Oakland, California: Northern California Chapter, Blessing & Shell Ceremony Potluck – CANCELLED

Mar 21, 2020 10:00AM—3:00PM


St. Augustine Catholic Church, 400 Alcatraz Ave. off of College Ave. in Oakland

Event Contact Guy Joaquin | Email


Due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, we have cancelled this event in the interest of health and safety with the hope that we can reschedule it for later this year. Though we all look forward to gathering our pilgrim community together to celebrate those heading out to the Camino, we are following the recommendation of local city and county agencies to cancel/postpone non-essential mass gatherings to help slow the spread of the virus. Please help us by passing this message along to anyone you know who is planning to attend the potluck.

Help us celebrate our pilgrims heading out to the Camino this year at our annual Blessing & Shell Ceremony Potluck. We’ll be gathering at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. Rev. Michael Barham will be back to perform the blessing and confer a scallop shell (symbol of the pilgrimage) to outbound pilgrims as well as recognize departing volunteer hospitaleros. Also, you’ve told us that you want to learn more about different routes, plus more time to meet one another. We’ve heard you! We’ll start the day with breakout tables organized by various routes. Visit one (or more) that you’re interested in or have experience with to exchange info, tips and ideas. We’ll end the day with an open Q&A session to answer any of your lingering Camino questions.

Doors open at 9:30 AM. If you can help with setting up, meet us at 8:45 AM. We also need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome to join and participate in any capacity. This event is not co-sponsored with the church.


To help us with planning, a response is required. Click the Register button above to respond by Thursday, March 19. Please, online responses only.

What to Bring

Your favorite dish or drink to share. We’ll have 3×5 index cards to make a label for your dish. A request to cover our bases: If your last name starts with K-Z, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it starts with A-J, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! We’d also love “second breakfast” snacks (muffins, pastries, fruit, etc.) to tide us over until lunch.

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 Rastro

El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. We’ll hold our own version again. 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.


Help us cover our event expenses (room, supplies) with a cash contribution to our donativo box at the check-in table. Your generosity allows us to devote more of our resources to our mission that includes supporting the Camino infrastructure through our grants program.

Getting There

By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Ave. off of College Ave. 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 the Rockridge BART station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz Ave. to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College Ave. towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz Ave. (0.7 mi).