“Every time we go on a pilgrimage to a sacred place,” Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison, Wisconsin, asserts, “it’s a microcosm of our pilgrimage to the Father’s house. Our whole life is a pilgrimage to heaven.” This is, surely, the take-away from Ahava Production’s latest project Santiago: The Journey Within. Screening at nationwide theaters for one night only, March 28, this film is a perfectly-timed reminder pre-Holy Week of the importance of the interior pilgrimage as well as the impact of traversing the ancient pathways- including the well-known Camino de Santiago walked by pilgrims since the beginning of Christianity.
The Camino de Santiago is a well-travelled pilgrimage route dating back to medieval times. History recounts that the remains of the Christian apostle St. James the Great were mysteriously discovered at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain after having thought to be lost. For centuries, pilgrims have traveled the route, also known as “the Way of St. James,” for spiritual seeking. Santiago, The Camino Within, follows pilgrims along this Way.
This gorgeous film is shot from behind various individuals as they traverse the “Way of St. James” and share their personal stories about why, how, and with whom they are walking this traditional route. These stories- from the simple and nature-seeking accounts to the profound and mystical ones- are shared in the context of how walking the Camino changes the walker. While watching the film, viewers will be inspired to experience this pilgrimage, too, either by becoming walkers or simply by embarking upon their own interior journey of discovery.
Advance reviews for this film have been outstanding- including from clergy who have experienced this walking pilgrimage themselves. Archbishop Paul Coakley (Oklahoma City), Bishop James D. Conley (Lincoln, NE), and Bishop James S. Wall (Gallup, NM) joined Bishop Hying recently, gathering via Zoom with moderator Kathryn Joan Lopez by way of the National Review Institute to share their own reflections on traveling the Camino and their responses to the production. Their appreciation of the artistry in the film-making as well as the beauty of content was unanimous.
Film director and international award-winning composer/producer Erin Berghouse directed Santiago. As the founder and president of Ahava Productions as well, she is described as “dedicated to creating films with the sole purpose of reaffirming the depth and beauty of the Catholic Faith, using “her great faith and artistic vision,” and also “paving the way for other women around the world to follow their dreams while glorifying God through their gifts.”
Information about theater locations and ticket purchase can be found here at Fathom Events. Don’t miss the chance to see this beautiful film on the Big Screen!