AOH Division 5 in the Bronx will pay tribute to the men and women who keep Irish culture and language alive with a Gaelic Mass on Saturday, September 8 at St. Barnabas in the Bronx at noon.

AOH Division 5 chaplain Father Brendan Fitzgerald, will celebrate the Gaelic Mass which is being supported by the New York State AOH, Gaelic societies, local Irish community groups, and parishioners. Irish-English translations of the liturgy will be available so that anyone can read the prayers in English as they hear the Mass said in the Irish language.

“The Irish language is an important and indestructible part of our Irish heritage. Measures to wipe out the Irish language began even before penal laws to wipe out the Catholic religion in Ireland,” said Martin Galvin, AOH Division 5 president.

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“Ireland's landmarks include Mass Rocks where Gaelic speakers gathered in secret to hear outlawed Masses said by outlawed priests. Even today a simple Irish language act is deemed a redline that must be denied six county nationalists.  Often the veto is wielded by people who live in locations where Irish words are imprinted like Fermanagh, Enniskillen, or Derry.

“This Mass will be offered for all those persecuted for their Catholic faith and Gaelic language,” continued Galvin. “There has been a great response from AOH divisions, Gaelic clubs and individuals who would just like to hear the Mass said in the language of our ancestors. St. Barnabas is fortunate enough to have a pastor like Father Fitzgerald who can say the Mass in Gaelic."

The Mass will be held in the St. Barnabas High School Chapel, 425 East 240th Street.  It is part of an initiative launched by New York State AOH President Victor Vogel to encourage Irish language Masses across the state.

All are welcome, and a reception will follow at the nearby Heritage, 960 McLean Avenue, Yonkers.

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AOH to host Mass in the Irish language in Yonkers. iStock