Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

The Breath Of Life

By Zoe Cannon

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Our world is very troubled, and the coping skills for real problem solving are in crisis as well.  There are many different ways to tackle the challenges of life, especially for young people who are growing up in a culture that does not value the sanctity of life.  We have a responsibility to encourage people to be steadfast in faith... God always has a perfect plan.  


In 1995, Steve Sanbom, a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, founded a group called Crossroads.  The mission for this group was a response to Saint Pope John Paul II’s call to the youth of the world to become involved with a pro-life movement that would help encourage a Culture of Life.  Every summer for the past 22 years, students have committed to carry this message across the United States.  They walk over 10, 000 miles through 36 states on state highways wearing the PRO-LIFE t-shirts to witness to the dignity and sanctity of all human life.  Crossroads also organizes a pro-life walk conducted in Canada and Australia recognizing the need to spread the pro-life message to the world. 


This summer in the United States, a Central Walk and a Southern Walk were simultaneously planned.  The groups began in San Francisco and Los Angeles on May 20, 2017, and they will arrive together at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 12.  These young people sacrificed their entire summer to promote this cause before they will return for classes on college campuses.  We were privileged to host some of the Central Crossroad walkers in our home from July 21-24 through the organization of Sts. Francis and Clare Parish in Greenwood, Indiana.  The personal response from each of these young people about their experience was incredible, and the witness of their faith and love for God amazing. 


During each weekend, the group organizes a visit to a Catholic parish to share their message during all the Masses.  They visit abortion clinics on Saturdays to pray and serve as a peaceful, visible presence supporting the gift of life.  The weekend is an opportunity for the walkers to accept the kindness of strangers in providing encouragement, rest and sustenance.  Providing help for their physical needs is important, and offering financial support is also essential; but the commitment to pray for their efforts and safety is their greatest need because they’re in a spiritual battle as they promote this controversial message across the country. 


Their witness blessed us, because in giving we do receive!  We heard stories about encountering both support and opposition as they walked through different cities.  The Governor of Nebraska honored the group at a dinner; as they left, a woman was waiting outside for them.  She shared a picture of the little feet of her stillborn son, and she wanted them to carry it with them on their journey.  The presence of these walkers affected the most powerful person, and the most vulnerable in that state.  The Crossroad walkers all agree that their mission is very important.  They believe that if just one person comes to a crossroad in life and remembers their message, then their blistered feet and time spent walking were worth it.  “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy.  It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho  

If you would like to support the efforts of this group you may obtain more information at:   Thank you, Lord, for breathing life into us, and making us a living soul...Amen!