Day 41: Thanks be to God for another amazing campaign!!

We are so thankful for the wonderful 40 days you have shared with us on the sidewalk! We have prayed together, and shared many moments together that have been difficult, powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful…. all of these and more. A sincere THANK YOU to all who participated in any way. It is YOU who make our time on the sidewalk bearable, and YOU who make it a HOLY time as well. Thank you.

The First Reading from our Palm Sunday liturgy began with these words:

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.

-Isaiah 50:4a,b


I recently heard Bishop Zubik offer a reflection on this verse from Isaiah. He mentioned how his first grade teacher had taught him and his classmates how to put letters together to become words, and how they could use those words to say important things. He later compared that education to this passage, saying that the Lord, also, has taught us, His followers, how to speak the words God needs us to speak.

There are times in our culture and society– like now– when many things go awry and when many hearts go astray. Bishop Zubik reminded us that WE are to be those ones who have a “well-trained tongue.” And WE are the ones who can “know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

I connect this to the LIFE issue in this way. So many of those people who pass by our prayer vigil are pro-abortion. Many of our family members and friends are as well. The abortion workers and the clients going inside might think that abortion is helpful or caring (in some irrational way). And there are many things we cannot do to change their minds or hearts. But there are other things we CAN do to make a difference in their lives. We can use our “well-trained tongue” to speak words of love and life to them. We can speak truth and hope. And as we speak, perhaps they will be “roused” out of their hopelessness… or their confusion… or their pain.

And to support one another in this “training our tongues” and “speaking rousing words to the weary,” we held a prayer service to close our vigil last evening (Sunday). We followed up with a potluck, fellowship, and sharing about the vigil. It was quite well attended; one of our team members estimated about 60 people joined us! Thank you to all who came and shared that special time with us.

Photos from the Closing Events:

Fr. Thomas More leading us in prayer on the sidewalk
Shift Manager Tim
Many wonderful people gathered in prayer
Thank you, Fr. Thomas More, for your inspirational words!
Later at Catholic Charities.
Thank you to Jeannie for our amazing dessert table!!

Nikki setting up drinks
Sweet baby colors for our napkins
Joe greets Kevin
Dee bringing in her lovely sweet potato casserole!
Shift Buddy Pastor Bryan greeting some of our wonderful volunteers
Thank you to everyone who came!
Many pro-life heroes at these tables!
Melissa shared her amazing testimony of choosing life for her son!
Thank you, Melissa, and God bless you!!
It was really a full house! Thank God!!
Shift Manager and Sidewalk Advocate Sue gives information about
the next Sidewalk Advocate training on Sat., June 1.
Shift Manager and Knight of Columbus Charlie is forming a plan
to have Prayer Buddies for the Sidewalk Advocates!! WONDERFUL idea!!!

Contact Sue for more information at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net.
Our local 40 Days for Life director, Nikki, testifies to the power of prayer!
Dedicated souls!!
Shift Manager Donna encouraging us and asking for prayers for
a young couple whose unborn child may have a difficult diagnosis.
Nikki giving a gift to the team– a photo collage of all the Shift Managers and Shift Buddies!
Meredith explains about the Magee Project: Praying for an end to abortion at Magee Hospital. For more information, contact Meredith at meredith@rescuepittsburgh.org.
Nikki and Shift Manager Donna
Thank you, Joe– what would these events be without you as M.C.??
Pastor Bryan, sending us forth with words of encouragement and a blessing! Thank you!!

Several years ago, my family and I began cheering for the Pittsburgh Marathon runners. We loved doing it so much that we have done it every year since…. But our involvement has evolved such that my husband’s band has been an official marathon band for the past three or four years. It is an amazing experience, mostly because of how we see the power of the music elevate and motivate the runners when they might be otherwise in a potential slump.

My husband has directed the band members on which motivational songs will work well for those “slump” moments. Our best-received, by far, is…. the theme from “Rocky.” One moment, some of the runners are starting to lose their stamina….

But then, they hear my nephews begin with this awesome trumpet riff below….. and WOW!! It changes the world.

At least, it changes the world for those runners at that moment.

And so, I encourage all of you, those of you with “well-trained tongues….”

Speak words to the weary that will ROUSE them… and bring them life and freedom and joy!!! We have the good news; we might want to show it– and SHARE it!!

God bless you all during this sacred time of Holy Week. And hope to see you all soon!!

DAY 40: THANK YOU, Saint Katharine Drexel Parish; Transfiguration and Saint Victor Parishes; The Acts Men; Living Hope Church; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken, Kristy; all People who witnessed with us today!

He calls me forth into freedom.

He saves me because he loves me.

Psalm 18:20

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Listen.

I bring you news of great joy,

a joy to be shared by all people.

Luke 2:10

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Although we sometimes felt cold, wet, tired and maybe intimidated, I’ll bet JOY describes us best today.  With our beloved Nikki leading, we took LOVE to the sidewalk downtown 12 hours a day for 40 Days.  Off stage, an enormous crowd of people stood ready to share comprehensive, confidential help with abortion bound people and people wounded by abortion.  Prolife is always on duty. 

A “flashmob” video filmed on a sidewalk square in front of Saint Felix Cathedral, in Sabadell, Spain, shows a crowd of people who look rather a lot like we do today…singing and happy.

The Som Sabadell (We are Sabadell) flashmob performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was conducted by Rubén Gimeno with 100 performers and a jubilant crowd of children, parents, sons and daughters.   Look closely.  Doesn’t that person remind you of someone you saw witnessing with us these past 40 Days?  How about the little kid dressed in orange, climbing the pole? 

Let us rejoice! 

THANK YOU!

Responding to a request from DEE, these brothers and sisters in Consecrated Life helped sustain us these 40 Days.

Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Jolenta Sredinski

School Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Frances Marie 

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Loretto, PA,  Monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux

Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, North Hills: Saint Louise Convent, Coordinator, Sister Anne Kull, SCN

Carmelite Monastery, Erie, Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden: Congregational Moderator, Sister Sharon Costello, CSJ

Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Rector, Father Robert and Student Representative, Deacon Nathan Adams

The Ark and the Dove,  Administrators, Sisters Bernadette, Mary Gianna and Mary Justin

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN 7-9

We had a wonderful group of prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning, including lovely parishioners of St. Katherine Drexel who had to drive an hour to be with us.  We offered up a Scriptural Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion.  Positive reactions from passersby outnumbered the negative ones.  Vince was able to help a man whose power wheelchair battery died nearby.  And sweet Sue took over just as the skies opened up and let loose a torrent of rain.  Praying that she wasn’t soaked by the end of her shift!
The picture of the yellow line was actually a mistake…I accidentally take photos of the ground just about every time I turn on the camera.  😂  But I smiled when I did it this time because I think God was telling me to share something with you. 

Looking at that newly-painted line on the sidewalk today, I noticed a slight wobble in it.  I think it’s a sign of a slight wobble in the whole PP organization, one that will get bigger with time and eventually cause the whole thing to topple. 

May God use our presence over these last 40 days to bring that about as quickly as possible!!!

Parishioners of Saint Katharine Drexel, Washington County, with Bill and Vince, Shift Buddy.

Even more Saint Katharine Drexel friends with Vince!

There’s a slight wobble in the newly-painted circle…

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SUE Mc. 9-11

Within one minute before I arrived for my shift this morning, it started to pour down rain. I apologized for the unwelcome gift I’d brought!!!

Bob, Pat, Joan, and Judi from Transfiguration were there when I arrived to relieve Jen and Vince. We were joined shortly by Sheila from St. Camillus in the New Castle area. Sherry from South Hills Assembly joined us for the third week in a row. Bill H. (from “everywhere”!) stopped by. Later in the shift, Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration arrived, as well as Kathy & Bill from St. John XXIII. I thank every one of you for your dedication to prayer in very soggy conditions!

Toward the end of the shift, a man came by who was on a break from selling candy at the convention center.  He politely asked why we were praying at this particular location in town and we explained that it’s an abortion clinic and about 40 Days. He hadn’t realized that the building houses an abortion clinic. He told us he is “not a big fan of abortion, but I just kind of keep my head down and don’t say too much.” We invited him to join us at the next vigil. I had the feeling he walked away thinking.
It had struck me right away that the man’s quote is probably the exact thought process and M.O. of most pro-life Americans. Dear Lord, please awaken and encourage the sleeping giant of the pro-life American majority to stand up and speak up for LIFE!!!

For Life  

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ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

The rain did not put a damper on the attendance or on the spirit of prayer today.  What a group of faithful people who show up rain or shine!
Regulars from Transfiguration prayed with us today. 
First time participants at 40 Days was a group from Oakdale Pa. (Crossroads Men’s Ministry) who call themselves The Acts Men came to witness. It was a blessing to meet, speak and pray with them.
I did not get a picture of the R. family who came and said the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with us nor of Bill H. 
As our shift was ending, a group from Madonna Del Costello/ Word of God were arriving.
An awesome day.
 

Faithful prayer warriors from Transfiguration Parish

The Acts Men, Crossroads Men’s Ministry

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Marie P. 3-5

The sidewalk was full when I arrived just before 3:00 p.m. with members from Living Hope Church in Latrobe and The Acts Men from Oakdale.

It was so nice to have such a large presence on the sidewalk today as there was a lot of foot traffic with conventioneers from the Tekko 2019 event at the Convention Center and Penguins fans. We really must pray for our young people – the people coming from the convention are certainly in to a different “reality”- dressed in costumes celebrating Japanese pop culture.

It was evident that they do not understand the reality of abortion but are quick to make passing comments as they walked by us. How sad. I pray that they wake up to what is “reality” – certainly not dressing up in cartoon-character costumes!
Thanks to Living Hope for their strong showing on both sides of Liberty Avenue…and to The Acts Men from Oakdale for their witness on the sidewalk.

I want to thank Suzanne from Living Hope for her witness to John, a young man who engaged us in “debate” today. He was wanting to argue and I assured him we were not there to argue with him.
He was a little hampered in our discussion (by alcohol) so it seemed a futile effort to convince him that we are there not to judge or “hate the women who come there for abortions” (his words).

The Acts Men from Oakdale and Jackie from Living Hope

Suzanne from Living Hope

Living Hope Church ready to depart on their bus!

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MARSHALL 5-7

Preparing for the closing, the sidewalk is becoming crowded with several prayer warriors and faithful people who have responded to God’s call to protect the lives of the innocent.
It was a privilege to fill in today at the closing time for 40 days and Joe White. Prayers for all mothers and fathers who have conceived a child and those who desire but are currently unable. God bless their decisions.
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

Mary, Dawn, Bridget and Gail

Jason, Kevin and Melissa

Jim and Kathy

Praying the Glorious Mysteries at the Closing

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And God saw that it was good.

Day 39: Thank you to St. Anne (Castle Shannon), St. Elizabeth of Hungary RL Group, Madonna del Castello and Word of God, Assumption (Bellevue), Catholic Men’s Fellowship, and Individual Volunteers!

Anyone who knows me has heard me say “IF you want to meet the MOST WONDERFUL people in the City of Pittsburgh, go to the Vigil in Front of Planned Parenthood.” I stand by this statement! My only “complaint” about 40 Days Pittsburgh is that we rarely get to be TOGETHER as a prayer community. BUT Sunday will be different. After our shared 40 Day journey completes its course, we will gather to celebrate and REJOICE as we plan the work ahead. IF YOU HAVE NOT done so before, CONSIDER attending the closing Prayer Service and the gathering which follows.

THE ONLY downside of the work we do at 40 Days for Life is that we shift managers often only get to know the shift managers who we relieve or those we relieve us. In my case I am overly thankful for Chris and Joe who are the “bookends” for my shift. Chris passes the baton to me and Joe shows up like an angel to take over a few hours later.

BUT there are scores of us who make up we at 40 Days for LIFE are SO MUCH MORE.

7-9am Shift Manager Tim Reports:

Gentlemen of St. Anne’s bring Prayer to 933 Liberty Avenue at DAWN!

We made a strong witness this morning starting with the group from St Ann’s who arrived before the vigil even started.  Then the Choices mobile sonogram with Jill and Betsy arrived allowing us to offer an alternative to PP.
The streets were active this morning with hundreds running (in preparation for the upcoming marathon I think). Two separate women, one from Somerset County, stopped by with both saying they had seen the movie “Unplanned” and had to come and pray.  Many of the runners said nice things to us, and some not so much.  Regardless we were very visible to so many.  It was a blessed morning.
  Tim

Jill and Betsy arrive with the Mobile Sonogram Unit Saturday Bright and Early!

Shift Report From Sue, 9-11 AM:

Just wow – what a beautiful day and a shift just PACKED with pray-ers!  We were blessed by:  Father Dan and his faithful squad from Our Lady of the Lake in Edinboro, PA; Bob, Peggy, Kathy, and John from St. Anne; Nathan, Carol, Janet, Anita, Mike, and Kim from St. Michael, along with Kim’s daughter Yvette and her family including adorable baby Baxter; members of the Little Flower Household from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Donna from Holy Family in Steubenville; Jeannette from Blessed Sacrament; Ted from Holy Sepulcher; Therese & Eileen from St. Elizabeth; the “S” family from SS. John & Paul; regulars Bill H. and Charlie; and Sidewalk Advocates Sue D., Judy, Jeff, and Marian.  The prayer was abundant and continuous and included folks kneeling. 

There were not many people going in to Planned Parenthood during the first half hour or so of the shift, but the number unfortunately definitely picked up toward the end.  A young post-abortive woman and her mother accepted a Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortive healing flyer after hesitating.  We were able to give out some literature to folks going in, but several would not accept any.  We prayed for them all. 

A woman and her husband from Cleveland, who were walking down to the convention center to attend the Steel City Con, stopped by to talk.  She said she had just seen “Unplanned” and hadn’t been aware in advance of our vigil at 933 Liberty.  When she stopped, she exclaimed, “I feel like I just walked right into that movie!”  We had a nice talk, and she said they are going to look up the contact info to attend the Cleveland 40 Days vigil in October.  God is working!!Sue

Shift Report From Dean, 11 AM-1 PM:

Persistent. I hope that is the impression we leave on all the people we have encountered on the sidewalk. I pray for God to change hearts and minds regarding abortion. And He will, in His own time.
Today had such a strange vibe to it. Maybe because of all the folks headed to the Steel City Comic-Con. Most of them didn’t want the information about support groups.
I won’t be at the closing tomorrow but, I would like to wish all of you a blessed Easter. He is Risen Indeed!  
Dean

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parishioners and Pets!

Shift Report From Billy, 1-3 PM:

I met with Beth a sidewalk advocate today and it started out with a discussion with a gentleman named Bob (I have known this man before I came to 40 days.) Bob brought friends and began talking theology with us and thankfully the priest had asked me to assist with a person who was one of the fellow convention partakers.  After this we had prayers. A woman walked by and said I agree with you pray to end abortion! A gentleman came over and said thank you for being here. I was praying with the  Word of God Parish/Madonna Del Castello Church.  We had a lot of comments today and I witnessed about four people entering Planned parenthood and a moment later a few more. Then while we were praying I noticed a young girl recording the prayer on her phone but she then stopped when convention passersby came to us. Around 2:30 I walked over with one of our volunteers so one side wasn’t empty because people had left and i didn’t want anything to be stolen. A man by the name of Tom stopped by to pray with us and then before my shift ended a man came up to me and he asked me about everything in Planned Parenthood and what goes on in there. He said that God is on our side and they have power but not God. I had an eventful day. I wasn’t expecting it at all.  Billy


Here are the Word of God church!

Shift Report From Rick and Mary, 3-5 PM:

The 3-5 PM Shift was peaceful, prayerful and was very well attended.  Special thanks to Amy and Vince from Warrendale, who came to the prayer vigil for the first time after seeing the Unplanned movie. Their faithful prayers and witness were a true blessing.  It was obvious that Amy wants to be more involved in the 40 Days for Life Campaign. 

Special thanks also to Dan, Luisa, Anna, Jim and Kolbe from  Assumption Church in Bellevue, Tom from St. Fidelis, Sue from St. Mary of the Assumption, Bennett from St. Alexis, Donna from St. Kilian, Jane from St. Alphonsus and Carol from Aquinas Academy for their prayers (Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc.) and witness on behalf of unborn children and pregnant mothers in need.  Thanks also to Nikki Bruni and so many others for organizing such a successful 40 Days for Life Campaign which saved the lives of unborn children and provided assistance and love to pregnant mothers in need.  Mary

Day 38: Thanks to St. John’s (Burry’s) Church, North American Martyrs and St. Michael Parishes, Weirton Catholic Churches, and loving individual Volunteers

The sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue has been bursting with life and love over the last six weeks! Just scroll back through the blog posts from this campaign and see how many beautiful pictures and reports there are.

You have sacrificed your time and comfort to bring the love of Christ to those in need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of this vital mission. 

You have undoubtedly touched lives with your presence and your prayers, though you may never hear the details until you are welcomed home to Heaven. 

We should certainly celebrate the accomplishments of the last 40 days. But we also know there is more to be done.

Planned Parenthood has not yet closed its doors. Unborn children continue to lose their lives there; mothers and fathers continue to suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually because of it.

Throughout the year, Sidewalk Advocates for Life reach out to women who are entering PP on abortion days.  Please consider joining them to offer prayer support Tuesday through Saturday mornings from 7-11 AM. Or become a Sidewalk Advocate yourself!  The next training session is soon:

Saturday, June 1 from 10 AM – 3 PM
Knights of Columbus Hall in Bellevue
Please RSVP by May 27th

Contact info:
Sue M. (susanmcgrath526@comcast.net)
Sue D. (smfreedy@aol.com)
Charlie (412-716-2789)
Tim (timbarr5480@gmail.com)

May God work through us to end the horror of abortion,
and may He bless us all with His love and peace!

“Love never says: I have done enough!”
–Saint Marie-Eugenie de Jesus



SIDEWALK REPORTS

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Tom, Pastor Win and Dave, Richard and I, all arrived to a sun almost already out and breezy warm Friday.
Who would believe that Pittsburgh has a building dedicated to the unthinkable depravity of legalized abortion?
As she was going in, she stopped.  The beautiful executive type young woman came over to me and told me to get that off her building.  
This is not your building, I noted.  However, I did remove the red roses because heaven only knew what she would have done to them otherwise.
Richard, Dave and I asked Pastor Win to lead us in prayer.  Moments later, Pastor Win knelt on his prayer rug and remained in silent prayer for quite a while.
Pastor Win and Dave belong to St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church in Beaver.  It is called Burry’s Church because the land was purchased from the Burry family in 1836.
Dave accepted one of Jeanne’s baby pictures that has an entire side dedicated to prayers.  He was grateful for her good sense in providing this for us.
At one point a truck pulled up and the driver and helper entered pp.  The truck side mentioned something about building excellence.  I was reminded of the Psalm: If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.  God pours blessings on those faithful to him while they sleep.
Passers by heaped blessings on us.  I’m pretty sure I saw Al and Sally…can’t be sure.  People came to repaint the golden arch.  The supervisor asked if we knew Al and Sally.  He was in school with their son Frank.
Pittsburgh is a small city…a good thing.

Barbara
Sally and Al with their daughter…although this picture is from earlier in this campaign, they are always present in spirit on that sidewalk!

9-11 AM, Kathy and Marianne:

Thank you to all who came today.  Ten in all over the 2 hour shift.  David and Pastor Win from St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church, regulars Terry and Bill H.
Sidewalk Advocate Kim stopped by and helped diffuse a heated conversation from a passerby by offering her resources.  Thanks Kim.
Most pp patrons didn’t want resources but many passersby accepted them.  A pp vendor accepted the yellow card.  Hopefully it will be a seed that bears fruit.
Mary Ann and Chris from St. Catherine’s, Megan M, and Mary and Gary M who were passing through, thank you for coming.

Kathy

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Pastor Bryan:

1-3 PM, Elaine:

…coming soon!

3-5 PM, Fran:

I admit to being a little apprehensive about the potential for storms today, but I am thankful to say that it only rained lightly for about a half hour into the shift.  But that did not dampen the spirits of the faithful from Weirton.  John, Mary, Bridget, Daniel and Lori arrived on time, in spite of having just driven through torrential rains, and they were ready for prayer.  Umbrellas in hand, we started with the petitions followed by the Sorrowful Mysteries then we used our cell phones to find other prayers and reflections.  From the picture you can see that the young man of the group participated confidently and devoutly, taking his turn reading the petitions and also leading a decade of the Rosary – sincerely, he is a prayer warrior in every way – his young age was not an obstacle.  I believe PP closes early (this is not my normal shift) because I saw only a few women leave and later, only employees.  Not long after we finished the rosary, a man looking to be in his very early 20s approached our group, thanked us, and said that he supports what we are doing.  Then he extended his hand and offered a donation of $10.00.  We thanked him and asked if he would like to join us but he apologetically said he could not at this time.  Later in the shift we were approached by one man and, a short time later, another.  Both were requesting money and I explained our policy to each.  The first man did not accept my answer and proceeded to address each person in the group, individually, before going on his way somewhat loudly.  Dave, the 5-7pm shift manager arrived early.  He talked to each person in our group then pulled a bag from his pocket and offered 40 Days for Life pins and bracelets to the everyone – and they were very appreciative of his kindness.  

5-7 PM, David and Bill:

What a beautiful evening it turned to be. From the pictures you can see the smiling faces of some powerful prayer warriors. Some responded to the request on the blog. While some felt motivated from seeing the movie Unplanned. I thank God and ask Him to Bless all of them and their families.
As usual, we had some disparaging remarks but, they were overwhelmed by those who said, “God Bless you”! 
When the evening was over, I think we all felt like we were just getting started. We were ready for more than 40daysforlife !
Peace be with you !

David

Carissa, Justin, Michelle, Ursula, Tom, Diane, Bill

Bill and his wife Ursula

Carissa, Alex, Jim, Justin

Day 37: Thank you to Bridge City Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburgh Region Byzantine Catholics, City Center Parishes, The Sower’s Chapel, and all of our other volunteers!

Some of us Christians are celebrating today (April 11) the optional memorial of St. Stanislaus the Martyr —not Stanislaus Kostka, for whom the church in the Strip District is named. This particular Stanislaus was an 11th century bishop from Poland who was martyred. I found his story to be an interesting parallel of our own, as we fight for what is right and holy on the sidewalk during our 40 Days for Life vigils.

St. Stanislaus was noted for his preaching, and many sought after him as a spiritual advisor. He was eventually named bishop of Krakow. The Polish king at the time, King Boleslaus, was called out by St. Stanislaus because of the king’s cruelties and injustices, and especially his involvement in a kidnapping. Stanislaus excommunicated the king because of these atrocities. And, in turn, the king himself killed Stanislaus while the bishop was saying Mass in a chapel outside the city on April 11, 1079.

The parallel that I see is that like Stanislaus, we, too, do spiritual “advising” on the sidewalk, we, too, “call out” Planned Parenthood because of their cruelties and injustices, and…… well, HOPEFULLY none of us will ever get killed because of our attempts to change our culture, or give help to the men and women in need on the sidewalk. And yet– any time we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, it IS a kind of small, or “white” martyrdom (as opposed to a “red” martyrdom, which involves the shedding of blood).

Jesus tells us in the Gospel for today’s optional memorial, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the Evil One.” (John 17:15) Interesting, isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t tell us that we should be leaving Earth, because we shouldn’t be around all the bad things happening. No, just the opposite. He prays that we would NOT be taken out of the world… but He ALSO prays that we would be kept safe from the evil one.

We are MEANT to be a force for good, aligning ourselves with our God, and striving always to bring Christ to our broken world…. even in the midst of our OWN brokenness. Let us not be afraid– ever– to stand up for what is right. To stand up for Jesus Christ. To stand up for LIFE.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9am):

Peggy and I were joined by Vicki from Bridge City Church, and then Katie came with lots of  resources to offer to abortion-bound couples.  It was a quiet morning, not much traffic going into Planned Parenthood. I only saw one abortion-bound couple, but quite a few single women.  We received some positive comments, maybe one negative. A large group of prayer warriors arrived for the 9 to 11 shift. Shift manager Judy showed up with a broken foot! How is that for dedication! Meredith and Chuck were also there to represent Lincoln Place Nazarene Church, along with Karen and her friend from Christ Church in Penn Hills, and some others. I left the sidewalk for my last shift in many good hands. I pray that we will touch hearts and save a life today!

Thank you, Vicki and Shift Buddy Peg!!

Thank you to the many prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning!!

Judy (9-11am):

As you know from Nikki’s report above, Judy came with a broken foot…. so she gets the “hero of the day” award!! Thank you, Judy!! And thank you to Pastor Joe, Chuck, and Meredith!!

And now, for Judy’s actual report. 🙂

It was a beautiful sunny morning on Liberty Avenue. When we arrived, Katie was already on the scene handing out materials. Lincoln Place Naz: Pastor Joe, Judy, Meredith, Chuck. Jeannie was also there. From Christ Church Ministries: Deb, Karen. We were later joined by Mary Sue from St. Mary of the Assumption, Libby from St. Sebastian, and Alan from Butler.

We were able to hand out materials to a number of people. We were able to intercept one young lady going in for an abortion. She listened to us for quite some time and allowed us to pray for her. She was very open to listening and we pleaded with her to not kill her baby. She already has a 5 month old and she said she could not raise another baby. We offered her so much help…she stood there and listened to us for a long time, but she chose to go in anyway. We continued to pray that she would change her mind before it was too late.

What a wonderful group from 9-11! Thank you all so much!!

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

My shift was kind of chaotic (at least from my perspective). I am SO, so thankful for the beautiful Byzantine clergy who were there. Not only is it wonderful to have priests and deacons praying with us, but they were also more than capable of keeping things sane and prayerful on their side of the circle. Thank you!!

I was on the other side of the circle, where things got intense and sad. Wonderful volunteer Alan and I talked to a man for quite a while, and tried to help him to make the decision for life for his unborn child. It didn’t happen. The baby was aborted. That experience saddened me, mostly because it DIDN’T have to end the way it did. Such an absolute tragedy.

A very angry woman came yelling at us out of nowhere… and then when one of our volunteers tried to calmly talk to her, she yelled back, “Don’t talk to me!!” Interesting, considering that SHE started the “talking” to begin with. Sad.

I am also thankful for the beautiful S. family who joined us today. They were bright points of sunshine on that sidewalk! God bless you all!

Thanks also to Daria and Bill, who came all the way from Oil City and joined us for the first time! So did Raquela, who traveled from Aliquippa for the first time as well! All of these first-timers came today because of the impact that the movie Unplanned had on them. God bless you all!

Thank you to John, Bob, and of course, my “protector,” Shift Buddy Fran, and my “go-to” woman, Sidewalk Advocate Katie!!! God bless you all!!!!!

Thank you to the beautiful S. family!! You all did a fabulous job!!
Thank you to first-timer Raquela!!
Thank you to the beautiful Byzantine group,
who travel so far each campaign to pray with us!!
The BEAUTIFUL chanted Byzantine Catholic prayer service….
SO wonderful to hear on the sidewalk.
Thank you to my Shift Buddy Fran, and to faithful prayer warrior John!!
Thank you to lovely Debbie and her lovely sister, Judy!! God bless you, ladies!!
Shift Manager Lisa K. (me) with sweet Raquela!! Thank you for being there today!!

Helen (3-5pm):

Even our light jackets seemed too warm for the afternoon sun. Most popular signs were the beautiful babies with the litany of prayers for moms and babies, dads, even abortionists on the back.

When someone stops to look at our models, it’s always an opportunity to start a conversation and offer one of the tiny models for the person to keep and/or show to others.

Derrick is pastor of a church with several branches across Pennsylvania. He has lived in Pittsburgh for a while, but now he plans to move to the other side of the state to be near his wife’s family.

Maureen and Mackenna brought pro-life information from Genesis.

Kevin was part of the Latin Mass Community at Holy Wisdom parish. 

Bill comes every day to pray, and he joined us today.

We know the faces of those who will smile. Today a young man raised his hand to me for a “high five.” As I touched his raised palm, he said, “HaHa! I love abortion.” 

We’re looking forward to prayer and celebration on Sunday evening.

Helen

Thank you, Dan, for joining us today!
Thank you to Bill and Phil!! God bless you both!

Charlie (5-7pm):

Quiet night on the sidewalk for prayer and witness for life. We had a few young people ask us some questions. It was a nice conversation. Thanks to my prayer buddy Amy, Kevin from Holy Wisdom, and all that came from Bridge City Church.

Thank you all for praying with us today!

Next week is Holy Week, friends. Let’s enter into it with a deep sense of companionship with Jesus. Let us remain with Him as we remember His Passion and Death. And let us not be afraid of the evil one’s temptations. Above is an artistic depiction of the devil tempting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before He died. Like Jesus in the garden, we, too, can trust in God when the enemy presses in. God is absolutely trustworthy. Let us end our 40-day vigil and enter into Holy Week with that trust in our hearts. EVEN trusting God that He WILL end abortion at 933 Liberty Avenue.

Day 36…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac (Upper St. Clair), St. James (Sewickley), PCUC (New Castle) and many faithful volunteers!

Why are all the blog posts about God???

If you are new to this blog, you may have perused the daily reflections and noticed that…for a pro-life blog…we mainly write about GOD. If you are new to the pro-life movement…maybe motivated by the Unplanned movie…you may be wondering why we don’t write more about abortion! After all, our entire mission of 40 Days for Life is to END ABORTION. So, why don’t we talk more about it in our blog? Why don’t we speak more of the horrors and the injustices? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do our best to get our readers all riled up so that they will be motivated to show up on the sidewalk?

There is a good reason for this focus on God…and I will soon tell you what it is. But first, I want to tell you about my reputation within my family. Everyone in my family thinks I am a “religious fanatic”. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the gifts that I have been given in the past few years:

I guess when you think your mom is crazy about the whole Jesus thing…when you have to get her a gift, you go to the Christian store! Actually, one of my most treasured moments with my grand daughter happened while my daughter and her family were visiting last summer. It was the day before they had to return home to Oklahoma, and my (then) 5-year old grand daughter was sitting on my lap. We were sitting on the back porch, enjoying the beautiful summer evening…getting some cuddle time in before she had to leave. Suddenly, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Mamaw…why do you love God so much?” We hadn’t been talking about anything, so this was a totally random question. It must have been on her mind. I had the opportunity to tell her how good our God is and how much he loves her. I tell you, no matter how many mistakes I have made…and will make in the future…I consider this memory one of my SUCCESSES!

So, back to the question of why we tend to focus on God instead of abortion. Well, the reason is that the battle to end abortion is no ordinary battle, and praying in front of an abortion clinic is different than other sorts of pro life activity. It is different than going to the March for Life in DC…different than volunteering for a pregnancy resource center…different than holding or attending pro life fundraisers or lobbying for pro life politicians. Not to scare off our “newbies“…but praying at an abortion facility is serious spiritual warfare. It involves going physically to the devil’s most “holy ground“. Abortion is his most treasured “sacrament” if you will. It is like entering the belly of the beast. There is nothing that makes him angrier (and also nothing that causes him the most harm!) than praying in front of an abortion clinic.

Thinking we can end abortion without God is naive! It would be like jumping off this cliff and expecting to fly!

It would be naive of us to think that we could just simply show up on the sidewalk and be able to change people’s minds and hearts. Only God can do that. Unless we have a strong, solid base…rooted in prayer and self-sacrifice, we will soon give up out of fear and discouragement. Again, I am not saying this to scare away the “newbies”…but to ENCOURAGE them (and all of us!) to bump up our prayer lives!

We have to be fit, spiritually…lean and trim with fasting…ready to return love for hatred at any moment. If we do this, God will be with us always. He will fight the battle for us. Stay in his Word daily. Have a set time for prayer every day. Be strong and courageous! And be the “religious fanatic” of your family! 🙂

…and come join with your fellow pro life prayer warriors THIS SUNDAY at 6 pm in front of Planned Parenthood to close out the final hour of our 40 Days for Life vigil! Closing prayers will be lead by Fr. Thomas More Sikora, followed at 7pm with a pot-luck celebration inside Catholic Charities welcome center (corner of 9th and Liberty). Come join the fun!

Read on for today’s stories from the sidewalk…

Peggy writes from the 7-9 am shift…

It was a quiet morning. The witnesses from St. Louise were there with me all morning, and some were still there when I left, going to be there till noon!

Fr. Jeremiah came from the Forest Hills parishes. The others are from St. Louise
Amy joins the group, she is from St. Boniface in the north side
Faithful witnesses from St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair
Witnesses from St. Louise are joined by a passerby who stopped to pray on his way to work.

Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11 am…

The vigil. was blessed with the prayerful presence of many parishioners from St Louise and one from the Presbyterian Church.
There may have been some from another church besides St Benedict the Abbot and St Joan of Arc who began arriving around 10:30, but not sure. There were so many pray-ers we ran out of log sheets and began writing on the backs. Couldn’t find any more.)

Cathy

Seamus, Matt and Joe, strong men of God from St. Louise!
Great crew of prayer warriors from St. Louise de Marillac!

Hank and Judy had the 11-1 shift…

We have been blessed to have good numbers of prayer warriors for the 11-1 shift throughout the 40 Days and today was no exception.  There was a gang from St.Benedict the Abbott, and St.Louise de Marrillac, a couple of individuals from St.James Sewickley, and several individuals (Chrystal, Elsie, Bill joined us for short times. We prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy and the Stations of the Cross.  Elsie especially distributed a good bit of literature.  We received honks from three different trucks passing by and several thumbs-up, thank you and God bless you from passers-by.  Only a few negative comments or gestures.  Praised be Jesus Christ.  

Hank and Judy
Sandy and Suzanne from St. James in Sewickley
Sandy and Angela
Crystal
Angela from St. Louise
Linda, Diane and Mary from St. Louise
Nina, Joan and Mary from St. Joan of Arc parish, with shift manager Judy
Great gang from St. Benedict of the Abbott

Rosalina and Francis were the shift managers from 1-3 pm…

Faithful volunteers from PCUC (People Concerned for the Unborn Child), New Castle Chapter, and shift manager Francis in the background

Jeannie wrote from the 3-5 shift…

What a fabulous way to sign off on my last shift for this 40 days for life vigil. I was blessed to be with a wonderful folks from PCUC in Newcastle. We had a young woman stop by and engage us in a very spirited conversation. She was respectful but Had been sold all the typical abortion lies. Claudia and Raymonda were amazing and patient and sincere talking to her and she really appreciated a chance to dialogue. I am sure we planted seeds in her searching heart. Next I was joined by not one but two separate first timers who came down to pray because they had seen the movie unplanned. First tim came he is in the process of moving to Philadelphia but is determined to join whatever group is in Philly doing the same pro life work. Then came Ken who had never been on the sidewalk before but felt compelled after seeing unplanned. What a joyful day to be part of the 40 days for LIFE vigil.

Jeannie
Raymonda, Claudia and Tim from PCUC New Castle prayed and witnessed to the truth!
abandoned beauty…

Joe K. closed us out for the day from 5-7…

First, a big THANK YOU and BLESSINGS to all that make this happen – it has been an honor!!!
Shift Buddies are pretty important for the end-of-day shifts so a special shout-out to all of mine, especially Lori throughout the vigil, Ken today, and all the others (I have forgotten in name, but remember warmly in my heart!).
What a beautiful day, as the wonderful 3-5 group retired I was joined by my brother Knight, Mike and Ken.  It was Ken’s first time and he was inspired after seeing Unplanned and saw that no one was scheduled – Much appreciated my brothers – making sure that I would not stand alone.
It was relatively quiet – mostly positive feedback.  One man in Pittsburgh on business from San Francisco stopped briefly to give us support as well as a few passersby.
We shared, talking quite a bit about the Unplanned movie…
The shift concluded with the ever joyful Tom, Diane, and Penney packing
it all up until tomorrow…

Joe

Mike, Raymonda, Claudia, Tim, and Ken

Day 35: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport), St. Alexis, McKeesport/North Versailles/White Oak, Culture Impact Ministry

I came across a poem called My Colors will be Clear….here is a little excerpt that I think describes all of the people who have showed up on the sidewalk for 40 Days for Life! Thank you for coming!

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, proclaim until all know and work until He stops me.

And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – for my colors will be clear!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

55 degrees at 7am. We were taking hats and gloves off…and no hand warmers in sight!! The Lord continued to Bless Dick and I with First Evangelical Free Church arriving in their van.

What great Prayer Warriors…Pastor Kirk, our Dean,Darl,David,Randy,Roy, Bill, and Abigail and Nathaniel…Abigail and Nathaniel  did not think they would be here because their baby was due 3/31 but they felt God wanted them on the sidewalk! The 3 of them made an impactful statement!!! And still FEFC kept coming…bus #2…Norbert, Jill, Patricia,Ed, and Laurie.

And when the Lord said,” Who shall I send”? FEFC said,”Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people (babies) in my hands.” What a great last shift of the campaign! Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

Thanks to Charlene and Dick who always have everything under control when I arrive.  Members of the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport headed by Pastor Kirk were beautiful witnesses for life on a beautiful day.  A few clients, definitely an abortion day.  One woman said she was there to hold her friend’s hand all the way as she aborted her baby.  She was  asked how could she hold her friend’s hand when she was on the sidewalk having a cigarette? It was that kind of day with the great regulars from St. Alexis, Theresa from St. Barbara and as Fran took over, another great group of praying pro-lifers from North Versailles/ White Oak. Ed and Vince prayed a heartfelt rosary, prayers straight to heaven.

And don’t forget, if God has His finger in your back to continue this awesome activity, Sidewalk Advocates will be offering a training session coming up on  Saturday, June 1 from 10:00a through 3:00p at the Knights of Columbus hall in Bellevue.  Spread the word – and contact Charlie (412-716-2789) or me or Sue M for more details. 
We’d like to have RSVPs by May 27

11-1: Fran 

The warmth of the sunshine was a foreshadowing of what I would find when I arrived at PP today.  Everyone offered such a warm welcome ~ accompanied by a lovely smile.  St. Alexis, St. Barbara, St. Sebastian and St. Robert Bellarmine were well represented.  Beth Ann, Diane, Claudia and Therese had been with shift manager Beth, and they remained for a while.  Vince from St. Sebastian joined us for a time and the 11:00 shift, Helen, Mary, Margie and Pat, took no little time entering into prayer.  A gentleman from out of town, on his way to the Convention Center, stopped to engage in supportive conversation.  Before he went on his way he asked how he could make a donation and we offered him a 40DFL pamphlet.  That conversation was good preparation, because a short time later, a pro-abortion woman engaged us (respectfully) to explain her position, but, as often happens, it appears that everyone’s words went the way of the wind.  A little while later, a flock of preschoolers, close to 20 in number, came by holding hands in groups of four.  Everyone of us smiled at the sight ~ how could you not?!?!  After they passed, I imagined seeing them all standing, shoulder-to-shoulder, with their little toes perched on the yellow, semi-circle, boundary-line, with their innocent smiles, and I wondered, how many of the PP patrons would be able to walk past them. Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

One to three shift

It was a beautiful, although windy day on the sidewalk! I was blessed to share it with many faithful Christians! When I arrived, Helen and her group from the McKeesport parishes were there and had been there since 11. Soon, the rest of her crew arrived who were going to be there until three. There were also a couple there who had never been there before but  had been inspired by the movie unplanned and decided to come. They were from Steubenville and were not able to come yesterday so they came today. Halfway through my shift, I was pleasantly surprised to see Bernadette and Pat show up with the beautiful statue of Mary. It is Pats birthday today, what a wonderful thing to do on your birthday, witness that these babies may also have birthdays!

It was an abortion day and when I got there at 1 o’clock, there was an abortion    bound couple  headed in the door. They did take the information, but went in anyway. I had opportunities to pass out information to people going in and also post abortion information to at least one person when they left. It is a sad place to be, even on a bright and sunny day. If I had been standing anywhere else and such beautiful weather it would have been a pleasure.  Before I left the wonderful people from cultural impact ministries were arriving for the 3 to 5 shift, along with shift manager Michael. I passed the baton to him. Thanks to everyone for coming! 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It is a beautiful sunny, breezy afternoon!  As always, wonderful people gathered at PP for 40 DFL. What more could we ask for?  We are so blest during this campaign. The Lord sends the best people to be His prayer warriors and witnesses.  What an honor to be a shift manager here and now.  All I do is show up and reap the benefits of a first class, fined tuned operation. What did I do to deserve such a priviledge and honor?  I am blest beyond words.


Matt, St. Richards; and Janis, St. Kilian

I cannot say enough about Kim and Michael, my husband and wife shift buddies who inspire me with their prayers and praises to the Lord. They are awesome and so inspiring to me and all who witness their dedication to the Lord and this holy cause. I will miss this gathering, but Lord give us the courage and desire to come down to PP to pray at times when there is not a 40 DFL CAMPAIGN going on. We are needed just as much then. I wish all of my fellow pro-lifers a fulfilling and safe Spring and Summer. See you in the Fall. God be with all of you.


Donna, Jim, Pauline, Judy of Cultural Impact Ministry;
Laura of NPC

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

A great group joined me this evening.  Marc brought his mother Marjorie.  Marjorie was a “first timer”.  We all kept busy in prayer and the evening ended on a great positive comment from a passer by.  God Bless Us All.


Foreground: Jim and Marjorie.  Standing: Mary, Mike, Marc, Audrey, and Johanna

Day 34: Thanks to Holy Family, St. Peter’s, and Triumph of the Cross Parishes from Steubenville (all day!)

“While all sorts of setbacks are encountered as difficult by those who do not love: those who do love, on the contrary, find them trivial and easily manageable. There is no suffering, however cruel or violent it may be, which is not made bearable or even reduced to nothing by love.”

He who loves either does not feel the difficulty or he loves the very difficulty  itself… The works of those who love are never distressing.” St Augustine

“Cheerfulness, maintained even in the midst of difficulties, is the clearest sign that the love of God informs all our actions.”  Fr. F. Fernandez

You all inspire me with your sacrifices, dedication and LOVE. Thank you.

If you haven’t yet been able to make it to the vigil, make time this last week of the vigil even if only for a prayer or two. Forward this on to your friends and family and let them experience the joy of true love.

And if you can’t come while this 40 DFL Spring Campaign is underway, know that there are faithful Sidewalk Advocates and prayer warriors outside of pp every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings usually from 7 -11 am. Come join us and Love. Tim B.

Here are today’s stories from street:

Sue and Rose, 7-9 AM

Rose and I were so blessed to have some beautiful people and families from Steubenville join us this morning! Also blessed to have so many passersby thank us for being there! It was a really uplifting shift!

Sue

Laura and her 4 children praying on the sidewalk. Laura organized her church (Holy Family) to cover the entire day,  7am-7pm!

Beth and her husband and another lady from Holy Family…I apologize, I didn’t get her name!

Deacon Dwayne came with his parents, his wife and 2 of his 5 daughters!
We are ALL the Pro-Life Generation!

These girls got up at 5am to be on the sidewalk this morning! Their presence was a wonderful witness!

A cute little origami baby my Mom gave me….I placed a card in one of the folds and gave it away!

Donna and Diane, 9-11 AM

It was a glorious day to pray today.  The sun was shining this morning and we arrived to see Laura and her beautiful children praying on the sidewalk.  Thank you to my friend Marti from church who joined me today.  There were so many faithful prayer warriors from the Steubenville Catholic Churches. We were joined by Lynnette, Dan, Bob, Veronica, Ted, Sophia, Anna, Laura, Richard, Joey, Nancy, Nathaniel, Catherine, Emma, Sara, Anna Mae, Rusty, Ben, Judy, Brooke, Cindy, Kate, Barry and many middle school and home school students.Thank you all for being with us today and for your beautiful singing and witness on the sidewalk and streets of Pittsburgh.  

Donna

Ginny, Bev, and Mark, 11 AM-1 PM

One wonderful group after another came to pray at 40 Days today. They came from various churches in the Steubenville area and from Franciscan University. One lady  brought her five children to pray. Her very good and beautiful baby girl was four months old. Another young woman sang the Divine Mercy with the voice of an angel. We got very many positive comments and no negatives. It was very uplifting for my last vigil for this campaign.

Ginny

Rose, 1-3 PM

Just a thank you to my sister Rose for taking my shift. She reported that all the people from Steubenville and Franciscan U. were wonderful, as was Bishop William Waltersheid who said a rosary with them.

Beth

Marie and Pete, 3-5 PM

Shift was peaceful and prayerful. Stubenville Holy Family parishioners Tracey, Kimberly, and William joined Gloria from St Mary’s Glenshaw and prayer buddy Pete during this shift. Frequent positive reactions from people passing by. 

Marie

George and Bill, 5-7 PM…check back soon!


SO grateful to the Catholic community from Steubenville who covered all 12 hours of today’s vigil with fervent prayer and joyful fellowship!!!

DAY 33, Thank you: Saint Coleman, Turtle Creek; Saint Mary of the Assumption, Butler; Saints John and Paul, Franklin Park; Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church, Zelienople; Vince P., Ken, Marie P., Mary M.; and all the People who witnessed with us today!

DRAW A SCARY PICTURE

Our grandson got an “A” with his picture. 

My dictionary defines “crisis” as an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life.  Even when life is sympatico, pregnancy feels like both of these. However, in a worst case scenario, when a pregnancy seems to threaten all she holds dear, pregnancy terrorizes a mother.

We ask abortion bound mothers to -b-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  Stop and think.  Abortion makes you the mother of a dead baby.  Abortion hates you and your baby.  It creates a howling darkness in your life.  -B-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  We can help you today with phone numbers and emails and personal introductions. Today you CAN choose life for you and your baby.

We can help you consider the big picture. Perhaps that can help you avoid another terrible crisis like this. In her video, Lead, Kindly Light, Audrey Assad sings about the light that lit her path home.  

Ms. Assad credits John Henry Newman and his poem Lead, Kindly Light with her inspiration for this video. He wrote the poem while he was close to death on an ocean voyage.

___________________________________

LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT

LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom

Lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home –

Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet;  I do not ask to see

The distant scene – one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou

Shouldst lead me on.

I loved to choose and see my path, but now

Lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will:  remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still

Will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone;

And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

At Sea

June 16, 1833

___________________________________

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean I think the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Something Beautiful for God. Malcolm Muggeridge

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

The next-to-last Sunday morning of the campaign began with Tom supplying all of our vigil needs.  Then Vince and I were able to pray all the decades of the Scriptural rosary.  God gave us a loving smile by having the sun break over the tops of the buildings just as we started meditating on the Resurrection.  
 
Bill stopped by to request prayers for Jane, a wonderful youth minister with stage IV cancer.  D & E also came to ask for help as they do every Sunday morning, but today D mentioned that she is 18 weeks pregnant.  I let her know of as many resources as I could.  Please keep them in your prayers, too.
 
As Sue, Ken, Bill, and Arlene arrived for the next shift, we all prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together.  

Tom, coKeeper of the Signs and Vince, Shift Buddy

Sue, Shift Manager 9-11, Bill and Arlene and Ken, Shift Buddy 9-11

___________________________________

SUE 9-11

What a beautiful morning it was on the sidewalk.  Quite the contrast to last Sunday!  Regular 40 Days participants Arlene and Bill joined shift buddy Ken and me.  There were roses on the sidewalk when we arrived, and we added more flowers and also rose petals.  No wind this morning to blow them away. 
We prayed the daily devotional, Rosary, Psalms, and the pro-life intentions that are on the backs of some of our signs.  Jen and Vince from the 7-9 shift had told us of their joy this morning when, just as they began praying the Resurrection decade in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary this morning, the sun appeared between the buildings.  And in between prayers at my shift, our discussion this morning continued to focus on the Resurrection theme and on the virtue of Hope.  We are getting close to the great celebration!! 
It was nice having Sherry, from South Hills Assembly, join us this week again.  Toward the end of the shift, Marge and Cathy arrived from St. Paul in Butler, along with regular Patty, for the next shift.   There were no negative comments this morning that I remember – if there were, they were drowned out by our prayer. 
For Life

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

What a beautiful day, regular prayer warriors, some sunshine and warm weather. What more can one ask for? How about for God to put Planned Parenthood and all those who perform abortions out of business.
God Bless all who came to pray with us today.

Kathy, St. Mary of the Assumption and Rich, Shift Manager

Rich and Jim

Sue on her knees!

Marge and Kathy from Saint Mary of the Assumption

Bill, Faithful Witness

___________________________________

KRISTY 1-3

There was a great group from Saints John and Paul Church when I arrived.  We prayed a Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and talked about the Unplanned movie and the impact it’s making on people to open their eyes and hearts to what’s really going on in Planned Parenthood.  I read the cast of the movie went through major spiritual warfare while filming, but the effect of the movie seems to be paying off and saving babies!  

Saints John and Paul Pro Life Witnesses!

Saints John and Paul Cloud of Pro Life Witnesses

___________________________________

ANDY 3-5

Three new prayer warriors.  All retired nurses from Altoona.             Inspired by the movie Unplanned.  They decided to do something about it. So they googled the closest 40 Days campaign and ended up in Pittsburgh praying with us!

Altoona Pro Life nurses inspired by Unplanned.

Saint Gregory’s in Zelienople made a nice showing on this beautiful spring day. 

___________________________________

JOE 5-7

Always amazing to watch regular folk standing up for life through their prayerful witness, especially when Fathers are sacrificing with their daughters. Fills me with Hope for our future.
God is great!!!
Peace of the Lord be with yinz

Jim, Dave and daughter Deanna, Cathy, Tony and daughter Katelyn, Saint Gregory Parish

Kenneth from Steubenville

And God saw that it was good.

Day 32: Thanks to Knights of Columbus, Sidewalk Advocates, Guardians for Life, Holy Trinity, Bethlehem Lutheran, Stonebridge Church, and individual volunteers

In the past few weeks I have taken advantage of the winter clearance sales for women’s clothing. As I clipped off a tag from a blouse I’d wear to work that day, I stopped to read it.

40 Days for LIFE = People who LIVE 4 TRUTH

And a pair of new corduroy pants were labelled with this idea:

MADE and LOVED- Really?

Like NIKE introducing JUST DO IT, advertisers have progressed from touting the qualities that make their products special, to addressing the very real and needy human spirits of their customers. They forego enumerating the attributes of what they are selling and cleverly shift focus. The advertising is now about US and how we feel about ourselves. Somehow I am supposed to be EMPOWERED by my clothing purchases. It is nearly comical …. Will I be more truthful if I wear my new blouse? Don’t think so. Does the person who made my pants also still LOVE them??? NOPE. We are called to “LIVE 4 TRUTH” in our pro-life efforts and we continue in them because EVERY precious life is MADE and LOVED by our creator.
So, yes, I believe God is speaking to me, even in the labels of my clothing. What’s in YOUR closet?

7-9 am Shift Manager Tim Reports:

The Armour of these Knights is LOVE!

The vigil opened early with a strong presence from year-round regular Sidewalk Advocates Virginia and Joe along with Bill and Chuck (who does a Jericho march every Saturday morning).  They were joined by Beth from North Park Church, Claire from Our Lady of Grace, Tom and Charlie from the Bellevue KOC and Shift Mgr. Pat M.  Two women and a man got out of car in front of PP and accepted information and then engaged in a conversation and all agreed that adoption is a better option.  They then viewed the fetal models while still inside the yellow line and were promptly asked by an escort to step outside of it.  They then walked away.
We were joined by the strong presence and prayer of Fr Tim and the Uniontown Knights of Columbus. What a strong witness we made today.   Tim B.

PORTRAIT of JOY: Guardians for Life unite and PRAY

Sue D. Reports 9-11: We were very happy to arrive to more pray-ers than usual today and, despite the beautiful weather, fewer folks going in to PP for services.  One couple did accept info but entered PP.  Another couple, coming out of PP, also accepted the yellow card.  And another couple hurriedly coming out would not accept information – when I offered, the woman said, “No, just pray for me.”  When I told her we are here every Saturday and invited her to come back and talk to us anytime, she said again, “No, just pray for me.”  I told her I definitely would.  We did not know if she had just had an abortion or had been in there for an initial appointment and had not yet made a decision.  I told the group, who will also be praying for her.  She asked for it – she’s DEFINITELY got it – we prayed then and will continue praying!

Among our many prayer warriors today were the Guardians for Life; folks from Our Lady of the Lake in Edinboro, PA; members of the Most Holy Name Society from the Greensburg area (Ascension and Sacred Heart Parishes); and the beautiful large “S” family from St. Alexis in Wexford.  Many many thanks to all, coming from far and wide!  The prayer was abundant and continuous this morning; so wonderful.  It seemed we had an even proportion of positive and negative reactions from passersby.  In between prayers we talked about the “Unplanned” movie and the major impact it is having.

At one point, Mike from the MHN Society told me he had approached a group of the PP escorts to tell them that he and they have a lot in common, that they are all volunteers, and that he is a volunteer for Christ.  I knew by his quiet and sincere manner that he had spoken these words to them in love.  God bless you and good work, Mike – you perfectly embodied today the spirit of 40 Days for Life!

 

Most Holy Name Society, JeannettePA joins in

1-3 Shift manager Billy reports:Today I was accompanied by Holy Trinity church, Tom, Jenny , Sarah and Tom and Jenny’s children. I was accompanied around 2:30  by Melissa and Jason and Gail  from Bethlehem Lutheran church in Shaler who helped pass out Unplanned flyers. While we were there, there was a couple who walked out of planned parenthood and took one of our flyers and one woman grabbed the information before she went into planned parenthood. I saw a couple people coming out of the planned parenthood. All in all we had a good day. Here are some photos:

11-1 shift manager Dean reports: Thanks to the folks from Holy Trinity for praying with me today. There wasn’t as much traffic at P.P. during my shift.

Sharon, the coordinator from Holy Trinity, with a wonderful group of prayer warriors from her parish
Holy Trinity parish in Robinson came out in force today!


3-
5 Shift Manager Kathy Reports: On one side of the circle was colorful and enthusiastic Stonebridge Church: Charlie and Sarah wore 40 days shirts. Another Sarah brought 3 children. 
Beautiful roses were laid around circle.
Adrienne from Log Church and Kimberly from SHBC completed the group:ALL first timers!!!So blessed to pray with Bethlehem Lutheran Church from Glenshaw. Amazing testimonies of Gods love. Melissa brought flyers for Unplanned that she recieved from Pgh Christian Events group.wow!

What it looks like from the bus stop across the street— You are noticed. You make an impact!