Santiago!

I arrived at the central square in front of the cathedral in Santiago at ten o’clock this morning. I walked the last 10.5 kilometers, as I did much of yesterday, with my friend Beth, Jack (from Ireland), Hans (from the Netherlands) and Jed (from Seattle). As we stood taking in the sight of the cathedral, there was not a dry eye among us.

After we simply stood there a while, someone took this picture for us:

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After a brief visit to the Cathedral to say a prayer of thanksgiving, we went to the pilgrim reception office to pick up our Compostela signifying our completion of the Camino. (As I went to the counter and handed my pilgrim credentials to the person behind the counter, I burst into tears.). After securing a place to stay, we went to the noon pilgrim mass.

Imagine my delight when the celebrants processed in and I recognized one of them. George Witt, SJ, one of my former spiritual directors and the person who guided me through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, had led a NY group that walked the last 100 kilometers of the route I walked and they arrived in Santiago yesterday afternoon.

It was incredibly special to (quite unexpectedly) be here in Santiago with someone who has played such a vital role in my spiritual journey. What a gift!

Here are George, Noelle (a long-time friend from St. Ignatian retreat house), and me at lunch after mass:

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Tomorrow I will wander around Santiago, go again to the pilgrim mass and spend some more time at the cathedral. Thursday I will put my hiking shoes and pack on again for another 4-5 days of walking to Finisterre and Muxia. Although some are content to end their walking here in Santiago, I feel the need (as do many others) to walk to the ocean. So that is what I will do. (Heck- what is another 115-120 kilometers after you’ve already walked 790?)

Please continue to keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine.

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5 thoughts on “Santiago!

  1. Thanks be to God! I burst into tears as I read your words about bursting into tears. How grateful I am to have been with you on your journey through this blog!

    And I was at St Ignatius of Loyola in NYC last November, for an event with James Martin SJ and Richard Rohr OFM… Fr. Witt came out and made a brief statement. I hardly “know” him, but it was in some small way serendipitously nice to see that you do – and that he was there! That too brought some tears!

    Blessings to you!!

  2. Wow, and wow some more! Congratulations….I’ve never seen you sciling so widely; you are beaming in your picture with your St. Ignatius friends! There is a big message there, somewhere..ponder all these hings in your heart as you walk to the ocean.

  3. Susan – I am delighted to hear you made it “this far” – and what an amazing experience – I have followed along – and will continue to do so.
    Blessings on the last leg. Thank you so much for sharing this journey,

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