Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday July 28th. 2013
Pilgrims from  Salamanca      It was a great joy on Friday afternoon to welcome 40 Spanish pilgrims from Salamanca who visited Roy Bridge at the suggestion of Bishop Toal. They were a delightful  and very hospitable group, and they brought with them a selection of their own local produce- various hams and wines to share with us. The pilgrim group is closely affiliated to the pilgrim society at Santiago de Compostela, and they came to Scotland to make a pilgrimage to Iona in this Year of Faith. Many of the pilgrims were known personally to Bishop Toal as he spent several years in Salamanca at the Royal Scots Seminary as spiritual director and then as rector, and often visited neighbouring parishes at the weekends to help out with Masses. He led the pilgrims to Iona where he said Mass for them. The following day he suggested they might wish to visit the shrine of St. Mary MacKillop at Roy Bridge. In true pilgrim style, they left the bus at Banavie and walked to Gairlochy where the bus picked them up and took them to St. Margaret's. Most the pilgrims are retired, but the seven mile walk did not deter them! I am grateful to Catrina MacDonald, Charlie Toal,  Catherine Cameron and Kenny MacKintosh for preparing and helping in the hall, and to Charlie and Catherine for providing delicious soup, chicken and meringues. The pilgrims were in great form, and some ended the evening with their own traditional  Spanish dances.  All we needed was some castanets to accompany them! They were delighted to meet Kenny MacKintosh who made the pilgrimage  some years ago from Le Puy in France to Santiago de Compostela, a distance of 800 miles. They left for Oban by bus in beautiful evening sunshine,  delighted with their visit to Roy Bridge  and the welcome they received. They were indeed such a happy an cheerful group, but were also saddened by the news of the rail accident near Santiago de Compostela. They return to Madrid from Edinburgh on Sunday. May God bless them.
The Spanish pilgrims from Salamanca with Bishop Toal  and his mother outside St. Margaret’s, Roy Bridge