The ruins of Athassel Abbey,Co. Tipperary. My great great great grandmother, Alice Quinlin was born near here

It is well over a month since the last writing. In the meantime I have had a great trip to Europe. Via Estonia, I landed in Ireland on July 6.

I visited a friend, Madis Jurima, in Estonia. Madis lived in Guelph and about 15 years ago, he moved to Estonia, the country of the birth of his parents. He has established a tree nursery there. It was great to visit with him and his family. It was also educational and exciting to experience a newly independent country fairly fresh from the strictures of the USSR system, and a real gift to experience the country from someone living there who knew the language.

The purpose of my trip to Ireland was to lead two ecology retreats, one in Swords (near Dublin) and the other in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary. Both retreats went very well. It seemed like a luxury to be able to linger in a country. After the retreat I spent eight days travelling the island. I could tell you many stories. Simply put, the experience was wonderful and exceeded my high expectations. In a strange way, I felt at home there. I also had a chance to visit with three Jesuits. Gerard Ryan, a Canadian Jesuit born in Ireland, was back visiting his parent s in Co. Tipperary. I studied with the other two Jesuits in Toronto. Tom Layden lives in Dublin, and Terry Howard lives in Belfast. If all goes well, I should be able to return to Ireland next summer to lead more retreats.

On Friday I had appointments with my two cancer doctors. I will need 10 more treatments of radiation on the two lesions which are not healing. I was not surprised to get this news. I have been bandaging the two lesions almost daily. They are only marginally worse than a couple of months ago, but they should be healed by now.

I have another medical test on Tuesday, and then I plan to leave for a few weeks in PEI. Of course I am looking forward to the visit. The highlight of this trip will be the baptism for my four new grandnieces. My niece, Talia Profit, had twin girls born on July 6, the day I arrived in Ireland. My nephew, Ryan Champion, had a daughter born in June and my niece, Maria Profit, had a daughter born last September. It will be a good family celebration.

Our summer here in Guelph has been exceptionally dry and hot. It is affecting all our crops. We had rain yesterday, which seemed like manna from heaven. We still need much more rain though. In Ireland, we had cold days with rain almost every day. Farmers there were keeping cattle indoors in the evenings and the wet weather was affecting the crops as well. Such a wet and cool weather was even exceptional for Ireland.