UTO Pilgrims on the Camino, October 2019

January 7, 2019
The Rev. Canon Michelle Walker, UTO Associate Staff Officer

Camino, Spanish for “way” or “journey,” is the shortened version of Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James. Across many centuries, this has come to mean a journey, mainly on foot, across the Spanish countryside to the city of Santiago and specifically to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. This pilgrimage brings believers to the cathedral church where Saint James’ relics are thought to be. Pilgrims travel far and wide, along many different caminos throughout the countryside, on this spiritual journey. For many, it is a sacred, treasured memory of time spent walking with their holy creator in prayer and contemplation, while simultaneously enjoying breathtaking views and fresh air.

This October, the United Thank Offering, accompanied by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, is thrilled to offer UTO Pilgrims on the Camino, a pilgrimage that combines portions of walking the Camino with visits to UTO Grant sites in Madrid and Northwest Spain. This pilgrimage is for walkers and non-walkers alike and is intended to be not only a spiritual adventure but also an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the planning of an Anglican Pilgrim Centre in Santiago. The center will be a home for all Christians, especially Anglicans, to receive communion at the end of their travels. (More details about the UTO challenge grant related to this will be released in coming months.)

Here are some exciting details:

  • When: Saturday, October 5–Monday, October 14, 2019 (travel day before/after).
  • Where: Fly to/from Madrid, Spain, with stops en route to Santiago.
  • Who: Anyone with a love for UTO, travel, pilgrimage, or Spanish culture.
  • How much: $3,995 with early-bird registration that ends on February 28, 2019; $4,295 after February 28, 2019. Price includes all overnight accommodations; one lunch and all breakfasts and dinners (with wine); guided visits; comfortable private coach; tour host; and special entertainment. Note: Airfare is separate from this cost.
  • Special options: All pilgrims begin together with a welcome and tours in Madrid, Avila, and Portomarín, hosted in part by Bishop Carlos López Lozano. Pilgrims then separate for either a Walking Pilgrimage (100 km over 5 days, from Sarria to Santiago, via Palas de Rei, Arzúa, and Pedrouzo) or a Grant Site Pilgrimage (over 5 days and includes visits to Salamanca, León, Astorga, Molinaseca, and Arzúa), which is predetermined at registration. All pilgrims reunite for the last 1 km walk into Santiago and spend two beautiful days enjoying the city together.
  • What’s next: Registration will open on Thursday, January 17, 2019 with openings available for 15 walking pilgrims and 15 grant site pilgrims. More details are available on our website at https://unitedthankoffering.com/camino.

This pilgrimage will be co-led by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas Sparks, bishop of Northern Indiana, in celebration of previous Northern Indiana Bishop Reginald Mallet, who at the risk of his own safety, greatly assisted the Church in Spain during the Franco regime; the Rt. Rev. Carlos López Lorenzo, bishop of Spain; and Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board president. Additional information is available on the registration website listed above. Questions may be directed to Michelle at miwalker@episcopalchurch.org.

Please consider whether October 2019 is the right time for your Camino Pilgrimage!