by Kathleen Gilbert
As summer draws to a sweltering peak this July, 65 pro-life youths are a lot hotter than everyone else.
Wearing T-shirts emblazoned “PRO-LIFE” the unmistakable – and indefatigable – pro-life trekkers are participating in this summer’s Crossroads Pro-Life Walks in North America: braving extreme heat, blisters, and sore muscles to defend the rights of children in the womb.
This year also marks the first time the trailblazing campaign has crossed the Atlantic, with a group participating in Ireland.
The group, which has organized walks in solidarity with the unborn for 17 years, draws its inspiration from remarks given in 1993 by Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Colorado. There, the late pontiff challenged the youth of the world not to be afraid “to go out into the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the square of cities, towns and villages.”
Crossroads president Jimmy Nolan told LifeSiteNews.com that his group has taken that call “quite literally.” The college-age youths walk 24 hours a day through the week in shifts, and spend weekends speaking to youth groups and praying both in church and at local abortion clinics.
“You won’t hear this in the secular news, but these walks are making a huge impact at the grass-roots level,” said Nolan in an email to LSN. “We like to say that we have a unique perspective to say that the culture is indeed a Culture of Life that does not want abortion (since we pass through thousands of towns and cities each summer).”
This summer is “the biggest one for Crossroads yet,” according to Nolan, with participants already well on their way to covering over 16,000 miles through 40 states, 5 provinces and three countries. The four U.S. walks, and one Canadian walk all started on May 21 in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Vancouver; on August 13, all will end in their respective capital city.
The Irish walk began July 16 in Dublin, and will end on August 12, also in Dublin, with the walkers having completed a complete circle around the country.
“If pro-abortion people were doing these walks, we’d hear about it everywhere – but they aren’t doing them and never would – simply because the youth are embracing the ‘Culture of Life,'” Nolan told LifeSiteNews.com.
“People are rejecting the culture of death and we are seeing that.”