And I do mean shores. Bearna Parish, where we sang Tuesday evening, has no stained glass on the southern exposure of her church, perhaps all the better to see the marvelous beauty immediately across the road.
But the most enchanting thing about where we now are is that we have now moved into the Gaeltacht, that unique part of Ireland where an ancient language still lives, as a rather uncomfortable cousin, to the dominant English language.
So tonight, part of the liturgy (in Irish, Mass is called Aifreann) was actually done in Irish. Here are the words of the Lord's Prayer in their language:
Ár n-Athair atá ar neamh,
Go naofar d'ainim,
Go dtagfadh do ríocht,
Go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh
mar a dhéantar ar neamh.
Ár n-arán laethúil tabhair dúinn inniu,
agus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha
mar a mhaithimidne dár bhféichiúna féin.
As with all our travels, we are meeting the people where they are, with their own concerns. Tonight, this particular parish, like many in Ireland, see their young people facing Leaving Certificate exams, a time of extraordinary pressure for these young people. The mass we sang today was for all these young people and for their scholarly success – something that our Notre Dame students could easily enter into.
Today, we move deep into the heart of Connemara, to Kylemore Abbey, and a first for any Notre Dame entity – a visit to the birthplace of Father Patrick Peyton, c.s.c.
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Location:Án Spideál, County Galway, Ireland