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Hiking the French Route with Fellow Catholic Men

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Mws

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
25apr-03jun(2013)
I’m planning on hiking the French route in mid September, 2023. I’m married and live in the Dallas, Texas area. My wife and I hiked the French route ten years ago with two of our children, now I would like to hike the same route one more time, but my wife is unable and the kids are not interested. I’m looking for one or more men to meet me in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and hike with me. I’m 67 years old, Catholic, and in good shape.
 
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If you don't meet people before hand - you can meet plenty of people when you get there. If you are concerned about getting to know people early on - I recommend staying at one of the albergues in SJPDP or Orison that offer a communal dinner. It is a great way to meet people.
 
If you don't meet people before hand - you can meet plenty of people when you get there. If you are concerned about getting to know people early on - I recommend staying at one of the albergues in SJPDP or Orison that offer a communal dinner. It is a great way to meet people.
Thanks, very good idea. My wife is asking me to find at least one other man, hopefully more, to hike with, before I leave.
 
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Most of the Spaniards on the Camino are Catholics, as are many others -- though it is probably unlikely that all would practice in the manner of your own ideals, as far as I can guess at them.

I will say this though -- the Way of Saint James has often been described as a long Prayer using your feet.

Let God come to you on the Way, and try to look how He is coming towards your compañeros ...
 
Is it a safety issue if so assure her that you will stay with walkers when you begin. If you ask in St Jean at the bridge to join someone I am sure you will find someone .
 
I suggest that you don´t pick your walking partner in advance as you might not like their company or their walking speed. The Frances can be very busy and you will definitely not be alone, especially if you stay in Albergues.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Why does your wife want you to have a walking partner? Safety? Other reasons? You should only pick a walking partner if that is what YOU want to do, not because it is your wife's preference. Unless you are picking a walking partner from a close group of current friends/family - (and even then) there is a good chance you won't want to walk with the same person the entire way for a variety of reasons. Too much time together, different personalities, different walking paces, different preferences as to what time to start walking, when to take breaks, where to eat, where to stay.

Whereas if you meet people along the way - there is less pressure to always stay together. It is acceptable to walk alone or together and to stay in different or the same albergues and so on. But there is always someone to walk with, and you can change who you walk with when you want to.

As for safety - if you are walking the Frances - there will almost always be someone around if you get into some sort of trouble - and people walking the Camino are usually happy to look out for and help other pilgrims when needed.

Anyhow - my husband was very nervous "allowing" me to go on the Camino alone. I did it anyway. Best decision I ever made. I was alone when I wanted to be alone. I was with new found friends when I wanted to be. And I ALWAYS felt safe. It was such a great experience, we not only "allowed" my 18 year old to do it the following summer, we actually "encouraged" her to do it. I personally felt it was one of the best and safest first time solo travel experience she could possibly have. While she was starting her first Frances route - I was finishing my 2nd Camino on the Norte/Primitivo. Now we are doing the first half of the Via Francigena together. We leave home in 2 weeks.

Whatever you decide - finding a companion in advance or not - I hope you have a great Camino!
 
Maybe see if there is an American Pilgrims on the Camino Chapter near you. You can get in touch with like minded people who may be interested in walking with you. Or check at your church as often there is a men's group and you might find a walking buddy there. Careful to match walking pace and expectations though. You may need to walk separately and meet each night to avoid injury to either one of you.
 
Why does your wife want you to have a walking partner? Safety? Other reasons? You should only pick a walking partner if that is what YOU want to do, not because it is your wife's preference
I must in this case answer on his behalf.

It is because she is a good Catholic wife, and properly concerned for her husband's spiritual, religious, and Sacramental welfare.

Your own suggestion is not "wrong" in any way, and would be quite appropriate and possibly excellent for some other equally Catholic pilgrims !! Because our Ways of Saint James are as much individual as shared.

OP's query is nevertheless quite clearly motivated from a private and Sacramental, religious Matrimonial duty of goodwill between spouses in the Sight of the Trinity, which it would be better to understand, respect, and defer to without contrary advices outside their particular and beautiful Sacramental Union.
 
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Try the North Texas chapter of American Pilgrims.


But if you go with someone make agreements ahead of time as to what each of you expects in a walking partner.
 
It may be to difficult to arrange such an endeavor, and if you do arrange something it could be problematic. What I did was to post photos on facebook everyday so my family knew where I was at. But, tell them if you don't post on a day, not to get too worried because some places don't have wifi
 
I must in this case answer on his behalf.

It is because she is a good Catholic wife, and properly concerned for her husband's spiritual, religious, and Sacramental welfare.

Your own suggestion is not "wrong" in any way, and would be quite appropriate and possibly excellent for some other equally Catholic pilgrims !! Because our Ways of Saint James are as much individual as shared.

OP's query is nevertheless quite clearly motivated from a private and Sacramental, religious Matrimonial duty of goodwill between spouses in the Sight of the Trinity, which it would be better to understand, respect, and defer to without contrary advices outside their particular and beautiful Sacramental Union.
That may be the reason. That may not be. That is why I asked. And - I just asked the question more as food for thought - as forcing a friendship/walking companion can lead to disaster on a long distance walk or pilgrimage. And even with established family/friends - it can either strengthen or weaken those relationships. Not saying that it can't work out - I am sure many have success doing this. But waking a pilgrimage comes with additional challenges with a companion.

The OP didn't state WHY she wants him to walk with a companion. Just that she wants him to walk with a companion. He didn't say her reasons were do to anything regarding her/their Catholic beliefs - but he did state he is Catholic - I can only assume to find like minded men to walk with. Many of us like finding like minded people when we walk. Anyhow - the reason why his wife wants him to walk with another man has not been stated by the OP.

The rest of my comments are to give encouragement and to give him some idea of some challenges he may face if he finds a companion in a stranger prior to the Camino.

And I am confused by your statement about her being a "good Catholic wife, and properly concerned for her husband's spiritual, religious, and Sacramental welfare". Why? Because you can be a good Catholic wife even if you don't ask your husband to walk with a companion. Perhaps that is the reason she is asking. Perhaps it is concern for his physical health. Perhaps it is any multitude of other reason. I didn't want to make assumptions about her reasoning or their relationship - so I asked the question (which can be answered here or only in his own thoughts). And if he feels compelled to share the reason with us (not that he has to) - we might be able to help address her concerns. And if he wants to walk with a companion because it simply makes his wife happy - that is fine too. But many spouses simply have a fear that can be addressed with communication.

Regardless - Mws - I am confident you will find a companion, or several companions. Perhaps not in advance, but definitely along the Frances route!
 
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Thanks, very good idea. My wife is asking me to find at least one other man, hopefully more, to hike with, before I leave.
Bad idea. You will not know if you are compatible.

Just walk....and you will find those kindred spirits... who they are, may surprise you....
 
In a quiet moment I wondered what the reaction might be if I asked for advice on finding non-catholics to walk with?

I actually have never enquired as to the faith or denomination of anyone I’ve walked with - and couldn’t reliably put a name to mine.
That doesn't really answer the OP's question. No offense, just saying and of course the forum's preference we stick to the question at hand and not go off on what if opinion searching.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
That doesn't really answer the OP's question. No offense, just saying and of course the forum's preference we stick to the question at hand and not go off on what if opinion searching.
Yes; well sometimes the ‘forum’s preference’ ignores the elephant in the room for the sake of good order.
 
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
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