Recent Happenings at Solas Bhride

Pilgrim Groups

Solas Bhride continues to welcome many pilgrim groups  both National and International. We were delighted to welcome groups from USA, Canada, Norway, Germany, Holland, Portugal, England, Italy, Australia and Brazil to name but a few.  A growing trend this year is the number of parish groups who visited the Centre.
Solas Bhride was privileged to host the delegates of the Brigidine Sisters International Forum for a day’s reflection during their meeting in Ireland in May.

Birgitta Sisters from Losje Kildare, Norway arriving at Solas Bhride

Birgitta Sisters from Losje Kildare, Norway arriving at Solas Bhride

Brigidine Sisters: Mary Minehan, Solas Bhride, Pat Dimick, Melbourne, Maree Marsh, Sydney, Doris Teste, Melbourne, Theresa Kilmurray, Dublin

Brigidine Sisters: Mary Minehan, Solas Bhride, Pat Dimick, Melbourne, Maree Marsh, Sydney, Doris Teste, Melbourne, Theresa Kilmurray, Dublin










World Youth Day
Kildare and Leighlin’s Youth Ministry Team led a youth diocesan pilgrimage to the  International World Youth Day, Krakow 2016 – 24th – 31st July.

The young people had been making preparations in their parishes and held their final preparation meetings at Solas Bhride.

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board – Community Education Service “Remembrance and Rebellion 2016 Project

People from all across Co. Kildare flocked to the beautiful surroundings of Solas Bhride in Kildare town for the 2016 Adult Learner Festival. The night featured an enchanting exhibition and celebration of the ‘Remembrance and Rebellion 20community-ed-services16 Project’ involving 8 Community Education projects from across Co. Kildare supported by Kildare & Wicklow Education & Training Board. ‘Remembrance and Rebellion’ was part of AONTAS Adult Learners Festival, and was organised by The Community Education Service-Kildare.

Photograph:  Conor O’Leary, tutor, and Fiona O’Keeffe, KWETB, Sr Mary Minehan, Solas Bhride, Susan Cullinane and Lisa Hopkins. Photo: Tony Keane

Celebrating Earth Day

World Earth Day

Earth Day is held each year on April 22nd.  It is a day when people are asked to perform an act of kindness towards the earth.  Earth Day’s Global 2016 theme was “Trees for the Earth”. Over the next five years it is the hope of Earth Day organisers that over 7.8 billion trees will be planted around the world.  At Solas Bhride we planted a numprocessing-to-gardenber of oak trees during the year.  This year to mark Earth Day we decided to plant a wildflower garden.
paddy-gleesonCharles Darwin described the sudden origin of flowering plants, which emerged about 130 million years ago, as an abominable mystery. Dr. Mary O’Connor spoke on the interconnection between pollinators – bees, insects, butterflies and so many other species – and wildflowers.  She stressed the necessity of maintaining suitable habitats for wildflowers and the creatures that live off them.  The human community could not remain in existence without the pollinators. Paddy Gleeson, B.Arg.Sc was on hand to answer any questions about plants.planting-the-wildflowers

Dermot Lawlor, Garden of Eden Landscape, Athy gave input on preparing the soil for a wildflower garden.

Then it was time for planting and blessing the seeds.
Each of us can change our little corner of the planet by simply planting a seed!!

An atmospheric and Uplifting Evening of Music

Owen C Lynch and friends treated the audience to wonderful evening of uplifting music that was indeed a fitting conclusion to St. Brigid’s Day.  The concert, “Songs of Inspiration” was performed by Owen C Lynch and Friends to a full house at Solas Bhride Centre.  All who were lucky enough to have secured tickets for the event were transported by the choice of music and song to another world.

Concert 2 Owen Lyncy in Concert









Sacred DanceSacred Dance



Participants enjoying the Sacred Dance Workshop at Féile Bhríde 2016


Féile Bríde 2016 – Participants enjoy weaving crosses

Feile Bride 2016 4Feile Bride 2016 6Feile Bride 2016 5Feile Bride 2016 3Feile Bride 2016 2Feile Bride 2016 1Feile Feile Bride 2016 is in full swing. Many people, young and old, have enjoyed learning to make St. Brigid’s crosses. For many adults it revived memories of childhood. “I learned to make a St. Brigid’s cross when I was at school but I had forgotten how to do it. I am delighted with the crosses I made today,” said one of the workshop participants





While  the threat of rain did not deter the over 200 people who gathered at St. Brigid’s well on Brigid’s Eve for the candlelight pilgrimage.

The Feile continues until February 7th. Full progamme of events available on the Events page of the website

Recent Happenings at Solas Bhride

Flower Demonstration 1                  Yuletide Glow

Flower Demonstration 2Solas Bhride had a full house for the Christmas Flower Demonstration by Christine Hughes, AOIFA. Christine enthralled all who were fortunate enough to attend with her amazing, artistic creations, such as the floral setting for a “Downton Abbey” occasion, “Christmas Cake”, “Plum pudding”, colourful swags and all shapes and sizes of arrangements.

Christine not only held the audience spellbound by her creations but also her anecdotal style of presentation. There were broad smiles on the Flower Demonstration 3faces of those fortunate enough to scoop some of the prized creations in the raffle. Solas Bhride deeply appreciated Christine’s fundraising efforts and all who supported the demonstration on the night.



APT – Act to Prevent Trafficking in Persons
A training session on the issue of human trafficking for those working in the Kildare andLeighlin Diocese was APT Meetingheld at Solas Bhride on Saturday, November 21st. The session was facilitated by Srs. Mary Ryan, Catherine Dunne and Rita Minehan. This is a first in a series of training workshops which will be held in dioceses throughout Ireland. The issue is a growing concern because of the increasing numbers of people being trafficked globally. Ireland is now a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. Further information available on

Reminder:   November 29th – People’s Climate March:

On Sunday 29th November walks will take place in the streets of Dublin, Cork and Belfast for Climate Change.
Millions of people will be marching in cities around the world on November 29th, in what organisers hope will be the largest climate change mobilisation in history, just before world leaders travel to Paris for the climate summit.
Dublin March: Custom House Quay, Dublin 1, 2pm
Cork March: Grand Parade, Cork, 2pm
Belfast Rally:pilgrimmaryjune2009 Writer’s Square, Befast, 2pm

“Let us ask forgiveness of the earth, 
For all our sins against her: 
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty”
In Praise of Earth by John O’Donohue

Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation visit Solas Bhride

Solas Bhride was delighted to welcome members of RENATE on Thursday, October 29th from 16 EurRenetaopean countries.
RENATE is a European network of religious committed to work together against human trafficking and exploitation. The members of RENATE are people belonging to various congregations, missionary societies and laity who are focused on this issue.
The members were attending a Conference in Dublin and took time to come to Kildare on pilgrimage to explore and experience the legacy of St. Brigid. The pilgrimage concluded in the Silken Thomas, with a meal which was followed by traditional Irish music and dance.
You will find further information about RENATE and their work on their website.

Another Award for Solas Bhride
Solas Bhride was honoured to receive a Special Award from Kildare County Council which was presented by the Mayor of Kildare, Mr. Brendan Weld and CEO Kildare County Council, Mr. Peter Carey, on Wednesday, October 28th in the Maynooth University. The presentation took place at special function marking the County Kildare Pride of Place and Tidy Towns competition. Solas Bhride has been nominated to represent Kildare County Council at the National Pride of Place Competition whose award ceremony will take place on November 14th in Ennis, Co. Clare. In presenting the Award Mr. Carey wished Solas Bhride every success.

Christmas Flower Demonstration, Thursday, November 19th @7.45 p.m.

Christmas Flower Demonstration


World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Tuesday, September 1st, the Church will mark the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Following in the footsteps of the Orthodox Church, Pope Francis has decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September. As Christians we are challenged to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.

St. Francis’s Canticle of the Sun

O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!index

Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day, and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water,5777a
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness:
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,
and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields divers fruits, and flowers offlowers
many colors, and grass.

Praise you, and bless you the Lord,
and give thanks to God, and serve God
with great humility.

(St. Francis, 1182-1226)


Solas Bhride nominated for Pride of Place Award

Kildare County Council has nominated Solas Bhride for a special Pride of Place award.

The new Solas Bhride Centre

The new Solas Bhride Centre

The IPB Pride of Place Awards in association with Co-operation Ireland is an all-island competition that acknowledges the work that communities are doing all over the island of Ireland. Kildare County Council Community liaison officers Doreen Daly and Mary Behan have been working with the Solas Bhride Community in advance of the judges visit, which will take place on Wednesday, July 1st. Solas Bhride is looking forward to the visit of the judges.  “We will be giving a presentation followed by a visit to St. Brigid’s well.  We will have a variety of activities in the centre to showcase what we do here and what Solas Bhride is all about,” said Sr. Rita Minehan.  The vision of the Centre is to unfold the legacy of St. Brigid of Kildare and its increasing relevance for our world.  To date the Centre has attracted in excess of 3,000 people.

Solas Bhride wins Green Building Award 2015

Congratulations to Solearth Ecological Architecture who submitted Solas Bhride Centre as their project in the Green Awards 2015, Green Business & Sustainability. The awards organised by Event Strategies Limited were presented at a special function in the Burlington hotel on Wednesday, April 8th 2015. In total 25 prestigious trophies were presented on the night to the very best leaders and organisations within Ireland’s green industry.
The External view of CentreGreen Awards are held annually to celebrate excellence in sustainability and environmental awareness within the industry.
The project includes energy efficient design approaches and places a high priority on the creation of a healthful and restful environment for its users and visitors.
Solas Bhride was designated winner in its category and received “The Green Construction Award”.

Women’s Mini Marathon

Georgia Snow running in Women’s Mini Marathon for Solas Bhride Centre
We are delighted Georgia has chosen Solas Bhride as her designated charity from the sponsorship she will receive when she participates in the Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin on Monday, June 1st. Georgia has shared with us her reasons for choosing Solas Bhride on her sponsorship page on the website.
“Thanks for visiting my personal fundraising page. This is the first race I’ve EVER entered! The charity that I have chosen to support, Solas Bhride, is very near and dear to my heart and I would very much appreciate your support in helping me to raise funds for them. I got involved with Solas Bhride on my second visit to Ireland and have wanted to help them raise money for their St Brigid centre and hermitage for a long time
You can donate using the “sponsor me now” button below via credit or debit card. You can be assured that your transaction on the website is very secure. You will automatically receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your support, and acknowledging the amount of your donation. Any donation no matter how small is hugely appreciated.”

If you would like to sponsor Georgia and help her reach her target you can check out her fundraising page (

We done Georgia and a big thank you from Solas Bhride.

Celebrating Earth Day, April 22nd
Solas Bhride marked international Earth Day on April 22nd by planting oak saplings in the grounds of the new Centre. On Earth Day individuals or groups around the world perform acts of service to the earth on this day.
The Story of the OWalking to the plantingaks
It is recorded in the Brigidine Sisters annals that Bishop Daniel Delany when establishing the Congregration in Tullow, Co. Carlow on St. Brigid’s Day in 1807 travelled to Kildare, got an oak sapling and planted it in the convent grounds stating that he was not founding a new congregation, but was restoring the ancient order of St. Brigid to the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.
Little saplings have been nurtured from acorns taken from that oak tree and on an International pilgrimage as part of the Bicentenary Celebration on the 7/07/2007 seven oak saplings were symbolically planted on the site of the new Centre, having been carried in pilgrimage from Tullow, Co. Carlow. These saplings have been carefully nurtured in the intervening years waiting patiently to be permanently planted at the Centre.
TherTheresa Kilmurrayesa Kilmurray planted the first sapling symbolising 2008 years of Brigidine life
Pilgrim tree
Michael Leydon, John Moloughney and Betty McDonald plant the second sapling. The oak is being planted representing all the pilgrims who have come to Solas Bhride and all those pilgrims who will come into the future.

 Young personA young student from St. Brigid’s Primary School, Kildare town, planted the third sapling representing all young people of the world.Annette McCormack

Annette McCormack plants the fourth sapling which she symbolically placed in the ground in 2007  representing artists, musicians and poets.
Annette has sculptured St. Brigid at the well and also a bust of Bishop Daniel Delany.

Mary and Phil  Mary and Philplanted the fifth oak for all those who worked on creating this new centre and all who work in the centre, now and into the future.

A further 16 saplings werePlanting rest of oaks
planting by members of the local community