A Catholic High School in Fort McMurray, Alberta, took it to heart to help us reach our objective of walking 40,075 km, i.e. the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth. As they engaged in our Share the Journey Lenten campaign, their initial goal was to walk 2,500 km, little did they know that five weeks later, they would be reaching an amazing total of 20,439 km!
“This year, one of the things as chaplain of Holy Trinity that I really wanted to make happen was a legitimate and engaging Lenten Project. The Share the Journey campaign rang especially true for us in Fort McMurray as we became displaced people in 2016 during the wildfire.” – Chris Poulsen, Teacher/Chaplain at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Fort McMurray, AB
The whole school embarked on this journey with enthusiasm. Teachers came up with exciting and fun ways to get steps in solidarity, such as taking classes on walks while giving the daily lecture, or building lessons around movement from stations. Science and math teachers jumped in, working out the distances around the schoolyard and indoor walking circuits, to make even walking to the bathroom a moment of solidarity.
“I am amazed by the enthusiasm, the commitment and the generosity that these students have shown”, says Serge Langlois, executive director of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada.
The school had daily prayers, weekly religion classes, and a weekly mass that focused on migration and solidarity. There were also weekly fundraising initiatives, including buying kms that the principal had to walk each week… It really was a school-wide effort.
Chris added: “The authentic witness of staff and students over this campaign has been amazing! This Lenten journey saw a transformation of the heart!”.
The campaign culminated on April 10, 2019, with the official all-school walk, where 1230 students walked 3km in the rain (with students reminding each other that refugees have no weather cancellation, so why should they?!).
“When the kids found out how many kilometres they walked the gym exploded in cheers! Our one school, when infused with the love of Christ, walked more than half of the kilometres that our entire country challenged to walk. The campaign was a complete success.” – Chris Poulsen, Teacher/Chaplain at Holy Trinity Catholic High School
It is not too late to walk and fundraise for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada in solidarity with the 68.5 million children, women and men forcibly displaced around the world. Don’t hesitate to contact your local animator for more information.
Here are pictures and a list of the many walks taking place all over Canada.