Mike Hannon is the director and producer of the forthcoming documentary film The Cloud of Unknowing, about a contemporary Irish hermit. An excerpt is available at Vimeo. Hannon comments on the film:
The Cloud of Unknowing is a nineteen minute documentary on a modern day hermit who dedicated his life to the mystical tradition of contemplative prayer. Rodney Thompson, a Cork man, spent almost thirty years in an isolated cottage in Connemara in pursuit of solitude, silence and prayer. Without electricity or running water, Mr Thompson lived simply, prayed ceaselessly and welcomed visitors to his hermitage close to Roundstone, Galway.
Filled with majestic vistas and robust Connemara weather, the film allows the viewer to step into the mind of a hermit, as the natural world unfolds at an unhurried pace.
The Irish Sun profiles “English-accented” hermit Peter O’Neill, who died recently at 71. O’Neill lived alone in the Wicklow mountains in a hut, and maintained a large number of books, journals, and writings. The local priest came to his acquaintance and enjoyed O’Neill wide range of knowledge.
Interestingly, Peter is not the only person living in such a way in Ireland. And priest Fr Crotty reckons that perhaps these people who have detached themselves from society are worth paying attention to.
He said: “There are 37 other such men living in forests around Ireland. Maybe they are people we should be looking at and listening to, maybe they’re telling us something very profound about the need to be in touch with our world and our environment.
“To that extent I’d look up to him and say, ‘well done’.”
An article in the Westmeath Examiner (Ireland) announces that Sister Veronica Moore of the Sisters of Mercy, until recently a nurse in Zambia, received canonical status as a hermit. She is the fourth canonical hermit in the diocese in the recent year.
A fascinating ebook available free on the web is The Forgotten Hermitage of Skellig Michael by Walter Horn, Jenny White Marshall, and Grellan D. Rourke (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990). The book details archaeological investigations of a rocky island off County Kerry, Ireland, which housed a hermit’s dwelling in the 9th century. Includes photographs.
Here is the web site of an anchoress in an “isolated hermitage atop a remote Irish mountain.” Includes prayers, reflections and wonderful photographs. URL: http://www.iol.ie/~anchorhold/. Brought to our attention in a communication from the anchoress.