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From grief to hope on the Camino

Daniel Lynch, a parishioner of Moyross has just returned from leading the parish pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It was his lifeline after the tragic death of his partner Mark last year.

The 23-year-old was tortured by grief: “I had a suicidal mind and there was no getting me out of it.” Mark was run over by a lorry after Gardaí told him to go off in the direction of a dual carriageway, when a fight broke out at a hotel where he and Daniel were staying. Parish priest Tony O’Riordan SJ promised that the pilgrimage walk in Spain would be good for Daniel and it took several prompts to convince him. However his doubts were cast aside when he connected with the group of nineteen: “they were all so nice and each had their own story to tell.”

The pilgrims walked together and they also spent an hour on their own, “The Camino brought me back to who I was and my mind was clear, a big thanks goes to Tony.” Daniel was the only one not to experience blisters and he helped boost the group with his energy and positive attitude. He remembers fondly when each person received a list of good things about themselves towards the end of the trip which he still reads today. “It definitely was a spiritual experience for me and I prayed a lot.”

Daniel now looks forward to leading a new Camino group this month: “I said I’ll definitely do it, although I’ll have nothing to think about this time,” he jokes. “Hopefully next year I’ll walk 500 miles by myself from France.” Daniel also sees Tony O’Riordan SJ nearly every day through his work as an Aftercare Worker at Corpus Christi school: “I wouldn’t have expected to be friends with a priest,” he reflects.

“Everything is going good now. The Camino was the best experience of my life, so far,” he concludes.