THANK YOU: Saint Mary of the Assumption, Herman; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church; Individual Volunteers

When a member of the herd is close to death, the whole herd will stop moving and stay resting in one small area for a time. Once the elderly or sick elephant passes, they will stay on for a few more days – gathering semi-frequently around the corpse, and seeming to keen and grieve for their deceased companion.

In Pittsburgh’s Spring Garden, my Holy Wisdom Parish neighborhood, Linda Wallen covered the concrete base of the city steps at Itin and Concord streets with a 120-square-foot mosaic design. The tiles, from Italy, are made to withstand freeze and thaw and hard use, she said.

The elephant story and Spring Garden city stairs are beautiful.


Consider the artistic beauty and the beauty of the people portrayed in the Jesse Tree.   It is the subject of many stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts.   It is also found in wall paintings,  architectural carvings, funerary monuments, floor tiles and embroidery.

Based upon the prophecy of Isaiah, the family tree of Christ begins with Jesse, the father of David, and bears as its fruit the various ancestors of Christ.

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,

and from his roots a bud shall blossom.

Isaiah 11:1-2

Enjoy the beauty of some of the Jesse Tree art:–jesus-sacrifice-tree-of-jesse.jpg

We 40 Days for Life friends of yours on the sidewalk know about beauty.  We recognize that some choices are not beautiful in any way. Each of us is a member of a beautiful multinational effort that has seen mind boggling success. We feel the privilege.


To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself. 

Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus.   Nn. 5-6: 130-200 A.D.

Thank you, Dee.

Dee hit the pavement and gathered the notes from the sisters in consecrated life whose entries were posted here last week.


It was pretty quiet on Liberty Avenue this cold but beautiful morning.  Diane and Tom delivered all the supplies as they do every day for each campaign.  Rose, Vince, and Bill shared the sidewalk with me.  We prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet for all those affected by abortion.

Jen and Vince
Mighty Prayers



It was quite the toe-freezing morning downtown today! And a very quiet one.

Mother/daughter team Karen and Kristy from St. Benedict joined already-present Vince shortly after I arrived. As it does every time Vince is there, our prayer this morning featured his uniquely comprehensive version of the Rosary. He leaves no Life intention uncovered. Smiling Bill H. stopped by as he always does. Despite the lower-than-usual number of passersby, we received several expressions of affirmation.

May the Most Holy Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified!

Bill, Karen, Kristy, Vince
Faithful Witnesses for Life!



It was a get out the hand warmers kind of day. The sunshine was deceiving.
Pro-lifers Larry, Margie and Cathy from St. Mary of the Assumption came to witness and pray today. Also regulars, Pat, Sue and family from St. Bernard’s witnessed with us. It was a quiet day and all comments were positive. God is Good.

Larry, Margie and Cathy.
Chilly hands
Warm hearts



Another quiet shift.

Prayed with these wonderful people and we were blessed when the sun came out. Please pray for a man who stopped by (I didn’t get his name) who is currently homeless but showed us a beautiful rosary and a pouch with Mary and Jesus that held it. He was very proud of his Catholic faith. I think all prayers from us would be welcome!

St. Mary of the Assumption,
Herman PA
Faithful witnesses



Today I had the great honor of praying with Carnegie Holy Trinity, St. John, McKeesport, and the Pittsburgh Byzantines represented by Deacon Paul and his wife Patricia all the way from DuBois PA!
The group took a little heat from the neighboring bar manager who accused us of not doing anything constructive with our time.
Later a woman who was unstable on her feet was drawn to George Honchar and his wife Svitlana as they prayed the Ninth Hour prayers (the ninth hour of Jesus’ Passion is 3:00). This woman was drawn to George and the prayers in Greek and Ukraine like a parched lamb to water! She stood with her face inches from George as he continued undistractedly to pray, positioned in a subtle way that separated this woman from his wife.
I wasn’t quite sure what might come next. She seemed harmless. I prayed a Saint Michael prayer and she stepped away for a few minutes, then came back even closer to George.

George and his wife wrapped up their prayers, and what happened next astounded me: George very warmly greeted this woman and invited her to sing, then burst into Silent Night with a gorgeous operatic voice! She joined us all in hearty song and when we finished Silent Night, she stumbled away even though George kindly and genuinely invited her to continue singing with us. As it turns out, George is the Cantor for St John in McKeesport!

Nothing really eventful happened after that, and I was humbled by the devotion of the gallant parents and children (especially the fearless young men) of the Levy and McCauley families, and by the gentle spirit of Adrienne of the Oakland Prayer Group, who was one hour early for her group’s prayer time!

Deacon and Patricia Paul,
Cantor George and Svitlana
McCauley Family
Levy Family
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
McCauley men



Prayers showed up in abundance today.

Deacon Paul and wife Pat (pictured) all the way from Nativity of the Mother of God Byzantine Church in Dubois came and prayed and treated passersby so politely.

Adrienne, Mary, Alicia, and Julie from the Oakland prayer group prayed fervently and sang beautifully.

Lou (pictured) and Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity came and prayed.

We’re all very blessed to be able to serve this life giving ministry.

Thanks be to God.

Lou, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
Deacon Paul and wife Pat
Nativity of the Mother of God, Byzantine Church, Dubois PA


And God saw that it was good.




One thought on “THANK YOU: Saint Mary of the Assumption, Herman; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church; Individual Volunteers

  • March 12, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Reading this beautifully written post touched me deeply, especially the comparison of the soul to the body and the Christian to the world. We give thanks to Almighty God for all that He is doing, most especially for what we can not see.


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