As we enter the last week of our 40 day vigil here in downtown Pittsburgh, my thoughts (and sidewalk discussions) are looking down the road to the 41st annual March for Life in January and , of course, our Lenten 40 days Vigil in March. We would love to hear some comments about what your group’s plans are for January 22nd. You are sure to see a lot our 40 Days Pittsburgh family down in DC for what has annually been the media’s most ignored event of hundreds of thousands of people standing up for life. Let us know!
Cil reports in from the 11-1 shift:
A cold but sunny Monday in Pittsburgh this afternoon. I was so thankful to have 3 of my St Joes church friends join me on my final Monday shift, Provie, Patti & Joyce. When we arrived, SM Bill greeted us along with Dan, from Mother of Sorrows representing Catholic Men’s Fellowship. We were so blessed to have Dan stay with us through my shift and into the following.
We were surprised when, halfway through my shift, our own Fr Mark from St Joes showed up to stand with us for an hour. He found he could squeeze in a short amount of time prior to a meeting and wanted to be with us. We were so thankful for his witness to life and the blessing he gave us before leaving!
Here is a picture of us all, from St Joes, holding the pro-life signs that our MS Edge kids made Sunday night. The Edge kids also helped us by filling in the “contact” info on the 40 Days bookmarks that I was able to hand out to those passing by today.
Maria, from Assumption, came later in the shift to help brighten the city sidewalk.
We were blessed to have Diane, from Good Samaritan, make a visit with us. She had not planned to stay long but then did end up staying into the next shift. Diane is active in witnessing at the East Liberty clinic. She came by hoping to speak with Nikki. I gave her a bookmark with the contact info and she will be in touch. She was glad to learn about Abby Johnson’s ATTWN ministry. We thank Diane and all who witness at the East Liberty abortion clinic too!
During my shift we had several who stopped to talk. I will mention a few…
Just after arriving, I saw a girl walk out PP doors and stand there looking around. I asked if we could help her. She came over and I told her about the material that we had. She said that she could use “abortion healing’. So I gave her the packet I had on that and spoke with her some about Rachel’s Vineyard. Tears came to her eyes and we offered her a flower. We also said that we would pray for her. She gave us her name but we will call her “B”. She then asked if she could make a call on my phone. Soon after dialing the number, she saw her boyfriend (?) coming down the street. Unfortunately the two of them went back inside the doors of PP, talked there a short while, then she used his phone to apparently call her mother. He then came out and left, she came back out and said that she was waiting for her mother. She stayed in the circle and didn’t seem to want to talk any more. She no longer had the flower and we’re not sure what happened to the material she took from me. Please keep “B” in prayer as I believe she is in need of healing (physical, emotional, spiritual) from a recent abortion.
We had two other beautiful ladies stop to speak with us after receiving the pro-life handouts.
Lori says she has a long story to share and did, in fact, share it at a pro-life event one time. She found herself pregnant when she was young and was directed to a crisis pregnancy center I think in Monroeville. The man she was to marry “heard in a dream” that he was not to marry her and that her child was not his. So he fought 4 paternity tests only to find that the child was indeed his. Lori is willing to share more of her story with us and gave us her phone number and email address. She said that her daughter, Shanna (sp?) is 18 and she “needs something to do”. She really likes babies and so she wants to encourage her to come and join with us.
Ashley stopped by later and told us the story of her sister’s son, Joshua, who was born prematurely (at 26 weeks I think?) because her sister later found she has an “incompetent cervix”. Joshua was only 1# 9 oz and 13 ½“ long and his future was not so bright. She showed us pictures of him. But we also saw a picture of him now, as a 9 year old boy who is just as health as anyone. She said that she is so much for life esp seeing how he was born so early yet, legally, could have been aborted. She said that they could not even touch him at first because his skin was so sensitive with the nerve endings so close to the skin surface. That made us think of those poor babies who suffer so much in the womb at the hands of the abortionists. Her sister, Amy, is again pregnant and is at 29 weeks. Please keep her & the baby in prayer that she can carry this one longer in the womb.
Between these conversations and others, our prayer warriors were able to work in a rosary, divine mercy chaplet and sing songs of praise. Thanks to all for your prayers and witness to life!
Beth reports in from the sidewalk with this story:
Maria, Dan and Diane stayed a while after the one o’clock shift, keeping my sister Rose and I company until almost two o’clock. We had some time for prayer and soon after, D. stopped to talk. I offered her some literature after she indicated that she supported our cause. And then the story came out.
D. said that when she was younger she went to Women’s Health Center where the abortionist perforated her uterus causing severe hemorrhaging and an emergency trip to Magee where, 17 pints of blood later, she found herself, sterile, incontinent and with gastrointestinal and heart problems that still plague her today. It was especially painful because she couldn’t tell her parents or her church the cause. Later, she tracked down the abortionist who was then working for Planned Parenthood, filed a per se lawsuit because she couldn’t find any lawyer who would take the case. The court awarded her…..nothing.
Stunned, I told her that there were pro-life lawyers practicing at that time. And she said that she just didn’t know.
D. reluctantly took the blue sheet with post abortion information. Pray that she is given the courage to tell her story to help others who need to know.
Later, when Ann, Mary Catherine and Evelyn came to pray the 3-4 p.m. time, Evelyn said her husband, a lawyer, would have taken the case. And Mary Catherine summed it up: “we have to get the word out.” Amen to that.
Francis had the 5-7 shift and writes:
This is the Motte family. Mrs. Motte works at Hillcrest Christian Academy. They are a very lovely family. We even prayed the rosary together when Minnie came at about 6:55. It was a fast rosary, but we got it done. Lindsay Hayes also came. She’s new, although her mother has come before. She belongs to St. Bernard Parish in Mt. Lebanon.
Jeff wrote in the email for today:
“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And, while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.”
–John Steinbeck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author
(Concomitant – adjective; naturally accompanying or associated.)
“…are the concomitants of failure in our system.” Failure in whose system? God’s world or our egocentric secular world? And what is success in God’s world? Achievements, accomplishments, an end to abortion at all costs?
Jesus said to be child-like if we want to see the Kingdom of God. Be kind, generous, open, honest, understanding, feeling, and let’s throw obedient in, too.
Let God be the judge of our success!