GREEN BAY — After watching “The Way,” a 2011 movie that chronicles a father’s journey by foot along Spain’s 500-mile-long El Camino de Santiago, Fr. Andrew Kurz had an idea. Why not offer a walking pilgrimage here in Wisconsin?
After months of prayer, consultation and planning, Fr. Kurz, administrator of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Humboldt and St. Joseph Parish in Champion, decided to map out and create his own walking pilgrimage from one Marian shrine (the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion) to another (the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Hubertus). It’s his hope that he can ignite a walking pilgrimage movement in this country.
Fr. Andrew Kurz, administrator of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Humboldt and St. Joseph Parish in Champion, is pictured at Bruemmerville County Park near Algoma. The priest will begin a walking pilgrimage from Champion to Hubertus this Sunday.
Fr. Kurz will begin his walking pilgrimage this Sunday, Oct. 13, following a blessing by the Fathers of Mercy at the Champion shrine at 1 p.m. He will stop at churches and a monastery along the way to celebrate daily Mass and plans to arrive at Holy Hill at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.
The 42-year-old priest — who grew up in Wauwatosa, was ordained for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and transferred to the Diocese of Green Bay in July 2012 — has been preparing for the 120-mile walk for months. He’s walked parts of the pilgrimage path, including from Pike Lake State Park to Holy Hill, a distance of eight and one-half miles, he said, and several jaunts from his parish in Humboldt to the shrine in Champion.