Pro-lifers take steps to help protect the unborn

Crossroads 350By Jackson Saunders
Sandhurst Seminarian
A GROUP of young people from across Australia recently travelled more than 2000 kilometres in a month to promote the dignity of life.
Crossroads Australia is a Catholic youth movement which takes part in an annual pro-life walk.
This year the walk began in Brisbane and followed the eastern coast of Australia, stopping in major cities and towns on their way to Melbourne.
In the final days of their journey, Crossroads Australia visited the Sandhurst Diocese, stopping at Wodonga, Beechworth, Dookie, Bendigo and Heathcote.
Benedict Slee, 24, from St James in the Sandhurst Diocese, was the assistant walk leader of this year’s Crossroads walk.
“The aim of Crossroads is to give witness to the sanctity and dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death, especially the unborn through the mission of prayer, sacrifice and pro-life witness as we walk,” Benedict said.
The Crossroads movement began in America in 1995, but has since spread across the world to countries including Canada, Spain, Ireland and Australia. This is the 6th year that the walk has taken place in Australia.
Benedict said that the late St John Paul II had inspired the mission of Crossroads to promote the dignity of life. This message was relayed to the youth of the world during his Pontificate at the 1993 World Youth Day.
“He called the youth of the world and challenged them to not be afraid to take Christ and the Gospel of life to the streets,” Benedict said.
“A group of college students in America then took the call quite literally and got some pro-life T-shirts to wear, before embarking on a journey to promote the sanctity of life in cities and towns across America,” Benedict said.
Crossroads is run for and by young people.
“It’s college-age students, 18-30 years old,” Benedict said.
“It’s for the youth of the world. Young people who are willing to take a stand for life.”
Benedict said that each day the group would walk 15-20kms through a different city or town.
Each day they would wear highly visible pro-life T-shirt as a peaceful and prayerful witness to the gift of life. Their daily itinerary would also include attending Mass and praying the Rosary.
“We are just there to give a positive witness to the gift of life.”
Benedict said that although reactions could be mixed as they took their message to the streets, the majority of their feedback was leaning more towards the positive side.
“Either response is good,” Benedict said.
“Even if people are angry, it means that they are passionate enough about the issue.
“In that regard their hearts can still be changed.”
Benedict said that Crossroads had been able to help many people in their annual walk.
“For instance, a few years ago we had someone encounter us in McDonalds. He had been involved in an abortion previously,” he said.
“He was really struggling with post-abortive stress and a lot of depression. We were able to talk to him and get him involved in some counselling.”
Benedict said that people such as this man had often not told anyone about their involvement in an abortion until they met Crossroads.
“We are able to bring healing, compassion and also encouragement to those we meet,” he said.
Chiara Moore, 21, from Crescent Head on the mid-north coast of NSW, was inspired to take part in the walk after hearing one of her classmates say that her sister, who happens to have Down’s Syndrome, should have been aborted.
“I think my motivation and desire to really get involved began when I was in Year 10, and one of my classmates told me that my little sister didn’t deserve to live and should have been aborted,” Chiara said.
“This really struck me and hurt: knowing that there are people in the world thinking that those who are a little different didn’t deserve to live.”
This inspired Chiara to be a “voice for the voiceless.”
“That’s where my motivation really began.”
Alice Magner, 22, from Casino NSW, said that there were some sore feet and blisters among the walkers when they reached Bendigo in the final days of their annual walk.
“You just kind of push through and say the Rosary,” laughed Alice.
Their journey had taken them through cities such as Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra and Melbourne.
The final days of their walk were spent travelling through the Sandhurst Diocese where they visited Wodonga, Beechworth, Dookie, Bendigo and Heathcote.
The walk began in Brisbane on January 13 and finished in Melbourne on February 10.
Alice invited people in the Sandhurst Diocese to join with those involved in the Crossroads walk in praying for the unborn.
“Join with us in prayer, pray for the unborn babies and the mothers and everyone who works in the industry, that they have a conversion of heart and healing, build up a culture of life,” Alice said.
For more details about the mission of Crossroads, visit

Photo: Pro-life walkers visited Sacred Heart Cathedral as part of the annual Crossroads walk.

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