Pictures from Ireland

Island of Saints

Grace Episcopal Church Youth to Ireland

Led by:

The Rev. Steve Wilson
Grace Episcopal Church
Carthage, MO

June 11 – 22, 2016

Trip map

DAY 1: Saturday, June 11, 2016 - Depart from Springfield on United Airlines to Chicago where we board our overnight flight to Shannon, Ireland. M

DAY 2: Sunday, June 12, 2016 - We arrive at the airport in Shannon where we meet our coach driver.  We stop in Galway before continuing to Rossaveal Harbour where we take a ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.  Free time in before dinner.  Overnight Kilmurvey House Aran Islands. BLD

DAY 3: Monday, June 13, 2016 - “No angel who ever came to Ireland to help Gael or Gall returned to Heaven without first visiting Aran and if people understood how greatly the Lord loves Aran they would all come there to partake of its blessings.”  Cormac Mac Cuilennáin, King- Bishop of Cashel, died 908 AD.  This morning we hire bicycles and meet our local guide, Cyril O’Flaherty, who will show us his island, “an island where history meets myth and myth meets magic”.  Our first stop will be Dun Aengus, a four thousand year old Iron Age fort perched on the top of a cliff.  We visit Na Seacht dTeampaill, the Seven Churches, which make up a monastic settlement dedicated to St. Brecan.  The Aran Islands has a rich tradition of music, song, dance and story-telling, very unique and one of the great pleasures of the region.  We will participate in a variety of cultural workshops and master classes delivered by local experts.  We will learn some ceili dancing and it doesn’t matter whether you can dance properly, as long as you join in!  After the dancing, you have an introduction to spoken Gaelic.  A local Irish scholar will teach you some basic Irish phrases and will intrigue you with her story telling of old traditions and myths from this area.  You will have an opportunity to meet a few local youth who will give you an insight into how young people live on this Island.  Overnight Kilmurvey House Aran Islands. BLD

DAY 4: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - This morning our guide will take us to Killeany where we will see the grave and chapel of St. Enda and the bonfire location for June 23rd festivities celebrating St. John’s Eve and Solstice.  We visit Arkyne’s Castle, built during Cromwellian persecutions in the 16th century.  We see a Round Tower, Holy Wells, a Celtic Cross and Teampal Benan, a hermit’s oratory and beehive hut.  Finally, we make our way to the monastic site of Teampall Ciaran.  Overnight Kilmurvey House Aran Islands. BLD

DAY 5: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - We take the morning ferry to the mainland where we travel south along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher.  The cliffs are 214m at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare.  From the cliffs, one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the south.  We will visit Poulnabrone one of the most famous Irish dolmens which dates to 2500 BC. We drive through the Burren, a great rocky expanse in Ireland’s County Clare. We stop at Kilmacduagh (Church of the son of Duach), the monastery which was founded by Saint Colmán MacDuagh about 600 AD.  The most conspicuous feature of the well-preserved round tower (33m high) is that it leans almost 50cm from the perpendicular.  The extensive remains include a cathedral, Church of St. John the Baptist, Glebe House, O’Hayes Church and St. Mary’s Church.  We travel through the Karst landscape of the Burren, a great rocky expanse of limestone.  Dinner & overnight Park Lodge Self Catering Cottages at Spiddall. BD

DAY 6: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - This morning we visit Clonmacnoise where St. Ciaran established the monastery.  He chose this site in 545 AD because of its ideal location at the junction of the river and road travel in Celtic Ireland.  We will visit Solas Bhride a small Christian Centre which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality.  Here we will meet with one of the Sisters and we will “Walk in the footsteps of St. Brigid”, a pilgrim journey to the sites around Kildare town associated with St. Brigid including the Cathedral and Round Tower (c. 451-525).  Dinner & overnight Newgrange Lodge. BD

DAY 7: Friday, June 17, 2016 - Today we explore the Capital of Ireland, Dublin.  We visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old Book of Kells.  This beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels was designed by monks in the 9th century.  We visit the National Museum, Kildare Street and Christchurch and to explore the Cathedral and its vaults.  We have free time for lunch on our own and will time for shopping.  Later, we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and attend Evensong.  We will enjoy a traditional Fish & Chips dinner before we return to Newgrange Lodge for overnight. BD

DAY 8: Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 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”.  Afterward, we will meet Fr. Michael Rodgers, founder and Director of Tearmann Centre. Michael Rodgers 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 take you through Glendalough on the Pilgrim’s Way.  You will see St. Kevin’s Monastic City, St. Kevin’s Church, Cross, Cathedral and Round Tower as well as St.  Mary’s Church.  Overnight Newgrange Lodge Hostel. BD

DAY 9: Sunday, June 19, 2016 - Our first stop will be to Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre.  The Centre interprets the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange and Knowth.  The extensive exhibitions include a full scale replica of the chamber at Newgrange as well as a model of the tomb at Knowth.  We will take the shuttle bus to one of the burial mounds to explore our historic past.  We continue into Northern Ireland where we visit Castlewellen Forest Park where we attempt to get to the centre of the Peace Maze and ring the bell!  Castlewellen Forest Park’s Peace Maze was commissioned in 1998 and in 2000 over four thousand school children and one thousand adults attended community planting days to plant the maze’s six thousand yew trees.  Overnight in the Corrymeela Retreat Centre. BLD

DAY 10: Monday, June 20, 2016 - This morning we will explore the Giant’s Causeway on the north coast, one of the great natural wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We will also visit Dunluce Castle, situated on a headland that plunges straight into the sea.  It was the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan and was destroyed by fire in 1641.  After dinner we will have a Peace & Reconciliation workshop with the directors of Corrymeela.  Overnight in the Corrymeela Retreat Centre. BLD

DAY 11: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - We start our tour of Belfast in the City Centre where we will see the political districts which have borne the brunt of conflict over the last thirty years before seeing the elegant University Quarter and Museum district.  We will then move through the Shipyards and see where HMS Titanic was built and launched.  We have an optional visit to the Titanic Centre, a world-class visitor attraction for RMS Titanic.  Overnight in the Corrymeela Retreat Centre. BLD

DAY 12: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - We bid our guide and driver goodbye and board our return flight from Belfast to Newark, NJ.  In Newark, we will board our connecting flight to Chicago and there board our final flight arriving back into Springfield this evening. BM

Price:  2,849.00 *.  Price is based on minimum of 26 Pilgrims, double occupancy with airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Springfield, MO Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $299.00

*Pricing based on double occupancy including airline taxes and fuel surcharges which are currently $519.60 and may change.  Pricing based on exchange rate of 1 Euro = 1.096 Dollars.  If exchange rate or taxes change, adjustments will be made to your final invoice.

$300.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

Final Payment due by March 15, 2016.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until March 14, 2016:  $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 15, 2016 or later:  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.