Patricia Monaghan 1946-2012

I am sad to note the passing of Patricia Monaghan, who died yesterday after living with cancer. Pat wrote the foreword for my Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom. She also was very supportive behind the scenes, introducing me to several fascinating people in Ireland who helped me with my research into Celtic spirituality, whether pre-Christian or Christian.Pat, of course, was known as a Goddess writer, and she and I lost touch after I became a Catholic. The last time we saw each other … [Read more...]

Photos from Northern Ireland

The only camera I had with me on my recent trip to Northern Ireland was my iPhone camera. So I didn't take a lot of pictures, and the ones I did take will hardly win any awards. Eventually the various retreatants are going to be swapping photos amongst ourselves, so hopefully I'll have a few more shots to share with you in the future. But for now, here are a few images from a most remarkable week. … [Read more...]

Off to Ireland

Well, dear friends, today I pack my bags and tie up a few loose ends around the house. I'll go visit my dad this afternoon and go to mass tonight. Tomorrow I board a plane to Newark where I'll catch a direct flight to Belfast. I arrive in Northern Ireland on Monday to join Gareth and Erin in our last minute preparations for the Celtic Spirituality and Radical Peacemaking retreat, which begins on Tuesday the 17th.So, my posting here on the blog may be a bit spotty over the next few days. I have … [Read more...]

The Giant’s Causeway

Here's a picture of the Giant's Causeway I took in 2002. It will be so nice to get back there, after eight years. … [Read more...]

What I’m reading to prepare for the Northern Ireland Retreat

Several books are on my bedside table right now, as I reflect on the spirituality and political history of Northern Ireland (and Ireland in general) in advance of the Contemplative Spirituality and Radical Activism immersion experience coming up in August.First, to deepen my sense of Irish history (particularly in relation to the politics of Northern Ireland over the last 50 years), I'm reading Ireland: A History by Robert Kee. It's a sobering look at just how troubled Eire has been, with its … [Read more...]

Someone who WON’T be going to Northern Ireland in August…

Here is a little "friend" we discovered in the woods behind the Abbey Store at the monastery where I work.Needless to say, Saint Patrick is not in Georgia. This, of course, is a black snake, who helps to control the population of field mice throughout the largely wooded grounds of the monastery — so this slithery fellow is one of the good guys. But if snakes are not your thing, you can rest assured that this creature will not be joining us in Northern Ireland this summer!He (or she) will s … [Read more...]

Itinerary for Northern Ireland Retreat

Here is a tentative outline for the Contemplative Spirituality and Social Activism Retreat to take place in Northern Ireland this August. While some of the details are still subject to change, this will give you an idea of just how special this week is going to be. Remember, there are just a few openings left for this week — please let me or my colleague Gareth Higgins know if you're interested in attending.Tuesday, August 17th: Arrivals in the morning and afternoon Programme begins with d … [Read more...]