In my short time with Crossroads I have been amazed at the way God has opened doors for us to spread the Gospel of Life. From speaking to the assistant to the Minister for Health, James Reilly, in his constituency office in Swords, Dublin, to meeting people on streets and engaging with their views on Abortion and to even meeting Cardinal of Ireland Sean Brady.
The Cardinal called Crossroads Ireland personally to arrange a meeting and it was indeed a special and joyous occasion for all of us. I believe our meeting occurred because of the intercession of one of the Cardinal’s predecessors, as Archbishop of Armagh, Saint Oliver Plunkett whose Feast day we had recently celebrated and whose relics we had seen that morning in Dundalk. On our arrival the Cardinal greeted us individually and had a beautiful supper prepared for us. He was anxious to know where we were all from and how we got involved in Crossroads and Pro life work. He told us a little about his life as a priest and Bishop with a particular highlight being the recent election of Pope Francis. We discussed the current proposed legislation to introduce Abortion into Ireland, the confusion among many people on the issue and the whole influence of the media on the debate.
The Cardinal remarked about the Pro life T shirts we wear and the whole charism of witnessing and praying on the streets of Ireland for a Culture of Life. He encouraged us in our mission and to be real witnesses to Christ - proclaiming the Gospel of Life with hearts full of love and compassion for those we meet. The Cardinal was certainly a Fatherly figure and a most generous host as after Supper he went out of his way to show us various Icons, pictures and photos of historical and spiritual significance. He said a beautiful final prayer invoking the Holy Spirit and Our Lady’s Intercession and gave us his blessing.
Our meeting with the Cardinal inspired us all and was a clear manifestation of how important the work of Crossroads is not only in Ireland but throughout the world!- Séan McGee, Co. Galway
I came to Ireland for a summer course but booked extra free time to see the country. When I heard from a friend about Crossroads I decided to join out of a sense of duty to the Pro-Life cause. It has been a wonderful experience and the best way to see a country. I have enjoyed walking around the country, seeing many beautiful things. I have met many inspiring people and one of the most enjoyable things has been meeting people excited by the Pro-Life cause here – people who go out of their way to show support in various ways. This experience has inspired me to a greater degree to work for the Pro-Life culture.
-Maxwell White, age 25, California, USAread more
When I was considering joining Crossroads I had no idea how busy the Walk would be. IN all fairness, this was a walk around Ireland, set out over four weeks – fairly straightforward, no?
I soon learned this was not the case! I was to join the Walk one week in, beginning in Cork. Midnight the night before I get a call that the team would be in Dublin (!) AND Belfast! Random, no? This was when I realized how topsy-turvy my time on Crossroads would be from one day to the next. At that stage we were unsure of where we would end up, where we would be staying, etc…we only knew where we would be walking that day.
As such, you could say that Crossroads is run on God’s Providence. It taught me, and no doubt the other walkers in some way or other, how to trust in God’s will. Nearly every morning we woke up and squeezed ourselves into cars with our minimal belongings and food, at times not knowing where we would stay that night, or where our next meal would come from. Yet God provided all the time, and the generosity we met was amazing! Thank God for all the priests, parishoners, and families who met us and welcomed us to their parishes and homes! Without them our mission could not have continued. I suppose it taught us a lot about ourselves individually – Crossroads is a slice of humble pie!
Through the 4:30am starts, the miles of walking, the pouring rain and the sunburn, the craic was mighty. I was literally bent over laughing so often throughout my time, and I met such amazing people, it really brought home to me the joys of life and how precious it is! It IS worth protecting!
One of the recent days that sticks out for me was when I sat into the car after walking my shift with another walker, and was told we would drive an hour and a half to meet Cardinal Sean Brady for tea! Amazing, right? Well I suppose when it’s the last thing you expect after walking 5 miles, it is pretty cool! Later that night I found myself at a happy and prayerful prayer meeting in Ardee (thank you, guys!). It was a pretty random evening all right.
I have been caught up in the Pro-Life movement here in Ireland for so long, it has been good to get away from it all and experience a stress-free, news-free, and internet-free world in the name of witnessing for life!
It works out grand in the end!
-Kathryn Freney, age 18, Co. Mayoread more
Hey guys So so far we’ve finished half of our journey, we landed in Ballyshannon this morning after an early sunrise shift. We’ve had amazing host families along the way who have done so much for us and our journey wouldn’t be possible without them. I’ve got a feeling that Angie and I have just got the new theme song for this years crossroads, “One for the Road” especially the Nathan Carter version. “We’re all having fun with friends and we dont want this time to end” this line pretty much sums up the fun we are having as a group together and I’ve already planned my trip to America next year!!!! Our group are totally looking forward to the rally for life in Donegal this Saturday. Its amazing the amount of hard work we see around the country as wee pass through all the towns, it gives us the motivation to continue walking when we see all the people working their very hardest trying to keep the culture of life in Ireland. and welcoming us into their homes for breakfasts, dinners and night stays.read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tara O’Donnell
June 14, 2013 E-Mail: Ireland@crossroadswalk.org
www.crossroadswalk.ie Phone: 0 87 141 1593
YOUTH BEGIN 3rd ANNUAL PRO-LIFE WALK AROUND IRELAND
DUBLIN, IRELAND – Young people from across Ireland and America have begun a 4-week long, 1,000 km pro-life walk around Ireland. The group, known as Crossroads, is bringing the pro-life message to cities and towns across Ireland. They began in Dublin on 10 June and will pass through Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Derry & Belfast before returning to Dublin on 6 July to attend the 7th Annual All-Ireland Rally for Life.
This is the 3rd annual Crossroads pro-life walk around Ireland – there are also 6 other Crossroads walks in America, Canada, Australia, and Spain made up of young volunteers from those countries. Together these young people hope to build a Culture of Life as they walk to defend innocent baby boys and girls in the womb.
Crossroads began in 1995 in answer to Blessed John Paul II’s call at the 1993 World Youth Day to the youth of the world to build the Culture of Life and be a “light to the world.”
The major sponsor for the 3rd Annual Crossroads Ireland walk is the office of Family & Life, based in Dublin. (Please visit www.familyandlife.org and www.prolife.ie for more information). “We are delighted to be the major sponsor for the 3rd Annual Crossroads walk for life in Ireland,” said Patrick Carr of Family & Life. “The pro-life witness of these brave young people on Crossroads is needed, especially with the government threatening to legalize abortion on demand in Ireland. We will do all we can to assist these young people to reach out to others to share the pro-life message.” Crossroads is also partnering with Youth Defence to reach out to other young people as they walk this summer.
During the week, the young volunteers walk an average of 20 kilometers each per day. On the weekends they pray at local abortion referral centers and speak at local churches. Throughout the walk, the Crossroads volunteers distribute pro-life information and wear t-shirts with “PRO-LIFE” in big bold letters on the front that can be seen from a distance.
“I am walking this summer to be a witness to my country and to let my fellow Irish know that the legalization of abortion will harm women and children and devastate lives” said Tara O’ Donnell of Co. Donegal, the team leader of this year’s walk. “We will spend the next four weeks walking and reaching out to thousands of people with the pro-life message. Let’s keep Ireland abortion free!”read more
Day 7 of the crossroads pro life walk, Its Sunday and we have made our way back to Dublin as we need to change our rental cars.
Tonight we’ve been staying with the O’Driscoll family of Glasnevin. After a few cups of tea and a bite to eat we spent the night playing a game called fishbowl, a game that seemed loosely similar to charades led to hours of fun. Basically, 2 teams of 3 people took turns picking pieces of paper out of a bowl and with the aid of clues and miming, the other two members of the team would have to guess what was written on the paper, This led to hilarious confusion; mixing up ‘Table top’ with ‘Tayto’ and ‘Enda Kenny’ with ‘Gollum’.
Its been a light hearted night of relaxation to put a fine close to the first week of crossroads. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the O’Driscoll family for their warm hospitality.
“Do you hear the people sing?”
Life on the road is not easy. There are a few comforts that have particularly helped us adjust: The Les Mis soundtrack on constantly in the car and in our heads, smuggled peanut butter and jelly (jam depending on your nationality) sandwiches, but most of all, the hospitality and support of all the people we have met along the way. Our team has not yet walked a day alone. In every town so far local people have taken time out of their busy days to walk with us, even if just for a few minutes or a whole day or two. I expected to run into plenty of wonderful people on Crossroads, but I never expected to meet so many people willing to put their day-to-day lives on hold to walk and stand as witnesses for the lives of the unborn. These are crucial days in the pro-life movement in Ireland. Human life, sacred life, innocent life is at stake. The Irish people have heard the call and are answering it. People of all ages have joined us thus far from Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford. Although it is only a week into the walk, one thing has become very clear. The Irish people will not just let this horrendous crime enter without making a stand. Their voices must and will be heard. “Do you hear the people sing?”
-Angie Schutzread more
ALL IRELAND PRO-LIFE WALK
Summer 2013: 10th June – 7th July
Dates/Days - Towns/Cities
Start of Walk
10 June – Monday Dublin
11 June – Tuesday Wicklow
12 June – Wednesday Gorey
13 June – Thursday New Ross
14 June – Friday Lemybrien
15/16 June – Weekend CORK
17 June – Monday Youghal
18 June – Tuesday Cork
19 June – Wednesday Buttevant
20 June – Thursday Limerick
21 June – Friday Gort
22/23 June – Weekend GALWAY/LIMERICK
24 June – Monday Claregalway
25 June – Tuesday Knock
26 June – Wednesday Sligo
27 June – Thursday Ballyshannon
28 June – Friday Ballybofey/Stranorlar
29/30 June – Weekend DERRY/BELFAST
1 July – Monday Newtownstewart
2 July – Tuesday Markethill
3 July – Wednesday Dundalk
4 July – Thursday Drogheda
5 July – Friday Dublin
6-7 July – Weekend DUBLIN
Today was an interesting day…
We hit the road early in the morning, after the tremendous hospitality of the Johnstons in Warrenpoint.
We had arrived the evening before, weary and soggy from that days walk in the rain of Co. Down.. and yet, as we drove, even the weather could not take from the beauty of the Mourne and Cooley Mountains shrouded in misty rain in Carlingford Lough.
Well, it was a day for walking, and walk we did! We split into groups and turned heal on the busy, noisy roads of Co. Down. It wasn’t long before we had crossed the border into Co. Louth and left Northern Ireland behind us. Forty-one miles later we arrived in Drogheda.
That sums up today, and if it were as straight forward as that, well, life would be pretty bland would it not?
What you, dear reader, miss here are the little bits in between each mile.
Silly jokes, horrendous(ly funny) puns, card games, Jon’s fantastic stories, the three pm/’whenever you can’ slump in the van, Fr. Hillary’s stories of Oz, munching Oreos from the back of the van, and of course, getting locked in the toilet because the key broke in the lock- all of these make life in Crossroads interesting and memorable.
As a new-comer, I found myself in the past week part of a group of very different people from different parts of the world put together to walk the roads of Ireland in prayer to protect her unborn and vulnerable. How amazing is this! The majority of the group are non-Irish, and yet they are walking day-in, day-out to keep Ireland free from abortion. Praise God and His generosity!
As we start again tomorrow the final leg of the journey towards Dublin, I pray that the efforts of the team and their willingness to be instruments for God may bring abundant blessings upon them and all who saw their witness and bear fruit and that the dignity of life and human sexuality may be upheld in Ireland and in the world.
Upon reflection, amid pondering pauses in the rattling din of the minibus leaping over the harsh curves and lumps in the road toward Donegal, the Americans among us realized that this very well may be the first 4th of July spent out of the USA. It’s a little bit of a weird feeling, wanting to celebrate your country’s independence but then realizing that… you’re a long ways away. July 4th is just another day in Ireland. We couldn’t get fireworks, it’s not legal in the area, but we still wanted to make the day special, we just weren’t sure how. That day we visited the home of the Mannerings, two of which are on the walk with us. The sun was going down, shedding a golden hue over the view from the house, it was breathtaking. A large gaggle of us then trudged up a hill behind the house to reach a lake that rested behind it (I nearly died, weeks of walking doesn’t lend itself to prancing up a steep, large hill with sprightly exuberance). Upon reaching the lake, which was positively gorgeous, non of us were surprised when Tony suggested jumping in it. (You see, Tony seems to want to jump into every lake we pass by). However, having done nothing for the 4th of July, we all decided that for some reason jumping into a hypothermia-inducing lake was a suitable replacement for fireworks. It seemed to make sense at the time. So we did. And it was cold. That being said, the opportunity to swim in a beautiful lake at sundown in the hills of Donegal is, as some Americans would say, awesomesauce. That was how we celebrated Independence Day across the Atlantic, any pangs for home quelled by remembering why we’re here. Indeed, we must always do our best in the rough spots to remember that this journey isn’t about us. We’re here to speak and be seen on behalf of those who cannot, and our hardships are all a part of what we’re here to do.
God bless America, Ireland, and Australia, for all us here on the Ireland walk.
~Caitlin Christiansonread more