SALT LAKE CITY — A group of pro-life Crossroads walkers passed through Salt Lake City June 9-10 to pray in front of the women’s clinic for an end to abortion and to invite people to become more actively pro-life by speaking in various parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
The group is participating in the Central walk, one of four walks across America in which each step is a prayer for the protection of dignity and sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They left San Francisco on May 21 and will arrive in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 11. As they walk an average of 60 miles per day, they pray the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and other prayers.
This year, they also are praying for two of their companions, who were injured in a vehicle accident in Nevada on May 31.
"The accident took us all by surprise," said Caleb Glaser, Crossroads walk leader. "I was on the night shift and hadn’t gone to sleep yet when I got the call at 10:45 a.m. and called the directors to tell them the two girls were being air-lifted to hospitals in Salt Lake City. We immediately sat down together and prayed the rosary for them. They are home now with their families and doing well. I honestly think the accident brought our group closer together, as tragic as it was."
Crossroads walker Yale Gerber was in the support van when the accident occurred but wasn’t injured. "We had just left the RV park and dropped the first walkers off when it happened," said Gerber, a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State College. We are just thankful the two girls are OK, and we are all praying it won’t happen again."
Gerber walked across America last year and chose to walk again this year. "I’m adopted and I don’t know a lot about my birth family," he said. "But I know that I would have been statistically a strong risk for an abortion, so I’ve been pro-life all my life and when I heard about Crossroads I wanted to get involved."
Katie Bradshaw is a 2012 high school graduate from Missouri who was encouraged to come on the walk by Gerber. She will attend Franciscan University in the fall. "I started going to the pro-life marches while I was in high school through youth groups," she said. "Since then, God has been working on my heart with the pro-life movement ever since. As I got older and was involved in service-oriented situations, I became more aware of how many women have had abortions and how many women I know personally who have had abortions. I see them still holding on to that grief and pain and how it is still affecting their lives 20 or 30 years later. That is very dear to my heart and what I am praying for as well as we walk."
Glaser chose to walk because he felt compelled to take a stand for the pro-life movement, he said. "I have always been pro-life. I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area attending the National Right to Life March with my family ever since I can remember," said Glaser, a graduate of Ave Maria College. "It was in college that I took pro-life seriously."