Student killed during pro-life cross-country walk ‘missed deeply’
By Mary Ann Garber
INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Andrew Moore felt called to walk across America this summer with pro-life college students to help save the lives of unborn babies.
“I had already been involved in the pro-life movement for several years,” Moore wrote in a reflection before he joined a group of Crossroads volunteers walking from San Francisco to Washington to pray for an end to legalized abortion. “When I am at home, I pray in front of the local abortion mill almost every day and try to speak to the people going in.”
“Crossroads sounded like a good way to serve God and help his children,” he added. “I have been considering a vocation to the priesthood for some time, and Crossroads is a great way to work on my discernment — prayer, sacrifice and separation from the distractions of the world.”
Tragically the 20-year-old Concord, Calif., college student lost his own life early July 20 when he was hit by a car and killed instantly as he walked along a highway in west-central Indiana with another Crossroads participant.
It was about 5 a.m. and the collegians had only been walking along U.S. 40 near Stilesville for about 15 minutes when they decided to cross the highway to walk on the other side so they could see oncoming traffic while they prayed the rosary.
They were wearing reflective safety vests, and the Crossroads van with other walkers was just ahead of them along the south/central walk route to the nation’s capital.
With just 600 miles to go, the collegians were on schedule to participate in a pro-life rally Aug. 11 at the U.S. Capitol.
Shortly after the accident that claimed Moore’s life, Crossroads organizers canceled the remainder of the 18th annual Canada, northern, south/central and southern walks this summer so the grief-stricken young adults could receive counseling and return to their homes.
Besides San Francisco, the 2012 Crossroads walks started in Seattle, San Jose and Los Angeles. The Canada walk started in Vancouver and was to end in Ottawa, also Aug. 11.
Moore was a student at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif.
Jim Nolan, president of Crossroads Pro-Life, based in Columbia, Md., wrote on the organization’s website, www.crossroadswalk.org: “The entire Crossroads family is devastated by the loss of such a courageous young man. Andrew will be missed deeply by all who knew him. His memory will be preserved in the work of Crossroads and all work to build a culture of life. Andrew was praying the rosary at the moment he was hit. He is now resting in the merciful love of God.”
In an interview with Catholic News Service July 26, Nolan said he has been amazed to see “the impact that Andrew had in the nine weeks that he was on Crossroads.”
“We’ve heard from so many families and priests … churches that he spoke in … several priests, at least three maybe four, have called to express their sympathy and their sadness and shock as to what happened,” he said.
“They remember Andrew from their parish. He was at a church every weekend either helping speak or collecting … getting the word out,” he added.
During the annual Crossroad walks, the participants are hosted by Catholic parishes as they make their way across the country. Among other activities, they give talks to various groups in the parishes they visit.
Nolan told CNS that his organization also has heard from host families of the walkers who remarked “how impressed they were with the young kids, especially Andrew. We have gotten emails from around the world after hearing about his death.”
The Moore family received “support from several places around the world,” he added. “Seeing how many people were affected by it … it shows testimony to the work that he did and life that he lived. …. In Andrew’s wake, I see a lot of people being affected positively by his testimony and the life that he lived.”
Moore’s father, Joseph, commented on the Crossroads website that his son loved God, embraced the Cross and “died to one’s self for the sake of God through the selfless love of others.”
Father Bernard Cox, pastor of Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Danville, anointed Moore’s body at the scene and prayed with the collegians.
After they prayed for the repose of their friend’s soul and for his family, Father Cox said, the college students asked him to say a prayer for Terry King of Fillmore, who was en route to work when he accidentally hit Moore near the edge of the grassy median of the divided highway in rural Hendricks County.
“It was undoubtedly the worst thing I have encountered in 21 years of priesthood so far,” Father Cox said of Moore’s tragic death. “It was very sad.”
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Contributing to this story was Catherine McDonough in Washington.
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Garber is senior reporter at The Criterion in Indianapolis.