Irish Roots in Northeast
Wikipedia describes Northeast as a defined community in the U.S. city of Minneapolis that is composed of 13 smaller neighborhoods whose street addresses end in "NE." But the people who grew up here identify it as neighborhoods bound together by heritage, faith, friendship, and community pride. It’s a place where roots were firmly planted by immigrants, and traditions and family values have been lived throughout generations.
Although St. Paul is best known as the Irish town, Minneapolis treasures its own, especially here in Northeast. So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, we honor the Irish immigrants who settled here, where Catholic Eldercare is firmly planted and wrapped in the arms of our community. Generations of these families have been a part of our lives, in good times, and in challenging times.
Before green beer and shamrock shakes, St. Patrick’s Day was revered as a day of civic pride for families who fled to Minnesota from Ireland to escape the potato famine. According to a story published in the Northeaster Newspaper in 2021, John Sullivan, the son of a wealthy Irish landowner and his wife, Margaret, were two of the first Irish settlers in Minnesota. Originally, they lived in Columbia Heights, and in the fall of 1856, two years after Minnesota became a state, John, Margaret, and their three children moved to a growing village called St. Anthony and became early members of St. Anthony of Padua Church.
In the 1930’s, a Sullivan descendent opened what might be the first convenience store in the area. Another one owned the first Shakey’s Pizza restaurant in Minnesota at 47th and Central, and another, The Hamburger Joint, re-named Sully’s Pub at 2519 Central Avenue in Northeast.
We are most grateful to our Irish CEC founders, Bob Hannah and Sr. Ruth Roland. Sr. Ruth’s surname means “famous land.” The luck that comes with her Irish heritage has helped make our land famous as a place for nurturing life’s ageless spirit. Bob’s Irish Great Grandfather Rourke was one of the founding members of St Anthony of Padua Church. And of course, there is our Irish architect, Chuck Sullivan, who drew the designs for our building. So, as you can see, we’ve had the luck of the Irish on our side from the very beginning!
As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Minneapolis, we will raise a glass to the Irish who bring many good things to our Northeast Community and Catholic Eldercare. Our Irish residents, their families, staff, donors, corporate and community partners, and friends have brought us good luck for 40-years. Today, we honor your contributions and your civic pride in Northeast, and wish you continued good fortune with the luck of the Irish on your side.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!