Chaplain’s Message – Fr. Henry Reid

We have finished with another State Convention and now we settle in for the continuing work of the Order. I want to thank our past State President, Mike McNabb, for having me as State Chaplain for the last two years, and also thank our new State President, Jim Burke, for asking me to remain in this position.

While we were in Saratoga for the Convention, the By-Law committee worked on and put forth for vote a proposed change, which I had put forward, which was passed without objection. While everyone will be able to read the By-Law for themselves, hopefully in this edition of the E.S. Hibernian, I should mention one of the reasons why it was put forward. Back in February, it was brought to my attention that one of the colleges on Long Island, which had been founded by a religious order and which most people believe to be a Catholic institution, hosted Planned Parenthood on campus. This is symptomatic of the erosion of the Church’s teachings that have pervaded institutions that are supposed to be Catholic, especially colleges and universities. There is a reason why the Church established educational institutions, rather than relying solely on secular institutions. When Bishop John Hughes established Fordham University, he was clear on the reasons for doing so: “What was our object, dearly beloved brethren, in this undertaking? It was that the Catholic parents of this diocese and elsewhere, who could afford it, should have an opportunity of educating their sons with safety to their faith and morals, and yet so as to qualify them to take an honorable part in the more elevated walks of public and social life.” Universities which have their foundations in the Catholic Church are among the best in the world, but those that have sacrificed Catholic teachings, those that have separated themselves from Communion with the Church, should not benefit from our support.

The Catholic Church is under attack from many directions, from our traditional detractors who warp history and logic to suit their own agenda, bigots who unleash hatred, just as their ancestors of intolerance have done for centuries; as well as from more modern sources, who disguise their hatred of the Faith as intellectualism, satire or political correctness. Why would we support any persons or organization which seeks to undermine the principles that the AOH holds sacred?

At the Convention, the Pro-Life committee met and discussed the defeat of Governor Cuomo’s Abortion Expansion Bill, which would have allowed for abortions through the third trimester. Had it passed, this would have legalized the murders of babies which Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of in Philadelphia; it is necessary to be aware of, and oppose, legislation that would expand abortions in the state. After discussing what else could be done to educate our own members and the general public on Right to Life issues, it was decided to order models of 10-12 week fetuses, which have been ordered and will be made available to all State Divisions through our new Pro-Life Chair, Brian Clancy.

At this time, I would like to ask everyone to remember our brother John Hennessy in your prayers, as our former State President and Calendar Chairman had a stroke, and has passed to his eternal reward. Please remember him and his wife Margaret in your prayers.

I hope everyone enjoys the last days of summer, wrapping up feis and festivals, and I look forward to seeing many of you in Monroe on November 2nd.

In Christ and our motto,

Fr. Henry W. Reid

Veteran’s Affairs – September 2011

Upcoming Changes in the Post9/11 G.I. Bill

Upcoming changes to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill effective August 1, 2011 include paying the actual net cost of all public in-state tuition and fees, rather than basing payments upon the highest in-state tuition and fee rates for every state; capping private and foreign tuition at $17,500 per academic year; and ending payments during certain school breaks, to preserve veterans’ entitlement for future academic semesters.  Also, certain students attending private schools in select states can now continue to receive benefits at the same rate payable during the previous academic year.

Beginning October 1, 2011, eligible individuals will be able to use Post 9/11 G.I. Bill programs such as non-college degrees, on-the-job training and correspondence courses, and they will be eligible to receive a portion of the national monthly housing allowance rate when enrolled in distance learning courses.

The VA is implementing the latest round of changes to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and has already begun processing fall 2011 enrollment certifications.  Outreach by the VA has helped to increase participation by colleges and universities in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps students avoid out-of-pocket costs that may exceed the benefit.  Today more than 2000 schools are participating in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Complete information on the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill is available atwww.gibill.va.gov.  VA’s education information phone number is 1 800 GIBILL-1 or you can log in to the VA

eBenefit Website: www.eBenefits.va.gov.

 

Female Veterans Health Care

Medical Professionals in the VA have gone years without having to treat female patients.  Many, in fact, have never treated a female patient.  That is all changing now that so many women are serving in the military.  The Veterans Affairs Department is now conducting seminars related to treating female patients.

In the past there was limited availability at some VA clinics for gender specific health appointments.  Female veterans had to travel hours to another facility, or the VA had to pick up the bill for them to go to private doctors, if they opted to go at all.  So far the VA has achieved its goal of having a trained designated women’s provider in its 150 medical centers and in at least 60 to 65 per cent of its 900 community based clinics.  Doctors and nurse practitioners by the hundreds are coming to mini residency programs to focus on women’s health issues.

Please keep all our Veterans in your prayers.  God Bless America.