The Council of Irish Associations of Greater Bergen County will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all weekend. On Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m. the council will hold its annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass at the S.MA. Fathers, 23 Bliss Avenue, Tenafly, New Jersey. All are welcome. There will be refreshments and entertainment after Mass.

On Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. the council will host the 32nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, New Jersey.  Prior to the start of the parade at 1 p.m. the annual flag raising ceremony and grand marshal speech will take place at the Roy Brown Middle School at West Clinton Avenue and South Washington Avenue in Bergenfield.

Grand Marshal Sister Mary Trinity Kenny, Missionary Franciscan of the Sisters Tenafly, New Jersey, will lead the parade, along with the parade aides Kevin Blue (Ancient Order of Hibernians), Noel O’Shea (Bergen Irish Association), Betty Kiernan (Bergenfield School of Irish Dance), Kevin McCann (Clan Na Vale Pipe Band), Joan McGuinness (Irish American Social Club), Diane Winters (Irish American Unity Conference) and Tom Egan, the Gunning Award winner.

Sister Trinity was born and raised in Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. She received her primary education in the village of Kilconnell and attended secondary school at Mercy convent in Ballinasloe.  

While recovering from an operation in Galway Hospital, she received a calling from Almighty God to dedicate her life to helping others.  She entered the Missionary Franciscan Community at Bloomfield in Mullingar.

Sister arrived in the United States in July 1955 and was stationed for a short time in New York City. From there she was sent to Boston where she remained for many years. 

For health reasons she was transferred to Tenafly, New Jersey. After a convalescing period of several months, Sister received permission to assist Mother Margaret in the gift shop located on the Convent grounds in Tenafly. 

Thus the Missionary Franciscan Gift Shop emerged which celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011. Through the many years of operating the gift shop, Sister has been able to come in contact with many wonderful people who have assisted her with the many charitable activities she has fostered -- the Walk for the Hungry and the Lenten Soup Suppers for the poor and needy are but a very few of the annual events organized by Sister. 

In addition, she organized many charitable events including concerts and other activities for the Missionary Franciscan Sisters Infirmary in Tenafly. 

Her drive and determination to help others in need in spite of her physical discomfort and personal sacrifice is the hallmark of her character which has impressed all of the people who have come to know and love Sister over the years.

Sister is also the first recipient of the Council’s Humanitarian award.

The council’s mission is to foster and promote the traditions of Ireland and Irish America in language, history, music, dance, theater, prose, poetry, sports, the arts and industry; to coordinate the activities of both the member organizations and the council so as to afford the greatest benefits to the Irish and Irish American community in Greater Bergen County.

The council’s member organizations are the Bergen Irish Association, Bergen Irish Ladies Auxiliary, Bergenfield School of Irish Dance, Bergen County AOH Father Solanus Casey Division 32, Clan na Vale Pipe Band, Irish American Unity Conference, Irish American Social Club, McLoughlin School of Irish Dance, Michael Rafferty/Joe Madden branch, Ridgewood School of Irish Dance and St. Joseph Gaelic Football Club.

In addition to the parade, the council also hosts a grand marshal dinner and celebration of Irish culture in Northern New Jersey. At this dinner individuals are awarded the council’s Humanitarian Award, William Butler Yeats Award for Literary Achievement and the Turlough O’Carolan Award for Music. 

In May of every year the Great Hunger Commemoration is held at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Please visit our website at for additional information on the council.

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Sister Mary Trinity is this year's Grand Marshal for the Bergen County St. Patrick's Day parade on March 10 in Bergenfield, NJHandout