7/26/12 | 750 views
New AOH National President Is Rockland Parishioner
The newly elected national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Brendan Moore, also happens to be a new resident of Rockland County where he belongs to the largest AOH unit in the country, Division 3 in Pearl River.
He and his wife of 38 years, Eileen, a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) Division 3, were longtime residents of Suffolk County, Long Island, before moving to West Nyack last year.
“It seems like we’ve been here forever,” said the 66-year-old Moore, who is now a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi in West Nyack.
Another benefit is that the couple now lives closer to their sons, Brian, a teacher at Pearl River High School, and Sean, a physical therapist in Monmouth, N.J., and their three grandchildren.
Brendan Moore was elected to a two-year term as the Hibernians’ national president at the organization’s biennial national convention July 9-12 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in upstate Verona, near Syracuse. The convention, held in conjunction with the LAOH’s national meeting, drew more than 2,000 delegates.
Moore, who had most recently served as national vice president, was unopposed in his run for the presidency of the 176-year-old order. As president, he said he would like to see the 80,000-member fraternal organization “maintain our identity as the preeminent Irish Catholic organization we are.”
The values of friendship, unity and Christian charity make up the order’s motto. Those values are “at times at odds” with the larger society’s, Moore said in a phone interview last weekend.
“We live in a very difficult time culturally in terms of moral values,” he said.
The son of now deceased Irish immigrants—his father John hailed from County Offaly and his mother Bridget was from County Down—Moore said his faith and culture have always coexisted.
“I look upon my faith as part of my culture,” he said proudly. “It’s something I value and am anxious to preserve and enhance.”
Belonging to an organization filled with fellow Irish Catholics offers “a tremendous spiritual support” to the entire membership, Moore said.
“It’s a common value, a common pursuit among the AOH. That kind of support is very beneficial for any individual,” he said.
Moore has been an AOH member for 36 years. The retired high school English teacher was elected national vice president in 2008 and had served as national treasurer for two years before that.
For 14 years, he served as national chairman of the AOH’s Freedom for All Ireland Committee and completed similar long service at the state and county levels.
During that time, he helped raise funds for the families of Irish Republican prisoners being held in British jails, and sought to educate Americans through public speaking engagements and media appearances. He made numerous trips to Dublin as well as to Belfast and Derry on behalf of prisoners in Northern Ireland.
After the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, his fundraising efforts shifted primarily to support counseling and job training programs for former prisoners.
“It’s still a personal concern of mine,” he said.
While the Hibernians are a fraternal organization, Moore said it would be “erroneous to look on us solely as a social organization.” He pointed to outreach efforts by local units across the country in supporting soup kitchens and food drives for the poor. National committees also promote initiatives on behalf of military veterans, Irish immigrants and student scholarships.
Moore also spoke highly of one of the AOH’s newer initiatives, Project St. Patrick, which provides financial stipends to those studying for the priesthood or religious life.
The new president said the programs all fit together in “a big tent.” For the next two years, at least, keeping track of everything in the big tent is Moore’s responsibility.
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