The pastoral and fraternal visits conducted by the General Definitory are not exactly holiday excursions, but I cannot deny that I often find myself in interesting and beautiful places. The place I am currently visiting would fall into the latter category. For the last two days I have been visiting the brothers in Ard Mhuire Friary, County Donegal, Ireland. During a rare, sunny moment this morning I snapped the above photo of the friary from a short distance away. I was given the privilege of staying in the “Bishop’s Room”, which can been seen on the top left side of the friary in the photo. The second photograph is the view from my room on a less sunny moment. Although this would now be considered prime property, before the Capuchins acquired it from the Irish Land Commission in 1929 it had been on the market for nearly seven years. The friary was originally used as the province's theologate, but is now a retreat house. The brothers here are most hospitable, and would gladly welcome fellow Capuchins for a private retreat or just some time away.
I was told that the mountain seen in the background of the photo is used by local residents to predict the weather. If the mountain is not visible, they say, it is raining. If it is visible, it is about to rain. It seems to be a very accurate indicator since the mountain was very visible in the bright sun this morning, but now, six hours later, the rain is so thick that the mountain is barely visible.