What is the Galway Camino?
The Galway Camino is a self directed walk consisting of visitations to seven sites, six churches and a convent chapel. It takes place on Saturday 21 September 2019 between 12.00 noon and 5.30pm. It is a pilgrimage based on the The Camino de Santiago also known by the English names Way of St. James. This is an ancient pilgrimage to the burial place of St James the Great.
The camino registration process commences at Galway Cathedral at noon. The route will take about two hours to complete and participants should return to the Cathedral no later than 5:30 pm to be presented with your certificate of completion. Please note: no unaccompanied minors can be accommodated as the walk is self directed.
The camino starts at Galway Cathedral and from there the pilgrims walk to five other churches and the Poor Clare Convent. To participate, you must register and collect a camino passport booklet. At each stop the passport is stamped and upon return to The Cathedral, the pilgrim is issued with a certificate of completion. A map with the location of each of the churches can be found here a brief description of each of the churches can be found here
There is a small cost associated with the walk. This is to cover any expenses. Any monies left over after costs will be distributed to the individual churches. People can do the walk as individuals or as a family.
€4 OAPs/Students (please bring your student card).
Please respect each church you enter and remember that they are living communities of sacrament and prayer. If there are any events going on on the day itself, prayers, Adoration, Mass etc., please do not wander around the church. The purpose of the Galway Camino is as a miniature pilgrimage, during which people are invited to pray and meditate.
There is a very long history of pilgrimages in the history of the Church. From an early stage Christians would visit the places associated with the life and death of Our Lord. Later, as the Church grew, sites associated with the Apostles of Our Lord also became important. Rome, for example, was associated with Peter and Paul while Santiago was associated with James. Several sites including Croagh Patrick and Lough Derg became associated with St Patrick.
An important part of pilgrimage is the journey to the site itself. Today this tradition has been preserved in the Camino of St James but it can also be seen in art and literature – a perfect example is the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer which is a series of stories told by pilgrims as they travel to Canterbury. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem were especially popular and when the Holy places became inaccessible after the invasions, the tradition of erecting Stations from the final journey of Our Lord inside the church became a more popular form of making pilgrimage.