Pictures from Ireland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

Youth Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

Gayle Gottlich
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
Corpus Christi, TX

July 11 - 20, 2012

Trip map

DAY 1, Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - Depart from Houston Bush Airport for our trans-Atlantic flight into London Heathrow connecting to our flight into Dublin. M

DAY 2: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - Our pilgrimage to Ireland begins:  Upon arrival in Dublin, we clear immigration and depart for the Boyne Valley with a stop along the way at the Hill of Slane where disputes between clans were settled; new laws were passed; and eventually Christianity was proclaimed from the summit by St. Patrick.  We continue on to Monasterboice which was founded by Saint Buite who died in 521 AD.  This site contains two of the finest High Crosses in Ireland.  Both of these crosses are made of sandstone and date to around the 9th century.  The site also has a round tower which is in excellent condition. We continue to Brú na Bóinne, the cradle of Irish civilization.  The most significant Neolithic monument here is Newgrange one of the three passage graves.  Dinner and overnight Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow. LD

DAY 3: Friday, July 13, 2012 - This morning we travel to Glendalough, a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.  We visit the Heritage Centre and Museum where we see a video entitled “Ireland of the Monasteries”.  We 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 to Glendalough.  He will lead us on the pilgrim’s walk through St. Kevin’s Monastic City before the crowds arrive.  We meet our local guide and visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, The Cathedral, The Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church.  The afternoon will be free to explore on our own in small groups, reflect, journal or rest.  Dinner and overnight Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow. BLD

DAY 4: Saturday, July 14, 2012 - Today we spend a day in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, where we 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 on to the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.  This afternoon we will be free for shopping and personal exploration in Dublin.  Our last site today will be a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Evensong.  We enjoy a traditional Fish and Chips dinner then return to Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow. BLD

DAY 5: Sunday, July 15, 2012 - After breakfast we depart for Kildare, site of the 6th century St. Brigid’s Monastery, St. Brigid’s Cathedral and St. Brigid’s Well.  We visit the Bridgidine Sisters, founded in 1807 by Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.  They live in Solas Bhríde, a small Christian centre, which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality.  They have developed a pilgrimage, “Walking in the footsteps of Brigid”.  The pilgrimage will lead us to historical sites associated with Brigid including a visit to St. Brigid’s Cathedral which commemorates the saint who founded a religious community here in 490.  The monks and nuns lived here under the same roof and a perpetual fire, a pagan ritual, was kept burning here until the 16th century.  We enjoy prayers, reflection and a Pilgrim Liturgy at St Brigid’s Well.  We continue to Park Lodge Hotel, Spiddal, Galway for dinner and overnight. BLD

DAY 6: Monday, July 16, 2012 - Today we travel through the world renowned and beautiful Connemara to Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.  This community of nuns who have resided here since 1920, has a long history stretching back three hundred and forty years.  We visit the Abbey and stroll along the lake shore to the ornate Gothic Church and then through the parkland to the Walled Gardens.  A section of the Abbey is retained strictly for the nuns’ use and is not open to the public.  Here the nuns devote themselves to their monastic life and prayer and work. We meet with Sister Maire and spend time with her to gain an insight into the Benedictine way of life.  Dinner and overnight Park Lodge Hotel, Spiddal, Gallway. BLD

DAY 7: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - After breakfast we travel to Rossaveal where we take the ferry to Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Islands.  We meet with Padraigin Clancy who has lectured extensively and has facilitated retreats and seminars throughout Ireland, appearing frequently on Irish national radio and television.  Originally drawn to the Island by her studies, she has made it her home since 1990.  In that time she has documented an extensive collection of Irish folklore and cultural history.  We will rent bicycles (weather permitting) and visit Dun Aengus, an 8th century B.C. fort. We will reflect on the pre-Christian tradition as well as the monastic heritage on Aran.  After lunch, we continue to the Seven Churches, the Viking Mound, St. Kierans and the Seal Sanctuary.  After dinner we will enjoy traditional Irish Ceili Dance Lessons with a local expert instructor from the Island.  Dinner and overnight at Kilmurvey House, Inis Mor. BLD

DAY 8: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - This morning we meet with Dara Molloy a former Catholic priest who has developed his teaching and Celtic resources on the Aran Islands.  Dara will lead us on a Labyrinth walk which will include the grave and chapel of St. Enda in Killeany graveyard, 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 and a Celtic Cross.  We will also visit Teampal Benan, a hermits’ oratory and beehive hut.  After lunch we make our way to the monastic site of Teampall Ciaran (who later founded the monastery of Clonmacnoise) where we complete the traditional rounds (a walking around in prayer) of the well of St. Ciaran.  Dinner and overnight at Kilmurvey House, Inis Mor. BLD

DAY 9: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Today we depart the Aran Islands and travel to Galway City where we attend morning service at St. Nicholas Church.  We enjoy a walking tour of historic Galway City and have some free time to explore on our own in small group before continuing our journey back to Dublin.  En route 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 Dublin for dinner and overnight at the Clarion Hotel, Dublin Airport. BM

DAY 10: Friday, July 20, 2012 - After breakfast we take the hotel shuttle to the Dublin Airport for our return flight home.  We board our British Airways flight into London Heathrow where we connect to our flight back to Houston Bush Airport arriving at 6:45 PM. BM

Price:  $3,816.00.  Price is based on a minimum 6 Pilgrims, double occupancy with airline taxes and fuel surcharges included.  Roundtrip air from Houston, TX Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $99.00

Price includes trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.

** 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 $1.34 to the Euro. **

$200.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport by December 15, 2011.

Final Payment due by April 11, 2012.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until April 11, 2012:  $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ April 12 - May 25, 2012:  $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After May 26, 2012:  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.