Crossroads Australia

Crossroads Australia

Crossroads Australia arrived in Melbourne yesterday — at a McDonald’s restaurant in Broadmeadows, to be precise.

The Crossroads initiative started in 1995 at the excellent Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. It has been replicated in many other Western countries in the years since. Young adults commit to “pro-life walks” across their countries: to raise the profile of the pro-life cause, and in reparation for sins against life.

Crossroads made its debut in Australia this summer, starting in Brisbane in December, and ending in Melbourne tomorrow. One of the walkers, Daniel Mount, I know well — his brother is a few years behind me in the seminary.

Daniel Mount: walked from Brisbane to Melbourne

Daniel Mount: walked from Brisbane to Melbourne

Danny expresses the walk’s twofold purpose very well:

I am walking Crossroads because I believe life begins at conception. I want to protect the innocent babies in the womb because they deserve all the rights and dignity of a new born baby. I believe that by all the graces gained through prayers and sufferings offered up, we will change hearts and minds and bring the end of abortion throughout the world.

In other words, Crossroads is both secular and spiritual. A modern awareness raiser, and a traditional pilgrimage.

Daniel has been walking (except for a few days over Christmas) since 15 December. Another friend, Paul Nulley, joined the pilgrimage last Sunday, when it passed through his home town of Canberra. Paul was ordained a deacon a few months ago, and he is due to be ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn later this year.

Rev Paul Nulley: walked from Canberra to Melbourne

Rev Paul Nulley: walked from Canberra to Melbourne

Remember Danny and Paul in your prayers, and the other walkers. If you’re near Melbourne, you can join them at St Augustine’s for 10:00 Mass tomorrow morning. From there, the group will walk up Bourke Street to Parliament House. “A prayerful walk along the footpath” — not one of those disruptive protest marches along the street,* which also have a place, but which serve a different purpose. A prayer vigil will be held at the steps of Parliament House from midday to 1pm.

An open invitation is also extended to join the Crossroads after party. 7:30 Saturday night, at the Thomas More Centre, 35 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn. RSVP: Phyllis Restall, 0402 004 112.

I hope the Crossroads walk across Australia has benefitted the participants, and bears fruit. I hope it’s done again. It’s part of a more spiritual, less confrontational expression of the pro-life movement which has developed of late.

Congratulations to the participants and organisers. God bless your apostolates.

* See comments below. H/T Tony Robertson.

5 Comments

  1. Tony Robertson
    Jan 11, 2013

    John,

    I find you use of the descriptor “disruptive” somewhat perjorative in your comment about public protest marches in city streets. I began my experience of public pro-life protests in the days of the Vietnam war and have since been quite active in this form of public protest to raise awareness of injustice and exploitation of the vulnerable.

    I support the right of any group to use non-violent public protest as your group has chosen but suggest you might take more care in your assessment of others who also share this right with you.

    Tony

    • Fr John
      Jan 11, 2013

      Hi Tony. I use the word descriptively, not judgementally. As I say, disruptive protests also have a place, and I’ve participated in many myself. I didn’t intend to be perjorative.

      Maybe “more intrusive” might have been better, though that can be taken to be perjorative too. In any event, your comment has allowed me to clarify myself. Thanks for the feedback!

    • Anne
      Jan 13, 2013

      Tony have you ever seen the group (with yellow t/shirts) with pots and pans and noise makers that attend the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne. I suspect that they are , as you say, exercising “their right” to protest but you know what? they are not allowing the other group that’s there praying queitly to do their type of “protest” by praying and offering help to women going in for an abortion. So Tony “perjorative?” fits that particular disruptive group. And I was at the 10am Mass and talk with Dr Van Gend yesterday and the final walk to Parliament house and the young (and not so young like me) prayed outside parliament that those working within those walls might begin to think about “life” not in a perjorative” sense but as really of value.
      Ps I Tony have been working full ime in pro life work for many years.

  2. MuMu
    Jan 11, 2013

    Fr John, if your use of the word “disruptive’ in this sense means stopping the traffic, then it’s right and just and effective. If only another 10,000 would take to the streets and March for the Babies in the CBD against abortion, we might make a dint in the culture of death.
    What might really begin to make a difference would be bishops getting up and preaching against contraception, which is what started it all and is the root of the evil tree. Until that happens I can’t see abortion diminishing except when we run out of young women because they’ve been aborted or are sterile from STDs.

    • Anne
      Jan 13, 2013

      Thanks Mu Mu I like your comment and I agree.
      In fact I asked the same question yesterday of another woman next to me. Why weren’t there 30,000 people walking for young in utero life like there were 30,000 who walked when a beautiful young woman was murdered. In 24 hours the organiser tweeted, facebooked and brought together 30,000 people to say that they protested against violence in the street where they lived. Why the difference? because the young woman was visible, young beautiful and the media gave the protest their time. Where was the media yesterday..abortion not important… also those who die are invisible, unseen so it must be OK.
      Like you Mu mu I dont see things changing any time soon.