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Several people have sent me links to this RTE video about a Irish hermitess. As with all hermits I not am sure whether she is mad or prophetic. In many ways she reflects the true tradition of Celtic spirituality: prayer and penance but also that rather solitary idiosyncratic Irishness which tends to extremes but is still deeply rooted in the memory of the past.
A comment on the video says:

This documentary was produced in 2003. It tells the story of a hermit nun, Sr Irene, who, with the local bishop's blessing, built a small hermitage for women on the West coast of Ireland between 1992-95. Around 1995 she was given special graces. With spiritual guidance from a local traditional Catholic priest and in view the crisis in the modern Church, she returned to the Holy traditional Mass and teachings prior to Vatican II. Always remaining faithful to her vows, she nevertheless found it increasingly impossible to have easy access to the traditional Sacraments. With so few priests offering the Latin Rite Liturgy in Ireland, it was rarely celebrated in her private oratory. With no regular Mass, like minded candidates were not encouraged to join her. In 2003 she therefore made the difficult decision place the Hermitage on the property market. It was sold in 2012 and Sr. Irene moved to Athlone in the heart of Ireland within walking distance to the Tridentine Mass where she continues her life of prayer and sacrifice in her new "Holy Family Hermitage". To this day she remains faithful to the unchanging Magisterial of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Does anyone know what has become of her? There is a website, it appears she is still alone, as she has moved to Athlone, I presume she is affiliated to the SSPX.
I must admit I find her fascinating, and challenging.
Fascinating indeed! She's a maverick of sorts, with the kind of independent spirit you would need to start a place like that. Too bad she couldn't get anyone to join her. It looks like a beautiful, peaceful place. Anyway she can still have a hermitage of the heart.
Disgraceful that good woman like this cant get access to a priest to say the Latin Mass.
What an inspiring and, may I say, frightening woman. What does it say about us (me) that holiness comes across as madness?
Thank you for sharing this. Truly inspirational.

It strikes me that her suffering is a metaphore for what is happening in the whole Church.
I don't get the feeling or impression that she is crazy or mad.... she is just serious about her faith.
Good for her and I hope she is connected to the SSPX in Ireland so she can get the spiritual and priestly support she needs to stay faithful to her vows.
(06-03-2014, 11:21 PM)Bourbon Apocalypse Wrote: [ -> ]What an inspiring and, may I say, frightening woman. What does it say about us (me) that holiness comes across as madness?

I've often wondered that - I imagine St. John the Baptist would probably terrify people nowadays.
According to the people on Fr. Blake's comment box, she now lives near an SSPX mass center.
Sr. Irene lives in Athlone, and can be found on Facebook under 'SrIrene Nun'
I stayed with her for a number of days to test a vocation to the solitary life. She lives today much the same as she has since her Profession in 1990. I joined her each morning at 4.30am to begin Vigil. We shared one meal in common in silence listening to conferences by Archbishop F.J.Sheen. She earns a meagre income by writing sacred icons and making herbal ointments.  I accompanied her each morning to attend Mass in the local  SSPX church. She is not however affiliated or spiritually supported by their priests. I found this article about her. It seems to sum up very much what she told me she has experienced since her Profession.  I believe she will not stay in the area, as it is built up and noisy. 
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