Final bookings are being taken now for the Ignatian Camino, a walking pilgrimage in the steps of St Ignatius Loyola, which will take place from departing September 23rd - October 6th 2018 led by Fr Dominic Robinson from Farm Street Church and Jo Siedlecka, editor of ICN.
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. 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.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking - with good breaks along the way - for lunch and rests. Luggage is driven on ahead and if you need a rest you can get a lift! But you do need to be a good walker, and have good footwear, to go on this pilgrimage. Groups that have gone before have enjoyed it very much.
For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; firstname.lastname@example.org For full details visit www.paxtravel.co.uk/robinson-fr-dominic
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