Ancient Order of Hibernians
The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) is the oldest Catholic lay organization in America. It was officially formed in New York in 1836. Today they stand, not only as the oldest Catholic Lay organization in America, but as the largest Irish society in the world with Divisions in Ireland, and 49 of the 50 United States.
The AOH in America is partitioned into Divisions, County Boards, and State Boards, and is governed by a National Board elected every two years. The Division is the basic unit in the Order, and membership in a Division is membership in the Order. Even County, State, and National Officers, maintain membership in a local Division. Annual dances, concerts, and parades sponsored by all levels of the Order raise millions for charity, while providing a showcase for the positive contributions of the Irish to every walk of American life. Divisions usually support local charities within their geographic areas, while sending a portion of their monies to higher levels for support of state, national, and international charities. Subcommittees are often established to perform specific functions such as the administration of an annual Feis or Festival, the raising of a historic memorial, or providing instructions in such Irish subjects as history, bagpiping, dancing, and language.
The many Divisions and Hibernian Halls across the country have also traditionally provided a welcome for new immigrants. Here, the unique art, dance, music, and other interests of the Irish are fostered and preserved, making the AOH Hall a home away from home for many. Together, they are at the forefront of support for issues concerning the Irish, such as Emigration Reform, MacBride Legislation, and the Right to Life. They never forget their ancestral homeland either, and can always be found actively lobbying for, praying for, and working for the total independence of a united 32-county Ireland, as their constitution avows: “by all means constitutional and lawful.”
The Columbiettes, an organization of Catholic women dedicated to our Patronesses, Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Theresa the Little Flower and St. Joan of Arc, are comprised of affiliated Auxiliaries of the Knights of Columbus Councils.
Our purpose is to:
- Promote the spiritual, social and charitable welfare of our members
- To instill a steadfast conviction relating to the proper place and function of Catholic women in safeguarding the religious, civil and economic rights of all Catholics
- To rely upon the intercession of Mary, our Mother and Model, for guidance in guarding the common good, and to work through her, on loving and aiding all members of the human family and to give assistance to the Knights of Columbus in all their activities upon request.
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal service organization of practicing Catholic gentlemen dedicated to supporting our clergy, church, community and country. The organization is founded on the principles of charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism and defense of the church.
We offer self-fulfillment through donation of time and talents wherever needed and wholesome fellowship with congenial companions who share the same beliefs and duty to God. The Knights meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7:30 in the Knight’s Hall in the Parish Center. Some specific volunteer opportunities are: food preparation and service at parish, holiday food baskets for the needy, support of the Women’s shelter, collection of funds to assist persons with intellectual disabilities, sale of fireworks, wheelchair ramps, family activities, youth activities, vocations, and support of many parish events. Join the Knights for the experience of a lifetime.
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians is a sisterhood of Irish and Irish-American Catholic Women. The Ladies AOH has changed in many ways over the decades but still we hold true to our mtto of “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.” We are pledged to God and Country. The primary purpose of the Ladies AOH was to protect young immigrant Irish girls coming to the United States, to assist them in securing employment, to give them the opportunity to be with their own kind, and to keep them from becoming homesick and discouraged. The Ladies also foster the ideals and perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish people and promote Irish culture. Our Patron Saint is Saint Brigid of Ireland.
For more info on the Ladies AOH, please contact Kathy Radigan (Kathy_3346@verizon.net).
The Men’s Group meets once a month from September to June. This is an opportunity for the men of the parish to meet regularly, learn about our faith, and discuss issues which are faced in our daily lives as Catholics.
The next meeting for the men’s group will be on Tuesday, March 14th in the Br. Juniper Room. Our topic will be on Promoting Good Wealth-A Catholic Perspective.
The parish’s Secular Franciscan community seeks men and women to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis. We believe that as human beings and as Christians, we have a sublime vocation that we cannot fulfill alone.. We subscribe to a common response to the Gospel, working together in community toward a deep evangelical life and toward communion with all people.
The Secular Franciscans meet on the second Saturday of every month; we also go retreat together, work together, and minister together. This includes praying, learning, sharing, and living the Gospel with others.
To stay updated about what we do, please visit the Secular Franciscans St. Francis Of Assisi Catholic Church website!
Women’s Group has evolved over the years from a mom’s group to include women of all ages and different stages of life, which makes for wonderful conversation and camaraderie. Childcare is offered for a small, additional fee to allow mothers with small children to fully participate. The ladies meet once or twice per month on Thursday mornings, from 9:00 – 10:15 for socialization, prayer and discussion based upon a selected spiritual book. This year the book study is Unleashed: How to Receive Everything the Holy Spirit Wants to Give You by Sonja Corbitt.
New members are always welcome! Please contact Mary Smith for more information and the meeting schedule.
Young Adult Ministry
Our young adult community gets together once a month on the fourth Monday of every month for Theology on Tap at Ornery Beer Company in Woodbridge. Beer, food and fellowship begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a speaker at around 7:30 p.m. All young adults are invited to grab a drink, connect with friends, and hear an inspiring talk.
The Craft Ministry meets the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Br. Juniper Room, from September – May. Please join us if you are interested in sewing, knitting, quilting, or crocheting, etc. to help spread God’s love and comfort to those in need. All adults are welcome.
In 2016/2017, the Craft Ministry provided adult and childrens’ baptismal stoles in unique, beautiful designs.