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.