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Verbiage for a Letter of Introduction

Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#1
I know that letters of introduction from our priest are not required for getting a credential, but I would like to have one just to remind us of the religious foundation of the Camino. Does anyone have an example of the verbiage that is typically used for such a letter? I wanted to have it prepared and translated to Spanish for my priest.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Rambler
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
Hi there Rambler,
I asked Marion at the CSJ if they had a 'pro-forma' letter to share with you but they don't. She suggested words to this effect:

This is xxx and comes from the parish of yyy and is making the pilgrimage for zzzz reasons.
Please accord xxx any assistance that may be required.
Signed aaaa, bbbb parish, cccc Country.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#3
As mentioned earlier by many...Sil, Deirdrè, etc....if you get your credential "stamped" by your local diocese, parish, etc prior to departure...it's as good as a letter of intro...becasue it carries the diocese Sello and the signature of the authenticating religious.

Buen "got my cred in hand" Camino
Arn
 
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#4
Thanks guys. I had planned to get a credential in Spain, but may go ahead and see if my priest can stamp one here.
I did write up something and just wanted to share it incase anyone else has the same issue in the future.

Letter of introduction

"To whom it may concern:
Please allow me to introduce the bearers of this letter, xxx. xxx are members of my parish, yyy in xxx in abc country. Our parish is the zzz Archdiocese.

I present them to you as Pilgrims seriously intent on traveling to Santiago de Compostela. Their pilgrimage is one for religious reasons. I hope that you will extend to them all the privileges given to such pilgrims and assist them in obtaining a credential and ultimately a compostela.

This family has prepared both physically and spiritually for this endeavor. It is my sincere hope that through your contact with xxx, you will be able to sense their true desire to gain spiritually from this pilgrimage and the prayers of our parish that accompany them. As our representatives, we expect that they will conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect positively on our parish.

I truly appreciate your co-operation on behalf of xxx.
All the best,

Father yyy"

Rambler
 
#6
I am traveling in France, although my country of residence is U.S.A. My question is this:
If I go to Moissac, from which I am very close, do you think I might be able to obtain a letter of introduction from a priest there? I wll not be going back to CA until December.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#7
I'm sure any priest would be happy to give you a letter. If you have a credencial you can have it stamped at any church before you leave.
The CSJ of RSA is considering giving pilgrims a letter similar to the Flemish CSJ who issue one together with their Credencial. It will be written in 4 languages Latin, Spanish and French and English. It will be a one page document with wording in line with “to whom it may concern, please give all assistance to this pilgrim … etc.). They print theirs on a parchment type of paper and it looks about 1000 years old.
 
#9
Hi Sylvia, :)
If you want a Credencial there are several possibilities. Since you are at Moissac you could try for letter of introduction there, but I think you may be able to pick up a Credencial either at the tourist office or maybe the convent that welcomes pilgrims. Alternatively, since you are starting in Astorga you can get a Credencial at the tourist office there. Another possibility is that if tourist office is closed and you are walkng to Rabanal on your first day, you can buy one at Refugio Gaucelmo (English Refugio) for 1 Euro.
Good luck whatever solution you go for.
Buen Camino,

Brendan
 
#10
Rambler said:
I know that letters of introduction from our priest are not required for getting a credential, but I would like to have one just to remind us of the religious foundation of the Camino.
Sylvia

Just to be absolutely clear - a letter of introduction is not necessary - you can get a credencial before you go or follow Brendan's helpful advice.

I also think that randon priests along the way are unlikely to write letters of introduction for random people they have never met. The idea was always that the priest of your home parish would write such a letter if it was ever necessary!

John
 
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#11
I agree with John.
We just did it to tie back into the reality that, for us, this is a real religious pilgrimage. The only time I have every heard of anyone asking for a letter present day, was in Roncevalles years ago when an older lady that managed the process would sometimes inquire.

We are also getting our credentials early from the American Friends so we can have our home Parish put their seal in the first box to show that the Camino really does start from your home.

Rambler
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#12
The only time I´ve seen letters of introduction used along the Camino was when a priest friend was walking from Lourdes and used his for entree at monasteries along the way. (the Benedictines have Hospitality as part of their Rule, you know.)

Intro letters are not required by "regular" pilgrims unless said pilgrim wants to say Mass or stay at a church or parish house along The Way. I know my pastor doesn´t bother with such formalities. Pilgrims from France, traveling with priests, sometimes ask to celebrate a Mass at our church, especially in summertime. It´s a real treat for the village, as it´s usually said in the old Latin rite.

Rebekah
 
#13
Priests are required by the Church to carry identification wherever they go - this is not Camino related - it applies everywhere. A priest wishing to say Mass must be able to produce proof that they are actually a priest - and they carry a document issued by their local Bishop to that effect.
 
#14
I arrived in Toulouse yesterday, went straight to St Sernin, waited until 16:00 Hrs when the Pilgrims table opened and was able to get my Credential right away without a letter of introduction. I was so elated. I felt this was my "first step" towards the Camino. I am so excited. I will be riding my bike along the Canal to Moissac. We are here on our boat. In July I will fly to Spain to start the Camino.

Can anyone shed some light as to what sort of socks to buy? There are suppose to be some without seams made of polymer. Any idea where I can get them in France?
 
#15
Hi Sylvia

Although we all have different ways of appriaching the sock issue the standard advice would be to use thin inner socks (often made of polymer) with good wicking qualities and woolen outer socks. I think if you go to a hiking or treking shop and explain you are doing a long distance walk on the Camino they will know exactly what you need.

John
 

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