Marine Veteran to Hike the Camino de Santiago for Charity


This October 2022, U.S. Michigan native Philip Webb will begin the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from the Via de la Plata in western Spain. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage dates to the ninth century and is dedicated to the veneration of St. James the Apostle's tomb. The Via de la Plata, which runs from southern to northern Spain, is 1000 kilometers (621 miles) long and is considered the most arduous Camino route.


Philip is a retired machinist and a U.S. Marine veteran who served on expeditions in Panama, Southwest Asia, and the Adriatic Sea. He is a lifelong Catholic with a B.S. in History from Northern Michigan University (1997). With God's help, he aims to complete the walk on November 10th, the U.S. Marine Corps' 247th birthday. The forty-day pilgrimage will begin in Seville, Spain, at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the See and end in Galicia, Spain, at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. He will carry only the bare necessities in his old military backpack and stay in Albergues (pilgrim hostels).


Every mission necessitates unique motivation, and this one is no exception. While the historical pilgrimage is beautiful, the trek is dedicated to the rural children assisted by the missions of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), especially in Anolaima, Colombia, and Umuaka, Nigeria. Drug-related violence is the second leading cause of death in Colombia, trailing only cancer. In Nigeria, the infamous radical Islamic group Boko Haram has killed thousands of Christians. It is in these challenging locations that you will find FSSP Priests assisting students who are among the poorest who face these hardships daily.


The Fraternity runs a top-notch school in Anolaima that is known throughout Latin America. Classes are available for students in grades 1-11 and the focusing on intellectual and character development. The priests in Umuaka run a school and board 20 boys aged 7 to 15, covering their school fees, medical bills, and basic needs. In the developing world, 75% of poor families don’t buy their food; they grow it. With this in mind, the FSSP missions integrate agricultural education with academics, benefiting the entire community. Students not only learn basic farm skills, but they also pass these skills on to others. These skills lead to a steady income, allowing them to stay at home and build a community they can be proud of. People who lack these skills are more likely to end up living immoral lives on the streets, lured by crime and violence.


The Fraternity promotes human dignity, aiding one person at a time in breaking free from poverty. Farmers have benefited greatly from sustainable crops, and the missions grow coffee, cacao, fruits, vegetables, and various animals there is a Tilapia fish pond in Alolima. Philip's Camino is entirely self-funded, and he does not represent the FSSP. All funds raised will be donated to the general mission fund of the FSSP, with the goal of raising at least $15,000. Funds will be used for projects such as expanding a school in Colombia and assisting seasonal refugees in Nigeria during the monsoon season.

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He that hath mercy on the poor, lendeth to the Lord: and he will repay him.

(Proverbs 19:17 DRB)