The incredible lightness of rightness

Our apartment

It has been just a week ago that Robin and I arrived here in Santiago to begin our volunteer work with the Camino Chaplaincy. This is an apostolate of volunteer priests, religious, and lay people who have come together to provide daily mass, confessions, and prayer services in English at the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. This outreach is available to anyone both pilgrims and visitors alike. In short it has been quite a week. Normally when one is transitioning to a new job, especially when it is an overseas post, there always seems to be a period of normal reflection on what one is getting into, was this really the right move, am I truly suited to the job, and so on. I am pleased to report that this experience has proven to be the best thing that Robin and I have ever done. This update will be so full of superlatives that one might question its authenticity. But, let’s assume the best and move on. First the organizer of the Chaplaincy, John Rafferty, and his tireless coworker, Stephen Shields have gone to every possible length to make our stay here in Santiago as memorable as possible. A fine apartment pre-stocked with food that is within a 10 minute walk to the cathedral has been provided. It is in a nice quiet neighborhood that includes a wonderful coffee bar, the Cafe Tertulia, just a stones throw away.

Cafe Tertulia

John and Stephen introduced us to all the cathedral staff so that we could access the sacristy without challenge. We met our presiding priest, Father Seosamh (Joe) O’ Cochlain, and have found him to be a joy to serve with. We have enjoyed meeting new friends and have had surprise encounters with others we knew from back home. This has led to some memorable communal meals and many fond memories, and it is still early days for us. Hard to imagine how this gets much better but we shall see. Stay tuned.

Our walk to “work”

Capilla de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (our chapel)
Robin and Stephen cantoring at St. Augustines last Sunday
Robin and Fr. Joe at San Clemente after Sunday mass. A quiet little lunch for sixteen.

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