Please take a moment to view this important video from Archbishop Sartain.
Brian Thompson, our seminarian, who will be spending the next year at St. Brendan parish for his Pastoral Year, has written an introduction about himself. He will have the chance to introduce himself at all of the weekend Masses. You can read his column by clicking here.
In light of my bumping into Sr. Briege McKenna a couple of weeks ago in the airport in Dublin, Ireland, I thought I would share this video I presented a little over a year ago.
I have fixed the pictures which were not properly loading for many people in the blog section of the Ireland Pilgrimage. The files were way to big for most browsers to handle so for many people they didn’t show up properly.
I have also updated the Featured Song with The Philippians Canticle from John Michael Talbot. You can listen to it by clicking here.
I am gradually adjusting to the time change from my return to Ireland. It’s great to be back and once again I thank everyone for their prayers while we were away.
We are all at the gate after going through customs. I was glad to see they cleared us for entry to the United States so we don’t have to go through Newark. We have quite a long layover in Newark. I am going to walk all around the airport to get my legs stretched out for the nearly 6 hour trip back to Seattle.
While walking to the US Customs area, I bumped into Sr. Briege McKenna. I introduced myself to her and told her I was in attendance at the International Retreat for Priests in Ars, France in 2005. She told me she was headed to Poland. I also told her I saw Fr. Kevin Scallon at the Eucharistic Congress last week. What a pleasant surprise to run into her. You can’t miss her with red hair!
We board our plane in a little while. I thank the Lord for a great pilgrimage and it will be great to return to the US.
Yesterday we went along the Dingle Peninsula. I was surprised to see so few houses along the way since it is such a beautiful stretch of land. The sheep could be found in abundance and I snapped a shot of a little lamb (probably only a few weeks old) and its mother.
We celebrated Mass in the church of St. Vincent de Paul. That was pretty neat since at least half of the pilgrims belong to St. Vincent de Paul parish in Federal Way. The priest greeted us and gave some history of the parish. When I was getting ready for Mass I asked where the Roman Missal was so that I could set it up. The priest said they only use Gaelic (or Irish as the natives say) for all of the Masses in the parish. Once again the Magnificat came to the rescue!
We got back into town fairly early and had the opportunity to grab a bite to eat and to take some pictures. It started raining but it wasn’t too bad and I had packed my umbrella.
Today we are going to the Killarney and the Ring of Kerry.
It’s hard to believe our journey is winding down to an end. The Irish people are incredibly friendly and hospitable. I can understand why so many authors and poets found refuge in this country and inspiration to write. Maybe a sabbatical someday will bring me back. Who knows!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.
Yesterday we made our way through the Burren Region. The hillsides were incredibly green and there were abundant sheep and cattle. Our bus somehow became fascinated with “white” horses and they began playing some kind of game that reminded me of car bingo when I was a child. I couldn’t here all the conversation because I was seated in the front of the coach.
About midway through the trip we visited the Cliffs of Moher. They are situated on the Atlantic Ocean and border the Burren Area. I spotted a sign offering help and figured it must have been put there for people who were thinking about jumping off the cliffs. You wouldn’t survive any kind of fall from the steep banks and it was a long way down to the rocky shoreline.
We ended our journey at the Dingle Skellig hotel and enjoyed a nice dinner.
Today we will be exploring the Dingle Peninsula. So far the trip has been outstanding. We have a great group of people who are enjoying each other’s company.
I have posted some more photos below from today’s journey to Dingle.
Have a blessed day!
After breakfast yesterday we took a two hour trip to Knock and then to Kylemore Abbey. We got an even better idea about what the countryside is like in Ireland and we even had to dodge a few sheep along the way.
Our Lady of Knock is one of the most beloved shrines in Ireland. We got to celebrate Mass yesterday with a number of other English speaking pilgrims in the Chapel of Apparitions. Pope John Paul II visited this shrine in 1979.
Today we will be traveling through the Burren Region to Kerry. We will be journeying along the coastline and will make a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. This is one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and my camera battery is fully charged and ready for action!
I was up very early this morning and witnessed a beautiful sunrise. The clouds are beginning to roll in and rain is in the forecast for today.
My dad pointed out we were already halfway done with the trip. It is sure going fast but I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of this pilgrimage. I have been told by a number of people that the Irish people are very friendly. I sure have found this to be true. Yesterday during a coffee break, the café owner came out and asked us where we were from. When I said Seattle she asked if I knew a Fr. Heneghan. I said I did and that he was serving at Sacred Heart parish in Tacoma when I was growing up. This was the church closest to my my grandparent’s house. She said his family home was right across the street. What a small world!
In a few minutes it will be time to load the suitcase and head off for the day. Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day.
We left Dublin early this morning for Galway. It was great to travel throughout the countryside and see all of the livestock and greenery. Ireland is the 4th largest exporter of beef in the world!
On the way to Galway, we stopped in Ballinasloe to celebrate Mass inside the beautiful church of St. Michael. The acoustics were incredible and it is a very traditional church with beautiful stain glass windows.
Our next stop was to the old church of St. Brendan in Clonfert. It was built in the 13th century and St. Brendan was once buried there.
Inside the church there is a mermaid on the wall. (I immediately thought of the Starbucks logo – probably not the most holy thought to have.)
We then were on our way to Galway where my parents tried to run ahead of everyone else for the famous fish and chips at McDonagh’s restaurant. Unfortunately, my dad took a wrong turn so he wasn’t the first in the door. The verdict, “Wasn’t worth the ten bucks and you had to buy your own tarter sauce.” Keep in mind this is from a man who was excused from a food tasting employment job at WSU. They said no one had the same tastes that he did:)
Tomorrow we are on our way to Knock where I will have the privilege of celebrating a Mass in the “Chapel of Apparitions.”
Have a blessed day and stay away from too much blarney.
We attended the closing ceremony and Mass at Croke Park Stadium.
The music was outstanding! Many national artist including the three singing priests shared inspiring messages through the gift of music. The choir and orchestra they had greatly enriched the celebration of Mass. I really enjoyed a song they did in Gealic and was surprised how much Gaelic there was in a lot of the selections. I just assumed it wasn’t used much anymore, but that wasn’t at all true. All of the city and government signs are bi-lingual with English & Gaelic.
I had the privilege of concelebrating Mass with 1,000 other priests and bishops from around the world. I looked for our particular delegation but it was impossible to spot them from the distance where I was at on the ground floor.
A lot of the priests were snapping pictures through the 4.5 hour celebration. I did likewise and have posted some of them after this entry.
We leave very early in the morning for Galway. Everyone was pretty tired from all of the walking and I received a pretty bad sunburn for not bringing suntan lotion, which was of course in my room. With all the overcast skies I didn’t even think to bring it. I would not at all be offended if someone approached me and said I looked like a cooked lobster.
I will check in tomorrow after our visit to Galway. Thanks again for all your prayers. Things are going very smoothly and our tour guide said we were a really laid back group. We’ll see if that lasts by the end of the week:)