Day 41: Thanks be to God for another amazing campaign!!

We are so thankful for the wonderful 40 days you have shared with us on the sidewalk! We have prayed together, and shared many moments together that have been difficult, powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful…. all of these and more. A sincere THANK YOU to all who participated in any way. It is YOU who make our time on the sidewalk bearable, and YOU who make it a HOLY time as well. Thank you.

The First Reading from our Palm Sunday liturgy began with these words:

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.

-Isaiah 50:4a,b


I recently heard Bishop Zubik offer a reflection on this verse from Isaiah. He mentioned how his first grade teacher had taught him and his classmates how to put letters together to become words, and how they could use those words to say important things. He later compared that education to this passage, saying that the Lord, also, has taught us, His followers, how to speak the words God needs us to speak.

There are times in our culture and society– like now– when many things go awry and when many hearts go astray. Bishop Zubik reminded us that WE are to be those ones who have a “well-trained tongue.” And WE are the ones who can “know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

I connect this to the LIFE issue in this way. So many of those people who pass by our prayer vigil are pro-abortion. Many of our family members and friends are as well. The abortion workers and the clients going inside might think that abortion is helpful or caring (in some irrational way). And there are many things we cannot do to change their minds or hearts. But there are other things we CAN do to make a difference in their lives. We can use our “well-trained tongue” to speak words of love and life to them. We can speak truth and hope. And as we speak, perhaps they will be “roused” out of their hopelessness… or their confusion… or their pain.

And to support one another in this “training our tongues” and “speaking rousing words to the weary,” we held a prayer service to close our vigil last evening (Sunday). We followed up with a potluck, fellowship, and sharing about the vigil. It was quite well attended; one of our team members estimated about 60 people joined us! Thank you to all who came and shared that special time with us.

Photos from the Closing Events:

Fr. Thomas More leading us in prayer on the sidewalk
Shift Manager Tim
Many wonderful people gathered in prayer
Thank you, Fr. Thomas More, for your inspirational words!
Later at Catholic Charities.
Thank you to Jeannie for our amazing dessert table!!

Nikki setting up drinks
Sweet baby colors for our napkins
Joe greets Kevin
Dee bringing in her lovely sweet potato casserole!
Shift Buddy Pastor Bryan greeting some of our wonderful volunteers
Thank you to everyone who came!
Many pro-life heroes at these tables!
Melissa shared her amazing testimony of choosing life for her son!
Thank you, Melissa, and God bless you!!
It was really a full house! Thank God!!
Shift Manager and Sidewalk Advocate Sue gives information about
the next Sidewalk Advocate training on Sat., June 1.
Shift Manager and Knight of Columbus Charlie is forming a plan
to have Prayer Buddies for the Sidewalk Advocates!! WONDERFUL idea!!!

Contact Sue for more information at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net.
Our local 40 Days for Life director, Nikki, testifies to the power of prayer!
Dedicated souls!!
Shift Manager Donna encouraging us and asking for prayers for
a young couple whose unborn child may have a difficult diagnosis.
Nikki giving a gift to the team– a photo collage of all the Shift Managers and Shift Buddies!
Meredith explains about the Magee Project: Praying for an end to abortion at Magee Hospital. For more information, contact Meredith at meredith@rescuepittsburgh.org.
Nikki and Shift Manager Donna
Thank you, Joe– what would these events be without you as M.C.??
Pastor Bryan, sending us forth with words of encouragement and a blessing! Thank you!!

Several years ago, my family and I began cheering for the Pittsburgh Marathon runners. We loved doing it so much that we have done it every year since…. But our involvement has evolved such that my husband’s band has been an official marathon band for the past three or four years. It is an amazing experience, mostly because of how we see the power of the music elevate and motivate the runners when they might be otherwise in a potential slump.

My husband has directed the band members on which motivational songs will work well for those “slump” moments. Our best-received, by far, is…. the theme from “Rocky.” One moment, some of the runners are starting to lose their stamina….

But then, they hear my nephews begin with this awesome trumpet riff below….. and WOW!! It changes the world.

At least, it changes the world for those runners at that moment.

And so, I encourage all of you, those of you with “well-trained tongues….”

Speak words to the weary that will ROUSE them… and bring them life and freedom and joy!!! We have the good news; we might want to show it– and SHARE it!!

God bless you all during this sacred time of Holy Week. And hope to see you all soon!!

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