Celebrations planned for the feast of St Colmcille – Highland Radio
Celebrations are taking place this week to celebrate the feast of St Colmcille on June 9th.
This year marks the 1500th anniversary of the Saint’s birth.
The celebrations begin tomorrow with the 2021 American Conference for Irish Studies, which will be broadcast live from the Magee campus of the University of Ulster, where academics and historians from around the world bring Colmcille’s rich academic heritage to life.
Some of the live streamed sessions will be available to the public at www.acis2021.com including a keynote address by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland on Thursday 3 June at 5 pm as well as speeches by the Irish and British Ambassadors to the United States on Saturday 5 June.
As part of the conference, a special program ‘Slí Colmcille’ presented by Líonra Leitir Ceanainn in collaboration with the Letterkenny Regional Cultural Center will premiere on Friday June 4 at 8 p.m. on www.facebook.com/LIONRALC with music and poetry, history and tales from a host of wonderful guests from across Ireland and Scotland.
On Sunday June 6, the Saint’s birthplace in Gartan, Donegal will be celebrated in two special offices.
The mass will be broadcast live on RTE One at 11:00 a.m. to celebrate both Corpus Christi and the 1500th anniversary, with celebrant Fr. Michael McKeever joined by parishioners from St Colmcille Church, Glendowan.
A Church of Ireland Holy Communion service in St Columba, Gartan’s Church in Church Hill at 12:30 p.m. will celebrate Columba’s international legacy and can be viewed live at www.facebook.com/StColumbaGartan or later at www.youtube.com/channel/UCCunnIlJgF9K_Rcz0-Vm2-Q/
Raphoe Diocese Colmcille 1500 will present “Colmcille: A Lasting Legacy”, a virtual series on the life and legacy of Colmcille / Columba, which will be broadcast in three parts via YouTube on June 6, 7 and 8 at 8 pm.
The series will feature contributions from Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ and Reverend David Houlton, Rector of Gartan as well as historians, academics and other Colombian experts.
Original compositions of poetry and music will also be presented, as well as excerpts from the work of local schoolchildren and an excerpt from “The Enemy Within” in Gaeilge.
Margaret McAteer’s new musical setting, ‘Alone with None but Thee’, will also premiere with Colmcille Gospel Choir and with guest singers such as Moya Brennan as well as other choirs, performers and the Glencolmcille Primary School. . Further details can be found at: https://tockify.com/colmcille1500/detail/138/1622934000000.
On Wednesday June 9, RTE News Channel will be live at 10:30 am at St. Colmcille Church, Glendowan to mark the party.
Many other places in Colmcille and places dedicated to the Saint will also mark the day. For example, St Columba Church of Ireland in Glencolmcille will be open to visitors all day and in Fanad, Mass will be broadcast from the St Colmcille well at 10 a.m. www.facebook.com/stmarysfanavolty.
While in Derry, the site of Colmcille’s first and most beloved Monastery, Bishop Donal McKeown will celebrate Mass in the long tower of St Columba’s Church at 10:00 am and bless the water from the St Columba Well which will be available in the church after the service.
You can watch the special mass at http://longtowerchurch.org/webcam. Aras Cholmcille – St. Columba Heritage Center, next to Long Tower, will reopen in time for the holiday day and you can visit from 11am to 3pm or online at www.stcolumbaheritage.com. Wooden sculptures will also be on display at the well.
The Church Trust will launch a short film online at 10 a.m. at www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6a7ovcN-RDhw-JPVZJ5Kg to present his Columba Schools project and the making of a storybook by students from three primary schools – Fountain, Nazareth House and Longtower.
Later, at St Augustine’s Church, a Columba show titled “Columba: A Triptych” will take place at 7:30 pm. In three parts, it will tell the stories of his mother’s dream, the battle his parents started on his behalf and his possible remorse. For more details and tickets, email [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/weechurch.
Two new Colmcille exhibitions will also be open on the day of the Festival. “Colmcille – Man and Myths” is at the Tower Museum until September before moving to the Donegal County Museum.
This is a joint exhibition between the two Councils which will take people on a journey of discovery around the world of Colmcille in Donegal and Derry.
At Donegal’s Central Library in Letterkenny, a limited edition of Kells’ book “Faksimile Verlag Luzern” presented in a decorative box will be on display alongside a limited edition poem by Seamus Heaney “Colum Cille the Scrib”.
Deirdre Harte, Colmcille 1500 project manager at Donegal County Council, said: “We are thrilled with the number and range of events taking place around the party in the North West. While physical events and access to exhibits will be limited in number according to current COVID restrictions, there is plenty to see online. You will find more information on Colmcille 1500 on our website www.colmcille1500.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Colmcille1500NW“.