Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Restored Irish monastery part of Catholic Charities Foundation’s April tour itinerary

From the Catholic Charities Foundation

(From the December 17, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

“St. Patrick’s Ireland” is the theme of a tour being organized by the Catholic Charities Foundation, scheduled for next April. (IR photo courtesy of Catholic Charities Foundation)

When young St. Ciarán founded Clonmacnoise monastery in 544, little did he know that the strategic location of the monastery would soon become a major center of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade in Ireland. By the 9th century, Clonmacnoise was world-famous and visited by scholars, theologians, and artisans from all over Europe.

Centuries later, Clonmacnoise, albeit a little quieter – dwarfed in size and commerce by cities like Dublin and Belfast – still remains a centermost point for understanding the history and significance of the Catholic faith in the heritage and culture of Ireland.

Situated on the River Shannon in County Offaly, Clonmacnoise (which means “Meadow of the Sons of Nós”) will again serve as a “center” for exploring the verdant countryside, quaint villages, famous ruins, and historic churches of the “St. Patrick’s Ireland” tour sponsored by the Catholic Charities Foundation. Accompanied by knowledgeable staff and clergy, the 10-day excursion will traverse Ireland and will visit many significant churches, villages, abbeys, and castles that comprise the rich history of the Catholic Church and Ireland.

Departing April 10, 2016, the tour leaves Dublin (via Spokane) and weaves through the cities and villages of Armagh, Belleek, Galway, and Castlebar, returning to Spokane April 20. The trip, organized by Collette Travel, includes round-trip airfare, 4-star hotel accommodations, most meals, and all fees and transfers. Single and first-class upgrade travel options are available. Mass is available on all days of the tour.

Today, the presence of St. Ciarán and St. Patrick can still be felt at Clonmacnoise, which is maintained as a preserved ruin under the management of the Irish government. An interpretive center and facilities for visitors have been newly built around the site. The graveyard surrounding the site continues to be in use and religious services are held regularly on the site in a modern chapel.

“The number of travelers on this trip is limited to ensure that people have an enjoyable, meaningful, and personal experience,” said Dennis Hake, Development Officer with the Catholic Charities Foundation. “The trip is almost full, and we encourage those interested in joining the tour to contact us soon. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends, experience the culture that is uniquely Ireland, explore our faith, and create fun memories along the way.”

(For more additional information and to request a brochure, contact Dennis Hake at the Catholic Charities Foundation: call (509) 358-4255, email, or visit

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