In celebration of IVC’s 25th anniversary, and as a sign of our commitment to journey onward into the next 25 years, IVC is inviting members of our community to participate in a special experience of pilgrimage in the Ignatian tradition.
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 two full-length pilgrimages:
• September 23 – October 22, 2020
• April 28 – May 27, 2021
For those who want to participate but cannot be away from home/work for a whole month, there will be a shorter option: the final 13 days of each pilgrimage, joining the group in the city of Lleida:
• October 9-22, 2020
• May 14-27, 2021
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.” Thee 13-day option covers the final 100 miles.
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.
How much will this cost?
For 2020, the full pilgrimage (in euro) is €2,630; the shorter version is €1,250.
At the current exchange rate of 1.10 (as of October 25, 2019), that’s $2,917 / $1,386 in US dollars.
The cost for the 2021 pilgrimage may be slightly higher, and of course, exchange rates will vary.
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 54 IVC souls.
Who can go?
We hope that the pilgrims will be broadly representative of the IVC world: volunteers, regional and national staff, board members, spiritual reflectors, benefactors and friends.
How can volunteers and staff participate? What about their placements / jobs?
Just as some of our “snowbird” volunteers adjust their schedules in the winter, we anticipate that a number of volunteers 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. Staff members should talk with their supervisor about how they can fulfill their significant responsibilities during the 30- or 13-day pilgrimage. Volunteers and staff 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?
• Fall 2020 Camino:
January 10, 2020: Application with $750 (one quarter) deposit
April 10, 2020: $750 (additional one quarter)
July 10, 2020: Balance (approximately $1,400—based on euro exchange rate at the time)
• Spring 2021 Camino:
August 10, 2020: Application with $750 (one quarter) deposit
November 10, 2020: $750 (additional one quarter)
February 10, 2021: Balance (approximately $1,400—based on euro exchange rate at the time)
Note: for the partial Camino, the deadlines are the same, but the first two payments will be $350 each and the balance will be approximately $700, based on the 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 Ignaciano. Both are available for purchase online.
• For IVC-specific questions, contact Steve Eberle, Associate Vice President for Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-752-4686.