Many visitors ask us about the story of Craig Lodge and how it changed from being a hunting lodge to a house of prayer. Calum MacFarlane-Barrow tells the tale here. The story of Craig Lodge continues to unfold and has only been possible so far because of the prayers and support of all the good people who come on retreat.
“My wife, Mary Anne, and I, in 1977, purchased Craig Lodge, a former hunting lodge to run as a guest house and to raise our family of 5 children. It was an idyllic home with 7 acres of woodland and gardens and set in beautiful countryside close to a river and with mountains and hills beyond.
However, in 1983, our daughter, Ruth, aged 20, read about the claimed apparitions of Our Lady appearing in Yugoslavia which dramatically changed our lives. Along with some cousins, Ruth and her school friend Kenneth Black – now her husband; and 2 of her brothers Fergus (16) and Magnus (15), visited Medugorje, Yugoslavia, at the end of 1983. Their visit had a profound effect upon each one of them and brought about a dramatic change in our lives.
Mary Anne and I could not but notice the change. They suggested we pray more and even fast and they really meant it! The result of all this was that Mary Anne and I, along with a priest and a small group from Glasgow visited Medugorje two months later in 1984. We too came back and felt we had received many graces. So much so that we undertook to run small retreats for those interested in Medugorje during the winter months which was our close season at Craig Lodge. We continued to do this for the next few winter seasons until in 1988 we decided, after much prayer and discernment, to convert the lodge into a prayer house. We both felt, independently, called to name the house “Family House of Prayer”
In 1989, the first Youth Festival was held in Medugorje. We became involved and I went with a group of young people from Scotland. We hoped we could get enough young people to fill a bus but to our great delight we required 6 buses with over 250 young Scots accompanying us! Many wonderful blessings were received.
The following year, 1990, we arranged another very successful pilgrimage and as a result of some of the pilgrims coming together, the Krizevac Community was formed at Craig Lodge on September 14th, the Exaltation of the Cross. This was an invitation for persons aged 20 to 30 years to come to Craig Lodge for a year in which they had the opportunity to draw closer to God through prayer, fasting ,hospitality and service.
In 2000 we became Craig Lodge Community and we now include permanent members – families and single – who live independently, near Craig Lodge, and join in the prayer and work of the Community and renew their commitment annually.
Over the years we have had the joy of seeing former members go on to marry and have families and also to enter religious life. Several are currently studying for the priesthood. Praise God!
The story of Craig Lodge continues to unfold and has only been possible so far because of the prayers and support of all the good people who come on retreat.”