Crossroads is an international pro-life organization that sponsors pro-life walks every summer in several countries in order to help bring about a “Culture of Life” and a renewed respect for the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from the very beginning in the womb until natural death. This summer, for the first time ever, Crossroads is sponsoring an “All Ireland Pro-Life Walk” that will consist of a circuitous route around the island of Ireland through most of the cities. Made up of Irish young people, this walk will be 4 weeks and 1,000 km long, beginning on June 18th and ending on July14th.
The first Crossroads walk was started in 1995 as a response to John Paul II’s call to the youth of the world to take an active role in the pro-life movement in order to establish a Culture of Life. At the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, he called on them to “be not afraid” and to spread the “Gospel of Life.” Here is a quote from his address:
“Young pilgrims, Christ needs you to enlighten the world and to show it the “path to life” (Ps. 16:11). Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places like the first apostles, who preached Christ and the good news of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (cf. Rom. 1: 16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (cf. Mt. 10:27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern “metropolis.” It is you who must “go out into the byroads” (Mt 22:9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father (cf. Mt. 5:15-16).”
Taking this call quite literally, Crossroads conducts pro-life pilgrimages each Summer across the United States, Canada and now Ireland. Each summer, college-age young people walk on four simultaneous pro-life walks across America, starting in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles and ending in Washington, D.C. Walking over 12,000 miles and through 40 states, these young people hope to convert the hearts and minds of others – at the grass-roots level – by witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from the moment of conception to natural death. Crossroads also conducts a pro-life walk across Canada each summer from Vancouver to Ottawa, which takes place simultaneously with the American walks.
During our pilgrimages across the United States, Canada and now Ireland, we strive always to join our efforts, prayers and small sacrifices with the sufferings of Christ – crucified for the sake of all, born and unborn.
Each weekend, we speak at dozens of parishes to encourage people to get involved in building a Culture of Life and to promote pro-life activism in their communities. During the US and Canadian walks, we stop at local abortion clinics along the route to participate in prayerful, peaceful protests and sidewalk counseling.
Crossroads recognizes the need to spread the message of life and love through the means that the modern world provides. We actively participate in radio, television and newspaper interviews with the mainstream media as well as religious media outlets.
With young people from Ireland, the United States and Canada walking this Summer, we hope to convert the hearts and minds of others at the grass-roots level.