The decision to travel halfway around the world and then to walk every day for more than a month, came after watching a movie. “The Way,” directed, produced and written by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen, inspired four men from the Diocese of Orange to experience the El Camino de Santiago.
Manuel Gutierrez (St. Callistus, Garden Grove), Rick Ramirez (St. Columban, Garden Grove), Rick Uyehara (St. Justin Martyr, Anaheim) and Ruben Chavez (Holy Family Cathedral, Orange), all friends from different parishes in the diocese, walked from Saint-Jean Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago De Compostela, Spain.
This pilgrimage is referred to as El Camino de Santiago, commonly known as The Way of Saint James. It is the most famous Catholic pilgrimage walk leading to the shrine of the Apostle Saint James. They began their walk Sept. 4 from a French town of Saint Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains in Basque Country. The pilgrimage covered approximately 849 km (527 miles) which took over 35 days. They reached the front of Santiago de Compostela on Oct. 9.