Kildare since 1992
We Brigidines came to live in Kildare in August, 1992, to reconnect with our Celtic roots and to reclaim Brigid of Kildare in a new way for a new miilenium. We were warmly welcomed and supported by the people of Kildare and far beyond. So much has happened over those seventeen years.
1993 was a very significant year. The Brigidine Sisters and Afri (Justice, Peace and Human Rights NGO) hosted an International Conference in Kildare to mark the tenth anniversary of Afri’s St. Brigid’s Peace Cross Campaign. The Conference was entitled: Brigid: Prophetess, Earthwoman, Peacemaker, Mary Teresa Cullen and Rita Minehan, both Brigidine Sisters, delivered the keynote address at the conference.
The Fire/Flame of Brigid was re-lit at the opening of the conference and has been tended by the Brigidine Sisters in Solas Bhride ever since.
Feile Bride (Festival of Brigid)
An annual week-long festival, to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day, February 1st, was an outcome of the 1993 conference. (For more information, click here »)
Cairde Bhride (Friends of Brigid)
The re-lighting of Brigid’s Flame caught the imagination of people worldwide. We were invited to take the flame to the Royal Albert Hall in London and to conduct a ritual at the opening of the Conference on “What Women Want”, in preparation for the UN Women Conference in Beijing in 1995. Noirin Ni Riain carried the flame to Beijing for the duration of the Conference. The flame has been carried to Peace Conferences in The Hague, Iona, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S.A. and many other places.
In 1995, Thomas Berry, author of the “The Dream of the Earth”, visited St. Brigid’s well in Kildare where he planted an oak sapling.
Together with Cairde Bhride and Representatives from Kildare and Leighlin Diocese, we were involved in planning and organising the Diocesan Millennium Celebration of the Light of Christ on the Curragh Plain, where 20,000 people attended.
We have conducted workshops on Celtic Spirituality in North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Northern Ireland, Wales, to name but a few. We were invited as “Catholic Sisters from Kildare, Ireland” to address the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury.
Lighting of the Perpetual Flame in Kildare Town Square 2006.
Kildare County Council commissioned a sculpture to house the flame in the Town Square.
Click here to read President McAleese’s Address
Bicentenary year of the Brigidines 2007
One of the events of the year was an International Brigidine Pilgrimage to Kildare. We searched for many years for a suitable site in Kildare for a larger centre and Hermitages. An ideal site came on the market in 2007 and the Brigidine Congregation purchased the site. Seven oak-saplings were planted on the site on International Pilgrimage Day 7 /7 /’07. A dream was realized.
Kildare Transition Town
Kildare was designated a Transition Town in 2008. We are members of Kildare Transition Town Committee.
Planning Permission 2009
Full planning permission was granted for a new ecologically sustainable Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages.
2010 – 2014 Building of New Solas Bhride Centre.
April 2011: The Dalai Lama’s spiritual visit to Kildare Town organised by Solas Bhride (Brigidine Sisters) and Children in Crossfire, Afri and Spunout.
September 2013: Guinness World Records formally confirmed the new world record for the most people to weave a St. Brigid’s cross at the same time. The record is 357 and it was set at St. Brigid’s parish church in Kildare Town on 21 September 2013.
2015 Official Opening of Solas Bhride and Hermitages, a Christian Centre for Celtic Spirituality in the spirit of Brigid of Kildare.
Into the future: We are continually welcoming and leading those who come to Kildare on Pilgrimage as the core ministry work of the Solas Bhride community. Pilgrims come from all parts of the world – individuals and groups from parishes, schools, universities, women’s groups, prisoners, ecumenical groups etc.