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On October 19th, close to 4,000 students and staff will embark on an 8km “walk with Christ” to improve living conditions in the Developing South.

In the past 11 years, the “Walk with Christ: Justice for the Poor” annual HWCDSB pilgrimage has raised more than $550,000 for development projects and relief efforts in Haiti, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. This year, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will also be raising funds for Father Basil Fernando to build a Catholic elementary school in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.

Deemed to be the largest service project in the history of the board, the pilgrimage is more than simply fundraising, says Dr. Paul Beaudette, Program Leader for Religion and Family Life; the walk provides an opportunity for students to learn about social justice issues in the Developing South, particularly those around the imbalance of wealth.

“Much of our wealth, directly or indirectly, comes to us at the expense of the poor South – three-quarters of the people in our world who live on only twenty percent of the world’s wealth and resources,” says Beaudette.

“By participating in the pilgrimage, students have an opportunity to do something for the poor in our world and to share with them some of our wealth.”

The activity also seeks to raise students’ awareness about the injustice of world hunger and inadequate health care, shelter and education.

“Four thousand people marching along city streets to raise money and public awareness around Third World poverty makes a very powerful statement in our community,” say Pilgrimage Co-chairs Gino Pizzoferrato and Linda Fama.

“As a Catholic community, the pilgrimage gives us the opportunity to do what the Lord asks of us: to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).”

The pilgrimage will begin with a Mass at Cathedral High School at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday October 19, 2014. Afterwards, students will set out on an 8-kilometre walk up the Wentworth escarpment rail trail to St. Anthony Daniel Catholic Elementary School, where buses will be waiting to shuttle them back to their respective schools.

Funds from the pilgrimage will be donated to ADESJO (Association for the Development of San José de Ocoa) for the construction of schools, homes, hospitals, roads and irrigation systems; St. Gabriel’s Parish in Beau Séjour, Haiti for building projects and the purchase of medical supplies; Catholic Dioceses of Southwestern Uganda for school supplies; the Holy Child Association; the Development and Peace Emergency Appeal Fund; and, this year as well, the Diocese of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka to help with the construction of a Catholic Elementary School.

Donations are always welcome and can dropped off at any Hamilton Catholic school or at the Father Kennedy Catholic Education Centre at 90 Mulberry Street in downtown Hamilton. Tax receipts will be issued for amounts over $25.

For more information, please contact Kim Bullard at 905-525-2930, Ext. 2145.

Watch the student made Pilgrimage Teaser attached to this article!

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Pilgrimage Schedule – October 19, 2014

10:30-11:00 am
Registration – Cathedral High School

11:00 am-12:30 pm
Eucharistic Liturgy at Cathedral High School

12:30-2:00 pm
Walk from Cathedral along Rail Trail to St. Anthony Daniel

2:00-3:00 pm
Closing Social and Final Blessing at St. Anthony Daniel School

3:00 pm
Departure – Bus transportation to original pick up location

Pilgrimage Route

- Start at Cathedral High School
- Walk southbound along Wentworth Street toward Rail Trail
- Enter Rail Trail at Wentworth Street
- Walk along Rail Trail to St. Anthony Daniel Catholic Elementary School
- Marshals and posted signs will direct participants to the Closing Social and Final Blessing

Total: 8 kilometres
Approximate time to walk is one hour