The Celtic Pilgrimage

~exploring the ‘thin places’

This past June 14 pilgrims gathered in Glasgow Scotland to begin a Centre sponsored, two-week pilgrimage focused on Celtic Christianity.

Visiting three islands (Iona, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Cumbrae) we explored ancient ruins, worshipped in a variety of settings and traditions, and were guided in a retreat focused on Celtic Christianity by Philip Newell, noted Celtic scholar and author.

Our first stop was the Island of Iona, on the west coast of Scotland, where Columba began his effort to bring the Celtic tradition of Christianity to Great Britain in 563. We spent four days exploring the Island, worshipping in the restored 15th century Abbey, and just experiencing this remarkable "thin place" where the boundary between the spiritual and material is especially transparent.

In the mid-seventh century, Aidan, a monk from Iona, was selected to carry the Celtic Christian message to the east coast of Scotland. He located on the island of Lindisfarne and it was there that the celebrated, illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the eighth century. While on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne we explored the ruins of the Priory constructed in the 11th century and worshipped in the local Church of England parish church (built in the 12th and 13th centuries).

On the Island of Cumbrae Philip Newell led us in a three-day retreat focused on Celtic Christianity. For many this was the highlight of the journey. While there we worshipped in The Cathedral of the Isles (Scottish Anglican Church), the smallest cathedral in the British Isles.

To spend time in these sacred places where faith has been lived for centuries left many with a strong sense of the Holy. In the words of two of the pilgrims:

"The Pilgrimage was a real high point of our travel experiences. Our time with Philip Newell was the high point of an outstanding event." ~ John Haas

"To worship in so many various ways, to walk in ancient places, and to do these two things in an atmosphere of spiritual enrichment with other fellow pilgrims, what could be more rewarding?!?" ~ Marianne Olfrey

~ Jim Von Riesen, travel coordinator and fellow pilgrim


Other articles from this Echo:

Linda's letter ~ reviewing 2006

My Cup Overflows ~ a poem by Joan Tessier

Summer at the Centre ~ a great experience

Board Chairs show their Devotion to the Centre

The Time has Come ~ more chairs needed!




Copyright © 2006 Calling Lakes Centre
Box 159, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan Canada S0G 1S0
Phone: 306-332-5691 Fax:306-332-5264
Email: office@callinglakes.ca