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  1. #1
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    Default Catholic Churches near the Appalachian Trail

    Hey everyone! As you may know, attending mass weekly is very important to Catholics, but can be hard to accomplish while hiking the Appalachian Trail. I am developing a website, Campanarius.com, that will help provide information on Catholic churches and mass times near the AT. The information contained on the website is crowd-sourced, meaning that anyone can contribute data on Catholic churches local to the trail. So how does it work?

    1. You research churches near the AT and submit via the web form on Campanarius.com. Anybody can do this- you don't have to be a hiker, just someone with basic internet searching skills and a desire to help hikers find a church!

    2. You and others access trail-ready data sheets on Campanarius.com that provide all the information you need to find the nearest Catholic church for Sunday mass!

    This is a community powered resource, so I appreciate any contribution to the knowledgebase that you can make!

  2. #2
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    Greyhound, I put in some leg work for you already and created a spreadsheet last year listing all of the Catholic Churches within walking/hitching distance of the AT. If the city is in bold font, it means the church is in the trail town. Here's the link:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzv...ew?usp=sharing
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 185 / Total miles: 801.67

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  3. #3
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    My "logical next step" was going to be contacting the churches and asking them if anyone in the parish would be interested in ministry to hikers, either offering showers/rides/food and then transportation to the church and back to the trail, or any combination of those... Your website would be a good place to coordinate that. The more professional the pitch, the better chance of a good reception.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 185 / Total miles: 801.67

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  4. #4
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    Sorry for blowing up your thread, but if you know someone who can create a bulletin insert for parishes to use, soliciting help for AT hiker ministry, connecting them to your website, that could be HUGELY successful. Give the volunteers a portal to input their "ministry information" with available services, phone numbers, etc. and whether they charge or allow freewill offerings.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 185 / Total miles: 801.67

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info, Greenlight! I agree- I think this would be a great opportunity to invite parishes to engage with the AT community. Once I have a list of contact info for churches on the trail, I'm hoping to contact them to provide some recommendations on how to increase their ministry to hikers.

  6. #6
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    I've finished compiling my list of Catholic churches in towns accessible to the Appalachian Trail and have updated them on Campanarius.com. If you're thru hiking the trail this year and want to go to Mass, feel free to make use of this resource. For each church, I've tried to provide the address, phone number, Mass, confession, and adoration times, as well as any services specifically catering to hikers. This info should be current as of 2017-2018, but I would encourage anyone using it to contact the churches themselves to confirm Mass times. A PDF format of the data sheets is available on the website, as well as a link to a Google map of all of the churches listed.

    While I have personally been to a few of these churches, most of them were found by looking at church websites, masstimes.org, online bulletins, etc. Please let me know if you find any inaccurate information, have any recommendations, or if you know of any other Catholic churches that should be on the list. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    P.S. I found 89 Catholic churches located in trail towns from Georgia to Maine. It's pretty interesting to see the distribution mapped out- they are definitely more sparse in the South!

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    One idea that comes from my El Camino journey, if the AT is not just a hike but a pilgrimage for a person, which is certainly can be, to get a official church letter to present along the way to various churches. On El Camino there is usually better recognition by certain churches and monasteries that you are really on such a pilgrimage as opposed to the hoards of 'hikers' or semi-noncatholic pilgrims. With such a letter you may get special privilege or invited to certain ceremonies including prayer for you and your journey.

  9. #9
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    Whenever I travel around the country I use masstimes.org. Just type in city name or zip codeand it will show locations of Catholic churches in that area.

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