From May to August, Father Johannes Schwarz will be hiking the Via Alpina Sacra, the longest pilgrimage route throughout the Alps that connects 8 countries and visits more than 200 of the most beautiful, oldest, and significant Catholic shrines, churches, monasteries, and other places of pilgrimage.
His grueling trek is 2,550 miles long with over 600,000 vertical feet of elevation change. It will start at the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia in Italy, and end at one of the oldest monastic settlements on the island of Saint-Honorat a mile off the shore of Cannes, France.
Why is Father Schwarz undergoing this pilgrimage? He wants to document the entire journey along the way to share with the world the rich history of the places he visits and what they have to offer about the Faith.
“I want to tell the story of these places – their art, and what they teach about the faith. Think of it like a poor man’s Bishop Barron. An ‘Alpine Catholicism’ series with a priest worse looking, worse smelling, badly dressed, sharing less deep thoughts, possibly complaining about a sheepdog attack.”
Father Schwarz is asking for people to submit their prayer intentions on his website, and each request will be assigned a section of the trail.
“In case you decide to leave your email, you will be notified when I get to that particular section of the trail, so you can join in the prayers and maybe you can even attend Mass that day. So, regardless of how many miles might be between us, in Christ and His Sacrifice we are united.”
Along the way Father Schwarz will deliver over 120 prepared homilies at various points on journey. He says his homilies, and taking prayer requests, is a “way to exercise my priestly office, to offer up the hardship and difficulties for the person I am praying for.”
Along the way he will be posting videos on his YouTube channel (in German, but English videos are a possibility for the future) and be making posts on his Instagram page. His journey begins on May 15th, and he asks for your prayers: “the hope is that one or two people will benefit from my suffering.”
Read more about Father Schwarz’ journey on his website at 4kmh.com where you can submit prayer requests, stay updated as he treks across the alps on his Instagram page, and watch his introduction video below: