The Portuguese Camino

Follow along with Pastor Kevin and Gerry’s pilgrimage this year.

About Their Journey

The Route: Porto, Portugal to Santiago (Saint James), Spain. (185 miles) from June 27 – July 13

After Kevin’s diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease in the Fall of 2019, he began to explore how to add new ways of praying to his internal spiritual rhythm. One that captured him and Gerry, as it has captured millions over the centuries, is the idea of “pilgrimage.” Following in the footsteps of people who have gone before, they pray by walking, with every step of the pilgrimage a kind of prayer.  

In 2021 they walked 180 miles of the Portuguese Camino. 

In 2022 they walked 500 miles across Spain on the “French Way” of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route.

In 2023 they walked 150 miles of England’s Canterbury Trail.

And now again in 2024, they plan to return and walk the Portuguese Camino.

Hippocrates proclaimed that “walking is man’s best medicine.” The good doctor also knew that walking provided more than mere physical benefits when he suggested: “If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.”  Kevin’s neurologist strongly advises this yearly rhythm of extended walking and said, “This is a wonderfully beneficial practice for people with Parkinson’s. I’ll happily write you a prescription for it!” In a related spirit, the great naturalist John Muir keenly observed, “I only went out for a walk and … going out, I found, was really going in.”

Since medieval times, pilgrims have journeyed on foot to the cathedral in Santiago, the resting place of Jesus’s disciple James. A network of trails from various starting points all throughout Europe are known as Caminos – or “ways” that offer pilgrims many historic options. This summer the number of walkers will almost equal the medieval times when 500,000 people walked the Camino. People walk for many reasons: to pray for healing, to navigate transitions, out of spiritual curiosity, or for reasons they only know. 

Jesus himself was a pilgrim, visiting Jerusalem during the Jewish Feast Days. Likely, singing the “Psalms of Ascent” (120-134) as he walked with family and friends. In that spirit you are invited to pray these beautiful psalms and the accompanying prayers of saints through the ages along the way (see button below). Look for new photos that will be added regularly.

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