Pilgrim Stories

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Apilgrim’s journey can take many paths; from long walking treks through Spain’s El Camino to Italy’s Cammino di San Francesco di Assisi and even road trips to Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Tennessee.

In celebration of the re-release of The Toronto Consort’s The Way of the Pilgrim CD and the February 12 & 13 concerts, we invite you to share your pilgrim story. 

Share your pilgrim story in the comments below.

To listen to excepts from the CD click here

For information about the concert and to buy tickets click here


  1. John and Stephanie de Bruijn says

    We first heard about the Camino in the fall of 2007 when we attended a Consort concert with guest violinist, Oliver Schroer.
    He had walked the Camino, composed and recorded his violin music on the way, and was sharing his experience with us.
    He talked of the ringing of church bells, the sound of gravel underfoot, of large and small churches where he would stop to play, the experiences he had had along the way.
    Stephanie was VERY interested, but John thought she was crazy.

    The following year, in February 2008, a friend gave Stephanie a book – “Thought this might interest you. It’s written by a friend of mine, Arthur Boer.”
    She looked at the title – “The Way is Made by Walking – A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago.”
    “Did you know I was interested in the Camino?” she asked. “No,” he said.
    As we read the book together, the Camino came to life and even John started to think it might be good to try it.
    We started to train in March – 2km, 5km, 10km, 20km, and then we added the backpacks!
    Our journey began on May 18, 2009.

    The journey was about 800 kms. We walked an average of 22 km. each day for 36 days. It didn’t seem long. We stopped whenever we needed to, enjoyed the diversity of the terrain, and the villages we walked through. Many of the stories we have are about the wonderful people we met along the way. We would recommend it to everyone!

  2. John and Stephanie de Bruijn says

    We really enjoyed our Camino. Pilgrimages used to be religious events. Today many people walk the Camino for many different reasons. Some need a time to contemplate life after a major change, retirement, a death in the family, a marriage break-up, and so on. Walking the Camino doesn’t need to be a spiritual walk. Many people just enjoy the experience and the challenge of the journey itself. There are many wonderful people to meet, beautiful vistas and rivers and bridges, and interesting towns along the way.

    We are not Catholic. We were just expecting it to be an adventure. But early on we decided to add a spiritual aspect to the journey. As we came to a church in a village (every village has a church) and if the church was open (usually was) we would go in. If we were the only ones there (often the case), we would sing the Lord’s Prayer together. If others were there, we sat and prayed, and appreciated the beauty of the sanctuary. We also decided to memorize Psalm 136 during our walk (not easy to hold a book with walking sticks in each hand), and we created a morning prayer which we prayed together at the start of our walk each day.

    We found this put us in a receptive frame of mind – we still start out each day this way.
    One interesting observation on the Camino was that we were all pilgrims. We never asked nor were ever asked what we did for a living. This was not important — pauper, millionaire, office worker, president, executive, tradesman, nothing mattered. We were all pilgrims.

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