Lough Derg offers the gift of hope for 2010
Tomorrow Saturday 1 May sees the start of the ‘One Day Retreats’ at the Lough Derg pilgrimage site in Co Donegal. Lough Derg offers an exciting and varied programme of events for its 2010 season. As in previous years one day retreats are complemented by Three Day Pilgrimages, Quiet Days, Day for Families along with Confirmation and School Retreats and the “Life’s Journey” Series of Workshops.
Welcoming the opening of the 2010 Lough Derg season Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, said “Lough Derg is a special place of peace and personal challenge, renowned in Irish Christian tradition since the time of St Patrick. In former times the emphasis of the Lough Derg pilgrimage was more on physical penance and hardship. Today pilgrims see it as a grace-filled opportunity away from the stress and busyness of modern life.”
A special feature on Lough Derg is now available on www.catholicbishops.ie including:
- A video interview with Bishop Joseph Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, about the significance of Lough Derg for Christians throughout history, and its enduring appeal to pilgrims today
- Historical information about Lough Derg
- Details of the pilgrimage
- A full programme of events at Lough Derg for the 2010 season
Bishop Duffy continued “Lough Derg identifies itself with the universal mission of the Church in our divided society, while remaining very much part of our society. The Lough Derg experience exemplifies the healing and liberating work of the Church which we all agree is very much needed at the present time. As a pilgrimage Lough Derg reminds us that we are all members of a community, searching for peace and reconciliation in our lives.”
Notes to editors
- Dating back to the sixth century, Lough Derg is among the oldest centres of Christian Pilgrimage in Western Europe. Lough Derg lies four miles north of the village of Pettigo in County Donegal, in the Diocese of Clogher. Station Island, the location of the pilgrimage, is often referred to as St Patrick’s Purgatory.
- The three-day pilgrimage attracts people of all ages and walks of life, from different cultures and social backgrounds. Stepping outside their ordinary lives and routine, they leave behind many of the trappings of the modern world. Pilgrims will have begun their commitment by fasting from the previous midnight; they follow a set routine of prayers and actions, hallowed by 1,500 years of practice, all the while fasting and walking barefoot.
- Pilgrims make nine ‘Stations’ during their time on the island. The challenging nature of the fasting, vigil and Stations is complemented by excellent communal celebrations in the Basilica. One of the great experiences of Lough Derg is the warm and friendly communal relations that develop among the pilgrims. Another interesting experience is the challenge to think differently about one’s faith and to begin to develop new and fresh insights into one’s life.
- For further details regarding this pilgrimage or One Day Retreats and special events please see www.loughderg.org or telephone 071 986 1518.
Monsignor Richard Mohan, Prior, Lough Derg, 071 9861518
Kathy Tynan, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth, 086 8175674