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The pilgrimage group spent Thursday and Friday in Dingle Town and many in the group climbed nearby Mount Brandon.  Claudia, a pilgrim on the journey, had this to say about the experience:

We have had an amazing journey.  We have been blessed by the hospitality of our hosts and guides, and have had the opportunity to learn so much about Celtic spirituality.  All of our group climbed Croagh Patrick . . . . This morning, most of the group are climbing Mount Brandon.  We are in Dingle Town, a lovely seaside village, and look forward to an afternoon with a guide, and experiencing some local music tonight.

We learned at the onset of the pilgrimage to say “Thanks be to God” (preferably with an Irish accent), whenever we encountered anything that could cause a complaint.  We have had some hearty “Thanks be to God” in cold drizzle or rain, but overall, it has been a wonderful experience.  We had some group time last night, sharing something about . . . what we have learned thus far from our experiences.

You and others on the July pilgrimage have much to anticipate!

We wish our pilgrims well on their journey back to the States this weekend and the next few days, for those who will be staying a little longer to travel Ireland and other places in Europe.  We look forward to hearing more reflections from our pilgrims when they return and our second pilgrimage group is looking forward to the journey in July!

Today, the pilgrims are traveling via ferry to Inis Mor (Inishmore) in the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland.  Additional travel information about some of the sites the pilgrims will be visiting in the Aran Islands can be found by clicking here, as this travel site includes pictures, maps, historical, and other information.

Tomorrow, the pilgrims travel to Cloghane, a village in County Kerry, Ireland.

Our pilgrims walked many miles yesterday (about 18 miles, in fact) along the pilgrimage trail of Tochar Phadraigh.  A pilgrim described the hike as “beautiful,” as they walked through green sheep pastures and fields.  Today, the pilgrims are climbing Croagh Patrick, a popular pilgrimage site associated with St. Patrick and the Celtic tradition.  We wish them well on this meaningful journey as they near the summit!

The pilgrims have been arriving in Ireland this week for the start of the pilgrimage this weekend.  Tomorrow (Saturday), the group will travel from their points of arrival in Shannon and Dublin to gather in Ballintubber, visiting the Ballintubber Abbey and exploring the area.

Our first alumni pilgrimage group leaves the United States to travel to Ireland next week.  Follow along on this blog to read updates, reflections, and to see pictures, as available.  Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@FurmanLilly) to keep updated!

For more information on the Ireland pilgrimages, visit the alumni section of our Center website.

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