Youth walk the pro-life talk for 1500km

By Jordan Grantham, 13 March 2018
Crossroads Australia youth started walking to Melbourne from St Christopher's Cathedral, Brisbane, pictured with Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Image: Crossroads Australia.

Fifteen fresh-faced young adults have walked 1500 kilometres from Brisbane to Melbourne to raise awareness of the pro-life cause.

Since 2012, Crossroad Australia has walked from Brisbane to Melbourne, praying and talking about pro-life issues. As part of their journey, they visited several parishes in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Their journey began on 13 January at St Christopher’s Cathedral, Brisbane, with Archbishop Mark Coleridge, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The group arrived in Melbourne on February 12.

Being pro-life has probably never seemed so hip. Athletic, urbane and charismatic, the youthful Crossroads Australia team presents the youthful side of the pro-life movement in Australia.

“One of the reasons why I walk is the need for young men to stand up and be counted among those who defend the unborn,” Benedict Slee, Crossroads 2018 organiser, said.

“It’s something any young person can do.”

Taking a break from their ordinary pastimes, these members of Generation Z are swimming against the tide with this major endeavour for the unborn.

They find inspiration in the pioneer of their ever-handy smartphones, Steve Jobs. The difficult circumstances surrounding his mother’s pregnancy make him a paradigm of human potential: “He was born to a young and single mother with little support – but look at how he changed the world.”

Their areas of study and work include engineering, labouring, teaching, nursing and theology.

2018 was Benedict’s fourth walk and he notes the growth in the walk’s support, and strengthened relationships with the parishes they visit on the journey.

Some inspiring moments from the walk have included moving personal encounters with strangers, whose eyes are opened about the topic by meeting the walkers, Benedict said.

At the parishes Crossroads visits, a lot of people come up and congratulate the walkers because they don’t have the opportunity to spend a month taking the same heroic stand for life.

The group has also won widespread admiration in the press, with articles in The Catholic Weekly, The Catholic Leader, Catholic Voice and several local newspapers.

Benedict’s passion for the pro-life cause is personal and sincere.

“When one of my nephews was born at 25 weeks and died, that was about the same time as the new abortion laws in Victoria. There was clearly life there,” he said.

Contrary to taking their idealism as naïveté, the immensity of their task belies a deeply held commitment to the pro-life cause.

“We’re there to be a witness. Walking from Brisbane to Melbourne helps people realise it is very important,” he said.


Are you 18 – 30 and interested in walking in the future? Check out

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