep our men and women in the armed forces in your prayers and say a special prayer for the protection of the unborn.