DAY 1, Monday, April 22,2019– Depart the Atlanta, GA Airport for our American Airlines flight into Philadelphia, PA where we transfer to our American Airlines flight into Dublin, Ireland. M
DAY 2, Tues. – Welcome to Ireland. We meet our driver and guide and travel to Newgrange for a visit to one of the Stone Age passage graves. We 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 visit Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland. We continue into Northern Ireland to Armagh, the City of St. Patrick and the spiritual capital of Ireland. We visit St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. Dinner and overnight Armagh. D
DAY 3, Wed. – We travel along the beautiful Northern Ireland coast to the Giant’s Causeway, one of the great natural wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the heart of one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines, its unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. We continue on to Derry, also known as Londonderry, a city on the River Foyle, the only completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest in Europe. There is much history to absorb here, from the Siege of Derry to the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday. We meet Paul Doherty the son of Paddy Doherty, one of the innocent victims of the troubles in Northern Ireland, he offers first-hand knowledge and insight into the story from a unique direct perspective. We walk around the 400-year-old Derry Walls learning about the town’s history throughout the plantation of Ulster, the siege of Derry, emigration, etc. We will also learn about the political and social repercussions of Bloody Sunday, the day of the march and the wounding and killing of innocent civilians. Dinner and overnight Derry. BD
DAY 4, Thurs. – After breakfast, we continue to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland and the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, which was struck by an iceberg and sunk in 1912. We visit the Titanic Centre before continuing to Downpatrick, the county town of Down with a rich history and strong connection to Saint Patrick. We visit Saul Church, built in 1932 to commemorate Saint Patrick's first church in Ireland, Down Cathedral. The cathedral was built close to where it is believed that the mortal remains of Patrick lie buried and St. Patrick’s Grave. We return to Dublin for dinner and overnight. BD
DAY 5, Fri. – Today we spend a day in Ireland’s capital, 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 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 to explore on our own before joining back together at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Evensong. Dinner and overnight Dublin. BD
DAY 6, Sat. – After breakfast, 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. Pat Murphy, a member of St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, who has spent 25 years ministering in Nigeria. He brings vast experience from his work in pastoral care, prison ministry, student formation and leadership in Africa. He has specialized training in Spiritual direction and guidance. He will lead us on a walk to St. Kevin’s Monastic City where we visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, the Cathedral, the Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church. We celebrate Holy Eucharist at Glendalough before continuing to Kildare for dinner and overnight. BD
DAY 7, Sun. – We visit the Brigidine Sisters, founded in 1807 by Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. The sisters live in Solas Bhríde, a small Christian centre which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality. We participate in a pilgrimage developed by the sisters, “Walking in the footsteps of Brigid.” The pilgrimage leads 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. Here, monks and nuns lived under the same roof and a perpetual fire, a pagan ritual, was kept burning here until the 16th century. This evening we will enjoy a dinner cruise on board the Corrib Princess departing from the pier at Woodquay in Galway city centre. We enjoy a four-course dinner, an Irish coffee making demonstration, Irish songs, and dancing. Dinner and overnight Galway. BD
DAY 8, Mon.–After breakfast, we travel to the ferry port Rossaveal where we take a ferry to the Aran Islands. On arrival, we will be met by our guide Padraigín Clancy, a scholarly expert on St. Brigid and a graduate student of Irish Folklore and History. Padraigin has a keen interest in Celtic Christian Spirituality and has lectured extensively and facilitated retreats and seminars throughout Ireland, Britain, Australia, and the United States. Drawn to the Aran Islands because of its unique landscape and Gaelic heritage she has made it her home since 1990. We 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 visit Na Seacht dTeampaill, the Seven Churches which make up a monastic settlement dedicated to St. Brecan.We continue on to Cill Éinne, one of the earliest monasteries in Ireland, established on Inis Mór in the village of Cill Éinne in the 5th century by St. Enda. We visit the remains of the early 8th-century church known as Tealach Éinne. The remains of a decorated 11th century high cross are among the ruins of the church. Dinner and overnight Inis Mór. D
Please pack your carry-on bag with all the items you will need while on Inis Mór. Your driver will maintain safe control of your larger luggage on the mainland. You will be required to carry your own belongings while arriving and departing Inis Mór.
DAY 9, Tues. – This morning we say “goodbye” to the Aran Islands and travel to St. Brigid’s Well, one of the most visited Holy Wells in Ireland which pilgrims have visited for centuries for its healing powers. We continue to the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From there we travel to Tralee for dinner and overnight. B
DAY 10, Wed. – In the footsteps of St. James and St. Brendan, we explore the Dingle Peninsula with its beautiful seascapes and visit the Gallarus Oratory, Ireland’s best-preserved pilgrims’ church dating from about the 8th century. We celebrate Eucharist in the ruins of Kilmalkedar Church. This early Christian and medieval site is spread over a large area of around 10 acres. The history of this site is associated with St. Brendan but the site is said to have been founded by St. Maolcethair. At the center of this area is a 12thcentury Romanesque Church which consists of a nave and chancel. Amongst the other features here are the Alphabet Stone, a holed Ogham Stone, Sun Dial and more. Dinner and overnight Tralee. BD
DAY 11, Thurs. – Today we visit Glenstal Abbey, home to a community of over thirty monks who strive to live according to the Rule of St Benedict and the precepts of the gospel. A place of great natural beauty, of prayer and of work, Glenstal offers visitors an invitation to open their lives and their hearts to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The Abbey is home to a boarding school for boys, a farm, a guesthouse, and a monastic community. The presence of a praying community gives Glenstal its unique character. Dinner and overnight Dublin. BD
DAY 12, Friday, May 3, 2019 – After breakfast, we transfer to the Dublin Airport where we board our American Airlines flight to Philadelphia, PA where we transfer to our American Airlines flight back to the Atlanta, GA Airport. BM
B – Breakfast L – Lunch D – Dinner M – Meal on Aircraft
Itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion of the leaders.