The Old Order of the Hibernians (AOH) will join with Gaelic societies, Irish community groups and parishioners in the strongly Irish region of Woodlawn-McLean to hold an Irish language mass on Saturday October 2 at 2:30 p.m. Reverend Brendan Fitzgerald, will celebrate Mass in Gaelic, followed by a brief installation ceremony for newly elected Bronx County officers.
Last year, under the leadership of AOH National President Danny O’Connell, the Bronx AOH Irish-language Mass became a national AOH event watched by Hibernians across the United States and to Ireland via St. Barnabas Facebook and AOH youtube. Over 7,000 people attended Mass, many seeing Gaelic Mass for the first time.
Irish-English translations of the liturgy will be made available so that everyone can read prayers in English while hearing Mass said in Irish. A special musical program will be provided by the Dawn Doherty Academy of Irish music and Sean Ruane.
Each year, the Bronx County Irish Language Mass at St. Barnabas is dedicated to all those who have kept the Irish language and culture alive. To symbolize this theme, the AOH leaflet depicts a mass rock where Gaelic speakers have gathered in secret to hear illegal masses said by illegal priests in defiance of English criminal laws.
“The Irish language is an important and indestructible part of our Irish heritage,” said Martin Galvin, President of the Bronx County HAA. “The measures to eliminate the Irish language began even before the criminal laws aimed at eliminating the Catholic religion in Ireland. Ireland’s most expensive landmarks include Mass Rocks, where Gaelic speakers risked death or imprisonment just for worshiping. Even today, a simple Irish language law is still denied to six nationalists in the county. “
This year’s Irish Mass will include a special remembrance of the 10 Irish who sacrificed their lives in the hunger strike that ended 40 years ago on October 3, 1981. It is particularly fitting to remember that one part of their heritage was the revival of the Irish language which these men inspired.
Mass will be held at the Main Church on Martha Avenue near East 241st Street, followed by a brief Bronx County Officer Installation Ceremony, chaired by New York State President John Manning .