Walking Brisbane to Melbourne!
Crossroads is a pro-life youth organization that is American in origin, but is gradually spreading around the world, and this is the first year they have tried the organization's characteristic long marches for life - in the US they do coast to coast walks that end up in Washington DC.
In Australia, they are making it Brisbane to Melbourne, some 1500 kilometres, and they started back in mid-December, and aim to arrive in Melbourne at the end of this week.
In the US I gather they literally walk all the way. In our rather tougher summer climate and dispersed populations, they are walking around 20 to 25 kilometres a day, and driving another 80 or so in order to stop at population centres, with breaks over the weekend, so they can sort out logistics, make contact with local pro-life groups and individuals, and so forth. In fact, I gather that this first time is something of a scouting expedition aimed at sorting out the logistics for a more full-scale event next year.
Along the way, they hear Mass daily, pray litanies and the rosary and so forth, so it's a real pilgrimage in effect.
In any case, this weekend's Canberra stopover involved visits and talks to a number of parishes by members of the group of twelve walkers, a great way to evangelize!
What you can do...
The group heads to Wagga tomorrow, so if you are reading this from there, please look out for them as they head into town! Their other scheduled stops this week are Benalla and Seymour, before finally making it to Melbourne (there's an end of walk rally scheduled for Jan 12 there).
But their real mission is to urge people to get engaged - join the local pro-life organization, offer your fasting and prayers to the cause of protecting the unborn (and, as some parishioners at my local church emphasized, protecting women), to look to see what else you can do in a practical way.
It sounds like a great concept (though I'm not sure December-January is the time of year I'd pick to go walking any distance in Australia, particularly given the heatwave we are currently enjoying!).
So keep the walkers in your prayers, and think about joining in with some or all of this event next year...