Travel to the Emerald Isle next fall on a Catholic Spirit-sponsored tour

| Martie McMahon | November 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

Kylemore Abbey, home to Benedictine sisters, is located in Connemara and is surrounded by beautiful scenery

In the fifth century, Christianity was introduced to Ireland when the pope sent a man named Palladius to a land of druids “to be bishop to the Irish who believe in Christ.” St. Patrick followed shortly after and expanded Palladius’ ministry by establishing more churches and monasteries, which came to be known as centers of learning and evangelism, thus earning Ireland the nickname — “land of saints and scholars.”

Whether you have been to Ireland before or always wanted to go, The Catholic Spirit has a special oppor­tunity for you. Come and “Explore the Other Holy Land” with Father Dennis Dempsey of St. Dominic in Northfield and The Catholic Spirit from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, 2012. The journey begins with a flight departing the Twin Cities and arriving in Dublin, where a professional Irish tour guide, Conor Ellard, will lead the group on a tour of the Emerald Isle.

Trip informationWhat: Catholic Spirit-sponsored trip to Ireland
When: Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, 2012
Spiritual guide: Father Dennis Dempsey of St. Dominic in Northfield
More information: (651) 291-4441

Among the highlights

The journey will begin by traveling from Dublin to Galway, east to west, viewing the green, mountainous landscape so well known to Ireland. Upon arrival in Galway, we will board the Corrib Princess for a leisurely one-hour cruise on Lough Corrib. The cruise will be followed by Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas.

Cliffs of Moher

We’ll travel through the Inagh Valley to the magnificent Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. This  Benedictine abbey is surrounded by beautiful scenery.  Mass will be celebrated in the small gothic church in Kylemore.

We’ll visit the Marian Shrine of Knock where Our Lady appeared in August 1879 and Pope John Paul II visited in September 1979. Following Mass, we will travel to Westport and view the Pilgrim Mountain of Croagh Patrick, where St. Patrick climbed and stayed at the top for 40 days and 40 nights.

The journey continues to the Burren Region of County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher, which are more than 600 feet above sea level and offer great views of the Atlantic coastline and Aran Islands.

We will then take a ferry trip across the River Shannon to County Kerry into Killarney for evening Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.

The next adventure is traveling along the naturally beautiful 179 km route around the Iveragh Peninsula, known as the Ring of Kerry, which includes the Kerry Bog Village and Kells Sheep Dog Display, Waterville, and O’Connell Memorial Church in Caherciveen.

While in Killarney, we will take a Jaunting Cart Ride and visit Ross Castle and Muckross House.

We will then travel to the Village of Murroe and visit with the Benedictine monks of Glenstal Abbey. The stop will include Mass with Gregorian chant, a visit to the Icon Chapel and a meeting with acclaimed Irish singer, Noirin Ni Riain.

Celtic cross in Irish churchyard

The trip continues with a stop at St Brigid’s Well in Kildare, (one of the many healing wells in Ireland) and a meeting with the Brigidine Sisters, keepers of the flame of St. Brigid. This will be followed by a visit to the Irish National Stud Farm.

We will make our way back to Dublin for a Dublin City tour with visits to Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest college founded in 1592. Housed in Trinity College is The Book of Kells, a ninth-century collection of Gospels that has been on display at the college since the mid-19th century. Also while in Dublin, we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral and Phoenix Park.

For our last full day in Ireland, we will journey to Wicklow, with a visit to Glendalough and Mass at St. Kevin’s Church. It is said that St. Kevin of Glendalough, was the “fulfillment of the prophecy of St. Patrick,” because St. Patrick prophesied that St. Kevin would be the one to evangelize Ireland in the region south of Dublin.

An evening farewell traditional dinner and entertainment at The Merry Ploughboys Pub in Dublin will end our Irish journey.

The cost of the trip is $3,775.

Martie McMahon is business office manager for The Catholic Spirit.

See more information


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Category: Explore Ireland, Featured