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Canada: Walking into Sault Ste Marie

July 16, 2010

On Sunday in Thunder Bay, I attended an outdoor mass. Fr. Terri talked about showing love to our neighbor as people could literally see their neighbors houses from where they were sitting. I gave my first outdoor talk and it was well received. We had an indoor lunch later and I got to meet Fr. Terri’s parents and part of his family. Indeed it must be cool to have a brother or son who is a priest in the same diocese as you are living.

That evening I was set to go to a life teen mass at St. Agnes parish in Thunder Bay. Lifeteen was not active there in the summer, so there were not many youth, however, much more than you would normally see in mass. We try to focus our message on the evils of abortions at youth masses rather than the blurb about prayer intentions and donations.

After this, we geared up for what we knew was going to be our toughest stretch of the walk. 692 km, from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie and only 6 of us to do the walk. We did our regular city walk through Thunder Bay and the majority response was pro-life, although we did get some pro-choices reactions that were pretty strong and were mainly expletives!

I was on the night team and I knew this was going to be really hard. The night team usually gets less sleep, since we have to move the RV during the day and do certain errands when places are open during the day. Not to mention, we were warned about bears, wolves & moose.

The first few nights are always a little eerie and your mind plays games with you. Usually the 3 or 4 AM shift is the hardest, since you are so tired and you have to keep walking. The last shifts are also really difficult since you have been walking the whole night and your legs are really aching and craving a massage! The best thing about the night shift is when the morning breaks. You see the sky lighten up, the birds chirping. In this case, the highway was right beside Lake Superior and you could hear and see the waves crashing, which is also a welcome addition to the morning sounds. The other good points about the night shift are it is really quiet and there is less traffic and hence serves as a good time for contemplation. The skies are filled with literally thousands of stars on the route from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie on the No. 17!

We stopped by Montreal River and got our chance to swim in Lake Superior. The water is super clear and there are no fish. We said our evening prayer to sunset on L. Superior. Montreal River has got to go down as one of the best venues and campgrounds of this trip. Simply beautiful. The beauty transcends all imagination!

After some intense walking and a regular 140 KM/day, we made it to Sault Ste. Marie today. I was practically stumbling along on my last shift today.We attended a Polish service today and the priest was very welcoming to us. He told us about the amalgamating of two churches in the diocese. What I got from our conversation with him was that our priests and young people need a lot of prayers today.

We are based in an old retreat center in Sault Ste. Marie. The whole house was given for us to stay. This place is huge! It has 11 bedrooms, several washrooms, a huge dining room and kitchen, a private chapel, all exclusively for the 6 of us. Man, we are really spoiled!

Tomorrow we start our adventure in Sault Ste. Marie. Only God knows what’s in store for us as we continue down this path. Each day, we wake up to a completely new adventure!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Frances permalink
    July 18, 2010 10:27 pm

    Hey Everyone,

    Great description of the walk towards Sault Ste. Marie Michael. I felt like I was with you guys, which was great. Thanks and God Bless.

  2. Fred Liederbach permalink
    July 23, 2010 1:46 pm


    Sorry we missed you in the Sault! We live an hour and a half south in Michigan. If we had our passports, we might have shot up to see you guys! Our daughter is walking with the northern US group, so a day after you left the Sault, we headed down to Indiana to spend a few days with her and her group. It was great!

    I guess the days we spent with Margaret’s group make up for our not visiting you folks. Hope the rest of your journey goes well. Why were there only 6 of you from Thunder Bay to the Sault?

  3. Sarah permalink
    July 31, 2010 8:18 pm

    Hey Crossroads Canada!
    I was on the first walk. I just want to say you all are awesome! I read the recent Lifesite News story and it has filled me with HOPE!! It was very difficult that summer because people were extremely indifferent – and didn’t really care, more or less even knew about the PRO-LIFE issue. I know God is using you all to make a tremendous difference in Canada, whether it may be YEARS from now!! Keep on trekking, you are almost there! There is no greater feeling than walking up to the parliament building in Ottawa. You are in our prayers. Many lives have been affected through your walking – do not be afraid!!!

    In Christ through the most Blesses Virgin,


  4. Donald Bourget permalink
    July 10, 2014 10:19 am

    Hi all, great to see your progress and your continued message and reflections. I am J-P’s cousin, living in Carleton Place (just southwest of Ottawa on Hwy 7), I’ve spoken at our parish a few times about what you guys are doing. Would love to have you come by and talk at St Mary’s in Carleton Place and stay at our place there (bbq and a big hot tub to relax in 🙂

    God bless you and Vivat Jesus!

    Donald Bourget

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