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A Brief History

Emmanuel House of Providence is a Catholic centre for prayer and evangelisation. It is a new community of Christ’s faithful in formation, located in the very heart of Ireland. It was founded by Michael and Annette Cullen who had given their lives to imparting the faith to young people in the United States and in Ireland. In 1985 they were led in faith to Clonfert with the desire to found there a Catholic spirit filled centre.

Clonfert — the Irish version of the name means ‘field of miracles’ — is the site of a 6th century monastery of St. Brendan the Navigator. This is the most famous of the many monasteries founded by that great saint. He is more widely known for his extensive travels to spread the faith and accounts of his life are to be found in all the ancient libraries of Europe. Of the two journals attributed to him the“Navigatio” is perhaps the most widely read. This book recounts his journey from Kerry to the Faroes, to Iceland, Greenland and on to America.

After St. Brendan’s death Clonfert grew to become a city of learning with well over 3,000 students, many from Britain and Europe. Nothing now remains of the original holy city, but of the succeeding ecclesial buildings the 12th century Cathedral with its beautiful 13th century doorway continues to witness the Christian tradition and is in use for Church of Ireland worship. Tradition has it that St. Brendan is buried opposite the Cathedral door.

Emmanuel House of Providence is under the ecclesiastical authority of Bishop Michael Duignan of Clonfert. The buildings are sited about 300 metres from the old Cathedral. A beautiful new oratory has been built, and a large meeting hall, tearoom, toilet block, ten confessionals and a Divine Mercy Shrine. The old stone farm buildings have been renovated to provide living accommodation, office, shop and other facilities.

In 1990 Eddie and Lucy Stones moved to Emmanuel House with their family in response to God’s call. The following year God called the Cullen family to a new ministry in Wisconsin, USA, their work of getting Emmanuel House off the ground now complete. Michael was ordained a deacon of the church on Sunday, 11 May 1997 and is responsible for a number of parishes in the diocese.

The vision of Eddie and Lucy Stones for the centre is that it is a spiritual hospital where people can experience the healing power of God in spirit, mind and body.

Please pray that God will continue to bless Emmanuel House of Providence, that God’s plan for it will be fulfilled and that many people who go to Emmanuel House will experience His mercy and His healing.