Who’s afraid?

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

We knew this fall was going to be bad…didn’t we? When the Lenten campaign was cancelled half-way through, I wondered if we would ever be able to have another sidewalk prayer vigil for 40 days. The world is just not the same. People are afraid…and I really can’t blame them. In fact, that was the game plan all along. To make people afraid. Fearful people are easily controlled and manipulated, and they know that.

So, who are the “they” that I am referring to? Well…I guess they are whoever is behind the unleashing of a virus which wasn’t as deadly as it was supposed to have been. They are the “they” who are controlling the media to make it seem as if it is much deadlier than it is…in order to keep people panicked and obedient. They are the “they” who are tolerating or funding mobs to riot in the streets, intimidating citizens and police. They are the “they” who want our good police officers to quit or retire so they can replace them with bad police who will enforce “their” evil agenda of global control.

Are they scary? Yes!!!

Should we be afraid?

Maybe…depending on what your house is made of…

My two-year old twin grand kids love the story of the Three Little Pigs. My grand daughter is especially fascinated by the Big Bad Wolf. The Big Bad Wolf huffs and puffs, and blows down the house of straw and the house of sticks. But he cannot blow down the house of bricks.

We have seen the videos of the mobs “blowing through” the patrons who were peacefully eating their dinners at the sidewalk cafe on Penn Avenue last Saturday. These wolves simply huffed and puffed with their little megaphones…and the sheep scattered. Then, these wolves entered the McDonald’s Restaurant on Stanwix and did the same thing. They huffed and puffed and the patrons scattered. The heroic manager stood up to them…and they retreated.

So…the question for our fall 40 Days for Life is this: What will OUR response be to these fear tactics? When the Big Bad Wolf comes to our door…will we flee? Or, will we stand up to the scare tactics?

I guess the answer to that depends on what our house is made of. Have we built our house on sand…or on Rock?

I speak for myself when I say that my response is to be MORE determined then ever! I will stand up to evil by KNEELING DOWN to our Lord! If they come to disrupt our vigil, I personally plan to simply kneel down in prayer. I will look them in the eyes without fear, knowing that He who is within me is greater than he who is within them… while praying for protection. They will then have to make a decision to either: 1.) physically assault a person peacefully praying…or 2.) Leave us alone. If they choose to attack and physically assault peaceful people…then it will be a whole new ball game and we will have to re-evaluate and take it from there.

The main thing that I want to say to all of our 40 Days for Life family is this:

Please do not feel obligated to participate in this fall campaign if you are fearful or anxious!

In the past, I have always said that one of the reasons why 40 Days for Life has succeeded is that it allows many people to each do their small part…and when we coordinate all those “little parts”….together, it has a big effect. But that is no longer the case. Some people have greater family responsibilities then others, and it would not be prudent for them to take risks…when those of us who don’t can “step it up a notch” and do more this time…to make up for those who will not be able to participate.

I am thinking of the story of Gideon. Gideon had a large army to fight against the Midianites, but God told him that his army was too big. He didn’t want anyone to think that they won because of their large numbers. So He told Gideon to instruct anyone who was afraid to fight to go home. About two-thirds of his army left. He was left with 10,000 men. God said that was still too many. So he told Gideon separate the remaining men by watching them as they drank water from a stream. Those who lapped the water with their mouths were only 300…and those were the ones who God told Gideon to keep. The others were sent home. God wanted a small number to remain in the battle, so that HE would get the glory from the victory! I don’t know if that is what He is doing now or not…but that story popped into my head as I was ready to sit down and write today…so I thought I would share it.

Our 40 Days for Life team is seasoned and strong. We have faced various persecutions on the sidewalk throughout the 10 years that we have been doing this. God has prepared us. Our “house” is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ…and no wolf is going to blow it down. Our numbers may be fewer this time, but those of us who remain will give all the more glory to God!

May God be with all of you. Trust in Him!

Your sister in Christ,

Nikki

Power-Packed Kick-off Planned for Day #1!

We are less than three weeks away from the start of our 40 Days for Life campaign!!! I am amazed at how God is providing for us! He loves us so much! Even in our fear, confusion and weakness. He looks at us lovingly…as a Good Father looks at His weak and imperfect child who is looking trustingly to Him! I think this photo captures how God sees us when we pick up our spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and peaceful witness and stand in front of Planned Parenthood:

Until two weeks ago, I wasn’t even planning to have a kick-off event. I reasoned that, with the all the craziness in the world right now, that it would be best to just skip it this time…and to try to just limp along with the sparse vigil coverage that was sure to be the case during this fall campaign.

But God had other plans!

Within a few days, details for TWO…Yes, TWO Kick-off events just fell into place! First of all, Fr. Chris Donley agreed to have an early morning Mass (6 am) on the morning of the first day of our vigil…followed by a Eucharistic procession to Planned Parenthood! That means that, for the first time EVER…JESUS HIMSELF will be on the sidewalk as our 40-day vigil begins!!! how awesome is that??? This will be the first time that we have had Jesus’ Real Presence there while they are open…and while workers and abortion-bound couples are walking in. I believe that lives and souls will be saved on that day!

The following day, I was contacted by Sue Thayer, Director of Outreach for 40 Days for Life. She offered to come to Pittsburgh to speak at our kick off! Since I hadn’t been planning to have an actual “event”…I hurriedly found a venue and the details all fell into place! The wonderful people at the Ark & Dove Retreat Center in Gibsonia were so warm and welcoming in offering their beautiful outdoor space for our evening “Praise and Testimony” event, where Sue Thayer will share her personal journey from Planned Parenthood Manager, to Pro-Life activist! She has a beautiful conversion story and I know you will be inspired by it! This event will begin at 6 pm on the same day as the kick-off Mass. Please remember to bring your own lawn chair for this event.

To download, print and share the event flyer, CLICK HERE!

For the bulletin announcement, CLICK HERE

And for the campaign Flyer, CLICK HERE

It truly is amazing to just sit back and watch how God is leading us! He is providing everything that we need to continue fighting the battle to end abortion, without getting discouraged and giving up in fear.

I will close this post with a short reflection from today’s Gospel.

Today’s Gospel reading (for Sept. 3rd in the traditional Missal), is from John 21, when Jesus (after He was resurrected), asked Peter three times if he loved him. Peter affirmed three times that he did indeed love him, and although hurt and exasperated at Jesus’ seemingly unbelief of Peter’s love, Peter finally answered, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you!

As I reflected on this verse this morning, it occurred to me that at times like these, it is all we can do to just say…”Lord, you know everything. You know my weakness and my failure. You know my sins and my back-sliding. But at the end of the day…you know that I love you. And to SHOW you that I love you more than myself…I will put my trust in you and I will do what you have commanded IN SPITE of my fear! I will go to that place where your precious little ones are being led to the slaughter. I will go to that place where your children who are enslaved by the enemy think they are doing a good thing by helping women to kill their children. I will go…because I love you. You know Lord…you know.

Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to redeem himself by proclaiming his love three times, after he had denied even knowing Jesus three times. Most of His disciples had abandoned Him during His passion…out of fear and despair. Only Mary his mother, Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner, and his beloved apostle, John remained at the foot of the cross. That is what I think we are called to do right now. To remain with Him. At the foot of His cross. Not to run away in fear.

If you are able to commit to a time on the sidewalk, the vigil schedule is very sparsely filled. With less than three weeks to go, we could use your help! See the church schedule HERE, and then contact Fran Morrow at franmac98fmc@gmail.com to sign up your church group. Or, to sign up as an individual, contact Donna Goss at gdgoss620@gmail.com

Confusion vs. Clarity

In these uncertain times, we need not fear the darkness…for we carry the Light of Christ with us…and we have the saints, like these little fireflies, helping to light the path before us.

In these confusing times, there seems to be very little that I know for sure. What is the right thing to do? Should we continue to fight against the evil that has grown so powerful lately…or should we hunker down and accept it all as God’s will?

I keep going back and forth on this. On one hand, I want to shout loudly, and aggressively resist the evil that is taking over the world right now. On the other hand, I wonder if God is allowing this for a purpose…and if that is the case, should I just be silent and offer any suffering I experience in union with His?

Activism…or submission? Which one is the proper response?

The answer is YES! Both!

When we fight against the evil of abortion by praying and witnessing at Planned Parenthood, we are being BOTH active AND submissive to God’s will. We are being active because God commands us to rescue those who are being led to the slaughter. We are being passive because we willingly take the risk of being persecuted while we are on the sidewalk. We accept the risk…God’s will be done.

When this whole craziness broke out last February, I was amazed that our churches closed. DURING LENT!!! I would have thought that if there was a life threatening virus that was going to decimate our world that maybe we should have MORE Church…not less! Call me crazy, but I thought Christians were supposed to trust God…not cower in fear.

So now that our sidewalk prayer campaigns are facing threats from the pandemic, Anti fa and a brutal election season…it is my thought that we should be on the sidewalk MORE then ever before! Not less!

Do we trust God or not? Are we willing to suffer if He asks us to, or not?

I have continued to be on the sidewalk weekly, as part of the Pittsburgh’s Sidewalk Advocates. The sidewalks are not as busy or noisy as they used to be, but I have felt perfectly safe. Just this week, a young woman walked out of PP, saying she had gone in for an abortion…but after watching another woman crying…she changed her mind. Our presence there MATTERS! We are ESSENTIAL! There were many pray-ers on the sidewalk that morning, and every woman who walked by heard that both her and her baby’s life matter, and that help is available. And so a life was saved.

It seems to me that God has given us pro-lifers a clarity of vision to see what is really going on right now. We know that abortion is an abomination against Almighty God which cries out for vengeance. In fact, out of the four sins that the Church teaches “cry out to Heaven for vengeance…the first two are; (1) Shedding innocent blood and (2) Sodomy, or non-procreative sexual acts. Is it any wonder that our world is being divided along these very sins? God would not be merciful if He continued to permit us to destroy ourselves with these moral evils.

It is a privilege to be used by God on the front lines of the battle to end abortion. I hope that if God is calling you, that you will join us.

We will need courageous individual volunteers to really step up this time to fill the hours! Since the churches are really having a hard time right now, there are not many church groups that have signed up so far. Please consider signing up for a weekly commitment as an individual. Contact Donna Goss at gdgoss620@gmail.com to get signed up, or sign yourself up at www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh. If you are able to commit to a time slot for your church group, contact Fran Morrow at franmac98fmc@gmail.com. You can view the schedule of churches at https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/vigil-schedule/

Thank you and may God bless you!

Students for Life, 40 DFL, Sidewalk Advocates and PPFL join in National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day

Help and hope were in abundance on Saturday morning, August 1, during the Students for Life National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day. Students across the country gathered outside abortion facilities to sidewalk counsel, offering women help and hope before they walk through those doors. Their goal was to be a life-changing spark of hope for another in need. And that they were!

It was so refreshing to see the younger generation in action interacting along with the “more seasoned” pro-life warriors of 40 Days for Life, Sidewalk Advocates, and the newly formed Prayer Partners for Life.  Their kindness and compassion brought true joy to my heart and filled me with confidence knowing that our mission to end abortion will be continued by the next generation.

The Mary’s Place residents made blessing bags to give out to women going in as well as to those passing on the sidewalk. It was heartwarming to see the young people giving them out.

I’m sure Heaven heard our prayers and God smiled today.

Who should we trust?

It has been a while since I have felt prompted to write a blog post. Such confusing and strange times…and when our last campaign had to be cancelled due to the plandemic, I thought that maybe our time of uniting the Body of Christ in front of Planned Parenthood had come to an end.

But fortunately, I was wrong! Pittsburgh WILL be part of the LARGEST EVER 40 Days for Life campaign! There are over 500 cities participating in the fall campaign, which will run from September 23rd through November 1st! You can sign up anytime! The flyers and bulletin announcement are posted here: https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/get-involved-2/

Please use them to spread the word on social media and in your church bulletin!

I expect there will be some people who are afraid to come to the sidewalk during this fall campaign. Some will fear contracting the coronavirus. Some fear riots, mobs and persecution for their religious and political views. Some just want to stay under the radar until this all goes back to normal…but will it ever get back to normal? And…should we want it to?

What was our normal anyway? Drag Queens reading stories about gender ideology to pre-schoolers in public libraries? Christian morality labelled as “hate speech”? Empty church buildings? Let’s face it…humanity has become “too smart” for God. Like the ancient people of Babylon….building the tower to reach Heaven…God had to stop us….for our own good. He stopped the Babylonians by confusing their language, so they would not be able to communicate and conspire against him…is He doing a similar thing to us today?

It is such a confusing time, when we don’t know who to trust. If we watch one news network we will think one thing….and if we watch another, we will think something completely different. How do we know who to believe?

For me…it all boils down to one thing…LIFE!

If a politician, or religious leader, or television network allows for abortion…in my opinion, they cannot be trusted in anything they say. Just as I would not drink from a water spigot that gave poisonous water one-tenth of the time…I will not get any of my news from a network that promotes abortion or the liberal agenda. I will not watch it or listen to it…EVER!

We are so easily manipulated and controlled because of the availability of technology! There is a great deception happening now, and many Christians are in danger of falling prey to it. One of the scariest things about these times is seeing the division among believers. I am not afraid of the virus, and I am not even so much afraid of the economic collapse and the suffering that is sure to come. The thing that most disturbs me is to see how completely and easily people have been manipulated and controlled! I feel like we are part of a flock of sheep that is being herded toward the edge of a cliff, and we are blindingly and trustingly following our “hireling shepherds”. There are precious few voices that are shouting out to warn us…but I there are a few. I would recommend enlisting in the U.S. Grace Force and join in the prayer campaigns led by Fr. Richard Heilman. We are on day 22 of a 40 day prayer campaign right now, where we are praying to be delivered from a certain manifestation of evil each day. You can enlist here: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001ESuSGaJpYPCG2iUdd4j4bkKwd4gkh2ZUVbam_Ty9rCn6blH6_U3cI2D8UvSLEcSzHnC4eq2UWmK1I0SbEw0SPKqnkZ2j0Z4J4D-_m4dD6CKJU9day-bBa8Qnx4dv7RLDIVlYAjL1JWsjfUTNPH2jQIVY9gbdbz4O4oMIzv5V1dT_upQsD8cX86iq_5Y-x4eLrTVtdOmA24s%3D

I have also been encouraged by following a young African American woman named Bevelyn Beatty, who evangelizes in front of Planned Parenthood in New York, as well as fighting to open the black communities eyes about the BLM deception. She even got arrested for trying to paint over the “BLM” murals on the streets of New York! You can follow her at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1KMp27GY6L9Nqfi21P3ogw

We need to stick together in times like these! I would encourage you to join our impromptu 1 1/2 mile rosary walk around Pittsburgh every Sunday morning. We meet at 9:30am in front of St. Mary of Mercy Church and then walk down Stanwix to Liberty, past the Planned Parenthood and turn on Grant. We walk and pray past the courthouses and end back in front of St. Mary’s, where we close with a Divine Mercy Chaplet. We have done this for the past 5 Sundays and have had between 30 – 40 people each time. It is a beautiful grace to pray together as we walk around our city. Join us any time! And stay tuned for more news about one of our bishops consecrating the city at the Point at noon on Saturday, August 22nd. When I have the confirmation and details, I will send it out.

If we stick together in prayer and Christian unity…and keep our minds focused on God’s Word, we will be okay. We need to avoid looking too much at the waves that are crashing around us. We know Jesus, and He knows us. He said, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” He will not let us down!

I remembered that I wrote a blog post about fear of 2020, back in early January…if you are interested in reading it, here is the link:

https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/2020/01/10/have-no-fear/

Patriotic Prayer Vigil to be held Saturday, July 11th!

Prayer Partners for Life is holding a patriotic prayer vigil!
Date:   Saturday, July 11, 2020
Time:   8 – 10 am
Place:  Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Ave. downtown

Please join the newly formed Prayer Partners for Life as we pray for the rights of the unborn and also for their mothers and fathers considering abortion. Let’s hope they instead will celebrate 4th of July as a family next year because they chose LIFE.

No need to sign up, just show up and pray.  We are also hoping to have a Jericho march. 

This event is the second vigil for Prayer Partners for Life, a new coordinated effort between Pittsburgh’s Sidewalk Advocates, who are outside Planned Parenthood all year long, and members of 40 Days for Life. The goal of this new multi-denominational team is to bring prayer and witness outside Planned Parenthood all year long.  Currently, trained Sidewalk Advocates and other prayer warriors are outside Planned Parenthood all year long and could use your prayers and presence. We are now inviting anyone who hears the inspiration and wants to join us to come back during non- 40 DFL Campaigns and keep coming back all year long to Planned Parenthood. 

The year-round times of prayer vigils are to coincide with the dates and times when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP so no one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone.  

Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with those already there:

Tuesdays          7:30am-9am 9am-11am
Wednesdays     8am-10am       10am-12noon***

Fridays             8:30am-10am
Saturdays         7am-9am          9am-11am       11am-1pm

We would welcome any groups or individuals who would want to make a commitment to begin a regular presence with us.  Maybe twice a month?  Or more or less? We ask that you contact Sue David at smfreedy@aol.com or 412-651-2782 to make your commitment. ***Wednesday schedule may vary slightly, please email Sue to confirm times.

Please pray for the discernment to determine if increasing your presence is right for you.  We know it’s not for everybody but if God is calling you to do this, please take the call. Contact Tim Barr at timbarr5480@gmail.com or Sue David at smfreedy@aol.com if you have any questions. God bless you and bring you peace and joy.


 –Tim Barr and Sue David

Join Prayer Partners for Life for a Father’s Day prayer vigil on Saturday, June 20th…and beyond!

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020

Time: 8 – 10 am

Place: Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Avenue downtown

Please join the newly formed Prayer Partners for Life, when we will pray for all those mothers and fathers considering abortion and pray they instead will celebrate Father’s Day next year because they chose LIFE.

No need to sign up, just show up and pray.  We are also planning to have a Jericho march. 

This event is also the kickoff for Prayer Partners for Life, a new coordinated effort between Pittsburgh’s Sidewalk Advocates, who are outside Planned Parenthood all year long, and members of 40 Days for Life. The goal of this new multi-denominational team is to bring prayer and witness outside Planned Parenthood all year long.  Currently, trained Sidewalk Advocates and other prayer warriors are outside Planned Parenthood all year long and could use your prayers and presence. We are now inviting anyone who hears the inspiration and wants to join us to come back during non- 40 DFL Campaigns and keep coming back all year long to Planned Parenthood.  

The times of prayer vigils are to coincide with the dates and times when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP so no one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone.  

Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with those already there:

Tuesdays          7:30-9:30am

Wednesdays   8am-10am       10am-12noon***

Fridays              8:30am-10am

Saturdays         7am-9am          9am-11am       11am-1pm

We would welcome any groups or individuals who would want to make a commitment to begin a regular presence with us.  Maybe twice a month?  Or more or less? We ask that you contact Sue David at smfreedy@aol.com or 412-651-2782 to make your commitment. ***Wednesday schedule may vary slightly, please email Sue to confirm times.

Please pray for the discernment to determine if increasing your presence is right for you.  We know it’s not for everybody, but if God is calling you to do this, please take the call. Contact Tim Barr at timbarr5480@gmail.com or Sue David at smfreedy@aol.com if you have any questions. God bless you and bring you peace and joy.

–Tim Barr and Sue David

DAY 40: Thank you, Shift Buddies Vince P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; and all the Witnesses who joined our Pittsburgh Vigil for Life today!


The Crucifixion
Fra Angelico (c. 1387-1455)
Capitular Hall, Covent San Marco, Florence, Italy
© Electa / Leemage
https://us.magnificat.net

The devil attacks many of us with arrows of isolation and anxiety. We are not alone, however, because we walk with our Father in everything. Our personal trust in Him will make ripples today beyond what the eye can see.

Carney, Shawn D. To The Heart Of The Matter.

Day 40 feels different this spring.  It feels different. But, the virus doesn’t stop abortion minded people from participating in killing children.  The virus doesn’t stop people from rescuing innocents against all the odds.

Here are two stories with themes we recognize as being around since the beginning.  They tell you things about people you already know.  Evil can make people blind and driven. Good can dazzle people, igniting their hearts into responses replete with indefatigable creativity. 

Finally, a song for you, “For Unto Us a Child Is Born from Handel’s Messiah. The words listed are from the Bible text. Isaiah’s words hold a key.  Life is not a problem to be solved.  Life is a mystery to be lived.   In the mystery the most amazing Person greets us!

___________________________________

… the clatter of heavy boots and the barking of orders in German.  The hallway was suddenly in commotion.  Ala stood frozen.  But that kernel of an idea was growing.  She raced to the children’s ward where the bright room was already in chaos, and turned to a duty nurse and gave swift instructions:  Run, tell the kitchen staff we are coming. Ala needed the kitchen workers to fill a truck with food supplies and empty the vegetable boxes.  Ala clapped her hands.  Children! We must line up now very quickly. Daisy chains of toddlers and small children held each other’s hands, and teenage trainee nurses carried two or three infants at a time in bundles.  Thirty children followed Ala swiftly down the back staircases and into the kitchens, where they were tucked in and among the wooden potato boxes.  Ala ordered the cook to drive, and moments later Ala watched as the truck pulled away and disappeared around the street corner.

…by January 1943, the names of more than a thousand children were on the lists.  Every single child Irena had placed in the Warsaw convents was still alive.

By the end of the war, ninety percent of Poland’s Jews would perish – some three million people – but not Irena’s  2,500 children.

Mazzeo, Tilar J.  Irena’s Children. New York: Gallery Books, 2017.

___________________________________

The second powerful memory I carry as a treasure from that day is not of words spoken but of a silent act.  At one point I looked across the street, and there I saw Abby Johnson on her knees at that black fence, where she had just placed two long-stemmed roses.  One rose was for her own child that she had aborted years before, and the other for all the children aborted there while she was the director of the facility.  Around her, others knelt, wept, and prayed, and many placed their own flowers at the fence, transforming it from a cold, hard barrier that had once kept us all out into a memorial to all the lives lost and all the pain inflicted inside that fence.  Never again will an abortion center wall or fence look to me like a barrier.  I will recognize it as a territory staked out by prayer warriors and covered by the love and faithfulness of God’s people.

David Bereit, “Breakthrough.”

Bereit, David and Carney, Shawn with Cindy Lambert.  40 Days For Life, Discover What God Has Done…Imagine What He Can Do. (2013)

___________________________________

Listen in to Handel’s Messiah, “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.” At King’s College Chapel, Roy Goodman conducts the Brandenburg Consort and Sir Stephen Cleobury leads the King’s College School and undergraduates from Cambridge University.

For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us;

upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor,

God-Hero,

Father-Forever,

Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:5

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My soul clings to you. Your right hand holds me fast. Psalm 63:8

__________________________________

Shawn Carney’s message for Day 40:


NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Vince and I kept vigil “together but apart” this morning, praying all the mysteries of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  I was blessed with a beautiful experience praying at a “drive-in” Adoration Chapel that has been set up in the window of a local church.

This has been a 40 Days for Life campaign like no other.  I’m so glad we continued the vigil even though we couldn’t be on the sidewalk.  I will miss gathering with all of you to close in prayer and fellowship tonight, but I look forward to what God has in store for us.  Jesus, I trust in You!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Today is my last shift for this campaign. From 9 to 11 I was joined once again by my wife and four of our children. We prayed the Stations of the Cross, the five Glorious mysteries of the Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live streamed by Fr. Mike Schmitz, from our home. Like many of you our home has the look of the domestic church as it should. The statues and holy images are sometimes overwhelming to visitors here but for our family it has always been conducive to prayer. And in this season of no Mass or sacraments this is a peaceful place to pray. However we are very conscious of the fact that it is a poor substitute for receiving Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament at our parish. This was our prayer today, that this sacrifice would be offered for the closing of PP. May God have Mercy on us all. 

ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGER 11-1

Palm Sunday and our last day in our campaign but not the last day to pray to end abortion. I am sure we will all continue to pray daily that God will bring this hideous sin of abortion to an end. Rich and I prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy along with the R. Family in spirit. We included prayers from Fr. Pavone and attended mass in our living room via EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Beautiful reflection Marie. That’s great to know the Tabernacle is still exposed. I wasn’t sure after Bishop’s latest directive. We celebrated a Mass at home for my 40 Days for Life shift. With Bishop Robert Barron. It was a little weird because the cats kept knocking over our little altar. Luckily I had some dried up Palm from last year. I cried when I sang “Oh Sacred Head Surrounded” as our dismissal hymn. I can’t wait till we’re all united as a community again!

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

This afternoon I prayed in front of the tabernacle at my church, SS John & Paul. I am so thankful that it is there and available for people to come and pray to our Lord in the Eucharist – even if through a glass window!

I prayed the Pro-Life Glorious Mysteries from Priests for Life and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I want to encourage all the Pittsburgh 40DFL team to not lose heart over the circumstances that our vigil had to take this time – God’s hand is in this.

We have to TRUST!!

The first Glorious Mystery is The Resurrection, I want to share the reflection on this mystery – may we keep this in mind as we journey towards Easter Sunday.

Christ is Risen! By His Resurrection, He has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion.

The outcome of the battle for Life has already been decided: Life is victorious!

Let us pray that all pro-lifers will spread this victory to every segment of our society.

May your Holy Week and Easter be blessed with the love of Christ who has conquered death – and will conquer the evil of abortion!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

So what can we control and what can’t we control.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Out of my control.

We have an extraordinarily aggressive government stance to try to flatten the curve, so aggressive that I believe it is fraudulent, full of ulterior motives which are most likely evil. And if you question our government being, and if you question our government being evil, what other word is there for a government that says abortion mills are vital necessary services, but churches are not?

Either way. Out of my control.

Some of us have lost our jobs for a time. Other’s work is so slow it may never return to the same it was before the crisis. Also out of our control.

But what do we do about it? Do we circle the wagons, seeking to protect our life or do we imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serve without counting the cost? It is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The hireling sees the wolf coming and runs. And there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. To those who have been laying it on the line for love of God in the poor, in service to others,

Shift Manager, Andy. Faithful 40 Days Witness

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Privilege serving and receiving the Lord with yinz in another blessed campaign.

See you in the fall, and may the Lord’s protection be with you all.

Peace

And God saw that it was good.

Day 39: United We Kneel

I was blessed to spend part of Lent a few years back in Milan, Italy where I saw this panel on the Duomo doors. I was moved by the detail in the people portrayed in the scene, especially the man hiding (Peter? Me?) and the wear marks left by thousands of faithful kisses as they reverenced our Lord. I was moved even more by the red roses someone had carefully placed upon the scene, but I shouldn’t be surprised. The red rose is a such a powerful symbol of LOVE, and this panel depicts the greatest love story EVER. He so loved the world that He sent His only Son …. This week we remember the rest of that love story. That is why a red rose is a perfect symbol for the Pro-life Movement. LOVE – true, pure unselfish LOVE Conquers All. LOVE WINS!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Reports from our shift managers:

7-9 Shift Manager Tim Reports:
Today I joined my prayers to end abortion and for protection of the unborn with those around world starting with the recitation of the rosary from Lourdes, France, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared a little over 100 years ago, and the holy Mass, both aired on TV.  My wife joined me and she remarked what peace it brings to the soul in these difficult times! All members of the 40 Days for Life Family are in my prayers. God bless you and bring you peace.  Tim

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:

Good afternoon. As we prepare to enter God’s Holy Week, I was reflecting on a message about Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.
Jesus, who was One with God the Father and Creator of all, allowed His creation, sinful men, to end His life. This is a mystery that we will never be able to fully understand. However, we can be thankful that Jesus’ selfless act has restored our relationship with God. Thank you Jesus.
I also thought about what it meant to be a shift manager during the 40DFL campaign. I tried to balance my time in prayer with a heightened sense of vigilance for the safety and welfare of those faithful people who came to pray against abortion.
Although this campaign concludes tomorrow, I know that all of you will be continuing in prayer for Planned Parenthood’s closure. I close with this verse from 1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Thank you for allowing me to be part of this group.

Shift Manager Melissa Reports:

Today I sit and drink my coffee and feel blessed to know that no matter what is going on I can trust in God and his promises. 

I read Exodus 11 and 12 and am reminded that there was a time when God asked his people to go and STAY in their homes. He asked them to put the blood of a lamb on the top of their doors and stay there and trust God as the plague passed over them.  Then when it was over, God called them out of their homes and they experienced freedom from the slavery they had been in. 

God sent them forth to the promised land with health and strength in all of them. This year, Jewish Passover begins on the evening of Wednesday, April 8th and ends on  April 16th and our Christian celebrations of the Passion of Christ and of the Resurrection on Sunday, April 12 occur simultaneously.  Is it a coincidence that all of this is happening around such holy days?

 I believe in those promises of new life.  New beginnings. I wrote a new prayer to share with all of you. I pray that you are safe and well.

Heavenly Father  We thank you for the blessings in this day. Help us to remain strong and focused on you in these uncertain times. We know evil is having its run in this world right now but we are reminded that you are always in control.  Right now you have taken us into your shelter. Cover us in your wings. In your shelter we find protection. We know you have a plan in all of this. We trust in you with all of our heart and do not lean on our own understanding. We stand firm in our faith and turn away from evil and fear only you Lord. We know this is healing to our flesh and refreshment for our bones. We put on God’s armor to defend against the evil one. We wear truth as a belt… Righteousness as a breastplate … Shoes with readiness to proclaim the gospel … Faith as a shield to deflect ALL the flames of the evil one … Salvation as a Helmet …  Sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.  And prayer for ALL the saints. Thank you for these weapons to fight against evil. We come up against the spirit of death and destruction and cancel out all evil attacks of the enemy in Jesus name.  We have been given authority in Luke 10:19 to trample snakes and scorpions and overcome ALL the power of the enemy. To cure diseases and drive out demons in Jesus name. We stand on your promises Lord that when we ask something in Jesus Name, that you hear us and will answer us. We confess we have failed you. We confess we have been silent when we should have spoken out. Forgive us Lord and fill us with a new boldness and courage and faith and strength to speak up and defend the vulnerable.  To use the weapons you have given us especially joining in prayer today to defeat the enemy. We rest in knowing that God is victorious and the enemy is defeated.

Today we stand and renounce ALL evil —- Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God? I renounce them! Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God? I renounce them! Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God? I renounce them!

We stand together and affirm what we believe here using the words of the song “We Believe” from the album Out of the Ordinary from our own PITTSBURGH PROJECT:

We Believe in God the Father. We Believe in Christ the Son. We Believe in the Holy Spirit. We are the church and we stand as ONE. We Believe in the Holy Bible. We Believe in the Virgin Birth. We Believe in the Resurrection; Christ one day will return to Earth.

HOLY HOLY, HOLY is our God ; WORTHY WORTHY, WORTHY is our King! All Glory and Honor are His to Receive- to Jesus the King – – – – because we BELIEVE!

We declare today we are healed, protected and that the abortion industry will be shut down and this virus to be gone from this world.  Thank you God for never leaving us, for always guiding us and loving us. Thank you for choosing us to be your children.  We must defend all your children in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Shift Manager Billy Reports: Hope you are all surviving the quarantine. I went walking for the 2 hour shift to pray today. Actually, this was such a struggle doing this with God instead of a partner, but I was praying for our protection, for the babies and praying for any way God could help defund planned parenthood. I got really distracted in prayer that I lost track of time. I want to end this by sharing the lyrics of the the worship song I was listening to at the end of my prayer walk: open the blind eyes and open the deaf ears. I think that should be our prayer for our culture and for those at planned parenthood! I miss you guys! Be safe and God bless you, Billy 

Day 38: “Lord, Get Me Out of This!”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.

John 11:5-6

Every time I hear this Gospel passage, one word hits me hard: SO. As in, “for that reason.” Jesus loved His friends, SO He didn’t go to help them right away. He waited to help them because He loved them.

In my weak and clouded mind, that sounds completely contradictory. I want Jesus to swoop in immediately and end suffering right away. But unlike me, God is omniscient. He knows the long-term effects of present events. He knows that some things we suffer for a little while bring about positive change in our lives. And since God is all-loving, He allows that to occur at times.

It’s true in our current coronavirus crisis. It’s true in an unexpected pregnancy situation. It’s true in any trouble that befalls us. God uses difficult and sorrowful circumstances for our ultimate good whenever we put ourselves into His loving care.

Our (now retired) parochial vicar once gave an excellent homily in which he recalled the Apostles hiding away between the day when Jesus ascended into Heaven and the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Fr. Bud said:

At times, we are also locked in our own Upper Room, afraid and confused.  Instead of praying, “Lord, get me out of this!” try praying, “Lord, what do you want me to get out of this?”

Now is the perfect time to try, since we’re literally locked in our homes by quarantine and perhaps locked in our mindset by fear.

Dearest Lord, even in our darkest times, please let us trust that You will use our suffering for good if we give it all to You.

-Jen


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Vigil Reports

Barbara:

Richard and I were up and ready to begin at 7 this morning. We prayed a Scriptural Rosary, Sorrowful Mysteries and prayed with the EWTN Mass. Rose, our Shift Buddy, is continuing to pray furiously for the end of abortion and the end of this virus. Mary Ann, a Christ Our Savior Parishioner, continues to pray with us. 

Later we took 2 dozen red roses and showered them on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Who was it who recognized what a good way this is to remember the babies whose lives abortion will take today? It feels right.  How else to get rid of that terrible feeling of helplessness in the face of so much tragedy!

Someone had already placed rose petals there.  A young man was passing and admired the flowers. We gave him a few for a bouquet to take to a loved one … we all love someone enough to take them flowers!

It felt good to be at the sidewalk even for a few minutes with mask and gloves.

Peace.

Kathy:

Thank you to Kim, Mark, Memorial Park Church, and my family members who joined in offering prayers from our homes to end abortion.  May God hear and answer our prayers.

Mark:

What a beautiful peaceful morning of prayer to our Holy mother! Come Holy Spirit, living in the heart of Mary, thank you for the gift of our loving mother, Mary! Who knew Jesus better than Mary? Makes me wonder who knows a child better than his or her mother.

I prayed again this week next to our 40 Days banners in front of the church (St. Gregory’s) on Rt. 68. Few cars and trucks went by today and most drivers met my eyes. Some waved. It was good to be there! Thank you for the privilege.

I pray all of  you stay well and your families… I pray for our clergy and staff and I pray for those contemplating the future of the baby in their wombs. Peace and love to all…

Thank you Lord for my wife and children.

Cil:

What a beautiful sunny day today!  Some members from my church, St Joes, offered to pray from home for our shift.  Joyce had the great idea to go to St Mary’s in Herman and do the “drive by” Stations of the Cross that they have outside the church and cemetery.  So that’s what we did each staying in our own vehicles and utilizing the same pro-life Stations of the Cross resource.  We also stopped our minivans at the last station, which also had the Rachel’s Mourning statue nearby, and prayed a pro-life rosary.  Here is a picture (do you spy the bunny?):

We prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy utilizing the beautiful video that someone told us about on this blog recently (sorry I forget who but Thank you!).  And we prayed the Litany in Response to Abortion down by the Mary statue.  Thank you to the Guardians for Life for their wonderful prayers!

Although it’s our last week for this campaign, we can continue our pro-life efforts.  We know that many people are still struggling right now.  Even more so with some people out of work.  Some may be contemplating abortion or having a hard time supplying for the needs of their children.  Please consider checking in with your local crisis pregnancy centers and ask them how you might be able to help out.  There are things that you may be able to do “from home”.  For example, Alpha Omega Center has a client in Chicora and one in Springboro (upper Crawford County) that are in need of supplies esp diapers and wipes.  AO is looking for two people who are willing to keep a supply of diaper and wipes (they will supply) on hand so that when AO gives the OK, you are willing to leave a bag on the client’s porch.  If you can do this, call them at 724-674-3343.  I’m sure other CPCs have ways you can help them out too.  If you don’t have the time but you have money or supplies for them, they would be grateful.  

You are some of the kindest, most generous and loving people I know.  May God bless you all and I pray you have a wonderful Holy Week and Easter Season!

Pat:

Well, for reasons mostly beyond my control, I didn’t get started until closer to 4 PM today, but I did pray two hours from that point.  I started in my room with a rosary, and then went for another walk (getting a little lost at one point) praying both the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.  Anyone else find it hard to focus on prayer for abortion and have COVID-19 keep floating to the front of your brain as we do this?

Val:

Just wanted to send you a few photos of where Mike and I prayed today.  This is part of our church grounds.  As we were walking down to the church the sun came out!  It was beautiful! 

Bill:

My final shift for this Lenten session for 40 Days For Life was like a lot of other things happening these days.  It is just very different.  Maybe by next session some of the normal will have returned, even though we are praying for change.  Imagine if God did end abortion, until he does we keep working and praying for a save.  And so we pray at home now.  My wife and I did stop by PP for a few prayers in this past week.  I concluded my shift with my wife as we called up on EWTN the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a beautifully sung prayer.  Thinking of Claudia and Mary, my shift buddies.  God Bless!