.- A Spanish women's religious order that has welcomed in pilgrims traveling on the Way of St. James for over thirteen years, is now burgeoning with new vocations.
The Augustinians of Conversion began their journey in 1999, when Mother Prado left the country's Augustinian convent where she had been living for several years.
Together with three other sisters, she founded a growing religious community in Becerril de Campos, in northwestern Spain, near the Way of St. James.
Mother Prado felt “a very strong calling to a more contemplative life,” which led her to begin a community in a small town in the region of Castilla and Leon.
Thirteen years later, the Augustinians of Conversion now number 26, with eight more sisters who are in the process of discernment and who may fully join the community in September.
According to Religion en Libertad, one of their primary apostolates is to welcome pilgrims who are traveling on the Way of St. James to the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Emma, a pilgrim from Ireland who had been on the Way for seven days before reaching the hostel operated by the nuns, said that at every other hostel she has been to, “You come in, you pay, they put you up and the next day you go. It seems like it is only a business. Here it is different.”
During their stay at the nuns' hostel, pilgrims get together for a Mass, receive the pilgrim's blessing, and share a special dinner at night.
It didn’t take long for these encounters to begin to have an effect on the pilgrims.
Erika, a young Spanish teacher at the University of Budapest, joined the Augustinians of Conversion after her experience with the nuns.
Elizabeth, a young woman from Germany, had a similar experience at the hostel and discovered her vocation to the religious life.
Recently the community moved to a new home, made possible through the donations of benefactors, in the town of Sotillo de la Adrada in Avila.
More information on the Augustinians of Conversion can be found at: