Missouri News

Missouri 1BMick McDonough, past-president of the Cardinal Glennon Div. 2 in St. Louis, was honored at the recent 237th Marine Corps birthday ball.

Mick is the former Missouri state chairman for Freedom For All Ireland, state historian and state political action chairman.

The 3rd battalion, 24th Marine regiment, 4th Marine division presented Mike with a memento: a plaster-cast of the renowned Eagle Globe and Anchor for being the oldest former member of the unit in attendance. As such he received the first piece of the ceremonial cake and shared it with the unit’s current youngest member, in keeping with Marine Corps tradition.

In addition, Mick was honored by his Marine Corps League Detachment 725 with induction into the Marine Corps “Military Order of the Devil Dogs,” the honor and fun society of the League.

Missouri News

The Easter Rising was commemorated by a march to the Republican Monument in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Past National President George Clough was joined by Missouri State President John Wilson and Ladies Missouri State President Loretta Sheerin and members of Divisions from St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, Missouri and St Clair County, Illinois.

The program included the reading of biographies of some of the men and women who participated in the Rising and the reading of the Easter Proclamation.

The Monument was built to commemorate those who are buried there who participated in the wars for Irish Independence. The Commemoration has been held each year and plans are already being made for the special Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary in 2016. Those attending the 2014 National Convention in St. Louis will be able to visit the Monument while at the Convention.

Missouri News

Members of the St Louis-area Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrated Mass on Aug. 20 to honor Our Lady of Knock,

Father Harrison, a member of the St Louis Chamber Chorus, was the celebrant and beautifully sang ‘Our Lady of Knock’ after Communion.

Oliver Cromwell had wanted the landless Irish forced west, and to settle in places like the Burren in Clare, known “to have not wood enough to hang a man, water enough to neither drown him, nor earth enough to bury him.” This is the area that the apparition of Our Lady of Knock had appeared to more than a dozen local people in this tiny village in County Mayo in August 1879. This area, which Cromwell thought so little of, has been blessed by Our Lady’s appearance, and it was our honor to thank Our Lady on this day by the members of the AOH.

Missouri News

Deadly Tornado in Joplin Missouri


Not much remains of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Joplin, Missouri except for the Cross.  Joplin, Mo., a town of roughly 50,000, was steam-rolled May 22 by a powerful tornado. It has resulted in 154 deaths to date.

One of the lucky ones who escaped relatively unscathed was the Rev. Justin Monaghan, a 70-year-old pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The Church, however, was flattened during the tornado’s onslaught, which cut a path one-and-a-half miles wide, while leveling a third of the town’s structures.

Fr. Monaghan, who is from Mullingar, County Westmeath in Ireland, no doubt had a little luck of the Irish on his side that Sunday afternoon of May 22. When he heard the wrath being unleashed by the tornado, he jumped into a bathtub at the Church, face down, and prayed.

In addition to St. Mary’s Church, the 200-mile-an-hour twister also destroyed the St. Mary’s school and parish buildings. The padre was badly shaken, but otherwise unharmed.   The residents of Joplin will forever reflect on that Sunday, and hope to somehow learn from the past, if there is a message in the offing. “God allows things to happen that we don’t know why,” Fr. Monaghan told a CNN reporter, adding “but when we look back, we always hear the good things that happen as a result.”

In the days following the deadly tornado, parishioners and volunteers have pulled together and sifted through the debris looking for items to salvage. As luck would have it, they found Rev. Monaghan’s Bible, and his golf clubs.

The call went out from Catholic Charities in Springfield, Missouri after the tornado for help and assistance, their “Mission isn’t just to help Catholics. It’s to help anybody and everybody,” Our Hibernian Brothers and Sisters from around the country have sent donations, and I want to thank each and everyone for their support.

The Household Impact

•           30% of all households were destroyed in Joplin with the tornado event.

•           More than 25% of Joplin residents are over the age of 65

•           13% of residents are female head of households

•           Joplin’s median income is 32% less than the US average at $32,535.

•           To date, more than 3,600 individual assistance applications have been approved by FEMA


There is still much work to be done and donations are still needed.  Please send to:

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri

Attention “Joplin”

601 S. Jefferson Ave.

Springfield, MO 65806


“Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks God the Father of mercies to grant eternal rest to the departed, consolation to the grieving, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured,” Pope Benedict XVI to the people of Joplin, Missouri.


A Division’s Cross to Bear

Recently elected Div 2 President Michael O’Shea had the occasion of discussing their beautiful Celtic Cross.  This work of art was made by Irish political prisoners in the infamous Long Kesh prison and originally obtained in 1996, through a small donation and the work of George Clough, long a champion of the prisoner’s causes. The body of the cross was constructed from one large hand carved piece of fine wood, and embellished with a finely detailed Celtic knot design and zoomorphic accents.  It was hand carved by hands not in control of their own destiny and under the worst of conditions. It should be viewed as not only a symbol of our Catholic faith, Irish heritage and a work of art, but also a symbol of the long struggle for Irish freedom

Past National President and National Counsel George Clough posses with recently elected Michael O’Shea with the Division’s Celtic Cross.

Missouri News

Padraig Pearse Div 1 Kansas City,Mo , St. Patrick’s Day annual Lenten Shrimp dinners is staffed by this main kitchen crew for all the shrimp boiling and corn boiling too. Pictured (L – R) Back Row: Michael P. Murphy and Steve Page. Front row: John Phelan, Tom Quinn, and Frank Stapleton.

Missouri News

Growney Receives Padraig Pearse Hibernian of the Year

Ed Growney

Brother Ed Growney was alone at home when he suffered a stroke, fell and hit his head.  As a result he had some swelling, bleeding and fluid around his brain. He spent several months in hospital in Kansas City, MO. and slowly recovered, beating all the doctors diagnosis. From there Ed went to Madonna physical rehab facility in Omaha, Nebraska.  After a few months, Ed was walking – something they said he would never be able to do.  Friday night, February 25th, Brother Ed Growney received the Division’s Padraig Pearse Hibernian of the Year Award for 2010. Congratulations Ed. We are proud to have you as our division historian for the last 2 years. Ed has brought many stories of Irish history to us. He has taught us all very well with his vast knowledge of history.

Members of the Missouri AOH attended the annual Support our Seminarians gala in Kansas City, Mo. It was held on February 10th 2011 at the Marriott Hotel downtown KC.

: Pictured (L – R) Bill Quinn, Rob King, Steve Lynch, Brad McCormack, Bishop Finn of Kansas City Diocese, Kurt Killen, John Phelan, Steve Page, Tom Moore, Jerry Loonergan.

Missouri News

“Irish Outlaw” honored in Missouri

The Missouri St. Charles Division honored Irish-American boxer Ryan Coyne (aka “Irish Outlaw”) for his accomplishments in the ring and in the community. Ryan was the proud recipient of the inaugural Cu’ Chulainn Award given annually to an Irishman of distinction. Ryan was recognized by his fellow Irish brethren following the biggest win of his career on August 7th where he captured the WBC U.S. National Title. In addition to this distinguished honor, Ryan was issued a proclamation of achievement by Mayor Patty York of the City of St. Charles. Ryan takes great pride in his Irish heritage and in representing his hometown community of St. Charles. It was an evening to remember hosted by a first class organization and in his hometown community. Irish Outlaw Boxing would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the Hibernians Kevin Smith for extending this honor to the next Irish American champ!

Missouri News

Kansas City on FIRE

Neither high winds nor drizzle could keep some of the Padraig Pearse Division boys away from the links; we were there supporting children with special needs. The golf tournament was at the famed Blue Hills Country Club located in southern Kansas City, Missouri. The day started off with a prayer by the Most Rev. Robert Finn, Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph Diocese who was surrounded by many of the children whom this tournament benefits. Then the golf balls went flying.

The division has been so blessed to be able to partner with the worthy Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education – FIRE the only model of its kind in the nation.   FIRE was founded in 1996 by a group of parents who shared a common dream: for their children with special needs to attend their parish schools with their siblings and friends. Since that time over 3 million dollars has been raised to further that dream. By all accounts, teaming up with FIRE over the last 2 years has been a most rewarding experience for members of our brotherhood. FIRE offers financial grants for qualifying schools within the Catholic Diocese of K.C.- St. Joe. These grants assist with the cost of inclusive education, enabling schools to educate children with special needs alongside their peers.

Approximately 35 children with diverse needs are successfully being educated today in an inclusive setting. In addition, over 250 children with more mild learning disabilities are receiving classroom modifications and assistance. FIRE enhances the education of approximately 4,000 children by teaching acceptance, compassion and the value of every child of God. Children grow up knowing and appreciating each other’s unique gifts.

What started as an idea to adopt FIRE by our division, Jerry Hayes and Steve Lynch met with Executive Director Becky Conaghan and Board President Maura Nulton to present a 5 year commitment plan. After a wonderful meeting the decision was made to accept the AOH as a partner official. Now my intention is to get the word out to all the other divisions about starting and adopting their own FIRE program in their diocese. The good Lord gives us choices to make every day and not a day goes by that the Padraig Pearse boys aren’t thankful for the direction God has taken them.  Learn more about FIRE at www.fire-program.org.