Ireland Pilgrimage – September 2012

21 September 2012 to 30 September 2012


Ireland Pilgrimage - September 2012

Pilgrim Photo Albums

Beautiful iCloud photos from Kristi G.

Daily Video Journal:

Day 1

Today the group arrived and we boarded our bus and headed west. We stopped at one of the most important Catholic and historical sites in center of Ireland — at Clonmacnoise which was a profoundly important abbey from the 6th century founded by St. Cairón.

We arrived in Galway in time to check in and have time for wandering the pedestrian only streets full of street musicians, mimes, pubs and quaint shops and stores. Then our welcome dinner at the Imperial Hotel and everyone crashed into bed to get ready for another day of projected good weather!

Part I

Part II
Arrival in Galway, exploring the city, settling in to hotel, welcome dinner and well deserved rest in preparation for a busy day tomorrow including visiting the Shrine of Knock.

Day 2

Part I
Our second day of pilgrimage through Ireland began with Batt Burns, our local guide – who is far more than just a guide. He is primarily the premier Irish story-teller. This morning we started with his introduction to his home country entitled “My Ireland.” Wonderful and full of laughs. A bit of his personal story, a summary of St. Patrick’s work in Ireland and some hilarious Irish tales.

Part II
Then to the Shrine of Knock where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1879 but not alone. St. Joseph, St. John the Apostle and the Lamb of God on an altar appeared with her. This is right out of the Book of Revelation which John wrote. He was the bishop of Ephesus and exiled on Patmos. He wrote his Revelation from there. He was mentioned from the 2nd century as wearing a bishop’s mitre and in this apparition he had the mitre of a bishop on his head and was holding the Scriptures in his hand. St. Joseph appeared in silent prayer. Mary is the queen of heaven from Revelation 12:1 and Jesus appeared as the Lamb of God, on an altar slain though still alive (Revelation 5:6).

Day 3

Dunratty Castle, Mass at Adare’s Trinitarian Abbey, Drive thru Killarney to Magical Sneem.

Day 4

A tremendous day. Several said we’ve outdone ourselves. Mass at majestic Cathedral of St. Mary in Killarney followed by driving through the stunning Ring of Kerry along the Atlantic Coast and the lakes of Kerry. Dinner in Sneem and a rollicking evening with local musicians and dancers – and our group all joined in. There is some of the evening of music and locals dancing in pub in Part Two, but Part 3 shows the pilgrims.
Part I

Part II

Part III The locals all showed up at the pub until way late to teach us to sing and dance. What a great evening with the talented yet simple towns folk.

Day 5

Another great day in the Emerald Isle. Far too much to relay though I want to give you all a feel for what we are experiencing here on this deeply historical, cultural and spiritual pilgrimage with the Rosary prayed, Mass at magnificent sites and meeting many locals and discussing the faith and learning their culture.
Part I

Part II
Cashel Rock where St. Patrick baptized a pagan king after using the clover leaf to demonstrate the Trinity. Then to Mass at Holy Trinity Abbey before arriving in Killkenny for an evening of Irish music and Batt’s story-telling.

Day 6

From Kilkenny’s Magnificent Castle to Glendalough, Mass at St. Kevin’s & on to Dublin.

Part I

Part II
Our afternoon mass with guests and arrival in Dublin.

Day 7

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, Archbishop Brown, Oscar Wilde, Mass with Boy’s Choir and More Great day – way more than I can fit on a few minutes of video. But everyone is having a great time and all is going superbly well. Today’s itinerary: Bus tour of Dublin, visit the Georgian Houses near Merrion Square, then the story and excerpts from Oscar Wilde by his unique statue in Merrion Square. Then to visit with the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, before scattering through various pubs and restaurants for lunch. Then a tour of Trinity College and the amazing Book of Kells before visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral which makes my blood boil since it was once a glorious Catholic Cathedral and is now just a cultural center (for all practical purposes) of the Anglican Church (Church of Ireland). Then a bit of free time before Mass with a Boy’s Choir in Dublin’s Catholic Pro-Cathedral. After that everyone had a free evening to visit pubs, shop, rest, find dinner and explore.

Part I

Part II

Day 8

Free Time, Mass at Oldest Parish, Rousing Song and Dance at Merry Ploughboy Part I People scattered all over Dublin to see what they were interested in. Some firefighters with us went to see local fire stations, others jumped on the Hop On, Hop Off Tour Buses that hit all the highlights of Dublin. Others went to tour the Guinness Brewery, churches, bookstores, art museums and more. Everyone ate at nice pubs and local restaurants. At 4:00 PM we took the bus to the oldest parish in Dublin named after St. Audeon. Then we went to a rousing evening of Irish music and dance. Very fun.

Part I

Part II

The second video is the whole of Fr. Courtney’s final farewell homily. I hope it is clear enough since it was a bit echo-ey in the church. We will have one more video tomorrow as the group gives comments and thoughts on the pilgrimage and we all say Good-bye.

Day 9

Comments and Farewells Sad to say Good-bye but good to hear the joy and kind words from the pilgrims. This morning we all hugged, reminisced and said Good-bye until our next adventures together. Most of these folks have pledged to go to Lourdes and Fatima with us next September, and to England in 2014. We also have trips to Poland, many to Israel (though trips for this year are already full), several to Rome and cruises to follow St. Paul. Join us on a future pilgrimage. Visit

About the Pilgrimage