Monday, July 3, 2017

It's just the beginning...

Thoughts and Reflections
from Camillo X. Salas-Bowen
The group is not even half way to finish the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and our Lord has already bestowed on us many blessings. (The following lines are written with the purpose of providing a very brief review of some of our experiences in certain places.) 

After having met a great priest named Padre Enrique, who celebrated mass for the pilgrims in Spanish in the Iglesias of Santa Maria del Manzano, and drove us to the enormous church of St. John in Castrojeriz (during the feast of St. John the Apostle), we headed to Boadilla del Camino where finally we encountered Fr. Roux in a great Albergue. 

El Camino de Santiago
Even though it took us forever to get in touch with someone to open the church, the sacristan eventually facilitated us with everything to celebrate Mass in thanksgiving. As in the other towns, we had lunch and dinner with other pilgrims that wanted to spend time with us either to know more about the church, or to have a good conversation or a good laugh. From there, our squad walked 25 km (15.2mi) to Carrion de Los Condes that had unending fields of wheat accompanied by an improvised musical. 

Despite all the obstacles, we arrived safe a sound to the albergue run by a small community of sisters (and seminarians from Madrid, as well) that gathered all the pilgrims, invited us to share our story, and sing songs. In addition, Fr. Roux delighted our ears with the Spanish song, he famously calls, One-Ton-Tomatoes (Guantanamera). 

The sisters welcoming us with songs
Then, Fr. Julio, the pastor of the church, allowed us to serve at Mass with Bishop Antonio. The bishop blessed us and the rest of the pilgrims during Mass, and Fr. Julio asked Matthew Harrison, Aaron, and Matthew Dimock to close with a piece of Gregorian Chant in honor of Our Lady. The celebration of the liturgy, the blessings of the pilgrims and the Gregorian made it a wonderful and memorable experience.

Camilo X. Salas-Bowen; Matthew W. Dimock, Jr.; Bishop Antonio;
Matthew P. Harrison; Father Roux; Aaron Z. Huber;
Deacon Luis (newly ordained); and Seminarian Cesar (Diocese of Madrid) 
The door behind us represent the miracle of a group of Spanish virgins in the twelfth century. After praying for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, they were protected by two bulls who attacked the Moores who wanted to kidnap the virgins .

In the Joy of Christ,
Camilo X. Salas-Bowen