“Do you hear the people sing?”

“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 Schutz

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2013 Walk Dates Announced!

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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

6 JulyAll Ireland Rally for Life – Dublin
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July 11

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.

Michelle

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Independence Day

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 Christianson

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Generosity

The Irish are almost unnervingly serious about hospitality. All those movies with kindly housewives insisting the weary traveler sits down for a cuppatea are entirely accurate; wherever we go in this country, either long-expected or unannounced, we never fail to find doors and larders flung open for our much needed respite.

The Crossroads walk, as you know, owes everything to the charity of others. So far (and by that I mean three quarters of the way through the walk) we’ve never gone without a place to sleep, and we’ve never gone hungry. We’ve stayed everywhere from country farms to hillside mansions, and we have many people to thank. Some might say we have simply chosen a fortuitously hospitable country to trek through, while others may suggest that we’re on the receiving end of God’s providence. I say it’s both.

When we return to America next week, I know that I’ll be coming back to a place where this sort of unremitting goodness, while present, is not an everyday practice. I pray that I can become to others what these wonderful hosts have been to us. I hope that I can shed my avaricious and mistrustful nature, so that I may give to others simply because it is the right thing to do. Until then, walkin’ time. Pray for us and for the unborn, and take care.

- Jon C.

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Mary Rose

It isn’t easy being kidnapped by a Pro-Life volunteer group traveling around Ireland in a rickety white van. Perhaps kidnap is a strong word…but rickety is a very apt word for our mode of transportation.

I joined Crossroads with a completely wrong impression of what I was getting myself into. I imagined trudging through the cold, windy, rainy Irish landscape, my feet full of blisters and my bones aching from the much-needed exercise!

Instead, I got an awesome road trip with a set of amazing volunteers. I was slightly worried about fitting in with a group that’s already had two weeks to bond. But that wasn’t a problem with these guys, because we have a common goal…to protect the most vulnerable of our society.

I wish I could spend more than four days with this crowd walking to raise awareness for this extremely important cause.

It has been a great experience walking for Pro-Life and given the opportunity I would do it over…kidnapped in a rickety white van, making up band names in between walking shifts to save lives.

Mary Rose Dovel
Temp-Crossroads Walker, Co. Cork, Ireland. Age 18.

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