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How do you prepare for the faith journey of the Camino?

2020 Camino Guides

David Manzo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Hello, Dave, and welcome.
So good to see people planning on taking a classic pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. You´ll find it´s a long-distance Rosary, with an infrastructure designed over hundreds of years to uphold a journey of prayer.
While still at home, it´s good to begin to examine your reasons for undertaking this journey. Many pilgrims walk for a purpose: to fulfill a promise made, to give thanks for answered prayer, or to seek wisdom at one of life´s crossroads, or just to forge a deeper relationship with God. Read up on contemplative prayer, on walking meditation, learn to put it into practice before you hit the trail. Examine your conscience. Before you head for the airport, make a full confession, attend a worship service, and see if your local minister can send you off with a blessing. You are taking on a new identity, walking away from the old, putting on a newer, simpler, purer self. Embrace that, step into it, leave behind electronic distraction machines, expectations, rules. Throw yourself into the freedom and simplicity of a trail designed for exactly what you are doing...
(I can blather on and on.)
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Stock your e-Reader with some appropriate titles. Mary Oliver, Jan Richardson, Richard Rohr, Mark Nepo and John Phillip Newell all work for me. Also set up your journaling practice, whether hard copy (Moleskine!) or electronic.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Welcome, Dave!
This is a wonderful question.
In a word: connect.
With yourself, here and now. With your aspiration and deepest intention. And with your faith.
It's the connection that allows you to be awake to what the Camino reveals.

Follow Rebekah's advice wholehertedly, and you can't go wrong.
(I can blather on and on.)
Please do, Reb. Your 'blather' is always worth reading.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Each camino I intended to pay a vow I'd made to the almighty. Never happened while in camino. Vow finally paid this year. But, walking the camino did get me a step closer to honoring that vow.

However, I found attending Mass as often as possible simply wonderful.

Be true to whatever is compelling you to walk. Search your heart both now and on camino.

Buen camino.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
It was hard to find time to prepare spiritually before I went on my camino because there was so much to get done before I left. --I did go to mass more regularly during the week. I packed the gospel of john along with me. I found my rosary and packed it too. I asked a Spanish speaking friend to write down the Lord's Prayer for me in Spanish and I tried to learn it. The night before I left we went to mass, and our priest led our faith community in praying for us as we went out on pilgrimage.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
The Camino is always a spiritual journey for me. Carrying too much in your pack will get you praying every time.

Seriously, consider a conversation with your faith leaders and community. I find them to be the best sounding board for concerns and especially if there is a faith challenge. And, as you open the discussion with others, some may not have heard of this type of journey. Who knows, others may consider going on pilgrimage too.

Imagine, the possibilities?
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
The delight on the faces of local Parish Priests when they saw this dusty pilgrim attend their masses was a thing to behold .
I suspect it went some way to reassure them that the Camino still held spiritual purpose for at least some pilgrims .
By all means , once you have pre prepared, try to attend mass in obscure and remote Churches , it is there more so than other places where you can sometimes find the purest of faiths .
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
I didn't so much 'prepare' but ensured I was open and connected if that makes sense.

Whilst not a 'go to church on Sunday' type of guy (formal religion kind of baffles me) I consider myself a believer (Christian) and quite deeply spiritual.

Whilst on the Camino I gave a prayer of thanks every morning and night for being able to make the journey.
I also promised to walk with an open mind and an open heart and to accept and learn from whatever happened. (I gained many lessons from that)

I dropped into most of the churches I passed, just to soak in the peace and calm that I found within, to offer a prayer of thanks, to light a candle for those in my thoughts. It always gave me a lift particularly on those long and lonely days walking on my own.

I connected with the surroundings and landscapes and marvelled at the beauty of it all. I would pause at the many roadside crosses along the way and reflect on those for whom they had been erected.

I pondered hour upon hour about those really deep questions that life throws at us. And I felt a real sense of guidance as slowly I found the answers. I actually set out seeking answers, but realised I was asking the wrong questions! Once I found the question, everything started to fall into place.

I often think of the CF for me....as an 800 km long 'church'.......

I'm not really sure that it needs planning in terms of faith. Does it? ;)
 
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kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I copied a prayer that has been made into a song-- St Patricks Breastplate-- onto a piece of paper and carried it in my pocket. My son and I began each morning reciting it together. There is a longer version-- Here is the one I used:

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From all who would wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
I especially like John Pritchard's "Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims" - a tiny book that helps you think through your pilgrimage before, during, and after it. This is definitely something you can take with you if you like.

I've also heard great things about "The Art of Pilgrimage" by Phil Cousineau and "Pilgrimage of a Soul" by Phileena Heuertz, though I haven't had the chance to read them yet.

Journaling and reflecting before the Camino is also good:

What do you hope to get out of your journey?
In what ways are you looking forward to knowing God more?
What do you especially want to spend time praying for, for yourself, your family, and/or your friends?
What fears or anxieties do you have about the trip? It helps to identify them and write them down.
...and so on.

For me, during the Camino I like reading Scripture through the Olive Tree Bible app - it has reading plans and resources. I also enjoy downloading one or two books that have been on my list for a while and finally being intentional about reading them during quiet moments.

Enjoy all the planning and Buen Camino!
Faith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I copied a prayer that has been made into a song-- St Patricks Breastplate-- onto a piece of paper and carried it in my pocket. My son and I began each morning reciting it together. There is a longer version-- Here is the one I used:

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From all who would wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation
Do you have the song? I have. I could share it, or try to, via Skype, unless someone has an easier private method of so doing. If anything is private on this tech highway... Anyway, you just need to go to youtube and look for I arise today, from the cd Pilgrim, sung by Rita Connolly to listen to it.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Join the American Pilgrims on the Camino. The local Boston chapter usually meets sometime in the winter for a potluck and presentations. In the Spring, there is usually a Shell Ceremony with blessings from a local priest.

http://www.americanpilgrims.org/boston-massachusetts-chapter
Both Rebekah and pjacobi offer good advice. I liked reading before my first camino - Joyce Rupp's "Walk in a Relaxed Manner", Kevin Codd's "To the Field of Stars," and Phil Cousineau's "The Art of Pilgrimage" come to mind. The APOC Boston chapter offers an opportunity to connect to local pilgrims, past, present and future, and we have been lucky to have a spiritual mentor in our own Spanish priest. Buen camino.
 

George Packer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Primitivo, del Salavador, Sanabres, del Plata, Portuguese, del Norte,
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
Download some kind of Bible app or carry pocket New Testament or Bible and spend time reading through the Gospels while you walk. Also, I am planning on inviting a few pilgrims to walk intentionally together with 'faith purpose' for 1-2 weeks in April on the Camino Frances.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Before my Camino Primitivo, I decided to dedicate each day to prayer for a particular person place, idea, etc. I tried to match the people up with the days. For example, my daughter is in public health and I prayed for her on the day we walked through what had been an ancient lepper colony. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and prepare many wonderful family meals. I prayed for her on the day we were going to stay at an albergue that had a particular reputation for a great community meal. On each day we stopped at every church we could and lit a candle if possible, offered special prayers and left notes and small offerings. Have a wonderful prayerful journey! Liz
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
I did not undertake the kind of faith journey that you have in mind, but the first book I read on my return was the late Lee Hoinacki’s El Camino: Walking to Santiago de Compostela. It’s a more rigorous and demanding book than some of the titles that others have recommended, and I certainly cannot claim to meet his scrupulous criteria, but it continues to inspire me to re-examine my conscience and my conscious motives in all walks of life, not just the Camino. The author was at various times in his life a Dominican priest, an activist for social justice, a professor of political science, a loving husband and father, a subsistence farmer who subsequently sold his holding to the lowest bidder, and a canteen worker in his former university. More than any other author I have encountered, he walked as he had always lived his life. Interestingly, he postponed reading pilgrim accounts until his return so that he could assess their value in the light of his own unmediated experience.
 

mcopeland

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
Before my Camino Primitivo, I decided to dedicate each day to prayer for a particular person place, idea, e
In a similar vein, we asked our family and friends for their prayer intentions, saved them on our phone and prayed the rosary and offered up our struggles (and blisters!) for their intentions - a different person each day. When we ran out, we prayed for a different family member each day. We too had blessings before we left - one from our local APOC group and one at Mass the Sunday before we left. We stopped in every church we found open and attended Mass when we could (difficult on the Portuguese). As others have said, be open to the many unexpected graces and blessings you will encounter on your Camino.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
My children and I walked into each and every church we found open, walked right up to the alter, held hands and prayed. This was much easier and happened more often in France where typically they would be open. But we prayed for so many people we met, the blind rabbit we saw running around near a street, a niece of a pilgrim couple we met with cancer, a pilgrim who we fell in love with who shared he had a pretty aggressive cancer (shared days after meeting him). We prayed we'd find a place to sleep (since we slept out much of our three months on Camino). The power of prayer, of asking for prayers, for praying for a place to lay our heads was a such a part of our Camino. Taking turns at the alter speaking, a 9 year old adding her prayer, "and the blind rabbit" (two months after seeing it). All of our personal prayer request were answered, the ones pertaining to our needs on the Camino. Each and everyone...with no exception.
 

Minta

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
My children and I walked into each and every church we found open, walked right up to the alter, held hands and prayed. This was much easier and happened more often in France where typically they would be open. But we prayed for so many people we met, the blind rabbit we saw running around near a street, a niece of a pilgrim couple we met with cancer, a pilgrim who we fell in love with who shared he had a pretty aggressive cancer (shared days after meeting him). We prayed we'd find a place to sleep (since we slept out much of our three months on Camino). The power of prayer, of asking for prayers, for praying for a place to lay our heads was a such a part of our Camino. Taking turns at the alter speaking, a 9 year old adding her prayer, "and the blind rabbit" (two months after seeing it). All of our personal prayer request were answered, the ones pertaining to our needs on the Camino. Each and everyone...with no exception.
This is beautiful.
 

Minta

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within, by Christine Valters Paintner with Biblical Reflections by her husband, John Valters Paintner is an excellent book for this purpose.
 

Phil Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)StJ to Viana (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz (2018) Castrojeriz to Leon
(2019) León to Sarria
Hello David - my spiritual journey was greatly inspired by reading Paulo Coelho's The Pilgrimage. However, it took me almost 10 years from reading this to actually getting underway with my own Camino. My work and family life mean I can only do the Camino in stages. Between my first and second stages I ran a Lenten course in my parish using The Long Road to Heaven (A Lent course based on the film "The Way") by Tim Heaton.
I know the film is not everyone's cup of tea, but the group I did this with enjoyed the view of the actual setting and this helped them engage with the material for reflection in the course.
I also read Richard Rohr's blogs/ daily email posts. I a man also a huge fan of the writing of Henri Nouwen - don't think you'll go far wrong with reading some of his stuff about journeying and finding your way.
God bless
Phil
P.S. Hoping to get part 3 from Castrojeriz this Easter underway ... work and family permitting!

Buen Camino
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Do you have the song? I have. I could share it, or try to, via Skype, unless someone has an easier private method of so doing. If anything is private on this tech highway... Anyway, you just need to go to youtube and look for I arise today, from the cd Pilgrim, sung by Rita Connolly to listen to it.
Yes, I have the song too! Thank you -- It's beautiful. I wish I could sing like that!
 

WayWalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
Set an intention to have an open heart to what the Camino would show you about yourself. Start now! It starts when you commit to the journey, not when you get there. You will be shown amazing things! IF you are open.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
You may already know the "Angelus" off by heart. If not can I suggest that you learn it as part of your preparation. As one of the "separated brethren" it worked for me! Here is part of my "Reflections" after coming home:-

If the modern pilgrim follows
The itinerary and timing of his forbears
He will find that often in his daily march, he
Will arrive at a 'Capilla de Animas' or
A small wayside shrine at twelve noon.
No clocks or watches then,
Only the sun tells when it is midday
The hour of the Angelus.
"The angel of the Lord
"Brought tidings to Mary . . .
"And the Word was made flesh
"And dwelt among us."
The rhythm of the prayer fits well,
The rhythm of the pilgrim's feet upon the road.
But better still to pause;
Be still and remember,
That our incarnate Lord once walked
The roads of Galilee.
And still He walks with us
On this our daily pilgrimage through life.

Blessings on your preparation and your Camino
Tio Tel
 

Richard Ray

Not What He Once Was
Camino(s) past & future
September-October (2016), May-June (2019)
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
Dear Dave,

Yours is an important question - perhaps the most important question. Others have provided interesting food for thought, and I recommend you give serious consideration to their suggestions. The Camino is - or can be - a kind of long-form retreat. If you were going on a retreat tomorrow, what questions would you bring with you? What topics, subjects, concerns, etc would be the subjects of your prayers? The Camino is similar in this way. I recommend you use the time before you leave to make a plan for your long-form retreat, bearing in mind that God often laughs at our plans.

When I decided to become a pilgrim I was very angry at people with whom I worked. I undertook the pilgrimage because I didn't want to die an angry old man. I knew that my anger - even if justified - made me vulnerable for every kind of sin. So before I left I wrote a long letter to each of those people who had done me wrong. I told them that I forgave them - unreservedly. I asked for their forgiveness. As I walked out the door on my way to the airport I dropped the letters in the mail. I prayed for each of these people every day as I walked - by name. I also wrote letters to about 20 people who constitute my very best friends to thank them for the blessings they were in my life. How often do we thank our friends for the gift of their friendship? I prayed for each of these people - by name - every day as I walked.

God bless you Dave. Buen Camino.
 

Alasdair Kay

Member
Camino(s) past & future
"May 2016 "
I'm an Anglican priest and I found a few things very helpful in preparation and during the walk

1. The Jesus Prayer ... or any other breath prayer as I walked. I found after a while my walking poles would strike to the rhythm of the prayer. Lord Jesus Christ, tap, Have mercy on me, tap, a sinner tap, This steady rhythm especially in the walk as Dawn broke was a deeply inward and outward journey.

2. Examen a beautiful book of daily Ignatian reflections on each stage of the Frances was this I carried it on my Kindle The Ascent to Santiago: A Contemplative Journal For Those Walking the Way of St. James by Ronald Ottenad

3. Daily Lectionary readings. Keeping my daily office (I'm a Franciscan) was difficult so I adapted for the Camino but sought to just spend 30 minutes on my bunk in the albergue or somewhere quiet reading the daily lectionary readings.

4. Eucharist
whenever there was a pilgrim mass I would go even if as an Anglican I was often excluded. I would often use this time to pray for the healing of the body of christ. I would occasionally just celebrate at the dinner table in a quiet way. In fact often in the Albergues I felt so tempted to just celebrate the Eucharist with the bread and wine on the table as each evening felt so special as pilgrims we would meet God in one another.

4. Participation/ Mediation I would try to practice active attentiveness to the Holy Spirit as I walked and talked expecting God to surprise me as I walked and to meet him in others.

5 Pain. I would allow the physical pain of the pilgrimage to draw me into the beauty of the cross. I carried a small San Damiano Cross and Tau with me and often as the road hurt. I would hold my Tau cross and remember him who had suffered for me.

Pax et Bonum

Alasdair TSSF
 

Vivianne Flintoff

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walk Camino de Santiago and Camino Finisterre in 2014
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
Hi Dave what a great question. I didn't even consider such a question. I think just to practise Trust and to rest in the unforced rhythms of Grace. To be prepared to encounter growth in your faith and to be prayerful and grateful in all situations. Buen Camino
Vivianne
 

JMcCarthy

Jim from Boston
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Camino Frabces (2019)
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
Hi Dave,

In addition to the excellent feedback you have already received, I would suggest you plan on maintaining a daily journal, capturing where you may have experienced God during that day. On our two Caminos, I found this very helpful later on in reflecting on the powerful experience of the Camino.
Hope to see you at the APOC potluck dinner on Jan 27 on Boston. I am an Ignatian Volunteer Corps alum, so I recognize your name!
 

SCT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to Santiago 2014
Camino Frances 2016, 2017
Astorga to SDC 2019
This is a great question! And so many wonderful responses!

I think prayer was my main way of preparing. Each time I’ve left for a camino I’ve faced a lot of fear, so that was actually a main prayer concern.

My husband and I also prepared for the camino by pondering devotional ideas for the journey. One camino we decided we would focus on a word each walking day. Sometimes we thought of the word at the beginning of the day; sometimes the word emerged—hope, faith, courage, joy, strength, etc.

On our last camino, we used a book called At the Name of Jesus by Sarah Hornsby to focus on a name for Jesus every day. Many were so appropriate to a camino walk—Bright and Morning Star, Creator, Companion, Friend, Guide, etc. Usually walking takes so much energy that something simple, and held lightly, seemed to work for us. Blessings on your journey!
 

Dennis Ferguson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)
Hello Dave,
Nice to see you're beginning a journey of faith. I went to Lourdes for the first time and went through the the Mercy Gate in 2016. I went to confession and washed in the waters of Lourdes then onto the Camino. You'll find some very beautiful churches and Cathedrals but for me the most moving religious experience was at at the church in Rabanal del Camino. Built around 1200 the resident Brothers are slowly renovating it. The Brothers offer a blessing for your onward journey but we were lucky as one of our fellow pilgrims was a Priest who performed Holy Mass as the Brothers sang Gregorian chants. I travelled and I met some wonderful folk.
Don't forget to take a small stone ( I carried mine from home) and place it at the foot of the Iron Cross as you make a silent confession.I'll light a candle for you at my next mass. Have a great Camino. May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand.

As a new member, I greatly appreciate the insights of others on how to prepare for the practical aspects of the Camino (lodging, packing, routes, etc). Thank you!


I know not everyone does the Camino for reasons of faith, yet for those who are on a faith journey, how do you prepare for the Camino?


Would love to hear what others have done in the weeks and months prior to their Camino Pilgrimage.


Thank you, Dave Manzo (Boston, MA)[/QUOTE
 

David Manzo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
Hello, Dave, and welcome.
So good to see people planning on taking a classic pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. You´ll find it´s a long-distance Rosary, with an infrastructure designed over hundreds of years to uphold a journey of prayer.
While still at home, it´s good to begin to examine your reasons for undertaking this journey. Many pilgrims walk for a purpose: to fulfill a promise made, to give thanks for answered prayer, or to seek wisdom at one of life´s crossroads, or just to forge a deeper relationship with God. Read up on contemplative prayer, on walking meditation, learn to put it into practice before you hit the trail. Examine your conscience. Before you head for the airport, make a full confession, attend a worship service, and see if your local minister can send you off with a blessing. You are taking on a new identity, walking away from the old, putting on a newer, simpler, purer self. Embrace that, step into it, leave behind electronic distraction machines, expectations, rules. Throw yourself into the freedom and simplicity of a trail designed for exactly what you are doing...
(I can blather on and on.)
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I've read or am reading a few books that have helped me shape this time - The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within Christine Valters Paintner, Making a Pilgrimage Welch, Sally and I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair Gray, Patrick

My biggest realization - (although still in Boston) my Camino has already begun. Greatly appreciate your insights. I look forward to the months ahead until my Camino Portugese.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
While preparing spiritually is important, it is far better to prepare physically for the journey. Even if you have great faith, angels will not carry you over the Pyrenees! If you are physically prepared, you can better absorb the spiritually of the journey without distractions from the body.

Get advice from other American Pilgrims on the Camino at the Boston Potluck, Saturday, January 27.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0e4cacad2da64-2018


-Paul
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I have just skimmed through this thread again, David, and see you have lots of responses with plenty of ideas. One response shone out: well, more than one, but this one is so practical: you need to prepare physically so that the spiritual doesn’t get pushed into second place. I agree. You said yourself that you have already begun, and that tells me your prep is going along nicely! One step at a time, and enjoy every one of them. Buen camino.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
This is such a good thread, with so many good suggestions. I followed several of them before I left for the Camino in April and found them richly rewarding. I will add a few more when I head back to -- finally -- get to Santiago this fall.
 

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