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Pilgrimage: El Camino de Santiago

The Program

Pilgrimage: El Camino was a spring break walking pilgrimage along the last 100 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Northern Spain, the most famous pilgrimage in the Western World. Pilgrims walked a portion of the French Way in 2018 and the Portuguese Way in 2019, averaging 12 to 15 miles per day, staying in comfortable accommodations in small villages each night. The pilgrimage drew on the rich Catholic spirituality that has shaped the route for many centuries as a means of introducing students to profound spiritual questions around meaning, purpose, prayer, and well-being. The program involved a spring semester half-unit course that introduced students to the religious, cultural, and aesthetic landscape of the region, and helped students cultivate their own spiritual practices and reflective imaginations. The hope was that each pilgrim would emerge from the experience with a deeper spiritual life and a greater sense of purpose and place in the world. 

The Leaders

The 2018 Pilgrimage: El Camino was co-led by Craig Kocher, university chaplain, and Patrick Schweiger, study abroad manager. Pilgrims walked the last 100 kilometers of the French Way from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.

The 2019 Pilgrimage: El Camino was co-led by Craig Kocher, university chaplain, and Bryn Bagby Taylor, associate university chaplain. Pilgrims walked the last 100 kilometers of the Portuguese Way from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela.