I will be reporting back on a St. Hilda Pilgrimage in September, 2014



I am so very excited to be taking a St. Hilda pilgrimage with the  nuns of the Anglican Order of the Holy Paraclete that are connected with Sneaton Castle at Whitby and the St. Oswald Pastoral Centre in Sleights nearby in mid-September. These nuns carry on the remembrance of St. Hilda and the other great Northumbrian saints. I think I have been to most of the places we will journey to, but it will be very special to get to be in these sacred sites with the nuns who carry on the remembrance of St. Hilda of Whitby.

St. Oswald's Pastoral Centre, Sleights

St. Oswald’s Pastoral Centre, Sleights

The Oswald Pastoral Centre is listed in the 7 February 2011 issue of the Telegraph as one of the eight best retreat places in Britain and Europe. Best retreats article

It is also going to be a joy to hear Dr. Michelle Brown, who is an expert on Anglo-Saxon and early medieval illuminated manuscripts speak on St. Hilda at St. Hilda’s Church in Hartlepool on Saturday, September 13. She was the Head of the Medieval Manuscripts at the British Library, a Canon of St. Paul’s,  a revered author, and a most fascinating speaker.

Dr. Michelle Brown holding the Lindisfarne Gospels. She is an expert on these Gospels.

Dr. Michelle Brown holding the Lindisfarne Gospels. She is an expert on these Gospels.


So, as we chase St. Hilda on our pilgrimage, there will be much to report back about…probably in October, so be watching! 



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St. Hilda of Whitby and her sister Hereswith

Icon of St. Hilda of Whitby by Ellen Francis, OSH

Icon of St. Hilda of Whitby by Ellen Francis, OSH

On my www.saintsbridge.wordpress.com blog, in which I write about Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Merovingian abbesses, monks, and hermits, there is a fairly lengthy post on St. Hilda of Whitby along with some photos. St. Hilda and her sister St. Hereswith are my patron saints, so I have a passion for these great Anglo-Saxon saints. I hope you will visit the Saints’ Bridge site. On the home page towards the bottom, there is a listing of all the saints I have written on with links to each of them.

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Hilda’s Feast Day

St. Hilda’s Feast Day was Sunday, November 17, 2013.

We celebrated this auspicious day in our home with Hilda, our cat feasting on treats. Yes, one of my two Maine Coon cats is 2 years old and she is named “St. Hilda of Whitby of Nascat Maine Coons” (we call her simply “Hilda” or as she most likely knows herself as “Get Down Hilda”-as she can’t stay off the kitchen island).

I can only hope that the original St. Hilda doesn’t mind that a beautiful Maine Coon who walks on a leash and has a bit of a ‘tude is named for her.

St. Hilda of Whitby (Hilda aka Get Down Hilda) enjoying her St. Hilda Feast Day treats

St. Hilda of Whitby (Hilda aka Get Down Hilda) enjoying her St. Hilda’s Feast Day treats

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Hild by Nicola Griffith

Yesterday, 11-12-13 a new friend of  mine, Nicola Griffith has published an awesome historical/science fiction book entitled, Hild.

HIld by Nicola Griffith.

HIld by Nicola Griffith

This beautifully written book is about that fascinating era of the 7th century Anglo-Saxons in Britain’s Northumbria and East Anglia with a focus on St. Hild(a) of Whitby. It reads almost like poetry as it is so lyrically written.

What a treasure it was to receive a preview copy to read several months ago!  Thank you Nicola for entrusting this Hilda-chaser with your masterful tome.

For years, Nicola has studied  Anglo-Saxon history and has applied her in depth research to this masterful volume. Now, it may be a bit “out there” for some who think saints are only pious/holy/one dimensional/unfun (is that a word?) as Nicola has developed Hild into a wild child with extraordinary gifts and graces.

Nicola has won numerous awards for her writing including:  a Nebula Award, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, the World Fantasy Award and six Lambda Literary Awards. She also received the Alice B. Award in 2009.he was awarded the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation in 2013.

It is so appropriate that Hild would go on sale during the week of St. Hilda of Whitby’s feast day on November 17!  This book has already received numerous rave reviews from the biggies in the literary industry. Congrats Nicola for a gorgeous book!

Griffith, Nicola. Hild. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. November 2013.

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