DAY 19: THANK YOU, Saint John XXIII Parish; Shift Buddies Vince, Marie, Jim, Cathy; All who witnessed at the Vigil today.

THE INFANT JESUS.  Francisco de Zurbaran

Let us pray for our children as we contemplate the chubby cheeked face of this Child, with his strong yet tender gaze and the endearing pout through which Zurbaran displays all the love God feels for his brothers and sisters in the human race. Pierre-Marie Dumont. MAGNIFICAT November 2017


Strange Evil targets this child and every person, all the while insisting that evil is the proper thing to do.


His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”  Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.  Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 26:48-50


Bach brings us to the Garden in Gethsemane.

Be patient during the quiet beginning. Soon the choir shouts out “the false betrayer, the murderous blood!”


So is my Jesus captured now.

Moon and light

are quenched for sorrow,

because my Jesus is captured.

They lead him away, he is bound.


Loose him, do not hold, do not bind him!

Have lightnings, has thunder vanished in the clouds?

Open your fiery pit, O hell, wreck, ruin, engulf,

shatter with sudden force

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!


Parents go into PP and leave. They leave the body of their dead child behind. 

Moon and light are quenched for sorrow

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!

Politically correct abortion is the false betrayer, the murderous blood. Evil says that abortion is the proper choice to make in a crisis pregnancy.


I know your works;

I know that you are neither cold nor hot.

I wish you were either cold or hot.

So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,

I will spit you out of my mouth.

A reading from the Book of Revelation 3:15-16


Happily for us sinners, there it good news!


So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off,

his father caught sight of him,

and was filled with compassion.

He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15:20.


Join the Vigil on the sidewalk in front of PP any day 7a to 7p.  We complete our Vigil on Palm Sunday at 7pm.  You have time.


JEN 7-9

It was a beautiful morning to pray with my faithful Shift Buddy, Vince, and friends from St. John XXIII parish, Rose and a lovely family of four.  We were able to offer all the mysteries of the Rosary and a Divine Mercy chaplet, as well.  
Sticking around for a few extra minutes at the end of the shift, I enjoyed catching up with Sue and then was thrilled to see the next couple who came from St. John XXIII:  IT WAS AL AND SALLY!!!  They look absolutely wonderful and are determined to get back to their regular sidewalk schedule.  
God is so good!  

Shift Buddy Vince, joined by Rose and a wonderful family from Saint John XXIII


SUE 9-11

GREAT JOY on the sidewalk this morning!!!!  Read on …. as I arrived, the 7-9 shift was wrapping up.  Jen stayed for a bit and we prayed the devotion for the day and got into a good conversation about it afterwards.  As we were deep in discussion, Jen looked up ……. and who to her wondering eyes did appear coming down the sidewalk — none other than AL AND SALLY!!!!!!!!!!  We were so surprised and elated!!!!!!!  They look fantastic, as you can see in the photo, and the sun arrived between the buildings to light up their faces as if choreographed by the Lord.  (Ha — as if! — He timed the whole thing for sure!)  They were accompanied by their daughter Alicia.  Soon Melinda and Patty arrived as well.  Sally took up her post by the electrical box, with Melinda, and Al. Alicia and I stayed on the other side.  We prayed Rosaries on each side of the circle.  The joy of being with Al and Sally on the sidewalk again was every bit as wonderful as finding out about a saved baby!!!!!
I remember no negative comments this morning.  There was quite the clatter for a while as bookshelves were being delivered to the bookstore, but we were not at all fazed by it.  And, thanks be to God, not the slightest hint of any violence was anywhere to be seen.  A young homeless woman stopped by to ask for assistance.  Being as it’s Sunday, we directed her to St. Mary of Mercy Church.  We told her we’d pray for her and we did.
God is so good!  May God bless Al and Sally and may He hear their and our prayers for Life!

Sally, Alicia and Al, St. John XXIII, back with us today

Sally and Melinda, faithful prolife witnesses

AL AND SALLY! with daughter, Alicia and accompanied by shift manager, Sue.


Roseann and Rich 11-1

We arrived at our shift and immediately were told that we just missed seeing Al and Sally. What a disappointment to miss that opportunity. God Bless them. They surely are an inspiration to us all. 
We had a good turnout from St. John XXIII parish, truly a pro-life community. What a privilege to pray with so many wonderful people and meet new friends in the pro-life movement.

We thank God that we had no negativity on the street during our shift. As our shift was ending at 1 o’clock, many more parishioners from St. John XXIII were arriving.

Beth, Regular Prolife Witness, St. John XXIII Parishioner

Saint John XXIII Parishioners Pat, Anna, Caroline, Chuck, Casmir, Bridget and Shift Manager Roseann

Janet and Kevin, Bridget and Beth in the background. Parishioner witnesses!



When I arrived for the 1 to 3 shift, I was pleasantly surprised with the large group from St. John XXIII Parish!  It was quite noisy at first from passersby, but Kevin led us in the rosary with his strong voice that overruled it and created a peaceful prayerful atmosphere.  Then the R. family arrived with their three children and prayed on the opposite side of the circle.  A few more individuals and two couples from St. John XXIII came a little later on.  There was only one group of people, who shouted negativity, but the amount of prayer that was happening today cast away any evil that was directed towards these prayer warriors! 

Parishioners, Saint John XXIII witnessed in great numbers today!

Lovely Saint John XXIII family brings joy to share.

More pro life beauty from Saint John XXIII.

Saint John XXIII parishioners Janet and Kevin


ANDY 3-5

Wonderful turnout from Saint John XXIII Parish. Many rosaries and chaplets.

Sunny and a surprise visit from Nikki and Joe to boot.

Shift manager Andy with Saint John XXIII parishioners.

Saint John XXIII parishioners continue to arrive to witness.

Prolife blessings from Saint John XXIII! Bill came to pray.

Changing of the guard. Shift managers Joe 5-7, and Andy 3-5, with Charlie and other members of Saint John XXIII.


JOE 5-7

Parishioners from St. John the 23rd quasi parish, St. Gregory’s and the royal family( Nikki and Joe) filled the sidewalk with prayer, devotion and fellowship.

Lord, please close this center of death, and have mercy on us.

Peace of the Lord be with all of you.

Cathy, Jim, Joe and parishioners from Saint John XXIII Parish cover the PP sidewalk in prayer.

Praying during the 3 to 5 shift, Saint John the 23rd Parish

Our beloved Joe in the front with other St. John XXIII parishioners.

And God saw that it was good.  

DAY 12 THANK YOU: People of God Covenant Community; Vince, Kristy, Marie and Kathy, Prayer and Witness Volunteers.

Mary Magdalene, Giovanni Bellini.

 “People are wired for God,” Bishop Barron reminds us.  Evil says give yourself to me. “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.  All this will be yours, if you worship me.”

We bring our penitent sinful selves downtown to share the truth we learned the hard way.  Bishop Barron is right. Sin promises good things. Its pockets are empty. Its intentions are evil. Sin always hurts us. It hurts the ones we love. Turning away from sin can take time, is agony and is worth it. We repent. Our heavenly Father quickly gently gathers us into his arms.

Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he (Jesus) was at table in the house of the Pharisee. She stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Witness the beauty of a repentant heart. Eula Beal sings “Lord Have Mercy on Me” from the St. Matthew Passion.  Johann Sebastian Bach wrote this Passion to present the Passion Story in music at Good Friday vesper services.  Its earliest verified performance was April 11, 1727, Good Friday, at Thomaskirche in Leipzig.  Beal sings “Erbarme Dich” as “Lord Have Mercy on Me.”

Here are the lyrics.                

Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.         
Regard my bitter weeping.               
Have mercy, Lord.              
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Have mercy.
Have mercy, Lord.
Regard my bitter
regard my bitter weeping.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Regard my weeping
regard my bitter weeping.
Look on me.
Look on me.
On and on
I weep for thee
weep for thee bitterly.
Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Regard my bitter weeping.
Have mercy, Lord.
Have mercy, Lord, on me.
Have mercy.
Have mercy, Lord.
Regard my bitter
regard my bitter weeping.
Have mercy, Lord on me.
Regard my weeping.
Regard my weeping.


Prolife pockets are full of good things for women who are considering abortion. Our pockets are full of good things to share with women who have been hurt by abortion. Clouds of witnesses are organized and ready to make this true. Here are two that are available locally.


Project Rachel literally lit the path for me. From the moment I arrived at the retreat house, the warmth of God’s love engulfed me. Furthermore, I was able to connect with other women who knew the despair that I knew, and we were able to experience the joy of receiving the gifts of hope and healing together. I actually feel lighter. The power of forgiveness is life altering. I am happy again, and the people whom I love sense that. I will always regret my decision, and I will continue to carry my quiet secret with me. It has become a part of who I am, but it no longer defines who I am.

CONTACT: : 888-456-4673


In October of 2012 I made my Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat and was loved by a small group of women, where it felt safe for the second time in my life to share my pains and burdens and to be loved through it all.  I had three more beautiful children after Lainie, even though that doctor said my uterus was too rotten to ever carry another child.
Lainie was conceived in November around Thanksgiving, and I never forget!  She would be 34 years old in August.  Every February I mourn the death of my baby girl and her precious life that I chose to end.  And on August 26, which was Lainie’s due date, I was set free from the chains of alcohol abuse.  Only now I can rejoice in God’s truth instead of believing the lies.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  And that is why I am silent no more.



JEN 7-9

Cold temps were no match for warm hearts on this St. Patrick’s Day morning!  Tom started us off right with his faithful delivery and setup of vigil supplies.  Shift Buddy, Vince, and new friend, Jim, were wonderful prayer companions.  Bill stopped to pray and many passersby greeted us pleasantly.  And we passed the torch at 9 AM to Ken, who was kindly subbing as shift manager, and a great group from the People of God Covenant Community.

Vince and Jim going the extra mile early Sunday morning!

People of God Covenant Community, with shift manager Jen

Shift Buddy Vince and Jim


KEN 9-11

The words from St. Peter in today’s gospel are fitting for this shift when he said to Jesus…”it is good that we are here”. I thank God for the witness of all who stood with me today.  After Jen and Vince left the People of God Covenant Community prayed, sang hymns of praise and witnessed to life. Julie and Pam were with me for the second hour until Rich and Roseanne came for the 11 to 1:00 shift. It is good that we are here. I pray that all who passed by and heard our voices in witness to life will have a conversion of heart. 



Week two, but who’s counting. It always nice to see familiar faces and those we have gotten to know through 40 days in addition to meeting new people with whom we have so much in common. We prayed rosaries and the Divine Mercy together. Other than being a little chilly it was a quiet day with no negativity.

Pat and Roseann, Shift Manager

Pat, Joe and Rich, Shift Manager, witness for Life!



Volunteer Joe with Shift Manager Lindsay

Today was a quiet day on the streets, and everyone we said hello to actually said hello back. I don’t recall getting one insult. First I got to pray with Joe. Joe has such a good sense of humor and a kind of way about him. Then there is Katie, who LITERALLY brought the sunshine with her. What a gem of a person! Then there were some ‘pop by pray-ers’ including Michele and Paul, from Saint Alphonsus. Then Kristy arrived, an angelic young lady and married mother of 4 who recognized me from a church we both once attended. There, the same  priest, Fr John O’Shea (rest in peace), converted us both,  and also led us both to 40 Days for Life. Then arrived Bill. I’ve been so worried about Bill since he told me recently that he is living in his car. Please everyone pray for Bill, he’s an awesome man and such a bright light in our 40 Days for Life Family. As if I hadn’t been blessed enough, Father Thomas arrived, a Benedictine monk. With Father came a deeply humble and gentle spirit. Amazingly Father knew  some of my mother’s dearest priest friends who have all passed on. And some who are still living. He also knew my mother herself, who passed away two years ago!  Father Thomas asked us to pray for a young girl he saw being strong-armed out of PPH this week,  apparently having just had an unwanted abortion. She was bawling hysterically and her mother or ‘guardian’  showed no compassion toward her. He says he can’t get this horrific image out of his mind and feels deeply compelled to pray for this poor young girl. 
These are just a few of some of the ‘blessed  blasts from the past’ that God presented today. I don’t know why He presented a parade of people, in Heaven and still living, who have blessed me previously. Maybe so that we would all know that we aren’t fighting this endless battle alone. All of Heaven joins with us. All good people of moral character are with us. Our time in the desert WILL end, and Jesus will liberate all victims of abortion and sin!


When I first got there Joe was still there, and a man stopped to pray who kind of just wanted us to leave him alone and let him pray – so we did.
Then Kristie came and Father Thomas Moore stopped by to pray.
There were a few words of encouragement, and I didn’t hear any negative comments. 🙂
A lot of younger children that walked past seemed interested in the display models.
And then Donna who I work with at Vision for Life came down and I was really excited to see her because I didn’t know she was involved!

Joe with shift buddy Katie


ANDY 3-5

It was a sunny day with a few visitors, one from St Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon and a young lady from Our Lady of Grace in Scott Twp. A guy was in our faces at 3-5 today. Yelling about why aren’t we protesting the 40,000 killed from mercury poisoning or the air particulate from coal fired power plants. Making no sense to me, acting irrational. Actually shaking he was so irate.


JOE and KATHY 5-7

Thank you, to Bridgette (kneeling in reverence), Jim with green sequence tie and lovely wife Kathy from Zelienople, and Joe. We prayed from the prayers on the back of a baby picture card. It covers every aspect of our heartfelt desire to end abortion and help families.

Around 6:30, Joe, Bridgette, Jim and Kathy were prayinng rosary near baby models. Jim(who lives downtown), Beth(passerby) and I were praying close to building. 
A rock was hurled from across the street. Joe saw it hit Jim from Zelie in back of head. He had hat on but blood was seen immediately. He is on Coumadin, unsure if he needed stitches, sat him on materials box. He joked throughout. His wife applied pressure to wound. Someone brought him ice and towel. ( we were grateful)
Called 911
Instructed to keep continual pressure on it til paramedics came 
We prayed, we did not see who threw rock but Joe and Jim (from downtown) investigated surroundings. 
Paramedics came: towel removed,wound was clotted,about size of quarter. Paramedics stated did not need stitches. No dizziness. Joe walked Jim and Kathy to car.
Thanked God for our team who acted like a Team.

Nikki writes:
“The devil is very angry and he wants to stop us from doing what we are doing because it is working!  Please pray for Jim and pray for protection for all our team and participants.  Please use caution and be aware while at the vigil, and remember to leave if you ever feel unsafe.  And call 911 when needed.”

4 of my heroes, Jim, Cathy, Kathy, Bridgette

Day 5: THANK YOU to Saint Regis Parish and Knights of Columbus; Park Baptist Church; Holy Child Parish, St. Barbara Parish, St. Mary Parish; School Sisters of St. Francis; The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Loretto, PA; Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill; Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, North Hills; Carmelite Monastery, Erie, PA; Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden; SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary


Five children under 7 in the front room, Mother and Dad in the middle room, and Grandmother and disabled Papa in the back bedroom; three generations shared the two story house in Morningside.  JESUS BLESSING adorned the wall where the stairs led from the first floor to the second.

As a first grader, I walked with my Dad to St. Raphael Church for Lent Mass, a cold foggy lovely walk.

We pray and fast. THANK YOU, all you who cherished the integrity of the Old Testament since the beginning!

Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.
Of her the most sure beginning is the desire for discipline,
care for discipline means loving her,
loving her means keeping her laws,
obeying her laws guarantees incorruptibility,
incorruptibility brings near to God….
In each generation she passes into holy souls,
she makes them friends of God and prophets….
She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,
ordering all things for good.

…friends of God and prophets.  God visits with Job, listens to him and  invites him to share ideas.  Eventually Job realizes that God creates. Job is created.  It happens to be true. It is what it is. The Bible tells the story powerfully, succinctly, lovingly.

Then Yahweh turned to Job, and he said:
Is Shaddai’s opponent willing to give in?
Has God’s critic thought up an answer?
This was the answer Job gave to Yahweh:
I know that you are all-powerful:
what you conceive, you can perform.
I am the man who obscured your designs
with my empty-headed words.
I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand,
on marvels beyond me and my knowledge.
…I repent.

THANK YOU, all who protected the integrity of the New Testament since the beginning!

Jesus asked Simon to put out a short distance from the shore.
Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.
Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets. When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.
Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.
Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.
They left everything and followed him.

We avoid discipline. It hurts.  With effort, pleasing God becomes our goal. Things fall into place. We dare to leave everything else and follow him.

John the Baptist is not a reed trembling in the wind
but a palm stronger than every storm….
He has fixed his root in heaven, where not a breath of any gale blows, from where, free from fear, he can laugh at the threats …
and all the world’s adversities.
Blessed Guerric of Igny (1157)
MAGNIFICAT February 2019

We witness at Planned Parenthood, a huge government and culturally endorsed industry; a face of organized evil in America.  People who support abortion are not the evil.  They are its prey, its captives. 

We ask desperate parents to trust us.  We ask desperate people to change their mind.  We bring God.  He knows their heart.  He loves them.  In Him, we can help.

I saw this video recently. Talking Heads – Life During Wartime – Stop Making Sense 1984. It reminded me of the joy of camaraderie I feel as a witness for life with our 40 Days Team. Enjoy the video.  Enjoy the vibe.  Ignore the lyrics.


Fuel is a substance that is used to provide power. Religious women and men are powerful prayer warriors.  Thanks be to God. 


School Sisters of St. Francis
S. Frances Marie 
The School Sisters of St. Francis will offer prayers and sacrifices during the 40 days of Lent to end abortion and to support those working to put an end to abortion.
Thanks for all you do to promote life!

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Loretto, PA
Monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Thank you for contacting us and requesting that with our prayers, sacrifices and fasting, we join your mission to close the Pittsburgh abortuary.  We are so happy to do this and will include this special intention in our daily prayers during the Holy Season of Lent!
Wishing you all every Angelic protection in this worthy effort and every grace from the Holy Mother of God.

Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill
Sister Barbara Einloth gathered commitments from individual Sisters in the Community to work and pray for our Team and to end abortion (and close 933).
Daily prayer for this intention sometime between 7am and 7pm
19 Sisters committed to doing this.
Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for a specific day of the week
11 Sisters made the commitment to do this.
Fasting for this intention at a meal, or on a specific day of the week, or from a favorite food this Lent, or fast of their choice.
11 Sisters made the commitment for this.

Sister Anne Kull, SCN
Coordinator, St. Louise Convent
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, North Hills
Our local Community here at St. Louise will offer up our daily Rosary for the success of your Team of 40 Day for Life to close the abortion mill on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh.  Some of the Sisters who can will also fast for this intention.
We can only hope and pray that one day this scourge of abortion will be obliterated from our world and that every child conceived will be welcomed into a loving family.
God bless you, your Team and your efforts.
8200 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh PA 15237, 412-364-3000 x235

Carmelite Monastery, Erie, PA
Your devoted Carmelite Nuns
Praised be Jesus Christ!!
Saints Francisco and Jacinta of Fatima                 
In today’s Mass readings we heard that Noah send out a raven after 40 days of the flood…but it wasn’t until three weeks later that a dove came bearing an olive branch signifying peace.
Your 40 Days of Prayer come after the horrendous standing ovation in NYC for infanticide. But is not abortion the greatest child abuse, infanticide in the womb? What life will be sacred if we fail to protect the most vulnerable?  How apt then that this 40 Days coincides with Church’s season of Lent!  It is a time of extra prayer and penance which we willingly embrace for the cause of life and respect for the human person that is in the womb. 
We “have your back” in this holy of battles, begging Our Lady in
particular, for Her intercession for all involved:  for the grace of strength and perseverance for those on the sidewalk; and conversion of heart for the mothers; and conversion for all of those within the building who seek the death of the child.  In honor of her “yes” at the Incarnation (March 25th), may many say “yes” to life, thus sparing the unborn child.
The word “Lent” translates as “springtime,” and as Noah was assured of new springtime for the earth, may our poor world through your efforts experience a new springtime of new life expected and protected after the flood of death. 
Proclaim in season and out of season: “Every conception is an invitation to eternal life – please accept it!” 
Thank you for accepting on our behalf, Our Lord’s invitation to pray, to suffer and to speak out for life.  We are your praying heart and you are our feet, hands and mouth.  God bless, and Mary keep and protect you all.
Sincerely, in Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden
Sister Sharon Costello, CSJ, Congregational Moderator
The Sisters of Saint Joseph we will keep you and 40 Days for Life in our prayers.


Deacon, Nathan Adams (Student Representative)
Father Robert, Rector of SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary, passed on your invitation to participate in the 40 Days for Life to us seminarians.
While we have often been with you in person these last years, unfortunately we are unable to join you this year.
Please know that we are with you in prayer and in full support of this most essential ministry.
Please continue to invite us to the future opportunities, so that in years to come we might produce a more positive turnout.
In Christ


PAT M. 7-9

“We get to do this!”  Nikki’s words from the email she sent to rally us just before we started this campaign kept going through my mind.  I think she prefaced those words – which echoed the sentiments of Sean Carney – by reminding us that this not a task to be dreaded, but embraced.  When I first read those words last week, I was really struck by them…as in, kind of struck down.  I didn’t have Nikki’s attitude about this campaign.  I was, while not fully dreading it, certainly not looking forward to it.  My mind was focused on the sacrifices I was going to have to make and not much else.  But when I read what she wrote, I had to acknowledge, at least in an intellectual sense, that what she said was absolutely true.  The problem was, even with this intellectual assent, my heart wasn’t where my head was.  That is, until this morning.

First of all, the good God gave this weak soul unseasonably high temperatures, no wind, and none of the rain that was being predicted.  That was no small boost to my spirits.  But still, I was there this morning because had scheduled my parish for this shift — and I wasn’t so sure anyone from St. Regis would be joining me, especially after realizing that I had scheduled us for a 7 AM start when we had all just lost an hour of sleep.  Yet there was my faithful brother Knight of Columbus Albert and his wife Yolanda once again to join me from the beginning.  Then, I had the very pleasant surprise of having Lud, another brother Knight, come and pray at PP for the very first time.  And perhaps best of all, I once again had SB Vince there to lead us all in prayer, which he does so well.  We prayed all four mysteries of the rosary together and then the Divine Mercy chaplet at the end.  There were times I honestly had to restrain my joy from leaking out and doing a little dance (which would have been an embarrassing sight for all involved). 


St. Regis parishioners begin the Rosary

with shift buddy, Vince, St. Sebastian

Lud, Vince, Yolanda, Albert


SUE 9-11

Ken, my faithful shift buddy, and I were joined by a lovely family from Bridgeville, James and Kathy and their children.   We prayed and had good conversation.  We had several positive comments from passersby, and I don’t remember any negative ones.  Ken shared a beautiful photo of his new twin grandbabies.  It was as good a morning as could be had while being on the sidewalk at a dark place.  All praise and thanks to our Lord Jesus, Whose will be the Victory (already is, as we know!)!



For the first hour of our shift, Rich and I were there alone.
Bill H. stopped by to sprinkle holy water on Planned Parenthood.
Halfway through our shift the R. family came to say a few prayers with us. It is always nice to have their presence on the sidewalk. What a wonderful witness to see these children praying.
A fellow whose name is Jim stopped to witness with us. He lives in town and I believe many shift managers would recognize him because he seems to pop in and out of 40 days.
It was a pleasant day with no negativity during our shift.

Regular 40 Days Prayer Warrior Family



Lindsay was joined by volunteers from Park Baptist Church. She said it was a really great group of people. We thank you for your time spent in prayer for the unborn and their families!


ANDY 3-5

So nice to pray in the sun on a windy Sunday afternoon.
Holy Child, St. Bernards’s, St. Valentine’s, and St. Louise de Marillac were represented and we prayed the USCCB Sorrowful Pro Life Rosary and the pro life Stations of the Cross as the Penguin’s fans made their way to the stadium for tonight’s game against the Flyers. 

Holy Child, St. Bernard’s, St. Valentine’s, St. Louise de Marillac

Sunday Witnesses for Life going the extra mile!


JOE 5-7

What a glorious day!!!Andy hung out after his shift to keep me company. He engaged 2 young ladies in a back and forth,  deep and lengthy  conversation on life issues. Was impressive to watch him offer himself up to them, and lay another block in the foundation. Well done Andy.

All glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  And God saw that it was good.

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