Young Disciples Ethan Caddel and Fr. Dan Gurnick lead the spirited Sherwood Park pro-life march.


Young Disciples Ethan Caddel and Fr. Dan Gurnick lead the spirited Sherwood Park pro-life march.

April 25, 2011

SHERWOOD PARK — As federal politicians actively campaign for votes, youngsters from Sherwood Park took their own special message to the streets, campaigning for the sanctity of human life.

Accompanied by Franciscan Father Dan Gurnick and a few parents, elementary school students marched through the community April 13 to show their solidarity with the 40 Days for Life movement.

Kelley Thompson, a main organizer of the event, said that instead of going to the Back Porch, the walk was the children's way of participating in the annual pro-life event.

Young Disciples is the parish's children's program at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The group members made posters and placards in support of human life. The participants, mostly youth in grades 5 to 7, paraded from the church and down busy Baseline Road. They wore bright orange signs with bold pro-life messages on them.

Jadyn Waldner wore a sign saying, "We vote pro-life," and her incentive for attending was to put an end to abortion.

"You should stop abortion because it's pretty much murder . . . you're killing a kid," said Waldner. "I want people to at least take into consideration to stop abortion and to protest with us."


The event is crucial to her friend, Alexandria Blunt. Among all of the ministries and viewpoints held by the Church, she sees the defence of life as the most important. She and her friends at school disagree with any legislation allowing abortion.

"I am here because I want people to know that abortion is wrong," said Blunt. "Actually, more babies are being killed by abortion today than people were killed in World War Two. My mom is having a baby, and I think it's unfair that some people kill their babies."

Ethan Caddel told the WCR that his father recently got more in touch with God and, consequently, his family has since become more involved in the pro-life bloc. "I am here because my mom just had a baby," said Caddel.

His motivation for participating in the march was straightforward. "I just wanted to come out here to help get rid of abortion," he said.

Traffic slowed down as drivers took notice of their presence on the sidewalk. Caddel's sign read, "Honk if you love babies." Many motorists obliged by honking their horns in support of their cause.

"It shows how many people love babies. It's just wrong, killing a baby, because a baby is alive from conception till death," said Caddel.


"I don't think most of my friends know that much about pro-life. They might not know what abortion is, but I'm pretty sure if they knew what it was, they wouldn't like it."

Young Disciples meet every Wednesday evening. The group seeks new ways to present the Catholic faith, continuing where catechesis ends. Drama, crafts, games, music, videos, guest speakers, field trips and interaction among friends are common activities for the group.