Liturgy for Peace and Justice - Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

The 2014 Milwaukee Irish Fest Mass for Peace and Justice will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Irish Fest Choir for Peace and Justice will begin with a selection of music at 9 a.m.  The gates will open at 8 a.m.

This year Milwaukee Irish Fest is pleased to welcome Bishop Richard B. Higgins, the Vicar for Veterans Affairs at the Archdiocese for Military Services USA, as the celebrant for the Liturgy for Peace and Justice. Bishop Higgins was born in Longford, Ireland. He is a graduate of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Sacramento, California on March 9, 1968.

Following parish assignments, Bishop Higgins entered the US Air Force in 1974 and served as a Catholic chaplain until his retirement in the grade of colonel in 2004. He was ordained a Bishop in 2004 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II when he assumed his present duties. Bishop Higgins is a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and several Flight instructor certificates. His many military decorations include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters.

Bishop Higgins is responsible for over 270 Catholic chaplains in 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Guam, including the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. Bishop Higgins also serves as Bishop Protector for the 10,000 members of the Catholic War Veterans of America.

Anyone donating a non-perishable food item by 11 a.m. will receive free admission to the festival. Patrons are welcome to attend the Mass beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will receive free admission immediately following. Those donating food who choose not to attend the Mass will receive a hand stamp valid for free entry at any time that day during regular festival hours (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or are welcome to remain in the designated section of the South Gate. Ward's and Claddagh will open at 9 a.m. to provide breakfast.  All non-perishable food items will be donated to the Hunger Task Force.