V. Rev. John Dunlop to mark Ash Wednesday as Guest Speaker
on Lough Derg
Very Rev John Dunlop, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (retired) and former Moderator of the resbyterian Church, will join with the new Prior of Lough Derg, Fr Owen J McEneaney in unique circumstances which sees both men mark Ash Wednesday on Lough Derg for the first time.
Ash Wednesday on Lough Derg, an inter-church day, is a unifying occasion where neighbour can reach out to neighbour through their shared Christian heritage on this unique Island made sacred through centuries of prayer.
This is the tenth ecumenical 'Day of Friendship and Prayer' on Lough Derg which continues to experience growing numbers each year from across the Christian traditions. It is a day for peaceful reflection where people '..are all one in Christ Jesus.' (Gal 3:28)
In advance of his first visit to Lough Derg, Rev John Dunlop shared his thoughts: "I appreciate the generous invitation from the Prior, Fr Owen J McEneaney to participate in the Ash Wednesday events in Lough Derg. It will be my first visit to the island. Someone from my Presbyterian tradition would look upon Lough Derg as a strange place so I look forward to joining those who will be there. I have always found such inter-church occasions to be enriching.
Given the history of ecclesial conflict and mutual demonization by churches of one another, internationally and in this island, such invitations and the acceptance of them are not to be taken for granted. It has been a long journey to get us to this point.
The invitation to "come apart as you are and rest awhile" speaks of hospitality and lays down no preconditions. For many people life seems to be relentlessly demanding; with pressures to get qualifications; meet targets; shop; look after family members from infancy to old age; keep up to speed and respond to emails and Face Book and Twitter and whatever else bleeps into our consciousness. Some live in communities of fear and danger with experiences of exclusion and hurt.
God's gift of one day off every week for reflection, worship and recalibration can get lost in the often enticing but demanding environment of doing, getting and surviving.
Accepting the opportunity to go to a safe place where no CV or passport is required, may be a necessary prelude to finding oneself."
Preparing for his first inter-church Ash Wednesday on Lough Derg, the new prior, Fr Owen J McEneaney said: "I am honoured to have the privilege to begin my first season on Lough Derg in union with my Christian brothers and sisters. Ash Wednesday is an opportunity for us to experience our togetherness in Christ as a community of believers, and alongside Rev John Dunlop we extend an invitation to all of you to come and experience the rich benefits of this day of friendship and prayer."
Boats depart for the Island from 10.00am and return at 3.00pm. Boat journey, 10 minutes. Refreshments, Service & Lunch; price €25.
In 2014 the One Day Retreat Season will commence on Saturday 3rd May.
LOUGH DERG ONE DAY RETREATS 2014
May: 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25 and 26
August: 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30 and 31
September: 2, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20 and 21
The One Day Retreat is a guided day of prayer and reflection, it includes Prayers of Intercession and Healing of Memories as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
The afternoon offers an opportunity for quiet time and contemplation.
Bookings: Individual or with friends To come on One Day Retreat requires you to book ahead.
Contact us in one of the following ways;
Telephone: 071 9861518 (from NI 028 686 32391)
Online to book direct: www.loughderg.org
Organised One Day Retreat Retreat Organisers please contact Nuala on 071 9861518 (from NI 028 686 32391).
One Day Retreats are open to all adults; they are not suited to children. Those unable to do the traditional Three Day Pilgrimage are particularly welcome.
The retreats do not require fasting or walking bare-footed.
Each Retreat begins at 10.15am and ends at approx. 5.00pm.
Boats are available from 9.15am.
€40 includes return boat fare, refreshments on arrival & light lunch.
(Group discounts available) Numbers are limited. Advance booking essential.
The 2013 Annual Prize Draw took place on Saturday 12th October in Pettigo, Co Donegal. Winning tickets will be published on the website on Monday 14th October. All winners will be contacted as soon as possible.
Thank you to all our faithful Pilgrim Friends of Lough Derg who have supported us with the Annual Prize Draw and this year the draw fund is €25,000 in cash prizes.
Winners here www.loughderg.org/rainbow-of-hope
The Annual Friends of Lough Derg Grand Draw will take place on Saturday 12th October 2013. €25,000 in cash prizes to be won. Don’t miss returning your tickets on or before Friday 4th October.
Return tickets to Lough Derg, Pettigo, Co Donegal.
A day of support: ‘Living with Suicide’ Wednesday 25th September 2013
Offering you the Gift of Hope, Lough Derg, Co Donegal
‘Living with Suicide is a day dedicated to supporting those who have been affected by suicide, either through personal loss or with suicidal thoughts and for those who minister to the suicide bereaved or working in support services.’
For the first time Lough Derg will hold a special day dedicated to supporting those who are living with suicide and for those involved in ministry and support services.
Lough Derg is a place of welcome for everyone and all who come to this unique island are pilgrims on life’s journey; they come seeking and hoping to find peace. This ‘Living with Suicide’ day offers those affected, either directly or indirectly, the opportunity for deeper understanding and support to make sense of it all.
Fr Cathal Deery, a priest of the Clogher Diocese who also ministers on Lough Derg, and the event organiser said; “Every year I encounter more people who live with the struggles of suicide and who search for answers to their questions. Many people come to Lough Derg seeking help, and to find meaning for what is happening in their life. But equally so, we are aware that many people live in silence and in isolation. We want to help, and that is why we have organised this day. We invite anyone who has been affected in any way by suicide, including those who minister and support in this area to come to the island. Lough Derg is renowned as a safe place, a place where no one is judged and where all are equal. We invite you to come and listen and be welcomed as you are.”
Fr Deery concluded; “What is very important about this day is that there is no expectation on anyone who attends to say or share anything. There will be no other activities on the island during the day. Everyone who comes will have the opportunity to spend time in the many peaceful corners of Lough Derg to rest their thoughts and anxieties either alone or in the company of others. The day will conclude with a time of prayer for healing and strength.”
The Living with Suicide Programme on 25th September is a guided day and presents three areas of focus;
Talk 1: Dealing with grief, loss and bereavement through suicide
Speaker: Paul Kelly, Founder Director, Console
Talk 2: Restoring Faith: The Journey Beyond Shame
Speaker: Bronagh Starrs, BA DIP Psychotherapy, MIAPIP.
Talk 3: Beginning the pilgrimage from heartbreak to hope
Speaker: Christy Kinneally, well-known Irish speaker, writer, and broadcaster. Well known for his wisdom and compassion in the area of bereavement. He has ten books in print.
To find out more about the day or to book please contact Maureen at Lough Derg on 071 9861518, from NI phone 028 68632391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings can also be made on line at www.loughderg.org/events/book/570
Annual Lough Derg Pilgrim Walk
Sunday 8th September, 2013
Lough Derg is inviting people to step back in time and walk the medieval pilgrim path that lead pilgrims through the ages to the ancient pilgrimage island.
Centuries ago pilgrims followed this trail to the monastery on Saints Island where the monks then rowed them to Station Island, known today as Lough Derg, to undertake their pilgrimage.
The annual Lough Derg Pilgrim Path Walk is an opportunity for people to visit this ancient site and follow in the pilgrim footsteps of old and experience a little of the history of this unique island, Lough Derg.
On Sunday 8th September the 12k Pilgrim Walk begins at 12 noon with registration at 11.00am.
€20 registration (€10.00 children) includes walk pack and supports the Friends of Lough Derg fund.
At the end of the pilgrim path walk, walkers have an opportunity to take the 10 minute boat journey over to Lough Derg and enjoy refreshments and some time on the island.
Walk the Ancient Pilgrim Path Sunday 8th September 2013.
Start Time: 12 noon at the Visitors Centre, Lough Derg, Co Donegal
Entry Fee: €20 / €10 for children.
Starting at the Visitor Centre, walkers can pick up a guidebook and follow the Pilgrim Markers to complete a journey of 12km. It is an easy walk, mainly on forestry trail but the walker can enjoy stopping off to see Saint Davog’s Chair and Saint Brigid’s Well as well as getting a good view of where the bridge was which allowed pilgrims to cross over to the monastic Saints Island. Gulls of various kinds, black-backed, herring and the common gull are the most common wild birds, but mallard and teal can be seen and the rare Greenland white-fronted goose can be spotted occasionally. A pair of swans are also a common site but they seem unable to protect their offspring from the local wildlife.
For further information or to register please call 071 986 1518 (from N.I. 028 6863 2391) or email email@example.com
United in Solidarity with Santiago
On Lough Derg Monsignor Mohan’s message for the Feast of St James 2013 was recorded beside the fourth and fifth Stations of the Cross in the Basilica of St Patrick. http://www.icatholic.ie/videos/priors-message-feast-st-james-2013/
The Basilica Stations, designed by Harry Clarke, on fourteen oval panels held by the apostles, St Paul and Our Lady of Sorrows are part of the Way of the Cross prayer time at 3pm each day on Lough Derg. St James holds the fourth station – Jesus meets his mother. He is depicted with a walking staff and scallop shell – a reminder of all who travel the Camino de Santiago.
Prayer on Lough Derg is offered up throughout the period of mourning in Spain for all the dead, those injured and their families following the train crash of 24 July 2013.
We have also prayed for the many pilgrims who have walked the Camino and the penitential beds on Lough Derg and for those currently on pilgrimage on the Camino of Santiago de Compostela.
In June 2013 Lough Derg Pilgrim from Waterford, Hugh McGrath, traces a similar pattern to both the Three Day Pilgrimage on Lough Derg and The Camino de Santiago. http://www.icatholic.ie/videos/lough-derg-camino-de-santiago/
FIRST TIME IN 40 YEARS
WALKERS TAKE TO THE ANCIENT PILGRIM ROUTE
the GREEN ROAD from LANGFIELD to LOUGH DERG
20 mile-walk supporting local charities
organised by Drumquin Wolfe Tones GAA Club and supported by Lough Derg
For the first time in 40 years over 150 people will gather to walk the ancient pilgrim path from Langfield to Lough Derg on 1st June. The Green Road played a major part in facilitating easy passage for pilgrims through otherwise difficult terrain on their pilgrim journey across the Border to Lough Derg up until the mid-1970s. The walk coincides with the opening of the Three Day Pilgrimage season on Lough Derg.
The 20 mile walk is set to gather many locals together to experience the journey their families undertook to ‘do the Lough Derg Pilgrimage’. Up until the early 1970s some people used to walk barefooted; others walked for miles from various parts of the North to reach Langfield before continuing on to Lough Derg.
Getting ready to walk the 20 miles to Lough Derg and, returning from Cork to join the gathering of walkers, Drumquin native Sinead Hegarty said, “I am doing the walk for a number of reasons, it’s a great opportunity to come home and I wanted to do the walk because I have heard my father talk about the Green Road over the years and my Grandfather walked the route as a pilgrim to Lough Derg many times. I have done Lough Derg a number of times myself before I moved to Cork and this walk gives me the opportunity to return to this serene and peaceful place. “
The idea of walking the pilgrim route first came about in conversation between Séamas Ó Catháin, a native of Drumquin, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, and members of the Drumquin Wolfe Tones GAA Club.
Professor Ó Catháin said, “Pilgrims walking to “The Island” (as it was called) and seeking a convenient path to their destination through the hills of West Tyrone, used the Green Road for ease of passage. The Green Road conveniently links up with the country immediately east of Lough Derg where counties Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone meet. Here began the termon lands of Lough Derg which functioned as a buffer zone between the historic territories of O’Neill and O’Donnell (Tír Eoghain and Tír Chonaill) in times gone by.”
Professor Ó Catháin concluded, “Club members responded with enthusiasm to the idea of re-establishing the old tradition of tramping through the ’The Hills above Drumquin’ to The Island and the support of the Prior has made it an occasion for the good of both body and soul and effectively turned the walk into a pilgrimage.”
Lough Derg Prior, Richard Mohan recalls the story of pilgrim walkers to Lough Derg,”I am delighted that the tradition of walking to Lough Derg, the only way to reach the Island Sanctuary in the past, is being revived and memories shared amongst walkers as they journey from Langfield. From my early years, (1974 – ’75), working on the Island I have memories of pilgrims arriving on the lake shore where they held up a flag, a white sheet, to call for a boat. The Green Road Pilgrims as they were known arrived in numbers daily at that time.
Prior Mohan continued, “Up until the 1970s locals were welcome to come to the Island for Sunday Mass. To honour that tradition, walkers will be welcome to the Island for the Vigil Mass on Saturday 1st June when the Bishop of Clogher, Most Rev Liam MacDaid, will celebrate the opening of the Three Day Pilgrimage Season and this Year of Faith on Lough Derg.”
Finally, Green Road Walk Organiser and member of Drumquin Wolfe Tones GAA Club, John O’Kane announced a special surprise for walkers, “Another memory I have heard recounted over the years from pilgrims was the return trip to Pettigo Train Station in an old-style double decker bus. To commemorate the traditional transport used by pilgrims we are delighted to have a number of Ulsterbus double decker busses to transport walkers back to Drumquin from Lough Derg.”
The first two weekends in May welcomed hundreds of One-Day retreatants to the Island Sanctuary.
Prior Richard Mohan said; ‘This is our 21st year of One Day Retreats and, being the Year of Faith, we have been encouraged by the numbers who joined us these past two weekends for the opening of the Day Retreat season which runs each Saturday, Sunday and Monday during May.’
Prior Mohan continued “I invite people to come and spend a day this month in this very special place, walk in the footsteps of so many others, breathe in the atmosphere, savour the peacefulness and become aware of the power of pilgrims’ prayers. Back in 1992 we introduced Day Retreats because there were so many people who couldn’t, for one reason or another, do the traditional Three Day Pilgrimage but who wanted to spend time in the Sanctuary of St Patrick and be connected with the prayers of pilgrims down the centuries. With the generous support of organisers and individuals we hope to continue offering this service into the future.”
Boats to the Island for One Day Retreats run from 9.15am and with return at 4.30pm. Remaining dates in May are 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 & 27. To make a booking or find out more, phone 071 9861518 (from NI 686 32391). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.loughderg.org
For further information contact Lough Derg Communications Office Sharon@loughderg.org or 071 986151/086 0304670
Lough Derg, Pettigo, an ancient place of pilgrimage will host a special Celebration of Difference Day on Saturday 27th April.
This unique day on the island sanctuary of Lough Derg offers an opportunity for friends and neighbours from different churches to celebrate their Christian faith together in prayer and friendship.
3 speakers will talk on
Reflection; Mrs Mary Good, wife of Church of Ireland Bishop Ken Good.
Worship; Rev Chris Hudson, All Soul’s Church, Elmwood Ave, Belfast, will speak on Worship.
Reconciliation & Renewal; Fr David Donnelly, St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen.
Lough Derg Prior Richard Mohan said; ‘The Celebration of Difference Day will be a sharing of what we have in common as Christians. My hope is that this day of celebration together will help, in some small way, to empower people to return to their communities and live their faith with greater joy and conviction.’
This ecumenical day will be of particular interest to inter-church groups to celebrate together and enjoy the peace and beauty of the island sanctuary Lough Derg.
Contact Lough Derg for more detail or to book: From NI: 028 6863239: From ROI: 0719861518
View Lough Derg video library on www.icatholic.ie
02 Dec 2013
“Lough Derg is an experience of real humility where the material world takes a back seat.”