Catholic Ireland with The Southern Cross: August 2018

Bishop Victor Phalana19 – 28 August 2018

Join Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp and The Southern Cross on this special pilgrimage to Catholic Ireland with a Papal Mass in Dublin, Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock on its feast day, and many other wonderful highlights.

Sunday, August 19
We meet at O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg to begin our special pilgrimage to Catholic Ireland.

Monday, August 20
Cead Mile Failte! “Welcome to Ireland”. At Dublin airport we are met by our guide and then head west to County Mayo, enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside.

Tuesday, August 21
Today, on its feast day, we spend a day at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, one of the world’s leading Marian sanctuaries and Ireland’s national shrine. On 21 August 1879, at about 8 o’clock, fifteen people witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady. In 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine. We will have Mass in the basilica and do the beautiful Stations of the Cross. We also have opportunity to spend time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, pray the Rosary and so on.

The sanctuary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.

Wednesday, August 22
After completing our programme in Kock we depart for Connemara, one of Europe’s last great natural wildernesses, passing through the towns and villages dotted along a beautiful, indented coastline with views unmatched anywhere else in Ireland. We stop at Croagh Patrick, the mountain on which St Patrick fasted and prayed for forty days in the AD 441. In the wonderful Inagh Valley we visit Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine abbeys. The present Community of Nuns has resided here since 1920 and have a long history stretching back almost 340 years.

Thursday, August 23
After breakfast we leave County Mayo and follow the coast road along the Bay of Galway to the Burren region which boasts amazing huge pavements of limestone and is also famous for its plant life with many very rare and protected species. We continue to the Cliffs of Moher where we see O’Brien’s Tower proudly standing on a headland of the majestic cliffs. We visit St Brigid’s Well, which once was a pagan site of worship but has been a site of Christian pilgrimage and miracles since the 5th century. Pilgrims have left thousands of prayers, rosaries and religious items in the stone grotto of the well. Votive candles burn there 24 hours a day. As they leave the shrine, pilgrims traditionally take a sip of water from the well.

Friday, August 24
This morning we will leave for County Limerick and see beautiful Adare village with its medieval Franciscan, Augustinian and Trinitarian monasteries. From there we move to Glenstal Abbey, a Benedictine monastery dedicated to St Joseph and St Columba within Glenstal Castle. One of the most evocative and significant pilgrimage site of medieval Ireland is the Rock of Cashel which is intimately associated with St Patrick and is ancient seat of the kings of Munster. Cashel, in County Tipperary, is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St Patrick in the 5th century. The castle and cathedral there are from the 1200s.

The Rock of Cashel

Saturday, August 25
After breakfast we visit St Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare, a town founded in 430 when it was the site of the original “Church of the Oak” and monastery founded by St Brigid, one of Ireland’s three patron saints, along with St Patrick and St Columba. It is one of the three most important Christian foundations in Celtic Ireland. The present cathedral was consecrated in 1230.

We then go on to Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, for panoramic city tour, including Phoenix Park, Georgian Streets and the tree lined O’Connell Street. We visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest and tallest church. Founded in 1150 and once the Catholic cathedral, it was taken over by the Church of Ireland after the Reformation. The famous author Jonathan Swift was its dean and is buried there. buried there. We visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1,200 year old legendary Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century.

Sunday, August 26
We are in Dublin as the World Meeting of Families is about to end. Today we attend its conclusion with a huge Mass that will gather individuals and families from all around the world in thanksgiving and communion. Pope Francis has indicated that he plans to be in Dublin for the meeting and to celebrate the final Mass (this is subject to final confirmation from the Holy See). The venue for the Final Mass will be announced — and we
will be there! After the Mass we have time at leisure to explore Dublin.

Monday, August 27
Depending on our flight times, we have a chance to see more of Dublin before we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Tuesday, August 28
We return to South Africa, with bags full of great memories and souvenirs, physically tired but spiritually enriched by a journey of a lifetime. Moladh le Dia dhá chionn!

Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge and Bachelors Walk

Est. price: R 39,720 (incl. airport taxes ex-JHB; subject to currency and price fluctuations, based on 25+ travelling.
Calculated at R15,60 to the Euro)

Includes All flights ex-Johannesburg (incl. airport taxes), accommodation in hotels with breakfast and dinner, hotel taxes, travel insurance, transfers, travelling on air-conditioned luxury buses, guides, entrance fees as per itinerary, daily Masses.

Excludes Tips (these are set and mandatory), travel insurance, personal expenses.


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