A Mhichíl, a chara, Tá súil agam go bhfuil tú i mbarr na sláinte agus gur éirigh go geal libh inniu chomh maith. Bhí lá iontach agam inné agus ba mhaith liom mo fhíorbhuíochas a ghabháil leat as ucht na hoibre a rinne tú chun an t-oilirtheacht iontach a chur i gcrích. D’éirigh thar barr leis agus bhí gach duine lán t-sásta le gach gné den turas go dtí an Sceilig. Comhghairdeas.
le meas, Daithí
Thank you so very much for all your courtesy, generosity, helpfulness and attention to detail. It was one of the best organised events I have ever attended. Very special thanks for organising Tom as our ‘chauffeur/tour guide’ on the return journey to Killarney. He went way beyond the call of duty and provided ‘Icing’ on the whole pilgrimage ‘cake’.
Love, Joy and Blessings, Mari Anne
I wasn’t planning a visit to the Holy Land, ever. So when my friend Seán called and asked me to go, my first reaction was to decline. When Phil, my long suffering wife, heard she insisted that I change my mind and go. I went.
Apart from Seán I knew nobody in the group. By the time I came home I knew everyone. At the first Mass on the Sea of Galilee we exchanged handshakes. Two days later we exchanged hugs.
The wonders of the Holy Land were only surpassed by the wonderful people that Mícheál had brought with him to this fantastic place. When one suffered we all were in pain. On Wednesday I met 18 total strangers. Ten days later I left 18 new friends behind at Dublin Airport.
The tour as organised by Mícheál de Barra and led by Fr John Newman left nothing to be desired. It took place between 8th and 18th of June. The hotels were great, the food was outstanding and we had a great guide in Nimrod. Yes, it was a pilgrimage but the religion was light and appropriate and Fr John’s commentaries on the Gospel readings illuminated not only the life of Christ but brought life to the very stones that were contemporaneous with Him. “John’s Nuggets”, as we referred to the notes he gave us each evening, informed us about the places we were to visit the next day. It would be difficult for a Christian to visit the Holy Land and not have the trip made more meaningful by the Gospel.
From Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee in the North through the Golan Heights and Nazareth and Cana and to Bethlehem behind the Wall and onward to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem we journeyed. Everyone had there own favourite place. Masada was awe inspiring but I was moved by Calvary in a way I could not imagine or describe.
It was the most wonderful experience. I returned wealthier and wiser with some long held ideas confirmed and some changed. I am glad that I took my wife’s advice (orders) to go. I would highly recommend the trip. Until next year in Jerusalem.
I have been on a pilgrimage to the rock off the south west coast of Kerry – Skellig Michael. You may not be very taken by pilgrimage, but it is possibly the only ‘growth sector’ of religious activity at the moment, now that the ‘new age’ spiritualties are rapidly fading or assimilating to mainstream culture. What image does the word ‘pilgrimage’ bring to your mind? Parish worthies piling off the bus in a damp car park at knock – shuffling off in search of a cup of tea? This was different. Firstly there are nine miles of sea to cross – and the sea is the open Atlantic…
Thank you for arranging for me to join your group for this great experience. It was a wonderful trip and I would love to go again sometime. This was a Pilgrimage in the footsteps of Jesus with a Biblical Scholar’ and the programme lived up to that title. The itinerary began at and around and by boat on the Sea of Galilee, continued in Galilee, and the Golan before proceeding to the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. It took and got fantastic organisation to achieve this schedule.
The highlights for me were: having Mass and being able to take Holy Communion in amazing places, such as the cave where Jesus was born in Bethlehem; in the open air on the Mount of Beatitudes with the birds singing including the colonizing yellow canaries; ascending Mount Tabor by taxi; being in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. Our bus driver and our tour guide, Nimrod, were fantastic and so helpful they became our friends throughout the whole trip. Fr John prepared for us and gave us each day wonderful notes for each day ahead. This was most generous of him and greatly appreciated by everyone. Thank you Mícheál, for arranging this wonderful experience.
The trip to the Holy Land was exceptional in every way, the attention to detail was profound. I felt very accepted, minded and safe all the time. It was most prayerful and the little Red Prayer Book is a lovely keepsake, together with Fr John’s handouts. I would love a copy of the DVD. It would be lovely to play around Christmas, to remember the glorious weather and think of good memories.
Words like excellent, stunning, wonderful come to mind. The measure was full and running over. It had great variety and depth. Thanks for stretching our imagination. The grub was A1 (and I’m a vegetarian). The accommodation just got better and better. The driver, Director, Spiritual Director and guide formed a formidable team. Us folk in our strengths and weaknesses became an instant functional community. I loved all the elements and would not drop any. The riches of the area are so vast. Mar a duirt an té a duirt re Rome: One week perfect! One year, not enough. Lean ort faoi bhláth, A Mhichíl. Mo mhíle bhuiochas,
It was a highlight for me as I have wanted to go the Sceilig Mhichil for at least 10 years and my wish was realised. I enjoyed the group and Patrick, Sean and Noirin were wonderful. Each and every individual, contributing hugely to the unique experience. I enjoyed the second day equally; funny moments, the passion of Sean, the observation and wit of Patrick and the ability of Noirin to make anybody feel they can lift their heart and sing out loud. Many blessings,
Mícheál, you are amazing. Words cannot express our gratitude for all you have done to make this trip a trip of a lifetime for everyone. We’ve had a fantastic learning experience. Thank you for your insights and guidance. I hope we have many more opportunities to meet and it has been so wonderful sharing your culture with you. Tiniki come to Saskatoon and we will introduce you to our Cree Culture and hospitality and laughter.
Jennifer, Bill, Vicky & Wanda 2017