“The craic is great, the food is good and I guarantee a good time for anybody open enough to go on it!” So says Brendan McManus SJ, who is organising a three-day pilgrimage from Ballintubber to the top of Croagh Patrick over the August bank holiday 2-5 August 2019. Brendan is a seasoned pilgrim who walked the full 800km of the Camino de Santiago and wrote the best-selling book Redemption Road: Grieving along the Camino and Contemplating the Camino: An Ignatian Guide.
In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, he explains how this pilgrimage will work. Firstly it’s for men between the ages of 18 and 35 offering them an opportunity to take time out and reflect on their lives, according to Brendan. Women are good at doing this kind of thing, he notes, but men are not so proactive about their inner life or spirituality. “But like women they may want to share what’s going on for them or have decisions to make, or just want to look a bit more deeply at what they’re doing or what life means for them.” he says adding that walking the road, “you find yourself first, and then you find God.”
Pilgrims will make a good hike each day before bedding down in designated hostels. “It’s a mixture of activity, reflection, and prayer based on the solid Ignatian principles of openness and transparency and accepting people entirely where they are at,” he says.
Brendan, who will run the pilgrimage with fellow Jesuit Eddie Cosgrove, acknowledges the first day setting off can seem like quite a challenge. “But once you’ve set yourself on the journey the magic happens.”
The cost of the pilgrimage is €100 all-in. If you are interested in going you can contact Brendan or Eddie by mobile (089) 989 1181 or email: [email protected]