Retiree set for world pilgrimage on bike
Intrepid traveller hopes to visit churches in at least 54 countries
Albert Chen says his tour, which begins in mid-March, will see him visit churches in at least 54 countries.
Yesterday, he received a blessing from Bishop Martin Su Yao-wen of Taichung ahead of his trip at the curia office.
“It will not be easy at this age … but I believe God’s grace will help me accomplish the goal,” Chen said.
Chen took up cycling after being diagnosed with a tumor in 2007.
While in hospital waiting for surgery, he felt “a call to do something meaningful” so he began cycling around Taiwan the following year.
His interest in environmental causes took hold when he rode with university students to oppose the building of a petrochemical plant on wetlands in 2010.
That same year, he rode 4,250 kilometers to visit nearly 400 churches as well as Catholic-run schools, hospitals and religious congregations.
This year, Chen will ride first to mainland China, then to West Asia and Western Europe. He estimates this leg of his trip will take him 214 days and cover 14,000 kilometers.
He plans to ride the Americas and Oceania in 2013, Southeast Asia and South Asia in 2014 and through Africa, Northern and Eastern Europe in 2015.
So far Chen has raised only one-fifth of the NT$1 million (US$34,000) needed for the first year of his tour, which is scheduled to start on March 17.
Taiwan bishop wants a halt to wetlands building
Seminar warns of nuclear threats
Taiwan biking pilgrims practice ’magis’ spirit
'It might sound unusual to talk about caste as being part of the church but it is the truth of our context'
Chinese security agency created to oversee the persecution of Falun Gong group is among those to be inspected
Filipinos mark 150 years since Redemptorist priests became custodians of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour icon
Myanmar's new term 'Muslims in Rakhine State' is debated and seen as controversial
State government rejects call for prohibition saying consumption is a 'matter of choice'