St. Andrew’s Church Ireland Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of The Irish Saints

Tour Hosts: Pastor Sarah Breckenridge & Pastor Kyle Jackson

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church

Mahtomedi, Minnesota

13-26 September 2020

Complete your reservation here

13 Sept Fly to Ireland
14 Sept Arrive in Ireland – Tour of Dublin
Céad Míle Fáilte- Welcome to Ireland!
On arrival in Dublin you will be met by your guide, Dr. Thérèse
Cullen, and will be transferred by coach to Dublin. You will get a
guided tour of Dublin City.

Overnight in Dublin
15 Sept Book of Kells/National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland – explore Ireland’s ancient history from its Stone Age culture, early Christian artwork, through the Viking era and right up to the coming of the Normans in the 12th Century. This museum gives a wonderful foundation to understanding the history of Ireland.

Trinity College – Book of Kells. Book of Kells is a 9th century

trinity college
Trinity College

The illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels and one of Ireland’s most valued treasures. The manuscript is part of the Columban foundations, the book is
believed to have been started in Iona and finished at Kells. More info here

Free afternoon to explore Dublin

Overnight in Dublin
16 Sept Tara/Hill of Slane/Newgrange & Slane Distillery – Boyne Valley
In order to understand Christianity in Ireland, you have to understand pre-Christian Ireland. We will visit the Boyne Valley Region where many of the mythological stories of Ireland originated. Tara is a prehistoric site where the High Kings of Ireland
were once inaugurated. Step back in time and enjoy the wonderful outdoor sites in this region.

Hill of Slane – Where St Patrick lit the Pascal Fire ushering in a new kind of light into Ireland.

Newgrange, Boyne Valley

Visit Newgrange/Knowth or Dowth – Newgrange is a 5,000 year old passage tomb, which is orientated to the Winter Solstice. If unavailable, we take of tour the passage tombs of Knowth and Dowth, which date from the same period and are equally impressive.

Lunch at Slane Distillery and tour following lunch

Overnight in Dublin
17 Sept Glendalough Monastic Site
Glendalough, meaning “valley of the two lakes” dates back to St Kevin’s monastic settlement there in the 6th century. It is one of Ireland’s best-preserved monastic settlements with its remaining buildings and impressive round tower. The site stretches between the two lakes (upper and lower). St Kevin came to the valley seeking solitude and built a hermitage on the site, but his fame as a holy hermit soon spread and he was joined by many seeking to live an ascetic way of life.

Glendalough Monastic Site

Afternoon free time for silent walk/personal reflection.

Overnight In Glendalough Area
18 Sept Morning reflection time in Glendalough/Clonmacnoise/ Galway
Enjoy the morning in Glendalough walking around the site taking some time for quiet contemplation or hike up to waterfall. Leave Glendalough at approximately 11am.

On route visit Clonmacnoise- An Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of grave-slabs are on display in the visitor centre.

Overnight in Galway
19 Sept Galway City
Galway City is the capital of Connaught, Ireland’s western province. It is known as the city of the Tribes. Walking Tour of Galway City, exploring Galway Cathedral, Lynch’s Castle, The Claddagh, The Spanish Arch and the Corrib River Walk. afternoon exploring the medieval streets of Galway or take a stroll along the Promenade out to Salt Hill.

Overnight in Galway
20 Sept Inis Mór, Aran Islands (St Enda’s monastic site & Dun Aengus)
Depart Hotel for boat at Rossaveel Harbor from Galway we drive west and board a ferry to Inis Mór. Bus tour of island. St Enda established a monastic settlement on the island in the early 6th century. He is known as father of Irish monasticism and his settlement on Inis Mór became a key foundation for the key training centre for the next generation of
Irish saints.

Visit Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric hill fort, dating back to 1100 BC. Situated on a 14-acre site the fort consists of three terraced walls surrounding an inner enclosure containing a platform on the edge of a three hundred foot high cliff. The views from it are breathtakingly spectacular. This is a day of reflecting on the gift of faith in our lives.

Overnight in Galway
21 Sept Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abby, Connemara

Drive through the breathtaking countryside of Connemara. Visit Kylemore Abbey – an impressive Benedictine convent that is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture with time to enjoy the serenity of the grounds – the majestic neo-Gothic chapel and Victorian gardens. Take in some music in one of Galway’s traditional Irish pubs.

Overnight in Galway
22 Sept Cliffs of Moher/Dingle Peninsula

cliffs of moher
Cliffs of Moher

On our way south to Dingle in Co Kerry, we will stop off in County Clare the picturesque Cliffs of Moher. The jagged sandstone cliffs continue for 5 miles and stretch out of the sea and offer an impressive 670 ft drop (not for the faint hearted) into the wild Atlantic foam.

Overnight in Dingle
23 Sept Tour of Dingle Peninsula
On our drive around the Dingle Peninsula, we retrace the footsteps of St. Brendan the Navigator. We will spend the day on the stunning Dingle peninsula exploring the wealth of ancient and early Christian archaeology that this corner of the world has to offer. Follow old pilgrimage pathways to Mount Brandon that reflect the strong Christian heritage of the local population through the centuries, in sites such as Kilmalkedar, Riasc and Gallarus. Blasket Island Center – tells the story of island life on the Blasket Islands, where language and culture flourished and gave birth to an extraordinary corpus of literature on island life.

Free time in the afternoon to explore Dingle.

Overnight in Dingle
24 Sept Hike in the Valley of Anascaul
Take a short ride to Anascaul. Here we hike into the dramatic, cliff-rimmed valley along Lake Anascaul, where legend tells of the mythic Irish figure Cuhullain battling with a giant, the two throwing boulders that now cover the valley. It was on one of these rocks in this hidden valley that the Catholic Mass was celebrated in secret during the Penal Times, when the practice was outlawed. Streams cascade in waterfalls from the cliffs, and we wander among sheep grazing the high hills, the valley extending behind us with alpine views. After a picnic lunch near the pass, we return to the village of Anascaul for a well-earned pint at The South Pole Inn, the pub owned by the Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, a local man who journeyed on Shackelton’s famous trek to the South Pole.

Overnight in Dingle
25 Sept Rock of Cashel/St Brigid of Kildare/Dublin Area

rock of cashel
Rock of Cashel

On route to Dublin Area we will visit the Rock of Cashel. This was once the seat of the Kings of Munster, and it is believed that St Patrick converted the King and established a monastery on the site in the 5th century. Today the spectacular group of medieval buildings date the 12th century.

Kildare Monastery (double monastery) founded by St Brigid in the 5th Century. Meet with the Brigidine Sisters who keep the fire of St Brigid alive. Spend some time at St Brigid’s well nearby.

Overnight in Dublin Area
26 Sept Fly back to US
About Your Tour Guide:

Dr. Thérèse Cullen, is the owner and founder of Irish Monastic Tours. Thérèse grew up in Dublin and rural Co. Galway, in the shadow of Clonfert and Clonmacnoise. It was from visiting these ancient sites and hearing the stories that Thérèse first learned about Irish monasticism. Thérèse completed her PhD in Irish Studies, at Queen’s University, Belfast. Her academic background is situated in the fields of theology and cultural history. She has given many lectures on the Irish Saints. Thérèse, an authority in Irish Studies, invites participants to discover the wonders of Ireland’s historic sites and religious traditions through her unique wit and wisdom. She will bring to life some of Ireland’s best known saints – each of whom left a significant impression on the national psyche and landscape. Also included in the tours are visits to popular destinations in each locale. Be assured of the warmth of an Irish welcome and plenty of opportunities for what we in Ireland call “the craic” (fun).