US Crossroads Walk now a Canadian organization as well
By John Jalsevac
HOPE, British Columbia, May 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Cyril Doll, the organizer of the new Canadian version of the now-famous Crossroads walk is on the phone. He sounds a little groggy.
He apologizes. “I was on the night shift last night,” he says. “I’m just waking up right now.”
Cyril is one of six young men and women, between the ages of twenty and thirty, who are endeavouring to walk from Vancouver to Quebec (a distance of some 5,500 kilometres) in an effort to raise awareness about the pro-life cause.
Being on the night shift means that Cyril spent the previous night walking at least 15 miles, and probably more, through the rugged terrain just east of Vancouver. As we speak, Cyril and his fellow walkers are passing through Hope, British Columbia, about 75 miles from their starting point at Stanley Park in Vancouver.
Crossroads was founded in 1994 by Steve Sanborn, a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville as a response to John Paul II’s call to take an active role in the pro-life movement in order to establish a Culture of Life. Prior to this year Crossroads was a U.S.-only organization, with volunteers covering three different routes (North, Central, and South), starting from different points on the West Coast and converging on Washington D.C. for a concluding rally every summer.
This year is the first time that Crossroads has taken to the highways of Canada.
Cyril says that the walk is essentially divided into two sections—weeks and weekends.
During the week, the group will cover 60 miles a day. The six walkers are split up into shifts, with one of the shifts on the road at all times, day or night. Each participant is responsible for a minimum of 15 miles a day, a gruelling schedule to keep up, given much of the terrain they will be covering. The first portion of the trek is a trial by fire, as they pass through the Rocky Mountains.
“It’s tough,” says Cyril, who has taken part in a number of the U.S. versions of the Crossroads walk. He says that it is normal for walkers to develop blisters on their feet, and to go through several pairs of shoes. And yet, in his past experience, he says, those who join Crossroads always push through to the end despite the difficulty.
On weekends they will pray in front of abortion clinics, speak to youth groups about such things as chastity, and go around to various parishes giving talks and drumming up donations.
So far, says Cyril, the walkers are getting a lot of positive reactions from people. “We’re basically walking billboards,” he says. “We wear these t-shirts that in big letters say ‘Pro-Life’. So we get a lot of people honking at us, and giving us the thumbs up. A lot of people are really encouraged to see us. Its encouraging for them to see six young people dedicating a whole summer to this, maybe even putting their career on hold to witness to the sanctity of life to this apathetic nation of ours.”
He does admit, however, “As we walk along the road, we get a lot of fingers too. Obviously it’s a very politically incorrect issue. And yet, I’d say so far its about 70-30 positive to negatives.”
Although it is a huge sacrifice, both physically, financially and time-wise, Cyril says that getting Crossroads started in Canada is more than worth it.
“It’s important because life begins at conception, at fertilization and ends at natural death,” he says. “It needs to be defended. Mother Teresa said the most dangerous place for a human being to be is in their mother’s womb.”
“We may not see the fruits of our work,” he admits, “and that’s part of the sacrifice. And yet, through prayer and sacrifice we’re going to bring about change. I’ve seen the fruits of the work down in the States. I’ve seen women come up to us who were considering an abortion and who’ve changed their minds, or women who’ve had an abortion and are now willing to go seek counselling and forgiveness for what they’ve done.”
“We just put it, all this hard work and sacrifice, at the foot of Christ’s cross and let him dish out whatever good works will come of it. That’s why we’re doing it, and I’m pretty sure if you asked any one of my walkers, that’s what they’d tell you too.”
Readers are encouraged to look for updates on the Canadian walk at https://www.crossroadswalk.org/Schedule/CanadaWalk.asp.
LifeSiteNews will also do its best to inform readers about the whereabouts of the Crossroads walkers.