Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Role of the Catholic on the Camino Today (and a brief update)

Seminarians in Eucharistic Adoration
in a small town in Spain
Our efforts have been quite successful in this territory. People see the beauty in our fraternity, and are immediately attracted to us. They see that these men sing, pray, have pushup contests, and are still fun to share a drink with at the end of the day. People ask us questions and we happily answer them. People see us praying the breviary, and want to pray too, despite never having laid eyes on the book. One particular man, is a Reformed Lutheran, who despite his views, always feels inclined to find us if we are in the same town.

El Camino opens the Pilgrim to new and beautiful things, and for those we have encountered, it is the Roman Catholic Church and her seminarians. It is easy to see why this is, if we go back to my main purpose for hiking this trail: detachment. We all have our cellphones in airplane mode. The media cannot tell these people that religion is superstitious nonsense 24/7, as of right now. They cannot be told it is just a bunch dead garbage from ages past when four men, under the age of 25, stand by with a fire in their bellies, and a zeal for the Holy Spirit in their hearts.

Pray for these people that they may find God, and pray for the pastoral formation of all the seminarians throughout the world!

Thoughts and Reflections
from Matthew W. Dimock, Jr.
In the seminary, we have a rule that we are not allowed to maintain social media accounts, so this will be my first public Internet post in over a year. Hello world!!

With that said, I would like to personally update you on our adventures from the seminarian point of view. After our departing from Fr. Roux, we made haste to our next stop, Hornillos del Camino, a small town in the middle of nowhere, Spain. From there we went to Castrojeriz. From there, last night, we met up with our clerical superior, who moved like a roadrunner to meet up with us. Tonight, we are in Itero de la Vega, a town formerly the home of the Knight's Templar (Deus Vult). That, in an extremely abbreviated fashion, is our big travel update.

Saint Joseph, pray for us!
When I first heard of the Camino, I knew that I should have a spirit of detachment in mind (see the introductions page to the right of the blog), but as I continued doing my research on the pilgrimage, especially in regards to preparation, I gained a whole new goal of evangelization along the route to Santiago.

You see, many people (maybe even a majority of people) walk the way of St. James for non-pilgrimage reasons. For some, it has to do with sight-seeing, others just want exercise. Some are on the Camino because they have reached some sort of crossroads in their lives, and have to make an important decision, or come to peace with some baggage of their past. Some do it for "spiritual peace of mind" or to "find themselves, which are as arbitrary of reasons as they sound. Many, we have found are trying to grow closer to God, but know nothing about Him.

This gives us, as seminarians a very unique ability to evangelize to these people, just as the apostle did 2000 years ago. People here are searching for something, though they do not realize that He is searching for them. The answer is right in front of their faces in the beautiful Spanish churches, that pop up with every town.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Finally on the Camino de Santiago

The Road Behind
You already know the difficulties with the bag. I will not bore you further, except to say that I went out last evening and 'resupplied' as best I could and started out at 6:00 this morning. I have met many nice people along the way and after 32k (about 24 miles) I arrived in Hontanas and have discovered that I am only 9K behind the boys. Maybe we will catch up tomorrow.

The Road Ahead

It's still amazing how the good Lord always finds ways to strip up us everything so that we know what's important. The silence of today's walk brought that home clearly today.

Once I finally arrived, I met a nice man, Andres, who was very accommodating at the Alberge and introduced me to the Sacristan so that I might offer Mass. I also met Fr. Francisco, a very welcoming priest. He was very kind and thoughtful. Please keep him, and Andres in your prayers along with so many who have been helpful along the way.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception

See you again, hopefully with my companions,

Fr. Roux