¡Buen Camino!

Dear Friends,
It has taken three tries and nine years, but as of July 2012, I have finally walked the entire Way of Compostela from my former home in Leuven/Louvain, Belgium, to Santiago de Composela!
My first pilgrimage experience from the French frontier with Spain to Santiago itself took place in 2003. You can read the details of this first walk along the famous Camino across Spain in my book, To The Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2008). (You can order it from the publisher, from Amazon.com, or from your local bookseller).
In the summer and early fall of 2007, I walked from Belgium most of the way across France, with the hope of at least making it to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port near the Spanish border, where I began the first pilgrimage. I didn't quite make it. A bad case of plantar fasciitis took me down in the Bordeaux village of Sainte-Ferme. I continued on to Santiago by train and bus, but the "defeat of my feet" and those last 175 miles or so that were left undone, gnawed at me over the ensuing five years. Happily, I was finally able to wrap up this grand pilgrimage with a third walk from Sainte-Ferme to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port this past summer (2012). It was a joy to have completed all 2,370 kilometers between Leuven and Santiago.
My adventures and misadventures, my thoughts and prayers of both the 2007 and 2012 pilgrimages have been shared in this blog. I will leave the blog and its archives open for some time to come; if you want to read bits and pieces of it, feel free, but remember that the beginning is at the bottom and the end is at the top.
My contact e-mail remains the same: kacodd@gmail.com; I am always happy to receive mail!
As the pilgrims in Spain greet one another, so I greet you, my reader: "Buen Camino!"
And as the people of France greet their pilgrims along the "Chemin", I also wish to you: "Courage!"

Grace and peace to you all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


There is nothing quite as sweet in the life of a pilgrim as being received by friends along the way. Such was yesterday’s grace when I came walking down the Rue Haute of Courtenot to find my friends Fr. Chavez and Madame Mimi Solvay standing on the corner of the Solvay country home waving and cheering me on the last few meters of the day’s walk. What a joy to be embraced by old friends again and escorted like an arriving prince into the foyer of a beautiful old home. Mimi and Vincent had both driven from Brussels just to greet me as I arrived in this lovely village. Lunch was served (accompanied by champagne!), Mimi showed me around her beloved gardens, then departed for Brussels, while Vincent remained to spend a rest day with me here. We drove up to Troyes to visit the beautiful cathedral there and spent the rest of today quietly enjoying the hospitality of the Solvays. Tomorrow, it is back to the life of a pilgrim,
but with body rested, clothes laundered, (including Gregory the Great), and the grace of friendship sustaining me.