Gems of Ireland - 12 Days, Led by: Fr. John Howren
Dublin - Glendalough - Holycross Abbey - Blarney - Killarney - Kerry Galway - Lough Derg - Armagh St. Patrick
Price per person sharing room:
Land only price:
About this trip
Dear Fellow Disciples of the Lord Jesus, I am personally inviting you to join me on a 12 Day Pilgrimage: “Gems of Ireland.” A pilgrimage is a grace-filled, spiritual journey that provides the graced opportunity to join with others in prayer and to walk in the footsteps of history. Ireland holds significance for many of us here in the United States, as our Catholicism is very much shaped by the gifts of Irish Immigrant Catholicism. While we may often associate St. Patrick with “the Emerald Isle,” there are many saints, holy Christian men and women, who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ by their faithful words and actions: like St. Valentine, St. Ita, St. Brendan, St. Brigid, St. Gobnait, St. Columban, St. Kevin, St. Oliver Plunkett, and Ven. Matt Talbot. And of course, a deep devotion to the Mother of Jesus is found throughout, especially in Knock. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, St. Colman’s Cathedral and Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, along with sites of other famous churches and abbeys will be on our itinerary. The pilgrimage will, of course, take us to the Shrines of Our Lady of Dublin and the most famous Shrine of Our Lady of Knock. Other highlights include the Guinness Brewery, Kilkenny Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Stone, the Belleek Pottery Factory and boat ride on Lough Derg. We will also enjoy a medieval banquet with traditional entertainment at Bunratty Castle. I have been blessed to travel to many parts of the world – but I’ve never been to Ireland (and I’m half-Irish)! So join me on this rare “first,” and in this Silver Jubilee of my priestly ministry to you! Your presence would be a great honor, and I am sure, a memorable gift for yourself as well. Together we’ll embark on a religious pilgrimage into deep history, renewal of our faith that is ever ancient and ever new, a time for prayer and reflection, and the pure enjoyment of one another’s company. As always, space is limited, and so reservations need to be made as soon as possible. Yours in Christ Risen, Fr. John T. Howren
Your trip includes
Airfare - Round trip, Atlanta, (ATL) to Dublin (DUB)
Exclusive transport by luxury motorcoach with a Driver & Sperate Guide
Guiding - English speaking local guide for all the tour
Meals - 10 Full breakfasts & 9 Dinners at hotels
Visits and admission fees to all in above itinerary
Audio whispers devices
Porterage in hotels
Killkenny Castle Admission • Holycross Abbey • Rock of Cashel • Cobh Heritage Centre • Blarney Castle • King Johns Castle • Franciscan Abbey • Cliffs of Moher • Knock Tour • St Patricks Centre • Boat
Boat Trip on Lough Derg
Medieval Banquet in Bunratty Castle
Credit card fees
Your trip exclude
Drinks - Extra drinks at meals
Insurance (May purchase through our office in USA)
Your trip Itinerary
Itinerary Outline for Ground Services April 2021
DAY 1 Depart to Dublin
Today: Depart for Dublin with complimentary meals and beverages served onboard your international flight.
DAY 2 Arrival to Dublin
Arriving in Dublin. Meet Guide and driver. Our panoramic city sightseeing tour includes all the highlights of Dublin city – O’Connell Street, Trinity College, Georgian Squares, Government Buildings, Dublin Castle, Christchurch & St Patrick’s Cathedrals, Phoenix Park, and Kilmainham Jail. Visit the Shrine of St Valentine for our first pilgrimage Mass. We will visit the Guinness brewery.
Check into hotel for 1 night, dinner, bed & breakfast. GREEN ISLE HOTEL
Day 3 Glendalough
In the morning, we will celebrate Mass in Blanchardstown Parish Church. Drive via the Wicklow Gap to Glendalough, the “Glen of the two Lakes” where we visit the 6th century Monastery of St. Kevin. Cross the Wicklow Gap to Hollywood and drive to the ruins of Jerpoint Cistercian Abbey dating from the 12th century. We continue to Kilkenny and visit the magnificent 13th century Castle.
Overnight dinner, bed & breakfast at the NEWPARK HOTEL
Day 4 - Holycross Abbey
Drive to Holycross Abbey founded in 1169, to view a Relic of the True Cross. We will continue to the famous Rock of Cashel and visit the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St Patrick in the 5th century. We will cross the Vee Gap to Mount Melleray Abbey to celebrate Mass in the Cistercian Monastery. Drive to the port of Cobh.
Overnight dinner, bed & breakfast at the COMMODORE HOTEL
Day 5 - Blarney
We will celebrate Mass in St. Colman’s Cathedral. Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre – it was from here that over 6 million Irish Famine exiles departed for the USA and Canada. Drive to Blarney to receive the gift of eloquence as we kiss the famous stone. We will continue to Bantry in Cork, a lovely little harbor town in West Cork and on the Wild Atlantic Way. Here, we will visit the Church of St. Brendan the Navigator, Church of Ireland. This beautiful old church was built in 1818 and was designed by Henry Edward Kendall, in gothic style. It is situated in the center of town, just off Wolfe Tone Square. Bantry claims an ancient connection with St. Brendan the Navigator, who it believes was the first person to discover America. Then we continue to Ballyvourney and visit the Holy Well of St Gobnait. Drive to Killarney
Overnight dinner, bed & breakfast at EARLS COURT HOTEL
Day 6 - Killarney
We will celebrate Mass in Killarney Cathedral. Drive via the picturesque village of Adare to Limerick city, where we see King John’s Castle, and the Treaty Stone. Lunch break at “Durty Nellies” famous pub. In the afternoon, we will visit to Craggaunowen – a recreation of pre-historic Irish homesteads. Drive by Quin and see the 15th century Franciscan Abbey. This evening, we will enjoy a Medieval banquet with traditional entertainment at Bunratty Castle.
Check into the BUNRATTY CASTLE HOTEL for dinner, bed & breakfast.
Day 7 - Cliffs of Moher
Depart for the Cliffs of Moher, towering 600 feet above sea level. After visiting the cliffs and having lunch, we will continue onto Galway city. This evening you are free to enjoy the lively town with its numerous Irish music venues and quality restaurants.
Overnight, bed & breakfast at the RADDISON HOTEL
Day 8: Galway
After breakfast, we will take a tour of Galway city to visit Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas Cathedral, Salmon Weir, and the Spanish Arch. We will continue to Loughrea and celebrate Holy Mass in St. Brendan’s Cathedral. The foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid on October 10, 1897. Although the Cathedral is small in size, it is large in its interior magnificence. It has been described as the jewel in the crown of the Celtic Revival. After Mass, we will have lunch in Loughrea before continuing our drive to Knock. Enjoy the afternoon in Knock for guided tour of Ireland’s premier Marian Shrine, where an Apparition occurred on August 21st, 1879 at the gable wall of the parish church.
Overnight, bed & breakfast at the KNOCK HOUSE HOTEL
Day 9: Lough Derg
This morning, we visit the famous Belleek Pottery factory. We drive to Lough Derg – St. Patrick’s Purgatory. We enjoy a short boat trip round the island, to view the traditional pilgrims island of penance. In the afternoon, we drive to Armagh – the Ecclesiastical capital of Ireland- to visit the Cathedral of St. Patrick and celebrate Mass.
Overnight, dinner, bed & breakfast at ARMAGH CITY HOTEL
Day 10: ARMAGH St. Patrick
We drive to Downpatrick where we will celebrate Mass in St. Patrick’s parish church and on the grounds of the Cathedral, we view the grave of St. Patrick. “In Down, one grave three saints do fill – Patrick, Bridget, and Colmcille”. We will enjoy a visit to St Patrick’s Centre, In the afternoon, we will visit the Holy Well of St Brigid in Faughart, where she was born in 454 AD. Remarkable cures have been experienced here, at the Well, the Head Stone, the Knee Stone, and the Back Stone. Then we continue to Drogheda to visit the Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett, martyred in 1681, to view his head in a glass reliquary on a side altar. We continue our drive to Dublin.
2 Nights- dinner, bed & breakfast at GREEN ISLE HOTEL
Day 11: Dublin
Transfer into Dublin city for our final pilgrimage Mass in the Pro-Cathedral. Full day and evening free in Dublin for individual visits or shopping. Some options of visits: Book of Kells at Trinity College; Guinness’ Brewery; National Museum
Day 12: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Dublin airport for flight to USA
Fr. John Howren