Greeting Brother Hibernians!
Another March is under way, but this year it’s a wee bit more special because for the first time it is officially Irish-American Heritage Month in Louisiana. Special thanks go out to La. State Senator Edwin Murray for all of his efforts to help get the legislation passed and signed into law. And I would be remiss if I did not also thank Brother Paco Scanlan for spearheading the La. AOH’s efforts to bring about this special recognition from the Louisiana State Government.
This year’s Hibernian of the Year, Judge James McKay III, kicked off this special month with a television appearance on the morning news of local CBS affiliate WWL-TV. Judge McKay trumpeted all of the contributions that the Irish and Hibernians have made to Louisiana for many years and he spoke about the upcoming St. Patrick’s festivities which are not to be missed.
Speaking of which, here is a quick rundown of the opportunities you will have to celebrate your Irish heritage:
March 14th – Annunciation Square Block Party hosted by the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club. All proceeds benefit St. Michael’s Special School, which is near and dear to all of us.
March 16th – Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade. Mass begins at Noon at St. Mary’s with the parade following at around 1 PM. All members of the AOH are invited to march as a group in the parade.
March 17th – AOH Mass at St. Patrick’s Church at 11 AM. All AOH members are invited and asked to assemble outside of the church by 10:30 AM.
March 17th – 137th Annual AOH St. Patrick’s Day Banquet at the Sheraton Hotel. Cocktail hour begins at 6 PM with dinner and entertainment to follow. Please join us in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in grand style as we honor, Judge James McKay III, our Hibernian of the Year. We are also privileged to have a special keynote speaker this year, Minister Eamon Gilmore, the Tanaiste of Ireland. This is most certainly a night that you won’t want to miss.
March 23rd – Acadian Division’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and Crawfish Boil. All AOH members are encouraged to join their brothers in Lafayette to wind up the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Cajun Style!
Indeed, this is an ambitious schedule, but it gives us many opportunities to celebrate our Irish heritage and also allows us the chance to educate the public about what being an Irish-American and a Hibernian is really all about. No doubt we will have our share of refreshments along the way, but getting loaded and carrying on like drunken fools is an old, tired stereotype. We are hard-working, fun-loving, and faithful Catholics of Irish descent, who actively practice the tenets of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. We are thankful that the month of March has been designated as Irish-American Heritage Month and we should all take this opportunity to celebrate proudly and appropriately.
Éirinn go brách!