IAUSA Board of Directors
Rev. Brendan McBride
President, Irish Apostolate USA
Fr. Brendan McBride, a native of Donegal, has been in San Francisco since 1996. Fr. Brendan has widely traveled throughout his vocation. Having studied at the Irish College in Rome for six years, he went to Coventry, England to work as an Immigrant Chaplain for seven years. During this period, he also spent time in Birmingham and London.
He returned to Ireland for a short while where he taught English & Religion in the Technical School in Loughanure, Co. Donegal. His next stint abroad was in the Brooklyn and Queens areas of New York, again as Immigrant Chaplain to the huge number of Irish residents there.
Following another stay in Ireland, Fr. Brendan came to San Francisco in 1996 to form and head up the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center (IIPC). The IIPC is now a thriving center serving the Irish community in the Bay Area and beyond.
Rev. Dan Finn
When Father Finn immigrated to America at 18 years of age, from Kanturk, Co. Cork, Ireland, he had no idea that he would one day become a priest, serving the spiritual, social and cultural needs of Dorchester residents from 20 different nations including those from Ireland, Haiti, Vietnam, and Cape Verde. Because of his leadership the services provided by St. Mark Parish, where the Irish Pastoral Centre was founded in 1987, have blossomed into a vast array of outreach programs. Some of these programs include Citizenship and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Youth Summer Program, Faith Sharing groups, a Food Pantry, and more.
Much of this has come about from Fr. Finn's philosophy that we must bring what we have started in Church out onto the street. This is summed up best by St. Teresa of Avila saying that “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.....".
Fr. Dan is assuming the role of Chaplain to the Irish Community at the Irish Pastoral Centre, Dorchester and has therefore, gone full-circle. He is a member of the Irish Apostolate USA Board.
Mr. Brian Hanley
Originally from Sligo, Brian has been working with IECE since late 2008. He holds a degree in Business and Legal Studies from University College Dublin and a Masters in Law from University College Cork, specializing in criminal justice. From 2008 to July 2011, Brian held the posts of ICPO Coordinator and Emigrant Officer of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. Returning to the ICPO in March 2012 he worked as a Caseworker and Family Support Officer, completing a Diploma in Criminology and Criminal Psychology in 2014. Brian returned to the position of ICPO Coordinator in September 2014 and qualified as a barrister in 2015.
Ms. Celine Kennelly
A native of Moyvane, County Kerry in southwestern Ireland, Celine Kennelly is Executive Director of the San Francisco Irish Immigration Pastoral Center (IIPC), a non-profit, volunteer-managed organization assisting Irish immigrants in the San Francisco and the Bay Area. IIPC provides advice, information, advocacy, referral and support, and assistance with housing, jobs, immigration, social services and family issues. IIPC is a member of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC), a national umbrella organization representing Irish immigrant groups throughout the United States, of which Kennelly is the President of the Board. Additionally, Celine is the Chair of the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, and is very involved as a Board member of the Irish Apostolate USA.
Kennelly is a fierce advocate for undocumented immigrants and changing an immigration system that she says makes it nearly impossible for immigrants to work or live in the United States. Kennelly is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including "Woman of the Year" for the 12th Assembly District, SF Commission on the Status of Women's "Women's History Month Award," the Irish Voice's "50 Most Influential Irish Women in the U.S." award; and the "Service Partner Award" for Catholic Charities. She is also an accomplished singer who is often invited to perform at Irish community celebrations. She holds a BMus Honors Music degree from the University of County Cork, Ireland, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.