By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Franciscan friar is cycling hundreds of miles on a pilgrimage to help the poor. His latest stop is Philadelphia. Eyewitness News anchor Ukee Washington got a chance to meet the brother behind this Brotherly Love story.
Brother Shamus, who was born Shamus McGrenra, rolled into Philadelphia this week on a wheel and a prayer.
The Franciscan friar, who grew up in Philadelphia and now lives in western Pennsylvania, hopes to raise $35,000 for the poor by cycling more than 500 miles from Pittsburgh to New York City.
“I have always loved to cycle, and this is one of my ways of connecting what I love to help out those less fortunate,” he said.
Brother Shamus started biking for charity in 2011. It’s hard to believe he is 68 years old. It’s harder to believe he has stage 4 colon cancer. He remembers being diagnosed two years ago.
“‘Doc,’ I said, ‘You have the wrong file. I never drank, never smoked, never took drugs,'” Brother Shamus said.
He has endured surgery and years of chemotherapy and radiation. He says his faith helps keep his wheels moving.
“Does Satan ever figure into the picture and say, ‘What are you doing? You’ve got to stop. You’ve got to stop,'” asked Eyewitness News anchor Ukee Washington. “How do you fight that?”
“About every other three seconds,” said Brother Shamus with a laugh. “I just ask the good Lord to overcome.”
In all, Brother Shamus has raised $100,000 for Dorothy Day Outreach Centers.
“I want to try to do the best I can with the time that I have,” Brother Shamus said.
He has met that challenge and then some.
“Well, I hope so,” Brother Shamus said.
Brother Shamus hopes to wrap the two-week bike trip this weekend.
To donate, go to https://francis.edu/brother-shamus-charity-ride/