This man, Gordon Celendar, walked 1450 miles from Dublin to Rome to raise money for a crisis pregnancy center called "Gianna Care,” which gives woman an alternative option to abortion. The center offers trained medical help to women in the Dublin area experiencing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, even offering free ultrasound scans so the women can see the new life inside them.
Celendar called the pilgrimage his Walk-4-Life, and he fund-raised close to 700 euros in his two months of walking, mostly in France, Switzerland and Italy.
He averaged 26 miles a day along the historic Via Francigena path he took for the past 62 days. The route traditionally begins in Canterbury and ends in Rome, with trail markers along the way to guide participants.
"It was an inspiration I got last Advent to do a Walk-4-Life to try to generate a greater sensitivity to the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. So I walked for pregnant mothers, I walked for babies, I walked for all governments in the world.”
His goal, through fasting and prayer during the pilgrimage, is to influence legislation that is being passed throughout the world. He especially hopes that in the midst of this Jubilee Year of Mercy, politicians will be merciful toward the unborn.
"I think the pro-life cause is one of the most important causes in the Church. But it has to be expressed, the prolife view, with a sensitivity to the fact that if you don't grow up in a home or in a situation where the faith is really strongly brought into your life, it's easy to become lukewarm or perhaps confused about issues that are perhaps very fundamental.”
Upon his return home to Dublin, he plans to continue to advocate for life and volunteer with "Gianna Care.” With this pilgrimage now in the books, he doesn't plan on stopping there and is talking of a possible pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year. It's a decision he will have to make after his feet and legs have had time to recuperate from this two-month journey.