The Crossroads walkers visit The Interim office in 2008

At least a dozen Canadian youth have been scheduled to take part in at least a portion of the Crossroads walk from Vancouver to Ottawa, the third time since 2007 the pro-life youth group has provided the travelling pro-life witness in Canada.

Crossroads was founded in 1994 by Steve Sanborn, a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, as a response to Pope John Paul II’s call for all to take a more active part in the pro-life movement. There are three U.S. walks covering three routes (north, central and south) that begin in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively and converge in Washington on the same day for a closing rally. The Canadian and American walks start and end on the same dates. “The walk is a way for young people to effect a very positive change on today’s society,” says Martha Nolan, executive director of Crossroads.

In Canada, the walk began with six young men in Vancouver on May 14 and will conclude on Aug. 14 in the nation’s capital. Others plan to join the core group of walkers during various parts of the 12-week trek.

The Canadian walk is headed by Brother Paul JohnMary, a seminarian from Nova Scotia. He said, “I chose to walk with Crossroads because I feel it is my responsibility to defend the sanctity and dignity of human life … In a society in which life is being attacked from all sides, more than ever before pro-lifers have to raise their voices and make some sound.”

The youth wear t-shirts emblazoned with the words PRO-LIFE in large letters so that passers-by know what the walk is for. The walkers cover about 100 kilometers each day between a day shift and night shift, walking in groups of three, for five consecutive days.They rest each weekend during which they talk to pro-life and church groups and witness against abortion wherever the procedures take place in those communities. reported that Jonathan Baker, one of the walkers, said that there are two Michaels, two Jonathans, and two Pauls in the group. “You can’t help but think that there must be some reason for this,” he said. The six walkers are split into two groups, with one Paul, one Jonathan, and one Michael in each. “We didn’t plan it this way,” Baker noted. “Again, a sign of God’s providence, I’m sure.”

The group will be in Winnipeg July 3-4, before continuing to Thunder Bay July 10-11, Sault Ste. Marie July 17-18, Sudbury July 24-25, Toronto July 31-Aug. 1, and Montreal Aug. 7-8 before completing their trek on Aug. 13, hitting smaller communities along the route in the weekdays between.

The walkers have already been in Vancouver, Penticton, B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina.

You can follow the walk at