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An Irish Camino challenge

Brendan McManus SJ and Eddie Cosgrove SJ are offering a Camino with a difference this summer. Over the August bank holiday weekend, 2-5 August 2019, they will lead a pilgrimage for men aged 18-35 along part of the Irish Camino route. They can take a maximum of 20 pilgrims, and the cost is €100 for waged and €75 for students or unwaged. If you are interested in taking part in this Irish Camino Challenge you can contact Eddie or Brendan. Contact by mobile: 089 989 1181. Or by email: [email protected].

For this inaugural trek, participants will walk the Tochar Phadraig pilgrim path from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick in County Mayo. Brendan and Eddie hope to complete the other four ‘Irish Camino’ routes over a number of years, collecting a stamp on the pilgrim passport each time (see www.pilgrimpath.ie »).

Brendan McManus SJ is no stranger to Camino walks, having completed the full 800k-plus of the Camino de Santiago. His book about his experiences on that route, Redemption Road: Grieving along the Camino », is a bestseller. According to Brendan, the key elements of this Irish Camino challenge are:

  • Walking 15 to 20k per day
  • Simple lifestyle – sleeping indoors on the floor in sleeping bags and on mats
  • Community – walking in solidarity with others
  • Ignatian Spirituality – times of silence/prayer with scripture/sharing/ noticing and following God in our lives/liturgies
  • A place for men to be able to share their challenges, hopes, and fears, using the Ignatian method of reflecting on experience.

Eddie says that all the participants will meet in Ballintubber on the evening of the 2nd August. “Accommodation is basic, so people will need a sleeping bag and a sleeping mat, as well as hiking gear, boots and waterproofs for walking the estimated 15k per day.” Weather permitting, pilgrims will also climb Croagh Patrick on 4 August, and celebrate mass together in the chapel on the top.

“There will be an evening briefing before the event to bring everyone up to speed, meet each other and check they have the necessary gear,” says Eddie, adding, ” We’ll hold this briefing meeting in  Manresa Retreat House, Dollymount, Dublin on 25 July at 7pm.”