Three Pilgrimages to the Celtic Isles – Summer 2016

The Monastery of All Celtic Saints is absolutely delighted to announce that we shall lead three new Pilgrimages to the Celtic Isles of Scotland over the summer of 2016.

We shall visit some of the most remote and authentic places connected with early Celtic Christianity. Some of these places have been uninhabited for centuries, with no touristic or religious routes linking them to other destinations. The pilgrimages organised by the Monastery are the only way one can visit these isles and pray to the Saints who lived here.

Our Pilgrimages are not touristic journeys to the Hebrides, but spiritual opportunities to experience the presence of God in some of the oldest and most authentic Christian places in Western Europe. As far as possible, we shall celebrate the Divine Liturgy daily. In each place we shall visit, we shall pray together to the local Celtic Saints (Saints Columba, Oren, Kenneth, Patrick, Brigid, Brendan, Ninian etc), but we shall always put time aside for private prayer, so that we may wander on our own and allow these holy places to speak to each of us personally.

The three weeks of pilgrimage are:

July 2 – 9. This will be a special occasion for us, as we shall celebrate the Feast Day of our Monastery together. The Second Sunday after Pentecost (July 3, 2016) is the Feast Day of All Celtic Saints, the Orthodox feast of all local saints.

July 16 – 23. During this pilgrimage, we shall be together for the Feast Days of St. Seraphim of Sarov (July 19) and St. Elias (July 20), two wonderful Christian saints. We shall incorporate their canons, akathists and other prayers throughout the entire week, so we may deepen our personal relationship with Sts. Elias and Seraphim.

August 13 – 20. This Pilgrimage will be under the protection of the Theotokos, as we shall celebrate together the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (August 15). In Her honour, we hope to celebrate the All-Night Vigil of the Feast (during the night, as it is done in monasteries), followed immediately by the Divine Liturgy in the very early morning.

The standard cost of each pilgrimage is £900 ($1400) and includes:

Accommodation for seven nights in a beautiful house on the Atlantic coast of the Isle of Mull;

All breakfasts, dinners and packed lunches (as we shall be travelling somewhere every day);

Transport by car everywhere on the Isle of Mull (we shall have three cars available all week-long);

One motor boat to take us to St Brendan’s Isle;

One sailing boat to take us to St Kenneth’s Isle;

Two return ferry trips from Mull to Iona;

Entry tickets to all the places we visit.

We aim to make sure that, once you arrive to Mull, there is nothing else for you to worry about for the entire week. This way, we may focus on the pilgrimage itself, on personal prayer and communion with one another. If you need help with any aspect of the trip to Mull, we are here to advise and help you.

Among many other places, we shall visit Iona (Iona Abbey, Martyrs’ Bay, the Nunnery, St Oran’s Chapel, the famous Celtic High Crosses, St Columba’s Bay, the Hill of the Turning Back to Ireland, the Marble Quarry and the Machair); the ruins of St Kenneth’s monastery and the ancient hermit cells; St Brendan’s monastery on his uninhabited Isle; and some of the great Celtic Christian places on the Isle of Mull (The Nuns’ Cave, the Carsaig Arches, Kilninian etc). The schedule depends on the weather and the state of the ocean.

For those of you who worship in the parishes that have welcomed us to fundraise for the Monastery, as a sign of our gratitude and friendship, we can offer a special price of £800 ($1250) for these pilgrimages. All we need is a letter or email from your parish priest confirming that you are a member of their parishes.

All payments are made via PayPal on the Monastery website.

To check availability and book a place for one of the pilgrimages, please get in touch at [email protected]

Your place is confirmed after a deposit of 25% of the price has been paid.

7 responses

  • I would like to come on the pilgrimage again. Are you allowing returnees? Debbie and another lady as well as Jacob want to go too I think. For sure Debbie.

  • Dear Khouria, you must be joking! I would love for us to get back to the isles again. Just make sure father James writes me an official letter to confirm you are a member of his parish 🙂

    • Thank you, dear Columbcille. We need a great deal of prayer to turn these ‘trips’ into real pilgrimages. There is so much work that goes into organising and leading the pilgrimages, but all that work would be in vain without prayer. Take good care.

  • ‘St Brendan’s monastery on his uninhabited Isle’. Please, what is the official name of this island ?

    • Dear Hans, thank you for writing. The official name is Eilean an Naoimh (I hope I spelled it correctly). For obvious reasons (I simply cannot pronounce it & it doesn’t evoke anything in most people), I refer to it as St Brendan’s Isle. From what I gather, the real name stands for ‘holy Isle’ or ‘blessed Isle’ in Gaelic, which would only ad to the confusion, as there are other isles by the same name in the UK. I hope this helps. Please pray for the monastery and our pilgrims.

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