The Camino de Santiago de Compostela and its pilgrims
I know it’s been a while. Both Sandy and I have been busy. I know sounds like a lame excuse. Sandy has been working hard on college courses, and it seems like I’m busy doing newspaper work and family things. Before you know it, months have flown by.
On our second and third days of walking the road of sanctuaries from Longueuil to Varennes to Vercheres, we faced challenges with our feet and with the weather. One day was hot and sunny and the next was cold and rainy. It soon became apparent that walk was going to have some very big differences from the Camino de Santiago.
Weather in Canada in summer can get a bit on the cool side or the extremely hot side. And we figured out that there would be a lot of road walking which took a toll on our knees and feet.
Oh, and there was a lack of “trees” to use for when nature calls. Okay, so it wasn’t a lack of trees, but it seemed that all the trees were in front yards of lovely manicured lawns along the road side. When I finally found a vacant lot with flowers, bushes and trees.. it also had a skeleton of animal hooked to a leather collar. But, nature calls.
I’ve included some pictures of the two days: the bike path along the St Lawrence, The museum of Mere d’youville (our second albergue), the mattresses, Sandy and the lovely lady who gave us directions to breakfast places, me at the wooded lot, Sandy’s feet, our third night accommodations at the rest home, and our fresh pates and cheeses.
We hope to podcast again soon,
As I write this, Sandy and I are sitting in a cafe in Quebec having Crepes (Chocolat for me, Raspberry for Sandy) and doing a little social media work.
We arrived in Montreal on June 11th, and probably saw as many churches and tourist sites as possible. We committed at least two “sins” against pilgrim preparation: packing too much and packing things that are precious to us. You’ll have to listen to the podcast for that.
This trip is becoming a “corridor of saints”. It seems there’s a new saint introducing themselves to me almost daily… or maybe some old favorites are stopping by to remind me that they are there. Of course, there’s Brother Andre. He’s the start of our story. This little saint built this huge and massively impressive shrine to honor St. Joseph, but it was also claimed that he and his St. Joseph’s oil cured thousands of people. Within the church and pilgrimage sites, there are old crutches hanging from racks in a similar way as Lourdes. It is said that a million people came to view his body when he died.
Sandy and I started from the Oratory on June 14th. We walked 18 kilometers through Montreal and into the suburbs. Our first night was in the basement of an Optimist Club, sleeping on blow up mattresses. They made so much noise when you move on them. Another “sin”, I walked a stage and a half in flip-flops. Yes, I did it. I probably won’t do it again.
There’s so much more to tell, but not all at once, so I leave it here for now and wish you all a..
Bon Chemin and Buen Camino,
Hey Pilgrims! I know, I know, It has been months. I have to admit, for about two months, Sandy and I were so busy with “stuff” that we barely had time to talk to each other let alone record a podcast. But it doesn’t mean we haven’t been working hard for Jimmy and other saints. I have my own pilgrimage that I have been planning in Nebraska. http://www.dioceseoflincoln.org/SouthernNeRegister/front/frontsnrhome.aspx and I also orchestrated Camino talks and meet ups in Orlando, St Augustine, Melbourne, and even Omaha, Nebraska. Sandy drove to Orange County, California to attend the Newport Beach Film Festival where our friend, Lydia Smith, had her finished Camino Documentary “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago. ” The praise and acclaim that has come out all of her film festivals has been amazing. Heather Knight, aka “Renegade Pilgrim” joins us and will continue to be part of ipilgrim podcast. She has hiking experience that is impressive. We have exciting ideas coming up for future episodes. We also mention a topic called “responsible mentorship”. Sandy and I talk about this topic a lot. Many times, after you completed a pilgrimage, the excitement of the camino can sometimes cause us to be a little over-the-top and exacting in our advice. It’s a balance to keep from implying people have our exact camino experience right down to the Albergues and seek out their own experiences and their own way of doing the camino. For me, telling the pilgrim to have no expectations is hard but necessary. To find out more from Heather, check out her website: http://renegadepilgrim.com/ Buen Camino, Deborah Other website mentioned: http://caminowithcullen.wordpress.com/
Hi, Fellow Pilgrims,
Around the time I was thinking of recording a Christmas episode of the podcast, Steve, our voice of reason, decided to travel to the other side of the world. Right before Christmas, Steve decided to take an assignment as an English teacher in Papua New Guinea for Seminary. It was a bit shocking to us as Steve didn’t give us a lot of warning. We wish him well and a buen Camino.
You can watch and read about Steve’s new adventure at his blog post on www.everythingesteban.com.
You can also watch Steve’s final interview on Catholic Weekend here: Catholic Weekend 151
I will be the first to tell you that November and December, I didn’t feel very “camino-ish. ” I was feeling very “Meh.” But, then Christmas week, I started to get busy on a lot of Camino projects. Some of the projects include: organizing Camino people in Florida so that they have a potential local APOC Chapter, organizing my own pilgrimage in Nebraska, and signing up for two “chemins” in Canada for the summer.
The first project is self explanatory. I get a couple emails a week from people around Florida looking for a mentor in their area. I love to play matchmaker and let future and past pilgrims come together to share stories and friendship.
My pilgrimage in Nebraska is still in the planning process. I’m planning a 16 mile pilgrimage to my church Shrine– Out Lady of Fatima in Arapahoe, Nebraska. The parish priest and I are working out the details for that right now. I’m hoping my pilgrimage will take place on May 12th — Mother’s Day- and the day before the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.
June 14th, Sandy and I will be walking from Montreal to St Anne Du Beaupre (outside Quebec City) on Les Chemins des Sanctuaires. We are also hoping to add Ottawa to Montreal on Les Chemin Des Outaouais. With both segments, the walk will be 30 days long. Time will tell if we come up with the funds to make the trip. We are walking on faith.
We wish you a Happy 2013.
One of Camino routes on our bucket list is the Portuguese Route. It’s the route that can start from Lisbon or Fatima or Porto or (according to the graphic) Tui. With the Camino Frances being wildly popular, other routes are starting to pick up other, less traveled routes. The Portuguese Route is starting to become really popular.
Recently, one of our favorite people, Heather Knight ()
just returned from Spain and Portugal and shared some of her adventures with us.
Also, on the way “home” I stopped at a pilgrimage site in New Mexico called Chimayo. Some in the Southwest call it “The Lourdes of North America.” The dirt there is said to have healing properties. I was very happy to see many symbolic things I would see on the Camino.
Well, I’m off to dream of my next pilgrimage and the next podcast. Until then…
I opened up my wordpress and to my shock, our last entry was in August! Time certainly does fly.
In September, I drove from Orlando to Nebraska via New Orleans and Tulsa where I I had the chance to see Steve for a few minutes. Now, as I am writing this, I’m sitting in Sandy’s house in Arizona.
Sandy and I have been out on the search for American Pilgrimages and hikes. We drove up to Sedona, Arizona a few days ago. We are also thinking of doing the Walking pilgrimage to Chimayo in New Mexico. So many pilgrimages in our own backyards.
Speaking of lots of pilgrimages…. this week’s guest on our podcast, Marlena Lambert from American Pilgrims on the Camino, has been on many different routes on the Camino. I have to admit, we were bedazzled when we interviewed her.
Before I get into my little car to head East again, I’m sure Sandy and I will be working on a few video clips to share with you all.
It might have taken all summer, but we finally got Judy from Spanish Steps on the podcast to talk about Le Puy.
I’ve noticed Le Puy is hot right now. Well, both literally and figuratively Le Puy is hot right now. Hot in temperature because it’s summer and Le Puy is more southern in France but Le Puy seems to be the Camino destination of choice among seasoned veterans of the Camino Frances.
Le Puy may be one of the earliest pilgrim routes through France. The Codex Calixtinus (written in French) may have been the first guidebook to talk about the Le Puy route. Heck, Codex Calixtinus is the first guidebook ever. So, it’s popularity sounds be no surprise.
In this week’s ipilgrim podcast, Judy gives us a little taste of what it’s like to walk along the French countryside. And, we get to hear Sandy try to Le Puy and end up saying Le Pew… which makes think of this:
With that image, I’ll just wish you all ……a buen camino.
You see a picture of the first meeting of our local Camino group in Central Florida. Yes, that’s Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. I (and Sarah) have been busy forming a new local chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino. Sandy, has also been attending a few meeting trying to get the Phoenix area pilgrims to start a new local chapter as well.
Sandy and I are also excited to be planning our next pilgrimage: The Chemin des Sanctuaires in Quebec, Canada. In the late 1800s/early 1900s, Saint André Bessette turned a small chapel to St. Joseph into one of Montreal’s main attractions of St. Joseph Oratory. Also, not to be out done, there are numerous shrines, chapels and Cathedrals. One of the more famous is St Anne du Beaupre. The Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré has been a place of pilgrimage for the past 350 years. It makes sense for those of us who have walked the Camino de Santiago, to want to walk the 300 kilometers between the two Canadian Shrines and enjoy the French Canadian country side. Sandy and I are hoping to make the walk in October.
Sadly, you will notice our latest podcast is Steve-less. He is busy getting ready for the SQPN CNMC (Star Quest Production Network’s Catholic New Media Conference) that will be taking place in Dallas/Fort Worth on August 29-31st. For more information go to cnmc.sqpn.com.
The Catholic Church recognizes three official pilgrimage sites: Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem. While on this podcast, we concentrate mostly on Sanitago, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to talk about pilgrimages to other places too.
As I was asking for volunteers to interview for the French Routes, Mony contacted me and asked if I would be interested in her pilgrimage. It turned out that Mony and Alberto’s story started on the Camino but continued to the Rome and 13 months to Jerusalem.
To learn more about Mony and Alberto, visit their website at http://www.walkingforpeace.com.
First, I need to apologize for the sound quality. I am having trouble with the logic board on my computer (USB drives) and as a result, my microphone wasn’t working and defaulted to the internal microphone. The result is funky sound. Not funky good, but funky bad.
It had been two months since our last ipilgrim podcast. I have been working like crazy but perhaps we will catch up on recording.
On today’s show, we try to talk about the four major French routes: Tours, Le Puy, Vezaley, and Arles. The French Routes seem to be gaining popularity in the past couple of years as the Camino Frances seems to be too popular for repeat pilgrims.
We would like to open up the podcast and if any pilgrims who’ve walked any of the four routes, would like to talk about the experience, please contact Deborah or leave a comment on the blog.
Also, Steve is gearing up for the CNMC (Catholic New Media Conference) in August. For more information about the conference go to www.SQPN.com.