Sunday, October 30, 2011

Visiting Ards Friary

Church near Ards Friary by Southwark Vocations
A week ago I flew out to Belfast and then drove over to Donegal. The purpose of the trip was to visit Ards Friary, a retreat and Conference Centre which used to be the Capuchin seminary in Ireland. Set in two hundred acres of land and overlooking a dramatic bay the Friary is in a stunning location. It is also quite accessible from London, particularly if one flies to Derry rather than to Belfast. I am always on the lookout for good places for vocations retreats and other vocation activities so if you know of any do let me know. A prayerful Chapel or Oratory for Holy Mass and times of prayer is one of the most important factors. After that, beautiful surroundings, and reasonable accommodation are all a bonus. 
These days it is becoming harder to find things here in England because so many religious houses have closed down and been sold. The few that remain tend to get booked up a long time in advance.
The photograph above is of the local village chapel near Ards Friary. It was built to resemble the shape of the mountains behind it. Once you get inside it is surprisingly light and spacious.

No comments: