Celtic Ireland Pilgrimage to Take Place This Fall
Essex Junction, Vermont — The Rev. Kim Hardy, priest-in-partnership, St. James Episcopal Church, along with husband, the Rev. Dr. Fred Moser, rector, Trinity Church Episcopal Church, Shelburne, will lead a nine-day Celtic Ireland pilgrimage this fall. The 20 pilgrims joining them on this journey represent a wide variety of Christians and seekers, not only from the Diocese of Vermont, but from other faith communities and locales including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, and England. This is the third pilgrimage Hardy and Moser have led to Ireland. The first two originated in Massachusetts where they lived for 20 years. Hardy has particularly deep interests in Celtic spirituality, having served as Celtic Liturgy Coordinator at All Saints Parish in Brookline, MA for almost 10 years. The Celtic worshipping community there was one of the earliest begun in the Episcopal Church.
The 2017 pilgrimage will explore sites of spiritual significance in northern areas in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The northwest areas near Donegal are those from which St. Columba came. Columba was a sixth century monk credited as the one who first spread Christianity in parts of Scotland, and most famously for starting a monastic community on the sacred Isle of Iona. Columba, Patrick, and Brigid of Kildare are the most famous of the many saints of Ireland. The northeastern areas of Ireland were torn apart by civil and religious strife for decades during what was known as “The Troubles.” This pilgrimage is meant to offer participants opportunities to reflect on their faith as they walk landscapes with deep Christian and pre-Christian histories, worship together on a daily basis, form community, and return refreshed and energized to reengage in ministries in their respective communities of faith.