The Roman Catholic Church has been endowed with numerous schools of spirituality, normally stemming from the giftedness or charism of an individual in reference to one’s approach to God. Celtic Christian Spirituality cannot trace its origins to one person, even though many Irish would place St. Patrick at the top of the list. Rather, numerous individuals and events have come together to mold a heritage and way of life somewhat distinctive to the Emerald Isle. Few Catholic Americans can claim they have not been influenced by the embodiment of this spirituality within their own education.
The elusiveness, yet popularity, of the phraseology presents its own challenge in unlocking how Celtic Spirituality emerges as an area of personal growth. Certainly the "Carmina Gadelica," the peregrinatio pro christo, the doctrine of the Trinity, the emphasis on penance, and the breastplate of St. Patrick are integral to our own understanding of this pathway to God.
Sister Madeleine Grace, CVI, a member of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Houston. She holds degrees from the University of Houston in social science, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, in theology and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., in historical theology. Her specific area of specialization is early Church history coupled with a keen interest in spirituality. She currently is an associate professor in the UST Department of Theology.