…The Journey Continues

On Thursday, the UST pilgrims awoke in Tineo.  One of Tineo’s claims to fame is that in 1222, King Alfonso IX degreed that pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela must go through Tineo and must pass the Monasterio de Santa María la Real de Obona. Today, the monastery is in ruins and the decree is voluntary, but many pilgrims still choose to visit it.

The journey from Tineo to Pola de Allende is 30 km or 18 miles.  In addition to being the farthest our pilgrims have had to go in a day, the terrain is rugged and difficult.  Luckily, the albergues in Pola de Allende are known to be excellent so hopefully they got a good night’s sleep!

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

The journey on Friday, Aug. 6 took them from Pola de Allende to La Mesa, a 20.5 km or12.3 mile trek.  The pilgrims planned to start their days early so that most of their walking was done by midday before the trails became too hot.    The trail from Pola de Allende to La Mesa is steep – in fact, they passed the highest point of the Camino today.

There will be little rest for them this weekend – On Saturday, they travelled from La Mesa to Castro, a 23.5 km or 14 mile distance, then today, Sunday, from Castro to O Fonsagrada/Padrón, a 20 km or 12 mile distance.

We pray today and this weekend especially for the endurance of our pilgrims.  Over the past week they have made adjustments to a new time zone (Spain is 7 hours ahead of Texas), new foods, extreme physical exertion and the difficulties of living simply from a single backpack.

“To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history,” Pope Benedict XVI said after his own visit to Santiago de Compostela in 2010. “To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.”

The journey on, Friday, Aug. 6 took them from Pola de Allende to La Mesa, a 20.5 km or 12.3 mile trek.  The pilgrims planned to start their days early so that most of their walking was done by midday before the trails became too hot.    The trail from Pola de Allende to La Mesa is steep – in fact, they passed the highest point of the Camino today.

There will be little rest for them this weekend – On Saturday, they will travel from La Mesa to Castro, a 23.5 km or 14 mile distance, and on Sunday from Castro to O Fonsagrada/Padrón, a 20 km or 12 mile distance.

We pray today and this weekend especially for the endurance of our pilgrims.  Over the past week they have made adjustments to a new time zone (Spain is 7 hours ahead of Texas), new foods, extreme physical exertion and the difficulties of living simply from a single backpack.

To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history,” Pope Benedict XVI said after his own visit to Santiago de Compostela in 2010. “To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.” 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the Road…

The UST World Youth Day pilgrims began hiking the Camino de Santiago on Monday and should reach Tineo, Spain today.  Their journey has taken them from Oviedo to San Juan de Villapañada to Bodenaya and now to Tineo.

Oviedo, Spain is the capital city of Asturias and has a population of 210,000.  When they left Oviedo, they left behind them the crowds and hustle and bustle of city life – they will be going for over a week without seeing a major city or town.

Their first night was spent in San Juan de Villapañada, a small town with no food or services aside from a single “alburgue” or hostel.

Day two should have taken them into Bodenaya, a modest town with a population of only 191.

By now, they should be in Tineo – a district know for its production of smoked meats and dairy.  Tineo has a population of 12,000.

The photos included in this entry are not from the UST Camino participants but from a blog titled, “The Primitive Road to Santiago” and are available under the Creative Commons license.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Please Pray for Clarissa!

“Unfortunately, Clarissa Krajewski, our one “off-site” pilgrim, will be unable to attend the pilgrimage with us.  On the way to the airport to fly from Michigan to Houston to join the UST pilgrims, Clarissa and her mother were in an automobile accident.  Both are fine, though their car was totaled.  Through the grace of God, they avoided a life-threatening disaster.  Clarissa will be with us in spirit.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.”

– Sr. Damien Marie Savino

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Arrival…

The University of St. Thomas World Youth Day pilgrims finally made it to Madrid. Now the leg of their journey that takes them to the beginning of the Camino de Santiago by train commences.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leaving on a Jetplane!

While on the Camino, the UST pilgrims will have to carry with them everything they packed. Some of the students, including Mayra, had to leave behind clothing to lose some weight – the first of many learning experiences to come!

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

The flight from Houston to Newark was delayed two hours and the group had to run from terminal 121 to terminal 74 to make their flight to Madrid. It’s a good thing they’re in shape and prepared to hike for two weeks!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

…And the Journey Begins

The University of St. Thomas World Youth Day pilgrims depart today for Oviedo, Spain!  Their lengthy journey of nearly 24 hours will take them by plane from Houston to Newark, New Jersey to Madrid and then by train to Oviedo where they will embark on the Camino de Santiago by foot. We wish them well in their travels and ask that you pray for their safety!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Mayra Morales

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Name:                           Mayra Alejandra Morales
Major:                           Int’l Studies, Spanish
UST Classification:   Senior, Class of 2012

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

“I am blessed with the amazing opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and to Madrid for World Youth Day. I know that God’s plans for me are superior to the ones I have for myself. He has a purpose for each one of us and I pray that He gives us the courage and strength to be everything that we are supposed to be. On this spiritual journey I am determined to grow in my faith and enhance my relationship with God so that I will be more selfless.”

– Mayra Morales

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Jennifer Monroy

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Name:                              Jennifer Monroy
UST Classification:     Alumni May 2008
Degree:                           Business Administration

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

“As an undergrad, I was very active on campus and involved in everything from Campus Ministry, Hispanic Business Student Association, Student Organization of Latinos, women’s intramural soccer and president of the Student Activity Board. Due to my involvement, when I graduated in 2008 I was blessed with the opportunity to attend WYD in Sydney. By far it was one of the most amazing, inspiring and spiritually-fulfilling experiences of my life. God’s presences was visible everywhere you looked and it was impossible not to be moved. I was given the strength and courage to face the new chapter in my life – post-graduation and “the real world” – that commenced upon our return.

Upon our return this time, I am leaving everything I know to fulfill a lifelong dream of moving to New York City. I can’t think of a better way to prepare myself for this change than to embark on a journey of spiritual renewal, guidance, hope and strength. Another reason I wanted be part of the UST WYD Pilgrims is to continue being involved and connected with the UST community post-graduation. We have a wonderful group and I’m very excited about the friendships that are evolving. 

I am looking forward to the entire trip as every aspect of it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While I am dreading the 200 mile hike, at the same time being able to achieve the hike one of the things I’m looking forward to most.  I can’t wait to travel to Spain and explore different areas of the country while learning about the culture, attend WYD Events, meet people from around the world, connect with the UST community and see the Pope!  VIVA EL PAPA!!!”

– Jennifer Monroy

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Blue Secatero

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Name:                         Blue Secatero
Age:                             23
Major:                        Biology

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

“I really want to go on the World Youth Day trip to improve my faith and just see what God can push me to do and because it’s Spain!  I hope to gain a better understanding of my life, faith and the truth. I am most looking forward to the adventure and challenge, and spending time with God.”

 – Blue Secatero

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Clarissa Krajewski

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Name:    Clarissa Krajewski
Age:        24
Major:   Art and Design

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Clarissa graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009.  She is friends with the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and is joining UST for the pilgrimage.

“I am going on the World Youth Day and Camino trip because I need time to process events in my life and discern where God is calling me.  I intend to intercede for many of my family and friends while I am on the trip. I am looking forward to seeing God’s beauty in a new place and different culture, listening to the Lord, letting go of certain aspects of living – with just a back pack, a group of people and being disconnected from technology for the time. I am most excited about seeing Spain and going on a prayerful adventure!” 

– Clarissa Krajewski

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment