Chapter Happenings – Spring 2024

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Following are highlights from just a few of the nearly 60 American Pilgrims chapters across the country. Learn more about our chapters and visit the events calendar for the latest on what our chapters are up to.

Capital Area Chapter shell ceremony, group of people.
Capital Area Chapter first-time pilgrims with their pilgrim scallop shells at the chapter’s shell ceremony on February 25, 2024, at Ft. Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA. Photo by Don Shaw.

Capital Area Chapter Celebrates 30 New Pilgrims

by Don Shaw | Alexandria, VA

On February 25, the Capital Area Chapter held its annual shell ceremony at Ft. Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA. Prior to the ceremony, Jim Larocca, chapter coordinator and pop-up hike leader, led a seven-mile trek along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon. Following the hike, Fr. David Dufresne served as spiritual leader for the shell ceremony. He presented a scallop shell, a pilgrim symbol, to each of the 30 people preparing to embark on their first Camino. He also gave a brief and inspiring talk on his experiences walking more than 8,000 miles of Camino routes. More than 30 other fellow pilgrims and friends attended to share in this event to celebrate the chapter’s first-time pilgrims.

Jacksonville chapter shell ceremony, group shot.
Jacksonville Chapter pilgrims, family, and friends gather for a photo at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine, FL, on March 23, 2024, as part of the chapter’s annual Pilgrim Blessing and Shell Ceremony. Photo by Deacon Mike Elison.

Jacksonville Chapter Sends Off 47 Pilgrims

by Dawn Emerick and Susan Peacock | Jacksonville, FL

Members of the Jacksonville Chapter slated to depart on the Camino this year attended the Jacksonville Chapter’s annual Pilgrim Blessing and Shell Ceremony on March 23. Deacon Mike Elison, chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, fellow pilgrim, and friend of the Jacksonville Chapter, blessed 47 pilgrims and their equipment. First-time pilgrims received a certificate and scallop shell.Following the ceremony, Jacksonville Chapter pilgrims, family members, and friends walked the final section of the Camino de Las Americas from the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. At each location, departing pilgrims obtained an official stamp  on their pilgrim credentials.

Spokane Chapter Group Hike

Spokane Chapter group hike, group shot of hikers.
Leah Wilkinson-Brockway, kneeling in foreground, led a group hike for the Spokane Chapter on March 16, 2024. Hike participants pause on East Illinois Avenue. looking east, for a group photo. Photo by Brice Perry.

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