By Laura V. Sausedo
SALT LAKE CITY – As part of the 2011 Central Walk, Crossroad walkers from throughout the United States visited different parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City from June 10 to June 12.
This was part of four pro-life walks across the U.S. in 2011, which are made by youth who witness to the sanctity of all life. The organization is faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church but participants from all faiths are welcome. Most of the participants are college students; they walk from California to Washington, D.C.
“It’s important because as Catholics it is our belief that God made life to live and we don’t have the right to kill any life,” said Becky Frybarger, a college student from Reno, Nev.
In Utah, the walkers celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine with the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, on June 11.
“I’m very happy to welcome many of our pro-life marchers and walkers who are walking across the country,” said Bishop Wester. “I’m glad that you are here with us and we pray with you today.”
After Mass the walkers gathered in the Cathedral’s courtyard to share breakfast before starting their walk to an abortion clinic.
Veola Burchett, director of the Diocese of Salt Lake City Family Life Office, welcomed the walkers, thanking them for the work they do to make people realize the importance of life.
Burchett also shared a personal story about being pro-life.
“About two years ago our youngest son and his wife got pregnant and they were really excited and when they went for the ultrasound, they found out that the baby had cleft feet,” she said.
While her son and his wife were sitting in the doctor’s office, the doctor gently led the conversation toward abortion, Burchett said.
“They realized that they were talking about their baby and that they were going to have their baby no matter what,” said Burchett. “Just to see that little baby today… We fixed his little feet; he is beautiful and he is just one of the joys of our lives. I’m so proud of my son and of his wife for having said ‘This is our baby and no matter what, God is good.’”
After the breakfast, the walkers proceeded to an abortion clinic with prayers, rosaries, and faith. The walkers asked God for the salvation of lives.
“I feel that if I took the mentality that nothing is going to change – if I just sit on a fence – nothing is going to be done, so I’m taking the initiative and hopefully it’ll bring the change in this country,” said Jared Rhods, a 24-year-old student from Kentucky.
In addition to the Mass at the Cathedral and praying outside the abortion clinic, the Crossroads walkers spoke at the parishes of Saint Ambrose, Blessed Sacrament, Saint James the Just, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Joseph in Ogden, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and Saint Mary.
Dave Bathon, national director of Crossroads Inc., said these walks show love to all women and men, mothers, fathers and children.
“We are really trying to show love, to spread the gospel of life, to witness to the dignity and sanctity of every human life, especially the unborn,” said Bathon.