Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 14 May |
The Feast of Saint Matthias
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Retired doctor walks Camino pilgrimage in own driveway, raises $15,000

walking

aroonroj.kul | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 04/29/20

This is an excellent way to stay healthy and reverent in isolation.

A retired Irish doctor is raising money for the charity Trócaire by completing a virtual portion of the Camino Francais. Martin McMullan, 57, will walk the length of his own driveway over and over to cover the distance, all the while following a map of the course to keep track of where he would be on the actual pilgrimage.

The Irish News reports that McMullan was forced to retire seven years ago due to a diagnosis of incurable blood cancer. In an effort to stay active, he joined his church’s ‘Rambling Retirees Walking Club,’ a walking group that travels all over Ireland and was planning a summer pilgrimage on the “Irish Camino,” which stretches around the Boyne Valley. When these plans were struck due to the world isolation, McMullan came up with the idea to go virtual. He told the news outlet:

“It was a throwaway comment during a Zoom call to my siblings, when I said `Instead of getting me a present for my birthday, I might do the next stage of the Camino on my driveway and you can sponsor me.'”

McMullan measured his driveway to find that five laps roughly equaled a mile and then he began plotting his virtual course. He said that he will be covering the portion of the Camino from Logrono to Burgos and expects to walk 30km per day. The Belfast Telegraph notes that in order to lend a bit of authenticity, his wife will run a virtual cafe when he reaches the distance where his rest stops should be. He told them:

“I know the scenery might be a little different, and probably repetitive, but I want to make this as close as possible to the real thing. If it rains, it rains, I’ll just keep on walking.”

As is tradition for pilgrims on the Camino, McMullan has chosen a charity to raise money for through his efforts. He started a fundraiser with the goal of supporting the Irish charity Trócaire with £500, but his story has drawn generous parties to donate over £12,000 (almost $15,000) at the time this article was written. He wrote on the fundraiser page:

I realize that times for many are difficult and you may not be in a position to donate. I totally understand. I intend to match the first £100 of donations myself as obviously I am saving money on airfares etc!!

The fundraiser is still open for more donations. If you’d like to make a contribution, visit the fundraiser page, where McMullan has promised to leave updates after each day of his virtual adventure.

Tags:
CoronavirusIrelandPilgrimages
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
HOUSE OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA
Bret Thoman, OFS
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Catherine of Siena
4
PHILIPPINES CHURCH
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
5
ZMARTWYCHWSTANIE
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
6
ELDER
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
A hint of the mystery of God’s love
7
MARY
Philip Kosloski
Why is Mary depicted standing on a snake?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.