On April 17 and 18, the Missouri LAOH State Convention was held. Vice President, Mary Kathryn Victor did a marvelous job in organizing it at the Embassy Suites in St. Charles. On Friday night, there was a Happy Hour, which all the LAOH from St. Louis brought appetizers and snacks. The LAOH from Kansas City brought all the paper supplies needed. It was a fun night where all the Missouri Ladies were able to meet and enjoy time with each other. Then on Saturday morning, there was a meeting where the new LAOH Missouri officers were elected. The new officers are: President Mary Kathryn Victor (from St. Louis LAOH John F. Kennedy Division); Vice President Patti Clark (from Kansas City LAOH Padraic Pearse Division); Secretary Sandi Swift (from St. Louis LAOH John F. Kennedy); Treasurer Loretta Sheerin (from St. Louis John F. Kennedy Division); Historian Julie Dunn (from St. Louis John F. Kennedy Division); Missions and Charities Pat Karns (from Kansas City LAOH Padraic Pearse Division), and Catholic Action Julie Hogan (St. Louis LAOH St. Patrick’s Division). Later in the day, all members could visit the St. Charles area of shops, go to the Casino or just visit. Then at 5:00 p.m., LAOH Chaplain Lawrence Herzog said the Mass. Following Mass, all went to a Banquet in the Hotel. Fr. Lawrence Herzog installed the new officers after the dinner. Fr. Herzog was presented with a LAOH Chaplain Sash from the Past President, Sharron Olsen. Great time held by all.
Saint Paul, MN, Saint Patrick’s Day in Saint Paul was simply grand!
We had a nice sunny day; mid-40’s by parade time (not bad for mid-March) and a wonderful turnout.The festivities started at 9:30 am Holy Mass sponsored by Archbishop John Ireland Division 4, AOH.
Mass was celebrated at the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Paul by Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche – French, but as he noted in his homily, Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. The Mass included an Irish piper leading us in with the great piece “Slane” and ending with “A NationOnce Again”. At Mass, the AOH Division 4 recognized our annual scholarship students who hail from three Catholic high schools in Ramsey County.
We also presented the Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis with a $1000 donation to the Saint Paul Seminary. Our AOH members teamed up with the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus (whom we share members) preparing a terrific brunch in Hayden Hall (parish hall located in the basement of the Cathedral).After Mass, we were off to the 49th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Saint Paul which started at noon.
The Archbishop John Ireland Division 4 marched with our fellow Hibernians from Minnesota’s Shamrock Division 1 along FifthStreet while the Brian Boru Bag Pipers (marching in front of us) provided arresting Irish “trad” tunes all the up the paraderoute for the thousands of onlookers. The parade ended at historic Rice Park where parade marchers and onlookers intermingled for a good old-fashioned Irish hooley
The Irish Echo newspaper recently held a St Patrick’s Day reception on Capitol Hill to unveil a portrait of the late Pat Finucane (1949-1989) – the slain civil rights attorney from Belfast. The Echo commissioned artist Robert Ballagh to produce the painting. Congressman Richard E. Neal Chairman of the Friends of Ireland and Congressman Chris Smith unveiled the portrait inside a well appointed meeting room in the Capitol Building just down the hall from the House Floor.
The portrait was unveiled to an audience of more than one hundred members of Congress and Irish American leaders. The AOH was well represented at the event that including Freedom for All Ireland Chairman Sean Pender, National Editor and Director Keith Carney and Washington brothers Jack O’Brien, John McInerney, Roury McDonald (whose father worked with Pat Finucane). Baltimore brothers Daniel Layden, Mike Breen, Bill Pribyl and Malachy McAlister also attended.
The reception included a special guest, Pat Finucane’s wife Geraldine. A truly moved Mrs. Finucane had trouble overcoming her bittersweet emotions at the event. She thanked all for the special portrait and described all of the attendees in the rooms as “friends,” which was appropriate.