SPAIN — Father Lincoln Dall, pastor of the Catholic Community of Yazoo City and Belzoni All Saints parish, and four people from Mississippi — Hallie Clement, Claudia Addison, Lyons Walsh, and Celia Thomason Knighton — recently made the historic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (The Way of St. James).
Since the ninth century, seekers from all faith traditions have made this pilgrimage. Addison said many of the roads on the 500-mile pilgrimage are cut through woods or forest, some go through fields with sheep or crops and others are along open planes. All roads follow continuously to Santiago de Compostela where the Cathedral with the remains of St. James the Apostle are located.
“Interacting with other pilgrims from around the world and sharing our experiences and stories is a big part of being a pilgrim,” Father Dall said.
Camino de Santiago de Compostela
After step –
Pilgrim footsteps on a journey -
Looking, searching, yearning -
A call from a faraway place -
So romantic, so adventurous,
A scallop shell around my neck,
yellow arrows pointing the way,
an iron cross on the mountain’s peak -
Symbols and rituals tug at my imagination.
Reality strikes -
weak ankles and a heavy backpack,
the hot Spanish sun and a sunburned neck,
blistered feet and endless walking,
restless nights and unanswered prayers.
Inchoate answers, no epiphanies,
With the passing of time,
lessons are learned and stories are told.
The road does not end at the apostle’s tomb.
The pilgrim’s journey continues…
After step –
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem by Father Lincoln Dall was written June 21 after his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in April. Read more about the pilgrimage in his blog A Priest in the Mississippi Delta by going to peregrinolincoln.blogspot.com/ or searching for him online. “The Way,” a movie starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, is about a father who completes the pilgrimage his son began.)