In Celtic cultures the role of the anam cara, or soul friend, was to offer encouragement and vision for the pilgrimage of life.
Following that time honored tradition, Anam Cara Retreats offers both individuals and communities wisdom and companionship for the journey.
From retreat planning and leadership for individuals and faith based communities to journeys through sacred landscapes with kindred spirits, let us help you discover and deepen the movement of the spirit in your life, your community, and the world.
Ancient Wisdom for Today's Journey
This week on the Celtic Calendar . . .
April 14 is the feast of St. Tassac . . .
a disciple of St. Patrick's. Tassac was reputed to be a highly skilled artisan and created the holy tools-- crosses, croziers, chalices, etc.-- for the churches founded by Ireland's missionary saint. Sixty years after Patrick's death, another great Irish saint, Colum Cille (aka Columba) decided to poke around in Patrick's grave in search of relics. There he uncovered St. Patrick's bell, which can still be viewed along with the later decorative shrine created to hold the artefact, at the National Museum of Ireland.
Patrick was evidently fond of his former student. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, a medieval history of Ireland based on earlier written and oral tradition, it was Tassac who attended Patrick at his deathbed.
Patrick, son of Calphurn, son of Potaide, archbishop, first primate, and chief apostle of Ireland . . .
It was he that baptized and blessed the men, women, sons and daughters of Ireland, with their territories and tribes, both fresh waters and sea inlets. It was by him that many cells, monasteries, and churches were erected throughout Ireland; seven hundred churches was their number. It was by him that bishops, priests, and persons of every dignity were ordained; seven hundred bishops, and three thousand priests was their number. He worked so many miracles and wonders, that the human mind is incapable of remembering or recording the amount of good which he did upon earth. When the time of St. Patrick's death approached, he received the Body of Christ from the hands of the holy Bishop Tassach, in the 122nd year of his age, and resigned his spirit to heaven.
Given the closeness of their relationship and Tassac's talent as a crafstman, it isn't too far fetched to imagine that the bell with which Patrick was buried was created by Saint Tassac himself.
Spiritual Practices for the
Season of Imbolc
(February 1 - April 30)
Notice the quality of light as the days grow longer and reflect on where you find light in your life.
Celebrate the ideas, people, places, and activities that spark your creativity and fan the flame of your spirit.
Be aware of signs of new life and those who help nurture and sustain its growth. Consider the part you have to play in this cycle of life.
Give thanks for those who have been midwives and caretakers in your life.