.- Edward Thomas Coll, who recently completed a 5,000 mile walk around the northeastern U.S., calling for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, is now walking his way to New York City, in an effort to inspire priests and encourage prayer for them. Coll, who has run for Governor of Connecticut and for president, told the Connecticut Post that he thinks “one of the reasons we're not getting more priests is that too many of the laity are not helping."
It’s his hope to wake them up.
Coll is calling for Catholic families to encourage their sons to look into the priesthood. He would also like to see prayer allowed back in public schools and wants people, as the Post reported, “to turn off the television and open up the Bible.”
“I’m not an armchair activist” he said, referring to both his political campaigns, which he said were a way to get poverty into the public discussion, and to his call to start walking.
According to the Post, Coll expects the latest trek, which he started Thursday, to last about a week given the hot weather and his 3mph speed. Around his neck, he carries a large sign which reads, "Prayer Walk for Priests Honk, Wave, Pray."
In 1990, Coll says he had something of a vision, in which he saw the good and bad which had occurred in his own life and was occurring in the U.S.
"I don't know why I got this calling,” he says. “Nevertheless I got a very dramatic call. The message was, 'Do something.'“
That “something” led to the 13-year long 5,000 mile walk which he said was aimed at getting people’s attention.
Coll says that his mission for priests has not been deterred by the priestly sexual abuse scandal, which he believes is not as widespread as people think.
He told the Post that he thought it unfortunate that so much of the good work that priests do simply does not get out into the press.