VANCOUVER, May 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – That may look like Pierce Brosnan in a pro-life t-shirt, but it’s not. It’s John Paul Meenan, a professor at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, the Catholic college in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, who has chosen to join the Crossroads walk across Canada to spread the pro-life message. The team of 11 walkers is made up of eight of his former students, including one Michael Hayden who is this year’s walk leader.
These 11 pro-life apostles are crossing the country on foot, stopping to speak in churches and praying in front of abortion centres along the way to spread the pro-life message to all who will hear.
They all arrived safe and sound in Vancouver BC on Friday, where they were greeted by sunny skies and mountain vistas. The day was filled with various activities, from prepping the support RV and stocking up on supplies to receiving training in pro-life apologetics.
Saturday was an initiation by fire as various members of the team spoke at five Vancouver churches after receiving the blessing of Vancouver Archbishop Michael J. Miller. Saturday also found the walkers participating in a prayer chain outside a local abortion mill.
“At the abortuary we had a beautiful experience among the many negative responses, driving home the spiritual nature of our journey and the protection that the Virgin Mary has over us,” relates walk leader Hayden. “A small child was being carried by her mother past us when she asked her mommy for something, the mother came over and asked us if the child could kiss the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe which we carry with us everywhere we go. This was a beautiful sign from God to give us courage.”
On Sunday the walkers gave their message at the Sunday services at those five churches.
Monday they began their walk from the beach on the UBC campus. As they began their trek they were accompanied by many local supporters.
LifeSiteNews will be following Crossroads Canada throughout their walk and we will get to know these 11 apostles for life and what motivates them to sacrifice themselves and their summer for life.
The walkers carry with them a book of prayer intentions and have asked that if there are any prayer intentions for them to ‘carry’ they be sent to walk leader Michael Hayden through LifeSiteNews (click here).
While many can envision the motivations that would drive college youth to undertake a cross-Canada walk for life, what about a professor? Here’s John Paul Meenan’s explanation:
In the midst of our end of year marking, and preparing for graduation at the end of May, I was offered a ride in the Crossroads RV with six other guys (all of them my students) across the U.S. of A. Well, I thought, I always wanted to see the northern U.S., so I hopped in. The trip leader, Mike Hayden, also invited me to do part of the walk across Canada once we reached Vancouver, and, I thought again, why not? More public witness to abortion is needed: Since the Supreme Court decision of 1988, Canada is the only western nation with no laws governing abortion. As a grave crime against God and man (particularly the little men and women in the womb), we need to keep abortion in the public eye, at least so people consider the implications of allowing our unborn children to be killed. The quiet yet visible, joyous yet sacrificial, mission of Crossroads appeals to me, and seems in line with John Paul II’s call for us to witness to the Gospel of Life. Daily Mass, prayer, rosaries, good discussions, lots of exercise, fresh air, all for the greatest of causes; who would not want to join the walk at some point? For every little inconvenience, every minute of lost sleep, every tired muscle, every yell of disapproval, we need just recall Our Lord’s promise: “What you do for the least of these little ones, you do for me.”
On Saturday and Sunday the group will be in Summerland BC churches and on Saturday at 10 am. will join local pro-lifers in prayer outside the Kelowna abortion mill.
The Canada Crossroads walkers are blogging their adventures here.