Sorry I haven’t written for several days, but we really have been on the move. Several days ago we were in a small village where a group of Benedictine monks lived in a monastery and maintained the old church next to the monastery. It just so happened that on the night we stayed in the village a Roman Catholic priest(Father Thomas – from Atlanta) announced that he would be doing a simple pilgrim’s mass that evening. Linda and Cathy and I sat on the front row in this simple, 500 year old church. Father Thomas did most of the service in English but it really helped if you knew what to do(sit, stand, etc.). We really were enjoying the service until the time of Holy Communion . Now I understand what it means to be excluded. After doing the communion liturgy, Father Thomas turned to those present and basically told any who were not Roman Catholic that they were not to receive the communion but that he would give us a pilgrim’s blessing. Okay! I am generally pretty flexible —– BUT, THE BLESSING WAS DONE IN LATIN! Talk about feeling like an outsider.
We are down to our last week of walking. We hope to be in Santiago by next Saturday . This has been a long and difficult journey but it has been totally worth it. Tonite we are in Villafranca de Bierzo, a medieval town situated in a valley where two rivers converge. This place has a castle, three large churches, and two convents. It is beautiful.
We can’t wait to share our tales with you. I am so proud to be a United Methodist who can proudly say to anyone that they are welcome to share communion with us. Our liturgy invites to the table any who desire to be in union with Jesus Christ. Let’s keep including others in all we do.
See you soon,
- MORE THAN HALF WAY!
- WE MADE IT!