by SARAH SPARKS
In solidarity with migrants, the Auckland diocese held a five kilometre charity walk in the last days of Lent.
“Share the Journey” attracted a crowd of parishioners from as far away as the Hibiscus Coast and Puhoi to walk from the Pompallier Diocesan Centre in Ponsonby to the Auckland viaduct before returning to sign messages of hope.
Green cards, with donated pink dahlias, were given to the Al-Jamie mosque in Ponsonby, in soldarity after the Christchurch shootings.
The walk event was on the calendar from the start of the year and is a global initiative of Pope Francis. So far it has clocked up more than 177,000 kilometres by registered walkers all over the world.
The Auckland organiser and youth representative, Christina Tagaloa from St Pius X parish, Glen Innes, got behind the initiative as part of her role within the Auckland diocese Justice and Peace Commission.
She believes it’s a great cause and wants to follow the direction set by the Pope in the following statement: “No more young people are our leaders of tomorrow, but young people are the leaders of now.”
Ms Tagaloa was motivated by her own observations in her parish. She has a hope that young adults and young youth leaders will be influenced by the walk to engage in further action.
“In our parish there are a lot of migrated parishioners and refugees who are struggling. I just wanted to show we are one and our faith is universal. No matter what walks of life we have journeyed or experienced, because of our faith we see we are all equal amongst one another,” she said.
“It’s about justice, fairness and equal treatment. I saw how influential our Catholic faith is in this country — not only in prayer, but in showing our support.”
Motivated by peace, one of the walkers, Reena Goodman, came because she wanted to stand up for what she believed in. She brought a friend who was not from a Catholic parish.
“We have to get involved. If you don’t do something, you will be one of those who didn’t,” she said.
Her friend, Monica Manning, agreed.
“We are all on a journey together. This is a good opportunity to reflect on Christchurch.”
Organisers hope that the walk will be an annual event.