Saturday, June 27, 2009

Storms and Trials

As missionaries we have left behind so many things this summer in order to take the pro-life message to the streets. It seems that as soon as we get comfortable walking or making due without certain comforts we are asked to give more of ourselves. This past Friday we finished day shift early and thought we would get a good night's sleep for the first time this week. We had a 2 hour drive to Mitchell, SD, where we were staying for the weekend. Half way to Mitchell we encountered an incredible storm with reported winds of up to 65 miles per hour. We could barely see 10 feet in front of us because of the heavy rain that literally was going sideways! We were forced to turn around and find shelter - which was over 17 miles back from where we were. We waited out the storm at a gas station and hoped that we would be able to get some sleep that night. The weather cleared and we were able to drive to Mitchell. We didn't arrive until after midnight and had to get up early in the morning to drive another hour to go pray outside the only abortion clinic in South Dakota which is located in Sioux Falls.

This is just one example of how God is calling us each day to give more of ourselves to Him so that He can use us as His instruments in the world to save lives and change hearts. We believe that abortion is not something that we will have to live with - it is something we are all called to fight through our peaceful and prayerful witness as we walk the country this summer.

The true miracle of this summer is that God is using us who are imperfect to do His will. All we are doing is making ourselves available to Him and continually saying yes to Him when He asks more of us each day.

Northern Walk 2009
Mitchell, SD

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blessings in Billings

Wow, we cannot believe how fast this summer has gone by so far! It has been such a blessing to be able to be on Crossroads this summer and be a voice for those who do not have a voice of their own. Right now we are about 65 miles outside of Billings, Montana and we're still trucking along.

It's amazing to see how generous people are in this economy. Today a man at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish shared with one of our walkers a story about how his mother, after she died, left him and his siblings an estate. He said that there was still some money left over and that "it would be an honor to make a donation to help such a worthy cause". We are so grateful for the generosity and kindness of others that makes our walks possible! The support we have received and the inspiring stories people share with us along the way give us that little extra boost to keep going.

This weekend we stayed with 3 amazing host families. Everyone has showed us so much of Christ's love and compassion. It was a hectic weekend with 6 different parishes to speak at, but God put us right where we needed to be.

We all miss our families so much, but we are so thankful for their support in our decision to follow God's call this summer.

Thank you again for all those who have been so generous with their donations and prayers. You all have no idea how much it means to us. We will continue to lift you up in our prayers through the intercession of Our Most Blessed Mother Mary.

Pauline Cerone
Northern Walk 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Central Walk makes it through the 3rd week!

Enjoying some free time at the Maseks!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Montana the Sunshine State...NOT!

Although Montana may not be the Sunshine State, it is definitely the friendliest. In one day we encountered snow, sleet, and rain and countless motorists who stopped to check to see if we were alright.

So far we've covered Washington State, Idaho, and currently we are walking through Montana. We knew from the beginning of the walk that this summer would be hard so we dedicated our walk to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We know that she has been watching over us, that's probably why we have not seen any bears...yet!

The walking has been tough, but the weekends have been our refuge. We would like to thank Martha and Fred Weiss in Seattle, WA and their family as well as the Delich family in Spokane, WA for opening their homes and hearts to us. We will never forget you! The kindness and generosity of our host families has truly been an image of God's love to us.

Doing missionary work is incredibly challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. We've had our share of blisters and sore muscles, but God cannot be outdone in generosity. Through being able to receive the Eucharist each day and praying to Our Lady as we walk we have felt God's Grace keeping us safe and helping us to succeed in our mission to take the pro-life message to the streets. We thank God for the small blessings that keep us going each day like being treated to breakfast, coffee, and donuts on several occasions after daily Mass. We have also met wonderful people who have cheered us on and encouraged us to keep up the good fight. However, we have also encountered some opposition. On the first day of walking one of us was spit on and this past week another girls was coughed on as she tried to cross the street. We have come to realize that these events are also Graces because they remind us that there is a need for us to be out here and to give witness to the people whose hearts have been hardened by the Culture of Death. As Christ carried His cross to Calvary he was beaten and bruised and slandered. We are honored to also be able to take some blows for the unborn.

As we have gotten to know each other on the walk we have shared lots of laughter and stories about what has led us to walk on Crossroads this summer. We come from 8 different states and for some of us this is our first time taking part in any type of missionary work.

We know that it is through the prayers and generosity of countless other pro-life Americans that we are able to continue to walk. We are all walking together as we work to bring our country back to the pro-life movement.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Pray for us!

Northern Walk 2009

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Always an Adventure...(Central Walk)

Well, the Central Walk is just a few hours from starting their third week of walking! It is crazy to think about how time is flying! I think it is safe to say that most of us thought the first week of walking was the longest week of our entire lives! But, it does eventually get easier as time goes on. We just have to push through the crazy terrain, extreme heat, and millions of blisters!

Along the miles we have encountered some of the most exciting adventures. For example: getting the support vehicle stuck in California, meeting a gold miner in Nevada, walking 20 miles in the wrong direction, sleeping in Walmart parking lots...and much more!

We’ve spent the weekend in Reno, Nevada, with an awesome host family. We only had 19 Masses to speak at...compared to the 32 of last weekend in Sacramento! Next weekend we will be in Salt Lake City, Utah!

We are currently walking on HWY 50...also known as the loneliest road in America! Some of the girls on the team found a sticker in Austin, Nevada, that says: “I survived Hwy 50.” What did we get ourselves into? Haha.

I want to share a story that came up last weekend after a Mass I spoke at. A lady stopped me in the vestibule and started talking about her son. She said that her 7 year old was listening to me speak and questioned her: “Mommy, why are they walking for babies?” His mother explained to him about abortion and the purpose of Crossroads. The lady then told me that all of the sudden her son paused for a few seconds, and then gave her a great big hug. He embraced her for a few minutes and finally said: “Mommy, thank you for not killing me.” The lady’s story brought tears to my eyes. Situations like these just make me realize how important it is for us to spread and impact the pro-life movement. We need to become aware and get involved. After all, it’s the next generation that is being wiped out...’s to more blisters and farmer’s tans...but, in the end--it’s all worth it.

Until next time,
Michelle, Central Walk 2009


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Southern Walk's Start

A photo of the first members of the Crossroads Southern Walk Team, just before we left the Santa Monica Pier for Washington, DC


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Central Walk With Bishop Soto

The Central Walk after Mass with The Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, May 30, 2009

-Holy Spirit Parish in Sacramento, CA


End of Central & Southern Walk Training

Thursday, May 21, 2009 - Lake Arrowhead, CA

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Crossroads 2009 Pro-Life Walks Across America

May 23, 2009 - August 15, 2009

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Roadside Poetry

Big feet, small feet, feet, feet, feet

Sore feet, stinky feet, the different feet you'll meet!

Hot feet, cold feet, wet feet, dry feet, the oh so fine feet

Oh how our feet blister from walking in the heat!
We walk from place to place down the street!

Over the hills, through the mountains,
past the big builders and the big fountains.

Uphill, downhill, and time to chill,
on the side of the road we get refills.

We are sore and tired but continue on,
we pray, and we walk and sing a song.

We rejoice at the end of the shift, knowing our time has come to rest,
but we sent the next ones out telling them to do their best.

As we wait for our turn to go on a walk,
we sit on the ground hoping the ants don't talk.

Desert blue, desert green, mountain snow, mountain stream,
we go different places we have never been,
we go to the different places with our friends.

Pretty sunset, beautiful sunrise, every day a splendid surprise!

We saw a deer today! We saw two!
One for me and one for you!

In KOA's and Safeways we stay, after leaving host families in the byways.
We laugh with each other along the way.

It doesn't matter where we stay
between me and my friends - it's all ok!

Yes, our journey that we walk is very long,
but doing God's work we can't go wrong!

We are Crossroads group 2009
I will never forget your heart, and you will never forget mine!