CURRENT ISSUE:  OCTOBER 2023

Madigan Muses: Thanksgiving

November is the month that we remember and give thanks. We start out the month with the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls. We remember all those we have loved and have been Called Home to God.

November 6 is the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland. This is a prayer that I think is suitable to begin our month of November: All the Saints of Ireland Mary T. Dolan, ed Prayers of an Irish Mother Dublin 1934:

“Thank God for loyal friends of ours, who guard us every day, when joys depart, when sorrows come, when hope seems far away. When close to every path we walk are clouds of black despair, sure all the saints of Ireland, a shining band are there. They march with every faithful soul in gladness and in woe. They watch above our exiled ones, where’ere on earth they go; O, when we tread the road of death at ending of the day, may all the Saints of Ireland, be with us on the way!”

On Veterans Day, we gave thanks to all the veterans that have served our country and protected our freedoms. This Veterans Day, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will be meeting in Cleveland for their Interim Board Meeting, Testimonial Dinner and presentation of the Inaugural Constance Markievicz Award. To remember all our women veterans, let us say this prayer from the Invocation Women Veterans Forum:

“We pause to acknowledge the strength of Our Nation, and women veterans who have given faithful service to build our country and to guard the freedoms each of us enjoy. Thank you for the perseverance, tenacity and courage displayed by women veterans during peacetime and war. Their sacrifices were great.

May their legacies of the many women who gave their lives during battle be remembered throughout every generation. God, we pray women veterans everywhere will find sources of consolation to facilitate healing for their visible and invisible wounds. We pray you will provide continuous protection and spiritual strength to the women currently serving.”

This November, I have many things to be grateful for. The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will be meeting in Cleveland on November 11. I am honored to be the National President of this wonderful organization of strong Irish Women who are committed to living our motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.

We as an organization have achieved much since the last National Convention held in Pittsburgh in 2022. We have created a Humanitarian Fund that assisted with Hurricane Relief in Florida and assisted those affected by the Fires in Maui. Our members have been generous to all of our Appeals to help with the Columban Fathers and Sisters, Project St. Patrick and SOAR! (Support Our Aging Religious) and Sr. Conchita’s Order in Ireland.

Our Irish history is very important to us. We had a successful program of webinars Embracing Our Heritage. We sponsor the Irish and Irish American Award in the Junior Level at National History Day. Our own Irish History Contest is held annually.

The LAOH has a scholarship at Trinity College in Washington DC. Together with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, we have a special relationship with the University of Notre Dame. Since 1978, the Hibernians have helped with scholarships for 86 young men and women to attend the University.

Each year, the Hibernian Lecture is held promoting Irish, Irish American and Catholic History, in addition to the Hibernian Research Grants being awarded by the Cushwa Center.

Good Friday Agreement

We commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement with our participation in an event held at the Cooper Union in New York, our 25th Anniversary Pin and the collaboration with Relatives for Justice with the publication of Trasna na nTonnta Across the Waves Women’s Reflection on the Good Friday Agreement. We had a record year of donations to Freedom for All Ireland, which assists cross community groups in the North of Ireland.I was honored to travel to Ireland to present our donations and also to participate in the Global Irish Forum     

Kathleen Savage Named Constance Markievicz Award Winner

The Constance Markievicz Award

The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians are proud to introduce The Constance Markievicz Award. This award will be bestowed biennially at the LAOH Interim Board Meeting to a woman who is outstanding, passionate, and shows a deep commitment in her endeavors, either professionally or in volunteer works. 

The Constance Markievicz Award will be conferred without regard to the nominee’s race, creed, religion, color or National origin. The nominee must be a woman who, in the spirit of unity and cross community relationships, has made significant and committed contributions to peace and justice, and/or the social and economic wellbeing of her community and/or the broader world in which we live. 

This includes, but is certainly not limited to, political activism, social justice, immigration and immigrant issues, political education, veteran affairs, and peace and reconciliation in Ireland.

The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians are proud to announce that Kathleen Savage of Massachusetts will be receiving the prestigious Constance Markievicz Award. Kathleen Savage has been a member of the LAOH since 1982. She has served in many offices on the Division and County levels, with appointments on both State and National Boards.

Kathleen is currently her division and state chairperson for Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI), formerly holding this position on the national level, consistently promoting this initiative. In 1985, she joined the local chapter of Irish Northern Aid, and began writing Christmas and birthday cards to prisoners, enlisting many of her LAOH sisters to join her. 

She has made more than 20 trips to Northern Ireland, witnessing firsthand the discrimination of the British Government against Irish families, visiting prisoners in Long Kesh, Crumlin and Maghaberry, becoming pen pals with several of the prisoners and eventually befriending their families. Many of these relationships continue to this day, and she is considered to be a member of their extended families. 

We invite you to participate in the LAOH Testimonial weekend celebrations. Our weekend will conclude Saturday evening November 11, 2023, beginning with the Celebration of the Eucharist at 4:30PM, followed by dinner, entertainment and merriment, and the inaugural presentation of the Constance Markievicz Award. 

Dinner: $65.00 with a Cash Bar, Shake Rattle-n-Roll to the Music of Kennedy and Riley. West Side Irish American Club 8559 Jennings Road, Olmsted Township, Ohio 44138. 


Checks payable to LAOH. Sharon Kelty, 4606 West 158th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44135 Forms and info on the LAOH website. Looking Forward to Seeing All of You!

Find this column and others from the November 2023 issue here!

Marilyn Madigan

Marilyn Madigan

*Marilyn Madigan is the National President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing from St. John College and retired from nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland

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