Many parts of the Northeast have been devastated. Hurricane Sandy has left us with unimaginable misery in terms of destruction, dislocation, and despair. Areas with extremely high concentrations of Hibernians truly resemble war zones where dark and heatless homes faced this frigid morning with temperatures averaging 25 degrees.
I realize you have seen the tremendous loss on TV. A neighbor of mine told me that when a newscaster showed people burning their own furniture to stay warm, he had to stop looking at the evening news.
But we, as Hibernians, cherish an Irish Catholic legacy that compels us not to look away, but instead to consistently respond to the needs of those among us and around us. If we are to fulfill the enduring mission of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, then we know that it is our responsibility to reach out with assistance and the support of our prayers so that spirits broken by a sense of helplessness will not soon be crushed by an added burden of hopelessness.
In an emergency conference call last night, the AOH National Board unanimously voted to donate $25,000 for AOH Storm Relief. In addition, a program has been authorized to both process donations and provide an opportunity for Hibernians impacted in various ways to request assistance from their Hibernian Brothers. We are counting on the generosity of our State Boards, County Boards, Divisions, and all Hibernians everywhere. If every Division, County Board, and State Board were to contribute at least $200, we would total well in excess of $100,000 without even counting the generous donations from each of our members!
HOW TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION:
All checks MUST be written: Pay To The Order of Hibernian Charity.
Memo portion of your check MUST read: AOH Storm Relief.
Send all donations to Edward Dougherty, Hibernian Charity Sec—7236 Brous Ave, Phila, PA 19149
AOH Storm Relief Request Forms available from: State Presidents OR aoh.com (website) OR from Seamus Boyle–3097 Willits Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brothers, because the will of God is the need of the hour, I ask this entire Order to please respond generously and immediately.
Celebrate 175th Anniversary at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral
A February 23rd meeting at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City final plans were made for the parade, Mass and reception for this 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 concelebrated 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 dignateries will take place during the reception.
The reception will be chaired by Sir Patrick Allen, a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre 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.
To get idea of numbers attending on 5/21/11, everyone is asked to contact asap either 175th Chrmn. PNP Ed Wallace at 315-686-391 or email email@example.com or Nat’l Pres. Seamus Boyle at 215-820-1547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In local stores, Christmas displays are ready to take the place of the Halloween items as retailers anxiously hope an early start might lead to a profitable holiday season. At food pantries and parish outreach offices around Long Island thoughts are also turning to Thanksgiving and Christmas and worries that there won’t be enough food to go around.
“I’m nervous about this year,” said Joseph Samodulski, director of human services at St. Ignatius Loyola parish, Hicksville. “We are absolutely blessed with generous parishioners and a generous community,” he said, but due to the struggling economy, “everyone is rolling their pennies on Thursday night.”
There has seen a huge increase in the number of people seeking assistance in the past few years. In September 2007, the parish outreach fed 292 people. This past September 2010, they fed 552 people, Samodulski said, noting that this increase occurred despite the fact that the pantry was open five days per week in 2007 and now is open only three days.
People who receive aid at St. Ignatius fall generally into four categories, said Samodulski. Undocumented immigrants make up a large percentage of the clientele. “These are the people who are busing our tables, washing our cars and mowing our lawns,” he said, but don’t make enough to feed their families.
Some of the clients are homeless people. “The homeless population of our clients has dwindled from 45 to about 12, because a lot of the people we used to see have died,” said Samodulski.
Two other groups are growing in numbers, according to Samodulski. Each month the parish assists between 35 and 45 senior citizen households, most living on fixed incomes.
“The fastest growing group is the ostensibly middle class,” he said. “They have been laid off, downsized or outsourced. They have tuition and mortgage payments they can no longer afford because the primary or secondary wage earner or both have lost jobs.”
“While the numbers (of this group) are small in comparison (to the other groups) they have grown most quickly, almost double in the past year,” he added.
In Central Islip, Ana Sullivan, outreach coordinator at St. John of God parish, also reports an increase in the number of people seeking assistance. The parish sees about 350 families each month.
“This time of year the numbers increase,” said Sullivan, who came to St. John’s this past summer but has been looking at past figures to help prepare for this season. Last year they distributed about 200 baskets for Thanksgiving. “All people want to have more for a special holiday meal.”
“I am trying to be positive, but we have been short of food since July,” said Sullivan. “It is hard for me to tell people that we have to give them less food. We have to try to help as many as possible.”
On the positive side, Sullivan has already received a few calls from other parishes that are in a position to help provide holiday meals.
“Maybe we are going to make it,” she said. “Any help is welcome, particularly canned food and pasta, food that doesn’t go bad, that we can store for after the holidays.”
At St. Ignatius, Samodulski said the outreach is truly community based, both in its clients and its supporters. St. Stephen’s, a neighboring Evangelical Lutheran Church, has been running a yearlong food drive with its parishioners bringing different items each month to stock the pantry shelves. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church supports the St. Ignatius pantry financially. Samodulski worked with the local Methodist congregation to start a food pantry there that is open on one of the days St. Ignatius is closed.
A local Tae Kwon Do club holds a “Kick-a-thon” and, with the proceeds, fills 80 to 100 baskets. The Joseph Barry Knights of Columbus also provide a turkey or ham and all the trimmings for 60 families.
Samodulski encourages Scout groups, students who need community service hours and others who want to help to organize local food drives to keep the food pantries full.
HOLY FAMILY PARISH Food Pantry Needs FEBRUARY ;
Thank you for your faithful support of the pantry.
The items listed are our greatest need at this time. Your generous assistance is always greatly appreciated.
canned meat, bottled juice, mayonnaise, decaf coffee, brown & white rice
pasta sides, jelly, cooking oil, toothpaste & brushes canned fruit
ketchup, canned potatoes, aluminum foil, paper towels, napkins