Welcome to our virtual pilgrimage, we journeyed the ancient 480-mile Camino de Santiago from France to Spain! Our Weekly Journal updates are below – Enjoy!
A summary of our trip is here in a short video: Camino Video
“There are no guarantees in this life and a pilgrim is well served by offering gratitude for all experiences encountered along the path.” — John Brierley, “A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago”
Notes from our Book Club’s reading of “Walk In A Relaxed Manner – Life Lessons from the Camino” are also below, and worth reading!
BOOK CLUB: WALK IN A RELAXED MANNER
- Session One – Notes: Click Here/Introduction to Chapter 2 and Reflection Card: Rid Yourself of Weeds
- Session Two: Click Here / Chapters 3 – 6
- Session Three: Click Here / Chapters 7 – 10
- Session Four: Click Here / Chapters 11 – 15
- Session Five: Click Here / Chapters 16 – 20
- Session Six: Click Here Chapters 21 – 25
- 2/4/2021, Journal update 24 – Santiago de Compostela
- Click Here / Update 24 – Santiago de Compostela
We have reached our pilgrimage destination, allowing us to spend time giving personal thanks to our patron, St. James, the Apostle. Our visit to the Catedral Santiago (which holds an honors the relics of St. James) and Santiago de Compostela, the town where the Catedral Santiago (Cathedral, St. James) is were wonderful visits. And, we found that Santiago de Compostela is already celebrating Mardi Gras (‘Carnaval’) – we didn’t realize that they start 4 days before Ash Wednesday. Another unexpected treat! Indeed, it’s time to celebrate. 483 miles. When we started we earnestly had no idea what to expect. It has been interesting, beautiful, full of surprises, and spiritually enriching. In many ways we are at a new place than where we were when we started. As one pilgrim shared with us: se resuelve caminando, it is solved by walking. We hope you have found it the same.
- 2/7/2021, Journal update 23 – Vilar de Donas to Monte de Gozo
- Click Here / Update 23 – Vilar de Donas to Monte de Gozo
- 1/31/2021, Journal update 22 – Castromaior to Leboreiro
- Click Here / Update 22 – Castromaior to Leboreiro
- 1/24/2021, Journal update 21 – Barbadelo to Portomarin
- Click Here / Update 21 – Barbadelo to Portomarin
- 1/17/2021, Journal update 20 – Alto de San Roque to Sarria
- Click Here / Update 20 – Alto de San Roque to Sarria
- 1/10/2021, Journal update 19 – Las Medulas to O Cebreiro
- Click Here / Update 19 – Medulas to O Cebreiro
- 1/3/2021, Journal update 18 – Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
- Click Here / Update 18 – Ponferrada to Villafranca
- 12/27/2020, Journal update 17 – Murias de Rechivaldo to Molinaseca
- Click Here / Update 17 – Murias to Molinaseca
- 12/20/2020, Journal update 16 – Villadangos del Páramo to Astorga
- Click Here / Update 16 – Villadangos del Páramo to Astorga
What a fun week – A queen does battle with her husband, the king! Local life continues to delight. And, Astorga – wonderful Astorga. Who knew this was such a gem of a town. Enjoy!
- 12/13/2020, Journal update 15 – León & La Virgen del Camino
- Click Here / Update 15 – León & La Virgen del Camino
We stayed in the wonderful town of León for diverse experiences! Then we headed out to visit a nearby town, La Virgen del Camino. Finally, we learned about St. Edmond’s Home, a beneficiary of our Camino Pilgrimage fundraiser.
- 12/6/2020, Journal update 14 – León & Constitution Day
- Click Here / Update 14 – León & Constitution Day
Our week was filled with amazing visits — to museums, churches and the gorgeous town of León. We were so inspired and excited with this town that we have decided to stay longer! At the end of the week, we were able to celebrate Spain’s Constitution Day, December 6th!
- 11/29/2020, Journal update 13 – The Milky Way, El Burgo Ranero and Mansilla
- Click Here / Update 13 – The Milky Way to Mansilla
This week we learned about the tie between The Milky Way and El Camino de Santiago; we visit a town where a meteorite landed; we find that Elvis is alive and well on the Camino (sort of) and finally, we visit a town that honors the Virgin of Grace every first Sunday of September with a communal pilgrimage!
- 11/22/2020, Journal update 12 – Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagún
- Click Here / Update 12 – Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagún
This week we reached the Half-Way Point of the Camino, congratulations! We learned about the Knights Templar, visit small towns and enjoy the many churches of Sahagún.
- 11/15/2020, Journal update 11 – to Carrión de los Condes
- Click Here / Update 11 – To Carrión de los Condes
This week we reached the geographic center of our Camino, congratulations! We share a real pilgrim’s journal entry — it captures what it’s like to be on the Camino Pilgrimage; savor it. This week we visited churches with very ‘real’ depictions of Jesus on the Cross and saw an amazingly well preserved Roman villa and farm.
- 11/8/2020, Journal update 10 – San Bol, Hontanas, Castrojeriz, Frómista
- Click Here / Update 10 – San Bol to Fromista
Healing waters, healing bread… and a family murder. Another interesting week on the Camino.
Canals and castles… a low-key week on the Camino yet still filled with interesting finds!
- 11/1/2020, Journal update 9 – All Saints, Burgos and Hornillos
- Click Here / Update 9 – All Saints, Burgos and Hornillos
A unique week! All Saints’ Day in Spain – wow – inspiring. Also a visit to the larger town of Burgos and the amazing and huge Catedral de Santa Maria. And then the exploration of our human ancestors… from up to 1.5 million years ago. Amazing. Then, back on the Camino to the tiny village of Hornillos.
- 10/25/2020, Journal update 8 – Viloria de Rioja t0 the Meseta
- Click Here / Update 8 – Viloria de Rioja to the Meseta
We have walked 161.4 miles! This week was spent in several small towns, each with isr own unique story. The highlight, though was in the hamlet of San Juan de la Ortega where we saw carvings related to the annunciation and birth of Christ. But, whose architect designed them to be lit up by natural sunlight two times in the year — at the spring and autumn equinoxes!
- 10/18/2020, Journal update 7 – Navarrete to Santo Domingo
- Click Here / Update 7 – Navarrete to Santo Domingo
We have walked 132.4 miles! We enjoyed Spain’s National Day, several amazing small towns and hidden gems. Najera was a wonderful town with a pimiento pepper festival in the works — a falcon and dove are at the roots of this town. Santo Domingo’s roosters & hens are behind the miracle here. Finally, all about the Navarre Bible and reflections from pilgrims along the way.
- 10/11/2020, Journal update 6 – Monasterio de Irache to Logrono
- Click Here / Update 6 – Irache to Logrono
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We walked 30.6 miles and our total is now 101.2 miles! We happened upon a wedding in an old castle, visited a gorgeous Baroque church in Los Arcos, beautiful art and learned the Game of Goose!
- 10/4/2020, Journal update 5 – The Roman Road & Estella!
- Click Here / Update 5 – The Roman Road & Estella
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We walked 13.6 miles and our total is now 70.6 miles! Our journey took us on a 2,000 year old Roman Road and we learned about the Black Madonnas of Europe, saints and even a wine fountain. We were warned of more dangers for pilgrims!
- 9/27/2020, Journal update 4 – Pamplona to Puente la Reina!
- Click Here / Update 4 – Pamplona
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We walked 14.8 miles and our total is now 57 miles! We stayed on in Pamplona for the gorgeous cathedral there and to learn about St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose faith journey began in Pamplona. Then we headed to the “Mount of Forgiveness”! It was a great week!
- 9/20/2020, Journal update 3 – Pamplona!
- Click Here / Update 3 – Pamplona
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We walked a short distance of 13 miles as we left the Pyrenees behind us and passed through fields and meadows, arriving at Pamplona — just in time for the festival of San Fermin. We know you know a bit about this festival… it involves bulls!
- 9/13/2020, Week 2 – Roncesvalles!
- CLICK HERE / Week 2 – Roncesvalles
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We walked 29.2 miles this week. Up, up, up in the Pyrenees. Then back down where we arrived at Roncesvalles for an amazing visit at an old Monastery.
We began learning about our patron, St. James the Apostle.
Upon arrival in Roncesvalles, we found out that Martin Sheen filmed part of his movie, “The Way” here. We recommend watching this movie!!
Finally, we learned about Dawn’s Place, one of the beneficiary organizations for the fundraising part of our pilgrimage.
- 9/7/2020, Week 1 – St. Jean Pied de Port!
- CLICK HERE / Week 1 – St. Jean Pied de Port
SJN Camino Pilgrimage: We Begin.
A special message from Msgr. Matz is included.
- Sunday, 9/6/2020: We’ll journey to our starting point, St. Jean Pied de Port in France. We look forward to seeing you there for our start on Labor Day, Monday, September 7th! Pick up your Pilgrim Passport! Email your tour guides at firstname.lastname@example.org — send your photo (we’ll crop as needed) and name. This info will not be shared with anyone else. Your passport will be updated with stamps as you report progress to us.
- ARRIVAL, Saturday 9/5/2020 —
- CLICK HERE for Arrival flyer shown to the right – PILGRIM JOURNAL – ARRIVAL!
Your tour guides arrived at the Madrid airport in Spain. We stopped at Zaragoza on our travel to the pilgrimage starting point. Zaragoza is the location of the apparition site of Our Lady of the Pillar — the first apparition of Our Lady… to St. James!!
- Camino Flyer – Learn more!
- Pilgrim Sign-up – There is no cost to participate!
- Sponsor a Pilgrim: Sign Up – Not ready to be a pilgrim but interested in supporting one? $0.05/mile = $24, $0.25/mile = $120, if your pilgrim completes all 480 miles… some may participate for a shorter distance.
- Activities-to-Miles Conversion Chart – Our Conversion Chart includes prayer, spiritual reading and volunteering in addition to fitness activities to accumulate miles. To use the online fitness tracker with virtual street views and other perks, sign up at https://www.theconqueror.events/camino/ The ‘Conquerer’ online cost is $40/person after tax.
- Example Pilgrim Passport – Your photo will remain private to you unless we expressly ask for, and receive from you, a signed a consent to share.
- Example Letter to Potential Sponsors – An example to help reach out to prospective sponsors.
- All donations received from supporters are tax-deductible. A form that confirms sponsor donations will be available for sponsors, please contact email@example.com