Thursday, May 23, 2013

El Camino de los Santos This July!


El Camino de los Santos
(The Way of the Saints)
An Original Walking Pilgrimage Developed By Deacon Dale and Arlene Metcalfe  
For DeaconTravel Ministries

Saturday – July 6, 2013
Come Journey With Us
A Two-Part One Day Walking Pilgrimage From

A) St. Patrick, Yorkville To Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine At
St Mary Church, Plano

B) St. Mary, Plano To The Site Of The St. Gianna Beretta Molla Shrine At St. Patrick, Yorkville

Morning Pilgrimage – 8:00am – 12:30pm
(includes Morning Mass)

Afternoon Pilgrimage – 1:00 pm – 4:30pm

Adults And Youth Welcome To Participate
Participation Forms – Registration Information – Additional Information

Sponsored By The Knights of Columbus – God’s Divine Mercy Council #14463

(All Proceeds Benefit The Saint Gianna Molla Shrine Project)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Need to Know

Everyone participating in this event "needs to know" - needs to know and understand all the rules and regulations involved in this experience.  Younger people need the approval and guidance of parent and guardian chaperons - older youth and adults need to know that as with any activity - there are potential risks that may be involved by participating. Everyone needs to know these risks - how to avoid them - what to do if they happen - how to react - who to turn to in time of need - not only for their own safety - but also for others in the group. It is not a matter of watching out for only themselves - but for everyone else in the group. Each of us has to take a leadership role in avoiding risk and managing risk.
Because of the possibility of unforeseen risk - everyone who participates in this event will have to sign a participation form - releasing - everyone - any institution - any volunteers - organizers - planners - assistants - from any and all liability.  In a country where people are too quick to blame others and run to lawyers - in this instance - no one will have that right - everyone will need to accept that they alone are responsible for themselves and those whom they bring with them - especially young children. In the same light - anyone not complying with established rules and regulations will be asked to leave the group - rather than to put anyone else at risk because of their failure to comply with the rules and regulations.
This trek is meant to be meaningful - spiritual - fun - while seeing to one's own safety and that of  those with them.  Because of the possibility of young children participating in this event - adults 18 years and older are expected to comply with the Catholic Church's rules on Protecting God's Children - in that no inappropriate behaviour will be demonstrated during this event.  Again - those in charge - will have complete authority to remove anyone who cannot comply one-hundred percent with these rules. If you are considering trekking with us and feel that these rules are too restrictive - then we ask that you find another group to be involved with and not join us - there are no exceptions to this.
If anyone has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America or other similar groups - then you have already been exposed to these rules - ours are no more or less restrictive than theirs in regards to the safety and well being of youth.

The following guidelines are very similar to those from the Boy Scouts of America, so they should be familiar to Scouts - 
Trekking Safety
This is designed to help individuals and groups to be ready for any kind of trek whether in the urban areas or in the country. It is important to note that situations may arise when the group will have to make adjustments in the days schedule - route - over all plans - because of weather conditions or in the case of an injured or sick participant. We will provide assistants in vehicles who can help if needed. On our trek we will not be so remote that we will ever be far from emergency assistance and all leaders will be equipped with cellular phones for immediate needs. Being prepared and planning for possible scenarios will be done by the team in advance. 

Lightning/Rain Risk Reduction
In the case of bad weather - i.e. rain and or lightning - we will not walk. There is no urgency in walking this Camino and it can be rescheduled if needed - rather than to put anyone at risk of slipping on a wet surface or the possibility of lightning - we will not walk. If an unexpected storm threatens - we will evacuate everyone as quickly as possible to a safe location.
Sun/Heat Sunstroke/Heat Stroke
We are trekking in July in the Midwest - need I say more?  Yes it will be hot - how hot - I cannot predict at this time.  Yes it will be sunny - at least we hope for sun and not cloudy or rainy (see above).  We pray that God blesses us with a pleasant summer day to walk both legs - comfortably.  To be comfortable we need a few important items - #1 - water  -  #2 - sun protection  -  #3  common sense.   Everyone joining us should have read the previous blog entry "Training" in which we listed the most common equipment needed for a trek of this nature.  Everyone will be expected to bring some type of back pack - in which you will carry water and food and other items necessary for this experience. If you do not bring a supply of water with you - you will not be allowed to walk. Each person must have their own supply - no sharing - begging - borrowing from others.  Everyone will be expected to wear appropriate clothing - not only for the time of year - but also appropriate for entering church and attending Holy Mass.  Hats or other head gear to protect from the sun is highly recommended.  Common sense - should help round out the other items each one will need. 
First Aid - Emergency Equipment
Anyone who has ever gone camping or hiking knows enough to "be prepared" and bring along appropriate first aid supplies and emergency equipment.  These are items that may and should be shared with others.  Band-aids for blisters - sunscreen - and other common first aid supplies should be carried by most adults.  As we organize and create our group we will make sure that adequate supplies are on hand. 

Not A Conplete List 
The above is not a complete list of rules and regulations.  In the near future forms will be added to this blog that each participant will be able to print which will contain a more complete list of rules and regulations.  This is for the safety of all who participate - including the leaders.  Please check back for forms and addition updates and hints.

Buen Camino
Deacon Dale 

Monday, May 13, 2013


Training for even a one day trek is very important. Some people incorrectly think that training is not necessary - but it is not every day you wake up and go for a very long walk.  It takes preparation - both mental and physical - to properly prepare.  The very first part of training is selecting the proper items that will be used on your trek.  

Number one - shoes - whether you select walking shoes or boots - they must be properly fit to allow for swelling of the feet - type of ground that you will be walking - and other conditions such as rain.  For our preparation for our Camino in Spain - we have tried out three different pairs of boots in search of proper fit.  At this point we are fairly confident that we now have properly fitted boots.  For this one day walk we will wear those boots - for those doing only this one day walk - it is not necessary for you to buy hiking boots - but you must choose wisely the shoes that you will wear. Sandals are not an option - although most of the walk will be on flat surfaces - you have to consider what is healthy for your feet to be able to walk approximately 9 miles - much on hot asphalt roads - some on grassy right of ways along country roads. 

The second item is socks - quality wool socks are the ones of choice - not cotton - as the wool will wick away moisture from the feet much better than cotton. Many trekkers will wear two pair of socks - one thin wool pair under a second thicker pair. Some will bring extrta socks with them so  that they may change socks during the walk - especially if their feet prespire a lot. 

The third most common walking aid is either trekking poles or a walking stick. Both provide stability on hilly uphills and downhills. The double pair of trekking poles works similar to ski poles to add stability and assistance in balancing your body.  It is also suggested that using trekking poles helps offset the weight of your back pack - helping to shift approximately 25 percent of the weight forward from your back and spine to your arms.

Fourth item necessary for any walk is hydration equipment.  This might be as simple as a water bottle or as complex as a hiking hydration pack. Although convenient -  water bottles do take up at least one hand which means one less hand free if you want to use trekking poles. With a hydration system your hands are free to use as needed.

A lightweight backpack is needed if using the hydration system and will also provide space for carrying your food - extra socks - sunscreen - first aid - emergency equipment - head lamp - and whatever else is needed for your trek.  Most do have side pockets and will hold a water bottle - if a hydration pack is not in your plans. 

All of the items above require proper fit and instruction in their use. As you can see from this simple list -  there is more to training than just walking. 

Buen Camino
Deacon Dale 

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Date

Finally - I have a date for our mini-camino - after taking into consideration all the important dates - graduation - weddings - family trips - previous commitments - the annual youth trip to the Franciscan University at Steubenville - I can now announce - 
El Camino de los Santos
Saturday - July 6, 2013

The plans for the day follows - Peregrinos (Pilgrims) may walk one or both ways
and may start either in Yorkville (in the morning) or Plano (in the afternoon)

Beginning at Saint Patrick Parish - Yorkville, IL
8:00 am Morning Mass
8:30 am Pilgrims Blessing
8:45 am Pilgrims Credencials & !st Stamp (Firmas y Sellos)
9:00 am Depart
Additional Stamps & Bathroom Facilities at
#2 Firmas - Fox Hill West Park - Yorkville, IL
#3 Firmas - Klatt Field - Plano, IL
12:00 pm Arrive Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine - Plano, IL
#4 Firmas - Prayers at Shrine
Lunch & Break & Departure
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine - St Mary Parish - Plano, IL

Beginning at Saint Mary Parish - Plano, IL 
1:00 pm Pilgrims Blessing
1:10 pm Pilgrims Credencials & 1st (5th) Stamp (Firmas y Sellos)
1:15 pm Depart
Additional Stamps & Bathroom Facilities at
#2 (#6) Firmas - Klatt Field - Plano, IL
#3 (#7) Firmas - Fox Hill West Park - Yorkville, IL
4:15 pm Arrive Site of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Shrine - Yorkville, IL
#4 (#8) Firmas - Prayers at Shrine
5:00 pm Pilgrims Mass (optional)

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Shrine - Artist's Concept - Future Install

So now that the date is set - anyone interested in walking with us needs to start training. It is not everyday that you wake up and go walk 8½ miles (13.65 Kilometers) for 3 hours and if doing both "legs" of this walk a total of 17 miles (27.3 Kilometers) in about 7 hours. I will post some suggestions and other trekking tips to help interested person get in shape.  Until then..

Buen Camino
Deacon Dale

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Alternate Route #3

As we refine this walk - we are fine tuning - taking care that this walk is safe for anyone who might walk with us. This newest modification gets us right next to a park porta-potty and a short walk through the park to the highway. For more than one reason - this will most likely be the final route that we walk.
Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

Final decision - coming soon - next task - select the date.

Until next time -
Buen Camino
Deacon Dale