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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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5,000+ runners spread pro-life message across US

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, April 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The fifth annual LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay to "Remember the Unborn (Jeremiah 1:5)" recruited more than 5,500 participants from 29 nations who will cover 5,545 miles.

"The Relay is a redemptive journey," LIFE Runners coach and founder Dr. Pat Castle told LifeSiteNews. "The 'Abortion Hurts, God Heals' ministry united post-abortion mothers to complete south arm Relay legs that passed by two San Antonio abortion facilities where they paused to pray the LIFE Runners Creed."

This is the second year in a row that the pro-life ministry filled all 1,588 5K "legs" of the race, which literally criss-crosses the nation.

"The LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay is an incredible event that allows all who desire to be involved in the Pro-Life movement an avenue to peacefully spread this message of love and respect for all human life," Relay director and author of "Running with God A-Cross America" Jeff Grabosky told LifeSiteNews. "Since miles are also completed remotely, thousands of miles are covered in prayer all over the world in 'REMEMBER the Unborn' shirts. It is truly a beautiful example of people putting their faith in action!"

The LIFE Runner relay started Ash Wednesday at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; New York City's Brooklyn Bridge; the Canadian border near Neche, North Dakota; and Corpus Christi, Texas. The four arms of the Relay are currently moving through Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.  

"The A-Cross America Relay forms a true cross over our nation, with all four arms of the relay converging in Kansas City," Kansas City chapter leader T.D. Dorrell explained to LifeSiteNews in an email. "Kansas City is the lower 48's most centrally located big city."

Many pro-lifers participate from around the world, running a 5K "leg" of the race "remotely," in their hometowns. Each runner wears a LIFE jersey focusing on Jeremiah 1:5: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."

"This incredible show of pro-life teamwork and sacrifice to finish all 5,545 miles of the Relay is a powerful reminder that united we can have a mighty Pro-Life impact," Dr. Castle said. "Thanks to all LIFE Runners teammates who sacrifice to wear "REMEMBER The Unborn" jersey in public which encourages mothers and fathers, helping to save families from the death and destruction of abortion."

God willing, runners expect to make the "finish line" on Palm Sunday with a day filled with celebrations. Palm Sunday Mass is open to all at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Kansas, at 9 a.m, followed by a team blessing from Archbishop Joseph Naumann, himself a LIFE Runner.  

A celebration rally is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT at Macken Park in Kansas City, Missouri, with a free lunch for those who register. A ceremonial march of the final quarter mile to join all four "arms" of the cross-country relay is followed by a prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood in Leawood, Kansas. At 3 p.m., a 40 Days for Life closing rally at the Center for Women’s Health" abortuary in Overland Park, Kansas, is set.

"Even if you're not a LIFE Runner or haven't participated in the relay, we invite you to join us Palm Sunday in Kansas City to celebrate the gift of life God has given us!" Finish line events coordinator and Kansas City leader T.D. Dorrell told LifeSiteNews. "LIFE Runners are honored to have Archbishop Naumann bestow a blessing on the team. The Knights of Columbus of Holy Cross Parish is generously providing lunch. We are also thrilled to have Alli Donohue, the Archdiocesan pro-life consultant and new LIFE Runner join us for the finish line events."

Pro-lifers can still sign up to participate in the last week of the run, because each "leg" run can have more than one runner. The Finish Line Celebration Events on Palm Sunday are open to all. To sign up, click here.

"The awesome A-Cross America Relay continues to bring Pro-Life strength through unified faith in action, involving all ages," Dr. Castle told LifeSiteNews. "The north arm of the Relay passed through Sioux City, where the oldest LIFE Runner — 101 years old — resides and where 68 children at Sacred Heart Elementary school completed legs of the Relay."  

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