Day 14: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport)and St. Joseph Church (Cabot)

Have you heard about this Cutie Pie yet? He is Lucas Warren and was chosen as the 2018 Gerber baby.

He is a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia who is the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest’s start in 2010.

 Lucas’s mom says “He’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger, he loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”

gerber_2018_baby_today_180205_03_5cc2587f5ac3c2fbe963b5ba20766d7c.today-inline-largeGerber/Cortney Warren

The winning photo of Lucas, submitted by his mom, Cortney, to the Gerber Spokesbaby contest.
The following is an excerpt from an opinion piece at Lifesite news, 
you can read the full article by clicking HERE
“Gerber’s choice sends a crucial message, that children with disabilities are just as valuable as any other child, and they often bring love into their homes, communities, and churches that’s second-to-none. So may Lucas be an ambassador, not just for Gerber, but for the joy that comes from welcoming all lives.”

“I’m more than happy to praise Gerber…but I don’t want to praise them for the wrong reason. Gerber did the right thing, but children with Down syndrome are valuable not because they’re cute or even because they often bring so much love and happiness to their families, although both of those things are true.

“Lucas, like every human being, is valuable whether he’s cute or not; both when he brings happiness and when he doesn’t. His value is intrinsic, not a utilitarian calculation that weighs the costs with the benefits.”

Sue and Pastor Kirk 7am-9am

It’s always so uplifting to see Diane for the early-morning shifts. Her faithfulness to the vigil impresses me year after year. With all the pro-life information she has in her car, she’s like a pregnancy resource center on wheels! And she’s always coming up with new innovations to make our vigil safer and more effective. God bless her! (I wish I would’ve taken her photo!)

I was greeted right away by Pastor Kirk and Bill from First Evangelical Free Church, Meg from St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and Vicky, who was beginning her day before work by praying at the vigil as she said she often does. We split up for the two sides of the circle, and prayer began immediately. Bill H. stopped by, too, partway into the hour. It was cold, but somehow after the soaking rains of late, the cold itself didn’t feel quite as oppressive, as it has had a talent for doing this winter. I don’t remember a single negative reaction, and there were many positives. Pastor Kirk graciously assumed shift manager duties at 8:00, as I had to get to work. Hopefully we served as early-spring seed planters this morning – the seeds of faith, hope, love, and conversion for all we encountered. Lord, hear our prayers!

In prayer: Pastor Kirk from FEFC, Vicky, Meg from St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and Bill from FEFC
Beth 9am-11am

Forgive me if I forget any names of the wonderful people who stood in the cold this morning praying through a very busy Tuesday. The FEFC of McKeesport brought Pastor Kirk, Youth Pastor Joel and his wife Cynthia, accompanied by three handsome, young boys, along with Timberly, Rick, Dan, Patty and Randy.  Joel did a masterful job of explaining the rules of peaceful witness to the boys, right from the sign-in sheet.

Rick, Patty, Dan and Randy from FEFC

The abortionist arrived at 9 a.m. sharp with her associate and there was a sad, continuous stream of clients.  Some took literature as Elsie and Ed worked each end of the yellow bubble.  Again, even though it is the worst place, one meets the most wonderful people witnessing there.

Some questions:  What happened to the only beautiful thing in PP, the stain glass window above the door?  Did they have it removed when the front door was remodeled?   Did someone realize that something beautiful did not belong where the purpose of the place is ugly?  And… why would anyone deliver cases of Girl Scout cookies to PP as happened today?  Don’t think I can look at a ThinMint or Samoa ever again without that memory.

Beth

Cecilia 11am-1pm

Suzanne from Bellview Suzanne from Bellview UPC and Cathy from Monroeville Assembly of God
My travel companions and friends! Sandi from Holy Sep, JoAnn from St Marys, Cil, Patti and Joyce from St Joes

 

Regular Bob on lunch break
Beth from St Alexis came back for my shift this week!

It was another sunny day but colder than we thought it would be in the ‘burgh.  Those who had them put on hats, gloves, earmuffs and scarves.  Most of the passersby greeted us warmly and some took literature.  One man kept yelling at us as he was walking away.  He said God would send us to hell, that God doesn’t like ugly women and called me a nasty name.  I assured him of God’s love for EVERYONE including him and told him that we still loved him and would pray for him.  It is sad that he is so angry and probably hurting.  But we are glad to accept the persecutions for the sake of our cause.

My friends Sandi (Holy Sep), JoAnn (St Marys), Patti & Joyce (St Joes) were my travel companions and held vigil with me today.

Beth (St Alexis) was back this week and I hope will come again next week.

Faithful Bob stopped to say prayers during his lunch break.

It was great to have Suzanne (Bellview EPC) and Cathy (Monroeville AofG) there too.  I think Suzanne was here last week for Beth’s shift and came back this week a little later in the day to stand with us.  We had some great conversations grounded in scripture.  Suzanne is awesome at sharing the Good News!

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 3 Rosaries

Prayed 2 Divine Mercies

Offered up Scripture Prayers

Offered up other Prayers (2)

Sang Songs to our Lord

Conversation with someone leaving PP

Pregnancy Resources to someone who stopped

Contraception Education to someone

Gave literature to someone to share with others

Listened to at least 3 people who stopped to shared their story

Prayed with someone who stopped

Patiently dealt with an Abortion Advocate

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Endured the Cold

Nikki 1pm-3pm
 It was a beautiful, sunny day to witness for life! Thank you to my dear friend Carole for coming with me for my first hour, pictured in the selfie picture.
I was going to be alone for the second hour but two wonderful married couples answered the call. Mary and Guy came first and then Hank and Judy arrived soon after. They  were also planning to stay for the 3 o’clock hour with the next shift manager, Pat.
 
 It was a quiet and prayerful time, very sad to see couples leaving the clinic after their abortions, most likely. I just prayed silently for them. Once Judy arrived, her joyful spirit was so inspiring! It was wonderful to watch her interact lovingly to everyone who passed by, and to see the way people responded to her natural friendliness! We all  have different gifts, and God uses us in different ways. Watching her reminded me of what a privilege it is to be part of 40 days for life and as Judy put it, to be monuments for God, witnesses for all to see! The time went quickly, I was happy to see Pat arrive, he is filling in as a shift manager from 3 to 5. We have a beautiful 40 days for life family here in Pittsburgh and I am  very grateful!
Pat 3pm-5pm

I started the shift with Hank and Judy for the first hour.  I notice that when the weather’s cold (or wet), I don’t bother with literature, but pray more.  When the weather’s nice like today, however, I feel more compelled to pass out literature – especially the 40 Days for Life, Pittsburgh flyers we have – so people that can know what we’re doing.  The downside is that I don’t feel like I’m able to pray much at all.

The second hour brought Jim from St. Monica’s, who, like Hank and Judy, had answered the call to keep me company on my shift.  I really enjoyed both talking and praying with him (by this time I had put the literature away) and we did have an interesting moment together. While praying the rosary I decided to look up to the top of the PP building (mostly to stretch my neck) and a woman asked me:  “What are you looking at?”  I immediately responded:  “A building where they kill 3,000 people a year.”  She had no idea and ended-up walking away with one of our precious feet pins.  And all because of a little pain in the neck.

Johanna joined us at about 4:45 and stayed on with Lisa for the last shift as Jim and I departed.

Jim from St. Monica’s in Chippewa and Johanna from St. Peter’s on the North Side and the Catholic Daughters of America.

Pat

Lisa 5pm-7pm
It was a good evening.  Rick joined Johanna and I this evening.  Rick takes up post on the far side of the circle and becomes our “Rock”.  So good to have you back with us Rick.
Nothing but smiles and thank yous tonight and the most endearing encounter with the young family that usually passes by every Tuesday after 6.  I wonder if other’s that stand for the last shift of the day experience the same joy these young children bring.  We did not see them last week and were thinking maybe their lives led them somewhere else in the past few months.  Johanna and I were overjoyed to see them coming toward us and we let them know it!  The little boy is so full of fun!  He is probably 5 or 6 and there are 3 older sisters & mom.  Well, our little pal was his curious self and seeing the change in the fetal models he was so adorably appalled that someone would actually steal the babies! Steal the Babies! How could someone do that! Steal the Babies!  Needless to say, he made our day!  God Bless this little sweetie and his family.

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