€0 – €369.19

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Ards Friary Retreat and Conference Centre




View Map

Event description
A Courage & Renewal 'Courage to Lead' retreat

About this Event


A Courage to Lead® retreat

18-20 October 2019

Ards Friary Retreat & Conference Centre, Co. Donegal, Ireland

“The power for authentic leadership is found not in external arrangements, but in the human heart." (Parker J. Palmer)

We are all leaders in our lives, work and communities. Our qualities of leadership are called on for example whenever we step up, assume responsibility, speak out, meet challenges, or reach out to others. How do we stay anchored and move with the tide as we go through life? How do we stay true to the voice of our inner leadership?

Join us for a weekend Courage to Lead® retreat to reflect and renew and connect with what matters for us. Based on the Circle of Trust® programmes developed by Parker Palmer and The Center for Courage and Renewal, we draw on stories, wisdom, poetry, and journaling, and on quiet contemplative time and trustworthy conversations to create a reflective, focused space where we can find connection with what calls and draws us forward.

Courage to Lead® and Courage & Renewal® retreats offer you a rare, focused and reflective space in the presence of a supportive community to engage in questions of importance to you and deepen your understanding of the connections between who you are and what you do, your leadership role in the world and in your life, and the communities of which you are part.We aim to foster personal and professional renewal by offering the time and space to:

• pause, disconnect from technology and be still

• explore where you are on your journey

• talk through and honour both struggles and successes

• witness and be witnessed; listen and be listened to

• learn new skills for strengthening your capacity to ask open and honest questions, hold tensions, and rejoin soul and role

The process:

Together, we will engage in large and small group conversations, drawing inspiration for these from poetry and writings and stories. We will share silence, solitude and reflective journaling, and hear tales from our own lives and work. Together we follow a shared exploration of the intersections between our inner passion, courage and sense of purpose that give meaning to our life and work in the world. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a clearness dialogue, an empathy practice based on listening skills that enables individuals to hear their own inner wisdom while drawing on the wisdom of others.

Who should participate:

The retreat welcomes people who are seeking opportunities for reflection and renewal as a means of illuminating their own life journey, or enhancing their leadership role in work, organisational or community settings.This retreat draws on the work of Parker Palmer and the programmes of the U.S.-based Center for Courage & Renewal. This approach to ‘personal formation’ and professional development is founded on the belief that good leadership, in its very widest sense, - the ability to genuinely be of service in our families, communities and workplaces, - flows from the identity and integrity of the individual. The retreat process invites participants to reclaim wholeness of self and clarity of vocation while making connections between the renewal of one’s spirit and the revitalisation of the communities and workplaces of which we are part.

Dates and times:

Start time: Check-in from 12 noon, in time for lunch at 1pm and retreat start at 2.30pm on Friday18th October 2019.

End of retreat: After lunch, Sunday 20th October 2019 (lunch ends 2pm and is followed with an optional Q&A session that will end at 3pm).

The retreat is residential for all participants. We begin on Friday afternoon with check-in available from 12 noon, followed by lunch, and the initial gathering at 2.30 p.m. We end on Sunday afternoon after lunch at 2pm, with an optional Q&A session afterwards which will end at 3pm. Participants are asked to arrive in good time so they can have lunch and settle in before the first session on Friday at 2.30pm, and also to plan to stay for the whole of the retreat.

Our venue:

Ards Retreat Centre is a Christian spiritual retreat centre, located on the Wild Atlantic Way in Co.Donegal, and is nestled in 200 acres of woodland on the shores of Sheephaven Bay. The extensive grounds offer a range of woodland walks and scenic views of the shore with the hills of Donegal as a backdrop. The Friary aims to welcome everyone from all traditions and none who want to take time out to refocus on what is really important in life, and is available throughout the year for different sorts of retreats and reflection time. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, Ards offers peace and quiet in surroundings of enchanting natural beauty, promotes justice, peace and reconciliation and strives to raise awareness of ecological issues.

Accommodation at Ards Retreat Centre is comfortable and cosy with shared facilities. Bedrooms have a double or single bed with a wash hand basin. Showers and toilets are beside the bedrooms. Meals are hearty and the cooks can also accommodate specific dietary requirements. There is also space on the registration form for you to confirm your dietary requirements.

Getting to the venue:

Ards Retreat Centre is 6km from Creeslough and 33km from Letterkenny, Co Donegal. From Dublin city it is 277km, from Derry/Londonderry it is 66km, from Belfast City Airport 182 km, from Sligo 144 km, from Donegal airport in North West Donegal at Carrickfinn the distance is 47km. There are two flights daily from Dublin and Glasgow to Donegal airport. For detailed directions please see the Centre’s website at www.ardsfriary.ie which also gives information on bus, coach and taxi services.

Arriving early or staying on:

If you wish to arrive early or stay on please contact the Retreat Centre directly on tel: 00353 74 91 38909 or e mail: info@ardsfriary.ie

What to bring:

• comfortable, warm and seasonally weather-appropriate clothing and outdoor shoes

• toiletries and personal items


Retreat fee: €315 early bird before June 1st 2019; €345 from June1st 2019. Please note that payment is not asked for at the time of completing the registration form here. After you have registered, you will be sent an email acknowledgement with instructions on how to pay. Payment must be made ON RECEIPT of these email instructions in order to secure your place. The fee includes:

• simple, comfortable two nights accommodation in single rooms with shared bathroom/shower facilities.

• delicious wholesome meals during our retreat time (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks) as well as lunch on arrival on Friday. (Note that the Centre is also able to cater for essential diets if required; please indicate this in your registration form)

• facilitation by a skilled facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal

• materials and handouts

Registration and payment:

The maximum number of participants we can accommodate on this retreat is 22. Please register for your place on the retreat by completing the online registration form on this site. Look for the button labelled 'tickets'. To repeat: registration is free and you are not asked to pay for your place when you complete the registration form. On submitting the registration form, you will be sent an acknowledgement email with instructions on how to pay for your place. Payment for the retreat is then to be made ON RECEIPT OF THIS EMAIL to Ards Friary Retreat & Conference Centre by cheque, bank draft or electronic transfer. If by any chance you do not receive the acknowledgement email and instructions, please contact us (see below) to let us know and we will send you the details.


You may withdraw your registration before 20th September 2019 at which point you will be offered a refund, minus a 25% admin fee. If you cancel your place on the retreat on or after 20th September 2019, we regret that no refund can be offered. In the unlikely event that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the retreat has to be cancelled by us, we will refund all fees paid by participants. Our liability is limited to refunding only the event fees. We recommend therefore that participants have adequate insurance to cover any cancelled travel or personal expenses.


Barbara Reid, PhD is a U.K.-based facilitator of Circles of Trust, trained at the Center for Courage & Renewal in the U.S. She has worked as a university teacher and researcher in the social and urban policy fields since 1986, leading vocational degree programmes and managing social action research projects for public services and third sector organisations. With a long-standing commitment to contemplative and reflective practice in education, Barbara also teaches Mindfulness Based Approaches, and has been a member of the core team at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University. She now divides her time between training, teaching and facilitating in a range of organisational and community settings, and providing supervision to individuals and groups in support of their work and personal growth.

Preparing for the retreat:

If you are unfamiliar – or even if you are familiar with the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, you might like to look at some of Parker Palmer’s books - “A Hidden Wholeness”, “The Courage to Teach”, “Let Your Life Speak”, or “Healing the Heart of Democracy” . Further information about the approach taken in our retreats is available on the Center for Courage & Renewal’s website - www.couragerenewal.orgOur retreat follows the approach developed by Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, and is reflective, contemplative and discursive. Each day will start with optional silent reflection time before breakfast. During the days, personal reflective time will often effectively be quiet time, though at other times we will be in discussion in pairs, small groups, and in the large group. Deep listening is also an important part of our work together. There will be sessions in the evenings, up until 9-9.30pm.


For any queries about the retreat organisation, please contact :

- Rita McNulty on 00353 87 6295453 or e mail: teetree@eircom.net


- Mary Manning on 00353 87 2421330 or e mail: suaimhneasmary@gmail.com

For queries about Circles of Trust, Courage to Lead, the Center for Courage & Renewal, please contact the facilitator:

- Barbara Reid, email: beereid@gmail.com

For any queries about the venue/accommodation, including staying extra nights, please contact the Retreat Centre, email: info@ardsfriary.ie

Share with friends

Date and Time


Ards Friary Retreat and Conference Centre




View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved