50th Anniversary Tour Leader Reflection: Bob & Margaret Nally

Open to a Full Encounter with Culture & History

After participating in several TourMagination experiences, Bob and Margaret Nally had an inclination that TM travellers might like to explore their homeland, Ireland. The Nallys mentioned the idea of a Sacred Spaces of Ireland tour to Audrey Voth Petkau, President of TourMagination. She invited them to draft a possible itinerary. “We wanted to share the beauty, the history, the spiritual tradition, the music, and the active peacemaking that are unique to Ireland,” say Bob and Margaret.

In 2017, the Nallys took their first group to Ireland and have led two subsequent tours, with another one planned for Spring 2021. On each tour, they visit the Corrymeela community—an ecumenical movement that has been actively engaged in the peace process in Northern Ireland for more than 40 years.  “In the darkest days of violence the combined witness of the Churches for peace never waned,” says Margaret. “Our tour groups spend time with peacemakers and educators who have travelled this hard reality and teach us the lessons of restructuring and restoring communities after war and conflict. They invite us to examine our own communities where conflict resides.”

Tour groups travelling to Ireland have fun engaging with local people—especially when they visit pubs to witness music, storytelling, and dance while enjoying local food and drink. “We relax together and stories flow, pictures are taken and a sense of real joy is felt,” says Margaret. Travellers also enjoy watching a sheepdog demonstration and the sense of humour of the local shepherd who whistles and commands the dogs into action.

Bob and Margaret love the way community is formed as travellers discover common interests, share their stories, and seek life in new places. “Singing and praying together gives focus to open our eyes, ears and heart to where the Spirit resides in holy places, among people, within creation, in all weathers,” says Margaret. According to the Nallys, TourMagniation travellers are “unique folks willing and able to be open to a full encounter with culture and history, perhaps beyond their comfort zones. They awake each day on tour ready to receive the gift of the people and the place.”

 

Cover Photo: Bob & Margaret Nally at Slieve League, Donegal, Ireland.

1 comment
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    2 months ago, 11:05

    Ken and I had the privilege of joining the Ireland tour with Bob and Margaret in the fall of 2018. It was so inspiring to hear faith stories of early Irish missionaries, to visit the sites of their sacred spaces, to see the rugged beauty of the land and to meet wonderful people who shared great stories, humour and music. The daily spiritual reflections centered us and prepared us for new learnings each day. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Thank-you, Bob and Margaret.

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