Fr. David Spencer, O. de M. will lead a the youth of Our Lady of Lourdes Church on an ancient pilgrimage which inspired the movie The Way. The pilgrimage goes to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. Legend has it that St. James' body was taken to Galicia by boat from Jerusalem and carried inland to where Santiago de Compostela is now located. The pilgrimage is believed by some to be one of three pilgrimages for which the sins of the pilgrim will be forgiven.
Here is all the details given by one of the youth:
Who are we?
We are the Youth of the Upper Room. Our group is based from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We gather once a week with our youth minister, Fr. David, to grow more deeply in our relationship with Christ and with one another. Our group began with 10 teenagers in December 2012; we've grown to nearly 40 teenagers, with an average meeting size of 25-30 teens. We've grown so much in this short period of time but we want to continue to grow even more in the ways of God and His Church. In the time we've been together, we've done several projects for the community around us: collecting 1000 jars of peanut butter and jam for the local foodbank, collecting money for the poor through our "battle of the sexes" penny campaign, sponsoring monthly Holy Hours for the entire community to come and pray and worship with us.
Fr. David proposed to us from the start the need for us to learn to walk with Christ on a daily basis. Through our weekly study of Sacred Scripture, looking at the Theology of the Body, and learning about the Church, we've struggled with this walk, but we have walked and continue to walk with Christ. We want to continue to walk with our God. Fr. David began an initiative to take 20 teens on the Way of St. James, and so last June we began our campaign to raise the necessary funds to make this happen. We will be walking from Leon to Santiago de Compostela -- spend two weeks walking together in prayer, daily Mass, fellowship with Christ and one another.
What We Need & What You Get
Since last June, the youth group has worked hard to raise nearly $54,000.00. We've done this through bake sales, donut sales, t-shirt sales, participating in the Magnificat Day, here in Philadelphia, and from the generosity of other people who believe in this project. We are $7000.00 away from the final goal. The youth who were going were only asked by Fr. David to pay $500.00 toward the cost of the trip, which is $3300, per person. Many of the teens come from families of 4,5,6, or 7 siblings, so $500 is much more doable. The Chaperones who come do not receive any one of the funds raised by the teens. All proceeds go toward the participating teenagers.
The youth have been praying for the benefactors since day 1. For any amount that you are able to give, we will carry your intentions with us on our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
In our world today, a relationship with Christ is essential to one's growth in the world. Teenagers, today, are daily bombarded with all sorts of negative influences; influences that many times lead them down paths which are unhealthy and destructive. The impact of this pilgrimage will be, by the grace of God, one that will change the lives of these teens. It will not simply be a gathering of teens, but will be a walk with one another and with Christ. It will be time of silence, prayer, fellowship with other teens on pilgrimage and, undoubtedly, other people in search of something or someone (namely, God).
Other Ways You Can Help
Please pray for the teenagers; in fact, pray for all young people throughout the world. That they may grow in love with Christ and His Church and forge that relationship with Him which is a relationship that cannot lead to destruction, but only to fulfillment, love, holiness, and peace.
If you'd like to contribute to this event just go to Help Our Catholic Youth Walk the Way
or by mail, please mail your donation to:
Our Lady of Lourdes Church -- Youth Group
1941 Wynnewood Rd. Philadelphia, PA. 19151