A WALK TO REMEMBER

To the community gathered at St. Thomas More Church on the morning of April 14, Good Friday provided a chance to do something for the less fortunate. Over 300 people came out to embark on hours of walking to raise funds for, and increase awareness of, the homeless in society.

“The Walk for the Homeless has been running for more than 10 years at St. John’s,” said Victoria Migliore, one of the organizers of the event. “[It] was started as one of the ways the University as a family could show its concern for the poor.”

The walkers included students, faculty, alumni, and others.

“To me, this commemorates how Jesus felt on his walk to Gethsemane on Good Friday,” said Jeannette Awai, a sophomore, on why she decided to walk.

Siti Jones, a senior, had different reasons for participating.

“I wanted to contribute to a charitable cause and help out at the event,” Jones said.

Participants included veterans of the event like Robert Saveedra, who attended St. John’s Prep, and Kathy LaVache, from the St. John’s class of 74, who have been walking for six and 16 years, respectively.

On why she would choose to participate in the same event for 16 consecutive years, LaVache said: “It adds something to the meaning of Good Friday. I am in communion with the poor and that has made all the difference.”

The Good Friday walk is held annually, raising money every year to help the homeless. This year, it is estimated that more than $15,000 was raised.

“Living out the Vincentian mission means giving a voice to the voiceless,” Migliore said.

Participants usually range in number from 200 to 300. Money is raised through the cost of registering for the walk, sponsorships and donations. The entire sum that was raised through the event is eventually given to agencies which are in direct contact with the homeless and less fortunate.

The overcast weather did not hamper the success of the event. The walk began at St. Thomas More Church. The participants exited the campus through gate one, and after progressing down Union Turnpike, the group stopped at the American Martyrs Church. At the church, the walkers took a short break and a brief prayer service was held.

The group then made its way back to the St. John’s campus. The walk finally ended at Marillac Terrace with a meal of soup and bread marking the culmination of the event.