AOH Leaders Return to Where it All Began

A Visit to the Birthplace of the AOH in America

AOH National President Brendan Moore, Rev. Raymond Nobiletto, NY Past State President  Jim Burke and current AOH NY State President Tim McSweeney stand before a plaque commemorating the founding of The AOH in America

AOH National President Brendan Moore, Rev. Raymond Nobiletto, NY Past State President Jim Burke and current AOH NY State President Tim McSweeney stand in front of St. James Church before a plaque commemorating the founding of The AOH in America

On August 18th, 2015, National President Brendan Moore, NYS President Tim McSweeney, Past NYS President Jim Burke and Albany Div. 5 Treasurer Bernie Harney were treated to a tour of St. James Church in lower Manhattan hosted by Rev. Raymond Nobiletto, Pastor of Church of the Transfiguration.  The Transfiguration Parish recently acquired the St. James Church Building, where the AOH in America was founded in May of 1836.

The Sanctuary of the Church has not hosted a mass in over 4 years and has fallen into disrepair. Workers are removing the ceiling of the Sanctuary, as it is in danger of total collapse. Many other rooms and basement of the building are in need of restoration.
Fr. Nobiletto’s goal is to transform the Sanctuary into a multi-use community center and recreation area for the Parish School. The basement of the building will become a science lab for the school.

The delegation briefed Fr.Nobiletto how much of an important role that St. James played in the history of our order. Further meetings will be planned with Fr.Nobiletto to discuss the role of the AOH assisting in preserving this historic site.

National President Seamus Boyle unveils Commodore John Barry Wayside Marker

National President Seamus Boyle was a featured speaker at the unveiling of a new wayside marker at the statue of Commodore John Barry in Franklin Park, Washington, DC, on May 4. Although the statue has been standing since its dedication by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, there has been no interpretive marker to explain to the public who Commodore John Barry was and why he is important today. The Naval Order of the United States embarked on an effort to have a ceramic information marker placed to the side of the statue. Leading the effort for the Naval Order was AOH Brother Captain John Rodgaard, USN, and a member of the Commodore John Barry Division in the District of Columbia.

President Boyle noted in his remarks that “Ninety Eight years ago, my predecessor, AOH President James Regan, stood here for the unveiling of this monument.”  The Ancient Order of Hibernians was the leading force in having the statue placed in Franklin Park. The statue was created by sculptor John J. Boyle on a commission from the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other patriotic American groups of Irish descent.

The AOH president pointed out that “both Houses of Congress had a special adjournment for the occasion and gathered at this park were no less than 50,000 spectators. These included President Wilson, members of Congress, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels – who presided over the ceremony – along with hundreds of leading officials of the government and the diplomatic corps.” The AOH National newspaper, in June of 1914, described the dedication ceremony as follows: “Standing majestically on its beautiful site in Franklin Park, surrounded with trees, flowers, shrubs, and directly facing one of the most frequented thoroughfares of the national Capital, the monument to Commodore John Barry, Father of the American Navy, now forms one of the most attractive memorials of the many which adorn the public parks of the Capital City.” President Boyle closed with a quote from President Wilson’s speech during the dedication: “This man is not an Irish-American; he was an Irishman that became an American.”

Boyle acknowledged the presence of other Hibernians at the ceremony, including National Director Keith Carney, Brother Ralph Day (President of the DC State Board and the Commodore John Barry Division), Brothers Jack O’Brien and John McInerney (leaders of our efforts to erect the Barry memorial at the Naval Academy) and Brother Brian Curran (President of the John Carroll of Carrollton Division).  Following the ceremony there was a reception onboard the display ship (Former U.S. Destroyer) Barry (DD933) berthed at the Washington Navy Yard. During that reception the Gilbert Stewart painting of Commodore John Barry was on display. It is a truly remarkable painting.

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President Boyle’s Letter To Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Excellency Timothy Cardinal Dolan
1011 First Ave
New York NY 10022

Your Eminence Cardinal Dolan,

As National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on being elevated to the position of Cardinal. It is only a few short years ago that I first wrote to you congratulating you on being appointed Archbishop of New York.

On behalf of your brothers in the AOH we know you will continue to do an excellent job for the Archdioceses and for all the Catholics across this great country of ours. You have been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to our people who need just such a person to lead us in such disturbing times.

We know what a tremendous responsibility this is at such a tumultuous time and you have my assurance that we, your AOH Brothers, will keep you in our daily prayers and we ask that you pray for us also. We wish you the very best and we ask that God and St Patrick keep you well.

Sincerely,
Seamus Boyle National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians In America,Inc

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President Boyle’s Letter To Urban Outfitters

Mr Hayne, as the National President of the largest Irish American Organization in the United States, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, it is with great displeasure that I must write to you and ask that you immediately remove the disgusting products you have for sale in your stores depicting the Irish as Drunks and defaming the Irish Nation and the Patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick.

St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is a day when the Irish celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and yes we do celebrate in a respectful manner with many of us starting the day by attending Mass prior to marching in parades. There are those few who use this day as an excuse to over celebrate but that does not give you or anyone else the right to defame and debase a whole race of people by selling the garbage that you display in your stores.

For you or anyone else to have articles like the trucker’s cap depicting a drunk vomiting shamrocks or selling jugs such as the Leprechauns Piss Jug is culturally offensive and uncalled for. If this is the way you must make your money by debasing a whole race of people I can assure you that with over 40 million people in this country claiming Irish ancestry they will not be your customers after this display of arrogance and disrespect to a whole nation.

I ask, would you have the same type of garbage depicting the African American, Jewish or Muslim Nations emblazoned on your product? I think not. Why do it to the Irish? Perhaps it is because we are Catholic and you think you can get away with it, or is because you think we do not care about our heritage or perhaps because you just dont care about our nationality. Well Mr Hayne, we do care about our Heritage, our Religion and what the perception of us as a nation is, so I am sure you will be hearing from many more of our proud Irish American people throughout this country and abroad.

Thousands of our people shop at you stores throughout the country and with help of the news media, Irish and catholic organizations and the general public we will get the word out that Urban Outfitters does not have any respect for the Irish people or the Catholic Religion and we will ask them to Boycott your establishments.

If you have a change of heart and decide to do the right thing by immediately removing this offensive product from your stores please contact me and I will make sure that our people continue to shop your business.

Seamus Boyle National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc

Anger Over St. Patrick’s Day Items: MyFoxNY.com

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New Major Degree team certified in South Carolina

The newest Ancient Order of Hibernians Major Degree Team is the Carraig Phadraig Major Degree Team in South Carolina. The team has been practicing for over a year and was chaired by Past State President Neil Diamond. National Ritual Chairman Patrick Shannon certified it at the 7th bi-annual State Convention in Charleston on October 22.

The Rock of Cashel (Irish: Carraig Phadraig), also known as Cashel of Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock is a historic site in Ireland’s province of Munster, located at Cashel, South Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.

National Ritual Chairman Patrick Shannon & Past New York President John Hennessy

The Msgr. John L Manning Division in Charleston County and the Brian Boru Division in Berkeley County formed the team. It includes members from Horry and Beaufort counties. Key members are Al Stiles, Jim Kelly, Tim Keneflick, James Nettles and Martin Fosberry.

At the 7th bi-annual convention, the team performed its first Major Degree for a group of 49 new candidates. This brings the state to 170 major degree members out of a total of more than 500 members. Candidates came from all nine Divisions in South Carolina. The team held a practice for National Ritual Chairman Patrick Shannon on Friday before the convention. He made several small suggestions to help improve the team performance. National Director Len Byrne, Past New York State President John Hennessey and National President Seamus Boyle also attended the degree.

 

 

 

 

New Carriag Phadraig Degree Team

Degree team certificate. NY State past President John Hennessy, National Director Len Bryne, Past SC President and Team Organizer, SC State President James Nettles and National Ritual Chairman Patrick Shannon.

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Meehan to receive Golden Bridges Award

In 2007, Mairtin O Muilleoir, publisher of the Irish Echo, announced the Golden Bridges award, to be annually presented in tribute to those who had built golden bridges of prosperity and investment between the U.S. and the North of Ireland.

This year, the recipients are author Mike MacDonald, Mary McAleer of the Irish American Partnership and AOH Past National President Jack Meehan. Jack was nominated by Boston’s undocumented Irish community for his more than 30 years of service to that cause.

The awards will be presented at a luncheon to be held at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Centre, Boston, on November 11. The guest speaker will be Gerry Adams, TD. Our congratulations to Jack.

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President Boyle Addreses AOH on the 175th

The 2011 President’s Dinner was held in Philadelphia on October 8, and all who attended raved about the grand event. Also at the dinner, the presentation of the Sean MacBride Award was made to the highly deserving Clara Reilly.

National AOH President Seamus Boyle addressed the dinner’s participants, and his speech is reprinted here.

 

“Rev. Clergy, distinguished guests, National, State, County and Division officers of the AOH and LAOH, family and friends, and especially our recipient of the prestigious Sean MacBride award, Clara Reilly, thank you for attending this evening’s festivities.

I know many of you have traveled quite a distance, both from here in the States and Ireland so I hope you enjoy your night and have a safe trip home. (It’s not over yet, that is usually said at the end of the speech).

As most of you know, this year is our 175 Anniversary of the formation of the AOH in America and we did have a great celebration in New York City in May, which many of you attended. This Anniversary celebration that has been ongoing throughout 2011, took over a year of hard work on the part of many people to accomplish. I would like to single out two people, Ed Wallace, chairman of the Anniversary Committee, and Mike McCormack, who was responsible for the beautiful Souvenir Journal that is on your table tonight. I think we owe a round of applause to both of these gentlemen.

It is almost 14 years since I was elected to the National Board of the AOH and I must say it has been one hell of a ride. Although I have had many great times, there were also some sad times that came with the positions I held. Some great friends in the organization have passed on, as have some of my own family, and it is at times like this that I miss them most.

Tom Gilligan, Past National President, who encouraged me to get involved and run for office, told me it was a piece of cake, but Tom always did exaggerate. And my brother, Mike, told me I was nuts, but he meant it. The people I have met on my travels throughout this great country of ours have treated me with the utmost respect, whether they agreed with my policies or not, and I have remained friends with many of them.

The Board that I have worked with over the past 4 years has supported me in all my decisions, and I have always included them in making these decisions because I have learned that one man cannot run a ship by himself. Your Board has made great strides and has made many decisions that may not have been popular but it is easy for one to make popular decisions, but a lot harder to make the right decisions, and as far as I am concerned we have made the right decisions over the past 4 years.

For 174 years, our organization has had no registered Trademark or Copyrights to our name or logo. But today, thanks to our Legal Counsel George Clough, we are now registered. We have contracted with Harris Connect, at no cost to us, to do a history of the AOH, by the AOH members themselves, telling their story about their state, county or division or their own personal story of how they came to be in the area where they now reside. Our online edition of the Hibernian Digest has been a great source of information to our members. We are now in the process of gathering emails and updating our membership list so as to save time and money on communications. There are so many other things that we have done as a board but most of you know what has been accomplished and I will leave it at that. The board we have today is one of the best boards I have ever worked with and they continue to serve you in a most effective way.

Tonight is a night to celebrate. Celebrate our heritage with the music from the Willie Lynch Band. Celebrate our Religion, which we just did at our beautiful Mass celebrated by our National Chaplain Fr. Tom O’Donnell and our two Deputy Chaplains Fr. Reid and Fr. Pearce, not to forget the beautiful voice of Louise Donnelly, our vocalist.

Celebrate a woman who has fought for many years for peace and justice in Ireland, Clara Reilly. Celebrate our history by reading the history in our Anniversary Journal and educating our friends, family and especially our children of the history of our ancestors. Celebrate our health by being able to be here tonight with our friends and family and celebrate our peace in Ireland, fragile as it might be but much better than it was even 15 years ago.

I would like to thank all of you for attending the festivities tonight, especially all of my family from here in the States and from Ireland. My relatives from Ireland who came here for the wedding last week, about 12 of them, are like grandchildren: I like to see them come but I love to see them go back — and that works both ways when I go back they feel the same, here he comes when is he leaving. My children, Mike and Tara, Bronagh who was married last Saturday and is on her honeymoon and opted to miss this affair, but most of all my wife, Berna, who puts up with me all of the time but especially when I ask her, can you pack a bag for me quick, I forgot to tell you I am going to Montana or Georgia or someplace else in the morning. Thank you all especially you, Berna, have a great night, enjoy the band and have a safe trip home.

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International Great Hunger Commemoration

In recognition of the considerable significance of The Great Hunger, the Irish Government established a National Famine Commemoration Committee, chaired by TD Eamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in 2008. The first National Memorial Day was held on 25 May, 2008 in Dublin. It was so well received that the following year it was extended to an International Commemoration and it was established that the National Memorial Day in Ireland would revolve between the four provinces.

On May 17, 2009, the Irish National commemoration took place in Skibbereen, Co. Cork with parallel events held in Canada, Australia and other Irish communities around the world. International participants were encouraged to hold their own local events to commemorate the Great Hunger while, in Ireland, all public and sporting events observed a minute’s silence on that day. The AOH National and NY State Boards produced a onehour, four-part DVD on the tragedy, especially for teachers, entitled The Reasons For Learning as the AOH part in the international commemoration.

In 2010, the Irish National commemoration site was in Murrisk, Co. Mayo on 16 May and even more members of the Irish Diaspora around the world celebrated masses and/or sponsored events on that date as world-wide interest grew. Masses International Great Hunger Commemoration were also celebrated and services held at Great Hunger Memorials across America. The DVD Reasons for Learning was put on the AOH.Com national website for free download with a number of lesson plans and exercises in support of the DVD. A number of divisions held public showings of the DVD on that weekend.

This year, 2011, the international commemoration is scheduled for May 21 and 22. Our National President has urged local AOH divisions to schedule some type of public activity in their local areas and to alert the media to the event. For those without access to the Internet, and who would like a copy of the DVD on the Great Hunger, it is still available at only $18. from the AOH Charities by contacting F. Kearney at (203) 980-9324.

There is nothing else in the history of the Irish people that can be likened to the Great Starvation of 1845 and beyond, either for its immediate impact on Ireland, its legacy of emigration, its effect on the United States, its cultural loss or the decline of the Irish language. The population of Ireland, which exceeded 8 million in the Census of 1841, was reduced by millions through death and emigration. In honor of those who died, those who refused to abandon their faith and those who fled Ireland in order to survive, articles can be submitted to local media and educational workshops can be held to inform people about the official apathy that caused a potato blight to become a man-made tragedy. Historians have proclaimed Ireland’s Great Hunger as the worst social disaster of the 19th century when people starved outside the gates of prosperous farms as tons of food was exported. Let’s remember the victims on May 21-22.

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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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175th Update

After many months of planning for our 175th Anniversary and the hard work by the chairman, Ed Wallace, and especially his on the scene men, Tom Bierne and Jim Burke, and the rest of the committee, a decision has been made to have a Mass and a reception on May 21st 2011 at Old St Patrick’s Church in Lower Manhattan. The Mass has been set for 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception in the Youth Center across the street from the church. National Chaplain, Father Tom O’Donnell will be in contact with Archbishop Dolan to see if he can say the Mass.

Originally, the committee and the National Board had set aside Columbus Day weekend, October 7-9th in New York City, but this just proved to be too cost prohibitive. For a 2 night stay in a hotel, busing to and from Old St Patrick’s, and a banquet outside the Hotel, (which would be much cheaper than in any hotel) would cost approximately $700-$800 PER PERSON, without travel expense, parking or bringing your spouse. We felt, that in this economy, it was not feasible for our members to attend at such a cost. It was then agreed that a one day celebration, closer to our original organizational date, on Saturday, May 21st, was set.

The National Board meeting, in conjunction with the National President’s Dinner, would be held on the original date of Columbus Day weekend, October 7 – 9th, with the meeting and dinner on Saturday October 8th 2011, in Philadelphia. This would be less expensive and we will continue the celebration of our 175th anniversary at this function. So we will have a celebration in NY on May 21st and the National Board meeting in conjunction with the National President’s Dinner & the Sean MacBride award in Philadelphia on the weekend of October 7th-9th.

We are asking those who can attend the Mass and reception on May 21st to contact Ed Wallace at 315-686-3917 / ewallac2@twcny.rr.com as we will need a head count as soon as possible.

In conjunction with the 175th anniversary, we have an add journal which will be distributed at the President’s Dinner for those advertisers attending or will be mailed to all others. This Journal will be a history of the AOH for the last 175 years, as well as any division, county or state board who wants to write the history of their entity and sponsor that page. Our Historian, Mike McCormack is the chairman of that committee with Tom O’Donnell as the person to contact to write your own history or sponsor a page. The Journal Committee, besides Mike and Tom consists of Phil Gallagher, John Ridge, John Gara and others who wish to contribute. Contacts for both of these men are: Mike McCormack 631-732-1390 / aohbard@optonline.net and Tom O’Donnell 215-698-7434 / nlnod@comcast.net

For the celebration we have struck a Commemorative Coin. These are a beautiful bronze coin with one of the oldest AOH Logo’s (1890′s) on the front side and the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell on the reverse side. Jere Cole is the chairman for the coins and Sean Pender is also on this committee. Jere Cole can be contacted at : 973-632-7914 or jcole4838@aol.com. Sean Pender at paddyspeed@yahoo.com You may purchase a coin immediately so you get a lower number as all coins are numbered and will be sold in the order they are received.   A form and a check must accompany each purchase so a list of numbers can be tracked. The form will be in each digest until the August/September edition.

The dinner committee will be chaired by Ed Dougherty & Nancy Cullen. Ed can be contacted at: 215-338-4315 or eddoc215@verizon.net and Nancy’s contact is 215-322-0223 or ncp806@verizon.net More information will follow.

We are asking all division, county and state boards to celebrate our 175th year in existence. Take the time to write the history of your division, county or state or if you are relatively new or do not want to write the history, sponsor one of the many pages written by our National Historian. We are also asking each division, county and state to celebrate our anniversary throughout the entire year with a mass at some point and for our State Conventions to do something special to commemorate this pinnacle of our Order. How many organizations do you know who have achieved this honor of being in existence for 175 consecutive years? Right after the New Year a mass mailing will be sent out with all the information, forms, contact information and everything you will need to partake in this special time of our Organization’s festivities.

You may contact the Ad Journal Committee, Tom O’Donnell, Commemorative Coin Chairman Jere Cole or Sean Pender, or Dinner Committee co Chairs Ed Dougherty or Nancy Cullen immediately for more information, to purchase coins, to sponsor or submit History ads or the make reservations for the dinner. ALL OF THEIR CONTACT IS ABOVE.

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