Confession marathon – 95-year-old priest walked three miles while hearing confessions
During a recent “Penitential Walk” in Brazil, Friar Roberto, a 95-year-old Capuchin priest, walked more than three-and-a-half miles while hearing confessions. Over 30,000 people took part in the five mile walk in the northeast Brazilian Archdioceses of Fortaleza and Salvador de Bahia.
More than 30,000 people walked five miles in the “Penitential Walk” of Salvador de Bahia, many of them performing penitential acts such as walking barefoot and carrying small crosses. A large cross was carried during the walk in Fortaleza to recall that Christ carried on his shoulders the weight of all humanity to redeem it.
One participant commented on social media: “It was one of most beautiful moments I saw today. That example of faith, love and fidelity for the things of God, which is what Friar Roberto showed us today, was a true proof of the presence of God in his heart. We’ve got to follow his example!”
The Capuchin priest was born on September 10, 1920, in the city of Maracanaú (Ceará State). He was baptized with the name Juari Magalhães de Sousa. At the age of 14, he entered the Capuchin monastery and changed his name to Friar Roberto. He was ordained in 1944 and has been a priest for 71 years.
Archbishop Gilson Andrade of Salvador de Bahia, one of the participating dioceses, said the Penitential Walk “is a gesture that we all make in common as the archdiocese in this time in which the Church remembers that her journey is also marked by our sins, the sins of the faithful”.
“We pray together as a Church for others because we need to be freed from our sins with the grace of God and the prayers of our brothers and sisters. At the same time it represents a manifestation of our unity around our pastors,” the archbishop added.