Dear Friends,

I have just returned from a working vacation at Casa Anglicana with my husband Andrew. Board members Robert Willis and Fletcher Banner were also there, as was Bishop Carlos. I arrived with two suitcases full of supplies for Casa Anglicana and a list of things to accomplish during our stay. Casa Anglicana was quiet with only a few pilgrims in residence, so it was the perfect time to work. And work we did.

I saw with my own eyes a 26” hole drilled through the wall of Casa Anglicana in preparation for the fiber optic cable which should get us up to speed with Wi-Fi and improve our customer satisfaction. Given our location in an historic district, this has not been an easy or straightforward process.

A large, framed poster identifying Casa Anglicana as a partnership between the “Friends” and the Spanish Episcopal church made it through a thorough grilling at customs and is now hanging behind the reception desk. A large cork bulletin board in the same area provides a neater place for pilgrims’ messages.

Twelve yards of sturdy corduroy came out of the suitcase and were sent off to Felipe’s mother who offered to make cushions for the benches. They are now in place and add much to the level of comfort in the refectory.

Felipe, our house manager, and I painted the stairways. We found an old can of paint and were able to match the green doors. Replacing the dull brown is a great improvement.  Trips to antique shops, flea markets and the daily market provided pottery, mirrors, and plants, all of which have created a warmer atmosphere.

Bishop Carlos, Felipe, and I went to the Spanish equivalent of Home Depot. Before buying six shower boxes, six toilets, two sinks and all the fixings to convert six more rooms to ensuite ones, the Bishop and I size-tested the showers. Delivery is scheduled for next week and renovations begin in March.

Brass plaques for major donors have been put up in the breakfast room, the kitchen and by the icon of St. James.  Similar ones hang on five of the bedroom doors acknowledging donors who claimed naming rights for them. It’s not too late for you or your parish to “adopt” one of the remaining 9 bedrooms or support some of our other initiatives.

In preparation for the Eucharist on Sunday, we went up to Santa Susana on Saturday morning, arriving just at the beginning of the Ukrainian Orthodox service. When it ended nearly three hours later, I was glad I was an Anglican. Still, it was nice to meet our Ukrainian Orthodox brethren who share Santa Susana with us and a Russian Orthodox congregation.

Unable to find the elements to celebrate the Eucharist, we borrowed from the Orthodox. The next day, thanks to the clergy’s innate ability to find a clergy supply store, we were able to buy two sets of stoles, and everything needed to celebrate the Eucharist. At the local pottery shop we were able to replace the Chalice and Paten given to us by the Cathedral and to buy a second set for use at Casa Anglicana. There are now complete Eucharistic sets at both Santa Susana and Casa Anglicana.  Visiting clergy wishing to celebrate the Eucharist in either place should make arrangements with Felipe at Casa Anglicana.   

Finally, Dean Robert celebrated the Eucharist on Sunday at Santa Susana.  We were joined by clergy and parishioners from Vigo and Pontevedra. Although small, our congregation worshipped together, heard a fine sermon from Robert and enjoyed a lovely agape coffee hour, complete with mulled wine and croquettes provided by Fletcher. Click HERE to see the entire service and hear the fine sermon by Dean Willis translated into Spanish by our house manager Felipe Martinez.

Since we opened last May, we have welcomed 2,958 guests from 41 countries. Our records show that 96 % were actual pilgrims and many of them stayed for several days. Most days in July and August we were sold out. Although December and January have been quiet, we are still welcoming guests including this group of young people from a Spanish church in Marín.

As I write this (February 17) we are full both today and tomorrow. If you want to stay at Casa Anglicana this year, it is not too early to make your reservations, either through Booking.com or directly with Felipe at Casa Anglicana (+34-622-566-441).

Santiago in February was quiet, with many places closed for vacation but there were still plenty of places to eat. Despite a couple of days of heavy rain, the weather was pleasant, there were plenty of seats at the Cathedral Masses, and the city as beautiful as ever. If you are looking for a quiet place to retreat or study next winter, I highly recommend a stay at Casa Anglicana.

After Easter, my daughter and I will return for another week of work. I am not sure if we will cross paths with the Rev. Deacon Anita Miner, but Deacon Anita from Salt Lake City will be the first of our 2024 Rota of clergy staying at Casa Anglicana and ministering to pilgrims both there and at Santa Susana.

By the time we left Casa Anglicana, most of the items on my to do list had been crossed off. The empty suitcase was full of the latest Camino guidebooks, and three hundred shells for our booths at the Episcopal Parish Network Conference (March 6-9, 2024, Houston, TX) and the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (June 23 – 28, 2024, Louisville, KY). Stop by, pick up a shell, hear our latest news and tell us your Camino plans. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

As always, I thank you for your prayers and your support.

Nancy H. Mead, Board President

Donations made by check can be mailed to:

The Friends of the Anglican Centre in Santiago de Compostela
PO Box 1789
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-1789

The Friends of the Anglican Centre in Santiago de Compostela, Inc. 

is a 501 © (3) tax exempt entity.
EIN 81-3926530

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