Find out more about the Farm Street Camino, in the steps of St Ignatius Loyola this Thursday evening. There will be presentations, video, and Catalan food and wine at Farm Street Church Hall at 6.45pm on 16 November.
In his autobiography St Ignatius calls himself simply "the pilgrim" and describes his Camino in the year 1522 from his home town of Loyola in the Basque Country across northern Spain to Montserrat and Manresa in the east.
Our own Camino follows the final part of this route along the ancient Camino trail through Catalunya. We start at the Shrine and birth place of St Peter Claver, the 17th century Jesuit priest known as the "slave to the slaves" for his work with the slaves of what is modern day Colombia.
We then walk through the beautiful green valleys and hills of Catalunya that St Ignatius knew so well, stopping at churches, shrines of Our Lady and in small villages and towns as he did.
Then we make our way around the breathtaking mountain of Montserrat, known as a place of profound peace and spirituality, and arrive at the great Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat, where St Ignatius spent three nights in prayer, laid down his sword at the feet of the Madonna and resolved to follow Christ.
Finally we follow the steps of St Ignatius to the town of Manresa, where he settled and lived the life of "the pilgrim" as he composed the Spiritual Exercises.
This pilgrimage, however, is not all walking, although this takes up most of the first ten days until we arrive in Manresa. A Camino is a spiritual as well as physical exercise. During the walk we will stop for prayer at particular places, guided by St Ignatius to reflect on our own response to Christ. St Ignatius in his autobiography charts his own progress as he walks, reflecting on his call to detachment, freedom, indifference. So our prayer will reflect this as we contemplate where God is working in our life. Each day we will celebrate Mass as the high point of the day and eat dinner together.
At the end of our walk we then go on to the beautiful city of Barcelona, home to St Ignatius for several years in two periods of his life. We stay in the Spiritual Exercises Centre to spend a few days of rest, prayer reviewing our Camino experience, and visiting the sites associated with St Ignatius. There will also be time for general sightseeing, shopping and enjoying this wonderful city.
Next year's walking pilgrimage in the steps of St Ignatius Loyola, will take place from September 23rd - October 6th 2018, led by Fr Dominic Robinson from Farm Street Church and Jo Siedlecka, editor of ICN.
NOTE: This was a marvellous evening. If you'd like more information, please contact Fr Dominic Robinson on: email@example.com or Josephine Siedlecka on firstname.lastname@example.org