ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia woman on her way to see her son, who had completed a Catholic pilgrimage, was among the 78 people who died in the wreck of a train in Spain this week, said Catholic Church officials from the diocese where she worked.
The Diocese of Arlington said Ana Maria Cordoba was killed; she was the only American who died in the crash. Cordoba, a benefits specialist, was traveling with her husband, Philippe, and her daughter, Christina, a rising high school senior in Arlington, according to the Catholic News Service, a division of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The service reported that her husband and daughter were in stable condition at a hospital.
Family members were on their way to see the Cordobas' son, who had completed a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela or "Way of St. James" in Spain. The spiritual journal, which can take several routes that are several-hundred miles long, has been done for thousands of years across the Spanish countryside. Pilgrims finish at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where believers say Jesus' apostle St. James is buried.
The journey was featured in a film, "The Way," starring Martin Sheen.
In a statement, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde said the death is a cause of "immense grief" not only for the family but for those in the diocesan offices, where Cordoba worked in the human resources office and her mother, Maria Angel, is an executive assistant for a vicar general in the diocese.