Glendalough Hermitage

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History of the Hermitage Centre

What do today’s pilgrims need? How can Glendalough respond? These and similar questions inspired a group of people from the parish of Glendalough and the surrounding area to dream dreams and make plans.

Glendalough Hermitage Centre began in 1998 as part of a Jubilee Year project. It was conceived in preparation for the Third Millennium and out of a desire to respond to the needs of modern pilgrims. It was spearheaded by Father Sean O’Toole, then the Parish Priest in Glendalough and brought into existence with the collaboration and support of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The project was called “Glendalough 2000/Suaimhneas Chaoimhin.” It was comprised of four parts:

  1. Restoration of the unique parish church – the Church of St. Kevin
  2. Provision of retreat facilities
  3. Renovation of an old Coach House (stables)
  4. Establishment of a Meditation Garden

A key part of the project was the decision to provide a place of welcome for pilgrims where they could be accommodated comfortably in an atmosphere of quiet and prayer. In summer of 2000, work began on the building of five hermitages in the vicinity of St. Kevin’s Church with support from various Church and community sources as well as the Millennium Fund.

The Sisters of Mercy were invited by the Archdiocese to become involved in the development and running of the project. In 2001, Sisters Kathleen Delaney and Mary McKeever came to Glendalough to provide that service.

The hermitages were officially opened and blessed on the Feast of St. Kevin, 3rd June 2001.

Since then, in the quiet of Brockagh mountain, a short distance from the original monastic site, pilgrims are offered solitude, spiritual guidance and the opportunity to reflect on life.

Glendalough is now in its third millennium as a site of Christian pilgrimage. The story goes on….