Together As Brothers, a 10-day pilgrimage of Brothers and young men over the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, concluded on July 21 at the city of Santiago.
Conceived during the 45th General Chapter, Together As Brothers provided a small group of Lasallians with a unique opportunity to deepen and discern their vocation in a sacred time of fellowship, prayer, and reflection.
The 18 participants from the District of Spain (ARLEP) and the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN), including members of the District of San Francisco New Orleans, began their trek on July 14. Walking 12 to 15 miles a day on the centuries-old Camino, a number of them took time to blog their thoughts.
We reflected today on some of the ‘Beatitudes of a Pilgrim’:
‘Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you discover that the Camino opens your eyes to what cannot be seen.’
‘Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you discover that going back to help someone is worth more than one hundred forward steps without looking to your side.’
‘Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you discover that the Camino has a lot of silence, and silence has prayer, and prayer is an encounter with Our God who awaits you.’
Solitary and communal times are becoming equally important to us as we enter more fully into the Camino experience. It is important to note that our group is also fully immersing itself in another quintessential Camino experience: blister abatement and care.
Brother Dave Deradoorian, FSC
I am elated by the care we have for one another. I am gratified by the encouragement we offer one another. I am amazed by the natural beauty that greets us every morning. I am awed by the depth of spiritual vision my compañeros have. I am touched by the young Lasallians who are making this walk with zeal and solidarity. I am moved by the affection this mobile Lasallian community has for one another. I am seared by the personal memories of love that erupt as I walk along. I am moved by the dedication of the adult volunteers who prepare our meals, tend to our wounds and lighten our loads. I am opened to the living presence of the Spirit as we take steps toward one another while we stride to Santiago.
Brother Tim Coldwell, FSC
After eight days and over 100 miles, the travelers arrived at the Shrine of Saint James and the culmination of their walking, but not necessarily of their journey. As they nursed their aches and pains and prepared to make their separate ways back home, perhaps they were pondering another of the “Beatitudes of a Pilgrim”, one recalled in a blog post by Brother Anwar Martinez:
“Blessed are you, pilgrim, because you have discovered that the authentic Camino begins when this pilgrimage ends.”