John Dos Santos Walks 220 Miles for HCHC
Parents of Hellenic College Holy Cross students are a proud group of people–proud of their children and of the choice they made in deciding to enroll here. John Dos Santos, father of Hellenic College sophomore Niko and freshman Ariana, is no exception, but he is unique in the school’s long history for the incredible way he has demonstrated his pride and support.
On August 31, Mr. Dos Santos set off on foot from his church, Holy Trinity in New Rochelle, New York, on an epic walk of 220 miles to raise funds for and awareness of our school, where he arrived to a hero’s welcome on September 13, the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, having raised $35,000 in donations.
Here is an account of the journey in his own words:
My goal was to walk ten hours a day, mostly along the Boston Post Road, because it has the amenities I needed, like places to eat and stay. I had trained for and expected to cover twenty miles a day, but the first day ended up being about five miles longer and extremely hilly. That was actually the toughest day.
After that, most of the surprises were good ones, first and foremost the unbelievable people I met throughout the journey–everyone from the innkeepers to a homeless man named David. I found him eating out of a garbage can in New London, Connecticut. I tried to offer him money for a meal, but he refused, saying that God would provide for him. After about a twenty-minute conversation, he shook my hand, did his cross, and thanked me for treating him like a human being. It really made me feel like I’d done something to touch another person that day.
I am so happy that I had a chance to raise some resources for the school and am very hopeful that we also raised awareness that will result in increased enrollment. If everyone does just a little, together we can achieve astronomical success. HCHC students will be the future clergy and lay leaders that the Church and our society need, so we need to support the school that prepares them for lives of service in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Besides thanking everyone who contributed, I want to thank His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios for the most heartwarming reception that anyone could imagine when I finally arrived on campus. It truly brought tears to my eyes. I am also very grateful to His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane and my pastor, Fr. Nicholas Anctil–who was there at the beginning and the end of my walk–for allowing me the opportunity to serve our Church.