The Spiritual Life Institute community came to Holy Hill Hermitage in 1995. When the Sisters of Mercy decided to leave their convent in Skreen in the early 1990’s, Bishop Thomas Finnegan wanted it to become a contemplative center for the diocese of Killala. He looked for a community of hermits. He heard about the Spiritual Life Institute, a community of apostolic hermits who at that time had centers in Crestone, Colorado and in the woods near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He came to Nova Scotia and spent a week with us, and then invited us to Skreen. We spent ten years renovating existing buildings and gardens and building eleven hermitages. In the meantime, we sold our hermitage in Nova Scotia in 1999.
In 2014, Bishop John Fleming made the Holy Hill community a Diocesan Institute of Consecrated Life. In 2016 we changed our name to the Carmelite Community of Apostolic Hermits.
Holy Hill is open to people of all faiths and walks of life who are looking for a place away. Whether you wish to reconnect with the God of your understanding or simply to experience a place apart from the noise and distractions of contemporary society, Holy Hill will be able to meet your needs. Most retreats are non-directed, scheduled only by your soul’s needs. However, if you desire, spiritual direction is available on request. We offer one free session of every retreatant, and ask a donation for further sessions.
Holy Hill provides an environment that is naturally conducive to growth in the contemplative life: a simple hermitage, healthy food, a balance of solitude and community, work and play, a quiet chapel and expansive library in a beautiful setting. This atmosphere of spaciousness and the support of the community is offered so that you may experience God’s great love.
We also share our lives through our associate group, Friends of Carmel, which meets four times a year. We publish talks and articles on our website. We occasionally host school groups for tours or one-day retreats. Periodically, we may be asked to lead outside retreats or speak to groups. Go to our website, holyhill.ie, for more information.
‘I will lead you into the desert and there I will speak to your heart’. — (Hos. 2:16)