Stories from the Road
Every weekend during the walks the walkers stop in a major city to pray and counsel outside the abortion mill and to speak to pro-life groups, youth groups and parishes. After Mass the walkers hand out information regarding the walks and also take up prayer intentions. One of the walkers, Gabby, was handing out information at a Parish in Los Angeles when a man walked up to her with a donation of two dollars and a prayer request. Gabby thanked him and he walked away. A few minutes later the man walked up to Gabby again. This time he handed her a chain with a crucifix on it and a ring marked with a cross. He handed her the cross and the ring and said to her “This is all that I have…with this remember me. These are very dear to me and I wear them all of the time.” Gabby could tell because she saw a white mark around his finger where the ring had blocked the sun. Gabby was very touched by his sacrifice and she told the other walkers what had happened. They all decided to carry the Crucifix and the ring as they walked to remind them to pray for this man and for all of the people who ask for their prayers.
Renee and Sean visited a Parish in California during the first week of the walk. A security guard was stationed at the parish and the walkers saw him after every Mass throughout the day. He noticed the walkers t-shirts with the words “PRO-LIFE” in large letters across the front and the first thing he said to them was “To each their own.” However, as they day went by he kept approaching Renee and engaging her in casual conversation. The topic eventually turned to abortion and at that point he opened up to Renee and told her that his daughter recently had an abortion and she was not doing very well (emotionally). Renee could tell that he was worried about her. He also told her that his daughter had not told her mother because she was too ashamed. Renee told him about post abortion syndrome and was able to give him some information about places where his daughter could go to find the help that she needed.
A Life Hurt by Abortion
The walkers were speaking at a parish in Las Vegas and a 55 year old woman approached them to ask about the way they counsel outside the abortion clinics and what they say to the women walking in. The walkers told her how they counseled women and how they always approached them with compassion and truthfulness. She stayed with the walkers for a while and told them that she herself had had two abortions. When she was 25 years old (before Roe v.Wade) she had a boyfriend and became pregnant and alone. Her mother had told her that if she ever found out that her daughter was pregnant (outside of marriage) she would commit suicide. So the women decided that the only way out was to have an abortion. She came up with the $400 needed for the abortion and when she got there they laid her on an ironing table and she noticed that one of the nurses watched a soap opera while helping to perform the abortion.
Years later she was dating someone else and she got pregnant again. This time her pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage.
She told us that the two things that she will never forget are the day that she delivered her dead baby boy because of the abortion and the day that she miscarried her second child. She decided to share her story with us because she wanted us to know the pain that she had gone through and the pain that having an abortion had caused her.
She never had any more children but now she has committed her life to helping women who are pregnant and alone and single mother’s who are in need of financial assistance. Through her efforts she is able to give women the opportunity to choose life.
God Works in Mysterious Ways
During a weekend talk at a Parish in Las Vegas the walkers encountered a women after the 5:00pm Mass. She walked up to them to hand them a check for $270 in support of the walks. The walkers were very grateful and thanked her for her support. When she handed them the check she told them that there was a reason that she was donating that exact amount. Thirty years ago a good friend of hers was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, but did not have the money to pay for it. The women decided to loan her friend the $270 needed for the abortion. Over the years the friends lost touch. A week before the walkers arrived (thirty years since she had last seen her friend) this women received a check in the mail from her friend for the $270 dollars she had loaned her for the abortion. She told the walkers that she did not want the money and had no idea what she was going to do with it because she was now pro-life. When she heard them talk at the end of Mass, she knew right then and there that she wanted to donate the money to the walk in support of their mission to save lives and change hearts. This women’s story touched the walkers very deeply and showed them that God definitely works in mysterious ways—the money that was once used to end of life was now being used to save lives.
Help on the Road
The walkers stopped at a Gas Station to fill up the vehicles and get some supplies for the road. The owner of the gas station came up to the walkers after he saw their t-shirts to give them words of support and encouragement. He told them that he was pro-life and thought that what they were doing was great. He told Matt (the walk leader) and all of the walkers that whatever they wanted was “on the house” and he was not going to let them pay for anything. The walkers were able to fill up their vehicles with gas and get some much needed water for the road. This is one of the many times that people have been overwhelmingly generous in their support for our mission. We are so grateful to them and we hope they know how much we appreciate their generosity and kindness.
Knights in Shining Armor
From time to time walkers experience vehicle problems and the summer of 2005 was no exception. The RV’s had a few minor problems in the first few weeks of both walks. During one of the Sunday Masses in El Paso, they realized that the RV battery was acting up. The walkers knew that they would not be able to get it fixed until Monday when the service stations were open again. The walkers were talking to some parishioners after Mass who happened to be Kinghts of Columbus and Matt (the Walk Leader) was telling them about the RV and the battery problems they were having. The Knights told Matt that they would take a look at the RV during the next Mass. Matt handed them the keys and them went back into the Church. After Mass the Knights told Matt that it was definitely the battery and they needed to replace it. They recommended that Matt take it to a gas station that was across the street from the Parish because a friend of theirs was the owner. Matt took the RV to the Service station the next day and was able to buy the battery at cost and it was installed immediately. This allowed the walkers to not have to stop walking, save money and to continue to the next town on schedule. The Knights have always been supportive of our mission and we greatly appreciate the Knights in El Paso for their help.
The walkers attend Daily Mass throughout the summer at local parishes in the cities and towns they walk through. Daily Mass is crucial to the success of the walks because of the tremendous graces received through the Eucharist. We know that if we did not attend daily Mass that we would not be able to make it across the country each summer. Attending daily Mass also gives the walkers the opportunity to speak with people from the local area. Throughout the years these parishes have given us such encouragement and support. One example of this occurred on the Southern walk at a Parish in Carlsbad, New Mexico. After Mass a man came up to them and offered to take them out to breakfast. The walkers also spoke to the Parish priest who offered to house them for the next two nights. This was a tremendous blessing because the nearest campground was hours away and their only other option was to camp out on the side of the road.
The walkers wear t-shirts with the words “PRO-LIFE” in large letters across the front. Every day throughout the summer the walkers are continuously stopped by passers-by wondering what they are doing and why they are wearing these t-shirts. This enables the walkers to tell people about their mission to spread the Gospel of Life. The Southern walkers decided to start calling their t-shirts their “habits” because they wear them day in and day out and because of the responsibility that comes with wearing them. A religious habit signifies commitment to Christ, to holiness and living a certain way of life. The walkers realized that wearing the “PRO-LIFE” t-shirt brought with it a responsibility to live according the message that they are spreading and their commitment to witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life.
Faith in the Next Generation
Crossroads had finished speaking at a Sunday Mass and were outside greeting people and answering questions when a woman approached the walkers. She had been having difficult times and wanted Crossroads to know how much it meant to her to see that young people believed in the sanctity of life so strongly that they would embark on something like Crossroads. She told them; “Crossroads has restored my faith in humanity.”
Faith Like a Child
At the end of another Sunday Mass, two children approached the walkers. Each one had saved up $5 for the carnival that was taking place at the parish that day. After hearing the walkers speak they each decided (on their own) to donate their money to Crossroads.
America is Pro-life
The members of Crossroads spent the weekend of May 26-27 speaking at parishes in Reno, Carson City and Sacramento. Meeting the parishioners before and after Mass is an uplifting experience. After walking all week, it’s easy to get worn out and begin to lose focus but the encouragement and prayers we receive from the parishioners is a continual reminder of the importance of our mission. The response from speaking at Mass is overwhelming; most people approach us afterwards with sincere gratitude and offer us their support and prayers. One woman, after donating money, took us to Costco to stock the RV with food and supplies.
It is also encouraging to encounter people in town who stop us to find out what we are doing and say thank you. In one such encounter, a woman bought us lunch. Another gentleman, driving by, stopped and wrote us a check on the spot. Another woman, as we passed her house, invited us in to her home to refill our water and use the facilities.
Crossroads would like to thank all those who have supported us through their prayers and hospitality, especially our host families and parishes. Please be assured of our prayers for you and your families.