My Archbishop is Not a Wimp

Archbishop Coakley is the one in the middle.

My religious leader, Archbishop Paul Coakley, is not a wimp.

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, along with a small group of Catholic bishops and priests from America, walked the El Camino de Santiago in Spain. The El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) is a 100 mile pilgrimage that leads to the tomb of St James in Santiago, Spain. They made the walk August 21 to August 28.

The priests and bishops who made the pilgrimage together were: Archbishop Coakley, Bishop James Wall of Gallup NM, auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver Co,  Fr Gerry Baker of Owensboro KY, and Fr Don Kline of Pheonix, AZ.

I’ve been to the tomb of St James in Santiago. The church which houses the tomb has a stone near its entrance which has been kissed by generations of pilgrims as they complete their long walk. The stone is worn away, hollowed out, by a thousand years of pilgrims, touching their lips to its cool surface.

I kissed this stone. However, I cheated. I walked to the church … from my hotel. My “pilgrimage” was a lot less rigorous.

But then, I AM a wimp.

Clearly, my archbishop is not.

For more details, read here.

  • Anna Dawson

    Abp. Coakley is pretty awesome :) He was Bishop of Salina (KS) when I was confirmed in 2006.

    Although it would’ve been a lot more impressive if they were in uniform…

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      He is great.
      I’m curious, what do you mean by “if they were in uniform?” Sorry to be dense.

      • Anna Dawson

        Lol sorry. From the picture, no one was in their clerics (a priest’s ‘uniform’). I always think of them either as in uniform or in their civvies (civilian clothes).

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Their clericals would probably be a bad choice for hiking!

  • Mary Christine

    How wonderful! So glad to see Bishop Conley there! It is a dream of mine to do this pilgrimage.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I don’t know that I’m up for a 100 mile hike, but I am certainly glad I got to go to the tomb. It was a blessed experience.

      • Steve

        I walked the Camino in 2007. Two buddies and I walked 217 miles (350km) in 13 days. It’s quite the experience as you give up all worldly cares. As you focus on putting one foot in front of the other day after day, it frees your mind and soul to finally listen to that interior conversation that we so often avoid. I’d do it again any day! BTW – you can do it on horseback, which many Oklahomans would prefer, I think! :-)

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Steve, you da man!

          You’re right: Horseback does sound intriguing. I bought The Way and put it on my iPad. I plan to watch in on the plane home next week. I hear it’s a great movie about this pilgrimage.