Ireland is Calling

The Irish Government has been actively reaching out to the Diaspora in the America and around the world in these challenging times to remind us we all belong to one global Irish community.

In the President of Ireland recent Easter Message he addressed the Irish at Home and Abroad and expressed a message of Solidarity and Unity during this time of global crisis.

The Irish Minister for Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon recently published a message that Ireland will not forget its citizens abroad during this Covid-19 pandemic. which highlights the Ireland Reaching Out program called a Children’s Family Tree. This allows children to connect with their Irish heritage and understand their history.

Here in North Carolina we are honored to have Dr. John Young as our Honorary Consul based out of Charlotte, NC. Those who attended our last NC AOH State Conference in Wilmington will remember Dr. Young as he was our featured speaker at the Dinner. Our Irish Consul General for the Southeast is Shane Stephens based out of Atlanta, Ga. They have both been working closely with us and other Irish organizations like the GAA to help keep the Irish community informed and we are looking forward to having Consul General Stephens address our State Board this coming weekend before our virtual State Board Meeting.

If you find yourself in need during these challenging times please do not hesitate to reach out. There are many programs available both locally and globally, including the Emigrant Support Programme. As always our hand is extended in Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.

Easter Message from Ireland

Many thanks to the Irish Consulate for passing along this message from the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins to the Irish at home and abroad at Easter 2020

Spiritual Steps to take during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Many thanks to our Worthy State Chaplain for providing the following spiritual guidance during this time of uncertainty.

“Spiritual Versus Sacramental Communion”

With churches closed out of concern for the contagion of Covid-19, the coronavirus, Catholics are prevented from receiving Holy Communion. An ancient practice of the Church in such circumstances, for there have always been those who, for whatever reason, are unable to take the Sacrament, is to make an act of “spiritual communion.”

The Catholic Church distinguishes two ways in which the Body of Christ is received by the faithful.

Thomas Aquinas taught that there are two ways to receive the Eucharist:
spiritually and sacramentally. However, the Council Fathers of Trent teach three ways: spiritually alone, sacramentally alone, or spiritually and sacramentally.

Spiritual communion was defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as “an ardent desire to receive the Lord in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.” This is a wonderful and practical way to unite oneself to God through prayer, expressing to God one’s desire to be united with Christ when we are unable to do so through the reception of Holy Communion.

The Roman Catholic saint, Alphonsus Liguori, taught a four-step method of making a spiritual communion.

First, to make an act of faith, the point of which is to express one’s firm belief in God’s goodness and mercy. Recitation of one of the historical creeds (Nicene Creed) would be such an act; if one is following along on the internet with a live-streamed service, saying the Creed along with those on your computer screen would be this first step. Here’s a prayer to recite every day:

Almighty God, you pour out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver me, when I draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections I may worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Second, to make an act of charity reciting either a formal prayer of the Church or an extemporaneous one. The act should express our love for Christ in his church. The Prayers of the People of God (Prayers of the Faithful) are a good example of the act of love in a formal service of Holy Communion and reciting them along with a live-streamed service would fulfill this step. A shorter, private alternative would be this prayer for mission from the Daily Office of Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe me in your Spirit that I, reaching forth my hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name.

Third, to make an expression of our desire to receive Christ. Here’s an wonderful example by Thomas Merton and his prayer of desire that I use weekly:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen

The fourth, to make a prayer of invitation, to invite the Lord to come into your heart spiritually. A traditional prayer adapted from the Roman Catholic tradition is this:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Eucharist. I pledge my love above all things, and I desire to receive you into my heart. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, so come at least spiritually into my life. I embrace you as you are already there and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

One can then conclude a spiritual communion with a time of silent meditation.

Thank You to All Veterans

A message from our State Veteran’s Affairs Chairman: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow veterans for their service. Also, we have a veterans pin for all Hibernians who served”

You can request veteran pins through your Division’s Financial Secretary who can also update your member record to reflect your military service.

US Department of Veterans Affairs – Key Links:
VA Facilities:
VA Pension for Wartime Veterans:
VA Disability Compensation:
VA Education Benefits:
VA Burial Benefits:
VA Suicide Prevention:
VA Health Care Enrollment:
VA E-Benefits:

Veteran Records:
National Archives (Records/Lost Medals):
Defense Personnel Record Information System (DPRIS):
(Also available through State Departments of Veterans Affairs)

State Veteran Assistance:
National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) Links: – Link to every State veteran agency

County & Local Veteran Assistance: 
National Association of County Veterans Services Officers (NACVSO):

Other National Resource Sites: 
Federal Veteran Small Business Programs: 
US Department of Labor Veteran Employment Assistance: 
National Resource Directory (Comprehensive National Resource Information):

Major National Veterans Organizations: 
Catholic War Veterans of the United States: 
American Legion: 
American Veterans (AMVETS):
Disabled American Veterans (DAV): 
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW): 
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA):

Service-Oriented National Veteran Non-Profit Organizations: 
Bunker Labs (Veteran Owned Business Incubator):
The Mission Continues (Veteran Community Service): 
Team Rubicon (Veteran Civil Emergency Support): 
Team RWB (Veteran Community Service & Physical Activity):

Freedom for All Ireland Christmas Appeal

As we approach the holiday season the AOH is beginning this year’s Christmas Appeal. Our National Officers are asking for a commitment from everyone to participate and support FFAI with a donation or fundraising event. Please donate and help the AOH and LAOH make the difference in occupied northeast Ireland. Help make Freedom for All Ireland, not an aspiration or endeavor but the reality for those Irish people still denied it; Don’t let them down!!!

I am counting on the support of Hibernian organizations across North Carolina to make a meaningful contribution to this year’s annual Christmas appeal. I would also hope that some Hibernian Brothers will make individual donations as well. The National FFAI Chair Martin Galvin has just received the special premiums or gifts for $1000 donors to the Christmas Appeal. This year the premium is a mounted bodhran (see attached photo), specially made for AOH or LAOH donors by Tyrone ex-prisoners. Your FFAI contributions mean a great deal and these specially made premiums show how highly we are regarded in Ireland. Our donations to carefully chosen charities through monies raised by the FFAI Annual Christmas Appeal, alongside our political and educational campaigns, arethe cornerstone of our FFAIinitiative.The National FFAI Chair Martin Galvin has just received the special premiums or gifts for $1000 donors to the Christmas Appeal. This year the premium is a mounted bodhran (see attached photo), specially made for AOH or LAOH donors by Tyrone ex-prisoners. Your FFAI contributions mean a great deal and these specially made premiums show how highly we are regarded in Ireland. Our donations to carefully chosen charities through monies raised by the FFAI Annual Christmas Appeal, alongside our political and educational campaigns, are the cornerstone of our FFAI initiative.

Brexit threatens an economic catastrophe across Ireland but especially in occupied northeast Ireland. History shows us that in bad economic times that it is the Nationalist communities which suffer the loss of economic opportunities. Already the stage is set for a return to the conflicts of the past, the refusal to adopted an Irish Language Act, both Scotland and Wales have language acts. The Stormont Assembly does not function because of unionist bigotry which creates an opportunity for direct rule by England. Britain still denies truth and justice to the families of victims murdered by the crown or loyalist agents in places like Ballymurphy or Loughinisland. Instead of opening the door to Irish national freedom, Britain and the DUP want to nail that door shut. America can make a difference, but only if the AOH and LAOH, as the Voice of the Irish in America, lead the way.

2019 AOH & LAOH North Carolina State Convention October 11-12, 2019

2019 AOH & LAOH North Carolina State Convention & Major Degree
2019 NC AOH State Convention Registration form (281 downloads)

Host City: Wilmington
Host Division: New Hanover County AOH Division 1
Dates: October 11-12, 2019 (Friday – Saturday) with a Major Degree on Saturday at 1pm
Hotel: Homewood Suites Wilmington/Mayfaire, 6732 Swan Mill Rd, Wilmington, NC
Hotel Phone: 910-791-7272

AOH Hotel Registration Link:

Use Group Code – AOH

Hotel Room Rates:
1 King Studio Suite: $149/night + tax (2-night min. $336.74/2 nights)
2 Queen 1 BR Suite: $159/night + tax (2-night min. $359.34/2 nights)
Deadline for the group rate is Monday, August 26th

Convention Registration Fee: $25 ($30 after 8/26)
AOH Member Banquet Fee: $35 ($40 after 8/26)
Box Lunch Saturday: $10
Major Degree: $35 (Paid to your home division’s Financial Secretary)
Note: the Shamrock Degree is a prerequisite for the Major Degree.

Make checks payable to: New Hanover County AOH Division 1

Send registration and checks to:

Jim O’Reilly – Financial Secretary
304 St. Kitts Way
Winnabow, NC 28479

Email questions to: Frank Reck at

Convention Schedule:
Friday 10/11/2019
3:00p: Registration begins
– Friday evening pizza and movie event included in registration cost.
Saturday 10/12/2019
9:00a–12:00p: Saturday Convention Session
12:00p–1:00p: Lunch
1:00p–3:30p: Major Degree
5:00p: Mass at St. Mark’s Church, Wilmington
– St. Mark’s is at 1011 Eastwood Rd, Wilmington, 1 mile from the hotel
6:30p–7:30p: Cocktail hour in St. Mark’s Social Hall
7:30p–10:00p: Banquet – traditional Irish Dinner catered by Sweet & Savory
– The banquet will feature music by Ewe’s Tree; a cash bar will be available

March 2019 declared Irish American Heritage Month in North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared March 2019 as Irish American Heritage month!

Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and our divisions will be holding events throughout the entire month promoting Irish American Heritage. Keep an eye on our Facebook page this month for frequent posts featuring various Irish Americans.

AOH Southern States Response to Hurricane Florence

Worthy Brothers All,

Over the last several years our divisions have aided hurricane victims in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and right here in Lumberton NC. That tradition of responding with Christian Charity goes back even further to Hurricane Katrina when it hit New Orleans over a decade ago. Now we are faced with “Florence“ and the possibility that our local, state, and regional communities will need our aid. As our worthy State AOH President Pat Tracey has urged, over the next days and weeks we need to work together in UNITY, both within our own divisions and also with our other four NC AOH Divisions to be ready to serve those in need due to Hurricane Florence. Will be in touch and will need volunteers to step up to respond to whenever and wherever “Florence“ hits!

In our Motto “Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity“.

Brother John M.
NC Missions and Charity Chairman

St. Brendan the Navigator AOH Division 2 Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration Dinner and Show

The St. Brendan the Navigator AOH Division 2, is presenting their annual St. Patrick’s Celebration Dinner and Show on March 10, 2018 at Msgr. Kerin Family Center at St. Mark Catholic Church, 14740 Stumptown Rd., Huntersville, beginning at 6:30pm. Entertainment includes the kilt-kicking Celtic band, “Banna”, along with Irish Step Dancers. Admission includes a traditional Irish dinner and dessert. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 years of age and under.  For more information contact Ray FitzGerald at (704) 992-1702 or 



Andy Cooney – Enchanted Music of Ireland

Sunday March 11, Gibsonville NC
Dinner & Show Package
Overnight Package also available

Monday March 12, Pinehurst, NC

The Enchanted Music of Ireland Tour comes alive as Andy Cooney once again gathers together the finest musicians, dancers and performers to ignite their audiences in the Irish tradition.

Andy Cooney, has 7 Carnegie Hall sellouts under his belt and recently filled The David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center with The New York Tenors on December 12, 2016. His outstanding voice and dynamic stage presence has always been a favorite among young and old everywhere. His talent and versatility provide the ability to deliver a song directly to the hearts of his audience. Andy is surely one of the greatest singing sensations on Irish Music scene today. Christened “Irish America’s Favorite Son” by The New York Times, it’s a title he truly deserves. Andy Cooney, one of “The New York Tenors” along with New York Italian Tenor Christopher Macchio and New York Puerto Rican Tenor Daniel Rodriquez been receiving high critical acclaim. Andy has recorded 19 albums to date including “Bright Brand New Day” with Phil Coulter and his Orchestra. Andy and Phil frequently tour together and recently completed a 3 week tour of the US in March 2017. 

Andy’s latest CD “Irish Country Skyline”, released in the summer of 2016 was a journey back to his Country music roots. This release has been getting huge airplay all over Ireland and the UK with his hit singles “On The Eighth Day” and “My Rose of Ballinrobe” both written by Andy. Andy Cooney is also known for his Cruise of Irish Stars that annually draws over 1000 Irish and Irish Americans on a Caribbean Cruise enriched with the finest Irish entertainment including the great Ronan Tynan.

Shauna McStravock is a native of Ardboe, Co. Tyrone a region steeped in history with a rich musical heritage. Influenced by a love of local music throughout her young years, Shauna was drawn to singing and performing. School concerts and plays expanded her musical interests and happily enabled her to perform in front of her first live audiences. This set the stage for her appearance as a contestant on Glor Tire in 2015 bringing her talent to a national audience. Singing is in her family genes, most notably her aunt Jolene was lead vocalist with ‘The Country Flavour Band’ in the 1980’s. Since then Shauna reached a long held ambition by releasing her first album entitled “In The Middle of Love”. This young lady in her mid 20’s has already shared the stage with some of the best and brightest names on the Irish & Country music scene include the Bellamy Brothers, Daniel O’Donnell, Nathan Carter, Mike Denver, Philomena Begley plus many more.