“One more year, during the months of July and August, the Casa San Alfonso in Astorga has been opened for the Christian Reception on the Camino de Santiago.
Last Sunday, July 2, after a few days of preparations by Frs. Antonio Quesada and Pablo Jimenez, the first Community of Welcome of this year, 2023, began to take shape and will carry out this missionary task for a week.
Miguel Castro, a group of eight lay Redemptorists from Jaen, and our parishes of Perpetual Help in Jerez de la Frontera and Merida, are living the experience of walking together from the Redemptorist charism, sharing life, food, prayer, work, dreams, and concerns -being a Missionary Community. The second objective is to welcome those who pass in front of our church in Astorga on their way to Santiago of Compostela. There they receive them and offer them a stamp, water, candies, and fruits, but above all, the conversation, encouragement, and spiritual space in the church remains with its doors open for most of the day.
The highlight of the day is always the evening prayer and blessing, where pilgrims and volunteers share their experiences and prayer guided by the yellow arrow and around the Gospel passage of the disciples of Emmaus.
These are moments of much thanksgiving, petitions, hugs, and tears where we all feel more like brothers and sisters, more human in life’s journey.
It is worth mentioning other beautiful moments shared with the community of elderly Fathers who live in this community of Astorga, with the neighbors and faithful who usually celebrate their faith in this church, or with the people with significant disabilities who live in the neighboring Hospital de las Cinco Llagas de Cáritas.
All this makes the Welcoming Communities that, week after week, are being created live the joy of encounter, service, and mission!
We thank God for this missionary experience and wish them all a happy journey.