The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the oldest and largest Irish Catholic organization in the United States, has marked the beginning of Irish-American Heritage Month 2022.
In a statement, the AOH said: “Since 1991, American Presidents of both parties, including most recently by President Biden on March 1st, have declared March as 'Irish American Heritage Month' and called upon "all Americans to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs."
“Once again, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), as America's largest Irish American Organization, will answer this call with a series of programs and events. We commend President Biden for recently proclaiming March 2022 as Irish American Heritage Month.
“The Hibernians have created a short video celebrating the historic and continuing accomplishments of Irish American Men and Women."
The AOH says that every weekday in March, it will spotlight an Irish American person and the vital contribution that they made to America on its website and Facebook page. On March 1, the AOH highlighted Anne Sullivan:
At the age of twenty, Irish American Anne Sullivan had already experienced enough hardship for several lifetimes. Born...Posted by Ancient Order of Hibernians in America on Tuesday, March 1, 2022
The AOH has also shared its webinar series for the month of March which will feature a noted authority speaking on the Irish American experience each week this month. The speakers include:
- Saturday, March 5, 2022, 2:00 pm - "The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during an Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger" with Prof. Cian T. McMahon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 7:30 pm - "How the Irish Created a New Urban Culture" with James R. Barrett, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 7:30 pm - "From Ballymoe to Boystown – the Story of Father Flanagan" with Thomas J. Lynch, Director of Community Programs Boys Town Nebraska
- Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 7:30 pm - "Irish America Finds its Voice – the AOH at the Turn of the Twentieth Century" with Prof. Timothy J. Meagher, Associate Professor of History and Head of University Archives (Retired), Catholic University of America
The AOH statement continued: “While the Ancient Order of Hibernians are proud to celebrate Irish American Heritage Month, it cannot help but notice that many of our institutions do not accord Irish American Heritage Month the same attention that is accorded other Heritage Month celebrations.
"Sadly, we see an increasing indifference and pattern of purging the Irish American experience from the American consciousness, from the closing of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum by Quinnipiac University to the curtailment by New York's Tenement Museum of its Irish American programming in favor of other heritages.
"The Hibernians believe that full recognition of Irish American Heritage Month in 2022 is necessary now more than ever. We believe that the story of a people who came to America to flee oppression and hunger, who faced incredible bigotry and prejudice, and yet have gone on to achieve prominence in every aspect of American endeavor should speak to all Americans, irrespective of their own heritage.
"There is so much in the stories of our Heritages that should unite us and help us appreciate each other, but those bridges of understanding can only be built if the stories of all heritages are known."