I will be embarking on a 100km walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, on behalf of the Italian Mission in Enfield.
The Italian Mission has been offering spiritual and personal support to the Italian community of North London and Hertfordshire for over 60 years and we would like to support the Italian Mission by raising money to enable it to continue supporting the local community in every way that it does.
60 years ago, when Britain was still recovering after the Second World War, Italian migrants left their homes and families and travelled to the UK to help rebuild this country. Many young adults and families found themselves lost in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, unable to communicate and unable to continue following their faith.
This is where the Italian Mission stepped in to offer support, not only for religious purposes, but also as a base for the Italian community to meet and share their experiences and therefore enable them to learn how to integrate into the local community.
The influx of migrants that occurred in the 1950's and 60's is happening again now and this is why the Italian Mission in London is still as important today as it was back then. Thousands of new, young Italian migrants, and entire families, are arriving every year and the Italian Mission is still the important focal point for many of them to meet other Italians and to enable them to continue practicing their faith in their mother tongue.
The Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of Saint James, is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and dates back to the 9th century. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people set off on the journey to Santiago de Compostela, where it is believed the remains of St James are buried within the Cathedral.
There are many reasons that people give for undertaking the Camino: for spiritual or religious reasons, a chance to reflect on one's life; for a new challenge, a chance to test oneself physically or mentally; or simply to escape the hectic life we live in, an opportunity to disconnect and detox from all the noise and technology that surrounds us every day.
We each have our reason for wanting to walk the 100kms to Santiago de Compostela, but it is to celebrate the 60 years of the Italian Mission in Enfield that we hope you will join us in helping support the Italian Mission for many years to come.