Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Celtic Spiritual Companion on the Journey to Equality: St. Brigit of Kildare-Stained Glass Windows, Holy Wells, Fire Temple, Monastic Sites in Ireland

Archbishop Mel ordained Brigit a bishop according to The Irish life of Brigit.
She presided over a double monastery of women and men with Bishop Conleth. 

Stained glass window in St. Brigit's Cathedral 


  Sheela-na-gig, a fertility figure hidden under the tomb by the door at St. Brigit's Cathedral in Kildare, is associated with the ancient goddesses and represents fertility. 
This image appears above the doorway of early Celtic monasteries like St. Gobnait's in Ballyvourney as a reminder of abundance and blessing of holy women as images of the Divine Feminine.
St. Brigit 's Cathedral is built on the site of Saint Brigit's fifth century foundation. Some scholars believe that Brigit's monastery was originally the site of druidic priestesses who converted to Christianity. Still in existence are the foundations of the fire building where Brigit's sisters tended "Brigit's fire" a perpetual flame kept burning by Brigit and her nuns from the sixth century until the destruction of the monasteries in the sixteenth century.
 Our Mystical Ireland pilgrimage visited St. Brigit's well in Kildare. Photo by Darlene Spurlock


Our entire group prayed around St. Brigit's well. Here is a photo of Bridget Mary praying at St. Brigit's well in Kildare/photo by Darlene Spurlock

Bridget Mary and cousin Ger and Noreen Davy visit Round tower at St. Brigit's Monastic Site in Kildare
Ger is in photo taken by Noreen.


Ireland, ancient altar at Cashel, St. Brigit is on far left standing next to apostles 
At Rock of Cashel, St. Brigit is depicted standing next to apostles around the altar

 Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Rathdowney, County Laois.
St. Brigit is depicted with pastoral staff and the cross that she wove.
St. Brigit, (also spelled Brigid or Bridget) presided over a double monastery of women and men in Kildare in 5th century Ireland.


Bishop Conleth co-presided with St. Brigit at Kildare Double Monastery



Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, blesses her sister Joan at St. Brigit's well in Faughert, birthplace of St. Brigit on Irish Mystical Journey in September.
St. Brigit's Shrine at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland
St. Brigit Well Liscannor, Ireland
                          
St. Brigit's Holy Well, Liscannor, near Cliffs of Moher. People leave behind cards, photos, medals, cloths, etc. as offerings of love and devotion at holy wells in Ireland.
For more information, read, Praying with Celtic Holy Women by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver available on amazon.com

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Women Priest Celebrate Liturgy at Phoenix Park, Dublin and Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and Book of Kells

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Galway Cathedral, Clonmacnoise, Kildare


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Irish Mystical Journey: Knock and Croag Patrick



Today we gathered around the holy rock where Mary is reported to have appeared on the church wall with St. Joseph and St. John in 1879.  Our pilgrim group formed a semi-circle touching the sacred rock and holding hands as we prayed for the many intentions and people who were in our  hearts. We sang a hymn to honor God's mothering presence in Mary and in all women, then we had time for quiet prayer and reflection.






In the Irish newspaper, I read today that Ireland's former President Mary McAleese said that the Catholic Church cannot continue to be "an old boys' club" when asked about women priests, I felt joy that women priests were gathering at Knock and Croag Patrick to pray and affirm the feminine face of God in the church and in women called to serve the people of God in inclusive, egalitarian, partnership communities where women and men share leadership responsibilities like Brigit of Kildare and Patrick in the early centuries of Celtic Christianity.

Mary, Mother of Jesus depicted on a stained glass window in Bascilica

St. Patrick statue at Croag Patrick where thousands of pilgrims visit and walk up Patrick's Mountain
overlooking Clew Bay


Croag Patrick near Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

 
In the evening we attended one of the best Irish music performances I have ever seen " Trad on the Prom" which featured Mairin Fahy's Band and World Champion Dancers direct from Riverdance, The Chieftains and Lord of the Dance. We were on our feet applauding after every number!  There is a new hit tune entitled "the wild Atlantic" that could be the theme song for our group traveling on this sacred journey around Ireland. (the Ya, Ya Cladagh Sisters)
I highly recommend this show for future Public Television Shows and to anyone who enjoys Irish music! It was brilliant!
for more information about it, visit
 
 






Irish Mystical Journey: Killarney, St. Brigit's Well, Liscannor, Cliffs of Moher

Killarney
St. Brigit's Well is covered with photos, statues, medals -- many items left behind
 as symbols of people's prayer intentions.
In my view it is the most beautiful St. Brigit Well in Ireland. It is located in Liscannor
near Cliffs of Mohr

 
Cliffs of Mohr
 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Local Criticsms of Deacons Plan for Killaloe Diocese/ ARCWP Ordains Women Deacons and Priests

Women Priests from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests -ARCWP- are here in Ireland on a pilgrimage. We support the full equality of women as the will of God in our times We ordain women called and hope one day to ordain women in Ireland as deacons and priests. Contact Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, sofiabmm@aol.com, www.arcwp.org

 
The diocese of Killaloe are inviting married men to get involved in many priestly duties like baptisms, weddings and burial services after a four year training programme that's not open to women.
Posters have been erected in many local churches in Clare saying "Women have had enough Discrimination" and calling for both male and female members of the laity to be allowed to participate more in church services.
An online poll of over 300 people on the www.clare.fm website suggests that 80% of people agree that women should be allowed to become deacons too.:

Irish Mystical Journey: St. Gobnait of Ballyvourney's Well and Shrine, Sept.7, 2014

Cows graze in the lovely green fields across from St. Gobnait's well. Our pilgrims prayed at this Holy Well and blessed one another.  The water was ice cold and clear just like I remember it about 14 years ago when I last visited there. The local people still keep their cups near the well.
 
 



 
 
We visited her monastic site located a short distance up the road from the well.  While  we were at the monastic site,, several  people came by and  prayed there, a woman and young girl, a man and a boy, a woman out in a jogging suit.  So, it appears that devotion to St. Gobnait is alive and well in contemporary Ireland.
St. Gobnait  is the patron saint of bee keepers and oppressed  people. According to legend Gobnait saved her people from a local landlord who tried to bully them into giving up their land. See more about  her inspiring story in Praying with Celtic Holy Women. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
 
 
 
 

Sheela-na-gig, a fertility symbol of the encompassing womb love of God, who in pre-Christian times was identified with the goddess and during Christianity identified with the church stands over one of the entrances to St. Gobnait's Monastery.
 
St. Gobnait