An Ignatian Camino: Loyola to Manresa

by | Oct 8, 2021

What is this?

Many people are familiar with the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), the pilgrimage depicted in Martin Sheen’s movie The Way. Our pilgrimage is an Ignatian alternative to the traditional Camino. We will trace the route that St. Ignatius walked across Spain when he left his birthplace of Loyola following his initial conversion experience. Desiring to reach Rome and then Jerusalem, Ignatius traveled on foot to the city of Manresa, where he spent ten months in prayer. This holy city became the birthplace of the Spiritual Exercises. Our guide for this walk will be Jesuit Fr. José Luis Iriberri, who will lead us both logistically and spiritually, as we align the steps of our journey with the movements of the Exercises.

When is it?

IVC will offer a choice of full- or partial-length pilgrimages:
• October 5 – November 3, 2022 (Full)
• October 21 – November 3, 2022 (Partial)

How far is it?

The journey from Loyola to Manresa and on to Barcelona is approximately 325 miles. We will walk most of the way, averaging about 11 miles/day. At times we will take a bus or train in order to ease the more difficult segments and ensure that the distances walked are not excessive for reasonably fit people “50 and better.” The 13-day option covers the final 100 miles.

Who will guide us?

José Luis Iriberri, S.J., Founder and Director of the Ignatian Way

Fr. José Luis Iriberri is a Jesuit and professor on the San Ignacio Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at the Ramón Llull University in Barcelona. In 2011, the Society of Jesus assigned him the task of beginning and promoting the Camino Ignaciano. He currently balances his academic responsibilities with his position as director of the Pilgrim’s Office. He is also the author of two books, including On the Ignatian Way with Chris Lowney.

Where will we stay?

There will be a variety of accommodations: 2-star hotels; pilgrims’ hostels, and retreat houses. Some places offer double rooms, while at others the group will share bunkrooms. This experience of being “out of our comfort zone” will help connect us to the heart of Ignatius, the Pilgrim.

Do we need to carry all our belongings?

No. A taxi will transport our (modest) luggage each day—no more than 44 lbs. We only need to carry the things we will want with us as we walk: water, snacks, raincoat, etc.

When is it?

IVC will offer a choice of full- or partial-length pilgrimages:
• October 5 – November 3, 2022 (Full)
• October 21 – November 3, 2022 (Partial)

Pilgrimage Countdown

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What is included?

The cost covers all overnight accommodations, all breakfasts and almost all dinners, most lunches, admission to cultural sites, and luggage transfers between cities. It also includes bus/train fare along the way, and the services of Fr. Iriberri. Not included are airfare to/from Spain, a few meals, and snacks/beverages along the way.

How many people can go?

Because of the limitations of the accommodations, we can only take 17 people for the full pilgrimages, and an additional 10 people for the shorter leg, for a total of 27 IVC pilgrims.

Who can go?

We hope that the pilgrims will be broadly representative of the IVC world: members of the service corps, regional and national staff, board and regional advisory council members, spiritual reflectors, benefactors and friends.

How can those in active service participate? What about their placements?
Just as some of our “snowbirds” adjust their schedules in the winter, we anticipate that members of the corps will be able to negotiate with their service placements a plan to take these weeks away and still fulfill their commitment over the course of the year.  Those interested can hold their slot with a deposit; final confirmation will follow the establishment of an agreement with their supervisor.

 

What is the timeline for application and payment?

  • March 1, 2022: Application with $780 (one quarter) deposit
  • May 6, 2022: $780 (additional one quarter)
  • August 6, 2022: Balance (approximately $1,560—based on euro exchange rate at the time)

Where can I find more information?

• A wealth of information is available at the Camino Ignaciano website.
• Fr. Iriberri and Chris Lowney have written two books, On the Ignatian Way and Guide to the Camino IgnacianoBoth are available for purchase online.
• For IVC-specific questions, contact Steve Eberle, Associate Vice President for Advancement at seberle@ivcusa.org or 410-752-4686.

Fr. José Luis Iriberri S.J., talks about his book “On the Ignatian Way: A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,” which includes meditations and prayers to go along with the pilgrimage.