Crossroads Program Walks for Life

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“Why am I pro-life?” Dave Bathon asked on Nov. 3, at Campus Ministry’s Dinner and Discourse. He began his talk by telling a personal story to his audience. “I had a mother who had cancer and she was given the choice of keeping me or having an abortion in order to save herself … she chose to keep me,” he said.

Bathon, whose presentation was about the Crossroads program, detailed the program’s pro-life mission. Crossroads began in 1995 when a group of students decided to take part in a challenge mentioned by Pope John Paul II. This group of students walked from the west edge of the U.S. all the way to the other side, stopping at Washington, D.C.

“Crossroads has been a big part of the pro-life movement for 15 years,” Bathon said. The Crossroads program is a walk across the United States that runs for an entire summer. College students from all over the country start from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and end in Washington, D.C. Bathon said that by doing this long walk across the country, they are helping other students “prepare for sacrifice.”

“We sacrifice every little thing by doing this,” Bathon said. Everything from bruising, lack of breath and pain is endured by the students. Bathon said that no matter where they are and no matter what the weather is like, they continue to walk in order to make their point and reach the end.

“We walk day and night, rain, shine or hail. But as we walk, we pray,” Bathon said, adding that throughout the walk, they stop to talk to people and tell them about the program and its cause. The groups of students attend daily Mass and pray as they walk. “It is also a great chance to see the country at a very slow pace,” Bathon jokingly continued.

Bathon said that the main reason for the program is to save lives and change the hearts and minds of every person. “We are the voice for the voiceless,” he said, “We take a stand that helps us bring out the good in what we do.”

Crossroads has given students a look, not only on what it means to take a stand and hold on to it, but also to look at what it is like to experience the spirituality that comes from it, he said. Students who do this walk also have the chance to experience the beautiful countryside and the beautiful people whom they meet.

Bathon mentioned one of the typical days of the Crossroads program. “We sleep all night in the RV, wake up and go to Mass and walk until the next shift has to start.” Each walk consists of about 10 to 14 walkers, each walking anywhere from 15 to 20 miles per day. These miles are walked so that students can show everyone that this situation is a matter of life and death. Bathon ended by saying, “If everyone who is pro-life stood up, then we would be able to make the situation better.”

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