Oakland, CA: Northern California Chapter, Welcome Home Celebration

Nov 18, 2023 10:00AM—3:30PM


St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland.

Event Contact Guy Joaquin | Email


Help us celebrate our returning pilgrims at our annual Welcome Home potluck. We’ll be gathering again at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. This year, our spotlight is on giving back to the Camino. We’ll hear from veteran pilgrims who served as hospitaleros in donation-based albergues, volunteered in the Pilgrims Office in Santiago issuing the Compostela, and went through the American Pilgrims hospitalero training program. They will share what what the work and training were like — the joys, the challenges. And as always, returnees will have an opportunity to share a little about their experience and we’ll take our Camino “Class of 2023” photo.

Schedule: Doors open at 9:30 AM. We’ll start around 10:00 AM and have lunch around noon, followed by group photos and the returnee share time. We plan to finish up by 3:30 PM. We’ll need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome to attend.

Advance online registration is required. Click the Register button to sign up by Friday, November 17. Please register when you are certain you can attend so we have an accurate count for planning purposes. Thank you!

Cancellation: If you are unable to attend, please email us as at norcal@americanpilgrims.org so we can update our list.

Getting There

By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland. The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets when heading west towards the bay and the parking lot entrance is on the left side of the building. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard on the right side of the church (follow our yellow arrows).

By BART/Bus/Foot: From Rockridge BART Station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz (0.7 mi).

Carpooling: Registered participants will have access to an online “Carpool Bulletin Board” to post a message if they need a ride or can give one.

What to Bring

Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with A-P, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with Q-Z, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided).

Be Green!

We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.

El Gordo

El Gordo (the Grand Prize) is the nickname for the popular Spanish Christmas Lottery. Our version is technically a raffle of Camino-related and inspired items for prizes, but no less fun and exciting. Tickets can be purchased at the sign-in table and during the event ($5 each or $20 for 5). There’ll be books, stickers, clothing, maybe a map and more! If you can contribute a new/near new item(s), let us know in an email to norcal@americanpilgrims.org. We’ll still have our donativo box available for a cash contribution. Your generosity helps us cover our event expenses (room, supplies) and allows us to devote more of our resources to our goals that include supporting the Camino infrastructure through our Grants Program.

El Rastro

El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash-free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.

Camino Mercado

We invite Camino authors, artists, creatives, and other vendors to display and sell your wares. There will be a table set aside for your use. Note: American Pilgrims does not endorse any of products. We are solely providing a space to connect sellers and buyers.

The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.