Archbishop Terrance Prendergast, right, greets Crossroads Walkers as they complete their pro-life walk across Canada in Ottawa. Photo by Deborah Gyapong.

Pro-life trek complete

  • August 19, 2014

OTTAWA - Canada’s pro-life Crossroads Walkers finished a three-month trek across the country in Ottawa Aug. 16 with a small rally near Parliament Hill’s Eternal Flame. 

Eight young men and women, some of whom had completed the entire walk, others who had joined later for part of it, wore the bold Pro-Life t-shirts they had displayed throughout their pilgrimage. 

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Conservative MP Royal Galipeau and local pro-life members of Action Life, an Ottawa pro-life organization, and Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of the pro-life movement, greeted the walkers as a light rain fell. 

“We are proud of you,” the archbishop told them. “You’ve done a great job, keep it up; you’re motivating people to follow in your steps.” 

The archbishop gestured towards West Block, now shrouded in scaffolding as a renewal of the Parliament Hill buildings is underway. “We’re building a new Canada,” he said, noting the other buildings that will be restored and refitted. “You are also rebuilding Canada by what you are doing. Congratulations.” 

“Thank you for making this day count not only for me, but for unborn children,” said Galipeau. “Continue the hard work. I know that it’s often difficult and it’s often done in difficult circumstances, but it’s needed.” 

Jean-Pierre Giguere, 24, of Cornwall, Ont. said he received an email encouraging him to do the walk, so he quit his job at a warehouse and flew to Vancouver. 

The highlights included speaking at parishes and “running into people who had no idea what we were doing,” he said. 

At the parishes, people would tell them: “We are so moved by what you are doing,” he said. “The hope we saw in their eyes gave us hope to keep on going.” 

On the road, they met “more and more people who were thanking us for what we were doing,” he said. 

In the Rockies, walkers encountered snow drifts along the road “as high as the ceiling.” 

“We managed to survive a flood in Regina,” Giguere said. “The whole TransCanada Highway was under water.” 

A story from the previous year kept him inspired. A woman holding a three year-old child greeted walkers in 2013 and told them she had met a Crossroads team while pregnant and considering abortion. Her encounter with the walkers convinced her to keep the child. 

Lindsay Sierhuis, 25, of Kelowna B.C. decided to do the walk because she had met Crossroads walkers in her city in 2010. “I kept a little piece of paper for four years; it was through them coming to my town I was exposed to the Crossroads mission,” she said. 

“It’s been such a blessing,” she said. “I’m just overjoyed with the providence of God and the immense gift that we have as Catholic Christians to be so bold for life.” 

Sierhuis appreciated the fact the walkers attended Mass every day. She said her spiritual life has grown as result of the pilgrimage, through prayer for the unborn and for conversion of those considering abortion. 

Crossroads began in 1995 in response to Saint John Paul II’s call at the Denver World Youth Day for youth to become more active in the fight against abortion. 

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