40 Days for Life Spring 2018 campaign is over…thanks to all who participated!

The sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood will seem empty now that 40 Day for Life is over.

It is always bittersweet when a campaign ends.  It is difficult to maintain a 40 day, 12-hour-per-day vigil…and we do need a break…but it is hard to say goodbye.  Especially when we know that people will continue to enter those sad doors of death, thinking that the solution to their crisis is to end the life of the child within their womb.

I am very thankful for everyone who sacrificed their time and comfort to come to the vigil, and for those who prayed and fasted!  There were 79 churches/groups who officially took part in our vigil, and many individuals who participated.  We know of one woman who changed her mind and chose life during our 40 days, and we found out about a baby that was saved because of our witness two years ago, that we never knew about!  We believe that God uses our presence on the sidewalk to save lives, change hearts and draw souls to Himself without us ever knowing about it most of the time.  The next 40 Days for Life will go from September 26th – November 4th.  

However, you don’t need to wait until September to stand up for life!  If you feel God tugging on your heart to do more, and feel called to become a regular sidewalk advocate, Kathy L. said that their numbers are getting pretty thin…and they could use some reinforcements!  Contact her at kathlaslow@yahoo.com to find out more information about how to get involved.  In addition, Meredith needs more people to pray at Magee Hospital as part of her “Magee Project”.  Contact her for more information at meredith@rescuepittsburgh.com


This Friday, come to Planned Parenthood at 10 am to pray the Stations of the Cross.  

Planned Parenthood does abortions on Good Friday, so we will be there, praying for those who are being led to their deaths…as we honor the passion of our Lord Jesus. (Sponsored by PCUC)  Prayer will end before 11am.


On April 28th, a PROTEST PP Rally will be held, as part of the nationwide effort to defund Planned Planned Parenthood.  Click the link below to open the flyer to get the details: 

Protest PP flyer 4-28-18 

The media reported that tens of thousands of people showed up for Pittsburgh’s “March for Our Lives” rally this past Saturday.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if even 100 individuals care enough to show up to defend innocent human life from abortion on April 28th?


Thank you for joining our efforts to save lives and to turn our culture back to one that respects ALL human life!

Scroll down to enjoy some photos from last night’s closing rally.

Your grateful sister in Christ,

Nikki


Pastor Joe Stump, of Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene led the closing prayer in front of Planned Parenthood, and spoke words of encouragement to us in the Welcome Center of Catholic Charities. He spoke of the need for national repentance. Our nation has been polluted by the shedding of innocent blood, and God’s blessing CANNOT be upon us until we have repented!
We gathered in front of PP for closing prayer

 

Prayer led by Pastor Joe
Patty is a faithful member of our team. She keeps the church groups reminded and equipped, and our email list up to date!
Pastor Joe is a powerful and eloquent speaker!
Diane and Tom make it possible for us to have our vigil materials on the sidewalk. They selflessly deliver each morning, and pick up each evening…for 40 days!
About 60 people gathered together to celebrate the closing of a successful 40 days!
Kathy L. spoke of the need for more people to join the year-long sidewalk advocates
Meredith spoke of the need for continued prayer at Magee Hospital
Jeannie is BACK after a miraculous healing from a broken neck, back and collar bone. God answered our prayers! Jeannie spoke of the need for our participation in the up-coming Protest PP rally on April 28th!
Nikki and Joe recognized all the team members individually with a photo collage.
Nikki thanks Diane and Tom for their amazing service to our team.
Nikki recognizes team member (and Executive Director of PCUC), Helen.
Long time team member Marie receives her gift.
Team member Pat presents Nikki with a gift from the team.
Thank you to our wonderful 40 Days for Life team!
Team photo collage, given to each team member

Day 40…THANK YOU! Lifeline Volunteers, Butler; Word of God Parish, Madonna del Castello Church, Swissvale/ Braddock; Saint Agnes, West Mifflin; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County

Look at these guys!  A tiny toy bear and gorilla.  Are they what the first 40 Days for Life witnesses looked like to Planned Parenthood?

When our first coordinated 40 DAYS FOR LIFE campaign hit the pavement in front of Planned Parenthood in Texas, 2007, did Planned Parenthood yawn?  Look at these guys! No money…no numbers…no power…no looks!  No problem!

Our sisters and brothers at PP have eyes, but they cannot see.

No money. No numbers. No power. No looks.

Do we need the influence of powerful people?

Do we need their bags of money?

Surely not!  BORING!

We bring prayer, fasting and witness to the sidewalk.

God defines the goal.

God accomplishes the mission.

  We are God’s “pencils.”

Finding the words to show this from the inside, where our hearts can see, where all the action takes place, needs an expert.  Let’s enlist Gregory the Great, 540-604 AD.  Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., THE LOVE OF LEARNING AND THE DESIRE FOR GOD, is where I first heard Gregory talk about God.

Gregory the Great experiences and describes spiritual states with great subtlety.  His experience gives him a strong sense of human suffering, a strong sense of the effects of Original Sin and the value of weakness and temptation for spiritual progress.

At the root of this concept of the Christian life is a lively awareness of man’s misery.

Man’s wretchedness comes from his physical nature, from Original Sin, and from the egoism which harries each one of us.  Egoism is always on the watch and tends to vitiate all our actions, even the good ones.

It must be put to rout constantly.   This is necessary at the outset of our actions.  We must purify our intentions.  It is necessary during our actions, and again at the end, for it is always a menace to us.

The love of the world lulls us. But, as if by a thunderclap, the attention of the soul is recalled to God.

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Compunction is an act of God in us, an act by which God awakens us, a shock, a blow, a “sting,” a sort of burn.

Compunction is a gift beyond our power to understand.

It is God Himself who is working in us by His mysterious action.

This action of God is accomplished in us by all kinds of trials, the thousands of sufferings of life,

sin itself, and, above all, temptation.

Permission to tempt man is given by God to the demon because of the benefit resulting from temptation.

Temptation encourages the purification of intentions, it humbles, and it is a cure for pride.

This is why God accepts the risk involved.  Temptation and even sin are less grave than pride.

___________________________________

With humility there grows the desire for Him who alone can fill our inner emptiness.

Compunction hollows us and thereby increases our capacity for God.

The force of love intensifies the spiritual quest.  A new weight carries the soul toward God, the weight of love.

The soul hardened by egoism becomes tender.  The cold soul is warmed and cleansed of its rust.

Brought back to its true center of gravity, converted, the soul is simplified and freed.

The Lord accomplishes this in us.

Our part is to consent to it.

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One must above all, and first of all, make oneself sensitive to this invisible action of God.

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The ultimate role of compunction is to bring to the soul a longing for Heaven.

The soul does not become indifferent or unfeeling.

At peace, it enjoys tranquility.

It consents to its condition, which it understands better.

It consents to God.

It accepts its tasks.

It grows in stature, and as it were, is dilated.

The soul becomes fruitful in the service of God.

Daniel 3:91-92, 95

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and rose in haste, asking his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Certainly, O king,” they answered.

“But,” he replied, “I see four men unbound and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him.”

http://usccb.org/bible/daniel/3

Special thanks to the following religious communities for their commitments to pray for us during these 40 days:

Sisters of the Divine Redeemer; Sisters of St. Joseph, Baden; Monastery of Saint Clare, Langhorne; Carmelites of Erie; Felician Sisters of Coraopolis; Carmelites of Elysburg; Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy

And a special thanks to WAOB Radio!


 

Through the end of 2017, local 40 Days for Life campaign leaders have reported these blessings, God’s answers to their prayers: 5,251 total campaigns; 741 cities; 47 countries; 750,000 individual participants; 19,000 churches; 13,998 lives saved from abortion; 170 abortion workers quit their jobs; 90 abortion facilities closed.

https://40daysforlife.com/mission/

 

 

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 NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK 

 

 

 

JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

Today was the coldest Sunday morning of the whole campaign, but that didn’t stop Rose, Vince, or Bill from joining me on the sidewalk to pray for the cause of life.  We were able to help a homeless woman who stopped, and Rose gave out many of the sweet little “story of your life” brochures.  One young man took a brochure and headed off down the street, stopped halfway down the block, and then came back to us.  He asked if we are a pro-life group and thanked us heartily for being there when he heard that we are.  As one of my sidewalk mates put it, that was a “warm hug from God.”

To every person who has been a part of this 40 Days for Life campaign, I share that thanks and that hug with you–God bless you all!

Bill, Rose, Vince, Faithful Sunday Morning PrayerWwarriors

Sue wrote from the 9-11 shift:

Well, if March is going to go out like a lamb, it had better change its ways soon!!  It was as cold a day as I’ve ever experienced on the sidewalk.  Yet that did not deter my prayer companions Kathy, Patty, and JoAnne.  JoAnne came all the way from East Palestine, OH to her first 40 Days vigil ever.  We prayed from the Psalms, the Rosary, and the petitions on the back of the signs.  Passersby were generally friendly or neutral, although we did have a single negative comment from a young man.  A large group from Butler, PA arrived toward the end of the shift, along with several others.  Sidewalk Advocate Jim joined us later in the shift.  As Kathy and I were leaving, we had a chance to minister to a young woman who said she was stranded in town (well, Kathy actually did all of ministering!).   Long story short, although the woman did have other needs, Kathy was able to buy her a warm meal at Arby’s.  The woman told us she had three children and also expressed that she is pro-life.

 

Patty, Kathy and Joanne brave the cold this morning!

Lamb or no lamb, the end of this March focuses intensely on The Lamb — The Lamb of God — who does take away the sins of the world.  We know he will bring about the end to abortion in His time.  I have been privileged to have taken part in this vigil, as I have in years of 40 Days for Life vigils here in Pittsburgh.  I would like to thank each and every participant who has stood with me this Lent; indeed, I thank everyone who has been on the sidewalk at any time this Lent.  And I thank Nikki and Diane & Tom and all of the organizers of this vital ministry.  May God bless you all with a joyous Easter and with blessings all year ’round! 

For Life, Sue M.

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

“Wonderful people” is how to describe all those who participate in 40 days. The wonderful R. family from St. Bernard’s, Debbie, Jeannie, Barb, Ed and Chris from Lifeline in Butler, Isaac and Anita from St. Paul’s in Butler were all great prayer warriors and compadres. Their presence and their prayers and sacrifice helped to warm us on this cold Sunday.

Wonderful R Family
Saint Bernard’s Parish
Debbie, Jean, Barb
Lifeline, Butler
Ed and Chris
Lifeline, Butler
Isaac and Anita
St. Paul’s, Butler

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MAGGIE 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

We prayed for 2 hours straight!

The sun was shining and I know that good triumphs over evil. One day Planned Parenthood will close down!

Sunny Sunday
Word of God, Madonna del Castello, Swissvale, Braddock
Parishioners come to pray

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LINDSAY 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

Bricklayers: Today, I was struck by the rather unique  brick design of the Planned Parenthood building. Some very talented masons built that brick facade long ago. If it wasn’t such a sad place of death and destruction, and if the windows and building weren’t filthy, you can almost imagine that once upon a time before Roe vs. Wade that it was a nice building,  maybe even pretty. The other thought that struck me was that ironically, Planned Parenthood is closed on Sunday and all major Christian Holidays (except, sadly, their most prolific killing day on Good Friday).

I guess in a way, the unique brick design and the Judeo-Christian days of operation give me hope that:

1) We are all bricklayers for Life, being used as masons for God as he creates his unique design in each and every one of us, even the passersby, victims and workers of PPH.  We are in a way building on His Foundation, one “brick” at a time, a shelter for the hopeless; and

2) Since PP is closed on Sunday, Christmas and Easter, that despite themselves, they are closer to God and His Commandments than they realize or will admit to.

So keep praying and laying those “bricks”, good people of 40 Days for Life. You are creating a shelter from the storm; hope for the hopeless.

Thank you dear prayer warriors from St Agnes, St. John XXIII, St. John’s of Delmont and Our Lady of Guadalupe for your witness today, for getting your hands full of “mortar” while toiling for God’s beautiful design. And for singing gorgeously while bricklaying!

Sunday Sidewalk Prayer Warriors

JOE 5-7 SHIFT MANAGER

Witnesses begin to arrive for Closing Rally today.

 

God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.

Genesis 1:31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 39: Thanks to Marathon Prayer Warriors Holy Wisdom & St. John XXIII ALL DAY

“I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS….”

Celebrating a rare  NO ABORTION SATURDAY  at PP in Pittsburgh!!!

Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Detail – Milan

I never appreciate Christianity as much as  I do at this time of year when we enter into this most holy week  —  what an incredible blessing it is to journey with Him, and to remember and reflect on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

I was blessed to be in Milan last Lent, and to see firsthand DaVinci’s larger than life Last Supper.  I wanted to share a few images with you as we journey together during this holy time!

The Last Supper was painted in a Dining Hall! It is beautiful, enormous, compelling….

On the opposite end of the Dining Hall where the Last Supper is painted is another, not quite so famous painting which would foretell what was to become of this itinerant preacher.  I was taken by the busy-ness of the crucifixion scene, and while it was embellished by the artist, the reality is that crucifixion was a public spectacle– the crosses lined major travelways and the Romans used the slow, painful torture of crucifixion as a deterrent for Jews who might challenge or disturb the Roman order in Jerusalem. I can imagine all who would turn away from these sites– mothers shielding children, sensitive folks pulling their robes over their heads, friends of the crucified unable to bear the suffering…  The Romans wanted Jews to watch these crucifixions, but just like like today, human torture tears at our hearts, and we turn away in pain.

Visitors leave roses at this panel on a door at the Milan Cathedral

It reminds me of what we do on the sidewalk each day- Even though we do not visibly show the horrific human torture of abortion, we are witnesses: visible signs of the uncomfortable truth that lives are lost in abortion, and —-some passerbys automatically turn away.

I always find it challenging to redirect someone who wrongly believes our fetal models are gorey or grotesque… This happens with adults and young people alike! It seems that the only ones who can immediately appreciate the models are toddlers and young children.  They immediately say “baby” !!

The reality is that any representation of human flesh — even the beautiful models of unborn children, touches our senses in a deep way.  When we draw attention to the living, vulnerable bodies of our brothers and sisters,a human reaction is inevitable– and so many people become strangely anxious.

As we witness to the love and hope offered by the One whose suffering we will claim as our salvation this week,  He is truly with us.  

This is one of my very favorite pictures from Milan– To me, it represents our world so well…    This was a busy, noisy, confusing intersection in the old part of the city.  I stood and watched countless pedestrians, busses, scooters, drivers for a few minutes, amazed at all the life and noise and activities in the street.

AND  THEN, I saw HIM.   There was Jesus on the cross, painted onto the left side of the second traffic arch! He had been there all the time! What a comfort it was to be reminded that Jesus is with us, that He died for us, loves us, and invites us to perfect joy with Him.   He remains at the center; the sure promise of our eternal destiny; the hope for us all.

 

 

This is an enlargement of the picture above-  Remember, amid your crazy, busy, noisy lives,  He is with you ALWAYS! Blessed Holy Week and Joyous Easter to all!


Shift Reports from TODAY on the Sidewalk with Holy Wisdom and John XXIII Prayer Warriors:

NO DEATHSCORTS = NO ABORTIONS TODAY!         Praise be to GOD!

7-9 Shift Report from Sue

Barbara, Michael, Bill and Virginia – EARLY SHIFT

The very-welcome sunshine was beaming down between the buildings when Kathy L. (Sidewalk Advocate) and I arrived.  There were no escorts this morning, a sight which always makes my heart leap, as usually this is a Saturday indicator of it being a non-abortion day. The lower-than-usual number of people going into PP seemed to confirm that theory.  We were greeted by a large group of pray-ers from many different churches, including St. Joseph Cathedral, St. Michael Cathedral in Wheeling, St. Mary in St. Clairsville, OH, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. Ferdinand.  Barbara, shift manager and blog writer, was there for the whole day and glowing & smiling just like it was a summer day. She reached out to a young passerby who stayed and prayed with us for awhile.

During the second half of the shift, many young people began to enter PP for what we learned was a training session.  For what, I don’t know.  We had some positive responses from passersby and some negative ones.  One man quickly walked by and said to us, “Get a life,” a comment which I always find ironic.  A 55-year-old woman came by and told me a sad story of her mother forcing her to have an abortion at age 17.  She said she knows she is forgiven after asking God, but the horror and sadness of the experience has stuck with her. We saw a few people with signs headed for the “March for Our Lives” event in Market Square.  Again, that LIFE theme …. Bill stopped by a couple of times.  All in all, it was a peaceful — yet cold! — morning on the sidewalk.                             

St. Alphonsus’ Finest: Marie, Donna, Beth

9-11  Shift Report from Tim:

Katrina and Clare with Sister Jolenta this morning
              Bill and Birthday Boy Bill!

What a brisk and blessed morning it was.  I was blessed to have Barbara and Richard join me from the beginning. They plan to pray and witness for the entire day at the vigil.  Several young men stopped to look at the fetal models and engage in conversation. One of them, Michael, joined in prayer and stayed for my entire shift. Sister Jolenta joined us and shared that she has been to Mass before arriving and offered it for all of us.  I was blessed too, with several groups of women coming to pray and many of the regular year round prayer warriors including Bill S. who was celebrating his birthday.

The best blessing of all was there were no pp escorts which we hope means they were not performing abortions and many babies were spared today.

 


11-1 Shift Report from Dean

Holy Wisdom crew joined by folks from W VA and Ohio today!

I was thankful to have the inspirational company of Barbara on the sidewalk today. Thank you for giving so much of your time.
Many people were leaving P.P  today without accepting information about the pregnancy support groups.

I continue to pray for people to change their hearts and minds on this issue.  At least we stood in witness to life and we really never know the seeds that are planted by our presence and prayer.  


1-3 Shift Report from Billy

Rose and St. John XXIII members join the group

Hi everyone today’s vigil was awesome. Today the March for Our Lives gun protest was going on & many people commented.  One said we should ‘get behind a real protest’.  lol

Around 1:30 a young girl by the name of Jessica stopped by. She is a young mother who opposes abortion and is currently fighting for of her custody daughter. She poured her heart out to Barbara and to me. 

While this was going, on a woman named Rose came to join to pray. Jessica stayed my whole shift— She was so soft spoken please pray for her! Also a man came and asked for money and I left for a second to buy him food and when I came back a lady named Mimi came to pray.   

Members of St. John XXIII stand for LIFE

Mimi, like Bill H. is an AMAZING everyday 40 Days for Life prayer warrior and we are blest to have her 3-5pmjoin us each day!

Before I left Jessica got information from Kathy to join us for 40 days again.It was an eventful day for sure!       Thanks again to all the volunteers who joined me today!

Your brother in Christ Billy 

 


3-5 Shift Report from Kathy

Prayer outside planned parenthood was in process when I arrived. Mimi was in charge!  Barbara smiled. Rose and Barbara listened. Beautiful picture!  Throughout shift, members of Barbara’s church came and prayed.

Tim, a student at Byzantine seminary, prayed and shed sunshine on Liberty Ave . 
Honored to be on sidewalk with precious people. Cant forget Jim, sidewalk advocate,, spent time passing out info to many people, his presence was greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

MORE TO COME… stay tuned!

Day 38: Thank you to Elk County Right to Life, West Hills Baptist Church, St. Regis Catholic Church, and Individual Volunteers!

So here we are on Day 38, with just two days left to go.  We’ll be gathering in front of Planned Parenthood on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM to mark the end of this campaign and to praise God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us during the last 40 days.  It has been a long, cold, wet battle. We are tired and Jesus is granting us a time of rest now, as He often did for His apostles. But we know there’s more work to be done to bring about the day that every human being is recognized, respected, and protected as a precious child of God.  That means it’s also time for perseverance.

Nikki, guided by the Holy Spirit, named the virtue of perseverance as the theme of this campaign.  It’s so fitting. We don’t know God’s timetable for this battle, only the outcome: complete and total victory for the Lord of Life!  What a beautiful reason to hope.  And hope is the key to rallying ourselves to persevere.  Most Reverend Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, spoke of this hope in his keynote address at the 2016 Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Dinner:

“People sometimes ask me if we can be optimistic, those of us who are religious believers, about the future of our country.  My answer is always the same. Optimism and pessimism are equally dangerous for the believer because both God and the devil are full of surprises.  But the virtue of hope is another matter. We have every reason to hope.  Scripture tells us we must live in hope, and hope is a very different creature from optimism.  Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be, and that in serving him, we do something fertile and precious for the renewal of the world.”

So please, have a blessed and joyful Easter, catch up on sleep, thaw out your toes.  But then make your way back to the task at hand in a spirit of perseverance and hope.  Sidewalk Advocates and their prayer partners stand in solidarity with those who suffer all year through.  You can learn more about them by contacting Sue at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net And if Planned Parenthood is still on Liberty Avenue in September, 40 Days for Life will be there, too.

How is God calling YOU to continue fighting for the cause of Life?

~Jen


Here are pictures and reports from today’s vigil…please stop back as more are added!

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

Daylight was already peeking around the building tops and Diane and Tom had the sidewalk furnished.  Our last Friday was underway.  There was absolutely no rain or breeze.

Al, Bill, Jen, Kim and Ryan arrived.  Jen and Ryan are sidewalk preachers.  Jen had amazing and repeated success engaging people.

Jeannie came with a bundle of prolife signs she had refurbished.  She had flattened, strengthened and refreshed the signs, replaced the strings and inserted grommets.  She stoutly refused to enter a conversation about Wallace and Gromit.

Al and I prayed a Sorrowful Mystery Rosary and included Sally’s recovery in our intentions.  She is steadily getting better.  The sidewalk is much colder without her.

Many people recognized and greeted us.  Moms with kids in tow headed for the day care center just down the street, smiling and calling their kids to keep them near.

All of us will probably be here again in the fall.  As Joe says, “All to the glory of God.”

 

Cross Roads Preachers Jen and Ryan with Al
Sidewalk Advocate Kim

Jeannie, 9-11 AM:

What a beautiful collection of the body of Christ we had this morning on the sidewalk. We saw a little bit of the sun, but the devil allowed the cold to persist and we kept each other’s spirits up through prayer. I was blessed to have Jen and Ryan full of The Holy Spirit to deeply engage several passersby with the word.  In this picture a gentleman who stopped and started talking to them on the street chose to be included in the middle of the bunch!!!!!

The 10 o’clock hour brought me five fantastic women from St. Mary’s PA Right to Life. I am sorry that my picture of them did not work out.  We had several groups of young people come by maybe classroom excursions, and it was great to see them appreciate the Fetal models. It’s funny how the first reaction is that it is something off color or grotesque.  Then — once they realize what it is and that each of them was at one time that tiny and that perfect — it’s a different story.

Jen, Ryan, a visitor, Al, Cathy. Great group!
These five blooms represent the five beautiful women who stood and prayed the Rosary at Planned Parenthood this morning from St. Mary’s, PA.

Marie, 11 AM-1 PM

Nancy, 1-3 PM:

Not much traffic in or out of PP.  The cold sidewalk was made bearable by the warm hearts of the prayer warriors.  Elk County group stayed from 10-2, and West Hills Baptist church were there from 2-5.   A few individuals also prayed.  It was very encouraging to see the many witnesses for life standing up for the lives of the unborn babies and their families.

Lisa and Family, 3-5 PM

Pat, 5-7 PM:

Well, I signed my parish (St. Regis) up for this time slot, but I was the only member there this evening.  Thankfully, I had my faithful prayer partner, Bill from St. Philip’s in Crafton, with me for the entire time.  I also had a brother Knight, Paul, along with his wife Pat (St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry), with me for the first hour.  I believe they had already been there for at least an hour before I arrived.

Perhaps it was the cold, but this seemed to be my longest 2-hour shift of this campaign.  While the streets and the sidewalks were both very busy, I can’t remember a single negative incident.

Bill, Daniel, Paul, Pat, with Nadi in the front

Day 37: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Patrick Catholic Church (McKeesport), St. Joseph (Verona), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (Carnegie), and all of our other prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life

 

 

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him.

Genesis 17: 3

 

Today’s First Reading is a long passage from Genesis.  But each week, I look at these readings, and see where the Holy Spirit stops me.  And He stopped me here, at this first line.  This line from Genesis 3 makes me remember that we cannot hear God when we are focused on self.

This holds true for those of us on EITHER side of the abortion issue.  For those of us who are pro-life, we must be outward-looking…. focused on the woman or man before us who is in need of our help.  For those who are pro-abortion, there also must be the outward focus: What is good for my child?  What is good for the rest of my family?  What is good for the father/mother of my child?  If the focus is on self, then the chances for abortion are certainly higher.

May the Lord enlighten the eyes of our hearts so that we can be HUMBLE enough to prostrate ourselves before Him, and listen to what He wants to tell us.

 

 

 

 

Shift Manager Reports

 

 

Nikki:

It was a cold and icy morning, but it was a good shift. My faithful partner Peggy was there the whole time. Vicki came to pray for a while and Bill stopped by briefly. Katie also came to reach out to the abortion bound clients of Planned Parenthood with alternatives to abortion. The sidewalk was very icy and many people were slipping. I was warning people to be careful, but one woman did go down onto her back. We helped her up and she was OK, thankfully. I asked the security guard if he could throw some salt out, but he told me that it was not Planned Parenthood’s problem. He said the ice was in front of the bar and that we should ask them. I told him they were not open but he simply said it wasn’t his problem.
 
We didn’t get much interaction with passersby; some eye rolls, that is about all. One woman, however, stopped in the middle of the circle and proclaimed the blood of Jesus over that place and prayed and proclaimed that that place would be closed and that the evil would be defeated. She told us that she had had abortions and now realizes that abortion is murder. It was awesome to watch her pray so boldly.  I actually got chills listening to her pray, it seemed prophetic. Of course, it may have just been the cold, but I hope it was the Holy Spirit! Thanks, everyone, for your sacrifice this morning!
 
Nikki
Peggy and Vicki praying, in the early morning cold. Thank you, ladies!

 

 

 

 

Meredith:

It was the quietest Thursday of these 40 days as far as clients going in this morning. We only saw one couple go in during our two hours there.
We were a bit distracted by the icy sidewalks as two people fell and lots of others did “ice dances!”
Thank you everyone for coming out to pray during these 40 Days for Life! I hope you’ll come out and bring a friend a time or two before our next 40 days. Your prayers are always needed outside of 933 Liberty Ave.
I hope, too, that you’ll plan to come over to pray at Magee-Womens Hospital, where 500-700 abortions are committed every year. Over half of those abortions are committed in the second trimester. If you’d like to know more about that opportunity, drop me a line at TheMageeProject@gmail.com.
Hope to see you at the closing Sunday evening!
Thank you to these two amazing women, Shift Manager Meredith and Sidewalk Advocate Katie!

 

 

Lisa K.:

The 11-1 shift today was relatively quiet.  I had wonderful companions, including Denise, a Thursday regular, who is not pictured here.  I am so grateful for their presence and prayers… especially to Fr. Tom from St. Patrick parish, who came prepared with holy water and blessed salt, which he prayerfully sprinkled around the sidewalk.  Thank you, Father, for all of these special blessings!!

We had several words of blessing and thanks from passersby today.  Maybe it was the sunshine?  But my favorite line came from a black man who, as he passed us, said casually, “God’s got y’alls back.”  I loved it.  

 

Ted, Fr. Tom, and Rita from St. Patrick’s in McKeesport, along with Linda from Holy Spirit parish in West Mifflin. Thank you all!

 

Helen:

What a wonderful day! We enjoyed the beauty of two families from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie.  Both families brought five children, all of them prayerful, pleasant, polite and patient. An added bonus is that we also had one more baby in utero and lovely Isabel was celebrating her 12th Birthday.

With the families was a fine blond lady who would make a super Shift Manager.
(I’m sorry I’ve forgotten many names, so I won’t try to guess.)

We all sang “Happy Birthday” to Isabel, and then we prayed the rosary. No fidgeting, fussing, or fighting, and the children took turns leading the decades. We also prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the families walked into the sunlight.

After they left, we still had two Knights from the parish, and another young lady who came from her office at the other end of the Golden Triangle.

The sidewalk was busy with not just the students and bus lines; we also had the company of many members of the American Society of Black Engineers, who are having gatherings in Pittsburgh.

 

Thank you, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners!!

 

This Knight of Columbus brought new meditations on the mysteries of the rosary. Thank you!

 

The Knights of Columbus brought signs for everyone who arrived. Thank you!

 

Isabel (R) celebrated her 12th birthday! Happy Birthday, Isabel, and thank you for spending it with 40 Days for Life!!

 

There’s a baby we can’t yet see in this photo! But he or she is in utero, fully alive, and waiting to be born!

 

The children in prayer. Thank you all!

 

Beautiful smiles on this sunny day.

 

Thank you to these beautiful families and the other members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton who joined us today!!

And let us recall the outward focus of our love. 

May our humility allow us to hear the call of the Lord for our lives and our families.

 

“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.”


-Pope St. John Paul II

 

Day 36…Patience

PATIENCE…

I made a mess of my life in my younger years, and did a lot of damage to my children’s lives as well.  I did not know the Lord as a young person.  I bought the culture’s lie of easy love…hook, line and sinker.  I have been trying my best to follow Jesus for about 13 years now.  I didn’t create my “mess” overnight…so how can I expect healing and restoration to happen instantly?  I have been forgiven for my sins.  I know this and am very grateful.  But there are consequences that still have to be lived with, and many family members that I battle in prayer for on my knees each day.

God has changed me (especially through my work in this pro-life ministry and through the influence of so many wonderful pro-life friends), and I see His blessings beginning to flower in my family as well.  But, still I get impatient when dealing with some of the difficult situations with many of our children.  How long, O Lord?  Patience is difficult for me.

This past Sunday, the Gospel was from John 12.  In it, Jesus says that, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”  Jesus continues with one of my favorite verses of the Bible, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”  

In his homily, my pastor spoke about the need for the seeds of selfishness to die within us.  When I thought about those words afterwards, an image began to form in my mind.  It was a image of a place…very dark, damp and cold.  I imagined a seed, buried in the ground. I thought about the TIME and ENVIRONMENT necessary for that hard shell to soften and break down before it can grow and multiply.  It doesn’t happen instantly, and from our perspective, looking at the bare, empty dirt, it doesn’t seem like anything is happening.  We see no life, just barrenness, bleakness and abandonment.  Neither can the seed see the changes that is happening within it, as it suffers in the damp darkness.  But as it feels the slight warmth of the sun above, without it even knowing what is happening… it begins to break down, the hard shell dissolving and dying…as a tender green shoot sprouts forth from its center.

TIME and ENVIRONMENT are necessary for growth and change.

TIME That is all up to God…we can’t rush him.  God works in his time, which is perfect.  That is where we need patience.  (Continue these 40 day prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood!)

As for the ENVIRONMENT…now that is where we can help. Just as a seed will not break down and dissolve if it is left sitting in a nice dry, comfortable environment…neither will the selfish seeds of our individual souls (or the collective soul of our culture) break down and die if we stay in our nice warm houses, sitting on our nice comfortable couches.  We need to have patience, yes…but we also need to provide the necessary environment for change.  That environment includes a life of love and obedience to God, regular practice of prayer, faith and good works.  If we PERSEVERE in these things, God will…IN HIS TIME…bring forth a bountiful harvest!  In my life, in yours…and in our culture!

I believe that our prayers, fasting and presence on the sidewalk has planted more seeds than we know.  Lives are saved, hearts are changed, and souls turn back to the Lord…but we…in our darkness…cannot see what is happening.

I watched a beautiful documentary today, that my friend (and Tuesday blog writer), Sue, forwarded to me.  I encourage you to watch it too!  It is a true documentary of a young man meeting his birth mother and father for the first time.  He was raised in a loving adoptive home, but decided when he was 19 that he would like to meet his biological parents.  In 1993, they were teenagers who thought abortion was the only answer.  As they were being escorted into the clinic, surrounded by abortion clinic escorts, and covered with a blanket…they heard the voice of one woman shout out, “Your baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes…and you’re going to kill it?”  The young woman went  into the clinic, and was actually on the table when she changed her mind!  She said as she left the abortion clinic, those who were outside protesting thought she had done it.  They never knew she changed her mind.  To watch this inspiring and worthwhile short film (30 minutes), go to:

https://www.ilivedonparkerave.com/

Even without seeing all the lives saved and hearts converted that probably happen without our knowledge, we have already seen many beautiful buds beginning to open.  Here are some that I see:

  • The buds of seeing timid individuals struggle, but finally get up their courage to come to the vigil.
  • The blossoms of those who gave up selfishness in order to fast, and to suffer in the cold weather.
  • The future flowers of families and children who walked by and saw our witness.
  • Seeing the discouraged faithful being bolstered and strengthened by the unity among believers in our 40 Days for Life family!

So, thank you to all of you who have participated during these 36 days! We still have 4 days to go!  Please keep praying for more lives saved!  And join us as we officially close the vigil at Planned Parenthood at 6:30 pm this Sunday, followed with a social gathering (pot-luck food) inside Catholic Charities Welcome Center (corner of 9th and Liberty) from 7-8:30.

There are not the usual shift reports today, since the vigil was closed because of the snow…however, one shift manager husband/wife duo DID go for an hour today!  Here is what Hank wrote:

Hank and Judy braved the snow today!

We spent about an hour at PP today and although it was snowy it was not too cold.  As we expected there was very little street traffic, but we greeted all those passing by and a few people responded with a “thank you” and /or “God bless you.” It was interesting to see the reaction on the faces of those who read the sign that we carried which read “Inside this building, more than 40 children are put to death every week.”   People read the sign, look at the building and look back to you in surprise.  I think this sign is effective in getting the message out as to exactly what takes place at this location. A young man named David read the sign and stopped to talk. He was unaware of 40 Days For Life and it’s mission and did not know that abortions were being done here. He said that he was a Christian and was against abortion and before he left he asked to pray with me, which we did.  Praise be to God for the snow, each flake uniquely made by his hand, just as each one of us is from our conception.

If anyone else happened to go to pray today, feel free to send in your reports and I will post them.

God bless you!

In Christ,

Nikki

Day 35: Thank you St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville, OH); St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Moon Twp); K of C (St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude – Greentree)

God is detailed oriented…Sounds like something that should be on your resume, right?! But when you think about the detail of our fingerprints and the palms of our hands…or the detail in nature.

You can’t deny God shows attention to detail!

We are frequently challenged to “think globally” and look at the big picture. But maybe God has a plan for us to just be concerned with the detail of the task He has set right in front of us…Not to go out and save the world, not to stand at every abortion center in Pittsburgh or in the State of PA. But the detail of being called to witness to life right here locally…Focusing on the detail of one person (or 2!) entering PP at Liberty Avenue and how you may be able to help her.

I think you are imitating God when you stand on the sidewalk, showing how much you care about the detail of a person’s life. We will trust the big picture to God and wait for the glorious unfolding of His plans by being faithful to the details!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

 

7-9: Charlene

The last week of the campaign and we are tired. The cold weather during this campaign has something to do with it. It’s times like this when we need to remember to “Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (psalm62) We don’t want to be glum and God doesn’t want that either. So
just like that, he puts a smile on our face and warmth in our heart.
1) Al was back on the sidewalk today! Sally is home and told him to join us. She is still taking it easy! Thank you Lord.
2) We had a very spirited group from St. Paul Catholic in Steubenville. They prayed together, greeted everyone, and David had a very nice way of reaching out to those entering PP. The Spirit was with them for sure!
3) I was reminded of what Fr. Kevin from St. Alphonse and Fr. John from St. Bonaventure said,”Abortion WILL end!”

 

 

God is our refuge!! And knows when and how to lift us up!!! Charlene

 

 

 

 

 

9-11: Beth

Our dear friends Tracy, Sandy, Beth and Dave from Steubenville were back for a repeat appearance at PP today along with regulars Edith and Ed from St. James.  What a wonderful group, praying, listening and handing out literature on a very busy morning.  Later, Fr. Jeremy Mohler from St. Katherine Drexel of Washington PA joined us in praying for a sad line of clients going into 933 Liberty Avenue. 

The weather went from bad (cold, windy, wet) to worse (cold, windy, wet, and snow) as we turned the duties over to Ceil and her friends from St. Joseph.  First day of Spring…..?

See you in the fall or if you can, please join us any Tuesday morning because the abortions continue all the time.

11-1: Cecilia

With my friends Joyce, Patti and JoAnn from       St Joes/St Marys
The girls praying a rosary…

 

It’s seemed like a Fall campaign where each week got colder.  We were well dressed for it this week!  Good thing because we had it all…drizzle, sleet, snow all within 2 hours.

The nice guard came out to salt the sidewalk in front of PP.  He said he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.  I told him it’s too bad that so many are getting hurt inside that building and again said that he could find a better place to work.  He said he was OK with working there.  But smiled.

It was so nice to close out my shift with my “girls” from St Joe’s/St Mary’s….Joyce, Patti and JoAnn!  We stopped by Catholic Charities on the way to drop off 2 large boxes of donations from our church beforehand.

The girls prayed and sang songs and jumped in on some conversations.  A few to note:

A beautiful young lady stopped to engage in a very thoughtful conversation.  She said that we were making girls feel bad about an already difficult decision and said that some girls who have been raped come for an abortion.  We informed her that that was a low number; that the trauma of abortion doesn’t make the raped women feel better; that abortion is often used as a way to cover up a rape situation…  And then we were quite saddened to learn that she was a rape victim who chose abortion.  She was glad that we were more peaceful and not yelling at the girls.  She thought that we were telling them they would “go to hell”, which we said was not our call to make.  She did say that we should, instead, encourage contraception esp the condom.  But I told her about the problems (health…) with contraception and the false sense of “protection” that they think they have which results in STD’s and unwanted pregnancies.  So I stressed that abstinence was the best option and what we promote.  Although she refused to take most of the literature that I offered and questioned the facts that I told her, she did, in the end, take a Rachel’s Vineyard flyer that JoAnn kept offering her and gave her a hug before leaving.

Another girl headed for PP stopped and willingly took several of the flyers that we had.  She said she was not there for an abortion and was shocked when I said they were performing them today.  So we suggested that she look for her care elsewhere.  She seemed interested but still wanted to keep her appointment.  While Joyce and I spoke with her, a man stopped and asked her to come talk with him a little.  Joyce told him we would gladly address any of his concerns as well.  But she did walk down the street with him for a very short while.  We were hoping that she would not come back, but she did.  However, we are hopeful that she may not return in the future.  She seemed disturbed with the abortion idea and seemed interested in the other resources.

A man stopped to say that, while respects our being there and that we have the right, he doesn’t agree with us.  He also said that if the California case comes to PA, he would not agree that they have the right to force CPC to promote abortion.  He thinks people should have a right to “choose”.  It’s the whole notion of “relativism” that is alive in our culture today.  We need a backbone to stick up for what is truly right and against what is truly wrong.  There are absolutes.  And abortion is absolutely wrong.  He didn’t want to stay to talk about the rights of the child, etc.  He just wanted to state his point and move on.  At least he “respects” us I guess.

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 2 Rosaries

Prayed 1 Divine Mercy

Offered up Songs

Provided pregnancy resources to someone to share

Patiently deal with an Abortion Adovocate

Offered Abortion Healing for someone in need

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Conversation with a worker

Endured the Cold and Snow and Rain

Patti’s daughter stopped to say hi. Here they are in their matching jackets.

1-3: Nikki

I had the honor of praying with the wonderfully dedicated group from Saint Margaret Mary Parish in moon township. What a selfless and dedicated group they are! They signed up to be there for four hours and are staying the entire time! The weather was terrible, I don’t know why I thought it might be fun to stand in the snow, it definitely was not. The snow was icy and wet and the wind was whipping it in our faces. It was a losing battle to try to keep the baby model set visible, it would be covered again two minutes after cleaning it off. Trying to pray the prayer intentions on the back of the baby signs was even a challenge as the words kept getting covered up from the snow. But, we made a profound witness to those who saw us although not many stopped to comment or engage us. One young man, however, did stop to talk. He asked us, “why do you care so much?“ We had the opportunity to explain to him how much God loves everyone, and since we love God, we love all of his creation, and explained that when those who are weak and unable to defend themselves are being harmed, that we need to come to their aid. I think we gave him something to think about, he was really just curious and seemed to be intrigued as to why we would stand out there in such awful weather. That is why it is so important that we do this, I believe. I was very happy to see the next shift manager, Mike when he arrived at 3 o’clock to relieve me. Here he is in the picture, along with the wonderful prayer warriors from Saint Margaret Mary Parish.

Thank you to everyone for your sacrifice in this difficult weather! I believe that God sees our sacrifices and is holding us in his heart.

3-5: Michael

Day 35  Tuesday  3 – 5

   It was cold, windy, snowy and wet today, but the thoughts of babies warmed our hearts. The ladies and gents from St. Margaret of Moon Township were six strong and wonderful to brave the nasty weather and keep the vigil for four hours. This movement and cause is all about God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ, coming together to pray, chant, sing, fast, cry, laugh and witness to His unending and unconditional love for us imperfect humans who are created by Him and in His image and likeness. What is more important than for us to JOIN TOGETHER AND bring Glory, Honor and Worship to the Perfect Creator of ALL!!!  NOTHING!!!   


5-7: Lisa

What fun weather for our last Tuesday shift of this 40 Days campaign, the first day of spring. We knew well enough to dress in several layers and the big heavy boots. It never got too sloppy for us tonight but just as we were beginning to feel the cold Diane and her two faithful companions came a little early so all of us could get home before the predicted heavier snow.

Johanna, Fran, Diane, Penny the Pro Life puppy   and Lisa

What a great prayer partner I have had in Johanna joining me this whole campaign, my CDA sister (Catholic Daughters of the Americas.) A another big thank you to Fran a Knights of Columbus member from Greentree. Knights and Daughters two great organizations. If Fran had not joined us three of our five Tuesday nights, Johanna and I would have been praying and witnessing alone. Thank you again Fran!

 

Day 34: Weirton Catholic Churches and St. James Catholic Church (Sewickley) 

Could you have stood at the foot of the cross?

I wonder if I could have stood there. Would I have wondered, “what’s going to happen to me?” Would I have said “I’m just not comfortable being there”. And perhaps I ran and hid instead?

I often thought standing outside pp is similar to being at the crucifixion.

Deathscorts prodding distressed women along like the cruel centurions. People on the streets hurling insults. And then there are the violent deaths of the innocent.

Back then some of the believers were afraid or too confused to come forward. But some did come and stood at the foot of the cross. You too do the same when you come to pp. You are there standing up for our Lord. You are saying, “This is wrong killing an innocent child”. You are showing your love for our Lord and the innocent unborn.

This Lenten season you made the additional sacrifice and came to the vigil. The time of crucifixion has never been a time for restraint but a time of courage. You were bold. You were not afraid. You made a difference. You did something important.

Who knows you might hear with the ears of your heart “today you will be with Me in paradise”.

Tim B.

Thanks to the faithful from Weirton Catholic Churches and
St. James Catholic Church (Sewickley)  for their witness today.

Below are stories and pics from today on the sidewalk.  Stop back as this will be updated throughout the day.

Vicky praying for a couple minutes before she left for work.

From Sue D. 7-9 am:

“It was a relatively warm morning. It was great to see joyful Vicky stop and pray before she left for work. Rose and I enjoyed talking as well as praying the rosary and the divine mercy, particularly for the young workers we see entering PP. The regulars passed by and Rose handed out all of her 40 days brochures. She told me about a pro-life program at her church… they are wrapping up their program by throwing a baby shower for one of the women that was saved from abortion during our past fall campaign, how beautiful, Praise God!!”  Sue

From Marshall 9-11:

“Greetings from Ohio to all, the Monday 9 to 11 shift was another good

Paul, Sheila and Mary (Sheila and Mary are from St. Joseph the Worker in Weirton WV)

experience and it draws our campaign closer to Palm Sunday and the end of this particular time. I was blessed with several prayer warriors and guests on Liberty Avenue today. Sheila and Mary joined in from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Weirton, WV and Paul joined us a little later. We also had a very special guest, Joe B., who stopped by in honor of St. Joseph, and that was a good blessing during the shift. Please pray for two men whom visited us a separate times, Israel and Paul. Both men were recently released from prison. Israel especially asked us to

Marshall and Mary

pray with him. Another memorable occurrence was the PP guard who poked him head out to check on us. I think that must have been because Sheila was asking ladies who walked into the facility if she could provide them with alternate resources. I hope our efforts changed a heart or two, and I personally appreciate the new display in the glass of the children sizes in the womb. It really adds to the experience of all whom see it. God bless you all.” Marshall

From Ginny D. 11-1:

Sandy from St James in Sewickley PA and Paul from Baldwin

“We had well wishers and said many prayers
Edith was also there passing out much literature
We were grateful it was quite as cold as last week .” Ginny

From Beth S. 1-3 pm:

“Thanks to Beth Ann from St. Alexis, Sandy from St. James, and Edith also from St. James, for keeping my sister Rose and I in prayer today during one of the prettiest afternoons of the 40 Days. PP had very few visitors, just lots of people walking by, giving mostly positive comments. The new fetal models really bring the humanity of the baby to the focus of the debate. So many people just take a glimpse out of the corner of the eye to see what PP has lied about: it’s a child and therefore a family involved in an abortion. “An abortion chops down a family tree.” True. Angela from St. Louise and new Beth from John XXIII arrived at three just as Rosalinda was taking over the 3-5 shift. Blessings to everyone from the Monday 1-3 shift. Hope to see everyone on Sunday.” Beth

 

DAY 33: THANK YOU! People of God Covenant Community; Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton; Holy Child Catholic Church, Bridgeville; Saint Gregory Catholic Church, Zelienople

The Great St. Bernard Pass is a 49-mile route in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The pass is only snow free for a couple of months during the summer.  It has been a treacherous route for travelers throughout history.

An Augustine monk founded Great St. Bernard Hospice and monastery. The monks acquired their first St. Bernard dog.

Workers were assigned to accompany travelers between the hospice and Bourg-Saint-Pierre, a municipality on the Swiss side.

Travelers were accompanied by the dogs, whose broad chests helped to clear paths. The dogs had a tremendous sense of smell and were able to discover people buried in the snow.

The canines made rescue excursions on the St. Bernard Pass for 150 years. Often the dogs would find buried travelers, dig through the snow and lie on top of the injured to provide warmth. The system became so organized that when Napoleon and his 250,000 soldiers crossed through the pass between 1790 and 1810, not one soldier lost his life.

About 2,000 people, from lost children to Napoleon’s soldiers, were rescued because of the heroic dogs’ uncanny sense of direction and resistance to cold. The last documented recovery was in 1897 when a 12-year-old boy was found nearly frozen in a crevice and awakened by a dog.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/a-brief-history-of-the-st-bernard-rescue-dog-13787665/

___________________________________

Accidents of nature

threaten treachery on snow covered passes in the Alps.

___________________________________

The treachery that threatens the pregnant mother and her baby

is neither natural nor an accident.

 

 

Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood staff puts to death

more than 40 children every week,

year round,

in downtown Pittsburgh.

The torn bodies of the killed babies are collected and

discarded as medical waste.

___________________________________

BE A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS BABIES.

BE A SIGN OF HOPE FOR THEIR MOTHERS.

___________________________________

Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life, Spring 2018, is underway. Volunteers are praying, fasting and witnessing downtown.

Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in Texas in 2007, through the end of 2017, local campaign leaders have reported these blessings, God’s answers to their prayers:

5,251 total campaigns

741 cities

47 countries

750,000 individual participants

19,000 churches

13,998 lives saved from abortion

170 abortion workers quit their jobs

90 abortion facilities closed.

___________________________________

BE A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS BABIES.

BE A SIGN OF HOPE FOR THEIR MOTHERS.

Come  downtown!

Witness with us in Pittsburgh.

 

 

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

Cold as it was this morning, I was happy to head for the sidewalk knowing that People of God Covenant Community would be there.  The powerful prayers, inspiring hymns, and warm fellowship they bring make this day a highlight of each campaign.  Thank you to Pat, Tom, Patty, and Todd for bringing light to that dark corridor.

Continued thanks to Diane and Tom for providing everything the vigil could need; and to Vince, Bill, and Patty who regularly answer God’s call to witness for life on Sunday mornings.  You make such a difference by being there.  God bless you all!

Pat, Bill, Vince
Early Sunday Witnesses
Pat, Tom, Patty, Vince
People of God
Covenant Community

___________________________________

SUE 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

Wow — WHAT A CONTRAST today was with yesterday and its happenings and mood on the sidewalk!  It was so nice to be joined by so many prayer warriors, and we prayed in intercessions and also via the Rosary.  When I arrived, Patty was just getting out of her car simultaneously with me.  Todd, Patti, and Tom of People of God Covenant Community were in prayer along with Vince and Shift Manager Jen.  The Special Guest Star of the morning actually was a star — the sun!!!  It felt SO good.  Paul, Pattie, Joe, Mary, Jim, and Sandy arrived shortly afterwards, also from People of God.  Later, Daniel and Pam arrived, also from People of God.  Then toward the end of the shift came Rich and John from Holy Martyrs Parish, Joan from Holy Family, and Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration, followed by two more couples from Transfiguration just as Rich and Roseanne arrived to take over for me.  It was a way bigger crowd than usual for a Sunday morning!

The sidewalk itself in general was very quiet.  We had several passersby but no negative comments.  At one point a man who’d just gotten off a bus came by seeking help; we prayed for him and with him.  A loudly laughing group of older teenage boys came by on their way to the nearby organization that helps to clean up the city.  When I see those volunteering groups of young people, I can’t help but ponder, and pray, that despite their apparent clannish-ness within their peer group, they are taking significant notice of us and our message.  This group today seemed to notice our signs and made some positive comments.

May the sun continue to come out and the Son continue to come in!!

For Life

Todd, Tom, Patti
People of God Community
Sue M, shift manager and Patty, in the middle
Jim, Sandy, Pam, Daniel, Patty, Paul, Pattie, Mary, Joe

____________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

Nearing the end of this 40 days campaign, I pray that we have changed some hearts and minds and abortion would be nothing more than a bad memory. Sunday’s are usually calm and quiet and this Sunday was no different. We were pleased to see some friends and acquaintances from previous 40 days.

Joan, Holy Family
John and Rich,
Holy Martyrs
Bob, Pat, Ken, Mary Ellen, Amy, Cole
Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton

___________________________________

JEFF 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

I arrived at 1pm to find a parking spot waiting for me right in front of PP.  The sidewalk was in shadow and cold, but by 1:30 pm the sun was warming us and I thought of all the cold mornings and rain that greeted us at the beginning of this vigil. My friend Tim surprised me by stopping down and standing with me for two hours, as did Stacey from Saint John XXIII.

A second shift of folk from Transfiguration showed up as well, Joan, Judy, and Arlene.  Near the end of my shift three cars pulled up and let off a dozen people from St Barbara’s and Holy Child from Bridgeville, including Jim M., a fellow shift manager.  I asked if any of them wanted my primo parking spot and Jim asked if I could stick around till their pastor got there so he could take it. Lo and behold, who pulls up but Fr Joe Freedy.  As I pulled a u-ie onto Liberty to give him my space, I shouted out to him to remember me in his prayers, as we  ask all of you to pray for us down here on the sidewalk.

Stacey, Saint John XXIII, Latin Mass Community
Tim, Saint Joseph, Verona
Joan, Judy, Arlene,
Transfiguration

___________________________________

LINDSAY 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

Decades ago (yes, DECADES ago) I was a “victim” of public Witness. I was reminded of this today when a woman walked right past a priest and a large group of Christ’s witnesses and proudly and loudly proclaimed how “great” Planned Parenthood was. Always quick to judge (a terrible vice of mine) I thought, “the audacity!” to be so brazen about such a heartless thing as abortion, right in front of a priest!

Immediately, God humbled me and my face burned red with shame when I suddenly remembered walking off-campus one Sunday afternoon (likely hungover) past a Baptist church and right through the midst of a large group of well dressed women exiting Sunday worship. I was wearing a t-shirt that said “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” that I got from a fraternity party the night before. Talk about audacious! Those WONDERFUL women admonished me up one side and down the other, as I thoroughly deserved. Let’s just say that was the beginning of a long road of reversion back to the Catholic Church from which I’d become lost.

This memory made me realize how VERY IMPORTANT Public Witness in Jesus’ Name is. How important it is to admonish each other when we stray. How important it is to pray for the “lost sheep.” I am sure those Baptist women took me to fervent prayer, and while I’m certainly no Saint, I’ve come a very long way to become a pro-life Catholic in full alignment with the Church.

I was strongly reminded today of those heroic Baptist Christians through the humbling and strong Public Witness provided by Father Joe and his amazing combined flock from St. Barbara and Holy Child Parishes in Bridgeville.

Pro-life friends, let us never forget how important public witness is. I am living proof that conversion through the intercessory prayer of others is possible, because as we all know, “Nothing is Impossible with God!”

Holy Child Catholic Church
prayer witnesses fill the street.

___________________________________

JOE 5-7 SHIFT MANAGER

I was surrounded by such beautiful witnesses today.
Lindsay hung out for the beginning of my shift and offered up her
aching feet to let me settle in. (Thank you Lindsay)

Then Cathy and Jim came and prayed. They were followed by the amazing R. family.
Beth stopped by at the end of my shift and offered up such kind
insights and support. I was truly treated to soul nourishing authentic
Christian witnesses today. It was much needed.

You can’t out give God, so cliché, but so true!!!

All glory and praise be to Jesus.

Cathy and Jim
My 40 Days Muses
and Bill
The R. Family

___________________________________

 

And God saw that it was good.

 

Day 32: Thanks to Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Church of the Assumption, Guardians for LIFE

Keep Ireland Safe for Babies like Me!

Like more than a few of you, I am of Irish lineage.  My father’s ancestors traveled to the “new country” to avoid starvation and make their way in the melting pot of American society, settling first in Boston, then here in Pittsburgh.  Ireland has long been a source of pride for our family,  most especially since the majority of Irish law has supported Biblical Law- up to and including a a ban on abortion except in very exceptional circumstances.      GO IRISH!

 

to quote from a Friends of Ireland email :

‘The Catholic faith which Patrick imparted to the Irish people has defended, consistently for two millennia, the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life in all of its stages and conditions.’   

It was the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution which has long protected our irish brothers and sisters before birth.  Now, the people of Ireland are voting on a referendum that would strip protection from their tiniest citizens in the womb– those defenseless children —guilty of no crime, innocent, pure,  and certainly loved from afar.

The 8th amendment, signed into law in 1983 was groundbreaking in its recognition of AN EQUAL RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE MOTHER AND THE UNBORN CHILD.  What a beautiful message of peaceful co-existence

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TODAY TO PRAY that Ireland retains the beauty and simplicity of the 8th Amendment, drafted in the spirit of a people that knows suffering and prejudice; drafted with the love of the Irish people- even the tiny ones!

Hang a Shamrock, Have an Irish Draught, Eat a piece of Soda Bread, but above all else, PRAY for a continued PRO-LIFE IRELAND !


Today’s Shift Reports from the Irish Streets of Pittsburgh:

 

7am- 9am Tim Reports:

Bellevue Knights of Columbus hold vigil this morning– THANK YOU KNIGHTS- you are a Blessing!

Kilts and prayers. 

There was a lot of  activity on sidewalk early this morning.  The Bellevue Knights of Columbus arrived early and were planning to pray the entire day of the vigil.  These knights were joined by the Guardians of Life and their KOC team as well.  Prayers rang out and were heard by all the early people coming for the parade, some in kilts. What a powerful witness and presence we had today.

Tim B.

Saturday Morning Prayer Warriors with Guardians for Life take up the vigil to Pray to End Abortion

 

Knights of Columbus Signs of Encouragement on the Cold Sidewalk this morning
Baby Models work in ANY WEATHER! Praise God
Gaurdians for Life brave the weather with SA Terri

Bellevue K of C and other witnesses for life filled the sidewalk this morning!

9am- 11am Sue & Sue Report:

The sidewalk was busy with a lot of people going to the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! We tried to use the opportunity to increase awareness about PP and offer alternatives to abortion and PP.  When we were just about finished with the shift, the police came and asked us to clear the sidewalk for safety due to a threat that they received. We were so grateful to have the knights with us…and for Diane’s amazing engineering skills which enabled us to take all the the vigil materials with us!!

Guardians for Life with SA Terri
Guardians for Life in active prayer
A Guardian and a Knight — a strong combo!

Editor’s Note:

At about 11:00 today, we were informed by the Pittsburgh Police that the area was to be cleared of all persons due to a suspicious material placed in a nearby trash container.  Someone called into the police worried that we might be in danger….. As of this publishing, no harm came to anyone on the sidewalk, as all were cooperative in leaving the area.

FINISH STRONG for the Little Ones Relying on us- Stop in at the Vigil this Week

THE VIGIL RESUMES AT 7am TOMORROW–  This is your very last week to be a part of this important, effective project— Please join us on the sidewalk!!