After taking the first tentative steps in re-opening Solas Bhride in June 2021 we were delighted that so many individual pilgrims came to visit over the next few months. However, we did miss the buzz that the international groups brought. They bring excitement and energy to Solas Bhride that is difficult to replicate. With Covid-19 remaining a barrier to international travel and with peoples own reluctance to brave air-travel we had resigned ourselves to waiting until 2022 to once again welcoming our international visitors.
In August we were contacted by two USA groups about the possibility of visiting in September. One of the groups had rescheduled twice in the previous six months, and we were hoping that this would be third time lucky.
On September 16th we welcomed the first international pilgrims of 2021, they arrived to much fanfare from the Solas Bhride team. After introductions, Rita spoke to them about Saint Brigid and situated her in history for the group. Their visit included time for meditation, a chance to walk the labyrinth and the newly developed Meditative Walk. Phil and Geraldine accompanied them to the nearby St Brigid’s well for prayerful ritual.
One of the pilgrims, Brigid from Arizona spoke very eloquently about what resonated with her was how the values of St Brigid are still relevant in today’s world, and we need a heart like that of St Brigid to have a better world.
On the 21st of September we welcomed back our old friend Brad and his pilgrim group. Brad has been a constant in the life and ministry of Solas Bhride for many years. He has walked the journey with us from Dara Park to the present Solas Bhride Centre. Having had to postpone their trip twice due to the pandemic we were delighted to welcome them back to Solas Bhride. The day unfolded with ritual and music and a beautifully animated story told by Brad’s wife Rita.
Both groups left Solas Bhride with the promise of a return next year.