Story and Photos by Tom Loughlin, Jr. | Staff writer/photographer
Utica—Members of the Men’s Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies of Knock Oneida County Divisions honored their departed members and the victims of the Irish “Great Hunger at their traditional memorial mass on Sunday, November 13 at the Our Lady of Lourdes campus of the Mary, Mother of our Savior Parish.
The traditional annual mass followed a gala celebration of the bicentennial of the establishment of Irish relief and cultural organizations in Oneida County held the prior weekend at the Irish Cultural Center in Utica.
Father Joe Salerno welcomed the Hibernians and read this traditional blessing from the Gala’s program:
“May joy lie before you and trouble behinds you.
May good health go with you and good fortune find you.`
May foes make amends and your friendships continue.
May love walk beside you, and peace live within you.”
It didn’t take Deacon Olkowski to weave the former Billboard Hot Singles #1 chart-topper into his message, concluding by asking that all use the season to repair and renew their relationship with God.