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Pilgrimage: El Camino de Santiago

Fri., March 8-Sat., March 16, 2019

The Program
Pilgrimage: El Camino is a spring break walking pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Northern Spain, the most famous pilgrimage in the Western World. Pilgrims will walk from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, averaging 12 to 15 miles per day, staying in comfortable accommodations in small villages each night. The program involves a spring semester half-unit course that introduces students to the religious, cultural, and aesthetic landscape of the region, and will help students cultivate their own spiritual practices and reflective imaginations. The hope is that each pilgrim will emerge from the experience with a deeper spiritual life and a greater sense of purpose and place in the world. 

Requirements
The program is open to full-time, continuing undergraduate students. The pilgrimage will draw 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. Each student will be expected to fully commit spiritually and physically to the experience and to offer an open and generous heart to the experience and to their teammates.

The pilgrimage will be physically and spiritually challenging, and students who participate will commit to cultivating their physical and spiritual health in preparation for the 65-mile hike.

Applicants selected for the pilgrimage team will be required to enroll and participate in a half-unit course that meets weekly throughout the spring semester. The course will be a means to explore the various religious, historical, and cultural contexts of the Camino, and to build friendships within the team. The spring 2019 class will be held from 9-10:15 a.m. every Friday.  Applicants for Pilgrimage: El Camino are encouraged to reserve this time in their spring semester schedules. 

Expenses
The Chaplaincy will cover the majority of the costs. Applicants who are selected for the pilgrimage team are required to make a non-refundable financial contribution of $400 as a commitment of participation at the first team meeting on December 3. Participants will also be responsible for passport and visa application fees and meals while traveling.  

Leaders
The pilgrimage will be co-led by Craig Kocher, university chaplain, and Bryn Bagby Taylor, associate university chaplain. 

Pending approval from the Office of International Education


Important Dates and Deadlines

Applications available
Mon., Oct. 1

Application deadline
Thurs., Nov. 1 by midnight

Applicant interviews
Mon., Nov. 5 - Thurs., Nov. 15

Applicant notification
Fri., Nov. 16

First team meeting
Mon., Dec. 3, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Questions? Contact

Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher
University Chaplain
804-289-8500
ckocher@richmond.edu