.- Over 40 young people who walked across the U.S. for pro-life service, advocacy and witness held a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to mark the end of the 18th annual cross-country trek run by the group Crossroads.
“Even though the walks are over, we still need to continue on and let the Lord work, to continue that mission of transforming the culture of death into a culture of life,” Crossroads national director Jim Nolan told CNA Aug. 13.
Walk participants began on the West Coast on May 19. They passed through 40 states, visiting hundreds of churches and standing outside of dozens of abortion clinics where they prayed and offered pro-life counseling.
Nolan found cause for hope in the reaction to the walkers.
“We’ve been saying for years that America is a pro-life country,” he said. “I can tell you, through all the experiences on all of the walks, it was all very positive.”
Crossroads groups received “very little pushback” and an “almost exclusively positive reaction” to their activities.
The closing rally featured Bryan Kemper, a speaker with Priests for Life, and Live Action President Lila Rose.
Ryan recalled that Crossroads aspires to follow Pope John Paul II’s call at World Youth Day 1993 for people to imitate the original apostles and “to help build the culture of life.”
Since then, Ryan said, there has been “a big shift” towards the pro-life position among youth.
“America is a pro-life,” he said. “The culture of death, even though it seems like it is getting worse, I think is taking its last gasps.”
Supporters of abortion, he told CNA, see the shift towards a pro-life position among the youth.
Tragedy struck the Crossroads walk earlier this year when Andrew Kentigern Moore, a 20-year-old college student from Thomas Aquinas College, was struck and killed by a car July 20 on a highway near Indianapolis.
Moore’s uncle, Paul Brilliant, joined his nephew’s group and finished the walk in his place.
When it was first founded in 1995, Crossroads only sponsored one walk across the United States. This year, in addition to the four U.S. walks, there are counterparts in Canada, Ireland, and Spain.