Did you see the wonderful news that a second baby was saved from abortion at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood yesterday? The seemingly prophetic words of Fr. Thomas More are still ringing in my ears…
“I have no doubt that the babies that will be saved during these 40 days will be the future saints of the Church!”
It is encouraging when we see the fruits of our prayers, but we can still become discouraged by the fact that although we continue to hold these 40 day prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood, year after year…the abortion numbers have not decreased and the abortion clinic shows no signs of closing. Almost 100 abortion clinics have now closed following 40 Days for Life campaigns…Praise God for that! But what about Pittsburgh? Why hasn’t ours closed yet? We were discussing this at our team meeting last night. We wondered if there is a spiritual reason for this.
Could it be that Satan has a particular stronghold here in Pittsburgh for some reason? Do the roots of abortion penetrate more deeply in our area than in others?
As a team we began to pray and asked the Lord what we should do. The ideas began to flow, I believe through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Here were some of the ideas…which I am asking the members of our team to do, and also suggesting them for our entire 40 Days for Life family in Pittsburgh:
- Dedicate one hour of prayer each week (throughout the year…not just during 40 days)…if you are Catholic, that would mean one hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. If non-Catholic, one hour of prayer in some other way. The purpose of this would be to cover every day of each month with prayer. Our team prayer outreach coordinator, Dee Gallagher, has volunteered to coordinate this. If you are willing to commit to a certain day of the week each week to pray for one hour for the intention of ending abortion in Pittsburgh email Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are Catholic, please consider requesting a Mass to be said at your parish for the intention of closing Planned Parenthood. If you are not Catholic, offer up specific prayers during your worship service for the ending of abortion in Pittsburgh.
- It was suggested that maybe the reason that we have not been able to yet break the stronghold in Pittsburgh is that we are not fasting enough. Jesus said that some demons are driven out only by prayer AND fasting! Although fasting has always been a part of our 40 Days for Life campaign, (thanks to Megan Merante for coordinating the fasting calendar!)…we decided that we need to do MORE!!! So we decided to ask EVERYONE on our team to fast for the final 24 hours of our vigil. That would begin at 7:00 pm on Saturday, November 3rd and would end at the closing rally at 7:00 pm at Catholic Charities on November 4th. Then we will all be able to break our fast with the delicious pot luck food that everyone brings to the closing rally! I am extending this request to everyone in our Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life family! Please fast as you are able. If you cannot fast for an entire day on bread and water, or liquids only, just give God what you are able. As shift manager Joe said in his Saturday report. “God will not be outdone in generosity!“. When we give him our little loaves…HE will multiply them into a MIRACLE!!! So don’t be afraid to fast. Don’t think your little offering is too small. He waits for us to take the first tentative little step towards Him, and then He runs to us to make up the difference!
I am excited to see how God is going to work through us during the remainder of these 40 days! Thank you for continuing on this journey with me!
Lastly, be sure to mark your calendars for Monday, October 22nd to come to the vigil to meet Shawn Carney, President and CEO of 40 Days for Life! He will be visiting our vigil in Pittsburgh at 6 pm and after praying with us we will hold a brief reception at Catholic Charities Welcome Center from 7-8pm. Desserts and coffee will be provided. Shawn will have signed copies of his new book, “40 Days for Life, the Beginning of the End of Abortion” available for purchase.
Here are the shift reports from today:
Mary wrote from the 7-9 am shift:
I wanted to take a picture of Diane and Peggy before the sun came up this morning but my camera wouldn’t work. Peggy brought a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses and we prayed the opening prayer for day 15. There were no churches or individuals scheduled for this shift. Pat came to pick up his big burgundy bag and he brought a giant red rose. Bill came and passed out his literature. A man became upset and showed him something in his phone saying that it is illegal to get closer than 8 ft to anyone passing by. Bill is a little aggressive offering his brochures but he is very friendly,always saying”I have something for you. God bless you”. Bill looked at the phone. Peggy smiled. He said that we do it every day. He kept saying 8 ft bubble zone over and over. When we didn’t argue with him, even though Kathy said he’s wrong,he finally left.I’m surprised that Bill gets half of those passing by to take his handouts and smile back. The other have just say no thanks.A women stopped and told Peggy and Bill that she had to get an abortion because of human trafficking.The workers were having trouble swiping in this morning,got frustrated and had to go around back. We had to move the signs because some men came to fix a drain and had to dig up the bricks in the front where the plants are. Bill was asking about the Gosnell movie and I told him that some of us are getting together to go and see it. I finally got my phone camera to work and got one picture of Peggy and Bill before our shift ended.
Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11 am and wrote:
There didn’t seem to be a lot of activity at the clinic. Carolina, Marianne and I prayed together and separately until the Knights from St. Bernard’s arrived, later followed by others from the Guardians for Life. A pregnant couple, with a small child, stopped in their car, seeming to ask directions. They did not speak English, though did have a translator on their phone, but it was no help to me. They were looking for pregnancy help so I told them where Catholic Charities was, which may have been what they were looking for anyway.
One of the workers walked by and said “Here are some signs for you.” The signs read: “Hey! I’ve spent MY LIFE the way I want to. LET ME TELL YOU HOW TO SPEND YOUR LIFE.” “SOMEONE -Please- GET ME A REAL JOB!” And, “I’m A MIDDLE-AGED WHITE LADY with a ton of privilege! I WANNA TELL YOU WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BODY!”
Ahh…HUMILITY! Aren’t we glad it is our theme during these 40 days?
Hank was the shift manager from 11-1 and wrote:
Praise the good Lord for a beautiful sunny day! There were 27 people praying and witnessing for life today on the 11-1 shift. Fr. Tim and The Guardians for Life were there again in full force praying the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy and singing the songs of our Blessed Mother, Mary Immaculate. Kevin from St.Thomas More, Indiana joined us for the 1st time and Gale (Gabriel Project) and Diane (CCHC) from the Johnstown area were there also. Katie arrived around noon to swell the ranks. We prayed and distributed an extensive amount of literature. Lord hear our prayer to end the scourge of abortion.
Chris was the shift manager from 1-3pm and wrote:
Another beautiful, warm day on the sidewalk praying for the little ones. And then there were 10… Nikki sent an appeal on Monday, thinking I would be praying alone at PP. Nine prayer warriors heeded her call and joined me. What a blessing! Mary Jane and Arlene, who I met last Wednesday, returned to pray with me. Benson had a ½ day at his high school and joined us, praying in the street, on his knees, in powerful witness. Jennifer, mother of eight, came to pray for Life and give thanks to God for her family. Marilyn and her husband, Tom, saw Nikki’s message and came down to pray the Rosary and Divine Chaplet on the sidewalk. Katie was lovingly insistent, handing out potentially life-saving literature to passersby. More than a few positive comments and “God Bless yous” were heard. All in all, a great day to pray for those without a voice.
Jeannie (AKA “French off the Bench”), wrote from the 3-5pm shift:
What a beautiful afternoon on the sidewalk. Brilliant sunshine for most of my shift and then a few rain sprinkles to cool us all off.
On the sidewalk this afternoon was the most wonderful expression of life in every age and lived to its fullest. From Little Nick whose energy is astounding through to Wise Bill, who sat on the barrier —— and everyone in between. We had it all.
And we had the power of prayer most importantly. What a great group of prayer warriors today on the sidewalk. Very quiet. I noticed that the Planned Parenthood staff does not like to come out to wait to cross the street while one of us is in front of the building. their exit for when the light is on so they can quickly passed by. I was praying in that area for a while and it made me smile to think they had to accommodate my prayer! God is good.
Joe wrote from his 5-7 shift:
Transitioned into the shift a little early today by sharing with my favorite Pro-Life Sign Grommet Maker – Ms. Jeannie. Shift overall was extremely quiet and positive – maybe it was consistent spritz of precipitation? One young woman stopped and looked at the fetal models in amazement of the 12-week model and indicated that she was 12-weeks along. She expressed her appreciation for us being there cheerfully moved on…
I was joined by my Shift Buddies from Holy Child – Audrey & Jim – how faithful. We prayed a little, but mostly shared… I’ve truly been blessed on my shift – Thank “yinz”!!!
On a side-note I just wanted to briefly mention that with much talk / news lately about the courage of a women speaking up, let us also not forget women who will be Silent No More! Maybe you saw Saturday’s Shift Report where there was a picture of a beautiful note and flowers from a mother to her son… I cannot imagine…
The night ended with Faithful Tom, picking it up / packing it all away for hopeful tomorrow…
Attached is a photo of my Faithful Shift Buddies from Holy Child – Audrey & Jim