DAY 40: THANK YOU to Saint Joan of Arc Parish, South Park; View Crest Presbyterian Church; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County; Shift Buddies, Vince P., Julie C., Kristy O., and Volunteer Mary S.; Catholic Charities


DAY 40


Knock-out Punch FAST








Joe was a pilot during WWII.  He almost crashed on one of his missions.  Asking Mary to intervene to save his life, he promised her that he would work to get a statue of her placed on Mount Washington where everyone would see it.  He gave it his best shot, but the project did not work out.

Joe’s son is one of the men who regularly come to pray downtown with Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life.

Years later, Mondays year round, we cross from the north to south hills to babysit Joe and Mimi.  When the sky is still dark, Saint Mary of the Mount church shines brightly from Mount Washington heartening all of us whose hearts stand tall as Catholics.  Perhaps Joe’s project happened without his realizing it.

I photographed the church one afternoon as we approached the Fort Pitt Bridge.  My definitely amateur picture showed majestic sky sharing space with the sturdy church anchored in the far right lower corner.

Joe worked hard to accomplish his plan.  He remained optimistic. A loving husband and father he remained faithful to the daily duties of his vocation.

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

Many Americans become anxious when they learn that the government annually funds the abortion industry with millions of dollars. Many were worried as abortion morphed into Choice and became politically correct.  Worry can be a good thing.  It can ignite you to act.


A dead thing can go with the stream.

Only a living thing can go against it.

G.K. Chesterton


Irenaeus, the great second century theologian simply expressed the essence of Christianity.

The glory of God is a human being fully alive!

What Bishop Barron calls “right praise” brings us face to face, eyelash to eyelash with God.

 Be still and know that I am God!

 In awe, the person stands ready.

Here I am Lord.  I come to do your will!


 Leading her 17th campaign in the Steel City,

Nikki is as tough as…well…steel!

Shawn Carney, Day 39 Blog

So many people joined us on the sidewalk to witness and pray.  Some could come only once.  Others returned again and again.  Some came from nearby.  Some came from West Virginia or Ohio or traveled more than an hour each way.  Others supported us from home with prayer.

Crossing the Veterans Bridge in early morning, to our shift on the PP sidewalk, we would catch a glimpse of the Church light on Mount Washington.  Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIO #43 CHORUS came to mind.

In this performance, Professor Joshua Law directs City Oratorio and Orchestra.  Music students of City College of San Francisco form the chorus.  The orchestra is composed of students, faculty and guests.

The chorus and orchestra are primarily amateurs.  Bach is the composer.

Those of us standing ready to serve God are amateurs.  God is our composer.

All is right with the world.







JEN 7-9

As we expected, it was not easy to get around town or find a parking space this morning because of the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler race.  But with Liberty Avenue closed to vehicle traffic, it at least gave us a very quiet morning on the sidewalk to pray earnestly for an end to abortion.

Thanks to all who have worked so faithfully this campaign to pray, fast, and witness.  May God bless all of you, and all those we prayed for during this vigil!

Vince, Shift Buddy
Julie, knees to the ground!


SUE 9-11

I arrived a few minutes late due to not knowing about the road closures downtown for the EQT 10 Miler today (that’s what I get for not reading the blog yesterday!).  Many thanks to Jen for hanging out and waiting for me in her sweet and patient way!

My lone shift prayer companion, Julie, was such a light today, not only to me but to the sidewalk passersby and those running in the EQT 10 Miler along Liberty Avenue.

Walking toward the vigil after finally parking my car, and in an annoyed mood for having arrived late, I felt like that lone fish in those pictures of a school of fish all swimming one way and the lone fish swimming the other way.

I told her of my feeling and how alone I felt with them all running past us, seemingly concerned with nothing but a worldly race, when we were there for a much more noble cause.  She listened and sympathized.

And then, the Holy Spirit decided to work through her.  She actually started cheering the runners on!  “Go! Go! Go!  You can do it!  Keep going, you’re almost there!”

Talk about humility.  Julie happily, genuinely, and very enthusiastically bolstered THEM in their cause, and in turn elicited lots of smiles, waves, and thumbs up from them to us.  The Lord was working through her not only to create a positive, supportive environment for the runners, which in turn created positivity toward our cause, but also to turn my self-centered and yes, rather holier-than-thou thoughts to thoughts of compassion and inclusion.  Her genuine enthusiasm served effectively to put me to shame in my grumbly, all-these-people-care-about-is-running thoughts that I had not even been fully aware of.

We did pray, too, in between the cheering.  And a few of those runners did not appreciate our signage and saluted accordingly, even as we cheered them on to the finish line.

But all in all, the response was positive.  Because of Julie.  And because of her willingness (conscious or subconscious!) to let the Holy Spirit work through her.  THANK YOU, Julie, and may God bless you.


Spirited Prayer


Sue, Shift Manager
Julie, Prayer Companion


KATHY K.  1-3

Many people came to pray. Grateful to God!

Don and I talked with Cameron who stopped to look at models then stayed to talk. He took 40 days info and wants to come pray in spring. Holy Spirit prompted Don to tell him about informative emails and Cameron signed up.

Two lovely ladies from Saint Bernard Parish were praying the Rosary on the farside of the circle.  A woman stopped with dog and said loudly, “Doggie, poop on these bad people ( foul language).”

I went and stood with teenagers as they petted her dog and diverted her attention. She left. Then she reappeared by the bookstore, screaming foul language.

We prayed for her, guessing she had an abortion.

One of ladies said, “First time I was ever scared down here. I have been down here a lot.” She continued her prayers.

God is with us! And the dog didn’t poop!

Sunday Afternoon
They came to pray!


JOE 3-5

Meet the spirit filled, energetic members of Viewcrest Presbyterian in 84; Elise, Brice, Heather, Sue, Matt, Holly, and Philene and Mary.

View Crest Presbyterian Church
Faithful servants Jim and Cathy
















JOE 5-7

Ken, Jim, Dave, and Bob from CMF in Armstrong














And God saw that it was good.




DAY 33: THANK YOU to the People of God Covenant Community; Saints John and Paul Catholic Church, Franklin Park; Shift Buddies Bill D., Jim and Cathy S., Joe B., Marie P., Rose, Vince P; Carmelite nuns, Elysburg, PA; Catholic Charities




Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

For Love is strong as Death,

longing is fierce as Sheol.

Its arrows are arrows of fire,

flames of the divine.

 Deep waters cannot quench love,

nor rivers sweep it away.

Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love,

he would be utterly despised.


40 Days for Life people are accustomed to praying together.  Shawn Carney came to Pittsburgh and  prayed with Nikki and many of us this Monday in front of PP in downtown Pittsburgh.  In their generosity, Catholic Charities let us use their resources for our reception.

In 2004, with 3 other prolife witnesses, Shawn Carney launched what became the worldwide 40 DAYS FOR LIFE.  Today he is the President/CEO of 40 Days for Life.

Shawn had parents just like the rest of us.  When you are with him you notice that he looks, walks and talks just like us.  You also notice that he talks about God.

Behind and before

you beseige me,

your hand ever laid upon me.

Too wonderful for me, this knowledge,

too high, beyond my reach. 


Shawn is a walking talking example of what people are like when they let God in.

My topic today is sainthood.

What makes us holy?

Christianity from the earliest days was described

not as a religion,

not as a doctrinal program.

It was described as a way,

a path.

The walking of three basic paths;

finding the center,

knowing that you are a sinner, and

realizing that your life is not about you.

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Barron gave a keynote address at the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress, 2018, in Liverpool, reflecting on sainthood, sanctity and what makes us holy.


Check out this clip from BLUES BROTHERS 2000.  Hollywood imagines how a person who lets God in might react to His presence.    Those assembled in God’s name in this Revival tent certainly achieve the joy factor.

The choir is singing “John the Revelator.” This is a traditional blues song that more or less originated with Blind Willie Johnson in 1930 and is based on the Bible.  Check here for the lyrics.

The Book of Revelation describes seven seals.


Now and then he actually succeeds,

like dynamite,

in blasting a soul into the air,

and far and wide

the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake.

Father Hans Urs von Balthasar

MAGNIFICAT October 2018


JEN 7-9

For as quiet as the Sunday morning vigil hours have been to this point in the campaign, today was anything but.  Diane and Tom were providing for all the day’s needs at 7 AM when we were stopped by a man who was upset over the horror that took place in Squirrel Hill yesterday and a number of other things.

Before they had even finished setting up, a second man from Texas shared several stories with us, including his past involvement in the pro-life cause.  Many other people in pain and in need stopped to ask for prayers and money throughout the morning.

Faithful Bill passed by to say a prayer.

My “shift buddy,” Vince, and I managed to keep praying between all the distractions.  I’m very grateful to him for his continued presence and strong spiritual leadership.

The vigil rolled on in a powerful way at 9:00 as Shift Manager Sue and Shift Buddy Ken were joined by a wonderful group from the People of God Covenant Community.

Vince, Shift Buddy  
Jen, Shift Manager                       Early Sunday witnesses for Life


SUE 9-11

How wonderful it was this morning to be greeted by the spirit-filled members of the People of God Covenant Community!  They always bring such sincere and heartfelt prayer and song to the sidewalk, and today was no exception.  My faithful shift buddy, Ken, rounded out our group.

Our prayer included prayers for the Tree of Life synagogue victims and their families.

A quiet, friendly man who introduced himself as “J,” who had been walking along the sidewalk, joined us silently for much of the first hour.

I believe it was the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit that drew him in!  He said he can see both sides of the abortion argument but leans toward being pro-life.  He said he knows that the life-of-the-mother argument, due to modern medical advancements, has lost ground over the years.  I told him that I had just been talking about that subject yesterday at the vigil with Mary Pat, a nurse, who actually had brought it up.  She said that in her work she has never seen it necessary – contrarily, she said, in fact, she has personally seen babies taken very young from their mothers’ wombs for reasons concerning the health of the mother, and both the babies and the mothers survive and do well.  We encouraged J in his faith and beliefs regarding life, and Julie even invited him to the afternoon People of God prayer meeting.

I left the vigil for a few minutes in the care of Ken as I walked “D,” a homeless lady, down the street to get a coffee.  When I returned, I found out that the man who regularly walks by on Sundays pushing his clattering cart had been by.  He had told Ken that before the vigil, he had been on the fence regarding abortion but that the vigil’s presence and participants had won him over to the pro-life side.  Praise God!!

Rosanne and Rich arrived early, as always, for their shift.

Nikki, bearing flowers and a little stuffed baby doll, showed up shortly thereafter to kneel and pray.

Just after those three arrived, a young girl in a car that was stopped at the traffic light opened her sunroof and stood up.  She stated loudly that she had had an abortion and was just fine and that we had better stop standing in judgment and teaching our children that it’s wrong.  We could see she was hurting and angry.  We told her we would pray for her, and we did, then and there.  May she allow our Loving and Merciful God to heal her.

Shift Manager Sue 
Ken and People of God Community            Lighting up the sidewalk with song



What a great group of people witnessed and prayed with us today. Sundays are usually quiet and peaceful for the most part but today it would not be so.

Earlier the drive-by who yelled to us from the car would show up on the sidewalk to confront us. Without getting into all the details of the conversation, we quickly learned that no matter what we said about our pro-life views would change her mind. All she wanted to do was justify her own abortion and to have everyone else agree with her even though she professed to be open minded.

So we began to pray and refuse to engage any longer. She is in desperate need of our prayers.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.

Joe, Volunteer
Pat and Rich
Saints John and Paul, Catholic Church
Joy and Rachel
Saints Peter and Paul, Franklin Park
Panorama view
Faithful Witness for life
Sunday witness


Kathy K. 1-3

Many prayer warriors lined both sides of the circle when I arrived.

Joy and Rachel had a confrontation before I arrived. The aftermath provided good conversation . They followed by a Rosary on one side.
Jim and I prayed on other side.
Homeless woman, Gabby, shared her abortion story with Jim and me. She was forced to have abortion in the early 70s by her mom. She forgives her mom.
Busy sidewalk.

Welcomed more prayer warriors for next shift.

Judy, Rachel and Joy


Stay tuned for more Notes




Carmelite nuns

Elysburg, PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!  May Jesus be in your soul and make you very holy.

And may He reward you for all the beautiful work you do for the Pro Life movement, saving the lives of the innocent unborn babies.

Know that we are praying very much for you and this intention, confiding everything to our Blessed Mother’s love.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

Your Carmelite nuns



And God saw that it was good.









DAY 26: THANK YOU; CMU Newman Club, Pittsburgh Oratory; Assumption Church, Bellevue; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him,

upon those who count on his mercy,

to deliver their soul from death,

and to keep them alive through famine.

Psalm 33


I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God

who is sending a love letter to the world.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.

What we need is to love without getting tired.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta



They were orphaned, lost, and alone.

Yet a generation of World War II Polish child refugees

found a new life and happiness in distant New Zealand.

Three septuagenarians smiled and told me of the tragedy they had lived through as children.  All three were born in eastern Poland, and were arrested and deported, along with hundreds of thousands of other Poles, after the Soviet invasion in 1939. Soviet soldiers and police packed their families into boxcars and exiled them to Siberia or central Asia, where many died of illness or starvation. Only in 1942, after Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, were survivors released.  But some of their children were already orphans, having lost their parents to hunger or disease. An international appeal went out.

A number of countries offered shelter. Thanks to the efforts of Countess Maria Wodzicka, the wife of the Polish Consul in Wellington, and the New Zealand Prime Minister and his wife, New Zealand invited 800 Poles for the duration of the war. Because of the political situation in Poland after 1945, they were accepted for permanent settlement in New Zealand.

The refugee orphans made a harrowing journey from Poland through Russia and Iran, to reach New Zealand on October 31, 1944. Of this group, 734 were orphaned children. The remainder were their caregivers.

Mrs. Krystyna Skwarko was a schoolteacher in Poland. First her husband, and then she and their two children were arrested and deported to Siberia when the Russians overran Poland.   Later, Mrs. Skwarko helped to care for the children on the voyage in an American troopship. She was one of the people who nurtured the refugees and guided their education at the Polish Children’s Camp at Pahiatua.  After her death, Mrs. Skwarko was buried in Canberra, next to her husband.

Like all the other Polish refugee children, I was very excited. 

Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who had invited us to New Zealand,

came aboard the ship.

There were speeches and we were given sweets by kind ladies,

and then we were taken in the train to our camp at Pahīatua.

Hundreds of New Zealanders met them at the port.  More people lined the roads and waved as the train carried the orphans through the countryside to a refugee camp created for them in Pahiatua.

In Pahīatua we got into a routine where we knew

we were going to get three square meals a day

and anything we wanted.

Then we then started really recuperating.

 In my opinion the most interesting chapters are the final ones, where we learn that the social work in the Polish community was gradually taken over by the capable young hands of the former children of the Pahiatua Camp. Many of them achieved high educational qualifications and are now holding responsible positions. But whether they’re in professions, working as tradesmen, office workers or mothers dedicated to the task of bringing up the new generation, all of them are contributing to the development of New Zealand’s economy and culture.

Marian Szczepanowski
Chairman of the Polish Historical Society in Australia


Watch the children.  They tell you their story in this 18 minute film. “New Zealand National Film Unit presents Story of 700 Polish Children,” (1966).


 JEN M. 7-9

A very quiet and cold morning on the sidewalk gave my “shift buddy” Vince, and I the opportunity to pray and reflect on Scripture.  So grateful to him for being there and for his spiritual leadership!

We were blessed to see Bill when he stopped to pray, and left the vigil in good hands when Sue and Ken came to take over.  I’m sorry that I forgot to take any pictures.

I’d also like to thank all who encouraged me to try kneeling in prayer…we did so as we meditated on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary.  It’s amazing how powerful the experience becomes when body and mind are united.  Being down on the sidewalk added a sense of urgency, a stronger awareness of how desperately the horror that happens inside that building needs to stop.

May God have mercy on us all, and may He use us to end abortion NOW.


SUE Mc 9-11

For the second year in a row I’ve been honored to have one of my 40 Days shifts fall on my birthday.  What better way to spend a birthday than praying for LIFE?!  Yesterday morning on my shift I met a lovely sister, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who said her own birthday had been a few days before and that was one of the reasons she was there praying.  She inspired me to make this become my own new tradition.

With all the Pittsburgh sports teams on bye this week, it was a very quiet morning on the sidewalk.  Ken, my shift buddy, was with me and we prayed a lot.  With his deep faith and devotion, he has been such an inspiring shift buddy to me during this campaign.  He pointed out that the markings that the bar next door to PP has on their door for Halloween look like something satanic.  I agreed, but whether their intent is just seasonal or something deeper, we both agreed that they have no power over any of us.

The lovely “R” family showed up for a bit to pray.  “R” stands for Real and Refreshing, and indeed, they are!

The passersby this morning were mostly quiet, but as I was leaving, to be succeeded by Roseann & Rich, a woman walked by and said “I am a [insert certain Christian denomination], and you are all #*%! insane!”  We held our tongues, and we prayed for the woman after she passed, that her heart would be softened and that she would realize and accept her own church’s true teachings and the beauty of human life.

Lovely “R” Family
Real and Refreshing !!




Today was the day to get out those winter coats, hats and gloves and if you did not, you would soon regret it.

It was nice to have Pat (a faithful participant at 40 days), Victoria and Nora from CMU Newman Club to witness and pray with us.

We had a young man, Jim, who lives in the neighborhood stop by and offer some prayers to end abortion. He stops by occasionally but today was the first time we had the pleasure of meeting him.

A young woman, obviously disturbed we were there, kicked our flowers and little stuffed animal because she said they were not to be over the yellow line.

Another woman professed her Christianity and then had a few choice words for us and told us we were crazy.

There is always someone who does not like our message. Hopefully someday it will not be so.
Jesus and Mary, I love you.  Save souls.

Pat, faithful participant and
Victoria and Nora from CMU Newman Club


RICK 1-3

The 1-3 PM Shift on Sunday, Oct. 21st was prayerful and peaceful.  Special thanks to Dan, Luisa, Anna and Mary from Assumption Church in Bellevue for their prayers and witness for Life during the entire 2 hour shift.

 A man passing by requested and was given information to give to his niece, “A”, who was considering having an abortion.  Please pray for “A” that she chooses life for her unborn child.

Thanks and God Bless!


JOE W. 5-7

Big thanks to Marge, Cathy, Jim and especially Nadine for keeping me company during my shift.

We are blessed to have the opportunity to participate in this grace filled movement.

God is so good!!!










And God saw that it was good.


Day 19: THANK YOU to Saint Maria Goretti Parish, Bloomfield; Saint Killian Catholic Church, Cranberry; Transfiguration Church, Russelton; Carmelite Nuns of Erie PA; Scheduled Volunteers Deacon Joe D., Patty M., and Jim and Cathy S.

Blessed the man who follows not

the counsel of the wicked

Nor walks in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the company of the insolent,

But delights in the law of the Lord

and meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1


One of the saddest scenes I see on the sidewalk is a man accompanying “his woman” to her scheduled abortion.  Americans are free to choose abortion as the solution to their crisis pregnancy.

According to Bishop Robert Barron, our country defines “freedom” quite differently than the Bible does.  Here is a quote from the Supreme Court decision, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, 1992.

It belongs to the very nature of liberty

to determine the meaning of my own life and

my own existence and,


the meaning of the universe.


Here’s the Biblical understanding of freedom.

Freedom is about the disciplining of desire

to make the achievement of the good first possible;

and then, effortless.

Bishop Robert Barron


For freedom Christ set us free;

so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians

When love first beckons a couple, they experience beauty and joy.  Consider this scene from a Christmas classic movie, HOLIDAY INN.  Fred Astaire and Virginia Dale dance in delightful synchronicity with each other and with the music.  Watch and listen as Astaire leads with dazzling masculine confidence and charm.

I could dance nightly just holding you tightly,
my sweet.
I could keep right on because you’re so light on
your feet.
You’re easy to dance with.

There is no doubt in the way we stand out in
the crowd.
Though it’s called dancing, to me it’s romancing
out loud.
You’re easy to dance with.

Loving you the way I do
makes you easy to dance with.
That is why I’m always right on the beat.
All those charms in one man’s arms
makes you easy to dance with.
I can hardly keep my mind on my feet.

Let’s dance forever.

Come on, say we’ll never
be through.
It’s so easy to dance with you.

Irving Berlin

The joy and finesse Astaire and Dale celebrate are elusive.

Initially couples dance together so easily.

They do not understand the magnitude of their undertaking.

They do not realize that their feelings might bring them to a life or death decision.

They do not realize that choosing abortion will bring death to each of them as well as their child.


We are wired for God.

Bishop Robert Barron

Since the beginning, God has shared all the information any couple needs as they share their love welcoming His company.

For this command which I am giving you today

is not too wondrous or remote for you.

No, it is something very near to you,

in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.



Jesus answered and said to him,

“Whoever loves me will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Gospel of John



JEN 7-9

Warm hearts on a cold street this morning…Diane and Tom came to supply all our vigil needs; while Shift Buddy, Vince and Dan from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Bloomfield were there to pray for an end to abortion.

Vince has prepared beautiful booklets with Scriptural reflections on each of the 40 mysteries of the Rosary followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  He uses them each Sunday morning in May and June to hold vigils at PP in honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  We were happy to be able to pray through them today.

Most people passing by seemed indifferent to us today, with the exception of one friendly woman who requested a Precious Feet pin.  And faithful Bill stopped by on his way to Church–always a blessing to speak with him.

We left the vigil in good hands as Sue came to welcome parishioners from St. Kilian in Cranberry, including Lori and “F”.

God bless you all for sacrificing your time and comfort to pray for and reach out to those in danger and pain!

Vince, Jen, Dan
Saint Maria Goretti Parish
Jen, Shift Manager


SUE M. 9-11

The sidewalk was quiet and peaceful today, as it is on many a Sunday morning, and even more so with no big home games happening today.  The kind of quiet peacefulness that could easily lure one into a temptation to believe all is right with the world.  We know, however, that all is not right with our world as long as abortions are being committed in our hometown (really, of course, anywhere).  And so we continue to appear and fast and pray, and await that great day when there will be no more abortions in our city.

This morning was the first time during this vigil that I’ve felt ….chilly.   OK, I’ll be honest and go a little further ……. COLD.  We broke out the hats, gloves, scarves and winter coats, and also stood on the kneeling pads.  Yikes.  80 degrees to this, so quickly!

Yet our group was warm and friendly. The prayer within our group was warm, and so were our heartfelt discussions about faith and issues surrounding abortion.

I was joined for my entire shift by Gerry and Lori from St. Kilian, along with “F”, a first-timer at the vigil who told us he had only decided for sure this morning that he was coming down and was feeling the first-time apprehension about praying on the sidewalk that we’ve all felt.  (He did give me permission to tell that little story about him!)

I hope to have the honor and pleasure of praying with all three of them again soon!

Sue, Shift Manager
Lori, St. Killian Parish



We are blessed to have such faithful souls to pray with us at 40 days.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon with no negative feedback. A couple people thanked us for being there which is always encouraging.

One woman stopped to ask for some material on birth control for her daughter and we were happy to oblige. She thanked us and was grateful.

Shift Volunteer Deacon Joe,
Bill, Pat, Karen, Mary


Rose and Mary Jane


Karen and Mary
Knees to the Ground


JEFF 1-3

Parishioners from Transfiguration Parish in Russelton stood with me today from 1 to 3.

Praying with Jeff for Life   
Parishioners of Transfiguration Church


JEFF 5-7

Thanks to Joe W for switching 5-7 shifts with me so I could be with my family Saturday night (last night).  Committing to 40 Days as a shift manager has the benefit of a 40 Days family to back you up when you need it.  It makes me want to back them up when they need it.  That is how I ended up covering 1-3 and 5-7 today.

I got to see Judy from Transfiguration along with her crew as well as Cathy and Jim from Saint Gregory’s, all great folk I met through 40 Days for Life on the sidewalk.

Lots of positive comments from passers-by help to bolster my committment to the pro-life cause.  You don’t get that sitting at home watching the news, pettin’ pussycats.  You can see hope on that sidewalk alongside the hopeless, people lifting you up and others tearing you down…..making you stronger in the process.  You hear the arguments against life that you need to be ready to defend at a moment’s notice.  Your confidence rises as no one can present a pro-abort argument that can make you doubt yourself.

You witness what would happen if you weren’t on that sidewalk….people passing by without giving life a second thought….no seed of doubt planted in an angry pro-abort. Children wouldn’t be staring and commenting on the fetal models, seeing what preborn babies look like before someone tells them what to think about it (usually accompanied by an adult uncomfortable with the encounter). Pittsburgh’s 40 Days family never knowing you cared the way they cared.  God not knowing you cared…..the way He cares. For you.

Let God see you…on that sidewalk.  You got family waitin’ there.

Cathy and Jim
Saint Gregory Parish, Zelienople
Saint Alphonsus in Wexford




Praised be Jesus Christ!

Your request for prayers and fasting for 40 days for Life Pittsburgh came just as we were beginning the fast

of our Order (September 14  – Easter Sunday).  We are only too glad to add your intentions for Life to our prayers and sacrifices, especially now when it seems the devil is throwing all he has at his disposal to stop pro-lifers from getting a foothold in his domain.

Pope Saint John Paul II once said, “I plead with you – never ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”

Seventeen campaigns to close a clinic/mill on (of all places) Liberty Avenue can seem daunting, but your efforts will not go unrewarded.

May God bless and Mary keep you for all you do for His little ones and their mothers!

Sincerely, in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns,

Carmelite Nuns of Erie, PA

And God saw that it was good.







Day 12: THANK YOU: Saint Colman Catholic Church, Turtle Creek; Saint Mary of the Assumption, Herman; Passionist Nuns; The Ark and the Dove; Scheduled Prayer Witnesses Bill D., Bill E., Joe, Kristy, Margie, Rose, Susan, Vince; Passionist Nuns; The Ark and the Dove; Bishop David Zubik

Thank you, Bishop Zubik, for coming to pray with us.




A perfect wife – who can find her?

She is far beyond the price of pearls.

Her husband’s heart has confidence in her.

From her he will derive no little profit.

When she opens her mouth, she does so wisely.

On her tongue is kindly instruction.

She holds out her hand to the poor.

She opens her arms to the needy.

She finds her labor well worth while.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty.

The woman who is wise is the one to praise.

Book of Proverbs


How does a woman become wise?  Prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance are four parts of the map that show us our way.

In our daily struggle to be a good person, our hearts must battle with habits of sinfulness; pride, covetousness, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth.

In our struggle, it is God himself who is working in us by his mysterious action.  It is a gift beyond our power to understand.  God accomplishes it in us.  Our part is to consent to it.  The struggle hollows us out and thereby increases our capacity for God.

Gregory the Great as quoted in Love of Learning and the Desire for God

Prudence helps us in all circumstances to judge correctly about what we must do or must not do.  It teaches us when and how to act in matters relating to our eternal salvation.

Justice shows us how to give people what belongs to them.  It teaches us to give what is due to God and what is due to our neighbor.

Fortitude gives us the strength to do good and to avoid evil in spite of all obstacles.

Temperance helps us control our desires and to use rightly the things which please our senses.

As we work hard to be virtuous, our failures, as well as our successes, teach us.


A mother is swamped with bad feelings when she shows up at PP for her abortion.  She blames her pregnancy for how bad she feels.  She wants to “do this.”  She wants her old life back.

Are prolife witnesses clueless annoying tiresome people?  Are we out of touch with reality?

Is abortion the solution for this woman, with her set of circumstances, at this time in her life?

Absolutely not!

We do not witness on the sidewalk only to provide her with promises of baby diapers and a crib.

God calls us to share the wisdom the Bible, Old and New Testament, shares with us.  God calls us to share the wisdom the myriad of God’s witnesses have shared since the beginning.

In each generation Wisdom passes into holy souls,

she makes them friends of God and prophets;

for God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.

She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,

ordering all things for good.

Book of Wisdom


For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

And this is the verdict that the light came into the world.

But people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil.

But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,

so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Gospel according to John


God calls each of us.  When we turn to Him, he equips each of us according to our particular needs.

He knows what we need so much better than we do.

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.

Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,

for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

Gospel according to Luke






JEN 7-9

My “Shift Buddy” Vince and I enjoyed beautiful weather and a quiet street this morning.  It gave us the chance to pray through all 40 mysteries of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  We had several encouraging remarks from people walking by and only one disapproving look that I noticed.  As we were wrapping up, we were joined by Betty, Arlene, and Bill from St. Coleman in Turtle Creek as well as our own faithful Bill.  They were coming to pray with Sue and Ken for the next shift.  God bless all of you who have joined our prayers for an end to the pain and sorrow that abortion causes!

Vince, Betty, Arlene, Bill
Early Sunday Morning!


SUE M. 9-11

How fitting that our 40 Days Devotion of the day has as its theme the Humility of God, our vigil theme this fall!

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny fall morning, and I was blessed to be joined by prayer volunteers Arlene & Bill and Marc & Linda from St. Colman, along with Ken from St. Mary Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Betty (shift manager Lisa M’s mom), and “regular” Patty.

Bill H. stopped by to share a lovely wedding picture of his son and his new wife, who got married yesterday.

An older man carrying a rolled-up sleeping bag stopped to join us for a few decades of the Rosary.  Another man driving a noisy industrial cart along the sidewalk made the sign of the cross as he and his cart clattered by.  And another man passing by, who identified as a Marine, thanked us for being there.

Most of the rest of the passersby were earlybird Steelers-goers.

At one point, a city employee sweeping the sidewalk came by and swept up one of the flowers that had been left on the sidewalk by a 7-9 shift attendee, saying it was trash on the street – Arlene explained to him why they are part of the vigil and retrieved the flower.  The event was rather symbolic of why we are there.

For Life

Prayer Warriors
Ken, Marc, Patty, Arlene, Bill, Betty, Linda



Oh, if only the beautiful weather today could be so throughout our 40 days. Not only was the weather outstanding so were those who came to witness and pray with us.

Feeling grateful.

Susan B.
Witness for Life
Our Lady of Grace



It was a beautiful day (weather-wise) this afternoon during the 1-3 shift.  There were relatively few people around and relatively few comments or responses from passersby apart from the woman who passed us twice and said “Planned Parent saves women’s lives”.  I don’t think she had any interest whatsoever in discussing that.  And there some encouraging comments as well.

But, the thing that struck me was that people notice us being there.  When people pass by they see us there and wonder why we are there and figure it out.  It really raises awareness.

Sunny Day Prayer Warriors




We received your letter for 40 Days for Life and are praying to close the Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

Be assured of our prayers for all of you and this very important intention.

We will pray during our daily prayers as well as offer a bi-monthly Mass.


Sr. Bernadette

Sr. Mary Gianna

The Ark and the Dove

Gibsonia PA


We are happy to join in praying with 40 Days for Life to close the abortion mills in Pittsburgh.

We pray that the life of every child will be protected and loved as God’s precious gift.

While we pray for respect for life every day, we will remember 40 Days in a special way during exposition of the

Blessed Sacrament every day from 5pm to 6:30 pm.

Thank you, for all you are doing to witness and protect life.

Devoted in Christ,

Sister Mary Ann, CP

Passionist Nuns


And God saw that it was good.








Day 4: THANK YOU: Holy Wisdom Parish; Saint John XXIII Parish; Little Sisters of the Poor; Poor Clares of Langhorne; Religious of the Good Shepherd; Sisters of Charity of Nazareth at St. Louise Convent; Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill; Sisters of Saint Francis; We Are One Body Radio






It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.

Everywhere in things there is this element of the quiet and incalculable.



One summer evening, as dusk became night, I watched as our yellow forsythia “became” black forsythia.

Google tells me that our living room couch, fluffy and reliably cozy, is composed of constantly careening whirling infinitesimal items.


Everything around us is made up of atoms, one of the basic units of matter.

Atoms are a million times smaller than the thickest human hair.

One of the four basic forces in nature holds the nucleus together.

The electrons, thousands of times lighter, whirl around the nucleus at speeds approaching that of light.


I checked this out and discovered that the color inexactitude of my forsythia is reasonable.  My couch has enough exactitude to feel fluffy and cozy to me


According to a March, 2018 press release, the Government Accountability Office  reported on the taxpayer funding levels of three abortion providers: Planned Parenthood Federation of America , Marie Stopes International , and International Planned Parenthood Federation.

In short, more than $1.5 billion in tax dollars went to abortion providers over a three-year period between 2013 and 2015.






Who is this who darkens counsel with words of ignorance?

Gird up your loins now, like a man;

I will question you, and you tell me the answers!

Where were you when I founded the earth?

Into what were its pedestals sunk, and who laid its cornerstone,

while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?



Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in 2007 through the end of 2017, local campaign leaders have reported these blessings — God’s answers to their prayers:

5,605 total campaigns

769 cities

50 countries

750,000 individual participants

19,000 churches

14,643 lives saved from abortion

177 abortion workers quit their jobs

96 abortion facilities closed

We don’t know what surprises the Lord has in store in the future … but we’ve certainly seen His hand at work thus far in response to your prayers.

Shawn Carney










TIM 7-9

When I arrived at the vigil under a beautiful moonlit morning, I saw a woman from Holy Wisdom Parish already kneeling in prayer outside of pp.  What an inspiration to start my day.  A little later three women were across the street walking together toward the convention center. One of them broke away from the group, cut across the street and headed directly toward us.  She approached us and said “I really appreciate what you are doing.  Thank you for being here.”  What a great gift her words were to us.

Bill, Tim, Sue
Early Saturday
Saturday Morning Super Stars
Chris, Sue D, Bill S., Bill H., Tim


SUE D 9-11

I showed up with a rose cut from my yard and placed it on the yellow line. Later on a passerby walking by with an arrangement of “greens” picked it up and was so happy to have found a flower. I don’t think she realized the significance, but maybe she will understand if she continues to walk by in the next 40 days. There were people from Barbara’s parish praying when I got there and the number of people continued to increase as the shift went on. Students from Grove City came and were a wonderful witness standing with pro-life signs across from the doors of Planned Parenthood. Many prayers and literature were offered to the many people entering today. My buddy shift managers Sue and Barbara were there when I left with a very large group praying outside the circle. Thank you to everyone who came out today!

Alisa, Paige, Jonathan, Elissa
Grove City Students


SUE M 9-11

Faithful Pro Life Family
Saints Peter and Paul Parish


DEAN 11-1

Hello all. While it was comforting to see many familiar 40DFL faces, it is still sad, gathering together, once again at Planned Parenthood.

A band was playing a few doors up from where we were. This lightened the mood, and also discouraged would-be debaters.

I didn’t get any photos. Barbara was the shutterbug today. Kudos to her and the people from Holy Wisdom and Saint John XXIII for standing strong in prayer.

Rose, Al, Sally
Saint John XXIII
Latin Mass Community




Saint John XXIII Parish
Super Stars
Latin Mass Community


Latin Mass




Good music, serious silent prayer, and delightful company accompanied 2 hours on sidewalk.

First encounter: a couple who looked like models stopped, the man smiled and remembered coming to pray as a boy. Appreciated that we were making a stand.

Second encounter: mother showing six year old daughter the beauty of developing baby. Beside her stopped woman who talked about miscarriage then whipped out her phone to show 6 year and 8 year old son and daughter.

Greatly appreciated Barbara and Nina.

Kathy, Shift Manager and Nina, Saint John XXIII Parish





Mother Mary Vincent at the Little Sisters of the Poor received your letter about the 40 Days for Life.  Thank you for sharing this.  All of the Little Sisters here in Pittsburgh will join you in prayer to protect mothers and their children from abortion. While we physically cannot be by your side for the vigils we will be with you spiritually.  Thank you!



Thank you for your prayer request for 40 Days for Life beginning on September 26 through November 4th.

Your request will be posted on our bulletin board near our chapel and will serve as a constant reminder as we come together for daily Mass, prayer and adoration throughout the day.

We thank God for the many team members who will be holding Vigil for the closure of Planned Parenthood Abortion Mills.  We pray that many hearts will be touched and converted to recognize and celebrate the new life God brings to expectant mothers and fathers.  We especially pray that women will also receive the ongoing multi-faceted support they need (before and after the birth of the child.)

Thank you for your devotion and efforts to uphold LIFE!

May God bless you and all the Team members!

United in prayer,

Your Poor Clare Sisters – Langhorne



We will be praying for Pittsburgh 40 Days although we will be out of state at that time.



We will offer our community Rosary for the intentions of ending abortions and the closing of the Planned Parenthood Abortion Mill on Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. for the 40 days.

Blessings on your efforts!

Sister Anne Kull, SCN. Coordinator, St. Louise Convent



We will participate during morning hours from 7 am to 11am on specified weekdays during the 40 Days for Life Campaign.



Each Sister has been asked to pray and fast if possible.


And God saw that it was good.








Day 40…THANK YOU! Lifeline Volunteers, Butler; Word of God Parish, Madonna del Castello Church, Swissvale/ Braddock; Saint Agnes, West Mifflin; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County

Look at these guys!  A tiny toy bear and gorilla.  Are they what the first 40 Days for Life witnesses looked like to Planned Parenthood?

When our first coordinated 40 DAYS FOR LIFE campaign hit the pavement in front of Planned Parenthood in Texas, 2007, did Planned Parenthood yawn?  Look at these guys! No money…no numbers…no power…no looks!  No problem!

Our sisters and brothers at PP have eyes, but they cannot see.

No money. No numbers. No power. No looks.

Do we need the influence of powerful people?

Do we need their bags of money?

Surely not!  BORING!

We bring prayer, fasting and witness to the sidewalk.

God defines the goal.

God accomplishes the mission.

  We are God’s “pencils.”

Finding the words to show this from the inside, where our hearts can see, where all the action takes place, needs an expert.  Let’s enlist Gregory the Great, 540-604 AD.  Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., THE LOVE OF LEARNING AND THE DESIRE FOR GOD, is where I first heard Gregory talk about God.

Gregory the Great experiences and describes spiritual states with great subtlety.  His experience gives him a strong sense of human suffering, a strong sense of the effects of Original Sin and the value of weakness and temptation for spiritual progress.

At the root of this concept of the Christian life is a lively awareness of man’s misery.

Man’s wretchedness comes from his physical nature, from Original Sin, and from the egoism which harries each one of us.  Egoism is always on the watch and tends to vitiate all our actions, even the good ones.

It must be put to rout constantly.   This is necessary at the outset of our actions.  We must purify our intentions.  It is necessary during our actions, and again at the end, for it is always a menace to us.

The love of the world lulls us. But, as if by a thunderclap, the attention of the soul is recalled to God.


Compunction is an act of God in us, an act by which God awakens us, a shock, a blow, a “sting,” a sort of burn.

Compunction is a gift beyond our power to understand.

It is God Himself who is working in us by His mysterious action.

This action of God is accomplished in us by all kinds of trials, the thousands of sufferings of life,

sin itself, and, above all, temptation.

Permission to tempt man is given by God to the demon because of the benefit resulting from temptation.

Temptation encourages the purification of intentions, it humbles, and it is a cure for pride.

This is why God accepts the risk involved.  Temptation and even sin are less grave than pride.


With humility there grows the desire for Him who alone can fill our inner emptiness.

Compunction hollows us and thereby increases our capacity for God.

The force of love intensifies the spiritual quest.  A new weight carries the soul toward God, the weight of love.

The soul hardened by egoism becomes tender.  The cold soul is warmed and cleansed of its rust.

Brought back to its true center of gravity, converted, the soul is simplified and freed.

The Lord accomplishes this in us.

Our part is to consent to it.


One must above all, and first of all, make oneself sensitive to this invisible action of God.


The ultimate role of compunction is to bring to the soul a longing for Heaven.

The soul does not become indifferent or unfeeling.

At peace, it enjoys tranquility.

It consents to its condition, which it understands better.

It consents to God.

It accepts its tasks.

It grows in stature, and as it were, is dilated.

The soul becomes fruitful in the service of God.

Daniel 3:91-92, 95

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and rose in haste, asking his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Certainly, O king,” they answered.

“But,” he replied, “I see four men unbound and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him.”

Special thanks to the following religious communities for their commitments to pray for us during these 40 days:

Sisters of the Divine Redeemer; Sisters of St. Joseph, Baden; Monastery of Saint Clare, Langhorne; Carmelites of Erie; Felician Sisters of Coraopolis; Carmelites of Elysburg; Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy

And a special thanks to WAOB Radio!


Through the end of 2017, local 40 Days for Life campaign leaders have reported these blessings, God’s answers to their prayers: 5,251 total campaigns; 741 cities; 47 countries; 750,000 individual participants; 19,000 churches; 13,998 lives saved from abortion; 170 abortion workers quit their jobs; 90 abortion facilities closed.









Today was the coldest Sunday morning of the whole campaign, but that didn’t stop Rose, Vince, or Bill from joining me on the sidewalk to pray for the cause of life.  We were able to help a homeless woman who stopped, and Rose gave out many of the sweet little “story of your life” brochures.  One young man took a brochure and headed off down the street, stopped halfway down the block, and then came back to us.  He asked if we are a pro-life group and thanked us heartily for being there when he heard that we are.  As one of my sidewalk mates put it, that was a “warm hug from God.”

To every person who has been a part of this 40 Days for Life campaign, I share that thanks and that hug with you–God bless you all!

Bill, Rose, Vince, Faithful Sunday Morning PrayerWwarriors

Sue wrote from the 9-11 shift:

Well, if March is going to go out like a lamb, it had better change its ways soon!!  It was as cold a day as I’ve ever experienced on the sidewalk.  Yet that did not deter my prayer companions Kathy, Patty, and JoAnne.  JoAnne came all the way from East Palestine, OH to her first 40 Days vigil ever.  We prayed from the Psalms, the Rosary, and the petitions on the back of the signs.  Passersby were generally friendly or neutral, although we did have a single negative comment from a young man.  A large group from Butler, PA arrived toward the end of the shift, along with several others.  Sidewalk Advocate Jim joined us later in the shift.  As Kathy and I were leaving, we had a chance to minister to a young woman who said she was stranded in town (well, Kathy actually did all of ministering!).   Long story short, although the woman did have other needs, Kathy was able to buy her a warm meal at Arby’s.  The woman told us she had three children and also expressed that she is pro-life.


Patty, Kathy and Joanne brave the cold this morning!

Lamb or no lamb, the end of this March focuses intensely on The Lamb — The Lamb of God — who does take away the sins of the world.  We know he will bring about the end to abortion in His time.  I have been privileged to have taken part in this vigil, as I have in years of 40 Days for Life vigils here in Pittsburgh.  I would like to thank each and every participant who has stood with me this Lent; indeed, I thank everyone who has been on the sidewalk at any time this Lent.  And I thank Nikki and Diane & Tom and all of the organizers of this vital ministry.  May God bless you all with a joyous Easter and with blessings all year ’round! 

For Life, Sue M.


“Wonderful people” is how to describe all those who participate in 40 days. The wonderful R. family from St. Bernard’s, Debbie, Jeannie, Barb, Ed and Chris from Lifeline in Butler, Isaac and Anita from St. Paul’s in Butler were all great prayer warriors and compadres. Their presence and their prayers and sacrifice helped to warm us on this cold Sunday.

Wonderful R Family
Saint Bernard’s Parish
Debbie, Jean, Barb
Lifeline, Butler
Ed and Chris
Lifeline, Butler
Isaac and Anita
St. Paul’s, Butler



We prayed for 2 hours straight!

The sun was shining and I know that good triumphs over evil. One day Planned Parenthood will close down!

Sunny Sunday
Word of God, Madonna del Castello, Swissvale, Braddock
Parishioners come to pray



Bricklayers: Today, I was struck by the rather unique  brick design of the Planned Parenthood building. Some very talented masons built that brick facade long ago. If it wasn’t such a sad place of death and destruction, and if the windows and building weren’t filthy, you can almost imagine that once upon a time before Roe vs. Wade that it was a nice building,  maybe even pretty. The other thought that struck me was that ironically, Planned Parenthood is closed on Sunday and all major Christian Holidays (except, sadly, their most prolific killing day on Good Friday).

I guess in a way, the unique brick design and the Judeo-Christian days of operation give me hope that:

1) We are all bricklayers for Life, being used as masons for God as he creates his unique design in each and every one of us, even the passersby, victims and workers of PPH.  We are in a way building on His Foundation, one “brick” at a time, a shelter for the hopeless; and

2) Since PP is closed on Sunday, Christmas and Easter, that despite themselves, they are closer to God and His Commandments than they realize or will admit to.

So keep praying and laying those “bricks”, good people of 40 Days for Life. You are creating a shelter from the storm; hope for the hopeless.

Thank you dear prayer warriors from St Agnes, St. John XXIII, St. John’s of Delmont and Our Lady of Guadalupe for your witness today, for getting your hands full of “mortar” while toiling for God’s beautiful design. And for singing gorgeously while bricklaying!

Sunday Sidewalk Prayer Warriors


Witnesses begin to arrive for Closing Rally today.


God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.

Genesis 1:31








DAY 33: THANK YOU! People of God Covenant Community; Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton; Holy Child Catholic Church, Bridgeville; Saint Gregory Catholic Church, Zelienople

The Great St. Bernard Pass is a 49-mile route in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The pass is only snow free for a couple of months during the summer.  It has been a treacherous route for travelers throughout history.

An Augustine monk founded Great St. Bernard Hospice and monastery. The monks acquired their first St. Bernard dog.

Workers were assigned to accompany travelers between the hospice and Bourg-Saint-Pierre, a municipality on the Swiss side.

Travelers were accompanied by the dogs, whose broad chests helped to clear paths. The dogs had a tremendous sense of smell and were able to discover people buried in the snow.

The canines made rescue excursions on the St. Bernard Pass for 150 years. Often the dogs would find buried travelers, dig through the snow and lie on top of the injured to provide warmth. The system became so organized that when Napoleon and his 250,000 soldiers crossed through the pass between 1790 and 1810, not one soldier lost his life.

About 2,000 people, from lost children to Napoleon’s soldiers, were rescued because of the heroic dogs’ uncanny sense of direction and resistance to cold. The last documented recovery was in 1897 when a 12-year-old boy was found nearly frozen in a crevice and awakened by a dog.


Accidents of nature

threaten treachery on snow covered passes in the Alps.


The treachery that threatens the pregnant mother and her baby

is neither natural nor an accident.



Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood staff puts to death

more than 40 children every week,

year round,

in downtown Pittsburgh.

The torn bodies of the killed babies are collected and

discarded as medical waste.





Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life, Spring 2018, is underway. Volunteers are praying, fasting and witnessing downtown.

Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in Texas in 2007, through the end of 2017, local campaign leaders have reported these blessings, God’s answers to their prayers:

5,251 total campaigns

741 cities

47 countries

750,000 individual participants

19,000 churches

13,998 lives saved from abortion

170 abortion workers quit their jobs

90 abortion facilities closed.




Come  downtown!

Witness with us in Pittsburgh.





Cold as it was this morning, I was happy to head for the sidewalk knowing that People of God Covenant Community would be there.  The powerful prayers, inspiring hymns, and warm fellowship they bring make this day a highlight of each campaign.  Thank you to Pat, Tom, Patty, and Todd for bringing light to that dark corridor.

Continued thanks to Diane and Tom for providing everything the vigil could need; and to Vince, Bill, and Patty who regularly answer God’s call to witness for life on Sunday mornings.  You make such a difference by being there.  God bless you all!

Pat, Bill, Vince
Early Sunday Witnesses
Pat, Tom, Patty, Vince
People of God
Covenant Community



Wow — WHAT A CONTRAST today was with yesterday and its happenings and mood on the sidewalk!  It was so nice to be joined by so many prayer warriors, and we prayed in intercessions and also via the Rosary.  When I arrived, Patty was just getting out of her car simultaneously with me.  Todd, Patti, and Tom of People of God Covenant Community were in prayer along with Vince and Shift Manager Jen.  The Special Guest Star of the morning actually was a star — the sun!!!  It felt SO good.  Paul, Pattie, Joe, Mary, Jim, and Sandy arrived shortly afterwards, also from People of God.  Later, Daniel and Pam arrived, also from People of God.  Then toward the end of the shift came Rich and John from Holy Martyrs Parish, Joan from Holy Family, and Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration, followed by two more couples from Transfiguration just as Rich and Roseanne arrived to take over for me.  It was a way bigger crowd than usual for a Sunday morning!

The sidewalk itself in general was very quiet.  We had several passersby but no negative comments.  At one point a man who’d just gotten off a bus came by seeking help; we prayed for him and with him.  A loudly laughing group of older teenage boys came by on their way to the nearby organization that helps to clean up the city.  When I see those volunteering groups of young people, I can’t help but ponder, and pray, that despite their apparent clannish-ness within their peer group, they are taking significant notice of us and our message.  This group today seemed to notice our signs and made some positive comments.

May the sun continue to come out and the Son continue to come in!!

For Life

Todd, Tom, Patti
People of God Community
Sue M, shift manager and Patty, in the middle
Jim, Sandy, Pam, Daniel, Patty, Paul, Pattie, Mary, Joe



Nearing the end of this 40 days campaign, I pray that we have changed some hearts and minds and abortion would be nothing more than a bad memory. Sunday’s are usually calm and quiet and this Sunday was no different. We were pleased to see some friends and acquaintances from previous 40 days.

Joan, Holy Family
John and Rich,
Holy Martyrs
Bob, Pat, Ken, Mary Ellen, Amy, Cole
Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton



I arrived at 1pm to find a parking spot waiting for me right in front of PP.  The sidewalk was in shadow and cold, but by 1:30 pm the sun was warming us and I thought of all the cold mornings and rain that greeted us at the beginning of this vigil. My friend Tim surprised me by stopping down and standing with me for two hours, as did Stacey from Saint John XXIII.

A second shift of folk from Transfiguration showed up as well, Joan, Judy, and Arlene.  Near the end of my shift three cars pulled up and let off a dozen people from St Barbara’s and Holy Child from Bridgeville, including Jim M., a fellow shift manager.  I asked if any of them wanted my primo parking spot and Jim asked if I could stick around till their pastor got there so he could take it. Lo and behold, who pulls up but Fr Joe Freedy.  As I pulled a u-ie onto Liberty to give him my space, I shouted out to him to remember me in his prayers, as we  ask all of you to pray for us down here on the sidewalk.

Stacey, Saint John XXIII, Latin Mass Community
Tim, Saint Joseph, Verona
Joan, Judy, Arlene,



Decades ago (yes, DECADES ago) I was a “victim” of public Witness. I was reminded of this today when a woman walked right past a priest and a large group of Christ’s witnesses and proudly and loudly proclaimed how “great” Planned Parenthood was. Always quick to judge (a terrible vice of mine) I thought, “the audacity!” to be so brazen about such a heartless thing as abortion, right in front of a priest!

Immediately, God humbled me and my face burned red with shame when I suddenly remembered walking off-campus one Sunday afternoon (likely hungover) past a Baptist church and right through the midst of a large group of well dressed women exiting Sunday worship. I was wearing a t-shirt that said “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” that I got from a fraternity party the night before. Talk about audacious! Those WONDERFUL women admonished me up one side and down the other, as I thoroughly deserved. Let’s just say that was the beginning of a long road of reversion back to the Catholic Church from which I’d become lost.

This memory made me realize how VERY IMPORTANT Public Witness in Jesus’ Name is. How important it is to admonish each other when we stray. How important it is to pray for the “lost sheep.” I am sure those Baptist women took me to fervent prayer, and while I’m certainly no Saint, I’ve come a very long way to become a pro-life Catholic in full alignment with the Church.

I was strongly reminded today of those heroic Baptist Christians through the humbling and strong Public Witness provided by Father Joe and his amazing combined flock from St. Barbara and Holy Child Parishes in Bridgeville.

Pro-life friends, let us never forget how important public witness is. I am living proof that conversion through the intercessory prayer of others is possible, because as we all know, “Nothing is Impossible with God!”

Holy Child Catholic Church
prayer witnesses fill the street.



I was surrounded by such beautiful witnesses today.
Lindsay hung out for the beginning of my shift and offered up her
aching feet to let me settle in. (Thank you Lindsay)

Then Cathy and Jim came and prayed. They were followed by the amazing R. family.
Beth stopped by at the end of my shift and offered up such kind
insights and support. I was truly treated to soul nourishing authentic
Christian witnesses today. It was much needed.

You can’t out give God, so cliché, but so true!!!

All glory and praise be to Jesus.

Cathy and Jim
My 40 Days Muses
and Bill
The R. Family



And God saw that it was good.


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.




DAY 19: THANK YOU! Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon; Saint Killian Parish, Cranberry; Calvary Full Gospel, Bridgeville; Individual Volunteers; Nuns, Carmelite Monastery, Erie; Poor Clare Nuns, Monastery of St. Clare, Langhorne; Sisters of the Divine Redeemer; Sisters of St. Joseph, Baden; WAOB Radio

Sally and Al are BETTER!

Jill put the goldfish in a bowl in the pantry next to the kitchen.  Dad was due home, baking potatoes smelled yummy, and Mom was getting ready in the kitchen. The goldfish felt the bowl water move when Mom closed the fridge.  Jill waited cozy with expectation and flopped onto the couch.  Her dolls collapsed in a heap.

Life offers people MORE.

Dolls don’t know anything.

Goldfish feel water move.  

People see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

We understand the words “kitchen” and “dinner.”

We feel expectation.

Life offers us MORE.




Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was a scientist, mathematician and philosopher.  He posits two realities; the reality we reach with our senses, and reality itself.

What I can see, hear, smell, taste and touch of something may be entirely different than the fully real thing.

Physicists tell us that

even though a chair appears to be impenetrable and solid,

in fact it is made up of molecules and atoms

which are made up almost entirely of empty space.




THOMAS AQUINAS 1225 – 1274

If work and difficulty, family life and virtue are dull, drab things

they will automatically become things to be escaped from,

not sources of inspiration;

to them man will stoop only under considerable duress.


Perseverance is a dogged, unswerving, unbeatable courage

whose beauty and grace are often hidden

in the weary stumbling of its walk and the gray fatigue of its face.


It is only the infused supernatural virtues of

fortitude, magnanimity, magnificence, patience and perseverance

which make heroes out of every man;

that demand that every man be courageous in the work of living.


The volumes of his (Aquinas’) work

plumb the depths and scale the heights of the unutterable truths,

the mysterious beginnings and glorious goals

that interpenetrate human life with something of divinity,

the truths that are the ultimate explanation of its incredible significance.


Faith then is a giant cannon

which hurls man out beyond the boundaries of the universe

into the world of the infinite.

It is not to be conceived of as something mild, sweetly enfeebling.

Rather it must be thought of in terms of strength,

of an explosion which has broken down the walls of the world,

of a storming of nature by the hosts of heaven

that man might be released

from the limitations of his humanity.

Walter Farrell O.P.  A Companion to the Summa: The Fullness of Life




JOB: Will you never take your eyes off me

long enough for me to swallow my spittle?

Suppose I have sinned,

what have I done to you, you tireless watcher of mankind?

Why do you choose me as your target?

Why should I be a burden to you?

Could you not tolerate my sin, nor overlook my fault?

GOD: Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words?

Do you really want to reverse my judgment and put me in the wrong to put yourself in the right?

Has your arm the strength of God?

JOB: I am the man who obscured your designs

with my empty-headed words.

I have been holding forth on matters

beyond me and my knowledge.

I’m sorry.




Jesus answered and said to him,

“Whoever loves me will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we will come to him

and make our dwelling with him.

John 14:23



Sister Rosemary

Sisters of the Divine Redeemer

We say the Rosary daily.  After that, we say a prayer for life,


Sister Norma, CSJ

Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden

The community will pray and fast on the remaining Thursdays of Lent for 40 days for Life intentions.


Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Nuns, Carmelite Monastery, Erie

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Just a note to let you know we have been supporting you and will continue supporting with our prayers and sacrifices during these 40 Days for Life.

How beautiful to think that this round of prayer vigils began on Saint Valentine’s Day (the day we celebrate the love that begets life) and ends on March 25th, feast of the Annunciation, when Our Lady said yes to Life Itself (and He, the smallest He could ever be, an embryo in her womb)!

This year the 25th lands on Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holiest week of the year. . .

“I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly” — for this He was born, to bear witness for the Truth through His suffering and death.

Your witness of dauntless loving prayer and fasting in all kinds of weather greatly edifies us, and we are honored to be asked to lend our support of the same. After Calvary’s night came the Resurrection’s light.

May your efforts bear much fruit in bringing mothers (and the abortionists) to the light of truth of the life within their wombs and bringing that life to the light of day in their birth here (and hereafter)!

God bless. Mary keep you all, dear warriors of prayer!!

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns


Poor Clare Nuns

Monastery of Saint Clare, Langhorne

Thank you for your letter requesting our prayers for the “40 Days for Life” campaign that is being conducted at this time.

God bless you for your coordinating Prayer Vigils at various Planned Parenthood facilities.

Yes, we join you in offering our daily prayers and good works that many will be touched and converted—-and thus the dignity of every human life respected and upheld.  We pray that those who have no one to turn to, or need extra support will find generous hearts to journey with!!

Through the intercession of St. Clare, we pray that God’s special graces and blessings will over flow upon all hearts!!

Lovingly and Prayerfully,

Your Poor Clare Sisters



It was unusually busy on the sidewalk this cold but beautiful morning.

By the time I found a parking space, Rose was already there helping Diane to unload and set up.  Vince, Bill and Dan joined us for prayer and fellowship.  We prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Group after group of runners passed by, most of them offering friendly greetings.

One man stopped to read Rose’s sign, then started to walk away while saying that he agrees with us.  He paused and turned around to tell us that three weeks ago, his girlfriend had aborted their unborn child.  Then he declared that he would be right back with hot drinks for all of us.  He returned soon after with steaming cups of cocoa and breakfast pastries.  We thanked him heartily and gave him a Rachel’s Vineyard brochure in the prayerful hope that he will find healing.

Shortly before 9 AM, a large group from St. Bernard in Mt. Lebanon began to arrive.  Five beautiful children from one of the families led us in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Sweet Sue arrived to manage the next “shift”, but she was not feeling well at all.  Phil from St. Bernard kindly agreed to serve as manager since he was already planning to stay until Rich and Roseann took over at 11 AM.  May God bless all of our beautiful 40 Days for Life family and accept our small sidewalk sacrifices for His greater glory!

Dan, Rose, Vince
A Rose between two oak trees!


Sue, next Shift Manager
Saint Bernard Parishioners



I’ve been sick now since Thursday with some nasty sinus thing. I thought for sure I’d be OK by the weekend, but unfortunately when yesterday morning arrived I was still feeling yuck. I texted my dear tag-team shift manager partner, Sue D., who cheerfully agreed to shift manage the 9-11 on her own — no small feat for someone who’s also serving simultaneously as a Sidewalk Advocate on a busy Saturday morning! THANK YOU, SUE!!

I considered “calling off” last night for this morning, but did not — how long can this pesky coughing continue, right? I texted Sunday-morning regular Vince, but it turned out he did not see my text until late. So I arrived at the vigil planning to soldier through it. Vince had since seen my text, and although he couldn’t stay, by the time I arrived he had it all set up — a kind gentleman named Phil from St. Bernard’s offered to shift manage until Rich & Roseann got there!! THANK YOU Vince and Phil!!!

My point in sharing all this, in addition to thanking Sue, Vince, and Phil, is to illustrate just WHAT A FAMILY 40 Days is!!! It seems there is just about nothing we would not do for one another. May God bless all of you and may He hear and answer our prayers from the sidewalk!!



Besides witnessing to end abortion, the best thing about 40 days is meeting so many wonderful people. Thanks to Susan from Assembly of God, Mary from St. Sylvester’s and Ben from St. Bernard’s who braved the cold today to defend life.

Ben and Rich
Susan and Mary



We had the sun and the Son shining down on us today! It was uneventful but prayerful!

One interesting comment the young children are always attracted to the fetal models and ask their family why they and the pray-ers are there. The other interesting thing was that we had a “tunnel of love” going on since there were so many of us on the sidewalk. There were people who chose to go out into the street rather than go through us.

Saint Bernard Parishioners
Sunny prolife witnesses
Prayerful Sunday witness!



 It was a beautiful and powerful 2 hours spent with Calvary Full Gospel Church from Bridgeville. Never have I heard more heartfelt, poignant, profound prayers from the heart to our Lord Jesus Christ, to use us as his tools to help Him end the atrocity of abortion, and to pour down His Healing Love upon all who have been harmed, who have died, who have supported, who have profited, who have participated or who have been indifferent to this scourge of society.

We all also prayed collectively  for Jesus’ Church, for forgiveness of our offenses against the Gospel and that She His Bride may be made whole,  that the truth be spoken, that Christians vote and act through their faith.

While it was quite chilly today, all I felt was the warm power of the Holy Spirit flowing from God above through Jesus and the good Christian people of Calvary Full Gospel Church.

Truly, our Father was singing through His Tears today. Amen!

Calvary Full Gospel Church
Heartfelt, Poignant Prayers!



Jim, Julie, Cathy and John, longtime just defenders of life, it was uplifting serving the Lord with you.

Happy Bday, Lisa, always a treat to see you and your daughters.

All glory and praise be to God!!!

Lisa and her daughters


Jim, Cathy and John
Longtime Defenders



And God saw that it was good.