By Tom McCarthy Jr.
DUBLIN – The rolling, green hills, rugged west coast and sheer Cliffs of Moher greeted a group of 30 Catholics Oct. 10, most from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
The pilgrims took in that scene and much more during an Oct. 7-16 pilgrimage to Ireland led by Father T. Austin Murphy, pastor of Our Lady of Hope, Dundalk, and St. Luke, Edgemere.
Many in the group shared family ties to the island nation. A handful are members of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. One traveler came to see the homeland of the religious sisters who had taught her as a child in the Phillipines.
View a slideshow from the trip.
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In addition to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, the pilgrims visited the Knock Shrine in County Mayo, the site of St. Finbarr’s 6th-century monastery in Gougane Barra in County Cork, and the 1,200-year-old Gallarus Oratory on the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry.
Pilgrims left with a new understanding of a land filled with Catholic history, awe-inspiring vistas and a warm, welcoming people.