The Secretary of FOI, Columba Bruce Clark, has kindly provided his diary of the 2017 pilgrimage to Rostrevor and County Down. You can read the PDF below:
In addition to all of the photographs and information on this official site of the Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona, be sure to look for us on Facebook.
Here is a long overdue announcement about FOI’s plans for 2017.
Very briefly, FOI is planning by the grace of God, and with the warm blessing of our chairman His Excellency Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, to hold a pilgrimage in Ireland between July 2 and July 9, based in the small seaside town of Rostrevor. Details below.
First a word of explanation. You will recall that more than a year ago I undertook to investigate three possibilities for 2017: a gathering in the north of Ireland, a voyage from Ireland to Scotland, and a gathering in Scotland. My hope was that it might be possible to combine two or three of these options. As it turned out, some practical issues arose. Family obligations largely confine me to Ireland, and that makes it hard to organize events in Scotland because I cannot make the necessary reconnaissance trips. With regard to the sea trip, a small group of us, including Father Nicanor Lepeshev who is a veteran of FOI pilgrimages, had the good luck to make a sort of pilot voyage from Derry to Iona this past summer, on an old wooden sailing boat called the Soteria. That was a great joy, but practically speaking I realized that it will not be possible to repeat that voyage in the absence of i) an injection of funds to make it possible for young people to take part, and ii) some organisational help. So with the blessing and guidance of Metropolitan Kallistos I have focused on the feasible and found a pilgrimage centre in Ireland which is accessible from Belfast and Dublin, and a short distance from several of Ireland’s most important early Christian sites.
For further information, please see the tab labelled Pilgrimage 2017.
See the tab on the left for details on the planned FOI pilgrimage in 2017!
Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona has been an informal association of Orthodox Christians who honour the name of Saint Columba and undertake week-pilgrimages to Iona and other places of importance in Celtic Christian history. By the grace of God, successful pilgrimages, each involving about 40 people from all over the world, were organised in 2009 (to the west of Ireland), in 2012 (to Mull and Iona) and in 2014 (again to Mull and Iona).
After a discussion about future directions for FOI, it was agreed that we should focus more on making it easier for pilgrims to visit Iona for a duration of their own choosing and participate in Orthodox Christian worship. In several recent years, Orthodox priests have established a de facto presence on the island by renting out a boarding house and holding morning and evening services in Saint Oran’s chapel, with the permission of the building’s steward, Historic Scotland. This experiment has worked well and valuable experience has been acquired.
Metropolitan Kallistos has invited Father Augustine McBeth, who is the Orthodox chaplain of Glasgow University, to take over a new role as chaplain of FOI, and in that capacity to explore further opportunities for keeping an Orthodox presence on Iona for part of the year. It was agreed that every effort should be made to maintain good relations with the permanent residents of Iona, with the Iona Community, and with the various Christian confessions which are already present on the island.
FOI extends its good wishes to all other initiatives aimed at establishing Orthodox Christianity on the west coast of Scotland, although its own focus will continue to be on Iona and the heritage of Saint Columba.
7 November, 2014
HE Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
Chairman, Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona
Father Augustine McBeth
Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona
Secretary, Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona
About 40 pilgrims from all over Europe and the United States are spending a week on Mull and Iona under the leadership of Metropolitan KALLISTOS of Diokleia. The pilgrims included seven members of an Orthodox parish in Mainz, Germany, as well as visitors from Las Vegas, New Jersey and Boston. Today, some pilgrims visited an early Christian site on Mull while others went by sailboat to Inchkenneth island. On Wednesday, God willing, pilgrims will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at Saint Oran’s Chapel on Iona, marking the New Calendar Feast of the Transfiguration.
For updates on the holy pilgrimage to Iona and Mull, see the 'Iona and Mull 2012' page!
The next Pilgrimage for 2012 shall, God willing, take place on Iona and Mull from July 30 to August 5. Please see the tab above on the left hand side for more information.
From the Secretary, Bruce Columba:
With great regret, Metropolitan Kallistos and I have decided that FOI's Brittany pilgrimage should be postponed by exactly a year (in other words, until July 2012, God willing) because of my personal circumstances. Preparations for
this pilgrimage got off to an excellent start, and we were very much looking forward to enjoying the hospitality of the Abbey of Saint Guenole at Landevennec on the coast of Finistere. However my circumstances changed on November 4, when my father Wallace was hit by a truck and suffered serious injuries. He has been in hospital ever since, and despite recovering miraculously from several close brushes with death, he remains gravely ill. Because my mother June is bed-ridden and I am Wallace's only able-bodied primary relative, I have in recent months had to spend the majority of my time in Northern Ireland looking after him. Only with difficulty have I managed to continue doing some work for my employers, and there is virtually no time for spare-time activities. It is impossible to predict how long this state of affairs will continue. We hope you will understand the reasons for the postponement and keep us in your prayers.