‘The author is a trustworthy guide,’ says Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition review

Presbyterian-Outlook-2016_Page_1“The author is a trustworthy guide,” announced the review of Spiritual and Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago on the El Camino by Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition released this month. Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition included ‘Spiritual & Walking Guide’ on page seventeen of their annual spring book review publication. The book recommendations and reviews are compiled by Roy W. Howard, Outlook book editor.

“The author has walked the Camino de Santiago several times and provides a devotional guide for pilgrims walking the portion from Leon, Spain, to Santiago de Compostela,” states Howard.

Link to Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition

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To learn more about the Camino devotional written by Stacey Wittig, go to Amazon.com. The Camino guide includes scriptures for The Way, recommendations for places to sleep, questions for reflection and pages to journal thoughts.

Presbyterian-Outlook-2016_Page_4

The Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition review reads:

Spiritual and Walking Guide:

Leon to Santiago on the El Camino

Stacey Wittig

Spiritual Walking Guides, 104 pages

The author has walked the Camino de Santiago several times and provides a devotional guide for pilgrims walking the portion from Leon, Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. The guide includes daily Scripture readings, mediations and questions for personal reflection. There are details about where to sleep and how to navigate your way without maps. The author is a trustworthy guide.

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‘Spiritual & Walking Guide’ to be included in Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition

PresybterianOutlookSpiritual & Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago is to be included in Presbyterian Outlook’s Spring Books Edition. We received that news today from their book editor. Look for the review next month at http://pres-outlook.org/category/faith-culture/reviews/book-reviews. The spiritual and walking guide book for people walking the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route through northern Spain is available in paperback and e-book at Amazon.com.

The daily devotional and walking guide helps Camino pilgrims to:

  • prepare their hearts for the pilgrimage,
  • meditate on Bible scriptures appropriate for the terrain,
  • find their way, and
  • debrief after the walk and assimilate what they’ve found on The Way into their lives back home.

To learn more about the Camino devotional written by Stacey Wittig, go to Amazon.com. The Camino guide includes scriptures for The Way, recommendations for places to sleep, questions for reflection and pages to journal thoughts.

From the Presbyterian Outlook website:

The Presbyterian Outlook is an independent biweekly magazine on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our mission is to equip, nurture and inspire church leaders within the Reformed tradition to be faithful servants in a dynamic, changing and challenging time. For nearly 200 years we have been a trusted source of news, commentary and resources.

Best Camino Christmas Gift Ever: 3 Reasons Why

Camino-Christmas-TreeLooking for the perfect Christmas gift for your Camino pilgrim? Whether your pilgrim has already walked the Camino de Santiago through northern Spain or is planning on doing so, this book makes for the perfect holiday present. Spiritual & Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago is a daily devotional for pilgrims trekking along the ancient way.

Three Reasons Why this Camino book is the Best Camino Christmas Gift Ever:

The gift of this book expresses your thoughtfulness of acknowledging and honoring their Camino adventure. The daily guide includes short stories found along the way and scripture verses that go along with them.

  1. Affordable. The book is available for your budget, whether it be the paperback version or the even more reasonably priced e-version made for Kindle or other electronic devices on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book sellers throughout the world.
  2. Gift wrap? No problem, order the paperback book at Amazon and select the gift wrap option, and your Camino gift will be sent already wrapped in festive paper and ribbon to surprise your pilgrim friend or relative. No muss, no fuss.
  3. The Reason for the Season. Giving a book chock full of Christian scriptures included because they are metaphors for our walk with Christ reminds us of the Reason for the Season: the entry of Jesus Christ into our world. The best gift ever.

“Day by day, step by step the author takes us on the coveted journey that millions of people have walked, ridden donkeys and horses, or been carried to this most famous Christian pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome. The time you take to reach the goal is up to you. Stacey Wittig just makes the process a whole lot easier with practical lodging suggestions, packing tips and walking times as well as some spiritual advice and meditations. This book is a complete “how to” guide taking you from your front door to your final step.” –Linda Kissam, Goodreads Review

Why wait? Order the book now at Amazon.

Stacey Wittig is an author based near Flagstaff, Arizona. She wrote Spiritual & Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago after hiking the Camino in 2005. She has since returned three additional times and plans to walk a section in France in 2016.

American Pilgrims on Camino adds ‘Spiritual and Walking Guide’ to Book List

The latest addition to the American Pilgrims on the Camino book list is Stacey Wittig’s Spiritual and Walking Guide: León to Santiago. American Pilgrims on Camino (APOC), a non-profit organization, provides information to pilgrims that includes links to online resources, book lists, CD and music lists and Camino essays. The APOC Camino reading list includes a wealth of books for pilgrims interested in walking El Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in northern Spain.APOC-Camino-reading-list-Wittig

The mission of American Pilgrims on the Camino is to foster the enduring tradition of the Camino by supporting its infrastructure, by gathering pilgrims together, and by providing information and encouragement to past and future pilgrims. Their high-traffic website states:

The modern literature on the Camino and on pilgrimage encompasses not only many walker’s guides, but also cultural handbooks on art and architecture, personal narratives and reflections, novels and more.

The easy-to-use Camino book list is divided into the following categories:

  • Guide Books (in English)
  • Guide Books (Other than English)
  • Personal Accounts and Reflections
  • Fiction
  • Culture and History
  • Other Printed Material

Listed in the “Guide Books (In English)” category, Spiritual and Walking Guide: León to Santiago is included with other well-known Camino books such as John Brierley’s Pilgrim’s guides and maps to the Camino de Santiago and the Camino portugués, and Bethan Davies’ and Ben Cole’s Walking the Camino de Santiago.

“When I first walked El Camino in 2005, I used Bethan Davies’ guide,” explained Camino author Stacey Wittig. “So I am intimately familiar with her work. Back then, I originally looked for a route guide that also included Bible scriptures and daily devotionals. I didn’t want to carry a heavy Bible, a daily devotional and a route guide. I hoped that such a book would also include space to journal my own thoughts. Since I couldn’t find that sort of thing, I felt inspired to compile a guide that would lead readers spiritually as well as physically through the landscape. This inspirational Camino guide includes scriptures for The Way of St. James. It has been described as ‘The Way devotional.’

“I am very honored that American Pilgrims on the Camino includes my book on their Camino reading list,” continued the writing pilgrim. The Camino devotional is now listed on the reading lists of three of the world’s top Camino de Santiago websites.APOC-Camino-Book-List-Wittig

The APOC listing describes the book:

Author Stacey Wittig has written a spiritual guide for walking from León, Spain, to Santiago. What about pilgrimage helps you let go of fears and find peace that passes understanding? How can you be still and hear God’s voice as you trek the ancient pilgrimage route? How will you prepare your heart for a closer walk with God on the Camino? Find answers to these and other questions in this daily devotional and walking guide. Included in this book are daily scripture readings, meditations and questions for reflection to make the most of your pilgrimage and on the more practical side, details about where to sleep, daily distances walked and essential websites, insider travel tips, how to obtain a credential, how to follow the route without maps. The book contains space to journal thoughts and revelations.

Order Spiritual and Walking Guide: León to Santiago now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Slo6Rq

 

‘Day by day, step by step the author takes us on the coveted journey,’ GoodReads Review

goodreadsGoodReads reviewer, Linda Kissam examines “Spiritual and Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago.” Read the complete review at https://www.goodreads.com/review

It’s quite fashionable to create a “Bucket List.” For most people this is a life list of accomplishments they hope to check off before they leave the earthly plane for the next really big adventure. If you’re one of those, you might want to add to your list the Camino de Santiago, Spain, walking path and the book, “Spiritual and Walking Guide Leon to Santiago on El Camino” by Stacey Wittig.

Sometimes referred to as the “Camino,” in total it is about a 500-mile walk- often done as a modern-day pilgrimage. Not to worry, it can be done a section of it a time. The whole thing would take you about 30 and 40 days. This books takes on the Leon to Santiago route. Our author shares her 19-day trip. There are some who complete their Camino by going back year after year. It’s up to you, but as they say…it all begins with the first step. According to our author, “Once your body gets into the rhythm of the walking pilgrimage, you hike without head knowledge you are doing so. Walking becomes like breathing…”

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Linda Kissam, goodreads reviewer

There are no real rules on how the journey is laid out, but if you want a pilgrim certificate you will have guidelines and need to do some paperwork. This is all addressed by the author. You can walk fast (or slow), you can bike, or even do it by auto. This is not necessarily a religious-focused adventure – but it usually is and can be if you wish it to be, and it certainly was for our author. Daily meditations and prayers are part of the structure of the book…

Day by day, step by step the author takes us on the coveted journey that millions of people have walked, ridden donkeys and horses, or been carried to this most famous Christian pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome. The time you take to reach the goal is up to you. Stacey Wittig just makes the process a whole lot easier with practical lodging suggestions, packing tips and walking times as well as some spiritual advice and meditations. This book is a complete “how to” guide taking you from your front door to your final step.

Whether for fun or experiencing a spiritual adventure, the walk serves as a retreat for contemporary pilgrims. If you think it’s time to get going on your next purpose-filled journey, then this 95 page book is your starting point. Highly recommend.

Add Spiritual and Walking Guide to your Camino book list and Camino reading list by going to Amazon.com. This El Camino devotional is available in paperback or ebook.

Special Chicago Screening: ‘Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago’

Camino-film-announcementChicago-area friends,
Don’t miss this opportunity to view the film “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” on Wed Sept 2, 2015 7-9pm. Meet documentary “star” and co-producer Annie O’Neil. This is one of my fave Camino films. Learn about her next film project and share Camino stories over wine after the show… wish I could be there!

Lourdes Pilgrimage: Lourdes to Santiago Camino

I arrived in Lourdes, France, trusting that there would be “room at the inn.” The albergue that catered to people walking Les Chemins de St Jacques (The Way of St James) had not returned any of my email requests for a bed. The week before, the Lourdes Tourist Office assured me that the proprietor was out of town and would respond once he returned. So I walked by faith, trusting that even if no beds were available at Accueil Jacquaire “La Ruche” when I showed up, that there would be space somewhere in the mountain town of 15,000 for a pilgrim to lay her head. Hey, even Baby Jesus found a manger to sleep in as his family journeyed to Bethlehem.20150430_204311

Lourdes is known as a center for prayer and healing for the Catholic Church. Six million people travel to the town in the picturesque Gave de Pau River Valley every year in hopes of healing for themselves, friends or family members. In 1858, teenager Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary in a muddy grotto not far from the river. The Virgin appeared to the peasant girl eighteen times, and during one of the appearances, the Virgin told Bernadette to drink the water. But there was no source of water in the grotto. Bernadette felt compelled to dig in the mud with her hands, and soon she unearthed a spring. Bernadette drank from the spring and prayed. Later, others were miraculously healed after drinking the water. Today that small spring is the water source for the bath houses where believers are submerged in the healing waters and for the fountains from which devotees drink thousands of gallons of water.

Because the town is now one of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites, I thought it would be a perfect place to start my +500-mile walk from France to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The classic route, called Camino Frances, begins in St Jean Pied de Port, France, at the eastern foot of the Pyrénées Mountains near the border of France and Spain and continues across northern Spain to Santiago. Lourdes is only 93 walking miles southeast of St Jean Pied de Port, and I could walk forest trails and farm roads that meander along the foothills of the Pyrénées. (Lourdes to SJPP is 93 miles/149 km.)

Since foot traffic on Camino Frances has increased so much in the ten years since I did my first pilgrimage, I desired to start on a road less traveled. The route from Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port seemed to fit the bill. Fewer people and more rustic accommodations might better mimic my first Camino experience.

However, because the Lourdes Camino route is typically traveled by regional hikers, the only guidebooks that I could find were in French. Even on-line, route-following instructions were in French. Google Translate and other free translation services didn’t seem to get the detailed, cryptic instructions right. “Cut a road and continue straight. After a closed, follow the path paved route and continue the length to the edge of the Louts.” Hmmm… Yet I had printed the cryptic instructions and bound them with pages of maps from the French guidebook, La Voie des Piemonts un Chemin de Serenite by François Lepère and Yvette Terrien.

I reviewed my loose leaf notebook on the Air France flight from Paris to Tarbes-Lourdes airport, still hopeful that I would find a place to sleep that night. Since the Lourdes Tourist Office boasted more hotel rooms than any other city in France, besides Paris, I figured my chances were on par with Baby Jesus – the Lord would provide. I sent up a silent prayer, “Let this go smoothly, Lord.”

I shared a cab with two other visitors, and David, the friendly driver knew the way to Accueil Jacquaire “La Ruche”. I tapped lightly on the door, and when no one answered, I pushed it open. “Bon jour,” I called out. A young American woman came down the stairs.
“Hi, I’m Rachel. We’re making dinner upstairs. Do you want to stay for dinner?” Rachel offered.
“Oh, yes!” I answered. “Is there a bed for me?”
“We have plenty, put your backpack in here,” she said showing me to a room with two bunk beds. “You may choose the top or the bottom.”
“After dinner will there be time to go to the candlelight procession?” I asked. It was the desire of my heart to start my pilgrimage to Spain with the prayer vigil and processional that happens every night at 9:30. 20150430_212803Hundreds of people from all over the world come together for prayer, many wheeling their loved ones in wheelchairs or gurneys. I had seen it all on YouTube and wanted to experience it for myself.
“Yes, there will be plenty of time,” Rachel said. “We’ll all go down together, we 20150430_180127have several other pilgrims here tonight. Jean Luis and G.G. have the candles here. She pointed to a basket of tall candles with Lourdes-appropriate wind shades.

Accueil Jacquaire “La Ruche”

Stacey gets her shell from Hospitalero Jean Luis Doux, who cuts a yellow cord to tie it to her pack.

“Are you just starting your Camino?” When I nodded yes, my new friend responded, “Well, we’ll have to get you your shell tomorrow before you leave.” The scallop shell is a symbol of St. James and is worn my pilgrims to denote that they are on a pilgrimage to Santiago, where the bones of St. James rest.

It was my second lesson of my Lourdes to Santiago Camino: do not worry. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. So if that was my second lesson, what was the first lesson of this Camino? Well, that’s another story…

Stacey Wittig is a travel writer who is currently working on her second book, Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port. Order her first book, Spiritual & Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago on Amazon.

Accueil Jacquaire “La Ruche” : 21 rue Pau, Lourdes | Tel: 05 62 97 98 21| jl.doux@club-internet.fr

Taxi David – VIP Excursions: Tel: 06 81 89 09 88