Drumalis guests ‘blown away’ by Larne hospitality
Drumalis has welcomed more than 500 visitors to the retreat centre at Glenarm Road for one of its busiest ever summers.
Guests have travelled to the former convent from across the British Isles and as far afield as the United States, Australia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Zambia, Malaysia and India.
Sister Margaret Rose, a director of Drumalis, said: “Everyone they have met has been nothing but welcoming, interested and caring and always had someone to point them in the right direction.
“They feel in a safe place and have commented on the friendliness and hospitality of the Larne people.”
Sister Bernadette Maria, visiting from Dublin, with 45 members of the Religious Sisters of Charity from around the globe, commented: “The other day, I was down the town. I was blown away by the friendliness of the people. They were courteous to each other, they had respect for older people. They seemed to have time to talk to us.
“I was amazed and encouraged by the joyfulness of the people.”
She went on to say she believes that the Sisters bring a “special presence” to Larne.
“Drumalis is a little haven in our world today. Our Sisters absolutely love coming here. We feel rested and revitalised and go away with very special memories.
“We have been here before. We have found it a sacred space within a beautiful environment which is very conducive to reflective work.”
Sister Una O’Neill also praised Larne residents saying: “We feel most welcome in the town. They would nearly accompany you to the shops.”
Sister Anna who is also a director of Drumalis, added: “Our mission statement in Drumalis is spiritual, ecological and ecumenical.”
She indicated that guests are attracted by the ecology and the environment and use the space either to conduct their own business or to avail of a course on offer.
Sister Margaret Rose continued: “We believe that the decision to develop this wing ten years ago has paid off. I am very proud that the facilities are being fully used.”
She also believes that visitors have provided a boost for the local economy.
“It is a journey we are on. It is constantly unfolding.”