October 26, 2022
S3:E1 Pages, Prayers and Pilgrimage | Season Three Preview

In the Season Three preview, author Kevin Donahue ( | reflects on time away from the podcast, his Via Francigena camino pilgrimage through Italy to Rome, and a preview of the new season of the

In the Season Three preview, author Kevin Donahue ( | reflects on time away from the podcast, his Via Francigena camino pilgrimage through Italy to Rome, and a preview of the new season of the Sacred Steps Podcast.





MEET THE HOST:  Kevin Donahue

Husband. Father. Backpacker. Pilgrim. Author.

Kevin Donahue began walking pilgrimage routes in 2019, joining the historical footprints of pilgrims seeking places and people to inspire questions and enlighten answers about faith, hope, and love. His passion for these historic footpaths and reflections from the journeys form the basis for his books: Sacred Steps: A Pilgrimage Journal and The Pilgrims’ Table.



Sacred Steps: A Pilgrimage Journal | Free Preview

At the crossroads of history and faith, a reluctant pilgrim embarks on a modern pilgrimage along some of the world’s most revered footpaths. Along the way, he discovers the places and encounters people that inspire questions and enlighten answers about faith, hope, and love.

Available from print and digital booksellers, Sacred Steps: A Pilgrimage Journal conveys both the historical context and the modern experience of pilgrimage through Portugal and Spain on the Camino de Santiago, along America’s Pacific Coast connecting the California Missions Trail, across receding tides to Holy Island, from London to Canterbury along Britain’s historic Pilgims’ Way, and onward towards Rome via Europe’s Via Francigena on a journey of discovery.

The Pilgrims’ Table | Free Preview
Brought together by fate for a memorable dinner, five pilgrims recall their emotional journeys along Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Powerful and moving, The Pilgrims’ Table is an emotional look at the transformational power of pilgrimage.

Born from the intersection of my experiences with those of other pilgrims,  The Pilgims’ Table is the story of five pilgrims from divergent paths who come together at a Spanish albergue. The deeply personal stories shared over dinner transform their outlook on pilgrimage and connect them as one pilgrim family.

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Walking virtually along the world's most revered footpaths and connecting the global community of Pilgrims. It's The Sacred Steps Podcast. Available on YouTube and your favorite podcast app, broadcasting from the Shema Studios in Florida. Here's your host, Pilgrim Backpacker, and author ... Kevin Donahue.

Buen Camino, pilgrims, and welcome back to The Sacred Steps Podcast. I'm your host, Kevin Donahue. Welcome to season three. Wow. I can't believe it's finally here. If you're joining us for the first time, one Camino, welcome. On this show, we're walking virtually alongside pilgrims and authors hearing their stories and connecting a community of pilgrims from across the world.

You can find all of our show notes from today's episode and the links to all of our episodes from season one and season two over on our website, sacred Steps If you enjoy hearing stories of pilgrimage, go ahead and tap, subscribe on your podcast app or leave us a comment and rate us on your podcast app as that tells Apple, Spotify and YouTube to share this program with others who may be interested in walking the Camino to Santiago or any of the pilgrimage routes that we've been discussing.

On this program for three seasons now, , so season three. Let me start by saying how great it feels to be back on the podcast with you. I, I've missed you. In a moment, we'll do a bit of that school thing, what I did on my summer break, but I haven't been recording for my own podcast since April of 2022. It's.
Months away from this microphone and it feels really great to be here walking virtually alongside each of you. Thank you for your emails and all of your comments over the summer on our Facebook page. Um, let me say, if you're not following us on Facebook, I'm sharing a lot of content from different pilgrimage routes.
Different pilgrims and authors a few times every week on the Facebook page. Jump over to the Sacred Steps book on Facebook, or just follow the links in the show notes on your streaming app. There's a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot coming up, not only for this season but also for my future book, which brings us to what I did on my summer break.

For those who've been with us on the podcast, you'll recall that I've been walking all or sections of a number of different pilgrimage routes over the last three or four years. The Camino des Santiago, the California Missions Trail, the Pilgrim's Way from London to Canterbury. I walked up in North Umbr along the way of St. Cuthbert to Holy Island, and then from Canterbury, I began my via French Chi walk. So this summer I picked up the Via French Chi in Central Italy in BSA and finished that section walking into Rome, arriving at the Toma St. Peter in my backpack, carrying the prayers of more than 50 pilgrims. I'm gonna devote time on another episode to talking about that journey because it was incredible and moving.
And so powerful to arrive in Rome and, and the via French, and I highly recommend it, but well let, let's just talk about it quickly because it's not as straightforward as the Camino to Santiago. In fact, global Pilgrim, Kevin Considine talked about the contrast of the Camino with the Via French in season one.
So if you're thinking about doing this route, that's a, that's a really good place to start with your planning. Our season one episode with Kevin Considine. This summer I arrived in Rome and then as promised, I took a long time away from the podcast to finish my first book, sacred Steps of Pilgrimage Journal.

I'm not a writer. I think if anything I'm a storyteller or maybe a story collector or whatever. I like to talk and I never set out to write a book. So the entire process over the last several years has been daunting, which is to say it's still not quite finished. , I'm working on what I'm calling the second edit, because most of the book is complete. I would say it's roughly 75% complete more, or. Maybe less, but the premise of the book has changed over the summer as I've been away, and that's something I'm actually quite proud of. Originally, the Sacred Steps book was a first person experiential journal, and as I've been undertaking these walks, I've had the opportunity to really drill down into what has motivated me to follow these historic pathways.
So this summer I've been reworking the book to really hit exactly. What I've been wanting to share about these routes when it's finished, which is probably sometime in early 2023, sacred Steps will take my own story as a somewhat reluctant pilgrim at the intersection of history and faith. There's a lot less of the travel log of, I went here and I saw this, and a lot more exploration into the places where we travel.
That inspire us to ask these really personal questions and the people that I've met along the way who have helped me maybe gain some insight on those questions. So like My Life, sacred Steps, a pilgrimage journal is a work in progress for all of you. I'll be sending previews of the. More information via email.
So jump over to Sacred steps and sign up for our email list if you're not already on the list. Let's see, this summer I walked the last sections of the Via French. I worked on the book. I've been balancing my life and family and pilgrimage. What else? Um, yeah. Okay. Well, since I'm a bit rubbish at finishing the first book, I thought it'd be a great idea.
Maybe I start a second book , if only I were kidding. Um, so as I've been walking, I've been thinking about my Pilgrim family and all of the experiences that we've had together, and I've been turning that over and over in my mind and it dawned on me how much I want to tell some of these stories where my experiences have collided with those of others.
Um, so I've begun working on a second book and I'm. Truly excited about it. It's a fictional book, so the writing has been really freeing. In the first book, I'm, I'm working to get the research right and ensure, for example, I know when and where some of these historical facts and figures intersect with our pilgrimage routes.
But in the second book, it's fiction. So if we're walking up a hill, it can be a big hill, a small hill, a mountain, a mole hill, and it's really freed me to tell the stories that I want to tell. The book is called The Pilgrim's Table, and it's the story of five pilgrims who come together from different backgrounds, uh, people from all across the world, and they find themselves in this small Berge in Spain.
They spend one really memorable dinner together with their host, and we capture that evening as the premise of the book, um, with all the stories that they share, the memories that those stories. And the emotions that these retellings. Evoke. So that book, the Pilgrims Table should be out in early 2023 as well.
We've just launched the website for it. Um, so hop over to the pilgrims, the pilgrims and sign up for updates there as well. I'm really excited to finish the pilgrims table and I cannot wait to share it with you. So later on this season, I'll talk more about it as well as the first.

Are you planning a walking pilgrimage? Share the details of your journey as a voice message with our podcast audience. Visit Sacred Steps to record your voice message for a future broadcast. Know someone considering pilgrimage. Share this episode as a text from your. And help others find the podcast by leaving a star rating on your podcast app.
And now the Sacred Steps podcast continues.

So that's a bit of what I did on my summer break. Um, and at the end of last season, I said this would probably be a shorter season because I wanted to spend a little more time working on the book, AKA books  and at the. I didn't know it was gonna be two books, so I digress.
But the plan was to make this season maybe eight to 10 episodes instead of the 15 plus that we've done for the last few years. And honestly, as I've been recording with this season's guest, I don't know if that's gonna happen. We're definitely gonna have eight to 10 episodes, but it might go longer because the stories this year are just too wonderful not to.
In season three, we'll be walking virtually alongside two college professors who are avid Camino pilgrims, exploring the kimono codo in Japan. We're speaking with some Camino names that you very likely know from the Camino Facebook groups and forums. Our good friend Andy Bull, will be back on the podcast in season three with a new pilgrimage book discussing the Walsingham Camino in the.
And so many of you have been asking for updates on our dear friend, uh, Australian author, Claude Tron, Sean. So Claude will join us back on the podcast for season three. Um, speaking of authors, filmmaker and author, Brian Skilling is currently walking the Camino, and he's joining us live from the communal front face with updates every episode or two.
So stay tuned for those updates from. Maria Seko, uh, Spanish for Camino will be on season three. Brian and Michelle Coleman from Cruising with the Colemans will be on to talk about their recently completed via French. I'm hoping to have Joe Francis Penn once she's back from walking her first ever Camino, uh, that she's been planning for a couple of years now.
We'll also. Be talking with you, uh, about your pilgrimage, including Taraho, Marissa, and several others who are gonna be on our Season three podcast episodes. Uh, if you want to tell us about your upcoming pilgrimage or share some thoughts on maybe a walk you've recently completed over at the Sacred Steps website, there's a leave a voicemail feature where you can just record and we'll bring it live onto the podcast in an upcoming.
You add in that with my own solo episodes about my walks this past year and , that's a lot. Um, so I don't think we'll be eight to 10 episodes next spring, um, when we're normally wrapping up the podcast, hopefully at least one of my books is out for us to review and discuss together. And then in May I turned 50 and my son Jack wants to walk the Camino to Santiago with.
He'll be 14 and I'll be 50, and I'm really looking forward to spending this time seeing the Camino through his eyes. Just this past week, he's begun asking more and more questions about planning and preparing and no promises here because you know how teens can be, but it might be fun to do some father and son planning talks.
A little outbreak of our Camino 1 0 1 together maybe as an episode. Feature or maybe even a live stream before our June, 2023 pilgrimage together. If you're planning your first pilgrimage, I want to help and connect you to the resources that we have over on our Sacred Steps YouTube channel. You'll find a dozen or more short videos called Camino 1 0 1.
We're tackling very basic questions in video shorts, like, where do you sleep? What's an ue? How much does it cost to walk the Camino? What are the best apps for my. How can pilgrims prevent blisters and, and so many other questions. And as you send me new questions, I'll try to keep posting new videos on our Sacred Steps channel on YouTube.

If you want a more personalized Camino planning help, um, let's schedule a one-on-one video call together On our member page, there's a box to set up a one hour video chat. You don't have to be a v I p supporter of the podcast. Although you're certainly welcome to become one, and I very much appreciate our VIPs, but just fill out that quick formal, let's set up time to discuss the different routes your daily agenda suggested gear answer. Really all of the questions you have in a one-on-one Zoom call. Um, you'll find that over at the Sacred Steps Podcast website. So as you can tell, there's a lot going on and I wanna share all of it with. Hit subscribe on your podcast app so that our upcoming episodes are available automatically on your device. Uh, we drop new episodes usually every other week on Wednesdays, on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast app. Uh, and if you wanna stream our past episodes or view the notes from any of our shows, you can find them all over at

So just a quick recap of some of those notes.  Stop by your Facebook page. Please consider subscribing for email updates at or Thank you so much for the opportunity to walk virtually alongside you. I love seeing your comments and uh, your ratings on the podcast and hearing just how much our interviews with pilgrims and authors mean to you.

I started this podcast during the first days of the Covid Pandemic in hopes of becoming more connected to my Pilgrim family, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be walking virtually alongside so many of you. Season three. I can't wait to share these episodes with you, so until next time, my friends be well, stay safe, and Buen Camino.

This has been the Sacred Steps Podcast. To help other pilgrims find the show, please leave a star rating on your podcast. For episode notes, links from the show, or to contact Kevin, visit our You can also join our behind the mic email list on the website. Before you go, tap subscribe, so our future episodes are available to you automatically. Until next time, Buen Camino.