Faith Matters

Three-day retreats resume at Lough Derg, a place of pilgrimage, presence and prayer

The three-day pilgrimage season at Lough Derg resumed yesterday.

THE first of the traditional three-day 'Ironman of pilgrimages' to take place at Lough Derg following two years of Covid-enforced closure began yesterday.

Monsignor La Flynn, the Prior, said the team was glad to be "back in business" and looking forward to the weeks ahead; the three-day pilgrimage season runs to August 15.

One-day pilgrimages resumed on May 1 and Lough Derg has also hosted retreat experiences for more than 500 young people preparing for Confirmation.

Pre-Covid, more than 10,000 pilgrims would make their annual pilgrimage or retreat on Lough Derg during the summer months.

"The theme of our one-day retreats experience was based on three words: pilgrimage, presence and prayer," said Fr Flynn.

"We believe these words sum up the thrust of the Lough Derg experience, both for one-day retreatants and for those who will come for the three-day pilgrimage.

"These words evoke so much of what Lough Derg holds for those who come to us here to find God - or to be found by God. The memory of St Patrick is inescapable in this place.

"The smiling faces of pilgrims who have visited us already this month seem to suggest that Lough Derg can still offer them a real sense that God is on their side."

The three-day pilgrimage season continues until August 15

The three-day pilgrimage programme of prayer and quiet reflection is conducted in bare feet, with participants keeping vigil for 24 hours and maintaining a fast from the midnight prior to their arrival.

"It is an opportunity for those who particularly feel the need to 'switch off'" said the Prior.

"For others it may perhaps be a chance to re-connect with God. Our boats are ready to welcome pilgrims on board, no matter where their spiritual journey has taken them."

More information at loughderg.org, by emailing info@loughderg.org or telephoning 00353 (0) 71 9861518.

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