Take a pilgrimage to Ireland with Bishop Zinkula

Kylemore Abbey monastery is one of the sites that is part of a pilgrimage trip to Ireland this summer, sponsored by The Catholic Messenger.

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

Bishop Thomas Zinkula is making a pilgrimage to Ireland Aug. 31-Sept. 9 and welcomes all who are interested in joining him on The Catholic Messenger’s “Faith of the Irish” pilgrimage. He will serve as the pilgrimage spiritual leader.

Travels to other countries provide another opportunity for the bishop to experience the universal Church, which broadens his perspective as he leads the diocesan Church, he believes.

Major sites along the pilgrimage include Dublin, Armagh, the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, the Holy Mountain of Croagh Patrick, the Cliffs of Moher and the Blarney Stone, among other fascinating sites.


“One point worthy of emphasis is the strong ties between Iowa and Ireland,” says Tim Walch, author of “Irish Iowa” (2019), and a member of the Messenger’s Board of Directors. “This pilgrimage will be an opportunity for some Messenger readers to find and refresh both their cultural and their spiritual roots.”

Select International Tours, which is organizing the pilgrimage, has created an itinerary that balances the sacred and the secular, scenery and companionship. Among the sites the bishop and his fellow pilgrims will visit is Galway, the Burren, and Cliffs of Moher. Pilgrims will travel along the coastline toward the famous Cliffs of Moher and along the way stop to visit an authentic Irish farm to glimpse this important part of Irish industry, including a scone-making demonstration at the farmhouse. Travel will continue through the ancient burial grounds and unique countryside of the Burren before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher. Mass will be celebrated outdoors, weather permitting.

Another day, pilgrims will travel from Kildare to Glendalough. This ancient monastic city, established in the 6th-century by St. Kevin, is in the heart of “the valley of the two lakes.” It was an important center of learning as well as a pilgrimage destination. Bishop Zinkula will preside at Mass at St. Joseph Church.

Contact Select International Tours at (800) 842-4842 to learn details about the trip and cost. Also, visit the website at selectinternationaltours.com. On the main page, find the phrase “Find your trip” and type in Bishop Thomas Zinkula.

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