Thanks to St John the Baptist parish for covering the vigil all day, and thanks to Lisa Koslosky for organizing and standing for the innocent babies of 933 Liberty!
Barb had the first shift and writes:
7am Thursday morning was crispy and dark in front of PP this morning. We set up and were vigil ready at 6:58 am. Saint John the Baptist (Plum) parishioners arrived on the stroke of 7. Peg and Joe were warmly dressed and ready to pray.
Diane arrived in her white van & unloaded the 40 Days for Life Vigil signs and an abundance of flowers. Dazzling purple and white and green cast ripples of life to the early morning grey and brightened it immediately. Many mothers, taking children to child care, accepted flowers for their children. Day 30 of our Vigil begins with fortitude, flowers and prayer. God is with us. All is right with the world.
Marie P. managed the shift from 9-11am and took this photo of her prayer participants:
Lisa had the 1-3 shift and writes:
I should just tell one short story about the 1-3 shift. As we were praying the rosary, a rather “scraggly” man came walking down the street with confidence, and a purpose! He seemed angry, and I heard him muttering things about priests, etc., and I thought, “Oh boy, here comes someone to persecute the Church….” Then he stopped in front of us and shouted, “I agree with you!! I think abortion is wrong!” (Something like that.) Then he shouted, “I’m gonna pray one Hail Mary!” And he shouted– yes, shouted– the first half of the Hail Mary. The volunteers and I prayed the second half of the prayer, then the man yelled, “God bless you!” and briskly walked away. I think we were all so stunned, we just kind of laughed and said, “It was hard to tell how that was going to go!” It was such a funny moment for the group and I to share.
There was such a sense of joy and unity in the group who come to pray with me today, that I almost feel guilty for having enjoyed the time with them! But wow… a solid, pleasant, and prayerful group. It was just beautiful to be with them. So I send a special thank you to Johnny, George, George, Michael, Audrey, Jim and Liz. May God bless you all! And I am SO very thankful to all those who came from my parish, St. John the Baptist in Plum. May the Lord bless you all as well.
Dee managed the 3-5pm shift and wrote:
Today’s shift was much drier than last week. A bit chilly, but, beautiful, none the less.
Pat stopped by to see how things were coming along. There were 2 people with me at 3, so,
he did not have to stay. Liz and Mary Morgan were with me. Then Mimi came by and Philene Reilly. We prayed the rosary and Mimi told us stories about her prayer experiences.
A young man named Frank stopped by. He said he told his story to another shift manager, maybe last week. When Frank’s mother was pregnant with him, her doctor said she had a tumor and she had to get rid of it. It would kill her. His mom had strong faith in St. Joseph and she knew she was pregnant. When Frank was born, she took him to the doctor and said “Have you met my tumor yet”?
Miracles do happen–usually silently.
Mary Whitaker prayed with me and Philene from 4 to 5. It was a peaceful, prayerful day.
Julie had 5-7 and writes:
I was on for shift manager from 5 to 7pm today after work. The wonderful folks from St. John the Baptist in Plum came to pray. First there were 2 people sacrificing their time with their families (each had a spouse and 3 children at home). I believe DEE took a photo of them. Then two couples came (Mario and Mary; John and Kim-some of them I actually had met about 4 years ago at a young adult retreat!). We stood in a circle and prayed the scriptural rosary. Mario ventured out of our circle to offer flowers and God’s love to passersby! We prayed for the women who anticipate tonight going to the PP on Saturday for an appointment for an abortion, asking God’s mercy on them to touch them with his love. We prayed for the PP workers and offered the Lord’s prayer for God’s will to be done in their lives.
Jeff wrote in today’s email:
“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”
Abortion is a problem created by our secular society. Those of us who live with one foot in the secular world and one foot in God’s world may feel that abortion can never be stopped. And even if we do stand vigil to witness the innocents slaughtered in our city, we can sometimes grow weary of the struggle. I was certainly one of those people, not wanting to commit to Christ because I feared leaving the secular world behind, that I might miss it. That is, till I stood vigil with the 40Days family here in Pittsburgh, and everything changed. Their joy, their resolve, their faith, their fellowship, their commitment to “dreaming the impossible dream” made me want to be around them, to be more like them, and to witness the faith like them. So I take that leap of faith and attempt daily to put both feet in God’s world, and He has not disappointed. I am more aware of a solution to abortion because I can now see the problem from a different level. I have a path set before me that will lead me closer to God’s truth, and for me, that path is prayer. Prayer on the sidewalk, prayer in the morning, prayer in the evening, prayer at lunch, prayer while your driving (we could all use a little more of that). Prayer asking God what it is I am supposed to do now that I practice putting both feet in His world.
And prayer that I may never grow weary of showing the world His love, because nothing is impossible when it comes to God’s world, when you are “all in”.
Thanks to Helene Paharik for the quote and her loving instruction, the 40Days family for the inspiration, and thanks to God for showing me the path.