“There really are no words …..”
These are the words of Tim B. at tonight’s closing celebration at Catholic Charities downtown, when he spoke of our wonderful 40 Days leader, describing Nikki and her dedicated, comprehensive, committed, warm, and loving leadership of 40 Days for Life. After leading two vigils per year at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood since 2010, she is passing the baton for vigil leadership (although she emphasizes she will definitely continue as a shift manager and blog writer).
Since I started as a shift manager with 40 Days “almost” that long ago, I have been consistently blessed by and impressed with Nikki’s attention to detail and personal touch. Every single time I have ever had an issue or a question – and this has been often — Nikki has addressed it immediately, thoroughly, and very personally, whether by text, e-mail, phone, or even in person. One time a few years ago it was horribly cold during my shift – Nikki knew I was on a long shift and she came downtown, unannounced, and said, “Sue, it’s too cold; you go home and I’ll stand for you for the rest of your shift.” Just this past fall I was having issues with the technicalities of my blog writing. Nikki met with me personally over at Brueggers after her shift and we hacked it out together on my laptop. The longest it ever took for me to receive a return call from Nikki about an issue with my shift was about a half hour – and it was because she was at Mass when I called! Now consider that we have at least three dozen shift managers serving for 40 Days! Yes — she treats us ALL like this!!! And I’m sure every shift manager has similar stories.
Am I not correct when I say this kind of thing just doesn’t happen in today’s world?! I’ve worked in lots of organizations, both professional and volunteer, and I know at least that I’ve never seen it. Until I started with 40 Days. Nikki B. is a truly and thoroughly outstanding Christian woman and leader, and I just wanted to shout this from the rooftops of the blogosphere and make sure all our readers realize this! We all THANK YOU, Nikki, for every single tiny, little, medium-sized, big, and gigantic thing you have done to bring 40 Days to life and help it to grow through these past years. May God bless Nikki and Joe and their family a hundred-thousandfold for their service to Life!!!!
Before I get to the stories and photos from today’s vigil as well as the closing rally …….. please consider coming downtown to pray this Friday (Good Friday) at 10:00 a.m., when People Concerned for the Unborn Child will host Stations of the Cross in front of Planned Parenthood.
Jen covered the early-morning 7:00-9:00 a.m. shift. She shares:
I know we’ve entered Holy Week in preparation for Easter, but there is so much to be grateful for that today feels a little like Thanksgiving. Thanks to Diane and Tom for being the first smiling faces at the vigil each morning and for making the job of shift manager much easier by providing everything we could possibly need on the sidewalk. Thanks to Vince and Dan for their warm fellowship on the last cold morning of our so-called “spring” vigil.
Thanks to shift manager Sue and faithful pray-er Pat for arriving right on time to keep the vigil rolling through the next shift. And THANKS to all the members of our 40 Days for Life family for your incredibly loving, generous, selfless witness that brought the light of Christ to a terribly dark place and helped to keep us all going through forty long days of this important campaign. May God bless you all!
I (Sue M.) served for 9:00-11:00 a.m. The shift was very quiet and peaceful. And SNOWY! (Mother Nature had a sense of humor on this First Day of Spring!) Although we were cold, we could tell spring was succeeding in breaking through due to the fact that the snow wasn’t laying and our toes weren’t cold — the ground must be warming up! Pat, Dan, and I prayed the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, and we enjoyed some lively conversation about Life issues. A gentleman stopped to thank us for doing what we were doing. At one point while we were praying, a lady passed by and commented, “It’s Palm Sunday — you folks should be in church!” We considered how odd it was that someone would think we would skip church to pray at Planned Parenthood. Or maybe her church doesn’t offer many service or Mass times ……….. Anyway, before I realized it, Rich and Roseann had arrived for their 11-1 shift.
We had a very good presence on the sidewalk today and a lot of prayer warriors. Fr. Gruber led us in prayer. It was nice to have a priest present with us. Margie donated a new pen for the clipboard. Thanks to all who came today.
Trish shared these photos from the 1:00-3:00 p.m. shift:
Photos and stories from the 3:00-5:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. will be added here when they come in.
Finally, we gathered at 6:30 outside Planned Parenthood to commence our closing vigil for the 2016 Lenten 40 Days for Life campaign for prayer and song:
…….. and then made our way back over to Catholic Charities to gather for a potluck meal and some informative and inspirational speakers:
Meredith P. began the program by inviting everyone to participate with her in another upcoming pro-life prayer vigil to begin soon. If you are interested, please contact Nikki.
Katie announced plans for her upcoming diaper drive outside Planned Parenthood to be held on May 7, from 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. to benefit the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills. Please stop down, enjoy coffee and donuts, and bring diapers (all sizes), wipes, Similac formula, new or gently used baby clothes in sizes up to 24 months and other new or gently used baby items such as bibs, bassinets, cribs, crib sheets, blankets, monitors, high chairs, etc., and/or cash gifts.
Kathy L., leader of the Pittsburgh “chapter” of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, explained a prayer partnership project and invited all to join. Sue M. invited all to attend a Sidewalk Advocates training session on Saturday, April 23 from 9:00 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. at St. Sebastian Parish in Ross Township.
Finally, Jenifer gave a very moving testimony about her acceptance of Jesus and conversion to Christianity after having been involved in anarchist and Buddhist groups for years and espousing a militantly pro-choice worldview. She explained how she met Nikki after apologizing to her for her participation in a black-hooded group pro-abortion protest at Nikki’s home after the opening rally of Nikki’s first 40 Days campaign back in 2010.
And thus it ends! But it will never really end until abortion ends in this city, in this state, and in this nation. In this WORLD, indeed. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep praying, witnessing, educating, and speaking out. We believe, trust, and know that our awesome God will do the rest.
A very HAPPY and BLESSED EASTER to all of you! Jesus — The Way, The Truth, and the LIFE — Is Risen Indeed!!!