The Diocese in Europe Camino Chaplaimcy is preparing for its second year of operation in 2019. It is proposed to extend the ministry from April/May through to October/November, and will be expanding to include not only the ministry on offer in Santiago itself, but chaplains who will be walking with pilgrims on the various caminos.
The Santiago base is "Egeria House" which is the home of Sybille Yates, the local coordinator for this ministry. 2018 was a fruitful pioneering year, some of the highlights being:
- 27 church services (Sunday mornings in a chapel-like room the Parador Hotel has given us for free, Wednesday afternoons at Egeria House, followed by a shared meal).
- Open House each weekday afternoon, for coffee/tea and chat.
- Hospital and albergue visits to ill pilgrims, and ad hoc meetings with pilgrims on request.
- Being present around town, and on the last kilometres of many Caminos to meet pilgrims, encourage them, welcome them and listen to them.
- Working closely together with ecumenical partners here in Santiago.
- Providing practical help (food, equipment etc) to pilgrims that either came directly to us or were referred to us by our ecumenical partners.
|One of the first congregations in 2018 with the Revd Liska Stefko, volunteer priest.|
Plans for 2019, besides offering a presence throughout the pilgrim season, include, increasing the frequency of weekly eucharisstic celebrations followed by a shared meal, in addition to the Sunday Eucharist. The “walking chaplains” ministering to pilgrims on the way, will be an important new dimension to this ministry as well.
|Father Bob Bates, Camino Chaplain, blessing Estela the Camino Kitten on Saint Francis Day|
These priests/chaplains, like all other volunteers, pay their own expenses, but we are seeking some funds to offer hospitality on arriva in Santiago and a welcome meal. There are other small overhead costs, such printing of material and basic supplies for the mass, and also costs of Egeria House. It costs about €15 per day to run the Camino Chaplainc. Perhaps you might consider sponsoring one or more days? The ministry is run entirely on donations.
Please pray for this growing ministry of our diocese. For information on the Camino Chaplaincy follow this link. (http://egeria.house/chaplaincy/)
And if you would like to contribute financially through paypall, please follow this link.
Photos courtesy of Egeria House