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Scotland: The Isle of Iona and The Catholic House of Prayer (Cnoc a’ Chalmain)

About the Isle of Iona:

The Isle of Iona is an island of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland and was of great significance in the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland.  A Monastic community was founded here by Saint Columba and 12 of his followers in 563 AD.  Having built the first Celtic church, they set about converting most of pagan Scotland and northern England to the Christian faith.  Saint Aidan served as a monk at Iona until King Oswald of Northumbria requested that he be made bishop of the newly converted Northumbrians.

The old Nunnery is still present on the Island.


About the Catholic House of Prayer on the Isle of Iona:

The Catholic House of  Prayer offers accommodations….both twin and double for stays of at least two nights.

Within Cnoc a’ Chalmain is a beautiful, simple Oratory, where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is there for Mass, and for private prayer. It can be reached directly from the outside, for pilgrims not staying in the house.

Photo Credits Jane Kindlen


Traveling to the Isle of Iona:

You can travel by ferry from the mainland that will take you to the East coast of Mull. The Iona ferry departs from Fionnphort (pronounced fin-a-fort), at the southwestern tip of Mull.  Please note that cars are not allowed on the Isle of Iona.


They offer this advice on their website:  The weather on Iona is notoriously changeable. It is not uncommon to experience hail, rain, and sunshine on the same day! Iona’s maritime climate means it is rarely very hot or very cold. It is, however, often windy, and the windchill factor can make it feel really cold. We recommend lots of comfortable layers that you can easily put on and off, along with waterproof jacket and trousers if you have them.

Address:  Cnoc a’ Chalmain Catholic House of Prayer, Isle of Iona PA76 6SP, UK

Tel:  +44 1681 700369

Click here for the official Cnoc a’Chalmain Catholic House of Prayer

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