Pictures from Ireland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

St. James Parish Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

The Rev. Ron Abrams

Ms. Gail Jackins

Mr. John Sullivan

St. James Parish
Wilmington, NC

May 9 - 19, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, May 9, 2011 -We will depart from Wilimington and connect in Charlotte, NC for our trans-Atlantic flight to Dublin. M

DAY 2: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - On arrival we will meet our driver and guide and travel toward Galway.  We visit Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century.  This site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs.  We continue to Galway for our overnight stay in the Imperial Hotel city centre. MD

DAY 3: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - Today we tour Connemara and visit Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.  The Community of nuns who have resided here since 1920, have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years.  Today Kylemore Abbey and the estate surrounding it are open to visitors all year and the main areas to be visited are; the Abbey, the Gothic Church, the Victorian Walled Gardens, the Craft Shop, Pottery Studio, as well as the Lake and Woodland walks.  A section of the Abbey (the enclosure) is retained strictly for the nuns’ use and is not open to the public.  Here the nuns devote themselves to their monastic life of prayer and work.  We will travel to Ballintubber Abbey where will meet Fr. Fahy who will give us the history of the Abbey.  Ballintubber's history goes back to pre-Christian times when people came from the east through Ballintubber on their way to the holy mountain on the west coast - now called Croagh Patrick.  We will return to Galway for a few hours of free time for shopping before we gather for our dinner cruise complete with Irish entertainment on the Corrib Princess.  Overnight Galway. BD

DAY 4: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - After breakfast we will travel to the ferry port Rossaveal where we will take a ferry to the Aran Islands.  We will tour by coach and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls.  The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”.  We will visit Na Seacht dTeampaill, the Seven Churches which make up a monastic settlement dedicated to St. Brecan.  We will meet with Padraigin Clancy who has lectured extensively and has facilitated retreats and seminars throughout Ireland and appears frequently on Irish national radio and television.  Originally drawn to the Island by her studies, she has made it her home since 1990.  Since then, she has documented an extensive collection of Irish folklore and cultural history.  We will return on the evening ferry to Rossaveal and Galway City for our overnight stay. BD

DAY 5: Friday, May 13, 2011 - Today we will travel to the old monastic settlement of Kilmacduagh before continuing to The Burren in North County ClareThe Burren is like no other place in Ireland. Here we will find no bogs and very few pastures but rather there are huge pavements of limestone and plant life that is found in no other parts of Ireland.  We will continue to the Cliffs of Moher which are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County ClareO'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs from where one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South.  From here we go to the lovely town of Killarney for our overnight stay. BD

DAY 6: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - This morning we will travel to the Dingle peninsula with an extended drive along the beautiful coast.  We will see Mount Brandon and stop along the way to see ancient beehive huts and the Gallarus Oratory, one of the first churches ever built in Ireland.  We return to Killarney.  Overnight Killarney. BD

DAY 7: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - Today we depart Killarney for Kilkenny, stopping in Cork to visit Honans Chapel, a gem of ecclesiastical architecture of the Hiberno-Romanesque school.  The chapel houses fine examples of the Irish Arts and Crafts movement of the early twentieth century.  Some of the Honan treasures include:  19 radiant stained glass windows by Harry Clarke and the studio of Sarah Purser; an enamel-decorated tabernacle; rich tapestry work and an intricate mosaic floor depicting the zodiac and the river of life.  We will continue to Saint Finbarr’s Cathedral situated in the centre of Cork City where we will attend morning services.  St. Finnbar’s Cathedral is an ornate building, with three huge spires in the early French Gothic tradition.  It features an organ of 3,000 pipes and the interior is highlighted by unique and stunning mosaics.  After services, we will travel to Cashel to explore the magnificent ruins of the Rock of Cashel.  We will continue to Kilkenny for our overnight stay. BD

DAY 8: Monday, May 16, 2011 - This morning we will visit Glendalough a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.  We will visit the Heritage Centre and Museum where we see a video entitled “Ireland of the Monasteries”.  We will meet Fr Michael Rodgers who returned to Ireland after twenty years missionary service to serve on his congregation’s leadership team.  During this time he began to explore his own roots, a journey that led him eventually to mystical Glendalough.  He will lead us on a walk to St. Kevin’s Monastic City where we will visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, The Cathedral, The Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church.  We will continue on our journey to Dublin for our overnight stay in Jurys Custom House Dublin. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - Today we travel to Newgrange for a visit to the Stone Age passage graves.  We will see the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire as a challenge to the pagan High King of Tara and visit Monasterboice to see Muiredach’s High Cross, the finest high cross in all of Ireland.  Later we will visit Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland.  We will return to Dublin where we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Evensong.  This evening our accommodation is in Jury’s Custom House Dublin. BD

DAY 10: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - Today we will spend a day in Ireland’s capital, Dublin, where we will visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century.  We continue to the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.  We will visit St. Audoen's Church, the oldest parish church in Dublin and St Michan’s Church, rebuilt in 1686 on the site of an 11th century Hiberno-Viking church.  The dull facade of St. Michan's hides a more exciting interior.  Deep in its vaults lie a number of bodies that have barely decomposed because of the dry atmosphere created by the church's magnesian limestone walls.  Their wooden caskets, however, have cracked open revealing the preserved bodies, complete with skin and strands of hair.  We will visit Blarney Woolen Mills for some time to shop and then we will be free this evening to visit one of the many pubs in Dublin and to enjoy the cities’ nightlife.  Overnight Jury’s Custom House Dublin. B

DAY 11: Thursday, May 19, 2011 - After breakfast we will travel to the Dublin airport where we will bid our driver and guide goodbye and board our flight back to the United States arriving into Wilmington this afternoon. BM

Price: $3,459.00   Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Wilmington, NC.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $399.00

* Pricing based on a minimum of 25 participants and excludes fuel taxes and surcharges which are currently $110.00. If these change, price may change. *

** The price is not guaranteed and may change due to the fluctuation of the Euro and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the Euro.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.38 to the Euro. **

$200.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

Final payment due February 1, 2011.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 31, 2011: - $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 1, 2011:  NO REFUND

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.