The Prior, Msgr La Flynn, and all the Lough Derg team say they are delighted to be ‘back in business’ on Station Island.
For the first time in two years, on 1st May Lough Derg welcomed pilgrims back on the Island outside Pettigo in Co Donegal, for the One Day Retreats programme.
This follows several weeks of retreat experiences for more than 500 youngsters preparing for their celebration of Confirmation.
By now, preparations are well underway to welcome pilgrims for the Three Day Pilgrimage season: 1st June – 15th August.
In recent years before the pandemic, over 10,000 pilgrims would make their annual pilgrimage or retreat on Lough Derg during the summer months.
And after the two year closure Prior Fr La Flynn is delighted to see pilgrims happy to return to Lough Derg over the coming months.
Said Fr La Flynn: “Our new season is now well and truly launched! This year, the theme of our One Day Retreats experience was based on three words: Pilgrimage, Presence, and Prayer.
“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 beginning shortly, in June.
“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.”
Described a few years back as the “Ironman of Pilgrimages”, the Lough Derg Three Day Pilgrimage offers a special opportunity to take time out and experience the embrace of the deep love and mercy of God.
The pilgrimage follows a centuries-old pattern prayer. Details of the prescribed ‘Station Prayer’ and liturgy timetable are available to pilgrims on arrival.
Advance booking is strongly recommended.
Added Fr La: “This is the year for anyone who has always thought about visiting Lough Derg, or who has had the Three Day Pilgrimage on their ‘bucket-list’, to come and see what it is all about.
“It is an opportunity for those who particularly feel the need to ‘switch off’.
“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.”
As one pilgrim put it during her Three Day Pilgrimage before the pandemic; “Lough Derg is a special place, a hidden treasure. It is pure and untarnished.
“It is a place of beauty and rhythm, which provides sanctuary from much of the slavery of modern living – no mobile phones, no Wi-Fi, no TV, just the sounds of the creatures of nature, the lapping of the lake water, and buildings and spaces which nourish the spirit.”
Information for booking a One Day Retreat, Three Day Pilgrimage, the Pilgrim Path Loughshore Pilgrimage and organised parish group pilgrimages and visits are available widely at parish level and from www.loughderg.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 00353 (0) 71 9861518.Tags: