One of the joys of building the Pilgrim Trail and creating the Camino Salvado ® has been building links with new peoples both here and overseas. First it was our Camino Salvado ® Committee, then it was the walkers themselves. After that it was the Pilgrim Trail Foundation Board members, then meeting with the Whadjuk and Yued people, and all the councils, cities, DPaW Rangers and administrators and the hundreds of others with whom we have crafted such a great relationship. Now we’re going global with the Colloquium in Galicia, Spain and the wonderful people we met there. Now we’re in the twitter-sphere taking our message and our Camino Salvado to the whole world.
The Camino Salvado® – the way of Salvado – follows the Pilgrim Trail from Perth to New Norcia under our great southern sky. At night the stars blaze and all we Aussies love pointing out our Southern Cross.
The Camino Frances starts in France and ends in Spain at Santiago de Compostela. One suggested origin of the name Compostela is “Field of Stars” as early pilgrims often slept out under them.
At Christmas, may you remember that great star that heralded the birth of the Christ child.
Buon Camino and JinJin – Australian Noongar for Good Spirit – to you all.
Yesterday I went into the city to do some Christmas Shopping. As usual there were several ‘wounded’ people sitting with their regulation pieces of cardboard telling of their need for our spare cash. One was a young woman who intrigued me. Not only did her sign say that she was homeless and pregnant, but she was actually reading a book. She seemed startled when I squatted down to talk to her. “Can you do something for me this Christmas” I asked her. Her face, though quite youthful, was flushed with that redness that comes with an unhealthy acquaintance with either alcohol or drugs. She mumbled “Maybe” in reply. “Take good care of yourself and your baby please” I said. She paused, thought for a moment and answered “I’ll try”.
This morning I was passing a man selling the “Big Issue”. My family joke that I must be related to royalty because I rarely carry any money on me, but I always make a point of stopping to talk with these Big Issue vendors as they’re usually trying to change their lives. I apologised for not being able to help him out with cash but wished him every blessing for a good Christmas and every success in 2015. “I doubt it’ll be as good as 2014” he replied enthusiastically “This year I managed to find somewhere permanent to live and I’ve saved up enough to buy a second hand car” he beamed at me.
Two people, two stories, two gifts for me this Christmas. Sometimes when you think you’re helping others, they give you something in return that no money can buy.
At the end of November I gave a presentation to the 9th International Colloquium Compostella in Santiago, Spain which was on the Camino de Santiago and it’s heritage. Speakers came from all around Europe and my talk on The Pilgrim Trail and the way of Salvado – our own Camino Salvado – was greeted with great interest. It was a very special occasion to be able to talk with experts on Pilgrimage from all around Europe and one even from Japan, and to be able to tell them what we have done here in Western Australia and the stories that surround the Trail.
One of the outcomes is that I was encouraged to begin talks with our State Government, and the State Government of Galicia with a view to establishing a Cultural link between the two States based on our rich Heritages and especially the common figure of Fra Rosendo Salvado who came from Spain to Australia in the 19th century.
The enthusiasm for our Trail was palpable. According to teh Co-ordinator of the event “Australia was the tenth power in number of pilgrims on 2013. According to the official statistics, there were 3,098 Australian pilgrims in the Camino de Santiago, and this number will be higher this year”. That means that there are over 3,000 Australians who might also want to experience our very own Camino here in their own country. So please – spread the word and tell everyone you know that in 2015 The Pilgrim trail is there for them.
I wish you all a joyous Christmas and every Blessing for 2015.
In just 4 weeks I’ll be presenting a talk in Santiago de Compostela on our own Pilgrim Trail® and the Camino Salvado™. There will be other guest speakers from all round Europe, but only one from Australia! I am told by the organizers that because of our strong connection to Rosendo Salvado who entered the monastery in Santiago, that the media in Galicia are very interested in our activities and what we have created here in Western Australia. So if the Aussie $ continues to decline, perhaps we should all start brushing up on our Europena languages as more pilgrims from that part of the globe come to walk our Pilgrim Trail.
On another happy note, Holy Cross College students have been walking the Pilgrim Trail and all of their year levels from 7 – 12 will have done some of the pilgrim trail this year! They are already planing for next years walks. Well done to all staff and students who have made this possible and done such a great job.
I’m currently working on a book of reflections for the Camino Salvado which we hope to have ready for early in 2015. It’s hoped that it will be a useful resource book for school students who are considering walking the Pilgrim Trail. Watch this space!
Kerry is seen here at the end of her Camino De Santiago. In 2013 Kerry also walked along the Pilgrim Trail with St Joseph’s Camino Salvado group. She is one very special lady and deserves our full support. We wish her every blessing in her new role.
We’ve just booked our flights to Madrid and our accommodation in Santiago De Compostella where we’ll be joining in their Celebrations of the life of Rosendo Salvado and where I’ve been invited to be a guest Speaker at the International Colloqium in November!
Interestingly, the Spanish seem to be taking a far more creative approach to the Celebrations about Salvado’s life than we do here in Perth, Western Australia: the place where he spent 50 years of his life doing some amazing things! Check out this LINK.
I think there is a real opportunity for our Community to “step up” and fill in this cultural hole and begin to consider how we can create works of real significance – in the visual arts, in music, in story-telling and in dance – so that future generations can see how we respected our ancestors too.