Irish heritage, history honored
From fighting famines to hard times and discrimination in the “New World,” the Irish have persevered.
An upcoming event on the SHU campus will be celebrating this heritage. The fifth Annual Irish Mass and Dinner will be held on Friday, April 24 at 6 p.m.
This event is offered by the Pirates of Irish Persuasion & Extraction (PIPE) organization to encourage and celebrate Irish heritage and culture.
Eilish Harrington, founder of PIPE as an undergraduate student, now advisor and current president of the PIPE alumni club, speaks of her motivation to establish celebration of Irish heritage on campus.
“I have remained involved as the advisor of the student organization PIPE since 2010,” said Harrington in an email. “Since so many of Seton Hall’s alumni want to learn about and promote Irish culture and the Irish heritage of our university, I approached the Alumni Relations Office in 2013 about founding a PIPE Alumni Club.”
Harrington is very excited for the fifth annual mass and dinner as she said it will be a fun and educational event, also including entertainment and prizes. Harrington describes the mass as a hybrid Irish and English liturgy to give mass-goers a glimpse of the Irish language while celebrating the Catholic faith.
“Parts of the Mass will be said in Irish and parts will be said in English,” she added. “There will be Irish-inspired hymns and a cantor solo in the Irish language. The dinner will include traditional Irish food. Entertainment will feature an Irish set dancing lesson and Irish music throughout the night.”
The entertainment will include Kevin B. Westley, T.M.R.F. better known as “The Irish DJ”. Westley is a prominent Irish singer and Irish Ceili dance instructor who has been an active performer throughout New Jersey for 30 years.
Westley will present an educational performance which he deems “The History of Ireland in Song.”
“I discuss just a few subjects of Irish history and sing about half of the songs related to these subjects,” Westley said.
He will focus upon one of many subjects that he teaches, which include the Great Hunger, Irish Wakes and Sea Shanties.
Robert Mayers, associate director of alumni clubs, is enthusiastic about the event, which he explains is held “to promote Irish culture and heritage on campus and show how it is intertwined in Catholic history.”
“All alumni, families, students and friends of the University are welcome,” Mayers said.
Harrington added: “We will also be collecting voluntary monetary donations for St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark.”
The event will be a night of informative fun and tradition, one that “students sure are lucky to be offered.”
Kelly Zarnowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.