Friday, 3 October 2014

Fr. Tom O'Donnell, tying the knot and some old photos

Chaplain of The ancient Order of Hibernians in the U.S. has a Listowel Connection

Maeve Moloney Koch sent us this 

National Chaplain’s Report
By Fr. Tom O’Donnell

Vocation seeds in the Kerry genes;
My mother and father came to the Garfield area in Pittsburg in 1924. My father, Bartley was from Moycullen in Co. Galway and my mother, Nellie from Listowel, Co. Kerry It was the custom of the Irish at that time that after they were established in The States they would send money to Ireland for one of their siblings or close relatives to come to the America. My godmother, Delia O’Donnell Griffin brought her brother, my dad to the States and my great uncle, Nick Synan sent for his my mother, Nellie Synan.

Since they were from separate counties, separated by Clare and Mayo my mother and father did not know each other until they came to Pittsburg. They met at the home of my great uncle and aunt Nick and Maria Synan.  Nick was the brother of my mother’s father, John Synan. I never knew any of my grandparents since they did not come to America. However my aunt, Maria and my uncle, Nick became my surrogate grandparents. Maria and Nick along with three other great aunts lived directly across the street from us. I spent a lot of time at the Synan home. I particularly like to go there at night for there was always a game of Euchre or Five Hundred.

On one occasion when I was about eight or nine years old, my Aunt Maria said to me, “Tommy, did you know that you had a great uncle who was a bishop of Kerry?” It was not until I was ordained a priest and became interested in my ancestry that I discovered that my great great uncle, John Mangan, was Bishop of Kerry 1904 to 1917. Bishop John was born in Listowel in 1853 and was baptized and confirmed in St. Mary’s church, Listowel, the same church where all my Synan and Mangan relatives received the sacraments. Bishop Mangan was ordained on July 1 1877 and died on the fortieth anniversary of his ordination, July 1 1917. He is buried in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney under St. Patrick’s altar, a side altar at the cathedral. I was privileged to visit his grave many times on my trips to Kerry. Two of his sisters’ sons, his nephews and my cousins were ordained priests. Bishop Mangan’s sister, Elizabeth Mangan who was married to Denis Synan was my great grandmother. My great grandmother lived in the same family home as my mother growing up.

Now to the seeds of vocations in the Kerry genes. In addition to Bishop Mangan and his two nephews, I the great great nephew of Bishop Mangan am also a priest and my nephew Fr. Michael Joyce OFM Cap is also a priest. A co incidence- or have the Kerry genes blessed the Mangan, Synan, O’Donnell and Joyce families with the seeds of religious vocation? Ultimately we thank our heavenly Father for the gift of our vocations to the priesthood.

National Hibernian Digest July August 2014


Tying the knot

Oddly enough, the phrase 'tying the knot' comes from an old Irish tradition that symbolises the bond of marriage in the same way that the exchanging of rings does in most ceremonies today.
At the point in the ceremony where the bond between husband and wife is signified, the couple clasp their hands together, and a ribbon, cord, or rope - often brightly coloured is wound around their joined hands as a symbol of their agreement to spend their lives together.
This is a Celtic tradition to which the Scottish also lay claim, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest it was widespread throughout Europe at one point. It was even part of the British royal wedding in 2011.  ( source: Irish Central)

An Eclectic Collection of old photos from negatives

Old images from The Market.

Jimmy Hickey in 1970. I don't know who the young lady is.

Athea Baby Show 1970

Josephine McEnery at the creamery Athea 1973

Jimmy Hickey's Dancing Class, Knockbrack, Knocknagoshel

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