For the fifth year, Santiago de Compostela Church in Lake Forest, prepares to celebrate the Feast Day of its namesake, St. James the Elder. This year the Feast Day will take place on Saturday, July 20, and will kick off a summer that culminates with a 40th anniversary Mass and dinner in September. To honor its namesake, the entire parish comes together to recreate the Camino experience that takes place throughout the entire year at its sister church in Spain, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Last year, 800 pilgrims walked the Camino route in Lake Forest.
A Camino is a walk from a distant location to a holy place. Those who walk the routes of the Camino are known as “pilgrims.” In Spain there are many routes to get to the church; in Lake Forest there are just two. One of the two Lake Forest routes is seven miles long and is called “St. James Way.” The other route is four miles long and is called “Our Lady of The Pillars Way.” Along the way all pilgrims, each bearing one stone on which they have placed all their burdens and worries, will stop at seven stations along the route. At each station, scriptures are read and tokens are given out as reminders of the readings. With an emphasis on the 40th anniversary, Camino planners selected scripture pertaining to the number 40, which can be found throughout the Bible. The number 40 eluding to change, reflection and growth.
Interested Catholics can register for the walk at website-sdccatholic.org or call the church office (949) 951-8599 with questions. The cost is $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for children 12 and under. Each registration includes a free T-shirt and reusable bag. The day begins on the grounds of Santiago de Compostela Church at 21682 Lake Forest Drive, Lake Forest. The festivities begin bright and early at 5 a.m. and include getting the “pilgrims” to the beginning of the routes by buses to begin their pilgrimages. Breakfast and lunch are served to all who attend.
After the pilgrims arrive back at Santiago, many spiritual activities and a full Mass await them.
The Camino activities officially end at 2 p.m. on the Feast Day.
All stations along the Camino walk will be staffed with bilingual station managers. Also, the Mini-Camino held on the church premises each year for non-walkers, will also be bilingual. Another new event will be a Kid’s Camino, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Children ages 3-10 will learn about St. James, through three craft activities.
Interested Catholics from all over Orange County are invited to participate in the Camino experience. It’s as close as you can get without having to get on a plane and fly to Spain.
The parishioners of Santiago would love for you to join them along the way.