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St. Patrick’s Window-Annunciation Catholic Church-Denver Colorado-designed by F.X Zettler &Co., Munich Germany-Circa 1904

Carrigan Division News

Below are some news articles that describe our organization’s mission, values, and the work we do to promote those things.

The Carrigan Division Delivers 400 Meals During Spring COVID-19 Surge

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVIII No. 1  January – February – March 2021

The Colorado Carrigan Division helped families in need during the springtime COVID-19 outbreak. Beginning on April 11, and continuing until June 7, The Carrigans provided more than 400 meals to families. The Carrigan Division paid for the meals prepared by Brother Noel Hickey, the owner of The Celtic on Market. His establishment is the headquarters for the Carrigan Division and he is the longtime host of the Carrigan’s New Years’ Eve Charity Celebration.

Father Charles Polifka OFM, Cap., the division chaplain, oversaw the distribution of the meals. Volunteers picked up the meals from Brother Hickey Sundays at about 10 a.m. and delivered them to Annunciation Parish, where Polifka is pastor.

 On the delivery route: Brothers Jim Chappell, Sean Hudson and Will Chappell loading up the meals.

– The Hickey family (center) surrounded by Betsy and Jim Chappell of the Carrigan Division.

Colorado’s Carrigan Division Shares Plans for New Years Eve Event Amid COVID 19

 The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No. 5 October-November- December 2020

Brother William Chappell with two of his sisters, on the left Doris Kathleen Chappell and Mary Catherine Chappell at the 2019 New Years’ Eve Event. The two women ran the silent auction. Will’s brother Petty Officer Joseph Chappell and their dad Jim are also in the division. Joe is serving active duty.

The Joseph P. Carrigan division of Colorado hosts a New Year’s Eve fundraiser each year to support charitable causes, and COVID-19 won’t stop the cause — even though the fundraiser may look different this year.

About 500 people attend the fundraiser in normal years where they are treated to live Irish music, bagpipers, presentation by speakers and step dancers. The event is typically hosted at the Celtic on Market (1400 Market St.), the group’s

Brothers Jim Chappell, Nick McKibbin and Ed Schumm working the door. Brother Schumm always gets that heavy job having played football with the legendary Gayle Sayers at KU. 

headquarters, and Denver‘s favorite Irish pub. The event begins each year on New Years’ Eve at 2 p.m. and then they toast the New Year at 5 p.m. MST — midnight in Dublin Ireland. The group is planning and hoping for an in-person celebration this year with everything being back to normal after COVID-19, but members understand most likely it won’t be that way. Because of that reality, the group is making special provisions to have the event live-streamed so that Hibernians throughout the world can attend the event virtually.

The Carrigan Division has also made the live auction from the event which generates about half of the total proceeds online. The city is assisting the group in closing the street adjacent to the event where they will erect an enclosed tent that normally would hold 1,000 people. In Colorado capacity for venues is restricted to 25 percent. If they can put 250 people in that tent they will make up the number of people that they lost from within the Celtic.

If the event has to be completely shut down because of a resurgence of COVID-19, the group will still be able to allow everyone to attend virtually. The group plans for there to be virtual greetings offered by many of the AOH national officers and from at least one of Colorado‘s US senators and a special greeting and blessing by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap.

Postcard from the early 1960’s showing the Annunciation church, Leadville.
Back of postcard in the first photo, early 1960’s.

Postcard from August, 1961 – note how the parish distinguished itself as the “Highest Church Spire in the World, 10,351 feet.”
Front of postcard showing 10,351 ft. spire., late 1950s.

Carrigan Division Visits Annunciation Parish in Leadville

July 11, 2020

Prior to touring The Free Irish Cemetery (featured in the story below), the Carrigans visited the Annunciation Parish in Leadville, Colorado, which has been heavily impacted by the economic impacts of COVID-19. After their tour of the parish, the Carrigan Division donated $500 to the Annunciation Parish.

Along with many other parishes on the Western Slope, Fr. Carrigan served as the dean of the Annunciation Parish in Leadville. Prior to getting re-assigned to the Western Slope, Fr. Carrigan served at what is now the Annunciation Parish in Denver. He even was involved in the building of the Annunciation church building in Denver, as well as the Annunciation church building in Leadville (pictured to the left), which is why many believe they look similar to one another.  

Leadville’s Annunciation Parish is now part of the Archdiocese of Colorado Springs.

Joseph P. Carrigan Division Visits Irish Cemetery 

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No. 4  August- September 2020

The Joseph P. Carrigan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Colorado recently visited a rediscovered Colorado cemetery that contains the remains of up to 2,000 Irish immigrant miners. The group took a road trip up in the mountains to Leadville to the cemetery two hours west of Denver, dubbed the Free Catholic Cemetery because the graves didn’t cost when needed. Experts say that a century ago, the cemetery was neglected and grew back into the forest — only to be recently rediscovered.

Most of the graves are unmarked and are only noticeable by the swails over each grave and the piles of rocks next to each one. The city platted the cemetery and so the names of about 1,200 of the people are known. The Carrigan Division is in discussions about potentially contributing to a new memorial on the site honoring the Irish miners and their families who rest there.

While in Leadville, the Carrigan group also toured the Annunciation Catholic Parish, built in 1880.  The parish boasts having “The world’s highest steeple” at more than 10,000 feet. Fr. Carrigan, for whom the division is named, served as dean over the church and ministered to many of the Irish immigrants in Leadville and the surrounding area. In the photo, the division hears a presentation from the restoration fundraising committee member Luke Finken. From the left are division brothers John Aylward, Mike Boyd, Ed Schumm, Patrick Maguire, Rick Steck and Sean Hudson.

Carrigan Division Virtually Initiates 5 Brothers

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No.3- June – July 2020

Colorado’s Joseph P. Carrigan division virtually initiated five people last month to keep cautious amid the spread of coronavirus. 

The division met May 19 via Zoom, the video conferencing application which has been used by millions for virtual meetings during the pandemic.  The Carrigan division’s new brothers are Tom Cowhick, Kevin Coates, Mike Costello, Matt Steck and Chuck Tuffeld.

The division gave brother Patrick Maguire — the Carrigan division’s treasurer and former state president from both Michigan and New Jersey — the honor of conducting the initiation in what may have been the first zoom initiation in Ancient Order of Hibernians history. 

Picture is of Brother Patrick Maguire conducting the initiation.

Colorado’s Carrigan Division Meets Via Zoom Meeting

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No.2- April- May 2020

Members featured in photos (from top right to bottom left, going clockwise): Brother Rick Steck at home during the zoom call; Father Charles Polifka OFM, Cap , Division chaplain giving the blessing; Brother Will Chappell in his kitchen on the Zoom call; Zoom screen during the meeting featuring various members.

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak across the U.S., Colorado’s Joseph P. Carrigan division met on Zoom for a video meeting on April 7. About 16 people met for the video conference, including three new potential recruits. Father Charles Polifka, O.F.M.Cap. the division chaplain was also a part of the meeting and led the division in prayer. While the Carrigan Division didn’t discuss any formal matters, there was no shortage of entertainment or things to catch up on.

Carrigan Vice  President Dan Queen in Centennial

Members discussed their whereabouts and how they were dealing with social distancing and isolation. One member, Naval Petty Officer Second Class Joseph Chappell, called in from a sailboat in South Florida. Michael Grady, a potential recruit, played the banjo and sang for the group. Michael O’Hara, a member currently living in New Orleans, introduced the division to his daughter who is just a few months old.

Navy Petty Officer Joseph F. Chappell on the Zoom call from an undisclosed location off of Florida.

The video platform, Zoom, has been on the rise in recent years but has boomed through the spread of COVID-19. Everything from classes to work meetings to Ancient Order of Hibernian meetings has been held over the app. “There is a lot to think about, including how many things we can do over the internet. When we come out on the other side of this, we may rethink how we conduct meetings. Long-distance members can now attend.”  Division President Jim Chappell said.

Colorado Carrigans Serve 150 Transitional Housing Women at the Samaritan House

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No.1- February- March 2020

On the fourth Thursday of each month, brothers of the Fr. Joseph P. Carrigan Division/ Colorado serve the evening meal to 150 of the transitional women’s homeless population in downtown Denver at Samaritan House.  Scooping up the grub for the women are, from left, Brothers John Queen, Jim Chappell, Mike Sheridan, Dr. Mike Boyd, and longtime Hibernian friend and diaconate candidate George Lenihan.

Carrigan Colorado Hibernians Spread “Service” by Coaching Inner-City Basketball in Denver

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No.1- February- March 2020

The Father Joseph P. Carrigan Division/ Colorado got involved in the basketball coaching business this fall at Annunciation Catholic School. Carrigan Division member, Joe Wolters, coached these 6th-grade boys deep into the season with the final results still pending. Go Cardinals!

Carrigan Division Rededicates its Charter

The National Hibernian Digest Vol. LXXXVII No.1- February- March 2020

The Fr. Joseph P. Carrigan Division/ Colorado rededicated its charter on December 17, 2019.  The charter, which had been stored away for many years was installed in the room where the division conducts its monthly meeting at The Celtic on Market in downtown Denver. The charter was originally dated February 24, 2001. Celebrating the rededication and administering the blessing was Carrigan Chaplain Fr. Charles Polifka, OFM, Cap, left.

Unveiling the charter were, from left, Patrick Maguire, presently a Colorado/ Carrigan member and currently serving as the division’s treasurer and his wife Angela, longtime LAOH member.  The Maguires, who recently relocated to Denver, are known for their service to the AOH and LAOH across the nation-mostly in Michigan and New Jersey, with both of them holding numerous titles in both states.  Assisting them is John Aylward, former Colorado/ Carrigan division president and a refounding member of the Carrigan Division.  John is also an iconic Colorado paramedic and responder/firefighter.

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