600km Walking Pilgrimage through Spain

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on September 2 2008

From the moment I discovered an ancient pilgrimage path in Spain in June last year, the attraction of walking hundreds of kilometres towards an assured destination grew on me daily. My eagerness to go on a month-long journey on foot across the steep slopes, lush valleys and forests of the Pyrenees, and through countless small towns and villages, was part of a subconscious quest to find depth and meaning in my life. At the age of 33, I was approaching – prematurely, perhaps – what seemed to be a mid-life crisis.

Straits Times Life! Article,Denise Chng Lisan,Camino de Santiago,Camino Frances

Letter from Quebec: Preserving Heritage

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on November 8 2008

'TRAVEL is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living,' wrote Miriam Beard. Life in Quebec is now my teacher, pointing out my knowledge gaps and honing my ideas of living - be it language, culture, life-skills, or the environment.

Denise Chng Lisan

The Spirit of Lourdes

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Monday, September 17, 2007
Lourdes is situated at the foothills of the Pyrenees, with a river running through across it. It is a beautiful sunny town with the mountains in the backdrop. The town is like a busy market place at first sight. People talk loudly. There are many other Europeans: Italians, Dutch, Germans and Englishmen, plus many other nationalities. It is hardly French in a way. There are plenty of souvenir shops selling gifts of holiness. Statues of Mary. Crosses and rosaries. Posters of Jesus. Everything a holy man would want. =)

I had the urge to get out of here on the first evening, as I find myself in throngs of people. Silence can hardly be found. The next day I decided to look harder for the spirit of Lourdes. Why do all these people come here, I wondered.

Lourdes is a place where the sick is priority. I saw as many sick people as there are able-bodied people. The common sight everyday is that the sick would be accompanied by an able-bodied assistant from the hospital to wherever they may plan to go. One to one. There are some ex-volunteers who are now sick and has to be taken care of. The cycle of love goes on.

Here, I find the same lesson as I've learnt in L'Arche.

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    Ave Maria - Lourdes, France

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