The Way Home
the history, goals and mission of the
Order of Hibernians in America.
Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish
American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City
4 May, 1836. The Order can trace its roots back to a
parent organization of the same name, which has existed
in Ireland for over 300 years. However, while the
organizations share a common thread, the North American A.O.H. is a separate and much larger organization.
The Order evolved from a
need in the early seventeenth century to protect the lives
of priests who risked immediate death to keep the
Catholic Faith alive in occupied Ireland after the reign
of England's King Henry VIII. When England implemented
its dreaded Penal Laws in Ireland, various secret
societies were formed across the country. These groups
worked to aid and comfort the people by whatever means
available. Similarly, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in
America was founded May 4th, 1836 at New York's St.
James Church, to protect the clergy, and church property
from the "No Nothings" and their followers. At the
same time the vast influx of Irish Immigrants fleeing
famine issues in Ireland in the late 1840's, prompted a
growth of various societies in the USA - the
largest of which was, and continues to be, the Ancient
Order of Hibernians.
Active across the United
States, the Order seeks to aid the newly arrived Irish,
both socially and politically. The many Divisions and club
facilities located throughout the U.S. traditionally
have been among the first to welcome new Irish
immigrants. Here, the Irish culture -- art, dance, music,
and sports are fostered and preserved. The newcomers can
meet some of "their own" and are introduced to the
social atmosphere of the Irish-American community. the
AOH has been at the political forefront for issues
concerning the Irish, such as; Immigration Reform;
economic Incentives both here and in Ireland; the human
rights issues addressed in the MacBride Legislation;
Right-To-Life; and a peaceful and just solution to the
issues that divide Ireland.
The Order has also
provided a continuing bridge with Ireland for those who
are generations removed from our country. The AOH
sponsors many of the programs associated with promoting
our Irish Heritage such as The IRISH WAY PROGRAM.
Members of the AOH come
from all walks of life and social and economic
backgrounds yet enjoy fraternal fellowship in our Irish
You may further seek
admittance to the finest Irish Catholic Organization in
the World -- all we would ask is for you to live our
"Friendship, Unity, and
Dia 's Muire dhuit!
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