Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 11 2007 - LAST DAY!

Hi everyone!

We have made it to Ottawa! We finished our walk today on Parliament Hill, ending the 12th week of our 3-month walk across Canada. I am very thankful that we made it here safely, that we were blessed with the perseverance and strength we needed to take every step along the way. A big thank you goes out to everyone who supported us by their prayers, their hospitality, generosity, to our host families, my friends and family and all who supported us along the way. It is thanks to all of your support that Crossroads was successful this year in its first walk across Canada, and that our walk was fruitful in taking steps to put an end to abortion in Canada. We have met so many people along the way, raising our voices for those who have none, and have given great witness to the pro-life message. But this is just the beginning for me, as this walk motivates me to do ever more to try to change hearts and minds and put an end to abortion. It is my hope that Crossroads also inspires others to do more, whether politically, socially, or prayerfully, to put an end to abortion.
So, that said, I will wrap up what happened today as we walked into Ottawa. So we got started walking this morning at 9am, and walked into Ottawa, down Sussex drive to the PM's house, then back up all the way to Parliament. As we approached, we saw a big crowd there, and suddenly they started applauding and cheering. They were there for us! What an amazing sight it was, and what a warm welcome we received. Beyond all my expectations. There, we were greeted by Pierre Lemieux, a conservative pro-life politician for the Glen-Carrie-Prescott-Russel ridding. We had a bit of a ceremony - he presented us with certificates of achievement and a Canadian flag. Cyril gave a little talk, and to top it all off we were given a tour of Parliament.
At the moment, I will soon be heading to the airport. I want to thank all you who took an interest in my blog and who supported the Crossroads pro-life group. Let us continue working for justice and for an end to abortion in Canada and around the world.

Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10 2007 (Friday)

An awesome day. We spent the morning walking, then we met up with Wanda, who organized our weekend in Ottawa, had a quick lunch, then proceeded to meet fellow pro-lifers to walk and pray outside the Morgentaler clinic in Ottawa. It was really busy there, as it was noontime and we were in downtown Ottawa. We received the most criticism yet on the trip, with people screaming "bigots", "pedophiles", "sickos", etc. We also had a small group of anti-protesters coming out, holding up signs that said "Pro family - pro child - pro choice". Strange. We were 21 pro-lifers in total - a good outcome. There will be much more going on tomorrow as well.
Afterwards we drove out to where we left off walking and continued walking a little longer. Then we all proceeded to our host families places. More to come tomorrow...

August 9 2007 (Thursday)

Tonight and last night were our last nights on night-shift. We are walking altogether on Friday to the outskirts of Ottawa, and will finish up the last 10 km all the way to Parliament Hill on Saturday. I am really excited - and thankful - for making it this far. It is now just a matter of time before we are standing outside of Parliament.

August 7 2007 (Tuesday)

Today we got to check out Notre Dame basilica, one of the four minor basilicas in Montreal. The others are St. Patrick, St. Joseph's Oratory and Mary Queen of the World (Marie-Reigne-du-Monde). Among other things (like paying a visit to the police station, where Jeremy tried getting a temporary ID since he got his wallet stollen a few weeks ago) we did the Way of the Cross behind St. Joseph's Oratory.

August 6 2007 (Monday)

Today, Jeremy Ben and I walked through Montreal during the day while the others took the day off (we get our day off tomorrow). We basically started walking at 11am and finished at 9 or 10pm. We walked along the Ottawa River, then through parts of Old Montreal, and essentially through most of Montreal. Tomorrow the others are going to walk, while we check out the city. We start walking again Tuesday night.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

August 5 2007 (Sunday)

Hi everyone,
Today is Sunday, which means its Mass day. So I woke up early, got prepared, and headed off for St. Monica's to give my talks.
I liked St. Monica's, especially the priest there. When I first met him, I asked him if he was Father Raymond (which was what was indicated on our sheet). He said that he wasn't, that he was Father Bertelli. So I asked him if this was the first time at the parish... assuming the other priest was away. But he replied, laughing, that he was pastor there for 40 years!
He was a nice old Italian priest, and invited me for breakfast after morning Mass.
After the 8:30 and 11:00am Mass, Greg picked me up, and then we went to pick up Ben at his parish. I had to go looking for him, and found him enjoying himself outside the church where parishioners were having a "carnival" to raise founds for a group going to WYD. Afterwards, us three went to visit St. Peter's, which was a minor basilica which is actually constructed after the design of St. Peter's in Rome, except 1/3 the size. But still, it was so large and so beautiful. All along the walls were painted Saints, hundreds of them, in succession. It was neat. Among others were Brother Andre, the Canadian Martyrs, and St. Lawrence O'Toole (a distant relative perhaps?)
Tonight Father is treating us to a BBQ. Tomorrow, we are staying another day in Montreal (taking a much needed day off), for two reasons: the distance back to Ottawa, our next stop, is only 200km away, and reason number two, is that its Cyril's birthday. So we will hopefully get more time to visit churches and such things as this.
Tomorrow we are also having another walker joining us for a week. It'll be interesting to have a new walker, shake things up a bit.
We start walking again on Monday night I believe. We are going to be walking more than just the 200 km to Ottoawa, as we are walking 4 full days... where to, Cyril has yet to tell us. I'm curious to know where he will take us...

August 5 2007 (Sunday)

Hi everyone,
Here are some pics from last weekend in Toronto. Enjoy :)

This is us having a meal with the Gethsemane youth group, after we got up on Friday, and shortly before we headed off for their youth group meeting at a local school. We ate at an Italian restaurant... mmm

Here is Greg giving a talk at the prayer group meeting (made up of adults, youth, and children). See how many people there are! And we are told this is a small crowd compared to usual... Greg is a very fine speaker.

This is me giving a talk following Greg and Jeremy. Greg and Jeremy were tough acts to follow...

This is us (Greg, Jeremy, and I, from left to right) gratefully receiving a check from the Gethsemane group... they unexepectedly had offering baskets passed around so that people could donate to Crossroads. They were very generous.
The final prayer...
A group of all of us together, posing for the camera. Greg, Jeremy and I are right behind the kids in the front row.