Highjacked by the Holy Spirit on the Camino de Santiago
By Francesca Merlo
It’s a short film, only 68 minutes long, in which the physical and spiritual journey that pilgrims undergo as they walk the Camino de Santiago is captured and portrayed.
The walk within
Erin Berghouse, the producer of the film, was one of these pilgrims. She describes the camino (Spanish for "walk") as: “one of those moments”, in which she was “highjacked by the Holy Spirit”. In a conversation with Vatican News, Erin reflects on her choice of the word “highjacked”: as she walked the camino, everything else was pushed aside, all the noises of the world were silenced and she heard God – differently to how she had heard Him before.
Santiago: The Camino Within will be released in cinemas across the United States in English and Spanish for one night only on Tuesday, March 28.
The narrative follows some pilgrims who share their stories, and shows the transformation of their souls and the radiance that will be revealed at the conclusion of their journeys.
One of the lessons learned concerns the life of St James himself, Erin continues, and “the integration of Our Lady in his life and his perseverance of evangelising”.
A walk for all
Erin notes that the word "evangelising" may sound especially familiar to those who are Catholic, but that “the amazing thing about the Camino is that thousands of people are called to walk the Camino every year”: Catholic and non-Catholic.
“I really believe that when you go on the camino, for whatever reason, you come back changed and with a deeper knowing of oneself, a deeper understanding of there's something bigger than ourselves”, says Erin, adding that “whether it’s a good hike, an adventure or a pilgrimage”, as we walk the Camino, “our oil lamps are filled and we shine brighter in this world”.
Learning each day
Speaking of its production, Erin goes on to note how this film was moulded differently, after the experience she had undergone, compared to her previous ones.
She explains that “every day is a learning day”, and that every film she has produced has become “edifying for my own soul”.
“As an artist”, Erin says, “your art becomes a reflection of your own soul”. She explains that you can do as much research as you want, but that at the end of the day “after you use your head, it's really your heart, your soul, that's going to reflect the end art”.
Betraying emotion, she recounted the evolution of her relationship with St James, through her walk and through the creation of her film. “Now I can say, ‘I know St James, I feel that I know him, I, I love him every day’” says Erin. This, she adds “is incredible”.
Doing the best we can
That is the point of the film, says Erin: "First of all, of course, the hope to please God in our attempt to give him everything that we can".
“Although I have what we can describe as human goals, God’s plan is always so much bigger and more beautiful than anything that I come up with in my little mind. And we have done our best with the resources with have to create what we hope He would be pleased with. That is the most important goal”.
But not only this, adds Erin. The film was made to “inspire people to undertake the camino” but with the awareness that not everybody is able, for whatever reason, to do so. And if you are one of those, she says, “we hope that we can bring you there through this film, that we can introduce you to St James and to his journey into the beautiful country of Spain and to the evangelisation that takes place there”.
We hope you will be inspired
"We hope you will be inspired," Erin concludes, "those of you who can, to make the effort to break away from the noise in your daily life and get there and walk it”.