This annual Farm Street event is now a fixture in the Jesuit calendar. Spiritually uplifting; raising awareness and funds for charitable projects; and, despite the challenge of 200 km in 8 days of walking largely mountainous terrain, is also a lot of fun.
A group of parishioners will set off again on September 25th 2016 and this year will raise funds for JRS UK and Aid to the Church in Need projects in Kurdistan (northern Iraq). They’re hoping again for a generous response. In their first year they raised £35,000 for Syria.
The group, led by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ will start at Verdù, at the Shrine of the 17th century Jesuit St of the Slaves Peter Claver. A fitting place to reflect on the evils of human trafficking of modern day migrants to Britain and those stuck in perilous conditions in the Middle East.
Fr Dominic says: “As we walk we reflect too on the gift of our own freedom, our call to detachment, to Ignatian indifference. Praying, celebrating Mass, sharing faith along the way, we follow the same ‘Cami Ral’ towards the great Abbey of the Black Madonna of Montserrat where Ignatius the pilgrim laid down his sword and vowed to follow Christ. And finally on to Manresa where he composed the Spiritual Exercises.”
So why walk as pilgrims? Why are caminos increasingly popular? Whenever we take on anything really tough we’re faced with tough questions: “why bother?” Reasons given by the team of walkers are varied. Raising prayers, awareness and funds for those in real need. Getting fit. Being with friends. But there is an inner journey which mirrors the journey of life. Ignatius’ own camino led him to reflect on how the gift of his personal freedom represented true detachment from worldly concerns and desires, and ultimately his indifference to what life would turn out to be for him in God’s plan.
So please do follow their progress this autumn on farmstreetcamino.blogspot.co.uk and be generous with your prayers, your support and, if you also can, with donations for the work of JRS in the UK and ACN in Kurdistan.
Read more on how you can sponsor them as they embark on this pilgrimage of prayer and solidarity with refugees.