A priest in Texas who has raised $2.2 million for the Church of the Holy Cross by hiking the ranks of his flock will be on the trail again, this time in South Dakota.
The “Hiker’s Journey” will begin in Sioux Falls on Aug. 10, and culminate in a trek through North Dakota on Sept. 16.
The journey is organized by Father Kevin R. McElroy, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Sioux Falls.
“I’ve always wanted to get out on the trails, and I just thought it would be fun to do it, so I decided to do this,” said Father McElroys father, Michael McElroe, who is also a former professional wrestler.
The journey will include the most challenging hikes in South America, including one called “the Pampas,” a 3,600-foot ascent through Bolivia and a 7,400-foot descent down a cliff to the base of the Elbrus mountain range in Colombia.
The trek will also take Father McElderry from the South Dakota border to the border of Mexico, and through Honduras to Mexico City, the capital of Honduras.
“The journey is a spiritual journey.
It’s about getting to know the people of the country,” Father McEllery said.
“I am really going to get to know people and meet their history.”
He is a regular visitor to the Catholic diocese in Sioux, and a regular guest at the Diocese Hall of Famer, Father Brian Smegielski.
“There’s a lot of great people who want to see this happen, and it’s not just me, it’s everybody,” Father Smeigielski said.
“It’s the first time for me to do a trip of this magnitude.
It is an honor to be on a mission like this, to raise the money for the church and the mission and to share with people that I love and respect what they are doing.”
In addition to Father McEpery, the Hiker’s Walk will feature the support of hundreds of people in the Dioceses of Sioux, Sioux Falls, Pecan Grove, Sioux City and Cannon Ball, and more than 50 groups across the country.
The “Hikers Journey” also includes many friends and family members of the McEpards.
Father McElroth said he hopes the hike will help to spread the word about the Church and the Catholic faith, as well as to raise money for charitable organizations.
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of doing.
It really shows you the power of the Catholic church, and you can do it,” he said.
Father Ritchie McElrney, who has been working with Father McLeary for more than a year, has set up a GoFundMe page for Father McLeod to raise funds for the trip.
“We’ve been working very closely with Father Kevin McElrow for several months and we’ve been talking to him daily, and the first step is to go to the Diaconate of Jesus Christ, where he lives in Sioux City,” said Ritchie, a longtime family friend and the executive director of the Diacircumcision of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“The Diaconal of Jesus is an office where priests and laypeople come together to pray and share the Gospel.”
Father McLeod has been in the diocese for 10 years, serving as priest at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sioux.
He said he plans to share the story of the hike on social media.
“Hiking is such an awesome way to share Jesus’ love with people,” Father Ritchie said.
The Diacon of Jesus was the first place he attended after leaving church.
“To share the joy of the Gospel with people is really a very important part of this journey,” Father McClesby said.