Celtic Christianity - January 1996

Ascension Western Rite Orthodox Church Lenten Retreat

From:             KDOWLING@delphi.com
Date sent:        Wed, 10 Jan 1996 22:18:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject:          Lenten Retreat

In anticipation of the Feast of Saint Patrick of Ireland 
a Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday, March 16 1996 N.S..

Accordingly, the Retreat will concentrate on the 
Christ-Centered Life of the Saints in the 
Breast Plate of Saint Patrick and other prayers. 
All are welcome (including children). 
Space is limited, so let us know early if you intend to come. 
There is no charge for the Liturgy or the Retreat.

Retreat will begin with the Divine Liturgy according to 
an ancient Celtic form used by the Irish and Scottish 
Fathers and many missionaries to England, France, Germany, 
Switzerland, and parts of Italy.

 9:00 A.M.-- Confession of Communicants 
      All are welcome take bread blessed at the Liturgy 
      and to attend the Retreat, but only Baptized and 
      Confirmed Orthodox may receive Communion at the Liturgy.  
10:00 A.M.-- The Divine Liturgy (Celtic usage).

12:00 Noon-- Lunch (See NOTE below)

 1:00 P.M.-- Prayers for the Retreat

 4:30 P.M.-- Closing Prayers

Ascension Western Rite Orthodox Church is sponsoring this 
at the Days Inn, 3150 W Market Street, Akron Ohio. 
This site was selected due to its accessibility from I-77.
It is located at the intersection of West Market Street
and Ghent Road (South of the Ghent Road exit from I-77).

NOTE:  The hotel only permits food from the hotel restaurant 
       in the hall. If there is sufficient interest, a prepaid 
       lunch consisting of Pasta with marinara sauce, salad, 
       beverage and a dessert will be served in the hall by 
       the restaurant. If you are interested in the prepaid 
       lunch, please send a check for $10.00 per person payable 
       to Fr. Kristopher Dowling, S.S.B.  
       If there is insufficient interest in the lunch, the fee 
       will be refunded, otherwise it is non-refundable.
       There are other restaurants in the area.  
Once again, note that space is limited. Let us know early if you 
intend to come so that we can get a confirmation back to you.  

Ascension Western Rite Orthodox Church
Box 72102, Akron Ohio 44372
email: kdowling@delphi.com        phone: (216) 867-3685

Hotel rooms are available at a church rate of $40 for one 
or two persons per room and $6 for each additional person.
Arrangements are to be made directly with the hotel.
The hotel's phone number is (216) 869-9000.

Celtic Booklists and Celtic authors / event referrals for my Pilgrim Place Bookstore Coffeehouse

Larry Bourgeois (Larry_Bourgeois@pol.com) of the Pilgrim Place Bookstore Coffeehouse wrote:

I am working to establish a good selection of Celtic literature within our spirituality section, and I need to collect some good lists and recommendations. Pilgrim Place Bookstore Coffeehouse is located in Cincinnati Ohio in an old Catholic Church and Franciscan Friary. The church and friary are no longer a Rc parish but are now an ecumenical center for community renewal and spirituality. I am interested in hosting events with speakers, forums, and organizing retreats related to Celtic spirituality. Ten years ago I started a non profit called Soul Friends (anamchara?) and I have a large celtic painting at Pilgrim Place that is based upon that theme. Please refer others to us as a place for contemplation and some refelction on the way of Celtic spirituality. If you know of any persons in the greater Cinti area please tell them about our plans to develop a first rate Celtic spirituality section. Look forward to hearing from you,

Larry Bourgeois

Pilgrim Place Bookstore/Coffeehouse
42 Calhoun St. Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone (w) 513-751-5237
Home Phone 513-271-8063.
Internet addresses incl Larry_Bourgeois@popl.com and Pilgrim_Place@ecunet.org and BourgeoisL@aol.com

Celtic Christian Fellowship in Texas

The Rev. Tom Faulkenbury (faulk@airmail.net) said that:

a Celtic Christian Fellowship is forming in Wills Point, Texas (about 50 miles east of Dallas). This is not a neo-Druid endeavor but one firmly rooted in Celtic Christian spirituality and to be loosely af filiated with the St. Aidan Trust of Evergreen, Colorado. If people in the Dallas/East Texas area would like more information they may contact me through my e-mail address or write St. Brendan's Celtic Christian Fellowship, 432 West High Street, Wills Point, TX 75169.

Question about Celtic Know Crosses

Ronda Karpiak (ronda@computan.on.ca) said:

I have recently acquired a Celtic Knot Cross. Could you tell me please where I can find information on it's history. Also, would all of the citizens of the time worn a cross, or was that reserved only for the clergy?


Eamon Greachan (robertg@awod.com) replied to the claims made about the links he supplied relating to Celtic Orthodoxy (or Celticism).

Celtic Orthodoxy emerged during the transition from Celtic paganism to Celtic Christianity, ans so a similarity to Paganism can be seen, but we have no relationship _what_so_ever_ to "pagans" or "neo-pagans" any more than do Zoroastrians. Celtic Orthodoxy (or Celticism) is monotheistic, unlike Celtic paganism or any "rehashing" of Celtic paganism.

Hope this clears up the confusion until the article is finished.

Rev. R. Eamon Graham

Fiach Connely (fconnely@cgt.or.ie) also said:

Celticism (the modern name for Celtic Orthodoxy) is more of a combination of native folk beliefs with Celtic Christianity than a rahashing of paganism.

The Celtic Church

Steven C Schroder (schroder@psyber.com) said:

Just happened upon your page regarding Celtic Christianity. There is a very 'Good' book by Dr. Leslie Hrdinge which was first Published by (SPCK-England), but is now available in paper back from "TEACH Servises, Inc., Route 1 Box 182, Brushton, NY, 12916. Ph. 518-358-2125.

The price including postage is under twelve dollars. The price of the book is worth it if only for the 'Bibliography which is in itself twelve pages of great source information.

Celtic Catholic church

Father Richard Rubie (revrubie@pixi.com) sent his greetings from Hawaii:

Greetings: I am a Celtic priest located at ST. Andrews Cathedral. I am officiating the liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church Stowe Missal 400AD. by F.E. Warren and Jane STENSON My address is The Celtic catholic church Fr.Richard RUBIE 1039KAM4RD#BB,Honolulu,Hawaii,96819

Scroll Publishing & Celtic Christianity

Jerrell Hein (jph@crystal.cirrus.com) said:

I thought you might be interested in literature available from Scroll Publishing in Tyler, TX. Sorry, I don't have the phone number in front of me, but you could get it from information. Scroll is a mission outreach of the Society of the Good Shepherd, also in Tyler which is a society within the Anglican church dedicated to living a lifestyle modeled after the early church and similar to a Benedictine rule of life. Scroll publishes a catalog of books which are otherwise hard to find, including quite a few items on Celtic Christianity.

Celtic news from the UK Anglican mailing list

This month there was a flurry of activity on the UK Anglican mailing list (general@mail.CofE.anglican.org) relating to Celtic Christianity the following is a selection of the mail messages:

Date sent:        Wed, 3 Jan 1996 23:42:40 -0500 (EST)
From:             Crawford Brown Maridel J <3mjc23@qlink.queensu.ca>
To:               general@mail.CofE.anglican.org
Send reply to:    general@mail.CofE.anglican.org

Greetings to all;
This doesn't seem like the type of thing you have under discussion, but I 
am trying to find more information about the revival of Celtic forms of 
spirituality in theAnglican Church. Our Anglican Journal over here had a 
couple of news snippets last year, but they have changed editors, and no 
one seems able to help. I, of course, have mislaid the news articles, but 
I believe one group was of Anglican monks called the Brothers of St. 
Aidan. There was also metion of a Celtic revival group in relation to a 
bishop, possibly of Salisbury.And I have seen Esther de Waal's name 
mentioned as well. Any information you can give me would be most 
appreciated. A movement allowing for the workings of the Holy Spirit 
leading us into all truth as Christ said, and one which has respect for 
the Earth, would do much to heal wounds and inspire souls, I think 
Certainly over here the Church is losing out to revivals of Wiccan and 
other reinterpretations of ancient spiritual practices which bear little 
resemblance to Christianity. However, the Church seems to have forgotten 
it follows a Man who came so we could have life and life more abundantly. 
One can only hope that the celtic revival, if one indeed exists, speaks 
to that hunger.
Peace to you all
A struggling Christian

Maridel 3mjc23@qlink.queensu.ca

From: Chris Wright (cjwright@cix.compulink.co.uk)

> Greetings to all;
> This doesn't seem like the type of thing you have under discussion, but 
> I am trying to find more information about the revival of Celtic forms 
> of spirituality in the Anglican Church. 

Greetings, Maridel! 

I don't know that I'm the best person to answer your queries, but I 
benefit from our own quiet revival of Celtic spirituality here in 
Skipton, North Yorkshire (middle of England if you look at a map!) and I 
willingly share what I have  :-)

Our revival has happened because we have a new Rector who has fallen 
under the thrall of the island of Iona (West coast of Scotland).  There 
is an abbey there and a community who are plumbing the depths of Celtic 
spirituality. (Snail mail address for further info:  The Abbey, Isle of 
Iona, Argyll, PA76 6SN, Scotland, UK.)  It'll take a while, but be 

My interest was originally caught by some books produced by a chap called 
David Adam, vicar of Holy Island (Lindisfarne, East Coast).  He published 
a whole lot of Celtic poetry, blessings, musings etc.  If you want more 
detail, come back.  In our church, we've organised some "Iona style 
services" - very meditative but also very apposite, too.  The Iona 
Community publishes its own suggestions for worship of many kinds and 
some of the leaders (past and present) of the community have published 
some very powerful meditations etc.

If you think this may be an avenue you want to pursue - well, you know 
where my husband is! (He promises to pass on messages!)

Peace to you - and you don't struggle alone.

Jill Wright

Deep peace of the running wave to you 
Deep peace of the flowing air to you 
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you 
Deep peace of the shining stars to you 
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you

(The Iona Community)

Chris Wright
Bradford Diocesan Computer Group

From: Michael Cousins (MSC326@delphi.com)

With reference to the discission on Celtic Spirituality, 

1) There is the Northumbria Community which has a strong Celtic bent.
Last year it helped run Dun Craig, a retreat house on Iona which is
owned by an American ecumenical organisation but which has a strong
Episcopalian/Anglican input. The Community has its own Office Book,
called "Celtic Daily Prayer", published by Harper Collins, which is
obtainable from most bookshops.  The Community's address is Nether
Springs, Hetton Hall, Northumberland, UK.  Phone +44 (0)1289 388235. 

2) If you are interested in staying in Dun Craig, Iona (closed for Winter), 
phone +44 (0)1681700202.  
The phone number Bishop's House, Iona (Episcopalian) is +44 (0)1681 700306.
Iona Abbey's no is +44 (0)1681 700404.  

3)  There is a meeting/conference entitled "Celtic Spirituality" on

4)  Below is a note I sent recently to "Celtic Spirituality":-

Given the enormous growth in interest in Celtic spirituality, which
resonates so well with our concern for creation, I nevertheless
sometimes fear that we make some dangerous assumptions about Celtic
spirituality.  For a start,there is a strong element of Shamanism in
it. Moreover, it is interesting how various modern editors of Celtic
prayers and blessings have edited out the non-Christian parts of them
which are, however, intergral to them.  For example there might be a
prayer to St Michael or to the Virgin which will also contain praises
of pre-Christian Celtic characters such as Deirdre or Cuchulain.  
Secondly, while we have a great deal of old Celtic prayers,
blessings, and incantations (collected in the last century by
Alexander Carmichael; his work, Carmina Gadelica, runs into 6
volumes) and while it is legitimate to assume that many of these are
very old indeed, passed by word of mouth from generation to
generation, we have no proof that they represent the spirituality of
St Patrick, of St Columba and the like. Indeed, if one reads St
Gildas, who was writing c. 540, it seems that the Celtic church was a
much more venal one that we have been led to believe. 

That said, Carmichael's epic work unveils a depth of spirituality of
which we can only but be in awe.  One of my favorites is "Sith Dhe"
("The Peace of God") 

   The peace of God, 
   The peace of men,
   The peace of Columba kindly,
   The peace of Mary mild, the loving,
   The peace of Christ, King of tenderness, 
   Be upon each window, upon each door,
   Upon each hole that lets in light,
   Upon the four corners of my house,
   Upon the four corners of my bed,
   Upon each thing my eye takes in,
   Upon each thing my mouth takes in,
   Upon my body that is of earth
   And upon my soul that came from on high.  

  It is even better in the Gaelic.  

  The Parish minister of Nether Lochaber in north Argyll, writing in 1880, 
  wrote the following about the blessings collected by Carmichael: 

"Apart from the appropriateness of the rhythm and language in which
they are couched, nothing about these old Hebridean "Blessings" seems
to us so beautiful and striking as the nearness with which they bring
Heaven and its active, ceaseless benificence, to the very firesides
and commonest affairs of men.  Nothing is too small or insignificant
to be placed under Divine guardianship.  With these old people, in
their ocean-girt and storm-swept islands, God was not merely the
creator, but the ever present, ever near father, protector, and
friend, while to them His angels were in very truth ministering
spirits, not merely in spiritual matters, but in the affairs of
common, every-day life.  Since the days of the ancient Hebrews,
nowhere shall we find so firm and fixed a belief in a direct and
constant intercourse and communion for good between Heaven and

5) I would suggest that you try to get hold of "Carmina Gaedelica",
collected by Alexander Carmichael. It was republished some 10 years ago. 

Yours in Christ
Michael Cousins     Voice (44) 1389 767058;  Fax (44) 1389 733323

From: Crawford Brown Maridel J <3mjc23@qlink.queensu.ca>

Thanks to Micheal Cousins who wrote more about Celtic Christianity. I am 
familiar with Alexander Carmicheal's collection of Gaelic blessings, 
selections from Volumes I and III as printed by Floris Books (1988) in 
"The Sun Dances, Prayers and Blessings from the Gaelic". I also have a 
little book, "Daily Readings from Prayers and praises in the Celtic 
Tradition" (templegate publishers, Illinois,1986) edited by A.M. Allchin 
and Esther de Waal which adds to the picture.
When one thinks of Christ above, below, behind, before, and everywhere, 
how does one see him today in the harsh global world of urban greed which 
reaches even to the most unspoiled corners of this world? Is it enough, 
and all we are capable of, to cloak ourselves in the warmth and 
protection of Christ as we walk through the world? How can we more 
effectively reach out to others, or is the best way of reaching out by 
I don't think it matters what elements were in Celtic Christianity, it 
can only be what we make it today. A couple of years ago I attended a 
retreat which combined elements of native American religion with 
Christianity,and was uncomfortable, at first, with the "magical" aspects, 
as I in my low church Anglican way perceived them. Then as time unfolded 
slowly and we were allowed all the time we needed to hear what the Spirit 
might have to say to or through us, beautiful things began to unfold. I 
realized how often in all the churches I have attended there is no real 
sense of a communion of saints, no real belief in a God who has created 
all things and all worlds visible and invisible, very little sense of 
sacred time or space and indeed, no time at all for enjoying true 
communion in our rush to get back at it in the world. 
If a Celtic form of worship can restore some sense of true communion as 
indeed it seems to through the vision contained in its prayers, so much 
the better, so long as we never mistake any one face of God for the 
complete and only one.
I thank all of you who have sent me information. I feel like a thirsty 
plant drinking it up and look forward to locating some of the books 
mentioned. I am not in a position to be able to visit Iona or any other 
spot over in the Uk except in spirit at present, but I willbe passing on 
some of this information in my quarterly newsletter "Sanctuary" to my 
small circulation who look forward to it as a "letter from home".
Maridel Crawford-Brown

From: Crawford Brown Maridel J <3mjc23@qlink.queensu.ca>

I am a bit green at getting messages sent to the right place, so
apologize for any blanks. Thanks to all who have been sending me
information about where to find more about "Celtic spirituality"...I
put it in quotes, because it is just another name given by humans to
that great fire that lives in our hearts. But after years of seeking
Life and life more abundantly, and finding all too often a dessicated
grey chip in the Church, this is wonderful to realize there is a
liturgy or belief system, whatever, that seems more aligned with life
as lived by Christ.  This may be the idealism of faith speaking, but
I sense the beckoning of the Holy Spirit here.If there is indeed
respect for nature and humanity, compassion and a sense of oneness or
immanence with joy, then I do believe, on that path the Church has
nothing to fear from any apparent decline. The Spirit will, indeed,
lead us into all truth. Iam not an ordained person, only a traveller
in Christ. 

Thanks again to all Shalom Maridel

From: cjwright@cix.compulink.co.uk (Chris Wright)

> The Rev.David Adams. The Vicarage, Holy island, Northumberland. 
> England,

According to Crockford, it is:
The Revd Canon David Adam  (you were quite right - no 's'!)
The Vicarage
Holy Island
Berwick Upon Tweed
TD15 2RX

Chris Wright
Bradford Diocesan Computer Group

From: stokerw@cix.compulink.co.uk (Stoker Wilson)

> My interest was originally caught by some books produced by a chap 
> called David Adam, vicar of Holy Island (Lindisfarne, East Coast).

You could try writing to David. Holy Island is a very small community 
and if you addresses your letter to

The Rev.David Adams. The Vicarage, Holy island, Northumberland. 

that would find him. There's also a interdenominational Community in 
Northumberland which was set up some five years ago. But I'm afraid I 
can't trace the address at the moment. If I will send it on to you.

Stoker Wilson,
Chairman, Church Computer Users Group
Chairman, Durham Diocesan Computer Communications Group
Priest in Charge, St.George's, Fatfield

From: Peter Sutcliffe (100417.3455@compuserve.com)

Stoker Wilson (stokerw@cix.compulink.co.uk) wrote re Celtic spirituality...

>There's also a interdenominational Community in 
>Northumberland which was set up some five years ago. But I'm afraid I 
>can't trace the address at the moment. If I will send it on to you.

If Stoker is thinking of the NetherSprings Community, I know a little
about it.  I was at Theological College with John Skinner, and I know
Andy Raine [ex YWAM] quite well. whist they link in to some of the
Celtic themes, I think they are more evangelical/charismatic in

Peter Sutcliffe

Stuart's Home Page
Contact Me at <Stuart@gol.com>
Last Updated 13th January 1996