Michigan News

Michigan State President Patrick Sturdy presented the Champions Perpetual Cup to Faith Harris from Ft. Meyers, Florida at the 2013 Detroit International Feis.

Michigan 1A

Michigan LAOH State President Maureen Kelly and AOH State President Patrick Sturdy.

Michigan 1B

Ohio News

Dublin was the scene for this year’s Ohio State Convention. Dublin, Ohio, not the other one! The Columbus AOH/LAOH team, led by Judy Leedy and Ron Hagan, put on a great convention that went without a hitch. Several National Officers honored us with their presence and shared their wisdom and insights with us. They included LAOH National President Maureen Shelton, Secretary Susan  Lauster and appointees Kathy Linton (also past president)  and Marilyn Madigan. The women of the Ohio Board bring a lot of experience to the table. New to the Board this year are Jenn Namsick and Mary Beth Chrystal, both excited to make a contribution. The following are the newly elected Ohio State Board.

Back row: Kathie Linton, Past National President; Teresa Kowalski, Missions and Charities; Jennifer Hansick, Catholic Action; Marilyn Madigan, National750 Club and Sue Lauster, National Secretary

Front Row: Mary Beth Chrystal, Treasurer; Clara Joyce, Secretary; Maureen Shelton, National President;  Eloise Stalter, State President and  Maire Manning, Vice President


Ohio News

The Irish Missionaries of Medina County celebrated Christmas and the installation of their newly elected officers in December. The group was honored with their State President, Mary Higgins, conducting the ceremony. The ladies joined the AOH for a Christmas party afterwards, enjoying appetizers and cheesecakes for dessert. A reverse raffle was held, sending the State President home with a portion of the winnings. Medina County likes to “keep it in the family”. Outgoing AOH and LAOH Presidents are husband and wife Kevin and Marie Hickey. Incoming Presidents are husband and wife Pete and Mary Beth Chrystal. Good Luck Irish Missionaries.

Pictured from left are Mary Higgins, Ohio State President; Anne Gaffney, Vice President; Jackie Ryan, Sentinel; Marie Hickey, Recording Secretary; Mary Beth Chrystal, President; and Ruth Ann Manley, Financial Secretary.

Pictured from left are Mary Higgins, Ohio State President; Anne Gaffney, Vice President; Jackie Ryan, Sentinel; Marie Hickey, Recording Secretary; Mary Beth Chrystal, President; and Ruth Ann Manley, Financial Secretary.

Connecticut News

Connecticut State President Bill Flannery presided over a very successful State Board meeting on April 21. The JFK Division of Bridgeport hosted the meeting and Bridgeport President Tom Keane welcomed the Division Representatives. Plans were made for the upcoming National Convention. Connecticut Hibernians are very enthusiastic about Frank Kearney’s bid to become National Treasurer. Frank has done a remarkable job at every AOH office he has ever held and Connecticut is anxious to share Frank’s ability to get things done with all Hibernians.

Both Bridgeport and Waterbury Hibernians commemorated the Anniversary of the Easter Uprising in solemn fashion with the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass followed by appropriate speeches. The Waterbury Division under the Chairmanship; of Joe Flaherty was able to make a tidy contribution to Frank Kearney’s campaign with funds raised at their breakfast. The Bridgeport AOH is planning to erect a 100th anniversary memorial to the men and women of 1916 on the grounds of the Fairfield County Gaelic Club and is looking for ideas as to how best to honor their memory

Fairfield County Board President Steve Fako announced that once again Fairfield County will celebrate John Barry Day on September 15 at Southport Harbor in conjunction with the local Naval Reserve Unit. This has become a Fairfield County tradition and Ellen McShane and Past State President Bob O’Sullivan will chair the event. Past President O’Sullivan was honored at the State Board meeting with a hearty round of applause as current President Bill Flannery presented him with his Past President’s Pin and Sash. Bob is a familiar figure at National conventions and is one of the mainstays of the AOH in Connecticut.

On September 18, 2012, Past National Director Jim Gallagher will give a talk on John Barry at the New Haven History Roundtable. Jim has delved deeply into the career of the Commodore and this promises to be an event you will not want to miss.

The Hartford AOH and LAOH are hard at work planning next year’s State Convention, which will be held on June 7, 8 and 9.

The Danbury AOH and LAOH are also hard at work planning the 18th Annual Greater Danbury Irish Festival, which will be held at the Ives Center on September 23, 24 and 25.

The Bridgeport AOH has announced the wonderful news of the formation of an AOH Junior Division in partnership with the St. Patrick Gaelic Football Club. We can only wish for the highest success of this endeavor, which speaks well for the future of Hibernianism.

Tucked away in the Connecticut River Valley in the Town of Portland is the smallest but oldest AOH Division in Connecticut. The Portland Division was chartered in 1875 by Irish quarrymen who dug and produced the famous Portland Brownstone, which was shipped to Manhattan for use in so many residences. We salute this Division with the hope they will continue the long AOH tradition of Portland, Connecticut.

Bishop Lori celebrates 62nd Annual AOH Communion Breakfast and Mass

John F. Kennedy Division #1 (Bridgeport, CT) of the Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrated their 62nd Annual Father & Son Communion Breakfast and Mass on Saturday, March 11, 2012.  Mass was held at Saint Patrick’s Church on North Avenue in Bridgeport.  The Most Reverend William E. Lori, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, celebrated the Mass along with Division Chaplain Fr. Laurence Ryan, S.J. of Fairfield Prep.

Following the Mass, over 220 Brothers enjoyed a traditional hearty Irish breakfast at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield.  Toastmaster Ray Baldwin, the former First Selectman of Trumbull and currently President /CEO at St. Vincent’s Special Needs, read Governor Daniel P. Malloy’s Proclamation recognizing the JFK Division for “outstanding service through selfless work and dedication to the community and state of Connecticut”.

Bishop Lori delivered the keynote speech on religious freedom.  He spoke of the importance of prayer and the prayer campaign so that our country can remain a beacon of freedom.   “Even those who practice no faith at all have a stake in this.  If religious liberty is fatally compromised, it will not be too long before freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are compromised”, said Lori.  A video of his remarks is available:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvrT7LLVDCM   At the request of Timothy Cardinal Dolan, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Lori chairs the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.  His charge is to address growing concerns over the erosion of freedom of religion in America.  He has testified before Congress against the health coverage mandate that would coerce employers to pay for services for which they have moral objections, such as abortion, sterilization and contraceptives, and government contracting decisions that exclude agencies unless they provide such services.

Following the presentation of Bishop Lori’s 2012 AOH membership card, Tom Keane of Fairfield, President of the JFK Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, presented the Bishop with a check for $1,000 for the annual Bishop’s Appeal.  Later Keane announced the formation of a Junior Division for boys between eight and fifteen years of age.  The Junior Division will be headed by Timothy Vino, 15 of Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, CT.  Applications are available on the Division website http://www.aohjfk.com/ .  Keane encouraged all Brothers to “sponsor sons, nephews, friends and acquaintances who are interested in advancing the cause of the Irish Catholic community.”

During breakfast a video played to highlight some of the many activities the Division Brothers had coordinated throughout 2011.  Activities include charitable work at the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport CT, Irish cultural trips to New York City, hockey and baseball games, fishing trips and the first annual AOH Softball Tournament which raised over $1,000 for the Angels for Alex charity.  “2012 promises to be yet another great year with meaningful charitable work in the community coupled with fun activities to strengthen the bonds of friendship and unity” said Activities Chairman Jim Murray, of Weston.

Bridgeport President Tom Keane, left, State Secretary Steve Fako, Arch-Bishop William Lori, AOH Charity Secretary Fran Kearney Jr. and Conn. AOH President William Flannery at the Bridgeport Communion breakfast.

South Carolina News

The South Carolina State Board as part of their Vocations projects presented seminarians a check for $500 on their Ordination Day. The state board recognizes the shortage of priests and works with the Diocesan Vocations Director to recognize, encourage and assist men during their training in the seminary.

Fr. Jeffery Kirby, left, Director of Vocations, Newly Ordained Fr. Filip Wodecki and South Carolina State President James P Nettles, Jr.

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.

Massachusetts endorses Beth Lynch for National President

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I report that at our 96th Biennial Massachusetts State Convention, members took a unanimous vote to endorse Elizabeth (Beth) Lynch for the Office of National President.

As National Secretary, she diligently performed her duties.  Under her secretariat, she sent updates of all offices of the National Board to the National Board members and to the state and division presidents, realizing the importance of keeping the lines of communication open.  She was also able to revamp the National Charters and store them on a thumb drive which was forwarded to the incoming National President and Secretary.  This was necessary because the previous charters were old, faded, and more importantly, had an incorrect name for our Organization.  Above and beyond the secretarial duties, she served on a four member committee to overcome the issues the AOH had with the LAOH Constitution.  It is the result of this endeavor that we voted to remain united with AOH in Cincinnati in July 2010 enabling us to continue the joint efforts that make our organization so important.  While serving as National Secretary and representing our organization, Beth marched in the New York City Saint Patrick’s parade, and was invited to spend St. Patrick’s Day at the White House with President Obama and the first lady.   At the White House, She sat with Vice-president Biden’s sister Valerie Owens.

Beth has been a member of Division 18, Salem, Massachusetts for more than forty-five years.  At the Division level, she held most of her Division offices, including three terms as President, the position she currently holds.  Beth also was elected to the Essex County Board and served as President.  At the State level Beth has served as Vice President and President.  During her term as State President, Beth adopted two charities that Massachusetts continues to support.   Boston Catholic Television brings comfort and companionship to many of our shut-in members and other Roman Catholics across state lines.  The Boston Irish Pastoral Center was organized to help Irish immigrants coming into the US assisting them in obtaining jobs and housing.

She has also served as Committee Chairs at National Conventions on numerous occasions, including the Committee Chair for Appeals for Aid in Boston 2006.  Beth served as the host chairperson for the National Convention in 2006 and was responsible for many of the details that enabled the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to host a very successful National Convention.

Beth has received many awards for her hard work.  She has been honored as the Catholic Irish Woman of the year.  She was involved for many years in Irish Northern Aid.  For her involvement, she received an award in recognition of her contribution to the cause of Irish Freedom.

Her maternal grandparents hail from County Donegal and her paternal grandparents from County Cork.   She is the daughter of the late Mary Bradley and John Lynch.  Beth has been a Sister Hibernian since the age of 16.

Beth served for many years on the ethnic festival committee for the City of Salem, working with members of the Irish community in promoting her Irish heritage. She has also served on several fund raising projects including Operation Troop Support, which collects articles for our armed forces and on a Christmas fund raiser for My Brother’s Table, a local soup kitchen.

Currently she is a credit analyst with Avnet Electronics where she is frequently recognized for her success in with working with international firms.

We, the Sisters of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians from the Commonwealth and the 9 Divisions of Massachusetts recognize the extraordinary abilities of Beth Lynch as a candidate and hope you will join us in electing Beth to the office of National President.  Thank you for your consideration.

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.


Ohio Endorses Carol Sheyer

The LAOH Ohio State Board is proud to endorse Carol Sheyer for the National Office of Missions and Charities or higher.

Carol currently serves as National Office of Catholic Action.  During her term in this office, Carol has co-chaired Project St. Patrick with the AOH co-chair, participated in the Right to Life March in Washington, D.C., and collected and kept records for Project SOAR.  In the past, she has also served the National Board as an Auditor at Convention and Interim Board meetings, and was assistant to the Secretary for the 2004 Convention.  She served as the local co-chair for the 2010 National Convention held in Cincinnati.

On the state level, Carol Sheyer served in most elected offices, including State President from 2007-2009.  Carol worked to organize a new Division in our state, and has assisted other Divisions throughout Ohio.

Carol has long served the St. Brigid Division of Hamilton County in all offices and continues as Division President.  She is a longtime member of the Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

On a personal level, Carol is a member of St. Julie Billiart Church, and is active in parish activities.  She retired from Cinergy Company and currently works for a funeral home.

Carol Sheyer is a diligent, well organized, and capable member of the LAOH. She would continue to be an asset for the National board, and a credit to the important work of our Order.  Ohio is pleased to support Carol Sheyer on the National Board, and ask for your support!

Connecticut News

Fairfield County News, New President of LAOH Kay Egan, announced that the Board will be holding a raffle open to all Hibernians and family and Friends of Hibernians.  There will be several Baskets, some worth at least $25 to be raffled off at their April meeting.

Also, the joint Boards of Fairfield County have announced that in September they will again host the John Barry Remembrance for being appointed First Officer of the USA Navy. This event will be held at the Southport Conn. Harbor.  Fairfield will be sending out further notices of this event and welcome all Hibernians to join us for this.

Danbury Division 58 held a St. Patrick’s Day Ball honoring Julie Tracy as Lady of the year.  They will be holding their annual Birthright Baby Shower in May and will again be hosting an old fashion Tea – complete with hats.

Stamford Division 59 recently lost two long time members, Past State President Leah Cullen, and Margaret McEvoy.  They will be holding a Day of Recollection on May 19th at Our Lady Star of the Sea.

Bridgeport Division 65 have taken on a new project, Female Soldeirs Forgotten Hero’s, where they work off a “wish list” and supply whatever is needed in the way of personal items needed for these brave women

New Haven County has a web site newhavencountylaoh.weebly.com, which was set up by Missions & Charities Char Sarah Curry from the Meriden Division for which she also set up a web site meridenlaoh.weebly.com.

Meriden Division 15 recently participated with Wreaths Across America where wreaths are purchased and lain on the graves of veterans.  Several of their passed members were able to be honored in this special way.  They held a celebration on February 2nd honoring St. Brigid and have many fundraisers in the works.  The Division also makes continuous donations to the local soup kitchen.

New Britain Division 74 held a Mass of their Deceased Members.  April 21st they participated in a Tag Sale to raise money for Relay for Life.  They sponsor Team Irish for the Relay.  In May they are participating in the Race In The Park for cancer and on May 19th Team Irish will be walking again in the Relay, as of the end of April they have raised around $1,000 for this project.