Montana News

Irish Vice Consul Visits Butte

On April 21st, members of the Butte-Silver Bow AOH attended a luncheon with special guest Barry O’Brien, Vice Consul to the Consulate General of Ireland.  Visiting Butte with his parents, O’Brien said he could feel the legacy of Ireland throughout the state, especially in the Mining City of Butte.

The Butte AOH was organized in 1881 giving support to the thousands of Irish immigrants who came to Butte to work in the copper mines.  The fraternal organization offered a sense of security and stability by getting its members jobs in the mines and elsewhere and by attending to their everyday needs to include expenses when sick or injured. The AOH played a critical and significant role in the assimilation of the arriving Irish into the mining community of Butte.

Pictured (L - R) Frank Walsh, John Cavanaugh, Joseph Lee (Vice-President), Mike Kujawa (Marshall), Barry O'Brien (Vice Consul General of Ireland), Pat O'Brien, Dan Sweeney (President), Brendan McDonough, Jack Henry (Financial Secretary).

The Thomas Francis Meagher Divisions annual Presidents appreciation steak fry. Nine past presidents attended the festivities. Pictured (L - R) First row: Dennis O'Reilly, Jim Hammill, Neil Connole, Dennis Sheehy. Back Row: Mike Murphy, Mike O'Connor, John Curry, Hank Burgess, Tom Pahut.

Montana News

Members of the AOH & LAOH from Butte Montana on the steps of St. Patrick’s Church on St. Patrick’s Day before marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Montana News

The Montana State LAOH Board held its spring meeting in Helena at Jorgenson’s Inn.  Though the weather hasn’t been cooperative and travel proved hazardous, most all the board members braved the treacherous roads to attend the meeting.  Plans were formulated for the Bi-Annual State Convention to be held in Missoula in September.  Ellen Toucher, State Catholic Action officer and State Press and Publicity officer was chosen to be the Grand Marshal of the anaconda St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Butte Division reported their St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a success as it is every year.  All the other Divisions celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with Mass and breakfast and other socials during the day.

The Montana LAOH State Board Front Row (L-R): Donna Daems, President of Bozeman Division, Sharon Lang, Helena, Past State President and Helena Catholic Action Officer, Helen Radonich, Past State President, Mary Jo McCarthy, Helena. Back Row (L-R): Carol Davison, Anaconda President, Jule Walsh, State President, Ellen Toucher, State Catholic Action Officer, Lenore Manning, Anaconda State Treasurer Kotch Francisco, Anaconda, State Historian, Alice Klundt, President Great Falls Division, Colleen Holzheimer Great Falls, State Secretary, Mary Jo Pahut, President Helena Division, Marge Tartarka, State Chair of Missions, Bozeman.

Montana News

The Montana AOH celebrated their annual Day of Recollection on top of Mullan Pass on the Continental Divide.

(L – R) Back standing - Bill Kloker, PJ McHugh, Tom Pahut, Sean Brennan, Mike Murphy, Bob Moes, Pete Sullivan. Front kneeling - Gabe Brennan, Neil Connole, National Director Mike O'Connor.

On January 15th the Anaconda AOH Division Number 1 celebrated it’s installation of officers. The evening began with a cocktail hour followed by dinner and concluding with the ceremony. Former State President and National Director Mike O’Connor was on hand to conduct the installation.

Pictured (L – R) Ed Burch Treasurer, Jim Killoy President, Mike O'Connor National Director, Gary Ouldhouse Marshall, Dennis Corcoran Standing Committee, Frank Fitzpatrick Financial Secretary, Bob Mehrens Vice President, Jack Kelly Recording secretary, (Not Pictured) Sentinel Tony Shea

Montana News

On the evening of Thursday, October 21st, 2010, the Thomas Francis Meagher Division of Helena, Montana gathered at the Montana City Grill for the Division’s 26th annual Charter Dinner and the awarding of the Archbishop Brunett Medal for Social Justice. The award is named in honor of Archbishop Brunett, the now retired Archbishop of Seattle who was formerly the Bishop of the Diocese of Helena. All in attendance enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a great social evening. It was the 11th time the Archbishop Brunett Medal for Social Justice was awarded. The 2010 recipient, Gertrude “Gert” Downey from Butte Montana is an extraordinary woman whose faith driven life of compassion for others has greatly impacted her family and her community. A summary of her accomplishments is inspiring.

Gert Downey, born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1931, is the mother of 10 children and her life of public service has been driven by her Catholic Faith. The local Butte paper,The Montana Standard, in an article about her stated:

If you ask Gert Downey what her primary motivation is for helping others, she doesn’t hesitate to reply, “Faith”. … Downey added that she believes the best legacy she could ever leave her children and grandchildren is compassion for those who need help.

Gert worked with the Butte Silver Bow Anti-Poverty Council from 1965 to 1995, serving as the Director from 1991 to 1995. Over all those years, she obtained many grants for the needy, helped establish a transitional housing project for them called “Homeward Bound” and also launched a project called “Rosalie House” which provides low income housing for seniors. She has always treated people of all socio-economic levels and varied mental and physical disabilities with the same compassion and kindness, always being mindful of their inherent dignity as children of God.

Her other Faith driven achievements, too numerous to fully describe here, include: Associate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and through that association and Habitat for Humanity rehabed a home for a developmentally disabled couple; initiating a project which successfully funded and built a home for a grandmother struggling to raise the 3 children of her daughter, a single mother, who died of ovarian cancer ; active in the right to life movement, the LAOH, and the Living Word local prayer group as well as

attending daily Mass and serving as a Eucharistic Minister to those who cannot get to Mass. The story of her life and the remarks she made upon acceptance of the award were a moving and inspiring experience to all attending the dinner. It was a great evening in Montana !!

Montana News

Montana President of the LAOH, Jule Walsh and Montana State Catholic Action officer Ellen Tocher attended the ordination of Richard Kluk to the transitional deaconate in Anaconda in June.  Deacon Kluk will be ordained to the priesthood in December of this year. The Montana LAOH supports and prays for the seminarians of the Helena Diocese.

Pictured from (L – R): Brian Bergeron, Craig Hanley Ellen Tocher, State Catholic Action Officer, A.J.VanderVos, Bishop George Thomas, Bryce Lundgren, Christopher Lebsock, Deacon Richard Kluk, Joe Fleming, Mary Jewel Walsh.

Helena, Montana’s Mary Ronan Division News

The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Mary Ronan Division celebrated St. Brigid’s Mass at the Cathedral of St. Helena, February 2, 2010. Pam O’Reilly gave a touching reading by John Winthrop as follows:  “We must delight in each other, make other’s conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body”