July 9, 2013 ( – While most college students spend their summer earning money for school, one group of young people have dedicated their entire summer to walking across various countries throughout the world to raise awareness about what they say is the “most important human rights issue of our day.”


The young people wear t-shirts with the words “PRO-LIFE” in large letters across the front, hoping to catch the attention – and, maybe even the hearts and minds of people they meet along the way.

Crossroads, founded in 1995, exists to help bring about a Culture of Life and defend the right to life of all unborn children. Young people get out the message by making pro-life pilgrimages across the U.S.A., Canada and now Ireland, Spain, and Australia. caught up with Ian Gallagher, 23, leader of the team currently trekking across Canada, to gain his perspective about why someone would give up their summer to walk mile after mile across vast expanses of lonely wilderness on behalf of the unborn. 


Gallagher has studied three years at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, ON, and one year at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, ON. He plans to return to Redeemer this fall to utilize its study-abroad program at Oxford where he intends to major in history.

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LSN: What made you want to embark on this walk across Canada?

Gallagher: I have been interested in Crossroads the past few years while attending Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, from which many of the walkers come. However, I originally planned to work this summer at home in Ottawa, but it fell through. Not knowing quite what I was going to do, I considered going out to work in the Alberta oil patch. Then I talked to a friend (who is on our team) about doing Crossroads Canada. 

On my way home from school after exams, I had a small St. Joseph statue in my pocket, and it happened to be the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. He truly influenced my decision to go on the walk this summer. Soon after I got home I started preparing, and here I am, half-way done now! 

I always have wanted to do much more for the pro-life movement, and this happened to be the year in which the opportunity presented itself. 

How does such a walk accomplish something for the unborn?

Currently, the political climate in Canada is not allowing for fruitful debate on abortion, the most important human rights issue of our day. Hence our focus must be on changing our culture of death through our witness and prayers. This is exactly the mission of Crossroads. 

We know we are making an impact in people’s lives. While walking, our t-shirts boldly emblazoned with the words “PRO-LIFE” show people what we are about. This could stoke some debate at the dinner table, or in the workplace. Anything which brings the abortion debate to people’s minds is a small victory for us. 

We also pray a great deal for an end to abortion, and we trust God will answer them just as he answers all other prayers according to His Will. 

What has been the hardest aspect of your journey thus far?

One would think that the hardest part of our journey is the opposition we face. But actually the hardest part of the journey is keeping our constant focus on our mission, which is to change hearts and save lives. 

The reason why it’s hard is due to the devil’s traps. He seeks always to stop us from our activities by causing us difficulties of all kinds. We feel the presence of evil constantly, whether while walking, driving, or praying in front of abortion clinics. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect?

The most rewarding aspect is the love that we receive from the many people we encounter on this mission. On weekends we stay with host families who have been incredibly generous to us, and we speak at churches to raise money to support our walk. The parishioners are so charitable and we always receive enough donations to pay the bills. We also meet many people on the road or in stores and restaurants who stop by and give us donations or offer us water on a hot day. We are always truly humbled by the kindness shown to us. 

All this love shown to us gives us great hope that the pro-life movement is getting stronger. We are confident that we will win this battle soon.

Where would you like to see Canada go on the abortion issue?

We believe we are making a difference by our witness, and our hope is that Canadians will wake up from their apathetic slumber and realize the truth about abortion. Once people start thinking and choosing to support the pro-life side, eventually legislation will reflect the opinion of the people. 

In time, our politicians will debate abortion and it will end. 

Have you witnessed the power of God at any point in your journey?

God has been with us the entire time. We pray individually and as a group all day and God has answered our petitions. One time we needed a boost for our RV, and there happened to be someone nearby to help us get back on the road. God has protected us from violent weather and has kept our team focused on our mission. 

We are confident that He will continue to answer our prayers according to His Will.