Pittsburgh Team Members Join the Worldwide 40 Days Family!

40-days-for-life

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

 

Matthew 14:22-36

 

Today’s Gospel passage (from Tuesday, 8/2) is very apropos to our pro-life journey and ministry.  There are times when we feel like Peter when he decides to do something risky… as long as he knows that it is the Lord calling him to do it.  However, when he begins to do that very thing the Lord was calling him to do, he gets afraid.  And Jesus lets him sink- and laughs derisively.  KIDDING.  The Gospel tells us that Jesus IMMEDIATELY stretches out His hand to catch Peter.  He does the same for us.  We must trust in Him and in His calling.

 

A second thing to point out is that when Jesus arrives at the place where people are sick and hurting, those who need healing gather to try to at least touch the tassel on His cloak.  How many souls affected by abortion only need to reach out and try to connect with Our Lord?  There are so many sick and hurting men and women who have been scarred (mostly in their minds and hearts), and they are in such great need of the healing power of the Divine Healer.  We can be that bridge for them when we are on the sidewalk, as we pray for them and try to help in their time of need.

 

 

 

This past weekend, Nikki and three team members were privileged to attend the first ever 40 Days for Life Summer Symposium Leaders Conference in Orlando, Florida.  It was amazing in every way, and we are so excited to share a little of our experience with you!  And please make sure you catch the big news at the end of this post!

 

The conference was held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.  From the moment we arrived, we KNEW that we were not in Kansas any more:

gaylord

We got very spoiled very fast.  Nothing wrong with a little pampering for a weekend.  But what was TRULY even more amazing was the quality of the presenters.  We heard from speakers who presented topics from legal rights to recruiting volunteers, from overcoming persecution to learning the impact of our campaigns behind the scenes.  There were about 250 attendees, including representatives from 10 countries outside the U.S.  (Currently, there are about 37 countries which hold 40 Days for Life vigils!)

We arrived late on Thursday night, and attended noon Mass the next day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. (http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org/)

Beth, Marian, and Nikki on their way across the footbridge to the basilica.

 

Front doors to the basilica, with Holy Doors of Mercy in the center. (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/holy-doors.cfm)
Front doors to the basilica, with Holy Doors of Mercy in the center.
(http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/holy-doors.cfm)

 

mother and child chapel
Mother and Child outdoor chapel. How beautifully appropriate for our weekend.

 

And another appropriate part of the church: mosaics depicting the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is known as Patroness of the Unborn.
And another appropriate part of the church: mosaics depicting the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is known as Patroness of the Unborn.

 

Interior of the main part of the basilica.
Interior of the main part of the basilica.

 

Smaller side chapel where we went to Mass on Friday and Monday.
Smaller side chapel where we went to Mass on Friday and Monday.

 

And the Adoration chapel, where we spent long times in silent prayer, listening to Our Lord.
And the Adoration chapel, where we spent long times in silent prayer, listening to Our Lord.

 

Back to the Gaylord Palms!  We started to get really excited when we began to see THESE all over the resort:

banners 1

 

banners 2

banners 3'

And even THESE on the floor to guide our way:

floor decal

In the convention center:

We had a welcome reception here... and met some amazing people!!!
We had a welcome reception here… and met some amazing people!!!

 

The conference room where we heard most of the speakers and spent most of our time.
The conference room where we heard most of the speakers and spent most of our time.

 

Our conference schedule:

schedule

 

What an amazing national team 40 Days for Life has:

L-R: Shawn Carney (President and co-founder), Steve Karlen (Director, North American campaigns), and David Bereit (CEO and co-founder).
L-R: Shawn Carney (President and co-founder), Steve Karlen (Director, North American campaigns), and David Bereit (CEO and co-founder).

Some of our speakers:

Dr. Haywood Robinson, Board Member and former abortionist, along with his wife. They now work as pro-life medical doctors.
Dr. Haywood Robinson, Board Member and former abortionist, along with his wife. They now work as pro-life medical doctors.
Sorry about the poor photo quality, but this is Matt Britton, Chairman of the Board and General Counsel for 40 Days for Life. He was informative AND funny. In the foreground, you see our new Croatian friends, Petra and Lidija, who were the next speakers.
Sorry about the poor photo quality, but this is Matt Britton, Chairman of the Board and General Counsel for 40 Days for Life. He was informative AND funny. In the foreground, you see our new Croatian friends, Petra and Lidija, who were the next speakers.

 

Jewels Green, former abortion facility worker, who gave a POWERFUL testimony.
Jewels Green, former abortion facility worker, who gave a POWERFUL testimony.

 

Our own Nikki sat on a panel of those who spoke about how to recruit volunteers.
Our own Nikki sat on a panel of those who spoke about how to recruit volunteers.

 

Nikki did such a great job that she got invited to speak in Croatia!! No kidding!!
Nikki did such a great job that she got invited to speak in Croatia!! No kidding!!

 

Brian Westbrook, of St. Louis Coalition for Life
Brian Westbrook, of St. Louis Coalition for Life.

 

Some of our amazing times with new friends and awesome discussions:

dessert
First things first. How about this unique-looking chocolate mousse dessert from Friday night?

 

The beautiful site for our Saturday morning breakfast!
The beautiful site for our Saturday morning breakfast!

breakfast 3

 

L-R: Teresa from Texas, along with our own Marian and Beth!
L-R: Theresa from Texas, along with our own Marian and Beth!

 

Kateri and Heather from Georgia. What an amazing and enthusiastic woman Kateri is! Great stories of God's work to end abortion in Georgia! And she gave us a great idea about novena Masses to end abortion!!
Kateri and Heather from Georgia. What an amazing and enthusiastic woman Kateri is! Great stories of God’s work to end abortion in Georgia! And she gave us a great idea about novena Masses to end abortion!!

 

Originally from Mexico, this beautiful couple- Salvador and his wife, Karina- now live in North Carolina.
Originally from Mexico, this beautiful couple- Salvador and his wife, Karina- now live in North Carolina.

 

L-R: Karina, Kateri, Heather, Donna (from Texas), Teresa, Marian, Beth, Lisa
L-R: Karina, Kateri, Heather, Donna (from Texas), Theresa, Marian, Beth, Nikki, Lisa

 

Photo op for all of the campaign leaders.
Photo op for all of the campaign leaders.

 

Saturday dinner at another beautiful restaurant- the whole place was reserved just for 40 Days for Life!
Saturday dinner at another beautiful restaurant- the whole place was reserved just for 40 Days for Life!

 

Our group heading to our table.
Our group heading to our table.

 

Sunday’s Mass was awesome… and then we spent the day relaxing!

Monday morning, we headed out to get to 8 am Mass:

Beth, Nikki, Petra, and Lidija trying to figure out the Uber app. It was only our third Uber reservation ever! (The first two were on Friday.) Nikki's got the hang of it now!!
Beth, Nikki, Petra, and Lidija trying to figure out the Uber app. It was only our third Uber reservation ever! (The first two were on Friday.) Nikki’s got the hang of it now!!

One story about one of our Uber drivers.  He was originally from Haiti, but that was over 20 years ago.  Marian was so great about telling our drivers why we were in town… and when she told this driver, he shared his story.  Turns out that back in Haiti, his girlfriend got pregnant and had a botched “back alley” abortion, which was completed at a hospital.  He feels regret, even now.  “I could have had a child,” he said to us sadly.  Amazing, isn’t it– the impact that this abortion has had on him for decades.  And does he ever talk about it?  Who knows.  Maybe he will now.  We definitely prayed for him at Mass, and will continue.

 

A beautiful statue depicting the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. Reminded me that ANYONE can have a conversion of heart about abortion. St. Paul, pray for us!
A beautiful statue depicting the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. A good reminder that ANYONE can have a conversion of heart about abortion. Saint Paul, pray for us!

 

L-R: Marian, Petra, Lidija, Nikki, Lisa, Beth. Our new Croatian friends!
L-R: Marian, Petra, Lidija, Nikki, Lisa, Beth. So happy that our new Croatian friends joined us for Mass!

 

Our group from Pittsburgh (Lisa, Beth, Marian, Nikki) having one last snack- and enjoying the atrium one last time- before heading to the airport.
Our group from Pittsburgh (Lisa, Beth, Marian, Nikki) having one last snack- and enjoying the atrium one last time- before heading to the airport.

 

And now for the big news:

Check out the new wheels owned by the national 40 Days leaders!

The new RV donated to 40 Days for Life!!
The new RV donated to 40 Days for Life!!

 

“United” is the theme for this fall campaign.  The theme is all about uniting during this very divisive time in our culture.  The national team made it a priority to get a campaign in all fifty states-and they accomplished their goal!  Wyoming was the last state to get on board, and now all fifty are in!  The national team will be visiting all fifty states- in 40 Days!- in their new RV.  Pittsburgh is scheduled for a statewide rally when the RV visits us at 6 P.M. on October 5.  Please try to join us!

united 2

 

united back

 

My husband didn’t quite grasp how they were managing to do fifty states in 40 Days… so here’s their schedule to show you!

united front correctunited back correct

 

Thanks for taking this little virtual trip with us… hope you enjoyed it.  Let us pray for God’s blessings upon our upcoming fall campaign, here and AROUND THE WORLD!!!

international 1

 

international 2

 

international 3

 

international 4

 

international 5

 

international 7

 

Let us keep up the prayers.  They are not wasted.

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Team Members Join the Worldwide 40 Days Family!

  • August 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm
    Permalink

    HOLYMOLY BATMAN! Thank you to our team who made the journey. Just these pictures are an inspiration. I’d like to know what place in Croatia sent those pilgrims. I’m happy, too, that 40 Days gave you such fine accommodations. God is good!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for the update! What a blessing you were able to be a part of the conference! May God continue to bless and strengthen you for His work!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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    Thank you Pittsburgh Team for representing us at the Conference! How wonderful!
    It is so exciting that all 50 States are United for Life. May God bless each one of us as we begin the Fall 40 Days for Life Campaign.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2016 at 7:56 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for sharing all this. It sounds like a wonderful “re-charge” for spiritual batteries. God continue to bless 40 days teams, especially our Pittsburgh crew!

    Reply

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