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Category: Retreats


Update on In-Person Pilgrimages

Dearest monks and pilgrims, It seemed time for an update on our in-person pilgrimages as it has been a while since we posted about this on our website and we continue to get inquiries.  We have not scheduled any in-person programs since the pandemic and we won’t be doing so for the foreseeable future.  The reasons for this are many including the intensive time investment and financial risk of planning programs in uncertain times. Primarily though, it is because of my own health challenges over the last couple of years. Due to being immune compromised and ongoing fatigue and pain,

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Celtic Spirituality and the Spiral Way ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, On my first trip to Ireland in 2007 with my husband John, I read Thomas Cahill’s now-classic book How the Irish Saved Civilization, in which he describes the essential role of the Irish monks and their work on illuminating manuscripts during the Dark Ages. I was captivated especially by the idea that Ireland was outside the Roman Empire and a form of Christianity developed early on that was more indigenous and localized. Because Christianity was introduced into Ireland without violence, it also preserved older traditions and practices of the pagan culture and the Druids. Eventually, Irish

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Join us in 2019 for a Pilgrimage or Retreat in Ireland

  Join the Abbey in 2019 for a pilgrimage to the sacred edges of the world and of your own heart and horizon. Christine and John Valters Paintner lovingly curate and guide these slow-paced experiences with small groups (12-16 people max) so that we create a community of kindred souls walking a magical landscape. We have had one room come available (can be single or double if traveling with a friend or partner) for Writing on the Wild Edges Retreat in Ireland for August 26-September 1, 2018. Please contact us if you are interested. For program details click here>> March

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Writing as a Spiritual Practice ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am away on the wild edges of Ireland this week and John and I are leading a writing retreat with a wonderful group of writers and pilgrims. So I leave you with this reflection I wrote last year on “Writing as a Spiritual Practice.” I am deeply inspired by monastic tradition, one of the great contemplative and mystical strands of Christian heritage, and also present in other religions. Monks were the keepers of wisdom through their commitment to spiritual practice and to the art of writing. Manuscripts were illuminated, bringing word and image together,

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The Elements as Wise Guides and Companions | January 29, 2016

10.00am – 4.30pm | Arrupe Room, Milltown, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Join me in Dublin for a day of retreat with the AISGA (All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association, non-members welcome to register). As we approach the feast of Imbolc and St Brigid, we will gather together to pause and listen for how each of the four elements of wind, fire, water, and earth might offer us wisdom and guidance for the season ahead. As the earth reawakens to new life we will listen to the seed rumblings in our own bellies. Through song, gentle movement, writing, photography, reflection, stillness, and conversation

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More Reflections from the Wild Edges

In early September 2015 we had 13 pilgrims join us for a very special pilgrimage and writing retreat on the wild edges of the world. We stayed on the islands of Inismor and Inisbofin, off the coast of Connemara and let the landscape inspire our creative process. I am grateful to these dancing monks for sharing their inspiration so freely with the community. Pour a cup of tea and then savor these reflections from Randy Pierce and Eileen Harakal. A Desert Owl I am like a desert owl, like an owl among ruins. —Psalm 102:6 Reading Psalm 102 brings to mind

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