Una Share’s her Journey along the Camino Trail

Today, we are hearing a lovely reflection from one of CAFOD’s supporters, Una O’Kane, as she has taken on the wonderful opportunity of walking the Camino trail.

CAFOD Share the Journey

Una takes on the Camino trail for CAFOD’s Share the Journey Campaign

I started this Camino needing a few weeks away from the rat race of life, to appreciate every little bit of the beauty of my surroundings, to challenge myself emotionally and physically which I hoped would in turn enrich my spirituality.  It has exceeded these expectations but with it, I have been overwhelmed by the blessing of choice.

A few days ago a cousin suggested I add to the mileage for Share the Journey.  I wanted this to be very meaningful for me, as I hadn’t thought of it on the beginning.  It started out as a very personal venture, and still remains that way.  But the day after I received that message I committed to dedicating every kilometre to the refugees who have to make an unfathomable journey with no sense of choice.

I chose to walk this walk. To do so many kilometres in a day, and to walk in rain and blazing sunshine, which in turn have given me blisters, and aches and pains, in parts I didn’t know my body had. I chose to create that pain and walk with it. I chose the boots for my feet, and the walking sandals that would give them relief – deliberating over what would be best to protect my feet, and prevent any pain. I had that choice, and that time to research footwear and a suitable rucksack, and time to get my body used to it before starting my journey.

CAFOD Share the Journey

Appreciating our gifts and choices for CAFOD’s Share the Journey

I chose exactly what to take with me, packing everything I would need.  I chose to hike some coastal cliffs which took me to the edge of my fear, knowing it was only me, I had to get to the other side and with walking sticks to support me.  And a fellow pilgrim who gave me encouragement and showed unlimited patience in keeping me together.  I chose when to go, which suited well in the job I’m fortunate to have, with the holidays I’m so lucky to choose what to do with, as I wish.  My job also financed my journey.  I choose when to stop walking each day, based on where I can sleep.

Each day is a lottery to get a bed for the night, but there are always options if I don’t get my first or second choice.  I still get a safe and secure place to sleep each night.  I choose when to stop, when to eat and what to eat.  I choose when to go home and when I get home, I know exactly what I’m going to – the home I chose for myself.  I was overwhelmed by the stories of child refugees when we were reflecting on Share the Journey in school.  But in doing my journey, every challenge has been recompensed by the fact that everything is my choice and it is a gift.  For everyone that doesn’t have a choice and needs to travel in unimaginable ways, with no warning, little by way of food, security and clothing, and with children, elderly or sick people, with no definite place to go to, or how survival will happen when there, I think of you with every niggle or difficulty I face.  I wish you safety and security – without the need to leave the place you call ‘home’.  And I hope for a time when everyone has the gift of choice.

People from across England and Wales have been walking around the world with us as part of our Share the Journey campaign.  We are now on our fifth lap!  If you still haven’t logged your walk or signed your Share the Journey action card, there is still time! By walking you will send a powerful message to world leaders that they too need to step up and protect the rights of people on the move.

CAFOD Share the Journey

The start of Una’s Share the Journey walk along the Camino


St Anne’s, Overbury Street, Shares the Journey!

On Sunday 1st July, members of St Anne’s parish Shared the Journey with a walk and picnic in the park. 50 people walked round the park, rounding up a dedicated week of walking from parishioners, who have walked a total of 430 miles! The parish had walkers of all ages taking part, with 15 children and lots of families joining in the picnic, and one 87yr old parishioner walking an amazing total of 10 miles during the week! What a fantastic effort.

Their fantastic effort adds to our CAFOD total miles, which at the moment is over 92,000 miles!

CAFOD supporter, Anne Marie, said, “We had a really good response from 50 people. We decided the best option would be to invite our parishioners to come together for a picnic after mass in Sefton Park before setting off on our walks, where we left it up to the individual how far they chose to walk. Some did half a mile, others did the whole 2.4 mile distance of the park. Those who could not join us for the walk took a prayer card and made their own pilgrimages, adding lots of extra miles to our total too. We were blessed with the weather and we didn’t need an excuse to have a picnic, it was a great event to bring our parish community together and show our support for refugees and migrants”.

CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator, Emily McIndoe, said, “It’s so wonderful to see so many people of all ages joining together to share their support for refugees and the Share the Journey campaign. What a wonderful event!”


Churches Together in Formby Join Together in a Walk around the World

Back in September 2017, Pope Francis urged ctf1Catholics across the world to come together to respond to the ongoing refugee crisis with compassion and call on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move.

Incredibly, we have already walked three times around the world, and are now aiming to walk a fourth time around to send a strong message of support for refugees to Theresa May and the UN.


Churches Together in Formby have Shared the Journey by organising a walk round Duke Street Park on Saturday 7th July. Together, the parishes of Our Lady of Compassion, St Jerome’s and St Anne’s Freshfields walked a total of 58 miles that will contribute to our efforts to walk a third time around the world in solidarity with refugees and migrants.

They have also signed campaign cards to petition Theresa May to ensure that the UK stands up for human dignity at the UN discussions of refugees later this year.

CAFOD volunteer, Siobhan, said ctf3“I got involved with Share the Journey because I hope that should we ever find ourselves in such awful conditions that we need to flee our homes that others would help and welcome us. It’s not that long ago that Liverpool kids were evacuated to the likes of Wales during WWII. My dad was amongst them. What would we have done had the families in Wales not took our children in during those war-torn years of bombings?”

“It was lovely to see our own parishioners from Our Lady’s meeting up with parishioners from a number of Formby churches including St Jeromes, St Anne’s, Holy Trinity and the Methodist church. Pope Francis is an inspirational gentleman who is touching the hearts of many people.”

CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator, Ged Edwards, said, “This is a fantastic achievement, especially just before an England match! It’s wonderful to see the churches in Formby coming together in this way and supporting this fantastic campaign. Thanks to all concerned for the brilliant organisation.”


Find out more about the campaign.






St Anthony’s of Padua helps to Walk Round the World

That Parish of St Anthony of Padua in Mossley Hill have been hard at work responding to Pope Francis’ call to respond with compassion to the refugee crisis and to Share the Journey.

AoP124 members of the parish joined together in a walk around the church grounds, adding 7 miles to the CAFOD total, which now consists of over 85,000 miles!!

They carried the Lampedusa Cross with them, and listened to a talk on the importance of the cross and its symbolism as part of their parish event. After mass CAFOD supporters held a card signing, encouraging members of the parish to sign the petition asking Theresa May to ensure that the UK takes a leading role in the UN refugees negotiations later this year.

CAFOD volunteer, Kath Lydon, said, “24 people took place in a prayerful walk in the church and grounds which has added 7 miles to the goal of walking around the world.  We were well supported by three members of the Franciscan community, who took part in the walk.

CAFOD Campaign Volunteer Coordinator, Emily McIndoe said, “It’s wonderful to see how many members AoP2of the parish came together for a walk, even just a short walk like this makes such a difference to the campaign! It’s also great to hear how Kath and the rest of the parish incorporated the Lampedusa cross into their campaign event – just having the cross as a physical reminder of why this campaign is so important sends a powerful message in itself. Fantastic work!”

Find out more about how you can Share the Journey.



Croxteth and Walton Pastoral Area Walk Around the World

Congratulations to members of Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Swithin, Holy Name and Our Lady of St Philomena, and St Teresa’s who braved the heat to Share the Journey around Croxteth Park! It was fantastic to see churches within the pastoral area of Croxteth and Walton to come together and organise such a successful first event working together.

8 participants walked over 40 miles… a fantastic contribution to our CAFOD totaliser!

7 altar servers from Our Lady Queen of Martyrs also got involved with the campaign, each walking 100 steps around the church garden and car park before mass, with other members of the parish completing individual walks to add to the total mileage. Every step that’s a step of solidarity is a welcome addition to our campaign aim of walking around the world!

CAFOD Volunteer, Barry Kirby, said “The day itself was fine weather wise, hot maybe, but much of the walk was in the shade. Regular stops and prayers did help and everyone completed the nearly 5 mile walk.”

CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator, Colette Byrne, said “It’s so wonderful to see CAFOD Parish Volunteers working with their neighbouring parishes, joining forces to show solidarity with refugees.  It really gave the volunteers a boost to see other CAFOD representatives and it was a great opportunity for the Pastoral Area to come together.  Let’s hope there will be more opportunities like this in the future!”