Chicagoland

St. Teresa Parish makes its own ‘camino’ in Chicago

By Michelle Martin | Staff Writer
November 2, 2014

St. Teresa Parish makes its own ‘camino’ in Chicago

Parishioners from St. Teresa of Avila took to the streets in October, holding a series of “caminos,” or walking pilgrimages, to show solidarity with their pastor, Father Frank Latzko, who is making the 500-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain for the second time.
Members of St. Teresa of Avila Parish walk around Shedd Aquarium as part of their "camino" on Oct. 25. The parish held a series of local caminos in solidarity with their paster Father Frank Latzko who is making the camino in Spain. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
Claudia and Leslie Bliese make their way along the lakefront as part of St. Teresa of Avila Parish's camino on Oct. 25. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
Tom and Cathy Micinski took part in St. Teresa's pilgrimage. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)
Pilgrims walk along the lakefront while making a camino. (Karen Callaway / Catholic New World)

Parishioners from St. Teresa of Avila took to the streets in October, holding a series of “caminos,” or walking pilgrimages, to show solidarity with their pastor, Father Frank Latzko, who is making the 500-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain for the second time.

The first, on Oct. 3, included a walk from Daley Plaza to St. Teresa of Avila, 1033 W. Armitage, followed by dinner and a screening of “The Way,” the 2010 film starring Martin Sheen about the camino to Compostela. The second, on Oct. 12, was a roughly 4 ½ mile walking tour of five Lincoln Park churches, including St. Teresa, and the last was a 12-mile trek along the lakefront on Oct. 25.

“The idea was to replicate what a full day of walking on the camino in Spain would be like,” said St. Teresa parishioner Jon Assell. “He walks 12 to 15 miles a day. And we decided if we were going to spend a day walking, we might as well do it somewhere beautiful.”

Participants on each of the local caminos received “passport” booklets that were stamped at certain landmarks along the way, just as pilgrims on the camino in Spain can have their booklets stamped in the villages they pass through.

On the Oct. 12 camino, walkers received stamps made to look like the seal of each church, said Mary Serrahn, who organized that particular event. The events started with a kickoff Mass Sept. 27 with Latzko and Holy Family Sister Sandra Ann Silva, who works with Oaxacan migrants in the Diocese of Monterrey, California. Latzko is using his pilgrimage to raise awareness of and money for Sister Sandra Ann’s ministry, said Assell, who also works for Catholic Extension.

Some parishioners traveled to Spain to walk a portion of the camino with Latzko, Assell said, but many more wanted to find a way to participate here.

Not many St. Teresa parishioners knew anything about the camino until Latzko did his first one, Serrahn said, but that pilgrimage left an impression both on Latzko and his parishioners.

“The joy and peace we saw that Father Frank came back with, it really energized our entire parish,” Serrahn said. “We knew that something was going to come about from it.”

St. Teresa parishioners tend to be young and energetic, and they want to do more to evangelize, to increase spirituality and to offer service to people around them.

The caminos incorporate prayer and other opportunities for spiritual formation along the way, Assell said. They also offered an opportunity to evangelize by bearing witness to people who saw the group in their cream-and-orange T-shirts and asked what they are doing, he said.

“Father Frank is always telling us church doesn’t happen inside a building,” Assell said. “Church happens out in the world.”

To donate to Sister Sandra Ann’s ministry, visit www.st-teresa.net.

Topics:

  • pilgrimage
  • st. teresa
  • camino

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