'Hear Our Cry' March
4:34 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Deacon On Walk To Washington Navigates Hilly Pennsylvania

The Reverend Lou Ness passed the halfway point on her journey to Washington D.C. This week, she passed through Pittsburgh and met with members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.  She started her walk April First from Shelter Care Ministries in Rockford where she's the executive director. Ness decided to make the trek after experiencing what she describes as a "spiritual call." 

For hundreds of miles, Ness was walking behind a cart that carried her food, phone and other necessities. She says the hilly landscape in Pennsylvania made it difficult to navigate the cart. She expects to solely use a backpack as she moves forward. Ness is expected to arrive in Washington D.C. in mid-June.

Ness being greeted by Bishop Dorsey McConnell on the steps of Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh
Credit Shelter Care Ministries

The terrain may have changed, but Ness says she has noticed similar problems with blight and joblessness in the rural communities she has passed through in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Each night, she arranges to stay at churches and homes. She is sometimes asked to talk with parishioners about her work in social service.  Other times, she has informal talks with residents about concerns they have about local poverty. 

Ness talks about the difficulties of walking in Pennsylvania
Ness talks about making it to the halfway point of her walk from Rockford to Washington D.C.
Ness talks about having to get different shoes after experiencing swelling and blisters from constant walking
Ness talks about the realities of walking and meeting with people compared to her expectations