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The end is in sight. This amazing journey that began 12 weeks ago is ending in a couple days. Tomorrow we walk into Ottawa, our final destination. On Saturday we’ll pray outside the abortion facility, attend a rally on Parliament Hill that had been planned to celebrate the end of our walk, and then finish off by speaking at several parishes in Ottawa on Saturday evening and Sunday. This summer has been a truly amazing experience, with the ups and downs, the joys and the challenges. We made it through the mountains, wind and rain, flooding, mosquitoes, and everything that posed a challenge to walking. We met so many wonderful people, those who welcomed us into their homes, gave us an encouraging word, or even were just open to hearing the prolife message, sometimes for the first time. Everywhere we went, people thanked us for standing up for life. My response is always to thank them, because without the people along the way supporting, praying, and encouraging us, we would never make it to where we are now. So I am taking this opportunity to say to all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this walk possible. Every prayer, every thumbs up, every donation, every kind word is appreciated. It was only through the generosity and support of people across the country and beyond that we were able to be a voice for the unborn in such a beautiful way this summer. So again, thank you. Thank you so much.
Even though this walk is ending, our mission continues. We all must continue to pray and sacrifice for an end to abortion, euthanasia, and all that goes against a culture of life. We have been across the country and have seen for ourselves that the culture of life is growing. There are countless people working tirelessly to bring the prolife message to as many people as possible. There is hope. Canada is changing. Even from three years ago I have noticed a change. When I did this walk in 2011, we seemed to receive a lot more negative responses then we did this year. It is only a matter of time, hard work, prayer, sacrifice, and commitment before we see an end to abortion in Canada. So please, continue throughout this year to do whatever is in your power to bring about a culture of life. No effort is wasted, or too small. We must all work together and in Christ, we will succeed!
Thanks again to all who made it possible to reach so many people with the prolife message this summer. Today, please join me in thanking God for the safety and success of our walk, and for all those that have been touched by our presence this summer.
You are all in my prayers! May God richly bless you all!
Praying outside the abortion facility in Montreal on the weekend.
“Faith is taking the first step even when your can’t see the whole staircase “-Martin Luther King Jr
We climbed all 402 steps! ( Yes, I counted! You can only see part of the staircase in this picture)
Spent time at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. Saint Andre, pray for us!
Eating breakfast together as a team! Special thanks to our hosts!
This was the beginning of a petition at Mass this morning. So yes, it was a busy weekend and I guess it showed. On the weekend we attended Mass at 10 parishes in 7 cities in and around the GTA. This was by far our busiest weekend but with the grace of God, we pulled it off fantastically. We also met lots of great people and priests. I was in my home diocese and I happened to be assigned to the parish where my past parish priest is ( which I didn’t realize until I walked into church) so it was great to see him again.
We stayed in Guelph with one of my friends from university and I also got to see some other friends. We were also treated to an amazing dinner by the right to life president of the area. It felt like coming home and we were spoiled the whole weekend. Walking this morning we passed by the University of Guelph where I got my degree. It was neat to be walking there where I spent years working with the prolife group on campus.
So as the priest at Mass prayed for us this morning please continue to keep us in your prayers as we are nearing the end of our journey. We will continue to pray for you as we walk. Today please also pray for all abortionists that they may stop taking lives and embrace the culture of life.
This week we walked through Algonquin Park (see picture). Although we got a little wet along the way it was still a beautiful experience. One of the girls saw a moose while she was driving but the rest of us missed out. Although I was hoping to see some moose and bears along the way I’m also just as happy that we passed through uneventfully.
Last night and today we have been enjoying the hospitality of the wonderful people in Barry’s Bay. They had a great barbeque for us yesterday at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. After Mass this morning we were treated to breakfast. It’s a blessing to spend time with such amazing people.
Tomorrow afternoon we’ll be driving down towards Toronto for the weekend. We’ll be speaking at parishes in Kitchener, Waterloo, Oakville, Hamilton, Scarborough and Burlington. We’ll also get to spend time in Guelph (where I lived for a few years while I went to school). It’s shaping up to be a busy but awesome weekend.
Aside from the rain, we have been enjoying some awesome weather. It’s been cool, partially sunny, and almost no humidity. The mosquitoes have also been less of a problem this week which is a huge blessing.
Please continue to pray for us as we are for all of you. Please also pray for all those who may have been affected by abortion that they will find healing and peace.
May God bless you all!
This has been a great week. On Monday morning a gentleman we met at Mass took all of us out for breakfast. Because it’s hard to find daily Mass around this area we went to the same church the next morning and guess what! The same man was there and wanted to take us all out again! Because we needed to cover a lot of ground this week only the afternoon shift was able to go. However, the morning shift was not forgotten. The same lovely man ordered food for them which they enjoyed later. However, the morning shift was delayed anyways because the van was making weird noises so they had to get it checked out, but thankfully they didn’t find anything wrong with it. The same day we were trying to get the propane in the RV fixed. It ran out and we were told that something was wrong since they couldn’t fill it. We took it to another place and they filled it just fine. It’s so nice to have a working stove and fridge again! On Wednesday we went to Mass in Elliot Lake where we were overwhelmed with the generosity of the parishioners. After Mass they had breakfast for us. As we were all sitting down they took out their cheque books or handed us donations. We are truly blessed to have meet these people who encourage us and help us to keep walking.
We are approaching Sudbury now and should be walking through sometime tomorrow. We are having beautiful weather again today as well as lots of friendly waves and honks from people passing by.
Keep us in your prayers as we will keep you in ours. Today also pray for all those working in the prolife movement that they will persevere in bringing about a culture of life. Let’s also pray in thanksgiving for all the lives that have saved through their efforts.
Thanks for the great questions, Brian! I apologize for the delay in responding, but a lot has happened since my last post. We are now past Sault Ste Marie and are still enjoying the beauty of Northern Ontario. We’ve also been blessed with great weather the last few days.
For all of you who missed it, here is the question that was asked:
“I understand that Christine, Ben and Louise have done this whole walk before. How would they contrast the two times? Is it easier or more difficult? How is it that you would feel called by God to do this twice when so very few have done it at all? After the first time was it easy to return to regular life? For all of you do you feel your lives will be lived differently in the long term after an experience like this?
May the Lord richly bless you all for what you’re doing. You are all truly an inspiration!”
I feel like I could almost write a book based on these questions but I’ll try to keep it brief. I’m finding the second time a lot easier. I think a big thing was knowing what to expect. When I set out the first time, I really had no idea what I was in for. Also, this time I’m getting more sleep, which is always a good thing. When I did it 3 years ago I was falling asleep all the time. I slept at people’s homes, almost fell asleep during Mass many times, and even at a party once. (Oops!) Thankfully our hosts were very understanding, but it is nice this time to be able to stay awake when I’m supposed to be awake. Something that also makes each time different is being with a different group. Each group is made up of different personalities so it’s great to experience it twice.
How I felt called to it a second time, I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Even during the walk the first time, I said I wouldn’t do it again. Once was enough. A couple years after the walk I was still saying I’d never do it again. I was so happy I did it once, and I enjoyed it (even though it was hard) It wasn’t something I’d do again. However, God works in wonderful ways. Sometime last year I became a little more open to it even though I still didn’t think I’d ever do it again. Jump ahead to a month or so before the walk began. I heard that they were still looking for people and then that it was only going to be for two weeks. I was disappointed to hear this, knowing how important it is and what a difference it makes to those people we meet. However, I still wasn’t thinking about doing it myself. I went to the March for Life in Ottawa in May and I met Louise there. (She and I did the walk together in 2011.) It was there that she told me that she was doing it again and they were still looking for people. This was when I really felt called to do it this year. That night I sat awake in my hotel room praying about it and somehow so excited at the thought of doing it again. I tried to figure out why I wanted to do it again. I realized that it wasn’t for the aching feet, or the exhaustion, or the long days, or living in an RV, or being on the road all the time. None of these things appealed to me. However, somehow, none of these things mattered when I thought of the impact we have on people’s lives. Even if one baby’s life is saved it is worth it. If we can encourage a prolife group who is getting discouraged, or bring hope to those working tirelessly in the prolife movement it is worth it. If because of us someones decides to get involved or decides to pray everyday it is worth it. Knowing the hope that it brings to our country makes all the sacrifices worth it. Somehow this was all I could think of, and all the reasons that I didn’t want to do it again seemed small when I thought about the impact we have. God had opened my heart to take part in this important mission again. After this, it took me a few weeks to finally decided for sure and to work things out so that I could do it again.
The first time returning to regular life was interesting. I remember the first few days being home after the walk I felt that my life had stopped. For 3 months I was so wrapped up in Crossroads that it was a bit of a shock to return to normal life. I didn’t have to walk (although I did), didn’t have to wear a prolife t shirt (although I did), I had my own space, my own bed, and it felt like I had so much time on my hands. However, it was time to go back to university after a few weeks so life got busy again.
During my first walk, I learned an important lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was during night shift a few weeks after we began that I realized I was walking, no one could see me, and for a moment it started to feel pointless. How was I doing any good by just walking in the dark? Was I kidding myself thinking that I could make a difference? Then I realized it. The fight against abortion, euthanasia, and all things that destroy life is really a fight of good versus evil and our most effective weapons are prayer and sacrifice. Spending the night wrapped up in prayer and sacrifice is far from useless. Only in heaven will we know the full effects of our efforts.
At this point I also realized that wherever I am in my life I can always offer up prayers and sacrifices for an end to abortion and to build a culture of life. I may not be called to walk my whole life being a visible witness, but I am called to prayer and sacrifice for this cause, no matter where life may take me. In fact, all of us have this duty. We can all have an impact, through prayer and sacrifice no matter what we are doing. The more people who realize this and start praying and sacrificing for this cause, the sooner we will win the fight and the more lives that will be saved. For me, this is the most important lesson I’ve learned from doing Crossroads.
Thanks again, Brian, for the great questions! If anyone else has questions related in any way to our walk please post in the comments or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!
Please continue to pray for us as we will for you. Also, today remember those mothers facing difficult pregnancies that they will have the strength, courage and support that they need to choose life and get through the tough times.
Until next time, (if we aren’t taken over by mosquitoes) God bless!
So we’ve finally made it to Thunder Bay folks! Due to one of the priests being away our usual host home is not available. However we are staying at one of RV parks nearby which is quite nice.
The walking has become mildly more treacherous due to the forests, twists turns and hills. However the shoulder on the road is very wide so it is quite easy to walk along. There has also been an increase in the amount of bathroom spots along the road, however since these are in the forests they are usually filled with mosquitoes.
We prayed outside the abortion clinic in Thunder Bay this afternoon with a very good response, however one gentleman trying to get a rise out of us insisted that children only get a soul at the age of 3…
The days have steadily been getting warmer which has been wonderful. Throughout most of the walk the temperature has been quite cool. Thankfully the temperature has not yet jumped to boiling.
For myself the increase of temperature is fantastic since I am consistently cold. I have been called the old man of the group, wearing socks to bed and constantly looking for a blanket.
The team is still getting along quite well, no one has tried to shove anyone out of the moving RV.
We do not have host homes for Sault St Marie or Ottawa, but God provides!