Pennsylvania News

ALLEGHENY COUNTY

On May 19, 2013, LAOH Allegheny County PA Division 7 of Turtle Creek celebrated a Mass for their living and dead members at St. Colman’s Parish in Turtle Creek PA. Father Markel, AOH Division 17’s Chaplain, celebrated the Mass. This is a yearly tradition for LAOH Division 7 with a special remembrance for Sr. Peggy Flaherty CDP, for whom Division 7 was named in November 1997.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Mary Ellen O’Neill Division #4, Washington County, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc. welcomed new Member – Jean Magiske. (Sitting) Next to her is Rose Venanzi, Irish Historian. Jean Magiske was installed by Division President and Past National President, Dorothy Weldon (Left Front) on May 4, 2013 at the Home of President Weldon. Next to Weldon, Susan Chappel, Vice-President, Margaret Foyle, Dottie Taylor, Carole Seader, Patricia Loversidge, Gloria Tracey, Laura DeBor, Missions and Charities, Peg Might, Secretary, Ruth Oates and Mary Rosick – sister of New Member, Jean Magiske

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS (WASHINGTON CO.)

Catholic Action

There is a time for everything.  If you have ever thought about the church’s liturgical calendar, you can see just how true that statement is.  Just recently, we celebrated the wonderful mystery of Easter.  Christ is Risen!  Hallelujah!  Easter is a time of thanksgiving and blessing.  It is a time to celebrate the Risen Lord with family and friends.  But Easter comes after a very different season in our lives…the forty days of Lent.  Lent is a time of fasting, prayer and reflection.  It is often a time of turning inward, a time of personal sacrifice in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice – Christ’s death on the cross for us.

As we reflect and remember Christ’s sacrifice, we prepare ourselves for the culmination of His story during Holy Week. Friday brings Jesus’ death.  But even as Friday comes with mourning, we have hope and expectancy, because there is a season for everything.  We hope and are expectant because we know that Sunday is coming and Jesus will rise from the dead!  And Sunday did come, bringing with it a new season – Eastertide.  Eastertide is the 50 days after Easter lasting from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.  It is a season of joy and of celebration!

What would happen if, in this season of celebration, we continued to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for all of us?  During Lent, we spent time looking inward in reflection of our own lives.  What if now we spent the 50 days of Eastertide turning outward to our neighbors, to our churches and to our communities?  In these Eastertide days, how can we recommit ourselves fully to the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ pledge to Catholic Action?  How can we reinvigorate our AOH programs?  What are some new initiatives that we may want to begin thinking about? This is a new season!  A time to celebrate!  A time to look outward!  Let’s make this our time, our season, to be bold and proactive in our AOH commitment to Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity!

Vice President’s News

It was so nice to see once again so many of our ladies at the Interim Board Meeting and the Testimonial Dinner of our National President, Margaret Hennessy.  It was also so nice to see so many people at the Testimonial Dinner for AOH President, Seamus Boyle.  One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Sean McBride Award. The recipient, Clara Reilly of Belfast, was the first woman to receive this award. She is a very special woman with such faith and courage. It was such a privilege to meet her!  Clara brought quilts made by families in remembrance of the victims. Each square was unique as it related to a loved one. Clara spoke of one particular square that was made by a grandmother in remembrance of her fifteen-year-old grandson.  He had come over to her house to help her put up her Christmas Tree when he was shot and killed shortly after leaving her home. That woman never put another Christmas tree up but on his square, she has a Christmas tree. Each quilt was made up of forty-nine squares and put on display around the banquet room.  By the time you read this, I will have observed our newest Degree Team, Daughters of Erin from South Carolina, confer Degrees at their State Convention.  It is always a pleasure to enjoy their Southern hospitality. If your State is interested in organizing a Degree Team, please contact me. It is so important that all our members take their Degrees.  Our Juniors are staying very active after the summer break. If you have Juniors in your State, please support their endeavors. They are our future and need our encouragement and support.  As we approach this special season, I am so thankful that we live in a country that gives us the freedom to practice our Catholic faith. Please remember to pray for those who are so far from home this Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Although the LAOH spreads its works of charity for those in need at home and abroad, prayers are always needed.

I wish you a very Blessed Christmas and New Year,

 

Catholic Action

What comes to your mind when you think of Lent?  Perhaps you think of giving up eating meat on Fridays.  Or the usual candy, sweets or ice cream that you give up every year.  Maybe you are reminded of getting ashes on Ash Wednesday or even look forward to the Easter celebration with family at the end of the Lenten season.

For most people, these are normal things that they think of when preparing to enter the Lenten season.  But why do we do these things during Lent?  Are they just part of our yearly ritual?  Or do they really make a difference?

Well, it depends.  During Lent, we give up things in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.  Whether we give up something that truly makes us remember his sacrifice is really only something that we ourselves can determine.  Maybe giving up candy or sweets reminds you daily about what it means to sacrifice.  But, would it be more sacrificial for you to give up other things in your life – things closer to your heart?  What if you decided to change the manner in which you talk to a loved one?  Or if you decided to reconcile with a person from whom you are estranged?  What about working on that attitude of frustration, impatience or anger?

Or what if you gave up some of your time?  The season of Lent is based on the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert right after he was baptized.  We know that Jesus was tempted by the devil during this time.  But it also seems likely that in the desert – a place of solitude and quiet – Jesus was communing with God in an intimate way as he prepared for his ministry.  Lent is based on this time of solitude.  Just as Christ went to the desert to prepare, the Lenten season is a period of preparation for us.  Wouldn’t it seem appropriate then that we would take time out to be in solitude with God?

Changing attitudes or carving out time with God may not be the things we naturally think of when we begin to get close to Lent.  But Lent gives us an opportunity to go beyond our normal rituals and to experience God in an even deeper way.  In the desert, like Jesus, we come face to face with Him and with ourselves.  It is often a difficult place to be.  Jesus, after all, was tempted by the devil during His time in the desert.  But God prepared him during that time of solitude to face and to deny those temptations.  You see, when you seek God with all your heart, you will find him.

As we begin to prepare for this Lenten season, will you challenge yourself to go deeper with God?  If you do, I can promise that you will be blessed.