Experience Ireland for its Catholic and natural splendor this fall

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Picture yourself contemplating the endless sea from the Cliffs of Moher, praying with Benedictine Monks for the sanctification of priests, or visiting the Knock Shrine, where in 1879, a group of 15 people witnessed an apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist.

These are just a few strokes from the transforming experience the pilgrimage to Ireland “The Beauty of Faith” promises to have Sep. 14-23.

Led by Dr. R. Jared Staudt, Director of Formation for the Archdiocese of Denver, and accompanied by Father Brad Noonan, Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi in Castle Rock, who will serve as the trip’s spiritual director; the inspiring journey will follow in the footsteps of ancient monks and modern saints, immersing the faithful into the beauty and rich Catholic tradition of Ireland.

An info session will be held at Blind Faith Brewing in Littleton (formerly St. Patrick’s Brewery) March 24 at 4 p.m.

“It’s an integrated and transformative experience of Catholic culture that will be inspired by the different types of beauty we will encounter,” Dr. Staudt said.

Ireland is quickly turning away from the traditions that for centuries have stood as her foundation. In this context, Dr. Staudt’s pilgrimage will uncover “the amazing legacy of faith that Ireland has” coupled with the natural beauty it radiates.

“Ireland is a very beautiful country. We will be experiencing the great natural beauty of Ireland, especially the Western coast where the Cliffs of Moher are,” he said. “But I would say that the monastery of Clonmacnoise embodies both [types of beauty] … [It] is an example of how faith beautifully meshes with the natural environment.”

Besides providing a space for a spiritual encounter, the journey will highlight the inspiring efforts of evangelization led by ancient monks, such as St. Kevin, and modern witnesses, such as Blessed John Henry Newman and Venerable Matt Talbot.

“Visiting the apparition site of Our Lady at Knock Shrine will also help us see how Our Lord and Our Lady want us to respond in faith and prayer right now for the conversion and renewal of culture. We have this heritage, but how do we apply it? Our Lady’s apparition is an example of that.”

Among the dozens of sights Dr. Staudt’s pilgrimage to Ireland will visit, the intriguing stop at Silverstream Priory, where the Benedictines are dedicated to Eucharistic adoration for the renewal of priests, promises to be unique.

In his extensive experience of leading pilgrimages that immerse the faithful into Catholic culture, Dr. Staudt deeply values the aspect of community that develops among the pilgrims.

“The wonderful group dynamic, growing together as a group, worshiping together as a group and establishing friendships and supporting one another as we experience the beauty and the tradition was what [has] struck me most profoundly,” he concluded. “It’s a great transformative experience.”

Pilgrimage info session

Blind Faith Brewing in Littleton

March 24, 4 p.m.

Visit rtijourneys.com for more information

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