Margaret Walsh from the Solas Bhride team speaking to Dublin Walking Group on the customs around the St. Brigid’s Cross
St. Brigid's Crosses being made at Solas Bhride on St. Brigid's Day 2018
Members of the Solas Bhride Team were invited to the launch of “St. Brigid of Kildare, Life, Legend and Cult” by Dr. Noel Kissane in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin on Thursday, July 20th. Dr. Noel, recently retired from the National Library of Ireland, where he held the positions of Education Officer and Keeper of Manuscripts for over thirty years, and he has devoted the past four years to the research and writing of his book. “This book reviews all the evidence – history, legend and folklore – and concludes that while she has many of the attributes of the goddess Brigid, she was certainly a real person. The book reviews her cult and veneration in Ireland and overseas, from her lifetime down to the present day…..
Speaking at the launch Dr. Noel said “I hope the book is sufficiently detailed for most readers, but I trust I have heeded the sage advice tendered to writers the the late Maurice Craig, ‘Try not to tell everything’, and that reading it will be as interesting and rewarding for the reader as writing it was for the author.”
“St. Brigid of Kildare, Life, Legend and Cult” is published by Four Courts Press – www.fourcourtspress.ie
Tuesday, July 18th: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Litchfield, Arizona
Wednesday, July 19th: USA Student Pilgrim Group
Friday, July 20th: Mercy Sisters, Pilgrim Group
Monday, July, 24th: Mt. St. Anne’s Retirement Group
Tuesday,July 25th: Brigid’s Healing Journey to Ireland, Dermot O’Hara
Monday, 14th: A Celtic Pilgrimage with Monica Browne
Saturday, 19th: Pilgrimage Afternoon (see events)
A Golf Classic in aid of Solas Bhride Centre will be held in the K Club (Smurfit Course), Straffan, Co. Kildare on Monday, May 15th.
Since the official opening we have welcomed over 16,000 pilgrims/visitors to the Centre and the bookings are steadily growing for this year. The response from all who come, local, national and international is hugely positive. We are delighted that the Centre is benefiting the local area financially, culturally, educationally, and is also enhancing the commercial infrastructure of town and county.
The building has been completed but we are still in need of financial support for the ongoing development and maintenance of the Centre and its grounds.
We would welcome your support by entering a team. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 045 522890. If you are a non golfer perhaps you would get your friends to enter a team, or you may wish to sponsor a tee box.
For details on the Golf Classic click on the Poster link below
April Bookings at Solas Bhride
April 10th: Kildare County Council
April 18th: Pilgrim Group
April 19th: Travel & Learn Tours, Norwegian Pilgrim Group
April 23rd: Birgitta Sisters, Hassleholm, Sweden
All the above bookings are private events or bookings made through group organiser.
Workshop on Climate Change
Trocaire held a workshop on Climate Change at the Centre. This was attended by representatives of five local schools. The children learned about the need to care for the environment and the problems caused by climate change, leading to changes in weather patterns which results in droughts in some parts of the world and flooding in others. In one of the exercises they had to identify the creatures that were in danger of extinction.
Religion Project for Secondary School Students
One of the questions Junior Cert students had to research for their upcoming exam was to visit a faith community and identify how it lives out its mission. The students from Mountrath Community School spent a day at Solas Bhride, interviewing the community and finding out how the legacy of St. Brigid is so relevant today.
Solas Bhride team facilitated nine confirmation retreats. The days were part of their preparation programme for Confirmation. The students spoke of their day at the Centre as being very relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable.
Two oak saplings planted at the entrance to Solas Bhride were transplanted recently. The oak saplings were nurtured from acorns taken from the oak tree planted in Tullow in Co. Carolw by Bishop Daniel Delany in 1807 when establishing the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Brigid. (Brigidine). These oaks were planted by Rita Minehan csb and Brenda Kindregran of Cairde Bhride. The courtyard area was not a suitable location for the little oaks to flourish. Hopefully, they will be able to stretch their limbs in their new location on the grounds.
In their places two beautiful Magnolia trees were planted. The trees were a gift from Cairde Bhride, to commemorate 25 years of the presence of the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare and the re-lighting of the Brigid Flame. The magnolias are blossoming in their new home.
The AGM of Kildare Failte took place at Solas Bhride on March 22nd. The AGM highlighted another very successful year for tourism in County Kildare. In early 2016 Failte Ireland introduced “Ireland’s Ancient East”, a brand for promoting tourism in the East. County Kildare Failte have drawn up a Tourism Strategy for the County to enhance, grow and sustain all aspects of tourism and its sectors in County Kildare. The plant will be launched in April 2017. Rita and Phil were invited to share the Solas Bhride story.
Solas Bhride was the venue for a Master Composter Training course hosted by Kildare County Council. The Composting Course is part of a national programme aimed at the prevention of food and garden waste and the promotion of home composting. The STOP Food Waste progamme, which is part of the EPA National Waste Prevention Programme, is run by a collaboratie team with a diverse experience in waste prevention and composting. Nuala Madigan, Irish Peatland Conversation Council’s Environmental Education Officer facilitated the course.
The goal of the course, as well as raising awareness of food generation and prevention of waste, was to give a thorough education about all parts of composting. Part of the course involved a visit to the Home Composting Demonstration site in the grounds of Kildare Housing Association. Participants helped in the setting up of compost holding units and turning systems as well as a wormery.