17 Day Pilgrimage to Ireland with Fr Don Kettle – Departs October 2, 2018
Highlights: Dublin, Glendalough, St Kevin's monastic settlement, Kildare (St Brigid), Moone, Kilkenny, Butler Castle, Cathedral of St Canice, Waterford, Reginald's Tower, Waterford Crystal, Dungarvan, Ardmore, St Declan's Well, Cork, Rock of Cashel, Cormac's Chapel, Cathedral of St Mary & St Anne, Blarney Castle, Blarney Stone, Derrynasaggart Mountains, Killarney Lakes, MacGillycuddy Reeks. Ladies View, Tralee, Dingle Peninsula, St Brendan, Slea Head, Church of Kilmalkedar, Gallarus Oratory, Mt Brandon, Adare, Limerick, St Mary's Cathedral, Ennis, Franciscan Friary, Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Galway, Lynch Stone, Knock, Croagh Patrick, Belfast, Falls Road and Shankill Road, Titanic Belfast, Armagh, O'Connell St, Trinity College Library, Book of Kells, and much more.
PILGRIMAGE COST (8PV26)
Departs Australia: 2nd October 2018
Indicative Cost Per Person Twin Share: $7450.00 (Incl. Tax)
Single Room Supplement: $920.00
Prepaid Tipping: $210.00
Airfares: Economy class airfares from Australia. (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations).
Accommodation & Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel & Religious accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily
Miscellaneous Inclusions: Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary
Not Included: Passport and any other Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate) • Prepaid Tipping
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner
DAY 1: Tuesday 2nd October – Depart for Ireland
DAY 2: Wednesday 3rd October – Arrive Ireland
Cead Mile Failte – Welcome to Ireland! On arrival at Dublin airport we will be met by our experienced Irish guide and transferred to our hotel for check-in.
Dublin overnight (BD)
DAY 3: Thursday 4th October – Via Glendalough to Kilkenny
This morning we will be met by our experienced Irish guide and transferred by coach directly south to County Wicklow and the holy town of Glendalough – ‘Valley of the two lakes’. This renowned place of pilgrimage is the site of the monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin – a man of noble stock. Coming here to be alone as an ascetic contemplative monk, his prayerful inspiration ironically attracted many others and thus the community of Glendalough springs from a hermitage.
Our visit in Glendalough is focused on the remains at both the upper and the lower lakes in the valley. The upper site is simpler and more in fitting with St Kevin’s life as a hermit, whereas the lower one has the more famous monastic monuments – one of Ireland’s best preserved Round Towers, a roofless Cathedral, St Kevin’s kitchen and the diminutive Priest House over the Saint’s tomb – shrine where we will celebrate our Mass together.
Next we depart for Kildare, which Ireland’s best known woman saint, St Brigid, is closely associated with. Visit St Brigid’s Cathedral reputed to be the site of a co-ed monastery headed by St Brigid in the 5th century, and see a ‘healing well’ of St Brigid. We then journey south to Moone, another 6th century monastery and founded by St Columba. It is famous for its unique tall High Cross, beautifully evocative and with carved scenes of the Old and New Testament.
Onwards to Kilkenny, the most medieval of Irish cities with its 13th century Butler Castle overlooking the River Nore and the great 6th century Cathedral of St Canice, the most lovingly cared for of the Irish medieval churches.
Kilkenny overnight (BD)
DAY 4: Friday 5th October – Via Waterford to Cork
Our journey this morning takes us to beautiful Waterford, home of the world famous crystal. Here in Waterford we see the 9th century Reginald’s Tower and the ruined city walls before visiting the Waterford Crystal showroom. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Taking the coastal road south this afternoon through the fishing town of Dungarvan we soon come to the remote coastal village of Ardmore in honor of St Declan. He was miraculously guided here on a return voyage from Wales in the 5th century. Today, a number of intriguing sites remain from this monastic city, pointing to a devotion that stood the test of time. Among other sites we come to St Declan’s Well, a shallow basin where pilgrims came to bathe their hands and feet.
Later we arrive into Cork where we proceed to our centrally located hotel for check-in.
Cork overnight (BLD)
DAY 5: Saturday 6th October – Rock of Cashel
This morning we travel out to the foreboding Rock of Cashel, an impressive great rock rising abruptly from the plain of the Golden Vale and becoming Ireland’s first Romanesque Church (11th century). We explore this unique landmark including Cormac’s Chapel, which retains traces of Ireland’s earliest frescoes.
Return to Cork and St Finbar’s Cathedral – and enter the Cathedral of St Mary & St Anne where we will celebrate Mass. Remainder of the day at leisure. This evening enjoy dinner out at one of Cork’s many restaurants (own arrangements).
Cork overnight (B)
DAY 6: Sunday 7th October – Via Killarney to Tralee
Departing Cork, we soon make a stop at the 15th century Blarney Castle, giving us a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone – will you dangle from the Castle ramparts to acquire the ‘gift of the gab’?
Journey on through the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains to the popular resort town of Killarney, with its horse-drawn jaunting cars and singing pubs.
We enjoy a leisurely tour of the region featuring superb seascapes, towering cliffs, charming villages and spectacular mountains. Travel around MacGillycuddy Reeks and past the beautiful Killarney Lakes to Ladies View for a spectacular photographic opportunity.
Tralee overnight (BD)
DAY 7: Monday 8th October – Dingle Peninsula
Journey today via Milltown and Castlemaine to the Dingle Peninsula, the northernmost of the five fingers projecting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Here we find a vast number of Christian sites mainly belonging to the cult of St Brendan the famous navigator who was born nearby at Andfert (484). We travel along the coast road past Inch to Slea Head, the most westerly point in Europe. We join the ancient pilgrim traffic of old and visit the 12th century Church at Kilmalkedar and the famous Gallarus Oratory built without mortar in fine masonry.
Visit the beehive huts and spend some time in the lively fishing port of Dingle. Passing the 3,000 foot Mt Brandon we journey back to Tralee.
Tralee overnight (BD)
DAY 8: Tuesday 9th October – Via Limerick & Cliffs of Moher to Galway
A wonderful day of surprises awaits us as we continue north today through picturesque Adare, renowned for its pretty thatched cottages. On to the city of Limerick, setting of ‘Angela’s Ashes’, where we see the 12th century St Mary’s Cathedral among other sites.
We continue on to Ennis, another town springing from monastic origins. We visit and celebrate Mass at the Franciscan Friary (1240) whom together with the Cistercians and Dominicans were the dominant religious order in medieval Ireland. The Franciscans were very much an order of and for the people, giving them solace after the grim years of the ‘Black Death’ which swept across Europe in 1348 – 1350.
Now sit back and enjoy our afternoon’s drive, which will take us through the Clare Coast along the majestic 668 foot Cliffs of Moher, a five mile stretch of the darkest sandstone draping sheer to the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean. On through the floral wonders of Burren toGalway the ‘City of Tribes’.
Galway overnight (BD)
DAY 9: Wednesday 10th October – Galway & Knock
We begin our day visiting the lovely Galway Cathedral and hear about the infamous Lynch Stone.
Departing Galway, we travel north to Knock. On arrival we celebrate Mass at the Marian Shrine in the Church of Apparitions where Our Lady appeared in 1879 on a wet rainy night.
We will enjoy a guided tour of the shrine’s highlights and enter into the afternoon’s schedule of events centred around the parish.
Continue to our hotel for check-in before dinner.
HOLY SHRINE OF KNOCK
On the evening of 21 August 1879, the eve of the Octave of the Assumption, the parish church of Knock, County Mayo, was the scene of an apparition of the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist. The vision lasted two hours and was witnessed by a large number of people. When it became known, people began to come to Knock in large numbers.
Among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to the Shrine in 1979 (the Centenary anniversary), was the first Pope to set foot on Irish soil, Pope St John Paul II. The Pope announced to the estimated quarter-of-a-million pilgrims gathered for the ceremony that the church at Knock would be henceforth known as the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland. He presented a Golden Rose to the shrine as a witness of his own gratitude to Mary, mother of the heavenly and earthly church. Bl. Mother Teresa also visited here in 1993.
Knock overnight (BD)
DAY 10: Thursday 11th October – Croagh Patrick
Rising 2,500feet above sea level lies the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick, a place of pilgrimage for more than 1,500 years. St Patrick spent forty days and nights in prayer and fasting at the summit in 441 and is said to have banished all demons and snakes from the mountain.
We have the opportunity here to follow in the footsteps of St Patrick, as every year since the 5th century, thousands of pilgrims climb the Holy Mountain in a spirit of prayers, penance and reparation. At the top is St Patrick’s Chapel built in 1905. (Each pilgrim should assess their level of fitness before deciding the extent of their ascent this morning.)
Return to Knock for the remainder of the day at leisure. Perhaps wander the town or revisit the shrine for some quiet prayer time.
Knock overnight (BD)
DAY 11: Friday 12th October – Belfast
This morning we travel to Belfast, the Capital and the largest city in Northern Ireland, and the second largest city in Ireland. In Belfast we will visit Falls Road and Shankill Road, showing the famous “peace lines”. The first peace lines were built in 1969, following the outbreak of the 1969 Northern Ireland riots. They have multiplied over the years, from 18 in the early 1990s to 48 today; in total they stretch over 34 kilometers.
Continuing on we visit Downpatrick, where St Patrick first come to Ireland, see the Cathedral, the grave of St Patrick and his altar stone and here we will celebrate Mass, on a” Mass Rock” (outdoors ). Here we walk in the footsteps of St Patrick.
Belfast (Dunmurry) overnight (BD)
DAY 12: Saturday 13th October – Clonmacnoise & Dublin
This morning we visit “Titanic Belfast”, which was named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016. Visit this amazing site where the Titanic was built, exploring the Titanic story.
We then travel east to the country’s capital. Along the way we will enjoy an important stop at Armagh, where we will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, which was built and destroyed 17 times!
Dublin overnight (BD)
DAY 13: Sunday 14th October – Dublin
Our morning sightseeing tour of Dublin will include statue lined O’Connell Street as we drive around and view some of the city’s elegant Georgian Squares. Visit the Trinity College Library, home of the notorious 8th century Book of Kells and onwards to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest Cathedral made famous by its former dean Jonathan Swift, author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. We continue to Dublin Post Office and on to St Mary’s Pro Cathedral for Mass. The original, partially completed facade was replaced by the present imposing neo-Romanesque structure by Sir Thomas Dean in 1868.
Dublin overnight (BD)
DAY 14: Monday 15th October – Dublin
Today we take the opportunity to view the Mercy Convent in Baggot Street, the first house of Sr Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. This is where the determined Mary MacKillop met with the inflexible Bishop Quinn of Bathurst on 10 Oct, 1874 who wanted the Sisters kept under his diocesan control. Also nearby was St Brigid’s Orphanage in Eccles Street (now part of the Mater Hospital) where Mary first stayed and met with Cardinal Cullen to explore the possibility of obtaining postulants for Australia.
We then visit the historical St Patrick’s College / Seminary – Maynooth, a Pontifical University and the National Seminary for Ireland
Afternoon at leisure to shop or wander the streets of Ireland’s lively capital.
Tonight we enjoy a special final dinner at a typical Irish restaurant.
Dublin overnight (BD)
DAY 15: Tuesday 16th October – Depart Ireland
Today we transfer to Dublin airport for our homebound or onward flight connections.
DAY 17: Thursday 18th October – Arrive Australia