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Men hit the road to honour St Joseph on feast day

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Men from across Sydney rose to the physical and mental challenge of a pilgrimage from Menai to Brighton. PHOTO: Abel Gaspi

Sydney camino challenge takes 12 hours and 25km

Forty-five men from across Sydney braved cold conditions to take on the challenge to honour the patron saint of fathers and complete the inaugural Camino of St Joseph overnight pilgrimage for men.

Starting at 8pm on 30 April at Holy Family Parish in Menai, the men aged between 18 and 75 walked the 25 kilometres visiting parishes in Sutherland, Miranda, Sans Souci, Kogarah before arriving at Brighton-Le-Sands at 5.30am for Adoration, Mass and a piping hot breakfast.

An initiative of the Sydney Archdiocese Life, Marriage and Family Office and held on the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the 12-hour walk was held to honour St Joseph as a model for men while sparking spiritual curiosity.

“Some guys would think, ‘Ok, I can do that, it’s not too super Holy'” – Steven Buhagiar

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“We thought we would do something manly with a physical and mental challenge to it,” team leader Steven Buhagiar said.

“The actual Camino in Spain has had a lot of publicity even in the secular world, people go there and do the walk even if they aren’t religious, so we thought that would be a way in with the guys who would think ‘Ok, that’s something I can do that’s not too super Holy’.

“One of the guys in his 70s said he wanted to do the Camino in 2020 but couldn’t due to COVID and thought he might never get the opportunity again so why not do this. “We hoped to build solidarity among men walking, getting to know each other, while talking about men’s ministry as well as formation.

“At every stop we broke apart Pope Francis’ Patris Corde document, With a Father’s Heart and the priests in each parish were able to look at different parts of that exultation. We hope this will be the first of many more pilgrimages like this across the Sydney Archdiocese.”

The camino is one of several new initiatives of the Archdiocese for men.
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