At Glendalough Hermitage Centre, we welcome groups who might benefit from the space and facilities we offer in order to meet their needs and desires.

It is our wish that group events would seek to

  • Awaken truth, love and transformation in those who attend
  • Lead participants to an experience of peace, healing or spiritual renewal
  • Enable people to explore their spiritual roots and experience the presence of the divine.

We facilitate groups whose aims are in harmony with this vision

Who is it for?

We welcome groups from a diverse range of backgrounds, age and interests. Groups who have come to the Hermitage Centre include:

  • School groups
  • Parish/Pastoral Council groups
  • Prayer groups
  • Groups on retreat
  • Leadership teams
  • Work/staff teams
  • Women’s and men’s groups

Group Facilities

Facilities available to groups include the following:

  • Overnight accommodation in the hermitages (max 10 – two persons sharing a twin hermitage)
  • Meeting room (max capacity 20 people)
  • Prayer Room
  • Library
  • One to one room
  • Kitchen facilities enabling provision of tea/coffee and light refreshments

Groups will also be able to make use of the surrounding amenities: availability of Mass in the adjacent Parish Church, Meditation Garden, walks in beautiful scenery both close at hand on Brockagh Mountain and in the valley of Glendalough just 15 minutes walk away, a choice of restaurants in the area.

Services

Services which we can provide to groups upon request include:

  • Group facilitation
  • Guided retreat
  • Reflection/’Away’ Days
  • Guided pilgrimage to the monastic site in Glendalough
  • School retreat

Details of group programme and services to be provided along with cost can be negotiated with the team at the Hermitage Centre. Please contact any member of the team to discuss.

Outreach

We are deeply aware of the value of taking time in solitude and silence in the beautiful and inspiring landscape of Glendalough and of the way in which this experience can open doors in oneself to peace, healing, joy and beauty.

As Mercy sisters, we hold this space and the hermitage experience in trust for all who need it. It is our desire to make this experience available as widely as possible to everyone and especially those who are marginalized or living under disadvantage who might have no other way of accessing such an experience.

A Pilgrimage to Glendalough

Pilgrimage was an important aspect of early Irish Christian Spirituality and many people felt the need for such an experience. At the heart of this longing and desire lay the hope that by travelling to a special place, one might return changed or renewed. Thus the practice developed in Ireland. The places visited varied from old monasteries or wells to mountains that were sacred to people long before the advent of Christianity. People usually went on pilgrimage with a purpose: sickness, misfortune, forgiveness or freedom from negative feelings or bitterness. The desires or wishes, were placed at the pilgrimage shrine in the form of prayers and offerings. However, pilgrimage was and is all about us humans making our way to God.

Glendalough Tower

Long ago, when people went on pilgrimage, they stopped at resting places called “stations”. On our pilgrim journey to the Monastic Site, we will visit many stations, where we will stop, pray, sing and reflect. We will remember that we are standing on ‘holy ground’ and walking in the footsteps of many holy men and women who came here before us. We pray that we will have reverence and respect for everything in the valley.

We might ask ourselves some questions also: What am I looking for? What do I want from my time here?

Scripture: Exodus 16: 1 -10 Genesis 28 : 15 Jeremiah 29 : 11 Psalm 25 : 4 – 10 Deuteronomy 1 : 29 – 31

Prayer of the Pilgrim

Lord, make us prophets of our times,
pilgrims not wayfarers.
May each day begin with prayerful preparation,
opening our hearts to a spirit of loving repentance.
Make us aware that,
although individuals, we travel with others
and help us keep vigil with you in that holy place within the heart.
May each event and meeting of the day be Eucharist,
leaving behind something of ourselves in Sacrifice,
so that we can celebrate and exult with joy,
determined to allow Christ be reflected in us more and more,
thus heralding a new age of hope and joy and freedom.

Amen

Sacred Spaces Full of Divine Presence

Ruins are not empty. They are sacred spaces full of Divine presence. A guided tour though the Monastic Site can be a spiritual journey. The Site itself as well as its ancient structures can be ‘stations’ which are metaphors for dimensions of our own inner story of life, eg. times of transition, sacred spaces within us, our hopes and dreams, our beloved dead, the unfinished and incompleteness of our lives, places where we find comfort and encouragement.

As we rest and reflect within the monastic sacred structures which hold the memory and energy of years of worship and prayer we ourselves are nourished. In the beauty of the surrounding landscape we sense the Divine Presence.

O God bless the step that I am taking and bless the soft earth beneath my feet
Old Irish Prayer
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