Ireland Pilgrimage 2017

Videos of our pilgrimage to Ireland in July 2017

Introduction to Maranatha’s Pilgrimage to Ireland in July 2017. Six members of the Maranatha Community living in England – Jim, Linda, Cathy, Heather, Kate & Roger – shared a 12 day Pilgrimage around Ireland meeting with both new and old friends and listening to what God wanted to say to the Community at this time. It was also a time to reflect upon the history and spiritual inheritance of generations and to pray for the land and its people.

Day 1 – Paddy and her sister Evelyn entertained us to breakfast in Belfast, when we took the opportunity to discuss what it has been like for Christians to live in the city over the past few decades.

The members of the Maranatha Community seated around the breakfast table represented both the Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions within the Christian church. Paddy and Evelyn are both Roman Catholics. Heather is a British Protestant now living in England, who belonged to a Presbyterian church in Northern Ireland. Jim, on the other hand, is an Irish Catholic now living in England, who comes from County Mayo in the Republic of Ireland. Linda, Cathy, Kate and Roger are all from various Protestant traditions and denominations.

Whatever their traditional church or denominational backgrounds, members of the Maranatha Community consider one another as little brothers and sisters in Christ. They are united together as believers, each one being part of the one Body of Christ.

Day 1 – This video covers the return visit by Maranatha to Clonard Monastery and the ‘Peace Line’ immediately adjacent to it.

Pilgrims attended morning Mass and afterwards met with Father Ciaran O’Callaghan, who talked about life on the dividing line between the Protestant and Catholic communities, and the role played by the Redemptorists and their co-workers over the years in the service of peace-building and reconciliation.

Lunch at the Wholly Ground Cafe at New Life City Church in Belfast, gave the Maranatha Pilgrims an opportunity to hear from Assistant Pastor, Jonathan McKee, about the practical love shown by members of the congregation towards young people from both sides of the Peace Wall, whatever their circumstances or religious affiliation.

A very small sample of the hundreds of striking images, mainly on walls, reflecting the political and religious divisions within the Belfast community. Not all wall art in Belfast is sectarian, political or religious. For a comprehensive slideshow of murals, visit:

Maranatha Member, Phil Curry, led the Pilgrims on an extensive prayer walk around Armagh. In this short video, Phil explains why Armagh is so strategically important in the religious, political and spiritual life of Ireland, both north and south of the border.

The Maranatha Pilgrims spent their first night at Crossfire Trust, established and run by Ian Bothwell MBE & his wife Pauline. The trust has been seeking to heal the past and restore confidence, hope and community aspirations for the future for more than 34 years. Darkley House provides a range of services, especially residential accommodation for individuals and small families, who may find themselves homeless or in need of emergency accommodation, either overnight or longer term. You can find more information at: crossfiretrust.net/house

On their way to Dublin, the Maranatha pilgrims called in at Kells, in County Meath. This monastic town was the home of the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated manuscript of the 4 Gospels in the New Testament, for much of the medieval period. The Book of Kells is considered to be Ireland’s finest treasure. Kells had an important Columban Monastery for almost a thousand years, until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1500s. The original Book of Kells is in Trinity College, Dublin.

The Hill of Tara is best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. It has been an important site since the late Stone Age and was an important place of pagan worship, ceremonies and burial, before Ireland was converted to Christianity. Tara was at the height of its power as a political and spiritual centre in the early centuries AD.

Fr Thady Doyle hosted the Maranatha pilgrims at the ancient (6th century) Monastic City of Glendalough, in County Wicklow, just south of Dublin. Fr Doyle also invited us into God’s Cottage, where he recounted the stories of God’s miraculous provisions over the years. He also taught from his red booklet, The Spirit Powered Life, which he believed the Lord had inspired him to write as his contribution to the ‘new thing’ which God planned to do in Ireland and elsewhere.

This video briefly covers the highlights of the walk by the Maranatha Pilgrims around the centre of Dublin. Some pilgrims were visiting for the first time. It was an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Republic and Dublin in particular, especially the events taking place early in the 20th century. There was also an opportunity to pray at various important political and spiritual landmarks.

Before leaving Dublin, the Maranatha Pilgrims visited Avila, the Carmelite Centre, where we prepared for a Maranatha Gathering in the evening. It was a great opportunity to learn more about St. Teresa of Avila, a member of the Carmelite Order, who had a profound influence on the church in the 16th century, especially in regard to prayer.

The Maranatha PiIgrims pay a brief visit to the ancient seat of the Kings of Munster.

The Maranatha Pilgrims visit Fr. Denis-Luke, the Prior at Mount Melleray Abbey (Cistercian), Cappoquin, County Waterford.

Continuation of Maranatha’s Irish Pilgrimage.

Eileen O’Dea takes the Maranatha Pilgrims to see the place used secretly by Roman Catholics to celebrate Mass in Penal Times ie 1640 -1800.

The Maranatha Pilgrims spend Sunday in Killarney.

The Maranatha Pilgrims gather with local Christians at the home of Rosemary Healy in Milltown.

The Maranatha Pilgrims discover historic correspondence written during the Great Famine in Milltown.

The Maranatha Pilgrims take a boat trip to the island of Innisfallen.

The Skellig Experience on Valentia Island

Clonmacnoise: A Brief History of Irish Christianity.

The Maranatha Pilgrims met with Fr Frank Fahey at Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo.

The last day of the pilgrimage was an opportunity to visit Fr. Kevin Mullan, who was recovering from a recent heart operation. Fr. Kevin and Linda reflected upon the changes taking place within the church generally and the Maranatha Community in particular.

Some impressions of the final gathering of the pilgrimage that took place in Belfast, prior to boarding the ferry on its return journey to Liverpool.

Final comments from some of the Maranatha pilgrims, starting with Dr Linda Stalley, the leader of the Pilgrimage.