Thursday, July 23, 2015

Group of singing priests coming to Vancouver

Filipino clergy performers to tour local churches

The Cebu Clergy Performing Artists. (Photo credit:

A group of singing priests will be in town to perform in anticipation of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress 2016.
The Cebu Daily news said that "these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style." They were praised by the paper for their "well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills."
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at:
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at:
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at:
With performances under their belt in Texas, Arizona and California, they will visit various churches in Vancouver. The group consists of Father Jun Gutierrez, Father Kipling Agravante, Father Zacharyy Zacarias, and Father Rudy Iballe MSC.

All proceeds will go to help renovate the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos, in Mabolo. Concerts will be between Aug. 14-17 at 7 p.m. and will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Surrey, St. Patrick's Parish in Vancouver, St. Monica's Parish in Richmond, and Our Lady of Mercy, Burnaby.

Tickets are $15. Visit here for tickets and dates.

Advocates slam officials for not arresting johns

Anti-prostitution groups worry police are not enforcing a law that came into effect in December
Gwendoline Allison (at podium), Suzanne Jay (left), Trisha Baptie, and Keira Smith-Tague say those who buy sex are going unpunished despite a new law. They spoke July 8 for a handful of organizations that help women exit prostitution. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Anti-prostitution activists are accusing local police of not making any arrests, despite a new law that criminalized buying sex seven months ago. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope meets with mayors on 'Modern Slavery'
Pope Francis signs a declaration on climate change and human trafficking during a workshop attended by mayors from around the world in the synod hall at the Vatican July 21. Paul Haring / CNS.
Pope Francis urged mayors from big cities to direct their efforts towards care for the environment and the fight against human trafficking. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Marriage should focus on service, theologian says
Ted Sri. Thandiwe Konguavi, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
It's no coincidence that when Jesus performed His first miracle He did it in the context of a wedding. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nuns don't want to sell convent to Katy Perry

Sisters in Los Angeles say it would 'violate our canonical vows'
Pop star Katy Perry. (Photo credit: Time)
A convent with a view over Hollywood is up for sale, but the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary are refusing to sell it to Katy Perry.
“In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church,” Sister Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
They would rather sell it to another interested buyer: Dana Hollister. The problem? The Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants to sell it to Katy Perry and says the sisters don't have the right to decide. Enter a legal battle.

In other Los Angeles news, Father Robert Barron has been appointed an auxiliary bishop for that archdiocese.
"It was with enormous surprise that I received word of my appointment as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, but it is with a humble and joyful heart that I accept it. The Church of Los Angeles - the most populous in the United States - is energetic, diverse, and creative," the Bishop-elect said.
Chicago-born Father Barron is well-known for his Catholicism DVD series and for founding Word on Fire. He and two other auxiliary bishops will likely be ordained in the fall.

L'Arche fundraiser turns to ball park

Softball tournament to help intellectually disabled
A large crowd gathers in Papillion, Neb., for a softball matchup dubbed the "I-80 Collar Series" between priests of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb., and the neighbouring Diocese of Lincoln, Neb. CNS photo / Susan Szalewski, Catholic Voice.
A local group that supports people with intellectual disabilities will be giving its all at an annual charity softball tournament. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Heroic virtue of Ukrainian bishop recognized
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who led the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the tumultuous period of both world wars and at the beginning of Soviet occupation, has been declared "venerable" by Pope Francis. Metropolitan Sheptytsky is pictured in an undated portrait. (CNS)
Pope Francis authorized a decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1900 to 1944, who personally protected dozens of Jews from Nazi occupiers during World War II. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archbishop proclaims Gospel of mercy
Archbishop Richard Smith. Ramon Gonzalez, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
Catholic Social Services serves as an island of mercy in what is often a vast ocean of cruelty and indifference, said the Archbishop of Edmonton. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Catholics start new blood donor project

Vancouver archdiocese launches collaboration with Canadian Blood Services
Employees at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Vancouver find out their blood types during a lunch and learn event by Canadian Blood Services June 22. Lisa Dwan / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Archdiocesan employees can support their community in a new way, thanks to a partnership with Canadian Blood Services. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope entrusts South America trip to Mary
A man shelters from the sun with an umbrella as Pope Francis leads the Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
"To the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, whom the whole of Latin America venerates as patron by the title Our Lady of Guadalupe, I entrust the fruits of this unforgettable apostolic journey," Pope Francis said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Knights replace deceased officer
Charles Russell. Photo contributed to Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
The state board of the Alberta Knights of Columbus has appointed a former salesman from Calgary head of the 18,000-member organization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Conference to address reconciliation issues

Directions in Aboriginal Ministry Conference to be held Aug. 17-20
Pope John Paul II and Cuban President Fidel Castro in Cuba in January 1998. The Pope called for a climate of social justice in Cuba. Sister Solomon is referring to aboriginal issues here as a matter of social justice. CNS photo / Reuters.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is over, but the work of restoring relations between native and non-native people is far from done. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Jewish man repays a favour
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is kissed by Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City, after giving the annual John Paul II Centre Lecture for Interreligious Understanding at the seminary May 6. CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz.
George Weidenfeld was barely 18 when Nazi forces occupied his homeland, Austria, in 1938. He may not have lived to see his 95th birthday this year if not for the selflessness and generosity of Christians during World War II. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Gift Box unwraps trafficking for Pan Am visitors
Suyeon Hsu and designer team unveil Gift Box. Photo by Evan Boudreau, Catholic Register (CCN).
As thousands descended on Toronto for the Pan Am Games, an alliance of faith groups used the occasion in an innovative way to educate the public about human trafficking. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Squamish parish celebrates its 90th anniversary

Longtime parishioner says small community has grown and become more active in recent years
Members of St. Joseph's Parish in Squamish eat dessert at an ice cream stand made to look like a traditional Filipino ice cream cart during the parish's first celebration of Philippine Independence Day June 21. St. Joseph's Parish (Squamish) Facebook.
A small, active community in Squamish has recently celebrated some big milestones. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Don't waste your lives; keep making a noise, Pontiff says
Pope Francis greets a young woman as he leads a meeting with young people along the waterfront in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis tossed aside his prepared remarks in a talk to thousands of Paraguay's young people, urging the crowd to go against the cultural current and to live for Jesus with a "free heart." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Two ordained for Winnipeg
Newly ordained Fathers Peter Nemcek (left) and Christopher Dubois stand with Archbishop Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg. Photo by Paul Swart, Prairie Messenger (CCN).
The Archdiocese of Winnipeg welcomed two news priests into its fold with the ordinations of Fathers Christopher Dubois and Peter Nemcek by Archbishop Richard Gagnon in St. Mary's Cathedral July 3, the Feast of St. Thomas. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Students unite in prayer for the unborn

Our Lady of Fatima School holds first spiritual adoption program
After nine weeks of praying for unborn children, students at Our Lady of Fatima School brought in donations of baby clothing, food, diapers, and other items. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Students at a Coquitlam school have "adopted" 14 unborn children. Children at Our Lady of Fatima School spent nine weeks praying for unknown babies in the womb during their first spiritual adoption program. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

California legislature withdraws physician-assisted suicide bill
Hollis Johnson and his wife, Lee Carter, stand outside the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa afater the court overturned a ban on physician-assisted suicide, unanimously reversing a decision it made in 1993 and putting Canada in the company of a handful of Western countries where the practice will be legal. Carter's mother, Kay Carter, travelled to Switzerland to be killed in 2010. CNS photo / Chris Wattie, Reuters.
The California state legislature has abandoned, for now, efforts to pass a measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Canada passes 10th anniversary of the redefinition of marriage
Constitutional lawyer Iain Benson seen after arguing before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Whatcott case. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
In the 10 years since "same-sex marriage" became the law of the land in Canada, observers have seen a steady erosion of religious freedom and conscience rights. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Undercover investigation reveals abortion provider sells fetal body parts

Video shows conversation with Planned Parenthood director
Mike Schouten calls the practice "barbaric."
Activist Mike Schouten is calling on Canadian government to stop funding Planned Parenthood immediately amidst disturbing revelations about the U.S. abortion provider.

An undercover video taped by the Centre for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola describing how she harvests body parts for sale during partial-birth abortions. Some viewers may find the video disturbing.

Mike Schouten, director of pro-life organization WeNeedALaw, calls it "barbaric."
"Clearly Planned Parenthood is not interested in helping women and their children. Killing late-term babies and condoning the sale of their body parts is sick, and a strong message needs to be sent to them as well as all Canadians that our country will not condone this evil."
Live Action News also reported this story.

CISVAAA Principals' Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago: Day 10

Day 10: Santiago to Finisterre

Today was our last day together as a pilgrimage team; tomorrow, we will go our separate ways, some staying in Europe and some beginning to make their way home. We travelled together to Finisterre to find what some say to be the true end to the Camino. As spiritual pilgrims, we knew that we had arrived at the end of our pilgrimage when we reached the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela yesterday. Today was just a chance to see a bit more of the Spanish countryside and spend some more time together.

While we rode in our air-conditioned bus, we did see a number of pilgrims walking to Finisterre in the hot sunshine. As we have said before, the Camino can be what you need it to be. For us, when we saw the tomb of Saint James and celebrated the Eucharist in the beauty of the cathedral with our fellow pilgrims, our pilgrimage ended. Thanks be to God.

There are many people who have walked this journey with us over the past ten days. We would like to thank everyone who followed us on Facebook and on the Busy Catholic blog. Your comments, prayers and support have made an immeasurable difference in our journey. It was wonderful to know that we had so many thinking of us at home as we walked. We also want to thank our CISVA colleagues who took the time late at night to join us for our morning prayer: Maurice, Brian, Paul, Clive and Pasquale. We enjoyed having you in our prayer circle! Thank you also to our families and friends who helped us to get ready for this journey and who have managed at home without us. Most of all, we want to thank everyone in the CISVA community who supported our pilgrimage through the submission of prayers or funds to the inaugural RCAV Catholic Charities fundraiser. Special thanks to Archbishop Michael Miller for his support and blessings on our team before we left.

It is hard to think of our journey being over, after all of the planning and anticipation. However, we know that this is just the beginning of the role that the Camino will play in our lives. We have much to celebrate now, and much work still to do, to build upon the foundations of spiritual growth that ẃe have begun here. We are looking forward to our post-Camino journeys.

As we were told today, the Camino is not just a journey through Spain, but a way through life. When we wish someone 'Buen Camino,' we are wishing them a good path in life, and so we wish all of you 'Buen Camino!' May God bless you for all that you have done for us. We are looking forward to seeing you when we return!

Posing at the beach.

At 'the end of the earth.'

At the Dumbria waterfall on our journey to Finisterre,

Full circle!

Dipping our toes in the Atlantic.

Newlyweds present Canucks jersey to Pope Francis

Joseph San Jose says they planned Rome honeymoon to keep faith at the centre of their marriage
Newlyweds Joseph and Marion San Jose give the Pontiff a Canucks jersey with his name on it and receive a papal blessing June 3.
For two newlyweds from Richmond, meeting Pope Francis in Vatican City had all the thrill of a hockey game. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Francis lauds strength of Paraguay women amid nation's bloody history
Pope Francis leads vespers with clergy and members of Catholic movements at Assumption Cathedral in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 11. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Arriving in Paraguay on Friday, Pope Francis recognized the particular contribution of women in the nation's warn-torn past. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

ARPA drafts anti-euthanasia bill
Prolife activist Taylor Hyatt responded to the Carter decision at the Supreme Court of Canada Feb. 6. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) has released a draft anti-euthanasia law to respond to the Canadian Medical Association's (CMA) draft protocols for doctor assisted death. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CISVAAA Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago:Day 9

Day 9:Rua to Santiago

Well, we made it, and what a journey we've had. We began our day early, with a 6:30 am departure. It was still dark when we left the hotel with our bagged breakfasts. We were worried about getting to Santiago on time for the pilgrims' Mass at noon, so we walked quickly. We had thought the way would be easier, but there turned out to be numerous hills that made us work hard. Perhaps the early pilgrims decided that a last day of hard work was necessary before reaching the marvellous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in all its glory. We didn't really have a right to complain, when we thought of all of those centuries of pilgrims travelling the path in leather sandals or bare feet for penitence. Our sophisticated trail runners, hiking boots and hiking socks don't really compare, do they?

Our journey was beautiful, as usual, but today we were counting down to kilometre zero instead of just to the next town. The last trail marker was at 12.5 kilometres and it was odd for us to have markers with no distances on them from that time on; we have become very used to counting down. At last we made it to the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela, where the new Camino markers were brass shells in the sidewalks, and the push was on. We really wanted to get to the Mass at noon, as we had been told by experienced Camino walkers  that there is nothing better than arriving at Mass hot and sweaty, carrying and wearing our walking gear, and celebrating the Eucharist with all of the other pilgrims. We certainly fulfilled the hot, sweaty, and weighed-down criteria today.

We did make it to Mass, having registered our Camino journey with the Pilgrims' Passport Office and received our Compostela, which is the certificate that is given to everyone who walks at least 100 kilometres to verify the distance traveled. Ours state that we have walked 200 kilometres of the Camino. It's just a piece of paper, and it took far less time to accomplish than many other things in our lives, but it symbolizes something important - a physical and spiritual journey that was at the same time an individual journey and a collective journey. Mission accomplished and mission begun.

The cathedral was so crowded for the Mass that we didn't even manage to get seats; we sat on the floor or at the base of the massive pillars. The  energy in the air was palpable and the feeling of accomplishment was evident. People of all religions were present at the Mass, to celebrate the end of their Camino journey in the community of pilgrims. The music was beautiful and the priest was welcoming to the pilgrims.

The cathedral is lovely. It is a mixture of  Romanesque and Baroque styles, but it somehow works. In a way, it suits the collision of cultures that make their way to Santiago: each has a unique style and personality, but all are working for the greater glory of God. There are many small chapels in the ambulatory, most of which are locked. One chapel is set aside for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament all day. We spent some time in adoration in that serene place. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting in intimate prayer with Our Lord, even if it's only for a short time.

We were given a special treat during the Mass. The botafumeiro, which is the giant censer hanging from the ceiling, is now used only on special feast days (the last of which was July 11, the feast of Saint Benedict) or by special arrangement. We were not expecting to see the botafumeiro in action  today, but they did use it, much to the awe of the pilgrims.  This censer hangs from an intricate system of ropes and pulleys, and eight men pull them in concert to make the botafumeiro swing so high that it seems as though it will touch the ceiling. It swings back and forth like a giant pendulum, spreading the scent of incense throughout the church, until it comes to a standstill. As the men moved into position for the censer, there was a collective gasp from the congregation: no one expected to receive this privilege today. There was beautiful music sung by a sister and it was a truly ethereal experience for all of us.

After the Mass, we made our way through the throngs of people to the plaza in front of the cathedral. We found the shell on the  ground that represents kilometre zero on the Camino and all placed our feet on it. There was a general air of excitement and relief in the plaza, as the newly arrived pilgrims celebrated the end of their journeys.

We saw many pilgrims with whom we had travelled over the last nine days, including the leaders of the group of Spanish students, who had been such lovely companions on the way. We also met new people on our way today: a couple from Québec who had traveled all the way from the beginning of the Camino, and were so tired as they finished their journey; a woman from Denmark who was exhausted by today's hills and wasn't sure that she would make it to Mass on time, but managed to do so. One of the most wonderful things about travelling the Camino is the camaraderie that is felt among the pilgrims. When we entered the city today, it was a bit bewildering because we couldn't use our standard, 'Hola! Buen Camino!' phrase with all we met. Since that is the community in which we have been immersed for over a week, it was a shock to be back in a city once again. Within the old city, however, with the cathedral and its surrounding buildings and shops, the pilgrim spirit continued and we drank all of it in this afternoon and evening.

In the early evening, we brought the prayers of the CISVA to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela to deposit them as we had promised to do all those months ago. We were told that we could place them at an altar of our choice and we chose an area that is dedicated to Saint James. Together, we said a special prayer, asking for the intercession of Saint James for the prayers of our greater community. We felt relieved after we had deposited the prayers, as if we had finally placed them in the right hands: we knew that Saint James would intercede for us.

And so, our walking journey is over, but we will make one more journey together as a team. We will travel (by bus) to Finisterre, 'the end of the earth' and dip our toes into the Atlantic Ocean, as Saint James did. We are looking forward to our last day together.

The altar of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

We officially reached kilometre zero!

The prayers of our CISVA community.

Entering the city.

The team in the plaza outside the cathedral

The botafumeiro hanging above the altar.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

'His Dreams, Our Realities'

Youth to sing for saint's 200th birthday
Musicals about phantoms, the French Revolution, and felines have all been featured in musical theatre, but a Catholic saint? For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope asks for prayers during prison visit
A nun greets inmates gathered to see Pope Francis during his visit to the Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 10. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis on Friday told Bolivian prison inmates that he too is a sinner who has experienced the merciful love of God, and encouraged them not to fall into despair but to accept forgiveness and to sustain themselves with prayer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB pamphlet promotes dialogue with Muslims
Turkish citizens pray during the first Ramadan night at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. CNS photo / EPA.
Canada's Catholic bishops have released a pamphlet to promote understanding and dialogue with Muslims meant to coincide with Id al-Fitr, the July 18 feast marking the end of Ramadan. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 13, 2015

CISVAAA Principals' Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago: Day 8

Day 8: Arzua to Rua
Today was a short walk of eighteen kilometres. Once again we were travelling through aromatic eucalyptus groves and by fields of crops. The feeling was a bit different today, though, as we knew that we were so close to Santiago; there is a mixture of anticipation and a strong wish that it not be over so soon.
Our day began at the idyllic farmhouse with a beautiful breakfast of homemade items, including the famous Santiago cake that we have enjoyed throughout our journey. As we have for the past several days, we had one of our CISVA colleagues join us for our morning prayer through Facetime, as well as Waldemar’s wife, Liz, who has walked the Camino previously and who walked part of our journey with us each morning through her conversations with Waldemar.
After our prayer, we came across several sisters who were stamping the pilgrim passports and distributing holy cards. They were clearly in the ministry of service to pilgrims, as they were offering free bottles of cold water as well. We stopped to speak with them, as they spoke English, and they are members of the Order of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. They were interested to hear that we are from Vancouver, as they know Sister Beth Ann who used to work in our VANSPEC program. They were so pleased to find this connection and we were too; it is a very small world, indeed.
Today, we saw determination. We saw so many people who were hurt, with everything from ankle bandages to knee braces to bandages for cuts and bruises and blisters. Despite this difficulty, however, all of these people soldiered on; nothing was going to keep them from completing their Camino journeys. Perhaps many of these people were carrying burdens with them that are not physical, and these were spurring them on to reach Santiago. Whatever was propelling them, we saw it directly on their faces today.
Despite the familiar routine and scenery today, we felt different. As we ate lunch, we talked about our day tomorrow: what time we will leave; how we will get our pilgrim certificates; how we will manage to get to the pilgrim Mass on time. All of these are logistical items that must be addressed, but they also are an unavoidable reminder that our journey will soon come to an end. This thought brings us mixed feelings: relief that our physical exertions will soon be finished and sadness that our time in this cocooned community of pilgrims will soon be over. We will, however, work through these thoughts and feelings in the same way that we began our journey – together.


Marian, Deirdre and Michael at the beginning of the day.


Brenda and Marian on the move.
Waldemar, Rosaleen and Michael.
Plums, anyone?

Relaxing after our walk.


Student activists to poll passersby about abortion

Main goal is to start conversations, not collect data
Ashley Bulthuis
Pro-lifers with clipboards in hand are taking to the streets this summer to start conversations about restrictions on abortion. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

No one should be discarded, Pope says during Mass
Pope Francis carries flowers July 8 to place at a Marian image before a meeting with civil authorities in the cathedral in La Paz, Bolivia. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Giving in to despair when confronted with life's difficulties only leads to an individualistic attitude that discards others, Pope Francis said Thursday, explaining that with Jesus, no one is ever left out or excluded. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Charity spent 13 per cent of budget on aid in Iraq and Syria
Aid to the Church in Need had an "exceptional year around the world" in 2014. The Catholic charity sent most of its aid to help with construction efforts.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) had an "exceptional year ... around the world," in 2014. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CISVAAA Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago: Day Seven

Day 7: Palas de Rei to Arzua

It’s hard to believe that we are on the seventh day of our journey. We are now only about forty kilometres from Santiago. Today was our last long day of walking and it was beautiful. We walked through eucalyptus groves where the perfume was intoxicating; we walked over medieval bridges to cross rivers; we passed field upon field of corn, which they feed to the animals through the winter; we saw bales of hay stacked neatly beside farmhouses. Everywhere along the Camino, the locals go about their business, running their lives and doing their work. All are fully aware of the holy path on which they live and are proud and welcoming to the pilgrims. The Camino is fully alive, in every sense.

In contrast to our peaceful morning, we passed through Melide, without diverting from our Camino path. Melide is quite a big and bustling city, and the streets were alive with Sunday activity.  There was a market, with everything ranging from fruits and vegetables to clothing to trinkets. There was also an outdoor dance floor at which they played traditional Spanish music. The floor was filled with couples dancing and smiling and laughing. Even Waldemar and Brenda and Rosaleen got in on the action (Waldemar’s partner was his Go-Pro). It was marvellous to see such fun.

Our accommodation this evening is in a 500 year old farmhouse. We were picked up from the Camino path and brought to an idyllic place where our rooms have original stone walls and the furnishings and décor echo the era. We were treated to a delicious meal of rural Spanish food in lovely surroundings. The people here take pride in their work and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

It was somewhat jarring to have to navigate crowded city streets once again. We have been living in the community of pilgrims for a week now, where everyone is either walking the Camino or works to serve the pilgrims. Today’s visit to Melide reminds us that our journey will soon come to an end and we will have to enter our individual realities again. How will we see these realities? What parts of our lives will remain important to us and what will have moved to a less exalted position? We know that our perspectives will have changed, but how will those changes manifest themselves in our daily lives? The answers to these questions remain to be seen, perhaps for some time, but we still have two days of walking reflection to come. We will take all that we can from them.

A view of the countryside as seen through a corn storage structure.

The church near our farmhouse, where the bells are rung by hand by a faithful servant.

Walking through a quiet street in Melide.

The market in Melide.

You must try the octopus!
Walking peacefully in the countryside.
Our 500 year old farmhouse.

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