America’s Crossroads

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I sat in the car outside my parish, having dropped off my son to altar-serve for Thursday morning Mass. I prepared to shut off the engine and go inside, flipping my Sirius radio back and forth between Gus Lloyd on the Catholic Channel and Brian Patrick on EWTN. Suddenly, an RV stopped behind me. Hopping out were a bunch of young folks, college-aged, smiling, wearing t-shirts with the unmistakable words “PRO-LIFE” stamped across the front.

“Welcome,” I said to one young lady. “Where are you all from?”

She explained that they were traversing the country spreading the pro-life message. They began in Seattle on May 22, the Vigil of Pentecost, and would finish in the nation’s capital on August 14; their entire summer. They alternated between driving and walking, with someone always walking. It wasn’t a joy ride, or at least not earthly joy. Sometimes they were cheered but, often, they were jeered. Showers, washing machines, and food were hardly predictable.

Most challenging were the hisses on Saturday mornings, when they prayed outside abortion clinics. No doubt, the sacraments received at daily Mass provided fuel to persevere.

As I went inside the church that morning, I opened my Magnificat. The first verse that day was from Isaiah, where the Lord spoke of having “formed you from the womb.” The meditation was from Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross—Edith Stein—on the “power of grace,” the sacraments, the Eucharist. Stein, too, suffered the evils of the world. She was put to death at Auschwitz.

We often complain about America’s youth. Here’s a group that rises above complaints. Think about they spent their summer: penance, sacrifice, pure sacrifice. Not exactly a summer at the beach.

To learn more about them, go to

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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