Day 21: Thanks to St. Alexis, St. Titus and all the individual volunteers!

Do you ever think about the virtue of RECEIVING? I think about it a lot when I am on the sidewalk. It is a gift to be able to graciously RECEIVE……. It can be humbling if you are receiving HELP, It can take obedience if you are receiving constructive CRITICISM and It can be joyous if you are receiving a PRESENT!

Example of how NOT to receive

I hope and I pray before I go to the sidewalk, when I am down on the sidewalk and many times for days afterwards, that the people we encounter will be receptive of our Pro-Life message!

Of course it’s always great when we have someone receive our message wholeheartedly and give us their support. But we are also happy for someone to receive our message from a bus or a car or the other side of the street!

You have to be soft to receive…like a sponge, soft enough to soak up what is being offered. We hope and pray women seeking abortion, people unaware that PP performs over 3000 abortions a year and people who have experienced abortion are just soft enough to receive……………….. a yellow card, a pamphlet, a message from our signs or the message of the fetal models.

Mary is the perfect example of how we should receive: She received Jesus with Humility, with Obedience and with Joy!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Every Tuesday when Dick, Ed, and I are on the sidewalk it has been in the 20s and cold. No change today but it felt colder…and I don’t think my hand warmers were working as well. There were single, young women going in PP from early morning…all with faces as cold as the day. We think 3 were for abortions.

Spring on the sidewalk

Ed and I were discussing, as everyone on the sidewalk does at times, “When will this place close”. And my “Jesus Calling” was there with the answer,”Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being instead of trying to figure things out yourself.” So, let’s trust and pray and let Jesus do his thing. Charlene

9-11: Nikki

 When I arrived at my 9 to 11 shift, I laid the three beautiful pink roses on the sidewalk along with wooden crosses to mark them as memorials, but unfortunately they were not there more than 20 minutes before a young man came by, obviously hostile, and was laughing as he picked them up and walked away with them. So, I decided that from now on instead of laying whole roses, I will bring roses but will disperse the petals loosely on the sidewalk.  This will serve two purposes. One, people will not be able to pick up all the loose petals to remove them, and it will also represent the way that the beautiful bodies of unborn babies are torn apart and thrown away.   The first couple who went in for an abortion would not take any alternative information, so in honor of their child I simply laid one rose petal on the sidewalk with the cross. 

Doesn’t this fetal model look beautiful with the sun shining on it? Really shows the beauty of life!  It is so nice to have the sunshine! Thank you Lord! 

11-1: Pat

I appreciated the opportunity to interact with the group from St. Alexis parish, who were there for the first half-hour of my shift.  St. Titus parish covered the full 11-1, with Patti and John (God bless them) staying all the way until 3PM.  For the bulk of the time Fr. Thomas More, the Pastor at St. Titus was on the materials side and Patti (who spent much of her time on her knees) and John on the other. 

We had one noteworthy encounter.  A man stopped as he passed us with his three kids.  He pointed to the youngest, who was in the stroller, and freely admitted that “he wanted to get rid of it,” and explained that he had serious economic fears about dividing his limited income once again to feed another mouth.  But then said that he kept hearing God’s voice in his head telling him not to do it and to trust in Him.  While he never mentioned a connection between what he heard from God and what we do in front of PP for 40DFL, I couldn’t help but think as he walked away that perhaps our collective praying had a role in his hearing that voice and trusting it. ~Pat

1-3: Beth

3-5: Michael  and Kim

5-7: Lisa  and Johanna

Day 20: Thanks to St.Irenaeus, St.Januarius, St.John the Baptist, St.Joseph and Our Lady of Joy

Recently I passed this sign in the window in one of those contemporary home stores and it stopped me in my tracks. WOW. I thought that’s what we are trying to do downtown, yet said so simply. I’m not known for my brevity, hence why this sign really struck me. We are at the vigil site TO CHANGE LIVES and we do!

We don’t know the impact we are having but I am certain we are having a big one. Remember the equation for changing hearts and minds is: Us + GOD = Kaboom! Most often we only see the Us part.

Additionally while we are changing their lives, I believe by our participation, prayer, and fasting we are changing our own lives as well. I admit when I leave the vigil I have a sense of both peace and joy. I feel like I’ve done something meaningful. I hope you do too.

We are halfway thru so if you haven’t been to the vigil yet, call a friend, co-worker or family member and sign up or just show. Someone will be there. Stay as long as you want. If you’ve already been there come on back, the weather hopefully will be better than when you were there. If you can’t make it, pray for us.

Come change lives and experience peace and joy. It’s free to all. Tim B.

Here are reports and pics from today at the vigil. Stop back throughout the day as it will be updated as reports come in. Here is the 7-9 am report from Sue.

It was a typical Monday with people going to work and school. Rose and I both noticed that it is day 20…! That first half seemed to go by quickly! St. John the Baptist parish is scheduled for the full day at the vigil. Joe from the parish came before he had to go to work and John was still there at the end of my shift. The men prayed on one side and Rose and I on the other side. A handful of employees entered PP this morning. Rose gave out a lot of info and there were many glances at the baby models. Rose took the picture of John and I. Thank you! Sue

From Donna 9-11 am: Thank you to our friends from St John the Baptist; Jack, Erin, Walter and Frank. It was great to have them join us today. There were two things that happened today. First, a gentleman by the name of Alvin came to shake all of our hands and thank us for being there. He had his son at the Driver’s License Center taking his driver test and saw us standing there. We thank God for him and knowing God sent him to strengthen us and help us to persevere in prayer to end abortion where we live. The second thing was a man riding by us on the street on his bike yelled to us “you should find something better to do with your time”. Diane responded “God bless you”. We know God has called us to be there for such a time as this.
To God Be The Glory. Donna

Part of the team from St. John’s

From Ginny 11- 1 pm: We had a bit of excitement when the protesters for the Rose trial came down Liberty Ave . There were 6 policemen on horseback, loads of police, cars, and several hundred protesters. Many were friendly One gave us the finger, others said they were not protesting us today
Some young students asked about our display and were quite surprised by the number of abortions done at PP in a year.
Another student was 7 weeks pregnant I gave her the brochure for the developmental stages of a baby She was very grateful for it.
We also got many thank you’s from passerby’s for being there. Praise God

From Beth 1-3 pm: Rose and I have seldom seen such a steady downpour. Luckily it wasn’t too cold, just enough to add the misery of wet weather to the misery that goes on inside PP every day. Lots of staff coming and going but few clients. Lianne joined us with her beautiful praying and fellowship. Just the three of us keep the prayers going and in spite of the rain, we received some encouraging words from those passing by. Overall a quiet shift.

From Marie 3-5 pm: Pete, Gloria and Marie spent a quiet and prayerful 2 hours in front of the clinic, One woman stopped and thanked us for our witness.

From George 5-7 pm:

Today shows how important our 40 Days email system is: I had to leave my shift 1/2 hour early to serve as cantor for today’s holy day. Email alert went out that Bill would be by himself, and we ended up having a total of, get this, nine people.

We did some praying, a lot of singing, and got a handful of “I support what you are doing!”

DAY 19: THANK YOU, Saint John XXIII Parish; Shift Buddies Vince, Marie, Jim, Cathy; All who witnessed at the Vigil today.

THE INFANT JESUS.  Francisco de Zurbaran

Let us pray for our children as we contemplate the chubby cheeked face of this Child, with his strong yet tender gaze and the endearing pout through which Zurbaran displays all the love God feels for his brothers and sisters in the human race. Pierre-Marie Dumont. MAGNIFICAT November 2017

___________________________________

Strange Evil targets this child and every person, all the while insisting that evil is the proper thing to do.

___________________________________

His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”  Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.  Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 26:48-50

___________________________________

Bach brings us to the Garden in Gethsemane.

Be patient during the quiet beginning. Soon the choir shouts out “the false betrayer, the murderous blood!”

DUET

So is my Jesus captured now.

Moon and light

are quenched for sorrow,

because my Jesus is captured.

They lead him away, he is bound.

CHOIR

Loose him, do not hold, do not bind him!

Have lightnings, has thunder vanished in the clouds?

Open your fiery pit, O hell, wreck, ruin, engulf,

shatter with sudden force

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!

___________________________________

Parents go into PP and leave. They leave the body of their dead child behind. 

Moon and light are quenched for sorrow

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!

Politically correct abortion is the false betrayer, the murderous blood. Evil says that abortion is the proper choice to make in a crisis pregnancy.

___________________________________

I know your works;

I know that you are neither cold nor hot.

I wish you were either cold or hot.

So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,

I will spit you out of my mouth.

A reading from the Book of Revelation 3:15-16

___________________________________

Happily for us sinners, there it good news!

___________________________________

So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off,

his father caught sight of him,

and was filled with compassion.

He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15:20.

___________________________________

Join the Vigil on the sidewalk in front of PP any day 7a to 7p.  We complete our Vigil on Palm Sunday at 7pm.  You have time.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK 

JEN 7-9

It was a beautiful morning to pray with my faithful Shift Buddy, Vince, and friends from St. John XXIII parish, Rose and a lovely family of four.  We were able to offer all the mysteries of the Rosary and a Divine Mercy chaplet, as well.  
Sticking around for a few extra minutes at the end of the shift, I enjoyed catching up with Sue and then was thrilled to see the next couple who came from St. John XXIII:  IT WAS AL AND SALLY!!!  They look absolutely wonderful and are determined to get back to their regular sidewalk schedule.  
God is so good!  

Shift Buddy Vince, joined by Rose and a wonderful family from Saint John XXIII

___________________________________

SUE 9-11

GREAT JOY on the sidewalk this morning!!!!  Read on …. as I arrived, the 7-9 shift was wrapping up.  Jen stayed for a bit and we prayed the devotion for the day and got into a good conversation about it afterwards.  As we were deep in discussion, Jen looked up ……. and who to her wondering eyes did appear coming down the sidewalk — none other than AL AND SALLY!!!!!!!!!!  We were so surprised and elated!!!!!!!  They look fantastic, as you can see in the photo, and the sun arrived between the buildings to light up their faces as if choreographed by the Lord.  (Ha — as if! — He timed the whole thing for sure!)  They were accompanied by their daughter Alicia.  Soon Melinda and Patty arrived as well.  Sally took up her post by the electrical box, with Melinda, and Al. Alicia and I stayed on the other side.  We prayed Rosaries on each side of the circle.  The joy of being with Al and Sally on the sidewalk again was every bit as wonderful as finding out about a saved baby!!!!!
I remember no negative comments this morning.  There was quite the clatter for a while as bookshelves were being delivered to the bookstore, but we were not at all fazed by it.  And, thanks be to God, not the slightest hint of any violence was anywhere to be seen.  A young homeless woman stopped by to ask for assistance.  Being as it’s Sunday, we directed her to St. Mary of Mercy Church.  We told her we’d pray for her and we did.
God is so good!  May God bless Al and Sally and may He hear their and our prayers for Life!

Sally, Alicia and Al, St. John XXIII, back with us today

Sally and Melinda, faithful prolife witnesses

AL AND SALLY! with daughter, Alicia and accompanied by shift manager, Sue.

___________________________________

Roseann and Rich 11-1

We arrived at our shift and immediately were told that we just missed seeing Al and Sally. What a disappointment to miss that opportunity. God Bless them. They surely are an inspiration to us all. 
We had a good turnout from St. John XXIII parish, truly a pro-life community. What a privilege to pray with so many wonderful people and meet new friends in the pro-life movement.

We thank God that we had no negativity on the street during our shift. As our shift was ending at 1 o’clock, many more parishioners from St. John XXIII were arriving.

Beth, Regular Prolife Witness, St. John XXIII Parishioner

Saint John XXIII Parishioners Pat, Anna, Caroline, Chuck, Casmir, Bridget and Shift Manager Roseann

Janet and Kevin, Bridget and Beth in the background. Parishioner witnesses!

___________________________________

KRISTY 1-3

When I arrived for the 1 to 3 shift, I was pleasantly surprised with the large group from St. John XXIII Parish!  It was quite noisy at first from passersby, but Kevin led us in the rosary with his strong voice that overruled it and created a peaceful prayerful atmosphere.  Then the R. family arrived with their three children and prayed on the opposite side of the circle.  A few more individuals and two couples from St. John XXIII came a little later on.  There was only one group of people, who shouted negativity, but the amount of prayer that was happening today cast away any evil that was directed towards these prayer warriors! 

Parishioners, Saint John XXIII witnessed in great numbers today!

Lovely Saint John XXIII family brings joy to share.

More pro life beauty from Saint John XXIII.

Saint John XXIII parishioners Janet and Kevin

___________________________________

ANDY 3-5

Wonderful turnout from Saint John XXIII Parish. Many rosaries and chaplets.

Sunny and a surprise visit from Nikki and Joe to boot.

Shift manager Andy with Saint John XXIII parishioners.

Saint John XXIII parishioners continue to arrive to witness.

Prolife blessings from Saint John XXIII! Bill came to pray.

Changing of the guard. Shift managers Joe 5-7, and Andy 3-5, with Charlie and other members of Saint John XXIII.

___________________________________

JOE 5-7

Parishioners from St. John the 23rd quasi parish, St. Gregory’s and the royal family( Nikki and Joe) filled the sidewalk with prayer, devotion and fellowship.

Lord, please close this center of death, and have mercy on us.

Peace of the Lord be with all of you.

Cathy, Jim, Joe and parishioners from Saint John XXIII Parish cover the PP sidewalk in prayer.

Praying during the 3 to 5 shift, Saint John the 23rd Parish

Our beloved Joe in the front with other St. John XXIII parishioners.

And God saw that it was good.  

Day 18: Thanks To Sidewalk Advocates and Individual Volunteers

One family’s journey to bring life into the world”…
… “In the harshest place on Earth, Love finds a Way”

Text from a pro-life video? An account of the birth of Jesus? A national 40 Days for Life Reflection? NOPE — this text is from the trailer of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS – a documentary movie showing the natural life cycle of Emperor Penguins. Turns out, we can AND SHOULD all learn a lot from this committed, loving animal.

Here’s a little summary of the emperor penguin’s life cycle:

After a long arduous walk to the mating grounds and a few weeks of engagement and courting, the female lays one single egg and passes it directly on to the male, who puts it against the “brood patch” on his feet. Then the female leaves the colony and returns back to sea to feed. The male emperor penguins have to wait more than two months– 68 days — with the precious eggs until the females return and the eggs hatch!   For 68 days this penguin Dad  protects and nurtures his offspring within the egg.

In the harsh Antarctic environment, how do penguin dads do it? Emperor penguins depend on each other for keeping warm. They stand very close together in a circle, constantly turning around, so each bird in turn has the chance to warm up in the center and alternately has to bear the cold and snowstorms on the outside of the crowd. In this way, the whole group can survive in such extreme climate and protect the eggs until the female penguins return from feeding.

Not until the female has returned (or their instinct tells them they have to leave to save their own life) will a dad emperor penguin journey back to the sea to feed. TALK ABOUT COMMITMENT TO YOUR BABY!!

Think of a clutch of eggs of any of our birds- from Hummingbird to Ostrich — These new parents are presented with oblong, fragile shell- covered eggs that look NOTHING like baby birds. And YET, the bird parents will risk their lives protecting what they know instinctively to be their offspring.

And birds are not the only ones…….. the animal kingdom is full of examples of adult animals recognizing, caring and sacrificing for their offspring in the very early days of life.

So, the next time someone refers to you as a “bird brain” say “THANKS” ! -Jeannie


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Despite the fact that the vigil was officially cancelled today due to safety concerns, some dedicated witnesses manned the sidewalk this morning to pray for and offer life-affirming options to clients of PP and their children.

Tim, 7-9 AM:

I was blessed on this brisk morning to see Pat, year-round Saturday morning regular Bill H. and Michele from St. Peter’s already at the vigil when I arrived. It was a busy morning with couples going into the clinic and a full team of escorts on both sides.  One young man accompanying a woman was receptive to us and accepted material. I picked up two daffodils and placed them near the yellow line for the first two couples going in.  As I was preparing to leave, four rugged looking men were walking down the street towards us and when they got to us the first one said “Great job” and another added “Thanks for being here” and the other gave us the thumbs up.  It was so encouraging and just what I needed.

Charlie arrived to take over at 9 along with Bill S. from St. Ferdinand’s.  They were blessed with sunshine as it peeked over the building and were joined by the faithful frequent group that traveled down from Edinboro to pray and witness.

Tim
Pat, Michele, Bill
Please pray for today’s victims of PP

Charlie, 9-11:30 AM:

I filled in as a shift manager from 9 to 11:30. Tim Barrett has pictures of the group that came at 9. Then at 11, a group of seminarians and two students from St. Vincent came. We prayed a rosary but I’m sorry that I left at 11:30–I was frozen through. 

Bill, Bill, and Tim

SM Charlie and group of faithful from Edinboro
A witness from Holy Wisdom parish joined by our Seminarians and students from St. Vincent

Day 17: Thanks to St. Thomas More & St. John Capistran Parish, Christ Church at Grove Farm, and Round Hill Presbyterian Church!

PLEASE NOTE: Vigil Cancelled tomorrow (Saturday) due to the possibility of violence! The vigil will resume on Sunday.

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?   No one is good but God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’   He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Mark 10:17-22

Jesus loved this man, so He told him how to be truly happy.  But the man walked away from Jesus.  How disappointing, frustrating, and heartbreaking that must have been for our Lord.

We, too, experience such heartbreak when we watch women go into PP.  We love them, so we tell them about better options that will allow them to be truly happy.  But all too often they walk away. 

I heard a beautiful homily on this Gospel passage once…I believe it was by Venerable Fulton Sheen in a rebroadcast of his radio show, “Life is Worth Living.”  In the sermon, he points out that we don’t actually know how this man’s story ends.  It’s possible he later reconsidered and came back to Jesus. 

Likewise, we don’t know the end of the story for the women who enter PP.  It’s possible some of them reconsider in time to save the life of their child.  And for those who don’t, it’s possible they will come back to Jesus for forgiveness and healing later on.

One thing we do know is that Jesus never stopped loving this man, no matter what the man decided to do.  And we are called to imitate that patient, merciful love for the women…and men…on the sidewalk. 


VIGIL REPORTS

Barbara & Richard, 7-9 AM:

Friday at PP began with Diane and Tom blessings. The bins were sorted and Tom zoomed away into the traffic. We remembered Al and Sally as they pray from home, steadily recovering.
Mary and Tim joined us. They got the email and felt the call. God is irresistible!  Not much later, Beth joined us. We were becoming a crowd. We prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries. A little later, Mary led us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Bill shared his holy water.  
Flowers arrived and surprised the brown grey wintered street with their color, shapes and fragrance … reminding me of the unique blessing each of our newborn babies brought.   
Parents taking children to day care, middle school children hurrying to class, PP employees, abortion bound mothers and fathers…the sidewalk was full. We prayed and focused on the PP doors. Almost  no one entered that building without our greeting and offer of support.  We could not tell if our offers will be fruitful. Nothing is impossible with God.
The next shift arrived and a gentle drizzle began.

Barbara
The beauty of new life on display!

Kathy & Marianne, 9-11 AM:

Thank you to those who came to pray this morning.
Passed out lit to passersby.  A few pp patrons accepted info.  One young woman approaching pp accompanied by her aunt was on her way in for an ultrasound and counseling.  The aunt accepted lit and said she would talk to her neice.  Let’s hope and pray for a good outcome.

Kathy

Karen and Carolyn from St. Thomas More and Friday Morning regular Terry

Sheila & Pastor Bryan, 11 AM-1 PM:

While we pray for the women who had abortions today, a couple of young men passing by need a lot of prayers too.
Not long after I arrived, a tall, thin young white man named Mark started to move the sandwich board (by the tall grey power/electric box?) but walked away when redirected by one of our vigil participants from St. Thomas More. Mark then came over to the fetal display.  He very calmly told me that he wanted to get rid of it, that it bothered him. When advised against it, he stood in front of the display for over an hour to block its view from the public and continued to engage with Pastor Bryan and other vigil participants. Mark shared his personal belief that Planned Parenthood does wonderful work for the community and, that there was no God. He was especially irritated to see “so many men praying” because “men have no say in what a woman does with her body.”  When it became clear that he was thwarting our efforts to reach out to women entering the clinic and hounding those engaged in prayer, we wished him well, withdrew our attention from him and prayed aloud.  He finally walked away, but not before supposedly making a donation to Planned Parenthood (via his phone) in our names. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps showing up.
In the meantime, on the other side of the sidewalk, a young man, who looked to be identifying as a woman, draped a rainbow flag over his shoulder like a cape. He wrote F*&% You on a piece of notebook paper and stood next to vigil participants from St. Thomas More who were saying the rosary.  This young man was shown love and respect by those participants, but sadly he responded by throwing them the finger, multiple times.  

Sheila

Elaine, 1-3 PM:

The pro-lifers that gathered today during my shift did not let the weather (the rain, the snow, the hail, the wind) discourage them from prayer and fellowship.
The sun came out a few times, as one pro-lifer said “God is shining is love upon us.”

Elaine

Pat, 3-5 PM:

With the wind as it was, I didn’t bother with a sign, but I did put a 40DFL “Pray to End Abortion” button on my jacket.  (I’ve also concluded that it’s best for me to pray on my knees as much as I can instead of trying to engage people.  It just feels more right for me.) 

Bob and Linda were already there when I got there, praying, with Linda handing out literature as well.  (And they both wore/held signs as well!)  When Val and Mike from St. Mark’s in McKeesport got there a little later, Linda had the good sense to gather us in together to say some prayers.  Thank you for that, Linda.  Great thought.  And, we had almost no negativity from anybody.  One guy even dropped off some flowers for us.  

Pat
Bob and Linda from Round Hill Presbyterian; Val and Mike from St. Mark’s

David & Bill, 5-7 PM:

It was cold and windy. We had some powerful prayer warriors on the sidewalk. We had many people thank us. Unfortunately, one girl, coming out of the gay bar,  spit on the models. We told her to have a good day, then prayed for her. A guy about thirty tried to spit on the models twice. His aim wasn’t good. We prayed for him too. Thank God!

David

Day 16: Thank you to Bridge City Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard Parish, Bishop Zubik and City Center Parishes, St. Agnes Parish (N.Huntingdon), and to all of our other volunteers!

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.

~Jeremiah 17:7

Friends, nothing will get us through this life more peacefully and gracefully than by trusting in the Lord God and doing it HIS way. It is NOT always easy to do that… I think we can all attest to that. But wow, if you were in a dark cave, and someone came along and gave you a flashlight and a map so you could get out, wouldn’t you DO it?

That is exactly what Our Lord Jesus Christ has done. He has given us His Word, His Church, His Holy Spirit…. to guide us through this life and help us to know the way…. how to live, and how to get where we’re going, And we don’t EVER have to be afraid of His plans for us. He is TRUSTWORTHY. We who can testify to His trustworthiness in our lives KNOW this.

Let’s SHARE that truth. Jesus Christ is ALIVE. He KNOWS us. He WANTS us. And He wants to show us the way to a peace-filled and grace-filled life, and to ultimately show us the way to Him for eternity.

Do the folks on the sidewalk know this? Can we share Christ’s love with THEM? Remember that our theme for this spring campaign is LOVE. Let us share HIS love with those who may not even know that they need it. They NEED HIM…. as we ALL do.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:


 I had the privilege of praying on the sidewalk with two members from Bridge City Church, Doug and Vicki. It was very quiet and peaceful for the first hour and we spent that time in silent prayer. After that it began to get busier, and I was able to give many young women pro-life information as they walked in the doors of Planned Parenthood.

Please pray for two young women who went in for abortions, who both had friends with them who took the pro-life literature, and said they were going to try to talk their friends into leaving. It is very sad to see this struggle between life and death play out right before our eyes, but, we are being faithful and we trust in God!  It was wonderful to see Pastor Joe, Judy and Chuck as they arrived for the next shift. Welcome back, we missed you! 

Thank you to Doug (L) and Vicki (R) from Bridge City Church,
and thank you to Shift Buddy Peg (center)!
Thank you to this prayerful trio from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene!
L-R: Pastor Joe, Shift Manager Judy, and faithful Chuck

Meredith:

It was wonderful to have Judy back at her post as Shift Manager, and she brought with her from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pastor Joe, Chuck and Meredith. I (Meredith) have been getting to town extra early for the 9-11 shift, but left home a few minutes later and had to go to 3 garages before finding a spot. By then, I was late and managed to leave my roses in the car.

🙁

So in order to keep track of how many couples were going in, I picked up roses from the sidewalk and laid them down again to keep track. We were hoping that a couple of ladies would be leaving, as Nikki had told us that there were a couple friends of clients who were trying to talk the clients out of an abortion.

We had some single women leave with their brown bags of contraceptives, and finally one couple of young ladies left with no bags. One of Nikki’s couples? Don’t know. One young person went in who I think I recognized as a young woman transitioning to being a man. I had met her somewhere else and thought I had recognized her there from being at Planned Parenthood. Another opportunity to pray.

I almost missed an opportunity to speak to a woman going in following a man. I turned to speak to her, expecting to be rejected as I had all morning…many mornings! But she stopped to talk and took a card. I assured her that we could help her with whatever she needed. We prayed fervently for her, and hoped to see her come back out. But she didn’t come out for the rest of our shift. I walked to my car and drove back to PP to deliver the flowers I had forgotten. As I drove up, I saw the woman and her partner outside PP! By the time I parked and got out, Lisa was walking them to Catholic Charities! Praise God! I don’t know her name, but please pray for her. Pray that she WILL choose life for her little one and will be able to connect with the help she needs.

Shift Manager Judy, Pastor Joe, Chuck, and Meredith. Thank you and God bless you all!

Lisa K.:

This was a very busy and interesting shift. I am so thankful for Marilyn and Margie, as well as my Shift Buddy, Fran! You were all such troopers!!

We had many women who entered or exited PP who were angry with us. Two of them were offended, one yelling, thinking that we were assuming they were going in for abortions. But we do NOT think that, of course, and are there to help with all kinds of issues and needs the women might have. Of course, we were calm and kind in response to these women, even the one who smacked the pamphlets out of a prayer volunteer’s hand, and sent the pamphlets flying onto the sidewalk. The anger makes me sad. It’s so unnecessary.

With God’s help, I was able to talk to a couple who came out. As Meredith mentioned above, we went to Catholic Charities together. I hope and pray that they were able to get the help and resources that they need.

A young man was very interested in the brochure he received from one of our volunteers. I offered him a resource card as well. He told me that his sister was pregnant, and was considering abortion….. but he KNOWS it’s a baby. I asked her how far along she is, and he said, two or three months. I gave him a tiny 12-week fetal model, and told him that if she’s three months along, this is the size of her baby, and the baby is fully formed. He said he has 13 siblings, was raised in a Catholic family, and abortion was always taught as wrong. But he was worried about his family, because many of his siblings are sisters. I gave him a bunch more cards, and invited him to come back and pray with us any time.

Bishop David Zubik was scheduled to come and pray with us this afternoon. Many faithful people came to join him in prayer. But we did have one “difficult” situation with someone who was basically there to cause trouble for the bishop. Unfortunately, this individual likes to yell– especially things that are not kind– and we had to kindly but forcefully ask him to move to the other side of the street. 40 Days for Life is peaceful and prayerful. This is VERY important. He didn’t like that, but at least, he did finally move. And shortly after the bishop began to pray, the man across the street actually left– thanks to the prayers of some of our volunteers, I believe. 🙂

One more story. A woman was interested in birth control, but I talked with them about birth control being dangerous for women, and that there were other places (other than PP) that could suggest some alternatives to her. They did go in briefly, but then came back out, and I was able to give them some brochures about birth control and its problems before they left.

Thank you, Margie and Marilyn from St. Richard!
Bishop Zubik blesses regular volunteer, Bill
Bishop Zubik leads us in the rosary
Thank you for joining us today, Bishop. Your presence was much appreciated.

Helen:

We were blessed to have a large group from St. Agnes Church in
North Huntingdon with their pastor, Fr. Paul Fitzmaurice. They had prayer
groups on either side of the doors of PP, and prayers of the rosary and
Divine Mercy never stopped.
Our shift buddies led the prayers and looked to the needs
of all who prayed. Not a lot of traffic in or out of PP.
Visitors to the city for the big collegiate wrestling tournament were curious,
and a few gave us nods and smiles as they passed our vigil.

Thanks to the wonderful group from St. Agnes in North Huntingdon!

Charlie:

Tonight Amy and I were joined with Mary Jane, Jim, and a group from Bridge City Church. It was a bit cold but dry, and we said some nice prayers. Quiet night over all.  Pictured is the group from Bridge City Church with their pastor, Pastor Gary. 

Thank you, Bridge City Church, for beginning and ending our vigil today!
Charlie and Amy, shift manager and shift buddy, kept the last watch of today’s vigil.

May the Lord continue to bless and help us on the sidewalk. We do it for the moms. We do it for the dads. We do it for the babies. Our world has GOT to get a new grip onto reality. The human race is GOOD, and every time a baby is conceived, that is evidence that the human race SHOULD CONTINUE.

Day 15…Thanks to faithful individuals from Steubenville, St. Joe’s in Cabot, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie, and other dedicated individuals!

Forgiven and set free!

“None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him…”

Ezekiel 18

As I meditated on this verse from Ezekiel last week, I was struck by the word, “crimes”.

A CRIME is something very serious, and it always deserves punishment.

So I was struck by the absolute GOODNESS of Almighty God, to give us a COMPLETE PARDON from our just punishment! Imagine going from this dark, dank cell to the beautiful scene pictured above. Imagine the FREEDOM and the GRATITUDE of being completely washed clean and set free from bondage! While I thought of this, one of my favorite verses came to mind…

I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.

Luke 7:47

As I thought about the truth of Jesus’ words…(knowing this from personal experience!)…I thought about Abby Johnson and the movie that is coming out next week, “Unplanned“, which tells the story of her conversion.

Can you imagine being in her shoes? Having had two abortions herself, and helping thousands of other women to abort their children as well…the FREEDOM and GRATITUDE that she must feel for having been forgiven of her crimes? In fact, not only has she been FORGIVEN…but her crimes are not even REMEMBERED by God! It is as if they never even happened in His eyes.

Her hands…which once pieced together the broken bodies of aborted babies…are the the very same hands which now reach out to help others escape.

This movie opens on March 29th in theaters all across the nation! Go to https://unplannedtickets.com/ to find one near you! Don’t be afraid to bring your teenage children…even though the movie has an “R” rating. This rating was given to try to discourage people from going. There is absolutely no bad language, nudity or sex, and the only “violence” that is shown is the violence of abortion. This film shows the truth about abortion, and I believe it has the potential to change many hearts and to inspire many to participate in the ending of abortion.

Wear your gear to the theater!Unplanned features 40 Days for Life gear throughout the movie. Our store is running a movie special, so order now to get your gear in time for the March 29 release!

God is working MIRACLES through 40 Days for Life! Isn’t it an amazing privilege that we get to be a part of it? We are seeing lives saved and transformed through the mercy and forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ! I praise and thank Him for forgiving MY sins, and out of gratitude and love…I happily will continue to be His Hands and His Feet on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood! I hope to see you there!

To watch a short video showing Abby Johnson DESTROYING the argument for abortion during a recent court hearing, click here: https://youtu.be/hCnZOvjJgwo

To read an article about the spiritual warfare they faced as they filmed “Un Planned”, go here: https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2019/03/20/making-pro-life-film-unplanned-was-spiritual-warfare-say-directors/

Scroll down to read the stories from the sidewalk today!

Charlene and Peg were there from 7-9 am

Sidewalk Buddy Peg, with Tracy, Beth and Shawn from Weirton

I refer a lot to Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic. I was introduced to his writing several years ago and just connected. One of his central themes is becoming the best version of yourself. You do that by practicing virtue…that gets you closer to God…and the closer you get to God, the better version of yourself you become. Like Tracy, Shawn, and Beth did. Traveling from Steubenville to stand in the cold for 4 hours. That’s virtue.. Like Peg coming two days a week…that’s virtue. Praying for the babies, greeting strangers, ignoring insults, blessing smiling faces. We practice all these virtues just doing what God asks…we are getting closer to Him…becoming the best version of ourselves we can be.
 

Charlene

Cathy had the 9-11 am shift

Lots of pray-ers this morning!  In addition to 3 from Steubenville who came at 7 and stayed til 11, 5 came from Elk County RTL, plus  2 individuals. There were not a lot of people going into the clinic, but the Urban Pathways school around the corner had a fire drill.  Students lined the sidewalk by us.  Some of the girls were attracted to the baby models.  Some unexpected education for the kids!

Hank and Judy managed the 11-1 shift

Today was quiet and peaceful for the most part.  When we arrived there were people from Stubenville, OH, St Mary PA, and Therese from St, Barbara along with Cathy the shift manager. Good to see Cathy back with us.  As those from Stubenville departed the crew from St.Joseph in Cabot arrived so along with the St.Mary witnesses for life we had a good contingent of prayer warriors for the11-1 shift.  Dan from Stubenville joined us at noon. While the traffic was again light we received warm smiles, thumbs up, thank you, God bless you, I’m with you, comments from a significant percentage of by-passers.  We prayed rosaries and sang the Divine Mercy and Cil distributed literature.  When Chris arrived for the next shift we prayed with him for the success of his surgery and upcoming neurological evaluation.  Blessed be Jesus our Savior and His Blessed Mother Mary Immaculate. 

Shift Manager Judy with dedicated prayer warriors from Elk County Right to Life
Dan from Steubenville, with shift manager Judy
Great group from St. Joseph parish in Cabot, led by our own wonderful Cil! We miss you Cil! Glad to see you are getting better!

Chris wrote from the 1-3 shift:

And then there were 11…I was expecting to be praying with only one other person, Mary.  What a gift from Heaven when nine other prayer warriors joined us.  And five of them had driven a long way, being from the three Catholic parishes in St. Mary’s, PA.  What a commitment by them to pray for those that have no voice!   While praying on both sides of “the half-circle”, we were thanked for being there more than a few times.  Toward the end of the shift, two memorable events happened- first, a seminarian arrived on his bicycle to pray with us (and for Jeannie’s shift) and a man saw us from across the street and walked over to us.  We didn’t quite know what to expect.  He said he knew why we were there and knew he had to cross the street to pray over us.   What a wonderful moment as we gathered in a circle to receive his prayer.

Chris
Bob and Joe
Janet and Amy
Mary, Gretchen and Mary Bea from Elk County Right to Life
Shift Buddy Mary

Jeannie wrote from the 3-5 shift:

Jeannie titled this photo: “When I think I’m too busy…”

Welcome spring. What a joy to stand with all these lovely people on the 3 to 5 shift. We decided that officially spring came at five, but the Good Will and the prayers that were lifted up during those two hours were amazing. I spent some time with L., a woman who asked me about having a baby after a rape. I learned from her that she had been raped years ago & had an abortion Although she went on to have four other children, she still grieved the baby that she aborted.. How beautiful that I had Project Rachel materials to give to her. She picked up one of the roses and said she loved roses and I happily gave it to her she and I shared a hug and a little bit of a cry and she went off knowing that there was someone to talk to who knew exactly how she felt. God is so good.

Jeannie
Wonderful Pro Life witness!
“From the mouths of babes” God hears the prayers of his children.
Tess joins us

Joe was the 5-7 shift manager:

I was surprisingly greeted to a large group of vigil attendees that carried over from the previous shift(s).  They were all from the Carnegie/Green Tree/Scott Parish Groupings of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret, and Saints Simon and Jude.

Some of the names that I can remember include Vince, Bob, Nancy, Al, Pat, Audrey… My sincere apologies to those I omitted…but Thank You All!  My biggest group ever for an evening shift!!!  We were also joined by Mary Jane, Bill H., and Jim who regularly stops by on his way around “tahn”.

Started the shift by praying the prayers for today’s vigil that Vince had kindly printed out for everyone.  A little bit of sharing, then the group distributed themselves around the “Arch de Désespoir” to continue sharing / praying…

Not much interaction with passersby except one gentleman, Steve, who stopped by to “talk”…  Steve has lived a hard life and is desperately in need of prayers, hope, and love!!!  Matthew 11:28 comes to mind – “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Public Service Announcments were dished-out to remind about an upcoming showing of Unplanned – Behind the Scenes tonight at 11:00 PM on EWTN as well as a plug for Relevant Radio – thanks gang!

The first evening of spring shift ended quietly as faithful and always cheery Tom picked up the goods for tomorrow…

Joe

Day 14: Thank you St. Alexis, St. Titus and Catholic Men’s Fellowship

St. Joseph…the Strong Silent Type

Isn’t this the most beautiful image of St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family. A man called to a life of quiet trust and faithful labor, he was a pillar of patience and integrity who fulfilled his mission flawlessly!

Men are so important when it comes to abortion. Their support can make or break a woman’s decision about abortion. In the woman’s story I read last week detailing her account of why she did NOT have an abortion, she largely attributed her boyfriend’s loving and tender response to the news of her unplanned pregnancy, to her ability to choose LIFE!

On the sidewalk, I always try to hand the yellow resource card to men, one of my standard lines as I offer it is “in case you know of anyone that needs help…just keep it in your wallet and pass it on!”

Hopefully we can empower men to empower the women in their lives to choose life!

Life IS Good!

O happy man, blessed Joseph, to whom was entrusted GOD, whom many kings desired to see and did not see, to hear and did not hear

Not only to see and hear, but to carry and embrace, to kiss, clothe and protect.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

 

Dick, Edward, and I were on the sidewalk early this morning…a little warm air behind the cold. Sally and Al used to be with us on Tuesday….and I have been thinking about them a lot since Sunday. What happened Sunday? Well, it was the Transfiguration but Dynamic Catholic didn’t talk about those present but someone absent…Andrew.
Andrew who introduced Peter to Jesus. Andrew who is never at big things with Peter, James , and John. So what was Andrew doing? Quietly spreading the word, following Jesus in a peaceful, prayerful way…bringing followers to the Lord. See why Andrew reminded me of Sally and Al. Consistent, prayerful, peaceful, getting their message out.
 
Today, like God was telling me what to say in my blog, Julius (our Tuesday Pittsburgh Pride guy) asked about Al and Sally and said he really missed them. I said the sidewalk was empty without them. And he sent them a message,”Tell them they are always in my prayers”.
Al and Sally…we miss you!!!
Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

To quote a friend, “it takes me three days to get over being at PP.”  Yep, seeing actual clients, trying to help them and watching them ignore our pleas, takes awhile to “get over.”  So even though we don’t thrive on rejection, we do get over it and we’re back on the job of trying to save lives the following week. This Tuesday was no exception. 
Charlene, Dick and Ed were on duty as I arrived and note to Dick:  Sorry, sorry, sorry.  There were toe warmers right in the small case. Shame on me for not looking.  Sunny and anything but warm, it seemed as though more people were encouraging than in past years.  Maybe the discussion about infanticide helped some people connect the dots which led to abortion being wrong against any human being, regardless of age or location, in or out of the womb. 
Then the beautiful trio from St.  Alexis came, Claudia, Diane and Alice.  Alice met her son’s friend as she looked for a parking spot.  She answered his question as to why she was downtown and after driving to the lot where he directed her to park, she was told her parking was paid.  Maybe there’s a connection!  Many thanks to the Tuesday crew.

11-1: Fran

 

When I arrived at 11 to relieve Beth, the sidewalk was almost deserted.  Alice stayed on with me and, as we were getting ready to pray the Prayers of Petition, we were joined by Father Tom. 
As Father Tom settled in, we were surprised to see four mounted police coming down the street.  Two turned left and the other two came straight past us. 
After they passed, Father Tom prayed the Prayers of Petitions as we responded.   We remained in silent prayer and offered pamphlets to people as they passed.  Alice left and a short time later, Patty and John from St. Titus (Father Tom’s parish) joined us.  It was Patty’s (and possibly John’s?) first time at the vigil, but you could not tell, they had answered the call and they understood their purpose. 
 
It seemed to me that there was a higher than usual number of people today who smiled, encouraged, thanked, and blessed us.  One mother went by holding her son’s hand and another, a few minutes later, holding her daughter’s hand.  Both of them smiled and there was an unspoken sense between us, that, “Children are a joy and a blessing”.  Still, the majority of the people kept their eyes straight ahead or on their phone or on the ground.  The gentleman who jogs and stops for a fist-bump came by, twice, down and then back.  That brief interaction means so much after watching so many pass by as if we were not really there.  Unfortunately, it was an abortion day, and we saw several couples leave and several others go in.  I understand now, the “look” – the loose fitting pants, the fast walk, the tight jaws, the intense eyes facing the doors.  It is good for us to be there to pray.   
Thank you, Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

It was actually a very prayerful and peaceful shift today. I was blessed to stand with Fr. Thomas More, John and Patty from Saint Titus Parish and Aliquippa.

John and Patty from Saint Titus, Eve and Nick from Franciscan University and shift manager Mike

They were here for an entire four hour shift, shivering in the cold, standing the whole time. They silently prayed, it was very solemn and beautiful. We had many positive comments, and hardly any negative. I was surprised at how many people went out of their way to thank us for what we were doing. As always, the baby models attracted a lot of attention.

 

One young woman who was headed into Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, accompanied by her friend, stopped to receive the information about Pro Life alternatives. I called Women’s Choice Network from the sidewalk and they agreed to see her right away. They left to go there instead. Praise God for a turn away today! Keep up with the prayers and the fasting everyone! God is using us for his good purposes!

Silent prayer warriors Silent prayer warriors from Saint Titus, Father Thomas More, John and Patty

Mike, Kim and Mike 3 to 5 shift

 

 

 

 

 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It was a sunny, peaceful and serene afternoon at the vigil. No negative gestures or comments. Several positive ones.

Passerbys gave thumbs ups, two men made the sign of the cross and one man thanked us for what we are doing.

A woman stopped with her young son and asked for a way to purchase baby models so she could educate others about pre-born babies. We gave her literature to assist her. Our shift buddies, husband and wife Kim and Mike, were stellar leading us in prayer for the entire 2 hours. What a beautiful role model couple!!! Dan from Mother of Sorrow in Murrysville joined us in prayer and vigil. I am so grateful to have 40 Days for Life in our city and at PP.

I see so much good come from this humble and peaceful movement. 

Dan from Mother of Sorrows parish

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

Tuesday, March 19
Solemnity of St. Joseph
………His betrothed is pregnant.  An unplanned pregnancy.  THE unplanned pregnancy that became our salvation!
Thank you St. Joseph for your YES to be the foster father of the Son of God.
We witnessed today for all of us, ALL children of God.
Thank you my dear Johanna and Dan, a member of the Catholic Men’s Fellowship and Our Lady of Sorrows church in Murrysville.
We had a prayerful and peaceful evening.  All Blessings of God. 

Dan and Johanna

Day 13: Thank you St. Thomas Anglican Church and Holy Apostles Parish

I was just thinking how special we all are. If you are getting this note, then you have been called and you are special.

Did you get the call in the middle of the night? Did you say “Here I am Lord”?

I know it’s not easy to be pro-life in these times of ours. And if it were easy we wouldn’t need you.

Not everybody gets the call. God calls us each to do different jobs in HIS vineyard, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. And some are called like John the Baptist to stand up and speak out against the greatest evil of our times – for us it’s abortion. We witness for Life and truth outside the abortion center. We offer LOVE.

So if God is calling you, take the call. Be not afraid, He is with you always. I look forward to seeing you in the vineyard, aka on the street. Bring your church group, your family or your friends. It doesn’t matter if you come alone or bring somebody. If you already been there come again. If you haven’t come yet, just come. Remember someone is always there from 7 am – 7 pm. Sign up or just show up. Stay as long as you want.

Remember, take the call when HE calls. Peace and joy to all. Tim B.

See the stories and pics below from today on the street. Stop back to see updates throughout the day. Let’s start with Sue’s report below from 7-9 am:

My shift buddy Rose and I had a beautiful shift. We got to talk with Tom for a little while when he dropped off the materials and than Rose and I continued sharing stories about St. Rita, Saint of the Impossible. We both have a devotion to her. Rose has visited her Actual Shrine in Cascia, Italy and I have been to her National Shrine in Philadelphia! St. Rita, Saint of the Impossible, pray for us! We did get down to saying the Rosary, Divine Mercy and Holy Face Chaplet, all while Rose handed out so many “Watch me Grow” pamphlets! It was a quiet shift but busy with people on their way to work and school. A few workers and one client did go into PP while we were there. Donna and Diane came a little early to take over. Thanks, Sue

From Donna 9-11 am: It was a quiet peaceful day today. Thank you to Carol and Bill for joining us today. Carol is our church administrator at St. Thomas Anglican Church. We updated the information on our sign with the current statistics from 2018. We had many positive comments and a few blank stares. One lady said “God Bless you and keep up the good work”. Another gentlemen thanked us twice and said “God bless you”. Someone else gave us a thumbs up and another gentlemen told us he was raised Roman Catholic and is a staunch believer and his parents had 10 children. Praise God for providing prayer warriors today!
Blessings For Life, Donna

From Ginny 11-1: We had a very peaceful vigil today.
There were a lot of people who gave us positive reinforcement some told how they were so happy they didn’t have an abortion and how happy they were for the children that they had and others came by and said good work it was very uplifting. Others thanked us for the job we were doing. Rose and Beverly were with me to pray to witness to the unborn today. I’m thankful to God for having them there
.

FROM Beth 1-3 pm: Quiet afternoon for Rose and me. Helen joined us for prayers and fellowship.
PP seemed slow today. Hope it’s very slow tomorrow. So slow they just call it quits.

FROM Marie 3-5 pm: The 3-5 shift was covered with Pete and Gloria from St. Mary of the Assumption. The last hour was spent in discussion with a young man who wanted to talk about abortion. He was joined by a friend. During that time two others strangers joined in to support the value of life.

FROM George 5-7 pm: Bill and I had a somewhat uneventful shift yesterday Monday from 5 PM to 7 PM at Planned Parenthood Abortuary. Jim (Flaherty) was with us there also. One middle-aged, very agitated male pedestrian tried to somehow equate my support of an American citizen’s Second Amendment right to defend himself/herself as being hypocritical to our wanting to save babies!? (I equated aspirin to both saving and killing, as well as a scalpel/knife…). Of course, he would not accept that analogy.

A young man with a New York state license plate delivered what appeared to be medical supplies to the abortuary. The yellow plastic boxes showed that they are produced by “McKesson pharmaceuticals”. Do any of us hold stock in McKesson pharmaceuticals? Is there anyway that we could push back on McKesson? If McKesson would not deliver the solutions and medical supplies to perform abortions, I would assume that that could cause PPA to “hurt“, right?

And Tom came a little before 7 PM to pick up all of our materials and signs. What a good soldier for Life he is! … to schedule each day around being there at our start, and at our finish!

To LIFE!

PS: why do we continue to call that evil place “Planned Parenthood”? Those two words are so “clean-sounding”. Why not call it what it is: the “Planned Parenthood Abortuary”?

DAY 12 THANK YOU: People of God Covenant Community; Vince, Kristy, Marie and Kathy, Prayer and Witness Volunteers.

Mary Magdalene, Giovanni Bellini.

 “People are wired for God,” Bishop Barron reminds us.  Evil says give yourself to me. “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.  All this will be yours, if you worship me.”

We bring our penitent sinful selves downtown to share the truth we learned the hard way.  Bishop Barron is right. Sin promises good things. Its pockets are empty. Its intentions are evil. Sin always hurts us. It hurts the ones we love. Turning away from sin can take time, is agony and is worth it. We repent. Our heavenly Father quickly gently gathers us into his arms.

Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he (Jesus) was at table in the house of the Pharisee. She stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Witness the beauty of a repentant heart. Eula Beal sings “Lord Have Mercy on Me” from the St. Matthew Passion.  Johann Sebastian Bach wrote this Passion to present the Passion Story in music at Good Friday vesper services.  Its earliest verified performance was April 11, 1727, Good Friday, at Thomaskirche in Leipzig.  Beal sings “Erbarme Dich” as “Lord Have Mercy on Me.”

Here are the lyrics.                

Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.         
Regard my bitter weeping.               
Have mercy, Lord.              
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
 
Have mercy.
Have mercy, Lord.
Regard my bitter
regard my bitter weeping.
 
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Regard my weeping
regard my bitter weeping.
 
Look on me.
Look on me.
On and on
I weep for thee
weep for thee bitterly.
Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord.
 
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Regard my bitter weeping.
Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Have mercy.
Have mercy, Lord.
Regard my bitter
regard my bitter weeping.
 
Have mercy, Lord on me.
Regard my weeping.
Regard my weeping.

___________________________________

Prolife pockets are full of good things for women who are considering abortion. Our pockets are full of good things to share with women who have been hurt by abortion. Clouds of witnesses are organized and ready to make this true. Here are two that are available locally.

___________________________________

Project Rachel literally lit the path for me. From the moment I arrived at the retreat house, the warmth of God’s love engulfed me. Furthermore, I was able to connect with other women who knew the despair that I knew, and we were able to experience the joy of receiving the gifts of hope and healing together. I actually feel lighter. The power of forgiveness is life altering. I am happy again, and the people whom I love sense that. I will always regret my decision, and I will continue to carry my quiet secret with me. It has become a part of who I am, but it no longer defines who I am. http://hopeafterabortion.com/?page_id=276

CONTACT:
HopeAfterAbortion.org : 888-456-4673

___________________________________

In October of 2012 I made my Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat and was loved by a small group of women, where it felt safe for the second time in my life to share my pains and burdens and to be loved through it all.  I had three more beautiful children after Lainie, even though that doctor said my uterus was too rotten to ever carry another child.
Lainie was conceived in November around Thanksgiving, and I never forget!  She would be 34 years old in August.  Every February I mourn the death of my baby girl and her precious life that I chose to end.  And on August 26, which was Lainie’s due date, I was set free from the chains of alcohol abuse.  Only now I can rejoice in God’s truth instead of believing the lies.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  And that is why I am silent no more. http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/testimonies/testimony.aspx?ID=3972

Contact: http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

Cold temps were no match for warm hearts on this St. Patrick’s Day morning!  Tom started us off right with his faithful delivery and setup of vigil supplies.  Shift Buddy, Vince, and new friend, Jim, were wonderful prayer companions.  Bill stopped to pray and many passersby greeted us pleasantly.  And we passed the torch at 9 AM to Ken, who was kindly subbing as shift manager, and a great group from the People of God Covenant Community.

Vince and Jim going the extra mile early Sunday morning!

People of God Covenant Community, with shift manager Jen

Shift Buddy Vince and Jim

___________________________________

KEN 9-11

The words from St. Peter in today’s gospel are fitting for this shift when he said to Jesus…”it is good that we are here”. I thank God for the witness of all who stood with me today.  After Jen and Vince left the People of God Covenant Community prayed, sang hymns of praise and witnessed to life. Julie and Pam were with me for the second hour until Rich and Roseanne came for the 11 to 1:00 shift. It is good that we are here. I pray that all who passed by and heard our voices in witness to life will have a conversion of heart. 

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

Week two, but who’s counting. It always nice to see familiar faces and those we have gotten to know through 40 days in addition to meeting new people with whom we have so much in common. We prayed rosaries and the Divine Mercy together. Other than being a little chilly it was a quiet day with no negativity.


Pat and Roseann, Shift Manager

Pat, Joe and Rich, Shift Manager, witness for Life!

___________________________________

LINDSAY 1-3

Volunteer Joe with Shift Manager Lindsay

Today was a quiet day on the streets, and everyone we said hello to actually said hello back. I don’t recall getting one insult. First I got to pray with Joe. Joe has such a good sense of humor and a kind of way about him. Then there is Katie, who LITERALLY brought the sunshine with her. What a gem of a person! Then there were some ‘pop by pray-ers’ including Michele and Paul, from Saint Alphonsus. Then Kristy arrived, an angelic young lady and married mother of 4 who recognized me from a church we both once attended. There, the same  priest, Fr John O’Shea (rest in peace), converted us both,  and also led us both to 40 Days for Life. Then arrived Bill. I’ve been so worried about Bill since he told me recently that he is living in his car. Please everyone pray for Bill, he’s an awesome man and such a bright light in our 40 Days for Life Family. As if I hadn’t been blessed enough, Father Thomas arrived, a Benedictine monk. With Father came a deeply humble and gentle spirit. Amazingly Father knew  some of my mother’s dearest priest friends who have all passed on. And some who are still living. He also knew my mother herself, who passed away two years ago!  Father Thomas asked us to pray for a young girl he saw being strong-armed out of PPH this week,  apparently having just had an unwanted abortion. She was bawling hysterically and her mother or ‘guardian’  showed no compassion toward her. He says he can’t get this horrific image out of his mind and feels deeply compelled to pray for this poor young girl. 
 
These are just a few of some of the ‘blessed  blasts from the past’ that God presented today. I don’t know why He presented a parade of people, in Heaven and still living, who have blessed me previously. Maybe so that we would all know that we aren’t fighting this endless battle alone. All of Heaven joins with us. All good people of moral character are with us. Our time in the desert WILL end, and Jesus will liberate all victims of abortion and sin!

 

KATIE REPORTS
When I first got there Joe was still there, and a man stopped to pray who kind of just wanted us to leave him alone and let him pray – so we did.
Then Kristie came and Father Thomas Moore stopped by to pray.
There were a few words of encouragement, and I didn’t hear any negative comments. 🙂
A lot of younger children that walked past seemed interested in the display models.
And then Donna who I work with at Vision for Life came down and I was really excited to see her because I didn’t know she was involved!

Joe with shift buddy Katie

_________________________________

ANDY 3-5

It was a sunny day with a few visitors, one from St Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon and a young lady from Our Lady of Grace in Scott Twp. A guy was in our faces at 3-5 today. Yelling about why aren’t we protesting the 40,000 killed from mercury poisoning or the air particulate from coal fired power plants. Making no sense to me, acting irrational. Actually shaking he was so irate.

_________________________________

JOE and KATHY 5-7

Thank you, to Bridgette (kneeling in reverence), Jim with green sequence tie and lovely wife Kathy from Zelienople, and Joe. We prayed from the prayers on the back of a baby picture card. It covers every aspect of our heartfelt desire to end abortion and help families.

Around 6:30, Joe, Bridgette, Jim and Kathy were prayinng rosary near baby models. Jim(who lives downtown), Beth(passerby) and I were praying close to building. 
A rock was hurled from across the street. Joe saw it hit Jim from Zelie in back of head. He had hat on but blood was seen immediately. He is on Coumadin, unsure if he needed stitches, sat him on materials box. He joked throughout. His wife applied pressure to wound. Someone brought him ice and towel. ( we were grateful)
Called 911
Instructed to keep continual pressure on it til paramedics came 
We prayed, we did not see who threw rock but Joe and Jim (from downtown) investigated surroundings. 
Paramedics came: towel removed,wound was clotted,about size of quarter. Paramedics stated did not need stitches. No dizziness. Joe walked Jim and Kathy to car.
Thanked God for our team who acted like a Team.


Nikki writes:
“The devil is very angry and he wants to stop us from doing what we are doing because it is working!  Please pray for Jim and pray for protection for all our team and participants.  Please use caution and be aware while at the vigil, and remember to leave if you ever feel unsafe.  And call 911 when needed.”

4 of my heroes, Jim, Cathy, Kathy, Bridgette