Shamrock and Major Degrees

On Jan 23, 2017, at 1:02 PM, wrote:

Congratulations to our 9 fellow Brothers who participated in taking the Major Degree from our Division on 1/21/2017:

Brother/Fr. Joseph Farrell, Chaplain
Brother Dave Crew
Brother R. Michael Ching
Brother Ken Beltinck
Brother Greg Wholean
Brother Rick Parker
Brother Jim Morris
Brother Jim Ryan
Brother Bob Connors




Good morning Brothers. I couldn’t have stated it better (see below) and I could not have been more proud as to how you all addressed the before/during/after logistics aspects for the State Meeting/Lunch/Major Degree/ Jameson “Taste Testing”…..76 Brother Hibernians in attendance from throughout the State as well as some from Maryland & DC which included 23 Brothers taking the Major Degree, including our Chaplain, Fr. Farrell! Thank you gentleman, one in all!

Charity, Unity and Catholic/Irish Fellowship and Fraternity was well on display yesterday. The Col. Thomas. J. Cunningham Jr. Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has a lot to be proud of today!


Jay McCarthy
Col. Thomas J. Cunningham Jr. Division President
AOH VA State Secretary
703 477-5934

—–Original Message—–
From: Bill Halpin <>
To: Jay McCarthy <>; Cole Slattery <>
Sent: Sun, Jan 22, 2017 11:31 am
Subject: State Meeting Yesterday

Jay and Cole,

I just want to express my view that Colonel Thomas J. Cunningham, Jr. Division set a new standard for a state meetings and hosting Major Degrees ceremonies. The coffee & … and lunch were terrific! I wish I could have stayed longer to enjoy the generous snacks and the Jameson tasting. I had to leave for Manassas to attend Mass and install the Father Kelley Division officers for fraternal year 2017.

I also enjoyed chatting with the old hands – Dave, Bob, and the two “for life” officers, Jack and Tim.

Well done to all Cunningham Division brothers and congratulations again.

In Our Motto,
Bill Halpin


Round Tower Study Guide

Good evening Brothers.  On behalf of your Brother Hibernians, I sincerely wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

On a Division level, in order to get you off to a great start, we will be hosting both a Shamrock Degree as well as a Major Degree in January to aid many of you in honoring the pledge you took at the time of your initiation to the Hibernians, specifically, “You, brothers, having made this promise of your own free will, I hereby declare you, each and all, members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and commend you to the friendship of its members, subject, however, to the condition that you receive the Lessons, and take the test of the Order in the Shamrock and Major Degrees.”
The Shamrock Degree will take place as part of our Monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 7:30 pm at the Belmont Greene facility.  We expect to have some new members in attendance that night so your availability would be most appreciated!  A fitting “Good of the Order” will follow the business meeting…………..
The Major Degree will take place on Saturday, January 21st @ 1 pm at St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn.  Sign-in will begin at 11 am; a complimentary Irish lunch provided by O’Faolain’s Pub will begin at 11;30; Degree to start promptly at 1 pm; following the Degree at 2:30, we will have complimentary appetizer and some fine single malt!  There is a $25 charge for this Degree payable to the Brian Boru Degree Team, known to be the finest Degree Team in the Order.
Our Division maintains a roster of those who have taken the respective Degrees in the past.  Currently 42% of our membership have yet to make their Shamrock Degree and 64% of our membership have yet to make their Major Degree. Candidly, these are 2 percentages that I am not very proud of…..If you do not recall making either of these Degrees, you make up part of the % stated above.  You are encouraged to make both of the Degrees in January.  If timing/conflicts exist, you are then encouraged to at least make the Major Degree on the 21st; if $$ is an issue, contact me or Brother Cole (V.P.) to see what can be worked out. Gentlemen, a lot of work goes into making these Degrees possible – having both in the area next month is a rare opportunity – Please do your part to take part!
For logistic purposes, I ask that you RSVP Brother Cole of your intent to participate.  His e-mail is listed above.
Those Brothers who have already made their Major degree are also encouraged to come and be part of the experience – there is no charge to be an observer.
Brothers, Let’s start the new year off on the right track……..I sincerely look forward to seeing you in the upcoming weeks!
Jay McCarthy
Col. Thomas J. Cunningham Jr. Division President
AOH VA State Secretary
703 477-5934


Division meeting and Shamrock Degree: Adding to President McCarthy’s message, during the officers’ meeting last night, we discussed the logistical details for next Wednesday’s, 11 January Division meeting and Shamrock Degree. If you have not received the privilege of participating in this entry level degree, please consider attending this brief and inspirational ceremony that acquaints the Brotherhood with the principals and purpose of our Order. Attending the Shamrock Degree is a prerequisite for attending the Major Degree (also known as the Round Tower Degree).

State meeting and Major Degree: On Saturday, 21 January at St. Theresa’s parish hall located at 21370 St. Theresa Ln, Ashburn, VA., the Cunningham Division will host the AOH State Board quarterly meeting beginning at 9:00 (all card carrying members welcome). We could use some help from any available Brothers with the setting up, flexible execution, and cleanup for the day’s events. The State meeting will be followed by lunch for all catered by O’Faolain’s. After lunch and beginning at 1:00 PM, Virginia’s own, Brian Boru Degree team will host an exemplification of the Major Degree. Registration for the Degree candidates begins at 1100. All Brothers, bring your membership cards and Degree candidates bring $25.00 cash or a check in that amount made out to the Brian Boru Degree team.

Coordinating Instructions: We not only invite but encourage all Brothers of the Division to attend and participate in the Major Degree. Appropriate attire is the order of the day; collared shirt and sport coat (green if you have one but not required) or collared service polo shirt will do (no jeans please). If you have already attained the Major Degree, consider attending as an observer, the more the merrier. If you have yet to attain the Major Degree, this is your best opportunity to do so locally. Attached is a study guide for Degree candidates to use in preparation for the Major Degree (no preparation is required for the Shamrock Degree). Don’t be intimidated Brothers, read the study guide a few times and you will be fine. There is no written test. I guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy the lessons imparted to you and your classmates and will forevermore cherish the overall experience.

RSVP: Please let me know if you plan on attending as an observer (Major Degree card holder) or as a candidate for taking the Major Degree. It is critical that we get an overall accurate headcount to accommodate food and drink preparation. The Major Degree will be followed by a fraternal social and a complementary Jameson’s tasting. The full day events should conclude around 3:30. If time is an issue, don’t let that hold you back from participating in the Degree. If you register before the scheduled 1:00 start time, you should be released no later than 2:45 and can get back to you families and on with your day.

To date, I have only heard back from three (3) Brothers of their intent to participate in the Degree, we certainly have room for more! Let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to hearing back, from you soon.


J. Cole Slattery

Vice President

COL Thomas J. Cunningham Division

Ashburn, VA

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