New York State Elects New Officers

One of the main reasons the New York State Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians meets every two years in convention is to elect its new board of officers.

The 2011 gathering in Pearl River was no exception.

Michael J. McNabb of Auburn, NY ran unopposed for the position of President, while James Burke of Massapequa, NY and Timothy McSweeney of Selkirk, NY also were elected to the to the positions of Vice President and Secretary, respectively without any competition.

That didn’t mean there wasn’t drama. Victor J. Vogel, who hails from Islip, NY won a three person race for State Treasurer. Vogel beat out Thomas Beirne and John Hyland for the position.

The other competitive race was for the site of the 2013 convention where Saratoga, NY bested Nassau County for the location, which will take place from July 10 – July 13, 2013.

The fully elected appointed board can be viewed on our officers page.

Hibernians To Celebrate 175th Anniversary at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

At a February 23rd meeting at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, chaired by General Chairman Past National President Ed Wallace with co-chair Tom Beirne, NY County President, Msgr. Sakano, National President Seamus Boyle and many 175th committee members, final plans were made for the parade, Mass and reception on May 21st, 2011 commemorating the 175th anniversary of the AOH.

This site and date in May 2011 were chosen to recognize the founding of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America at nearby St. James Church (now closed) 175 years ago on May 4, 1836 by a ‘handful of Irishmen.” A letter dated 5/4/1836 “From the Brethren in Ireland and Great Britain to the Brethren in New York.” read:

“Brothers, greeting: Be it known to you and to all it may concern that we send to our few brothers in New York full instructions with our authority to establish branches of our society in America.” The letter goes on to explain qualifications for membership, use of the motto Friendship, Unity and true Christian Charity, and what is expected of the new branches and its members.

It was at Old St. Patrick’s that the call went out to the Hibernian brotherhood by Archbishop John “Dagger” Hughes to save the church from the Know Nothings in the mid 1800’s when those bigots were burning catholic churches. The AOH surrounded and saved the Cathedral and later built the wall around it.

To note the founding of our Order, Hibernian members wearing sashes, and guests are asked to assemble on Mulberry Street near Precious Blood Church just north of Canal St. at at 9:00 am on May 21, 2011. The parade will step off at 9:30 am and go north on Mulberry St. to Prince St., right on Prince St., left on Mott St. to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. This route retraces a similar route, depicted in the famous lithograph, of the 69th Regiment in April 1861 on their way to the Civil War parading to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and past the then AOH headquarters at 41 Prince Street. The 175th parade will be led by AOH color guard, clergy, AOH National Bd, first two divisions organized in 1800’s, LAOH Nat’l Bd, pipe bands and state, county and division officers and members with their flags and banners. Representatives of the Fighting 69th will also be part of the march to the Cathedral.

An anniversary Mass to be celebrated by the AOH National Chaplain Father Thomas O’Donnell of Pittsburgh and con-celebrated by the pastor Msgr. Sakano, AOH State, County and Division Chaplains bishops and priests will take place at 11:00 am in the Old Cathedral. The Mass will be sung by the Hibernian Festival Choir under the direction of Maura Allen.

This choir has sung at the White House and at many venues in Ireland, N. Ireland, Canada and the U.S. and have always added to the solemnity of the liturgy. AOH members will act as ushers and altar servers under guidance of a committee headed by Past National Director Martin Kelly of Brooklyn.

Following the Mass, a reception will be held in the Youth Center across from the Cathedral. Catered food and refreshments and entertainment will be offered starting at approximately 12:30 pm. A short program and introduction of visiting dignitaries will take place during the reception.

The reception will be chaired by Sir Patrick Allen, a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and a brother Hibernian. A fee of $20.00 per person will cover cost of reception and day’s activities. All who plan to attend the May 21st celebration is urged to respond by April 30, 2011 with number attending and check made out to: AOH 175th  Anniversary and send to: AOH 175th Anniversary % Mr. Patrick Allen 1713 Summit Avenue Union City, NJ 07087. Registration and receipt of wrist band of all pre-paid responders will take place at parade assemble area prior to start of parade and again for rest of attendees immediately following the Mass. All are urged to respond by the deadline.

For anyone coming to the 175th celebration at Old St. Patrick’s and wishing to stay over the night before should make their own hotel arrangements at several of the hotels in the immediate area such as: Holiday Inn Soho 138 LaFayette Street at 212-966-8898 Use Code AOH for $179/night Fri/Sat (contact Brendan Moore 631-363-2388 or brendanaoh@yahoo.com and he will get more rooms added); Hotel East Houston 151 E. Houston St. at 212-777-0012 or The GEM Hotel –Soho 135 E. Houston St at 212-358-8844. Each of these are within a few minutes walk of the Cathedral. Other hotels can be found online.

To get idea of numbers attending on 5/21/11, everyone is asked to contact asap either 175th Chrmn. PNP Ed Wallace at 315-686-3917 or email ewallac2@twcny.rr.com or Nat’l Pres. Seamus Boyle at 215-820-1547 or email shay39@comcast.net.

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Leadership Seminar

Pictured (L-R) Tom Beirne, Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Brian Kelly, Aidan O'Kelly-Lynch

An AOH Leadership Seminar was held Saturday, November 13 at the new Hibernian Hall at the Hudson Valley Irish Center in Verplanck, NY.  A panel including Matt Nelligan, 2012 National Convention Chairman and Past NYS President, Tom Beirne, NY County President, Brian Kelly, Westchester County, and Dan Dennehy, National Immigration Chairman. Over fifty Hibernians from New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio, as well as members from across NY State joined the members from the Metropolitan area in participating in this remarkable forum. Brendan Moore, National Vice President, along with National Directors Jere Cole & Danny O’Connell, Sean Pender, National FFAI, Joe McDonald, Digital Hibernian Digest and Ed Rice, NY State Organizer provided their observations and expertise to the forum. New acquaintances were made and information shared to benefit the good of the Order.

Brendan Moore congratulated Brothers Dan Dennehy, Matt Nelligan, Tom Beirne, and Brian Kelly for their efforts in structuring and presenting this seminar. “They achieved and surpassed all of their objectives. Their Leadership Seminar should be further developed and repeated throughout the AOH.”

The seminar focused on the following topics:

  • AOH Officer & Member
  • Roles, responsibilities & duties
  • AOH Halls
  • Meetings and Ceremonies
  • Layout and Decorum
  • Our Constitution & Bylaws
  • Robert’s Rules of Order:
  • For the Good of Our Order
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Brothers for Life

Matt Nelligan thanked Brother Dennehy for putting the seminar together stating, “In order to make sure that our Order continues to grow and thrive we need to constantly prepare our members for leadership roles. This Seminar provided a format for Local, State and National Officers in our organization to educate our future leaders on the rules, regulations and protocols that they need to be familiar with.”

“The goal of the seminar was to familiarize newer Hibernians with our leadership and organization, to provide a better understanding of our Order and to encourage recruitment and retention by sharing successful efforts and methods.” stated Dan Dennehy.  He added “I believe that the seminar achieved greater than anticipated success, highlighted aspects of our Order that further focused on and that the social aspect of the day definitely benefited all those in attendance.”

Food and refreshment were provided by President Aidan O’Kelly Lynch, Div 18 and the officers and members of the host Division – Westchester County Division 18, Peekskill. Visiting Hibernians admired the hall, which boasted relics from the Division including a poster from an 1898 boat ride sponsored by the local AOH. Those early Hibernians, many of whom were Irish immigrants, built the building and inscribed their names in the bricks outside on July 4, 1876.

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Donations To Old St. Patrick’s

Members of The Francis P. Beirne AOH Division 9, NY County at the presentation of $10,000 check to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. (L to R) Brian Andersson, NYC Commisioner of Archives; Pete Coyle, Division Treasurer; Paul Mahoney; Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor and NY County Chaplain; Martin Beirne, Division President; Archbishop Timothy Dolan; Brendan Lynch, Past Division President; Mary Beirne; Tom Beirne, NY County President; John Pesche, South Florida State Organizer; Sir Patrick Allen.

Members of The Francis P. Beirne AOH Division 9, NY County at the presentation of $10,000 check to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. (L to R) Brian Andersson, NYC Commisioner of Archives; Pete Coyle, Division Treasurer; Paul Mahoney; Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor and NY County Chaplain; Martin Beirne, Division President; Archbishop Timothy Dolan; Brendan Lynch, Past Division President; Mary Beirne; Tom Beirne, NY County President; John Pesche, South Florida State Organizer; Sir Patrick Allen.

Members of the AOH attended a memorial Conference and Mass to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal John O’Connor in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday May 3, 2010. Cardinal O’Connor was a proud Hibernian, a member of Division 9, NY County, recipient of the John F.Kennedy Memorial Medal from the AOH National Board; and the 1996 Grand Marshal for the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

After the conference and prior to the Mass Martin Beirne, President of the Francis P. Beirne Division 9, NY County AOH presented a check for $10,000 to Monsignor Donald Sakano, Pastor of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and to Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Division 9 has pledged $30,000 as part of the Cathedral’s 200th Anniversary Capital Campaign; to cover the costs of installing transparent doors into the burial crypt under St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.  The Division is proud to help with the restoration and improvements at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, which the AOH were called on by Archbishop John “Dagger” Hughes to defend by force during the 1830 and 1840’s.  The AOH defended the church grounds and prevented the “Know Nothings” from destroying St. Patrick’s old Cathedral.  A reenactment of the defense of the Old Cathedral was made on Sunday June 7, 2009 after a Mass and Parade to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the laying of the Cornerstone for St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Archbishop Timothy Dolan announced at the St. Patrick’s Day Mass in the New Cathedral that St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was granted Basilica status by the Holy Father.

Monsignor Donald Sakano, who in addition to his duties as pastor of the Old Cathedral also serves as chaplain to the New York County AOH Board, said “I am both grateful for the practical support shown by Division 9 of the New York County AOH, and moved that its membership is still standing “shoulder to shoulder” in defense of the Old Cathedral, as their forebears did long ago.  The gift of the members, which is the first donation tied to a specific 200th Anniversary Campaign project, will enable visitors to the Old Cathedral to see through transparent doors, emplaced in the Mott Street courtyard of the Old Cathedral, into our one of our most notable features, our historic crypt, which contains the remains of many prominent New Yorkers, as well as many of the pioneering priests of the Archdiocese going back to the early 19th century.  As we undertake a number of restoration projects in connection with the 200th anniversary of the Old Cathedral, this generous gift is deeply appreciated.”

Plans are now under way for the 175th Anniversary of the AOH in America and many of the events, including masses and tours of the Old Cathedral, are currently being planned for the Fall of 2011.

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