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Baptized in Spain

spraxte

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Dear community,

I am planning to walk one of the Caminos this autumn.
As I have never been baptized, I love the idea of being baptized on the Camino, but could not find any information about it on the internet.
It looks like Santiago Cathedral had a page about it, but it has since been removed.

Do any of you live near a Camino and know of an English-speaking Roman Catholic priest who would be willing to do this?

Thank you!
 
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Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
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Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Yes, indeed. I have already completed this preparation period.
it might be that one of the instructors would be able to arrange this for you, directly, or indirectly.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
I've been reading Frey's Pilgrim Stories and just finished reading the part where she talks about someone getting baptized in Santiago, having walked there from Roncesvalles. They had to check that the preparatory work was done, which took a bit of time. That time meant that it wasn't done during the Pilgrim Mass, but later in a side chapel. Of course, that was likely in the 90s, and things may have changed since then.

My advice would be plan for some extra time in Santiago to sort it out, and bring what documentation you can to support that you have completed the preparatory work. You might want to send an email to the Cathedral in advance, explaining your intention and asking what you need to bring. What with the advances in Internet connections since the 90s, it may be easier to organize and confirm now than it was then.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
That time meant that it wasn't done during the Pilgrim Mass, but later in a side chapel. Of course, that was likely in the 90s, and things may have changed since then.
Didn't marriages and baptisms always take place in a side chapel, in the so-called Corticela, which is the main site for the local parish that also serves as the parish for pilgrims and foreigners?

https://lacorticela.es/sacramentos has the contact details (telephone and email address and name of parish priest at the bottom of the page).

See also ¿Cuál es la parroquia de los peregrinos?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Beautifull idea. This tread of 2014 has some good solutions
Baptized on the Camino
Does anyone know whether Jordan Jones got baptised since 2014? And by whom and into what? I see that he published a book in 2021. Has anyone read it, are there any details about a baptism on the Camino in it?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Didn't marriages and baptisms always take place in a side chapel, in the so-called Corticela, which is the main site for the local parish that also serves as the parish for pilgrims and foreigners?

https://lacorticela.es/sacramentos has the contact details (telephone and email address and name of parish priest at the bottom of the page).

See also ¿Cuál es la parroquia de los peregrinos?
Frey writes:
In an unusual but noteworthy case, a thirty-year-old American disc jockey from Houston, Texas, was baptized on arrival from Roncesvalles after fulfilling the requisite spiritual training in the Unites States. To confirm the pilgrim's story, the Pilgrim's Office faxed Houston. In the delay, the baptism occurred, not at the Pilgrim's Mass, but later in another chapel in the cathedral

She cites La Voz de Galicia, May 13, 1993 for the story. The last sentence makes it seem that, but for the delay for confirming the preparation, the pilgrim would have been baptized as part of the Pilgrim's Mass, rather than that all baptisms are done in the other chapel. Maybe it was the fact that he was a pilgrim that opened the possibility of having the rite performed at the Pilgrim's Mass. Or maybe Frey got it wrong.
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Frey writes:


She cites La Voz de Galicia, May 13, 1993 for the story. The last sentence makes it seem that, but for the delay for confirming the preparation, the pilgrim would have been baptized as part of the Pilgrim's Mass, rather than that all baptisms are done in the other chapel. Maybe it was the fact that he was a pilgrim that opened the possibility of having the rite performed at the Pilgrim's Mass. Or maybe Frey got it wrong.

The Cathedral in Santiago has a separate Baptisterio with its Pila Bautismal. This is one of the most unassuming baptismal fonts that I have ever seen. It would originate from the previous church that was built by Alfonso III The Great (866 -911) and was discovered during excavations in 1946.

Baptisterio_Catedral_7086-2.jpg




UBICACION-baptisterio.jpg


https://catedraldesantiago.online/el-baptisterio/
Nowadays, the celebration of baptism and the other sacraments within the Cathedral of Santiago takes place, almost exclusively and with a few exceptions, in the parish of the Corticela, on the other side of the transept.

Thus, the existence of this enclosure is merely traditional.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Yes, indeed. I have already completed this preparation period.
Presumably your teachers were together enough to give you a completion certificate? (Not necessarily a given with volunteer operated things, I know...)
Edited to add: I see that this was addressed up above. Oops.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
Dear community,

I am planning to walk one of the Caminos this autumn.
As I have never been baptized, I love the idea of being baptized on the Camino, but could not find any information about it on the internet.
It looks like Santiago Cathedral had a page about it, but it has since been removed.

Do any of you live near a Camino and know of an English-speaking Roman Catholic priest who would be willing to do this?

Thank you!
Have you been baptized before, and are you a practicing Catholic, or seeking to be Catholic?
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
You can check with the Marist Fathers at Monasterio Santa Cruz in Sahagun. They are English-speakers, and truly dedicated to pilgrims on a daily basis. Their chapel is splendid in a way much simpler than the cathedral. Contact Father Dani Fernandez Alcaraz at dani_f_a@ hotmail. com. If you need a sponsor I can stand up for you.
 

Aspi

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
A good place to be baptizaded, misterious and tranquile: between Irache and Los Arcos, close to Villamayor de Monjardin, in Navarre
 

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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

spraxte

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you, everyone, for your answers and thoughts! It appears to me that the easiest way is getting in touch with my local community and see if they can organize something for me. Especially since I don't have godparents in Spain and my Spanish is rather limited, it would be quite a challenge to organize something directly there as it seems.

Presumably your teachers were together enough to give you a completion certificate? (Not necessarily a given with volunteer operated things, I know...)
Yes, I do have an official certificate, so this should not be a problem.

Have you been baptized before, and are you a practicing Catholic, or seeking to be Catholic?
I grew up in a Catholic environment, but haven't ever been baptized before.
 
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MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Thank you, everyone, for your answers and thoughts! It appears to me that the easiest way is getting in touch with my local community and see if they can organize something for me. Especially since I don't have godparents in Spain and my Spanish is rather limited, it would be quite a challenge to organize something directly there as it seems.


Yes, I do have an official certificate, so this should not be a problem.


I grew up in a Catholic environment, but haven't ever been baptized before.

I am a bit sorry to read this, a baptism on the Camino seemed like such a lovely idea.
Couldn't you leave the matter of godparents to those who will baptise you?
I had no say in the matter at the time (since I was only a few days old) but it would indeed be a daunting task today. Glad my parents solved this for me.

Maybe give it a try? This option looks so promising 😍


You can check with the Marist Fathers at Monasterio Santa Cruz in Sahagun. They are English-speakers, and truly dedicated to pilgrims on a daily basis. Their chapel is splendid in a way much simpler than the cathedral. Contact Father Dani Fernandez Alcaraz at dani_f_a@ hotmail. com. If you need a sponsor I can stand up for you.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
One benefit of asking Fr Manny to do the honors in Santiago, is that you could potentially meet your Godparents there at the end of your camino, and they could be part of the ceremony - as they should be. It would be very special, for everyone.
 

spraxte

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
You can check with the Marist Fathers at Monasterio Santa Cruz in Sahagun. They are English-speakers, and truly dedicated to pilgrims on a daily basis. Their chapel is splendid in a way much simpler than the cathedral. Contact Father Dani Fernandez Alcaraz at dani_f_a@ hotmail. com. If you need a sponsor I can stand up for you.
Thank you so much! I overlooked your post at first. I will gladly get in contact with Fr. Alcaraz as soon as I've decided on the dates!

One benefit of asking Fr Manny to do the honors in Santiago, is that you could potentially meet your Godparents there at the end of your camino, and they could be part of the ceremony - as they should be. It would be very special, for everyone.
Unfortunately, my godparents are very old and not able to travel anymore. I am still considering getting baptized over here, just for the sake of them being able to join.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Thank you so much! I overlooked your post at first. I will gladly get in contact with Fr. Alcaraz as soon as I've decided on the dates!


Unfortunately, my godparents are very old and not able to travel anymore. I am still considering getting baptized over here, just for the sake of them being able to join.
When the issue of godparents came up and how not having them in Spain was a barrier, my first thought was that (at least in a regular year) you are likely to meet and make close connections with other pilgrims, some of whom might very well be religious Catholics. Having a member of your "pilgrim family" stand in as a godparent when you are baptized on the Camino might be nice. On the other hand, there is the risk of it not happening, and you probably don't want to risk leaving Santiago still unbaptized, especially during a Holy Year when it can affect your ability to fulfil the requirements of the plenary indulgence.

And then I read that you have people you've already chosen as godparents who won't be able to travel. Much as it may be meaningful to be baptized in Santiago, it may be more meaningful to be baptized with these godparents. And if you start the Camino already baptized, that may make it easier to participate in Pilgrim Masses and accept the Eucharist along the way, which can be meaningful for religious Catholics.

In the end, it is up to you to know where, for yourself, the greatest meaning lies.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
When the issue of godparents came up and how not having them in Spain was a barrier, my first thought was that (at least in a regular year) you are likely to meet and make close connections with other pilgrims, some of whom might very well be religious Catholics. Having a member of your "pilgrim family" stand in as a godparent when you are baptized on the Camino might be nice. On the other hand, there is the risk of it not happening, and you probably don't want to risk leaving Santiago still unbaptized, especially during a Holy Year when it can affect your ability to fulfil the requirements of the plenary indulgence.

And then I read that you have people you've already chosen as godparents who won't be able to travel. Much as it may be meaningful to be baptized in Santiago, it may be more meaningful to be baptized with these godparents. And if you start the Camino already baptized, that may make it easier to participate in Pilgrim Masses and accept the Eucharist along the way, which can be meaningful for religious Catholics.

In the end, it is up to you to know where, for yourself, the greatest meaning lies.
well said!
 
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MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
When the issue of godparents came up and how not having them in Spain was a barrier, my first thought was that (at least in a regular year) you are likely to meet and make close connections with other pilgrims, some of whom might very well be religious Catholics. Having a member of your "pilgrim family" stand in as a godparent when you are baptized on the Camino might be nice. On the other hand, there is the risk of it not happening, and you probably don't want to risk leaving Santiago still unbaptized, especially during a Holy Year when it can affect your ability to fulfil the requirements of the plenary indulgence.

And then I read that you have people you've already chosen as godparents who won't be able to travel. Much as it may be meaningful to be baptized in Santiago, it may be more meaningful to be baptized with these godparents. And if you start the Camino already baptized, that may make it easier to participate in Pilgrim Masses and accept the Eucharist along the way, which can be meaningful for religious Catholics.

In the end, it is up to you to know where, for yourself, the greatest meaning lies.

If the godparents are unable to travel, they may enjoy being present through ZOOM, the great discovery of this pandemic. Of course, this requires organization and help from others, and everyone needs to agree and so on. But it would be a wonderful way to combine two irreconcilable dreams.

Don't give up on either of them yet, @spraxte !
 

Bala

Veteran member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
And if you start the Camino already baptized, that may make it easier to participate in Pilgrim Masses and accept the Eucharist along the way, which can be meaningful for religious Catholics.
Very good point and worth serious consideration, especially in line with having your elderly godparents present if you are baptized before leaving. Whatever you decide, Vaya con Dios. 🙏
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
And if you start the Camino already baptized, that may make it easier to participate in Pilgrim Masses and accept the Eucharist along the way, which can be meaningful for religious Catholics.
David has a good point. But you could still be baptized along the way right at the start.
The very moving pilgrim blessing at Roncesvalles speaks to their dedication to supporting pilgrims - and this would be an incredibly special place to make a commitment of faith.
 

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