Joining the Camino de Santiago

BEREKUSO, GH – Remember Y2K?  The only thing I remember from those days is a story I told in a Y2K sermon at Foundation Church from 1000 years earlier about believers who gathered from all over Europe on the eastern shore of Spain to wait for the second coming.  The route they walked there became a pilgrimage known as “The Way,” or the “Way of St. James,” or The Camino de Santiago, as tradition holds the saint’s remains are buried there.

Since telling that story in 1999, I’ve longed to make this pilgrimage myself.  I had a couple close calls: my daughter Grace and I were going to join it in 2011, but she became an intern for Asian Access that summer.  Last October, Grace and her husband Ryosuke and I had plans, but my mother-in-law fell sick, and they left Japan to care for her.  It was a good choice.



That is it … 17lbs

So in the weeks between getting my grades in and graduation, I am joining The Camino.  It is a 500-mile trek with everything you need on your back.  For me, that is about 17 lbs.  As I age, I realize that this body may not always be able to traverse The Way, so today I leave to join it, and on Wednesday, join up with The Camino.





If you pray, here is a blessing I could use:


Lord, you who called your servant Abraham out of the town of Ur in Chaldea and watched over him during all his wanderings; You who guided the Jewish people through the desert; We pray for you to watch your servants, who for the love of your name make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Be for them:

a companion on their journey

the guide of their intersections

the strengthening during fatigue

the fortress in danger

the resource on their itinerary

the shadow of their heat

the light of their darkness

the consolation during dejection

and the power of their intention

so that those under your guidance, safely and unhurt, may reach the end of their journey,

and strengthened with gratitude and power, secure and filled with happiness,

may follow them home, for Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

Pilgrim’s Prayer, The Priest’s Prayer Book, 1864[1]

[1] Wittig, Stacey. Spiritual and Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago on El Camino (Spiritual and Walking Guides Book 1) (Kindle Locations 1089-1101). Spiritual and Walking Guides. Kindle Edition.

One thought on “Joining the Camino de Santiago

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