Lovely hike to MacKinnon’s Cave

There are at least four caves on Mull where monastic hermit life has been present from the sixth century, since (or perhaps even before) St Brendan founded the first monastery in the Hebrides (shorly followed, two decaded later, by St Columba’s arrival on Iona).

This is MacKinnon’s Cave, at the foot of the mountainous area of Mull known as the Wilderness. It is only accessible at low tide. A bit further, there is a second, smaller cave – that is called the Priest’s Cave, which is only accessible by boat (there is no foot passage to it).

Just like the Nun’s Cave and Scoor Cave, I very rarely come here with our pilgrims, because the hike is difficult, but I’d like you to at least see these photographs. These caves document an important part of the history of Celtic monasticism in the Scottish Isles.

Today was a beautiful day, surprisingly sunny and warm. We even saw an otter playing in the water, which seemed like an extra blessing 🙂

Update on the Monastery: still no boiler (but having high hopes for next week), still no phone and definitely no internet (but I shall travel every other day to keep up to date with you all).

For our pilgrims: please do NOT worry. The monastic house is not our pilgrimage house – our pilgrimage house is a rental and is a LOVELY home, well heated and (moderately) well connected to the internet.

I am not sharing these things with you to complain – God knows that and I pray you know it as well. I do it because you asked me to keep you updated on how the monastery is progressing, and because I want to share with you all the positive and less positive things that happen here (which is also why we need internet access).

God bless us all! Keep the Monastery in your prayers.

If you want to join us for our 2019 Pilgrimages, there is an update on the available places on this website. feel free to send me an email ( if you have any other questions that are not answered there.


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1 Thought.

  1. Dear Father Seraphim,

    Christ is risen! Good evening, I am writing this before turning in.
    I am a friend of Nina Dewberry’s. ( Nina and David, from Utah, now Idaho.)
    Her friend, Marie Scouler was just there. (Marie and Rick).
    Marie is my godmother.
    I was baptized this past Pascha.
    I will be in Scotland, Lord willing, from June 2-June 11th, leaving now in less than a week.
    I hesitated to contact you, as I could not afford your pilgrimage.
    However, I would like to meet you.
    I will be on Iona the nites of June 3rd and 4th.
    Is there any chance you will be on Iona those days?
    After that, I go to Mull for 2 days and stay in Pennyghael.
    I am hoping to have access to a car there, but will be on shoestring budget, for most part, and am not certain I feel safe enough driving to chance a trip to Kilninian.
    Do you also have a place close to Craignure?
    Nina thought you did.
    If so, I could try to meet some of the nuns, at least, before I turn my car in on the 7th June.
    I realize I have not given you a lot of advance notice of my plans.
    I have planned this trip by myself, I have spent a lot of time researching Scotland for this trip.
    I must say, Nina has had a huge influence on my life.
    I was brought into the circle of Orthodoxy, originally, through her.
    And she largely influenced my making this trip to Scotland
    I just thought I would check and see if our Iona dates overlap.
    I have enjoyed my trip into Orthodoxy, but live in SW corner of Utah with no church close by, so, it has been an adjustment.
    I am taking my daughter on this trip so that she can de stress from her job.
    Please say a prayer for me that I arrive on Iona safely.
    I have read and read on it.
    I can’t get St Columba and his monks out of my mind.
    I feel like I am traveling back in time to see them.
    I know that’s crazy, but that is how I feel, or to see what I can that is left of them there.
    If I don’t meet you, I will write you again upon my return to the States.
    All the best with your summer!
    It sounds like a busy one!
    Sincerely yours,
    Susan Thomas, Nina’s friend.

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