Marymount Pilgrims Travel to Ireland

Kathy Martin said it was beautiful to see people’s faith grow during a recent Marymount University pilgrimage to Ireland.

“I found God in so many places that I didn’t expect,” said the rising sophomore from Columbia, Maryland. “It was so amazing to see a sight like the Cliffs of Moher and to realize that when we die and meet God, we’ll be infinitely more amazed and wonder struck.”

The math and philosophy major was one of 19 people – including students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends – on the May 26 to June 3 trip, which was led by Father Brian Bashista, the school’s chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.

Bashista said the goal was to help the pilgrims in their journey of faith – whatever their faith. In addition to Catholics, the group included non-Catholic Christians and a Buddhist.

“The intent is to leave the comfort zone for a journey into the unknown and place one’s trust in that they’re being guided,” he added. “The goal is to have a greater connection with the divine. People really did see an outreach of love to one another, and that in turn put them in contact with the author of love, which is God.”

Bashista said the trip also provided historical context and understanding of Ireland’s struggles to become an independent nation with the freedom for all to practice the religion of their choice.

Highlights included dinner in a 13th Century castle and a herding demonstration with a sheep dog, along with trips to the Knock Shrine in County Mayo, the Shrine of Venerable Matt Talbot in Dublin, Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and the only active marble quarry in the country (featuring green marble).

The pilgrimages are an annual Marymount tradition, taken in late May or early June. Last year’s trip was to the Holy Land. Next year’s destination will be Rome and other spots in Italy. Previous locations have included France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Germany and Australia.

“We try to get to Italy and the Holy Land every four years,” Bashista said.

Community members are welcome to participate. For more information, contact the office of Campus Ministry at 703-284-1607.

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1:
Members of the Marymount family enjoyed a pilgrimage to Ireland from May 26 to June 3. Pictured front row, from left: Sister Patricia Earl, IHM, Claire Morrison, Bridget Wunderly, Kathy Martin, Shenelle Sanoir, Meg Lane and Sister Jackie Murphy, RSHM. Middle: Brigid Williams, Ashton Mallon, Cathy Morrison, Erin Williams, Zack Meredith, Brandan McCammit and Jacki Garry. Back: Doug Morrison, Ed McCammit, Kathy McCammit, Father Brian Bashista.

Photo 2:
From left, Erin Williams, Jacki Garry, Bridget Wunderly, Kathy Martin, Claire Morrison and Ashton Mallon jump for joy in Ireland.

Photo 3:
Dingle, a town in County Kerry, Ireland.

Photo 4:
The Cliffs of Moher.

Picture 5:
Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Dingle.