Day Three — Itinerarium ad Sepulcrum Sti Jacobi et Fontem Gombaudis

Carissimi Lectores (Dear Readers),

It is almost 1 AM and I am rushing to get this post to you. Day was very full and the bus did not get us back to the “hotel” until just after midnight. I began the day with a walk downtown. I replaced my favorite beret, which I lost on the metro in Madrid. Then lunch in a little tavern that served only local cheese, sliced sausage, and of course, wine. Here is my lunch. The food was very tasty and the atmosphere was very local — meaning — no tourist types. All the while I was reading the pastoral letter of the archbishop of Compostela for the holy year. At 4 PM there was a tour of the old town for the congressistas. Here are some of the sights we saw. As you will see, we were walking on the very roof of the cathedral. I will spare you the details. Just enjoy the sights.

After the tour, there was the opening Mass in the cathedral. There were many bishops and priests from all over the world. I was the only person from Canada at the congress, so they told me. The Mass was in Latin with the readings in Spanish, French, and English. The Ordinary parts of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria etc.) were sung — Missa De angelis. The cathedral resounded with everyone from all over the Catholic world being able to sing. Oddly enough, it made me feel very close to my people at Saint Jude’s as it reminded me of Sunday Mass when we sing the very same thing. The singing of the Gregoriian chant really does express and made more real the universality of the Church. I would have wanted all my parishioners to have experienced this with me. At then end of the Mass, there was the ceremony of the giant thurible which swings from the ceiling till it almost hits the roof. It is an incredible sight.

After the Mass, we went to the opening dinner of the congress held in a large monastery refectory (id est dining room). We were treated to specialities of the region, Galicia. We started out with empanadas of cod mixed with vegitables. deep fried squid, and fried octopus. The second plate was a hunk of ham braised with vegetables and potatoes. For dessert we had ice cream and a speciality called Tarta de Santiago — a kind of almond cake that dates from the time of Moorish occupation.
I had the pleasure to sit across from a fellow I thought was a priest from Africa. It turns out that he was the new auxiliary bishop since April)of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. This country is a Christian country, with most of the Christians being Orthodox. Catholics made up about 1 per cent of the population. My new friend is Abune (pronouced a-boon-ay, the title for a bishop in the Coptic rite) Matheos. He is a very pleasant fellow. He will be in Toronto to visit the Ethiopians there next April, so I invited him to visit Vancouver and stay with me at Saint Jude’s house since there are Ethiopians in our diocese who have no Ethiopian priest. I look forward to speaking with him again during the congress.
Carissimi, it is now almost 2 AM, and I am writing to you from outside in the coolish night air, since the cafeteria with the wifi is closed, I look forward to our next encounter in cyberspace. Ora pro me et ego pro vobis.
Btw, between yesterday and day, I have walked 18 kilometres, or 25,722 steps. I believe that 11 of those kilometres were from today.

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About Didobonaparte

A Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, I am the parish priest of Saint Joseph's Catholic Church, Langley.
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3 Responses to Day Three — Itinerarium ad Sepulcrum Sti Jacobi et Fontem Gombaudis

  1. Sash says:

    Well my patience has been rewarded. I have been checking my email all day waiting for today’s blog. It was worth the wait. Keep it up.

  2. bookgetaway says:

    All of my family are enjoying reading about your trip and seeing the photos. We can’t wait for the next installment! Just a few words for you to remember: pimientos Padron, a terrific local dish that packs a surprise; orujo; and licores varios–avellanas, manzana, y manzana verde.

  3. bookgetaway says:

    Also, glad you got to see the botafumeiro. That doesn’t happen very often.

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