Soulfaring

Celtic Pilgrimage Then and Now

Sister Cintra Pemberton, O. S. H.

Sep/1999, 256 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819217806

In the past few years pilgrimage—going to ancient holy sites in search of God—has become increasingly popular for people seeking to deepen their relationship with the Holy. Sister Cintra Pemberton seeks to enrich the experiences of today’s pilgrims by helping them draw on the history of pilgrimage itself, as well as by suggesting particularly rich sites to visit. Part One of Soulfaring explores the history of pilgrimage, beginning in Celtic times, and moving through the early Christian period, the Middle Ages, and even the revival of pilgrimage today. Part Two explores fifteen sites in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Each of the descriptions of the various sites includes not only suggestions of what may be seen there, but the author’s personal meditations on the experience of the Holy in each place.

Sister Cintra Pemberton is a member of the Episcopal Order of St. Helena. She regularly leads retreats and workshops in Celtic spirituality and has been leading pilgrimage trips to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man for many years. She resides in New York City.

"Sr. Cintra is a first class guide. She is a mine of information, but, much more, she allows us inside herself as she walks or kneels in sacred places. The result is that she is never alone in her visit, and we are never merely readers. She makes us her companions. She does not merely write about the tradition of Ainm Cara. She offers herself as a soul friend." --Herbert O'Driscoll, author of A Doorway in Time: Memoir of a Celtic Spiritual Journey and The Leap of the Deer: Memoirs of a Celtic Childhood
"Pilgrimage is a spiritual phenomenon with a long history in the Christian story. It is once again experiencing a revival in Europe, especially in Celtic countries. Cintra, in this delightful and insightful book, helps us to understand and appreciate this ritual of pilgrimage and shows it to be an experience that could help many of us today." --Timothy Joyce, OSB, Glastonbury Abbey, author of Celtic Christianity: A Sacred Tradition, A Vision of Hope
"The popularity of pilgrimages today speaks of an age-old longing to encounter holy places and experience what they can bring to heart, mind, and soul. Sister Cintra presents us with the Celtic world that she has made so much her own in recent years. She gives us not only the spirituality of the places that she has explored but also personal and informal reminiscences and practical hints--a guide that is thus both spiritual and down to earth! --Esther de Waal, author of Every Earthly Blessing: Rediscovering the Celtic Tradition and The Celtic Way of Prayer, the Recovery of the Religious Imagination.
"Cintra Pemberton's Soulfaring couldn't come at a better time. For all those who have a keen interest in Celtic spirituality, as well as for those contemporary pilgrims who have visited or plan to visit the holy sites of the Celtic saints, this book provides historical background, personal journal reflections, and even addresses and telephone numbers on whom to contact for further information. Sister Pemberton's approach is highly ecumenical and pastoral, creative and profoundly contemplative. Her descriptions of select pilgrimage sites are based not only upon her training as an historian, but upon her own extensive travels and work as an organizer of pilgrim groups. An excellent guide!" --Edward Sellner, professor of pastoral theology and spirituality, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota, and author of Soul-Making: the Telling of a Spiritual Journey and Wisdom of the Celtic Saints.
"[Cintra Pemberton's] intimate knowledge conveys the allure and even mystery of ancient Christianity. Her observations are also practical, and in that sense Soulfaring is like other guidebooks...Its purpose is to guide the soul, as the title suggests, on new journeys of exploration." --Deacon Kenneth Arnold, as printed in Episcopal New Yorker
"...fascinating reading, even if your pilgrimage is just an armchair one." --Linda Crosson, as printed in The Dallas Morning News
"...essential reading for all those who will going on a visit to any of the countries mentioned. It would take only a little effort to transform a sightseeing vacation into a truly enriching experience of pilgrimage and prayer."-- Monos
"Based on her extensive experience as leader of popular Celtic pilgrimage tours, Pemberton's account is part travelogue, part spiritual journal, part guided meditation...Her anecdotes and observations are entertaining and historically informative, but in the end her goal is not amusement, but illumination; not information, but transformation." --Arthur G. Holder, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, reviewing for Anglican Theological Review

Keywords

  • Spirituality
  • Travel
  • Pilgrimage
  • Celtic
  • Ireland
  • Scotland