SOMEWHERE on the prairies, June 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canada Crossroads pro-life walkers have made it through the Rocky Mountains and are now wending their way across the vast expanse of the Canadian plains, sharing their message of life.
Walk leader Michael Hayden, who participated on the walk last year as well, said the first two weeks of the journey through British Columbia were filled with beauty and graces, but also with physical hardship and serious mishaps.
“It has been hard getting into the swing of walking 25-40 kilometers a day,” Michael wrote on the blog where team members post periodic updates of their experiences.
“Many of the members of our team are blistered and sore and two of them have blown out their knees, but like true heroes they continue on without complaint. … God’s grace is with us and is driving us on with the prayers of all of you and your support. We unite our suffering with the unborn who are suffering in their violent death of abortion.”
But it is not only physical hardships that are threatening to throw the team of young pro-lifers down. “Our work has not gone unnoticed by the old devil downstairs!” said Michael. “Our RV is continuously in need of small repairs and our support vehicle was crashed into by another vehicle trying to switch lanes on our way to a parish - the same parish that we had such a hard time getting to last year.”
Hayden reports that the vehicle was totaled, but nobody was hurt. “All of these incidents can be very discouraging coupled with the exhaustion of our walk,” he said.
“And yet,” he continued, “it became clear to me WHY we have been getting so much heckling.” Hayden says that he found out that last year when the Crossroads team spoke at the church that they were traveling to when their car was hit, a girl heard the Crossroads talk and changed her mind about aborting her child. Now, said Hayden, “there are two known ‘Crossroads Canada Babies’ that the lord has saved through our work.”
The team’s daily routine involves walking in shifts through the night and day. They also attend daily Mass at the nearest parish.
The group walks for five days and then spends weekends praying in front of abortion clinics, visiting parishes to talk to youth groups and to drum up donations. The weekends also give blisters and sore muscles time to heal.
Team member John D’Agostino, a student at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Ontario, reflected on the time spent praying in front of abortion clinics, saying it “is an intense experience with the devil, as you can sense the evil lingering about the place.”
“I have mixed feelings about praying outside the abortuaries in the cities every weekend,” John said. “I of course want to, because we have to combat the evil of abortion and prayer is the most powerful weapon. It is often unpleasant because you know what is happening inside the building. Thinking of all the innocent lives being taken right in front of you is very emotional; it has brought me to the point of tears a few times.”
“On the other hand, there have been so many bright points on the walk,” John added. “The amount of encouragement and support we have received from hundreds of people along the way has been overwhelming.”
Team member Matthew Hatchen, also of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, summed up the guiding principles that increasingly motivate his effort as he walks and prays for life: love and sacrifice.
“This is my first time I can truly say I am beginning to ‘get’ what sacrifice and love means,” Matthew said.
“It is a struggle at times, but the sacrifice is worth it. That is what Crossroads is all about: Love and Sacrifice. One cannot truly love unless they sacrifice themselves to others. One cannot truly sacrifice unless they love those they are sacrificing themselves for. Am I truly sacrificing myself for the mothers of the unborn if I hate them? Am I truly loving the unborn if I do not sacrifice myself to them?”
“Please continue to walk with us in your prayers. Your spiritual journey with us makes our walk possible,” Matthew concluded.
The Canada Crossroads walkers are blogging their adventures here.
Anyone wishing to donate toward the pro-life walkers’ expenses can do so online at www.crossroadswalk.org
by phone at 1-800-353-8817
or by mailing a cheque made out to Crossroads Pro Life to:
PO Box 2219
Columbia, MD 21045