Associació d'amics del camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra
 
Seminarians from different countries, to Pallerols.

A few days of coexistence and rest


We transcribe a chronicle sent to us by one of Pamplona's expeditionaries:

One more year: from Bidasoa to Pallerols (from May 29 to June 3)

Once the luggage was prepared and packed into the vans, we did the visit to the Blessed Sacrament and after receiving the blessing for the trip from Father Juan Alonso García, the Bidasoa's Major Ecclesiastic College Rector, we began our journey.

We were a very international group made up of nine seminarians, a deacon and three priests from Sri Lanka, Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador. It was the morning of May 29.

After two hours of travel, accompanied by music and prayer, we stopped at lunch at Loarre Castle, where the first contest of our meeting was opened, Fr. Fernando called it "the best selfie". The competition was such that from the first minutes Mario was taking pictures with the horses that were in that place and Mon began to bring out his photographic skill.

From Loarre Castle we head towards Pallerols. When we arrived, we distributed the things we had and we settled in the places to sleep. Then we had the evening prayer and afternoon prayer.

We went to dinner, where we enjoyed the meals prepared by Fr. Miguel, Gerald and Mark. Then, we will listen to the stories of the place where we were, explained by Fr. Tino and we live like we are, a family with desires of holiness.

Before the examination of conscience the commissions and the schedule of meeting were distributed. Let's summarize and after that we went to sleep.

On our first day in Pallerols, May 30, thanks to Fr. Miguel who celebrated the Mass before, we prayed in the presence of the Lord in the Tabernacle. Fr. Fernando gave us the meditation and then we pray praises. About 10:30 am, Fr. Miguel gave us the first talk: the sanctity of the Church.

At the end of the talk we started our walk towards the Cabin of Saint Rafael. Some of us arrived before guided by Gerald, while the others came after the steps of Fr. Tino. Already in the cabin, Óscar read the book "Between night and hope," while Fr. Tino explained in detail the story that happened here.

We had the open air Mass, on an altar of wood placed a few meters from the cabin; presided by Fr. Fernando, since we were celebrating his saint and that of the prelate of Opus Dei. Here we ate, and then a gathering brightened up by the jokes and anecdotes of Fr. Fernando, and after all we sang together with Bruno's guitar. We also pray the Rosary and after that we went back to Pallerols, although on a different path, to see the raft where St. Josemaría and the bravest were bathing. The visit to the cabin was a unique experience, which Mario described in a message from WhatsApp a day later: "Walking the steps of a saint is a wonder. It gives us the joy of living in a way the experience of those men of God and we perceive the call to holiness in every step we travel. This is the great blessing we experience in following these traces that St. Josemaría left."

Upon returning we had talk with Fr. Tino I had about the history of Pallerols, supported by reading some passages from the book by Jordi Piferrer, who made Oscar. After that we did some meditation and we prayed Vespers.

For dinner we had some delicious potato omelettes accompanied by salad and sauces, and dessert fruit and cake on the occasion of Sant Ferran. We celebrate this feast very closely together with the Father and Fr. Fernando. Mario reminded Mn. Juan Antonio Gil, recently deceased and who so faithfully followed the steps of St. Josemaría and from which we all keep a very special memory. From heaven sure we continue helping. After the toast, more songs.

The second day, May 31, we had meditation with Fr. Miguel and prayers of Laudes, then a talk with Fr. Tino about the "love of the Church". We immediately prepare to leave towards Ribalera.

After about 30 minutes in a van on a dirt track, we started our walk towards Ribalera. When we reached a signposted we separated ourselves into two groups: those that went through a shortcut and those that followed the longest but also more flat path. The short ones brought things for the Holy Mass, because they should arrive sooner.

After about an hour and forty minutes, Gerald and Ángel reached the goal. They had made their way long and when they reached the Ribalera they did not find anyone. Those of the shortcut did not arrive, they had been lost in the woods. It was Mark, who knew the path of last year, who regained the yellow signs that they had lost and could return to the road. Just a short time later they reached the Ribalera safe. They were not the last ones, since they still had to come Fr. Tino and Oscar. After taking a breath, we celebrated Holy Mass.

Then we took the thanksgiving and prepared the things we had to eat.

We returned the Ribalera return along the wide path and we started singing. Never as on that day, the mountains had heard eucharistic songs in the polyphonic version, as we had a few of the best voices in the choir of Bidasoa. When we got to the point where the path grew calmer, we started the prayer of the Holy Rosary, led by Lucas and the litanies sung by Bruno with the Latin melody he had learned from his grandmother.

When arriving at the vans, snacks and home, where we did the prayer of the afternoon, with a meditation directed by Fr. Fernando. After dinner, we saw a video of a meeting of Saint Josemaría with priests, we did the exam and went to sleep.

On the third day, June 1, we made a spiritual retreat: we had meditation with Fr. Miguel, Eucharist with Laudes, talk with Fr. Tino, viacrucis, meditation with Fr. Fernando, and conclude our day off with the blessing of the Blessed.

We went to lunch at the house of Fenollet, where Rosa delighted us with succulent dishes accompanied by a fruit drink of the vineyard. Bruno, to thank Rosa and her family for the great reception they gave us, sang 'O sole mio and Granada to the best style of Plácido Domingo. At the end we went down praying the rosary and went to bathe in some gorges of the river Valldarques, near the Masies de Nargó. There we put a lot of heat and we enjoyed it a lot. Of course, there was someone who took a scare with an innocent water snake or some gadflies who were looking hungry and looking for who to devour.

On June 2, Luke describes this way: We have begun the day with a meditation followed by the Mass of the Ascension of the Lord in the church of Pallerols, celebrated with special solemnity. After breakfast, we went to Andorra stopping before the Civís river, at the foot of Barranc de la Cabra Morta, which St. Josemaría had to overcome to reach Andorra.

Upon arrival in Andorra, we visited the parish of Sant Julià de Lòria, which was the first town to which St. Josemaría arrived. There we spent a bit of prayer remembering that it was the first non-desecrated church that St. Josemaría found for a long time. Recently they have restored the church and have placed magnificent mosaics of Marc Ivan Rupnik who also helped us pray. In the afternoon we went to Andorra la Vella and Escaldes, we went through its streets and passed through the place where St. Josemaría and those who went with him stayed. To finish the day we made a barbecue in Pallerols and we sang until it was made at night.

On the following day, June 3, we were waiting for the goodbye of meeting. In the morning, we celebrated the last Holy Mass in Pallerols, we picked up everything, organized the vans and we set off for Torreciudad. There we could visit the Virgin Mary and a technical stop to eat and take a dip in the Poblado pool. The trip took us a bit longer than in the first leg, perhaps because we were all sorry to leave those so special places in the Rialb forests, which became a way of liberation for many people and in heroic fulfillment of the will of God for St. Josemaría.
Associació d'Amics del Camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra.   Av. Diagonal, 620, 1er. 2a, 08021 - Barcelona (Spain) . Tel.: (+34) 629 910 612