Crossroads Saturday 15th December 2012
This morning we did our first abortion vigil for the walk. We stood outside the Spring Hill abortion clinic with the Helpers and prayed from 7-8:45. It’s always the most sobering and confronting point of the pilgrimage, or of anything, really, I’ve found. You suddenly remember why you’re doing all of this, and everything becomes very real as you know that just metres away (we were across the road), kids are being killed and women are being broken.
It’s always a challenge as well to stand still for that long. Daniel was good in reminding us of how important it was that we focus on our prayers and giving us a few good tips on how to concentrate and not let your mind wander, as it’s so easy to do. A couple of the local Helpers came to pray with us as well, and were sidewalk counselling outside the clinic.
Afterwards we went to Mass at the Villa Maria Church nearby, and then Fr. Rego invited us to a Christmas party that Mother Theresa’s Sisters were putting on for the homeless. It was lovely. I made friends with a hilarious older man named Mel, who knew the answers to all of the trivia questions. We got to explain to quite a few people what our T-Shirts (with the very subtle “PRO LIFE” printed across the front) were about, and what we are doing.
We came home to Jill’s to have lunch and just chill out. We might go to Stephen’s soon so we can leach off his wireless internet and try and upload these blogs. Tonight we’re speaking at our first parish- the vigil Mass at St. Patrick’s in Beenleigh. Four of us are going with Allison so that she can show us the ropes, and then we’ll partner up with the other four tomorrow and go and speak at other parishes. Andrew and I are doing the Latin Mass community, which means that we will only be speaking at one Mass that morning. I confess that the lazy part of me (which is in about the same proportion as water in an iceberg lettuce) is secretly celebrating over this easy workload, although we may take one of the Masses for one of the other groups, as James said they have four.
I’m a bit nervous about the talk, just because I haven’t memorised it yet and don’t feel well prepared, so I might go and do that now so that it runs smoothly. I was initially a bit sceptical about giving a talk that I had not written, but once I read it I realised that it was exactly what I would’ve said, and so I intend to just learn it (not word-for-word obviously), but memorise the main points and then add my own personal touch.read more
Crossroads Fri 14th December 2012
Jill’s house, Brisbane
The crew are all finally here- woohoo! It feels like a really good bunch of people, and I think that the walk’s going to be great. There are nine of us all together: Allison and Daniel, our walk leaders, John (who practically is one too even if it’s not official), Stephen the American, Chris from the Gold Coast, Andrew and James from Melbourne, Dory (Frances) from Newcastle and myself.
We had a very interesting addition to our party yesterday. A young woman from Melbourne has asked to come along with us for two weeks and film us for a documentary that she’s making on the pro-life/pro-choice abortion issue. And the twist is: she herself is pro-choice. I think that as pro-lifers we are so used to being misrepresented and attacked by the media and journalists that a lot of us had an initial uneasiness about her intentions in filming us. However, from what she has told us, Bec is a remarkable person and I think that God has sent her to us for a reason.
She says that she believes that the media has not given us fair representation and that she wishes to delve deeper into the issue, on both sides, than the standard media headlines. She says she is intrigued by our conviction, and also by Catholicism, and seeks to know the reasons why we would give up our summer, and spend so much time and effort in general in pursuit of our cause. I think she is a brave woman for asking these questions when so few do, and I hope that through her work people will be able to see that we do what we do not from some kind of misguided sense of superiority, lunacy or misogyny, as so many seem to think, but for one simple reason: love- that our sisters deserve better than to go through the trauma of abortion and that their babies deserve to live.
Anyway, she is a pleasant addition to the gang, and if she can put up with my snoring, my compulsive hitting of the snooze button and my raucous sleep-cycle then I say she deserves to stay!
Yesterday was spent going over our training materials for the pilgrimage, including the talks that we are to give at the parishes. The last two days have also involved three airport trips for myself and John.
Here is the ironic bit of the trip: I’m the kind of person who could find a street sign to back into in the middle of the desert; I’m the kind of person who could get lost in my own hoodie; the only thing I’m good at driving is people insane. And yet, I’m one of only three people on this walk with a full license, who can drive the buses. Oh yes, God certainly has a sense of humour.
Thus, I have been doing the airport pickup trips, which are about an hour round trip (or would be if I didn’t keep getting lost), with good old John to mediate between the GPS and me. Let’s just say that for most of the unfortunate travellers, their first experiences of Crossroads have been me yelling at them to jump into the van and then regaling them with my colourful expletives as I negotiate the twists and turns of the city of Brisbane.
Originally us girls were going to stay in an apartment for the week, but now we’re in the house along with the guys, which is much more convenient for meeting up for training and getting to Mass together.
There is also another reason why us girls moved: On Wednesday night there was an ‘incident’. I would be dramatic and call it anti-pro-life persecution, but we actually weren’t displaying anything pro-life, so we were really just victims of a random act of hooliganism.
Allison, myself and Dory were parking the Avis van outside of the apartment, Allison pulled in toward the curb to let a car pass by, and, in true festive-season, welcome-to-Brisbane hospitality, the inhabitants supplied us with breakfast by pelting a few eggs at Allison, which came through her open window and smashed onto the inside windscreen of the van. To her credit, Allison did not indulge in the language that I use when driving the bus on the East-West Arterial Road. In her words, had they been driving along from the grocery store and spontaneously decided to reach into the carton of eggs and let a few loose at us? Or were they simply driving around on a Tuesday night with their nightly supply of car-eggs, searching for victims? So many unanswered questions…. The worst result of the whole experience, however, was not the smell in the van the next day before John cleaned it off, nor the surface of the steering wheel, which was a combination of egg goo and stress sweat as I navigated my way to the airport, oh no. It was the litany of puns that I felt morally obliged to make in the wake of the incident. They were eggxcruciating.
Today we went to 8am Mass at St. Stephen’s in the city, same as yesterday, then have had a chilled out day doing more training at the Emmanuel centre. Bec started filming. This has resulted in more inhibitions for me before I say stupid things. This is a good thing. Unfortunately it does not apply to blogging.read more
Crossroads Wed 12th December
I flew up here yesterday from Melbourne, and all went well. I thought I’d be spending the day lugging my enormous (guilty as charged!) suitcase on and off trains, trams and airport buses. Thankfully, however, my Dad gave me a lift to the office, and then one of the guys, Chris, gave me a lift to the airport. Much obliged!
The flight went well. If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to fall asleep anywhere and at any time, and so I utilised this skill on the plane.
Allison was at the airport to pick me up, for which I am grateful, as I’ve never been to Brisbane before and would have been totally lost. Allison and I hit it off (or at least I think so- for all I know she may be under her bed right now on Skype demanding to be flown back to America!). For the next few nights, until we leave Brisbane on Monday morning, Allison, myself and Frances will be staying in an apartment of Allison’s friend in Scarborough, which they have been very generous in letting us use, and the guys will be staying in another house.
There’s no internet in the apartment, which means I’m not sure when I’ll be able to send this to anybody; no doubt all of Melbourne will be writhing in anticipation to read my blog- move over Frodo.
From what I’ve seen of it, which includes the airport, the freeway, the apartment and the McDonalds down the street that didn’t have internet last night, I love Brisbane. It’s full of palm trees and beautiful heat and I haven’t seen a single bug yet, (my natural enemies), except for the two dead flies in Allison’s home-made fly catcher, with which I can totally deal.
Today Daniel and John will arrive in the bus and we’ll all meet at the NET offices, I think. We’ll pick up the RV, do some supply-shopping, and fetch Andrew, James and Frances from the airport.
AD2000 – A Journal of Religious Opinion
As St Paul tells us (Romans 12:6), “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.”
One of the strengths of the pro-life movement is its many-pronged approach. While it is essential that all pro-lifers share the same goal, namely the safety of and respect for the sanctity and dignity of human life, there are many different fronts on which the battle must be fought.
Some are called to fight for pro-life laws in our parliaments; some for just representation in the media; some to touch people’s hearts and minds through personal encounters or through example; some to teach pro-life values in schools; some to give practical crisis pregnancy support; some to counsel; some to witness; and some to pray.
Power of youth
The young have a special power to attract people’s attention, for the youth are the future and when they take action on an issue, more people are likely to listen.
At World Youth Day in 1993, Blessed Pope John Paul II called upon them to use this power: “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).”
Crossroads is a direct response to this call.
Crossroads is a Catholic group that sponsors annual summer pro-life walks for 18-30 year olds across their countries. Starting in the USA in 1995, Crossroads sent a small group of young people from the west to the east coast of America on a six week pilgrimage, spreading the pro-life message and evangelising at a grassroots level.
Now, as the movement has spread, Crossroads supports young adults on four simultaneous pro-life summer walks across America from Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles to Washington, DC, walking over 12,000 miles and through 40 states. It also sponsors annual walks across Canada, Ireland and Spain.
Crossroads explains its role and purpose as follows: “During our pilgrimages … 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.
“We also speak to parish groups to encourage pro-life activism in their communities.
“… we stop at local abortion clinics along the route to participate in prayerful, peaceful protests and sidewalk counselling.
“Crossroads recognises 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.
“Each young adult who takes on the challenge of walking across our country with Crossroads is an integral part of the ministry.”
This December Crossroads is launching its first ever pro-life walk across Australia.
From 15 December 2012 to 13 January 2013, a group of young people will walk from Brisbane to Melbourne in what will be the longest pro-life walk our country has ever seen. Over four weeks, the group will target Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and multiple towns in between.
The walk requires approximately 10 core young participants who will commit to the entire journey, often walking in shifts and accompanied by a caravan and support vehicles. They will be trained to speak in parishes, witness respectfully at abortion clinics and communicate with the media. In addition to them, pro-life people of goodwill are invited to join in for as much or as little of the walk as they can, at any point along the way.
The journey will end with Mass and a pro-life rally in Melbourne on Saturday 12 January, which will be the launch-pad for a campaign to overturn Section 8 of Victoria’s abortion laws (the second worst in the world behind only China’s), which violates the rights of doctors’ consciences to refuse participation in an abortion, which is now legal up until birth.
The prayerful witness of the Crossroads pilgrims has caused turn-arounds, changed hearts and minds, and saved lives.read more
BRISBANE, December 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Crossroads, the international youth pro-life organization that sponsors pro-life walks in the United States, Canada, Ireland & Spain has announced their first-ever pro-life walk in Australia.
Jim Nolan, President of Crossroads, said he is “excited” about the new walk, pointing out that Crossroads has now expanded to include eight annual walks in five different countries.
The walkers will cover 1,500 miles down the east coast of Australia beginning on December 15 in Brisbane and ending four weeks later on January 12 in Melbourne at the steps of Parliament, with a Christmas break on the 24th and 25th.
Over the four weeks the pro-life youth will pass through Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and numerous towns in between where they will witness to life peacefully and prayerfully at abortion clinics. They will also spread the pro-life message through radio, television and newspaper interviews, and speak to youth groups and at churches to raise awareness to the pro-life issue and to encourage people to get involved in building a Culture of Life.
The walk group consists of 10 young participants, ages 18 to 30, who have committed to the entire journey, with additional walkers invited to join the core group at any point along the way for as much or as little of the walk as they can.
“We had no problem recruiting enough young people to walk on this new walk,” said Nolan. “Support for this new walk has been strong and we are excited to work with youth in this country to continue changing the hearts and minds on the issue of life.”
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Coordinator of the Australia walk, Allison Lattie of the US, said her previous experience working in youth ministry in Australia provided the impetus to return to organize pro-life youth to undertake the Crossroads walk. She said the walk is more than a journey, it’s a pilgrimage, pointing out that “during our pilgrimages… 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.”
The Thomas More Centre and the Young Political Activist Training (http://www.ypat.org.au/) youth groups are sponsoring the Crossroads Australia walk.
“We are proud to have the Thomas More Centre and the YPAT groups as our official sponsors for this new walk,” said Lattie. “They are youth organizations based in Balwyn, Victoria and a few of their members are also walking with us. We are also happy to have Youth For Life of Australia and several other groups as partners for this new walk.”
The walk will end with Mass and a pro-life rally in Melbourne on Saturday 12th January.
Lattie said the rally will be the launch-pad for a campaign to overturn Section 8 of Victoria’s abortion laws, which violates the conscience rights of doctors to refuse participation in an abortion, which is now legal up until birth.
“Victoria’s abortion laws are the second worst in the world behind only China’s,” Lattie remarked, but concluded that, “The prayerful witness of the Crossroads pilgrims have caused abortion clinic turn-arounds, changed hearts and minds, and saved lives.”
If you would like to join for part or all of the walk, make a donation, or find out more about Crossroads, visit the Crossroads Australia website here.read more
Crossroads Spain walkers
Crossroads Ireland walkers
Crossroads US walkers
Crossroads Canada walkers
Crossroads Australia is seeking young people between the ages of 18-30 to commit to walking for one month to support the Culture of Life.
The dates are from December 13, 2012 – January 13, 2012. Crossroads will provide for all expenses during the course of the pilgrimage, including food, water, and lodging.
Other young people who can not commit to a full month but can walk for a shorter period of time are also welcome to contact us to join the core group.
For more information, or to apply to be part of the walk, please visit the Crossroads Australia application page here.
Crossroads was founded in the United States as a response to our late Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II’s call to take an active role in the pro-life movement in order to establish a Culture of Life. There are four cross-country pro-life walks in the US each summer. Every year, young adults walk great distances, witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
Crossroads also sponsors pro-life walks in Canada, Ireland, and Spain.
During our pro-life pilgrimages, we strive always to join our efforts, prayers and small sacrifices with the sufferings of Christ Crucified for the sake of the innocent. Part of the mission of our walk is to speak to the survivors of abortion — the youth of our societies.
We also speak to parish groups to encourage pro-life activism in their communities.
During the walk, we stop at local abortion mills 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.
Crossroads is a Roman Catholic Pro-Life ministry faithful to the teachings of the Church. With this in mind, Crossroads welcomes and encourages members of other faiths to participate in its activities, noting that all Christians are charged with the duty to spread God’s Word and defend innocent life.
Video (shown on EWTN): http://crossroadswalk.org/Video/read more