In 1847, six Franciscan friars from the Diocese of Tuam traveled from Roundstone and Clifden in western Ireland to establish a school in Loretto, PA. Those six friars laid the foundation, literally and figuratively, of what became Saint Francis University, the oldest Franciscan University in the United States. In May 2015, a group of alumni will recall their founders by returning to their homeland and learning firsthand about our roots in Ireland. They will worship where they worshiped and walk where they walked on this custom group tour.
After Patrick’s extraordinary missionary effort in the 5th century, Christianity thrived in Ireland, taking on a distinct flavour because of its isolation from the rest of Christendom. Intentional Christian communities - monasteries for both men and women – sprouted up all over Ireland and thrived as centres of spiritual growth, scriptural study, artistic expression, self-sustaining agriculture, and hospitality to the vulnerable of society.
Catholic Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine, Knock & Holy Sites of Ireland Clonmacnoise, Croagh Patrick, Knock, Glendalough have long been associated with Christian and Catholic pilgrimages in Ireland. Pilgrims have been travelling to these and other holy sites for centuries on a spiritual quest or journey seeking something deeper continuing a ritualistic tradition of their ancestors.