Lough Derg

Saint Patrick’s Purgatory by Tamara Isabell It is a pilgrimage renowned for its austerity — fasting, walking barefoot, sleep deprivation, intense self-examination and prayer. Some may wonder what it is that draws pilgrims by the thousands year after year; especially today, when Catholics have little experience of penance. Since the early Middle Ages, Lough Derg, … Read more

Beautiful Irish Linens & Woolens

A Tradition Anchored in the Church by Sequoia Sierra While Ireland’s rich history in linens and woolens has been somewhat forgotten, as with all things Irish the finest things can be traced to their origins in the Church. Linen and wool production began in Irish monasteries in the Middle Ages (Editor’s Note: See more about … Read more

The Tears of Ireland

Is the Faith Dead in the ancient ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’? We have great respect for the Irish and Ireland, their ancient ‘Land of Saints and Scholars.’ A warm–hearted, unpretentious people, the tenacity of the Irish is legendary. Against all odds, they brought the light of the Faith to Europe in the Dark Ages … Read more

Monasterboice, Mellifont, Glendalough & Murrisk

On the Trail of Ireland’s Mysterious Early Christian Monks by Michael Durnan and Beverly De Soto Stevens The Irish developed a Christian civilization quite separate from Europe or England, mainly through the stunning achievements of her monastic tradition. Ireland’s monks literally sailed from Eire to bring the light of the Faith and learning to Dark … Read more

Going Home to Aran

‘A Way of Life Never Expressed in Literature’ by Dan Flaherty ‘Go to the Aran Islands, and find a life that has never been expressed in literature’ was the advice of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. The Aran Islands lie just off the southwest coast of Ireland, in Galway Bay. With family roots there—I’m … Read more

Escape from Ireland

One Family’s Story by Harry Stevens “Far away– oh far away– We seek a world o’er the ocean spray! We seek a land across the sea, Where bread is plenty and men are free, The sails are set, the breezes swell– Ireland, our country, farewell! farewell!” Ireland in the early 1800s was a country under … Read more

An American Priest Visits Ireland

‘My Irish ancestry played almost no part in my upbringing’ by Father Jeffrey Keyes My parents were hard-working people who operated their business out of our home until it became successful and they struggled to send us to Catholic school. We were told we were Scottish and Irish but there was not a whole lot … Read more

Uninterrupted Masses For 800 Years

The Irish Abbey That Refused To Die by Teresa Limjoco Village of St Patrick’s Well ‘Ballintubber’ — As with all things Irish, there is a mystery captured in the name. In the west of Ireland, nestled amidst County Mayo’s rolling green hills, sits ancient Balintubber Abbey. Its name comes from the Gaelic, ‘Baile an Tobair … Read more

The Irish Horror

They Starved to Death on Ireland’s Green Hills Once upon a time in Ireland, one million people starved to death. On the land. Under bridges. On the sides of rural roads. In barns. It’s been seven generations since the Great Famine, but the Irish and their diaspora cousins around the world have never forgotten. Will … Read more

St. John Paul II in Ireland

How A Gang of Irish Lads Protected the Pope from the Dignitaries By Liam O’Dwyer In late September 1979, nearly 3 million Irish poured out of their homes to see St. Pope John Paul II in Dublin, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, and Knock. In the years since, I have talked with others who also saw the … Read more