Thank you, Catholic Charities, for sharing your warmth with us during this Spring Campaign!


Our Blog tries to capture the fullness of what people see at 933 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh.  Each of us sees at least slightly differently.  A lot of us agree that key words flesh out the bare bones of why we show up.




In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was a formless void,

there was darkness over the deep, and

God’s spirit hovered over the water.

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

…God divided light from darkness.

Exodus 1:1-3, 5


The heavens declare the glory of God;

The firmament proclaims the works of his hands.

Psalm 19:2


Whether describing the vastness of the stars or the microscopic intricacies of the human body, large numbers are inevitable.  These numbers are so large we cannot comprehend their meaning. But trying, we can see more clearly.



How long does it take to count to a million?  Let’s estimate 2 seconds for each number.

We’d have to count day and night without break for 23 days!

How big is a billion?   One billion is equal to 1,000 million.

How big is a trillion?  One trillion is equal to 1,000,000 million.

What is a light year? It’s how far a beam of light travels in one year – six trillion miles.





The Andromeda Galaxy is bright enough to be seen by the naked eye on dark, moonless nights. It is about 2.5 million light years away and is about 200,000 light-years across. It is thought to contain about 400 billion stars.

There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Universe.


What is an atom?  Atoms are collections of tiny bits of electricity.

What is a nanometer?  Atoms, the smallest pieces of everything, are measured in nanometers (nm), one-billionth of a meter.  A meter is about 39 inches long.

How many atoms are in a cell?

Approximately 100 trillion atoms are in a cell.

What is a cell?

A cell is the basic unit of life, the smallest unit capable of independent reproduction.

How many cells are there in a human body?

The estimate is 37.2 trillion cells in the human body.




Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground

and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,

and the man became a living being.  Genesis 2:7

God created mankind in his image;

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27



Lennart Nilsson “Drama of Life Before Birth”

1965 Cover, Life Magazine







Dr. Russell Sacco, 1970.  “All of a sudden, I saw these tiny feet; these perfectly formed tiny feet, with little toes, little wrinkles and creases and I held them between my fingers and took the picture. I was crying because I felt so bad – it just really got to me,” he said. “I really didn’t think the photo would be anything, but God must have taken the picture because it was perfect, and I knew that this would be one powerful way to send a message to the world, as this unborn baby was only about 10 weeks along.”



More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy.

Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9



So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence,

she has shown great love.

But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:47-50




Watch out, the devil exists!

The devil exists even in the 21st century.

And we must not be naïve.

We must learn from the Gospel how to battle against him.

His Holiness Pope Francis


Then the LORD asked Cain,

Where is your brother Abel? He answered,

“I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:9






The last morning of the vigil was truly beautiful.  Sunlight seemed to linger a little longer than usual in that dark corridor of Liberty Avenue.  It warmed our faces even as the prayerful fellowship of today’s vigil participants warmed our hearts.

Diane was there even before I pulled up, ready to provide the extensive resources that make a world of difference on the sidewalk (as she and her husband, Tom, have done day in and day out over so many campaigns.)

Emily and Brother Thomas from The Pittsburgh Oratory joined Sunday “regular” Vince for prayer and witness to a steadier-than-usual stream of cars and pedestrians.

Nikki and Joe, despite having done so much for the campaign already, arrived to take the second shift in place of Sue, whose own list of “having done so much for the campaign already” is truly inspiring.

We had the opportunity to offer up a number of beautiful prayers, including a Chaplet of St. Michael which Br. Thomas graciously shared with us.  There were a few negative responses from passersby, but more positive ones to encourage us.  One man even asked if he could hold a sign and stand with us for a while.  He is going through a difficult time in his life—he and his wife have a one-year-old child but nowhere to live.  Please keep S. in your prayers.

When I went to Mass after the vigil this morning, our priest asked us to reflect on times where we could identify with various people in the Gospel account of our Lord’s Passion.  Can we sometimes relate to Peter, denying that he knew Jesus at all?  Can we sometimes relate to Judas, being overcome by despair at having fallen into temptation?  In this 40 Days for Life campaign, we may have had the chance to relate to Simon, helping to carry Jesus’ cross, as we offered help to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.  We may have had the chance to relate to the faithful women, bravely following Jesus and weeping over him, as we consoled those who have been wounded by abortion.  We thank You, Lord, for these opportunities, challenging as they have been; and we ask You for the strength to continue praying and witnessing for life in other ways until we come together again in the fall as the 40 Days for Life family!



NIKKI 9-11

Thanks to my wonderful husband Joe for accompanying me as we subbed for the 9 to 11 shift this morning.

And thank you, Lord, for the beautiful sunshine and the intensely blue sky! It was a beautiful morning to witness and pray on the sidewalk! Thanks everyone for participating in this 40 days for life!





The shift started with antagonism. A man with his around 10 year old son told him, “These are the people who use fear and religion to get people to do what they want.” I said, “That is not true!” He continued on his way saying, “If there is a hell those are the ones who will be in it.”  I felt so very sad. This boy and so many others like him are being kept in the dark. Evil is presented as good and good as evil.

Then a man in his early 30’s started in on the other prayers. I walked up to hear him say that, “Children of degenerates do not deserve to live. When abortion first began it helped lower the crime rate by 30%.” He also said, “It’s not a baby but just 2 molecules.” My religion teacher just came out and I started to discredit everything he said, but of course he didn’t hear a word I said. It was a continuance in a way of the other conversation.

Lies continue to be propagated and there seems to be more and more people believing them. Jesus is, “the way and the truth and the life.” Let us cleave to him and trust that we are on the sidewalk for a reason and God will use us if we let him. Jesus I trust in you! Jesus, Mary and Joseph save souls!





Certainly helping with sharing the message of God’s love, these pictures show the faithful praying people who come to share God’s message.




What a beautiful day to complete our 40 Days of Life.

The Catholic Men’s Fellowship from St Mary Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Kittanning joined our vigil.

Mary and Jimmy prayed with us.

With the sun shining on us we felt God’s love!



Catholic Men's Fellowship, St. Mary of Guadeloupe; Mary and Jimmy; Shift Manager Audrey
Catholic Men’s Fellowship, St. Mary of Guadeloupe;
Mary and Jimmy;
Shift Manager Audrey




JOE 5-7

Faith filled 40 Dayers




Extra! Extra! Additional note for Saturday

MARIAN 11 to 1 Saturday
During the busy rush hours of traffic on Liberty Avenue, two prayerful woman went right to work in prayer. From St. Maurice Parish were Mary and Arlene. God, who sees the bigger picture, captured their faces. No photographer can actually capture the beauty of people praying but the women praying quietly were part of God’s plan yesterday. Sidewalk Advocates need the prayers on the battlefield for life. The prayers are the supply source of energy. Make no mistake about that.


Stay tuned for more NOTES from today.


Go out into all the world.

Proclaim the Gospel to everyone.

Mark 16:15

DAY 33: People of God Covenant Community; Saint Mary, Herman; Saint Gregory and Saint Matthias, Zelienople; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Carnegie


A dynamo we all know, did just that, with the big assist from the Source of Everything.


Let me say right up front, all things considered, I am unschooled in the Bible.  Mother Angelica once said, “Read the Bible.  Let God talk to you.” I’m paraphrasing what she said, but that’s how I read and love the Bible.


At first, this dynamo wasn’t in a party mood. Just recently he had cooperated with the Master of Ceremonies at a tremendous competion.  Winning the contest endangered his life. He ran.

Then, he prayed, “Enough Lord! Take my life….”  He fell asleep.  Suddenly a messenger touched him and said, “Get up and eat!”

He ate.  He laid down again.  The messenger touched him again and said, “Get up and eat or the journey will be too much for you!”

These are bare bones (1 Kings 18:1-46, 19:1-15) of the story of God, Jeremiah, Ahab and Jezebel.

Jeremiah accepted the invitation to keep the Celebration going.  He did not work from his couch at home. He got up, walked, endured and risked everything.

Exhausted he prayed, “Enough Lord!”

The Lord said to him: Go back!

The worthy celebration begins in eternity, continues in time and then, into eternity.


George Weigel  in Roman Pilgrimage writes:

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 13:31).

The word – which seems almost nothing in comparison to the mighty power of the immeasurable material cosmos, like a fleeting breath against the silent grandeur of the universe – the word is more real and more lasting than the entire material world.  The word is the true, dependable reality: the solid ground on which we can stand, which holds firm even when the sun goes dark and the firmament disintegrates…. (The) word of Jesus is the true firmament beneath which we can stand and remain.


FORTY DAYS FOR LIFE discipleship is a celebration worth enduring.




Bill prays the Rosary in front of PP every Saturday come rain or shine. Here is his note from the sidewalk for yesterday, Saturday 3-5.

BILL S. 3-5 Saturday

The 3-5 shift today was pretty quiet which is a blessing when you are a rookie substitute shift manager. The ritual changing of the guard took place from Dean to me and off I went.

Within a few minutes of my wondering if this would be a solo mission, Mary from St Sylvester’s in Brentwood arrived and we promptly started a Rosary.

Less than a decade in and Mike from my home Parish St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry arrived.

Less than 3 decades in and my namesake brother, Bill, arrived and the four of us were there together for the majority of the shift.
Bill’s daughter, who is 7 months pregnant, stopped by to add some joy to our time there.

Near the end of the shift Adam, arrived followed by my relief, Jeff and the baton was successfully passed forward.

(Sorry. I wasn't able to rotate this picture for some reason. PM)
Faithful Witness Bill and his Beloved Daughter
Mike, Mary, Bill
Mike, Mary, Bill







JEN 7-9

The blog report that Planned Parenthood was very busy yesterday sat like a stone on my heart.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.  

Like Mary, I felt discouraged, like there was no point in going out to the sidewalk anymore.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

Like Martha, I wondered why Jesus hadn’t stepped in to stop the suffering.  But in His mercy, Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled away, just as He did at Lazarus’ tomb before raising him from the dead.

 “Where have you laid him?”  They said to Him, “Sir, come and see.”  And Jesus wept.  

Like us in all things but sin, fully human even while He is fully divine, Jesus feels anguish when His beloved children suffer.  He weeps for those seeking abortions.  He weeps for those performing abortions.  And He weeps with us as we grieve over the hearts broken and the innocent lives taken so violently.

 “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Jesus didn’t mean in this context that death would be avoided.  Rather, He knew that death would not have the last word.  Neither will the current culture of death last forever.  Jesus, the Lord of Life, has defeated death!

He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.  So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” 

Lord Jesus, call us out of deadly despair, untie us from our burial bands of unbelief, let us go so that we can live with You and for You!  Help us to persevere in the fight knowing that You have already won, even if we can’t yet see the way it will all play out.  Remind us:

“I am the Resurrection and the Life; whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

The People of God Covenant Community provided spirit-filled, prayerful witness on Liberty Avenue this morning.  Thank you to Pat, Ben, Pam, and Daniel for standing vigil with the ever-faithful Vince and Bill!

People of God Covenant Community
People of God Covenant Community


SUE M. 9-11

Oh, how spiritual our prayer was this morning, led by members of the People of God Covenant Community!!!

“Regulars” Beth S. and I were so blessed by the presence of Tom, Patty, Bill, Pat, Todd, and Matt, all from the People of God.  Under their leadership, we prayed and sang and praised and petitioned our God to end abortion there at 933 Liberty Avenue.  The sun joined in during its short time slot of shining between the buildings.  Margie from St. Mary, along with Sunday-morning “regular,” Patty, joined us toward the end of the shift.

The only negative comments during my shift came from a runner who ran by loudly expressing very rude rough hopes about us.  He reiterated this even more vehemently and angrily as he walked by us on his way back, adding that we were all racists.

In the most admirably, confidently, and respectfully gentle way I’ve seen, Bill asked him to come back and talk with us (which he refused).  I was so hoping he would come back, as I just knew that, under Bill’s leadership, it would have been a great discussion.  We prayed for the man both of the times that he passed by.

Keep praying!

People of God Covenant Community
Tom, Patty, Bill, Pat;  People of God Covenant Community; BethS., Sue (Shift Manager)


Matt, Bill, Todd People of God Covenant Community
Matt, Bill, Todd
People of God Covenant Community



Maggie S. 1-3

I had a smorgasbord of prayers today. One from St. Bartholomew who is also a co-worker! Three from St. Gregory and Mathias in zelionople, six from St. Bernard including 2 kids and one from St. Sylvester! Thanks be to God for all who joined me today!

Somebody asked if the models were scientifically accurate. I said I didn’t know. She told me that they are not. That the arms are shorter as well as the legs and that they don’t have ears until later. She also said that the 10 week old should only be 1 inch. I didn’t know what to respond and just listened to her.


Diane is on top of it:







Prayer witness Sunday 3-5 Smiling Faces of ProLife Witnesses


DAVE 3-5

The sun was shining on this beautiful Day of The Lord.
This beautiful family from Saint John the Baptist / Holy Trinity church, spread prayers and smiles to all who passed by. The little lady down front is from Saint Bernard / Saint Pius X. She is a good friend of the Holy Spirit. He is working through her.




JOE W. 5-7

Ted, Lou and Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Church in Carnegie, along with Joe from Good Shepherd in Braddock, and brother soldiers Dean and David (pictured) showed up to stand for life.

Thank you, Men for your witness this evening.








And God saw that it was good.




Thanks to Nikki’s audacious “Yes!” and the echoing “Yes!” of too numerous to count witnesses who come to pray with us, 40 Days for Life endures in Pittsburgh.  I see us as flowers in cement.  We pray that people cemented in fear from a crisis pregnancy will let God shepherd them in their difficulty as they choose Life for themselves and their family.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekial 36:26



My ancient faith talks a lot about seeing and death.

According to the Book of Wisdom, probably written between 221BC and 117 BC, the battle between life and death looked very much the same then as it does today.  Then as now, holiness could bring death.  Then as now, death in the heart caused by evil can be harder to see.


“With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.  Let us condemn him to a shameful death….”

Wisdom 2:19-20

“These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense for holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward. For God formed us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made us. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it.

Wisdom 2:21-24


Witnesses whose lives offer palpable evidence of “recompense for holiness” are so many that only God can count them.  Here is one.


Father Alfred Delp was a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis.  A selection from Father Delp is quoted monthly in MAGNIFICAT.  Notes about his trial show him condemned to a shameful death.  His letters show what a heart recompensed for holiness looks like.


Delp’s trial was handled with ruthless expertise and arrogance, with no serious defense allowed for the prisoner. It was held in front of Gestapo agents and an obedient jury. They could not incriminate Delp as a conspirator in the assassination plot, so they dropped those charges. Nonetheless, on January 11,1945, Father Delp was sentenced to death for high treason because of his repudiation of Nazism and his hopes of building a new Germany on Christian principles. On February 2, 1945, he died by hanging at the Plotzensee prison in Berlin.

Don’t be sad,” Father Alfred Delp wrote to a friend from a Nazi prison as he waited for his death sentence to be carried out. “God has helped me so wondrously and so perceptibly up to now. I still am not at all frightened. That is probably yet to come. Perhaps God has willed this waiting state as the extreme test of my reliance. I assent. I shall endeavor to fall into the furrow as fruitful seed for all of you and for this land and nation that I wanted to serve and help.”




Some people think and feel that abortion is a reasonable solution to a crisis pregnancy.  Parents leave their baby’s body behind.  They do not see how the killing tears life from the baby body.  As they walk away, they do not see how this death tears life from their heart.

We 40 DAYS witnesses passionately hope to help as God opens their eyes.





Jennifer 7-9

Our Lord gave the gift of sight to a man born blind, allowing him to see everything around him for the first time; and then the gift of faith, allowing him to see that Jesus is truly God and truly trustworthy.

May our Lord grant all people the ability to see that He is Lord of all life, to see that every human life is precious to Him from beginning to end, and to see that we have an obligation to protect one another and to bear each other’s burdens.

So very grateful for the warm, prayerful fellowship of Pastor John, Becky, Chris, and Erin from Covenant Community Church in Wexford; along with Sunday “regulars” Rose, Vince, Bill, and Sue on this beautiful spring morning at the vigil!




SUE 9-11

What a beautiful morning to be outdoors!  I was going to say “what a beautiful day to be on the sidewalk,” but unfortunately, as nice as the weather ever is when we are on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood, it can never truly be beautiful on this sidewalk until the day arrives that this facility is no longer in operation.

Today I was joined by Pat, Patty, and four prayer warriors from Covenant Community Church in Wexford, Erin, Melissa, Tracy, and Alice.  I was not feeling well when I arrived, but their sweet and uplifting demeanors definitely helped to make me feel better.  We prayed and discussed different aspects of being pro-life and also parenting.  Tracy is a foster mom and has been for eight years, for various teenagers.  She said it can be quite difficult at times.  She is now officially one of my heroes!  Alice is a proud grandma to a beautiful Down Syndrome baby boy.  She said that all who know him find this young baby to be the light of their lives.  Praise God!!!

Due to the nice day, we had many more passersby than usual — all positive comments except for one woman who walked by shaking her head.  Those folks, who shake their heads or otherwise indicate disapproval or disagreement as they walk by, always get extra prayers from me.  I actually stayed for a little while after 11, after Rich & Roseann arrived — it was refreshing, for the first time this campaign, not to have to run to get out of the cold!  Keep praying, faithful prayer warriors!

Erin, Melissa, Tracy Covenant Community Church
Erin, Melissa, Tracy
Covenant Community Church


Sue, Shift Manager, Alice, Tracy, Pat



I had 11 people with me today from 4 different churches! It was awesome!

We prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

A comment was made, “Why do you waste your time here?”

I thought to myself, “Because I made you think today. I agitated your conscience and if I hadn’t been here today you wouldn’t have thought about abortion.”

So let’s keep on keeping on!





DAVE 3-5

The 3 o’clock hour was graced by this family who came all the way from St Joseph’s Church in Amsterdam, Ohio. Their priest, Reverend John, is on the left. They traveled a long way to be a force of Prayer and Grace on the sidewalk. They prayed with unison of spirit. It was like a song when they prayed the rosary in the rain.



Bill stopped by. Always glad to see him.



The 5:00 o’clock hour was graced by this beautiful family of Rev. John’s flock. They are from St. John Fisher in Richmond, Ohio. They brought the sunshine and many smiles.




JOE 5-7

What a blessing to witness the faith in action from St. John Fisher and St. Joseph of Amsterdam parish. Way to represent and serve Jesus. They drove a good distance to stand for life. These pictures display what greatness God does when we say “yes” to life.  What a treat this evening was.
All glory and praise be to God.
Thanks Stan for sharing you amazing journey with me.




And God saw that it was good.







A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.





Walt Whitman’s spider could have been a spider, tiny in the yellow brightness of a late winter pansie or a much larger spider launching its filaments between rocks and Queen Anne’s Lace near the end of summer.  It takes up to an hour for the average spider to weave a complete web.

The “bridge” for the second stanza soul  is entirely different.  In the first place, it is mistaken when it thinks that it is “…surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space”.  Human behavior occurs in a densely populated neighborhood.  The gossamer thread you fling, “O my soul” catches somewhere.  The somewhere matters very much.

When your decisions can generally be described as trying to “turn the other cheek” your world brightens and warms. Make a habit of decisions that generally see the people in your life as items to be managed and your world will start feeling cramped and chilly.

Are my past choices irrevocable? Can my life be warmer and brighter?  I want that!  Is it too late? Will someone help me?




“… if you listen carefully, if you look closely, you will discover that people are hungry.  We were created to love and be loved, and there is a restlessness…,”

“The Holy Spirit (the soul of our soul,” as Pope Benedict XVI calls him) is at the source of these longings.  It is the presence of God in the most interior part of ourselves that calls us to move beyond the surface concerns of our lives, to explore and experience something deeper.”

“Our hunger is not for appearances, nor is it for the fleeting and superficial; it is for something of substance.  We are hungry for truth.”

“This yearning preoccupies the human heart, and it is neither random nor accidental; everyone has it and we have it for a reason.”



“Many people consider Jesus irrelevant today because he proposes a life of discipline.  Is discipline, then, to be considered the core of Jesus’ philosophy?  No.  Christ proposes a life of discipline not for its own sake, and certainly not to stifle or control us; rather he proposes discipline as the key to freedom.”

His teachings are not complex or exclusive, but simple and applicable to everyone, everywhere, in every time in history, regardless of age, color, or state in life. Beyond life’s complexities, there is simplicity.  Beneath the chaos and confusion of life, there is understanding.  It is the Gospel, the good news.




“People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe.  There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.”

G. K. Chesterton. ORTHODOXY


Here we can at once say that at the very heart of sin lies human beings’ denial of their creatureliness….

They do not want to be creatures, do not want to be subject to a standard, do not want to be dependent. They consider their dependence on God’s creative love to be an imposition from without.


We can only be saved – that is, be free and true – when we stop wanting to be God and when we renounce the madness of autonomy of self-sufficiency.

We can be saved only when he from whom we have cut ourselves off takes the initiative with us and stretches out his hand to us.  Only being loved is being saved, and only God’s love can purify damaged human love and radically reestablish the network of relationships that have suffered from alienation.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI  ‘…IN THE BEGINNING…’


“Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.”

“Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.  If you are willing, and obey….”

Isaiah 1:18-1


Since 1973, abortion has been legal in the United States for any reason at any time during pregnancy right up until delivery of the full term baby.

Babies are killed. Hearts are broken.

Untold numbers of people are organized to help people suffering from their participation in abortion.  Here are two.



The Campaign goal is to reach out to people hurt by abortion and to encourage them to attend abortion after-care programs. They invite those who are ready to break the silence to join us in speaking the truth about abortion’s negative consequences and the hope found in healing.


Rachel’s Vineyard

If the emotional and spiritual wounds of a past abortion have been sapping faith, love and joy from your life, I can promise, that if you enter this process for healing, your life will begin to change.

Rachel’s Vineyard can help you find your inner voice. It can help you experience God’s love and compassion on a profound level.

It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety. Rachel’s Vineyard is therapy for the soul.

Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is finally re-discovered.



JEN  7-9

Rose and Ben returned to the vigil this morning to pray, witness, and encourage.  They were a blessing to me and to all who passed by.

The weather was a little less bitter, so more people were out and willing to interact.  Many of them accepted 40 Days for Life flyers and lollipops tucked into a Precious Feet pin card.

May God use our presence on the sidewalk to make everyone aware of His tremendous love for each one of His children!

Ben and Rose
Ben and Rose


SUE 9-11

My dear friend Dot L. graciously agreed to keep me company this morning at the vigil.  A great comfort, as I was not feeling well this morning.  We arrived to 7-9 shift manager Jen, along with Rose and Ben, praying and handing out lollipops stuck into Precious Feet cards to passersby.

Dot and I took up our post, and I have to be honest.  It got to a point at which I couldn’t stop talking to her.  She is the head of the Respect Life committee at our church, and we always have so much to talk about!  So, just like the two chatty little girls in the classroom, I had to separate myself from her and go to stand on the other side!

During the time that we were standing together, a woman came by, to whom I offered one of the lollipop Precious Feet cards.  At that, she very dramatically spit on the sidewalk in front of me.  We offered her a “God bless you” as she walked away, which was returned with an angry epithet.  We prayed for her after she walked away.

Please keep her, and all the angry passersby that we encounter, in your prayers.

In massively stark contrast, soon Patty, along with a 7-member family, arrived to offer a Rosary.  This family is one of those families that immediately upon meeting them, you feel great hope for our future world.  Each one of those 5 young children is extremely bright, polite, and respectful, and so willing and eager to pray for the unborn.  To say that they brightened my day is an understatement!  Praying with and talking with them was a huge blessing to me.  God surely treasures and hears and answers their prayers.

God bless you all, and keep praying!

Blessed Family Patty
Blessed Family



For the first hour and 40 minutes it was Meg from Herman, PA, and me.

God blessed us with an amazing conversation with a 46 year old security guard. He told us he believed that all women should bring the child to birth but he didn’t think it was his place as a male to do so.  Women should band together. I told him I agree women should support each other but that women are also looking for strong men who will stand behind their women.

He then told us that he has adopted 6 kids and is about to adopt a 7th. This newborn is the brother of the 4 year old he has at home.  The mother is incarcerated and gave birth to this child in jail.

I told him how awesome it is that he is willing to adopt all those children. He also told us how invaluable Genesis (, (412) 766-26930)

has been to him since he makes too much money for assistance. They provided him with clothes, diapers and baby food.

He was such an upbeat young man. He told us “thank you” for standing outside and witnessing!

I also had a pleasant conversation with a woman going to the theater who worked with mentally challenged young women who sometimes become pregnant.  She said she couldn’t understand why we won’t let them have the choice to abort. I told her that we believe once a child has been conceived there is no other choice but to allow them to be born. She listened attentively and thanked me for explaining our stance. She said she disagrees but respects our right to be there.

I felt good knowing that even on a day when PP is closed we make a difference.  It’s nice when people stop to talk in a respectful manner.




The 3 to 5 shift was mostly quiet.

A new pastor from Steubenville brought his wife, son and some church members. We fellowshipped and prayed the Life Stations of the Cross.

Their photo was taken by Maggie the 1 to 3 shift manager.

A man came named Nick. he shared some of his life stories. He stated he is the child of a rape. He also had other concerns. A good man he is! Hope the best in Christ for him.

Happy Sunday to all.

Steubenville Pastor with Family
Steubenville Pastor with Family




Stay tuned for more notes from our Sunday Shift Managers


And God saw that it was good.


DAY 12: Saint Bernard, Mt. Lebanon; Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Pleasant Hills; Holy Child Catholic Church, Bridgeville

blog2flowers in cement.docx

One sunny day Father Lawrence DiNardo, our Pastor, recommended the “Pope App.”  Later, someone mentioned St. Peter is Still Speaking® which airs on WAOB (We Are One Body) 106.7FM, at 9, 12:30, 5 M-F,  and 8 & 12:30 on Saturdays. If you can access either of these, you find will food for heart and soul. Specifically today, I think reflections about Saint Pope John Paul II are useful in our 40 Days for Life reflections. We began with his poem, SCHIZOID, quoted above.

Anguish is the theme, but not the only theme.  George Weigel’s biography of Pope John Paul II glows with the story of this man who accepted Jesus’ challenge to go into the deep.

“After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4


Karol Jozef Wojtyla (Lolek) was born on May 18, 1920, a member of the first generation of Poles to be born in a free country since the late eighteenth century.

Wojtyla’s mother died one month before his ninth birthday. Edmund, his older brother, died when he was twelve. His father died when he was 21.

Wojtyla’s father was “a man of profound Catholic faith and granitelike integrity, whose example of manly piety left a lasting impression on his son.”


After finishing high school in 1938, father and son moved to Krakow for Lolek to attend  university.  “Yet because of the lethal ambitions of Europe’s two great totalitarian powers, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Karol Wojtyla’s university career lasted only a year.”

In 1939, after the Nazi invasion of Poland and the partition of the country following the “Soviet invasion from the east, the University was shut down by the Nazi occupation, with the distinguished members of its faculty deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.”

“Poland under Nazi occupation was a brutal and deadly place in which the rule of law was superseded by the rule of arbitrary terror.  The occupiers believed the Poles to be a low-level race of untermenschen who were to be minimally educated, and just as minimally fed….”

In 1942, Wojtyla presented himself to the archbishop of Krakow, Adam Stefan Sapieha.   “For two years, Wojtyla lived a triple life – as underground theatrical performer, manual laborer, and clandestine seminarian.”

“On August 6, 1944, the Gestapo swept Krakow, seeking to arrest all the city’s young men in order to forestall a repetition of the Warsaw Uprising, which had broken out on August 1.  Archbishop Sapieha called in his clandestine seminarians and hid them in his residence…. During those months, Wojtyla had daily contact with the “prince-archbishop” who would become his model of heroic episcopal leadership.”

The Soviets “liberated” Krakow in 1945.

Father Karol Wojtyla was ordained in 1946 and sent to Rome to study. He returned to Krakow in the summer of 1948.


“Many records of the communist war against Karol Wojtyla and against Pope John Paul II were destroyed during and immediately after the communist crack-up in 1989, but a vast archive that had only begun to be explored in the first half decade after John Paul’s death remained.  Careful analysis of even a modest selection of these primary source materials…yields a much richer and more detailed portrait of how and why communism went to war against Karol Wojtyla, when he was archbishop of Krakow and after he became Bishop of Rome.”

The End and the Beginning.  George Weigel.


From his biography, we see John Paul buffeted by misfortune and evil… boorish, persistent evil.

Reading his poem we see that though he is suffering, he is aware of “heart-space” and “growth”.

Those of us blessed to have lived during his Papacy know something of the rest of the story.

“Because he truly believed that Jesus Christ is the answer to the question that is every human life, and because he further believed that that question deserved the utmost respect, he could engage those who did not know Christ, who were hostile to Christ, or who had simply become bored with the claims of religion.”

The End and the Beginning  George Weigel


Prolife people ask people vulnerable to abortion to choose life. 

Has anyone ever said life is easy?

Perhaps life is designed to be challenging. 

Do we have evidence that the effort is worth it?




Saint Pope John Paul II

Darkness can only be scattered by light, and hatred can only be conquered by love.

Love is never defeated.

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.









Today’s Gospel account of the Transfiguration of our Lord  (Matthew 17: 1-9) is so encouraging to us as we stand on the sidewalk during our 40 Days for Life vigil.

The voice of God, heard from the bright cloud, assured the disciples,  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”  We are obeying God and listening to Jesus when we go out searching for the lost sheep of our world’s culture of death, and when we put their needs before our own.

The disciples were terrified by the vision and voice, but Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”  It can be frightening to be on the sidewalk when emotions are running high and the stakes are literally life and death.  Our Lord comforts and strengthens us when we are afraid to do His will.

Another beautiful thing to notice – Jesus came and touched the disciples as He helped them.  Physical presence is so important to human beings, and it’s something that we are only able to provide by leaving the comfort of our homes and churches and taking our prayers out into the trenches.

We can truly say, along with Peter, “Lord, it is good that we are here.”

Thank you to Diane and Tom for setting up all of our wonderful resources early this morning.  Thank you to Maureen and Phil from St. Bernard’s Church, Vince, Bill, Ben, Peter, Sue, and Libby for taking a stand for life today.  God bless you all!

Maureen, Phil from St. Bernard's with other early witnesses for life
Maureen, Phil from St. Bernard’s with other early morning witnesses for life


SUE M. 9-11

Today on the sidewalk was freezing cold again, but very quiet — not just compared to the revelry of yesterday’s parade crowd, but also quiet for a Sunday in general.

Vince stayed over a bit from keeping Jen company on the 7-9 shift and prayed the Glorious mysteries with us.  For some reason, we kept messing up on who was leading which decade and felt a bit like the Three Stooges much of the time.  Vince reminded us that God does have a sense of humor and still hears our prayers and sees our hearts despite our occasional flubbery!

A young man came by while we were praying and said he thought abortion should be legal in the cases of rape and endangerment to the life of the mother.  Vince stated kindly but firmly that there are two lives in each situation, regardless, and that the innocent child should not suffer by being murdered in the case of rape.  Although I don’t think we changed his mind in the short encounter, the young man left smiling and seemed to me to be a bit more enlightened when continuing down the sidewalk.

Vince left to continue his day, and Libby and I continued the prayerful spirit already in progress.  Pat arrived as she always does to pray with us, and Rich and Roseann arrived super early as is their habit.

May God hear and honor our prayers and let lives be saved this week in Pittsburgh!!!

Rich, Patty, Roseann
Rich, Patty, Roseann


Sue M. and Libby P
Sue M. and Libby P.



Even though the weather was cold, dedicated pro-lifers showed up. A regular on Sundays, Pat came to witness and pray. Sue, Pat and family (also regulars) from St. Bernard’s showed up. Mary and Jim from St. Elizabeth’s and Bill also were present. Looking forward to warmer weather.

Thanks to all who sacrificed for the unborn.

Pat, Sue and Family
Pat, Sue and Family


Bill with Mary and Jim, St. Elizabeth's
Bill with Mary and Jim, St. Elizabeth’s



The shift from 1 to 3 was COLD.  We had a lot of passersby for the Home and Garden show, but otherwise it was uneventful.

Maggie’s pix are worth a thousand words!






Jim and I had never done a Sunday witness at 40 Days, but we assumed the city would be quieter and there would be less people than on a busy workday.  We also thought parking would be readily available on the street.

Well, none of the above turned out to be true.  Jim dropped me off and went to find parking which left me all alone for about 20 minutes.  Being alone on a street in the city causes one to contemplate LIFE and the pro-life movement.  Jim and I have been shift managers for a few campaigns and we diligently place a notice in our church bulletin and personally invite all of our friends.  We belong to Holy Child, a parish of over 2,400 families.  It is truly a sad day when not one member of a very large parish joins you.  Not one.  No one who talks pro-life support, no one….

So Jim and I said the pro-life rosary – the Bible quote that stood out to me was…

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life.” 

There it is – plain and simple – the Lord speaking to us – CHOOSE LIFE.

But you never know what to expect at a 40 Days vigil.  Marion blessed us with her presence.  She was talking about a play “Findings” at The Gallery just down the street, when an elegant older woman stops to talk to us about the play.  It seems it has a pro-life theme since the main character chooses life over abortion.

Evelyn begins talking to a man walking down the street who also has just left the theater.  They seemed to know each other.  He happens to be a famous producer, Andrew Paul, and they chat about the play.  They include us in the conversation about pro-life issues.  They agreed to have their picture on our blog.

Joe and Michele along with Philene arrive early for the next shift and we have a prayerful, peaceful end of our shift.  It was a cold and blustery day, but the Lord shined warm blessings on us today.  CHOOSE LIFE.  AMEN!

Jim and Audrey Shift Managers
Jim and Audrey
Shift Managers


Andrew Paul, Evelyn
Andrew Paul, Evelyn


Joe, Michele, Philene, Audrey and Jim
Joe (Shift Manager)  Michele, Philene, Audrey and Jim (Shift Managers)


JOE W5-7

My shift was prayerful, peaceful, reflective.  Jesus is good, and abortion is evil.  I’m so grateful to be brought into this battlefield and to be accompanied by two potent warriors, Philene and Michelle.

Praise be to God.

Philene and Michele
Philene and Michele


And God saw that it was good.



















It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones;

just pay attention,

then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate,

this isn’t a contest

but the doorway into thanks,

and a silence in which another voice may speak.

Mary Oliver  THIRST


“… a silence in which another voice may speak.”

Did reality as we know it begin in emptiness and silence…then items arrived, collided, evolved into more complex items; stones, plants, animals, and people?

Is it realistic to believe that reality as we know it was conceived not out of silence but from where another voice was speaking?


Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize-winning French biochemist, showed how the living cell manufactures the substances of life.

He states that faith in God is unscientific.  He adds that the entire ensemble of nature has arisen out of errors and dissonances.  He cannot help but say himself that such a conception is in fact absurd.  But, according to him, the scientific method demands that a question not be permitted to which the answer would have to be God.


Michael J. Behe, Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Professor of Biological Sciences, Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture notes that virtually all serious scientists accept the truth of Darwin’s theory of evolution.  They, like most of the rest of us, accept Darwin’s theory to be true.

But should we? Behe argues that evidence of evolution’s limits is so small, that we have only recently been able to see it.

As the result of the work of Kendrew (1958) and Watson and Crick (1953), for the first time biochemists actually knew the shapes of the molecules that they were working on.  The beginning of modern biochemistry can be dated to that time.  Advances in physics and chemistry, too, created a strong synergism for research on life.

Biochemistry has pushed Darwin’s theory to the limit by opening the ultimate black box, the cell.   It is the astonishing complexity of subcellular organic structures that has forced the question, “How could all this have evolved?”

The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell – to investigate life at the molecular level – is a loud, clear, piercing cry of “design!”

The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science.

Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery?  The dilemma is that while one side of the elephant is labeled intelligent design, the other side might be labeled God.

Darwin’s Black Box.  Michael J. Behe


God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.   Genesis 1:31

In the beginning was the Word…. John 1:1

Biblical creation narratives represent another way of speaking about reality.  They do not depict the process of becoming or the mathematical structure of matter.  Instead, they say in different ways that there is only one God and that the universe is not the scene of a struggle among dark forces but rather the creation of his Word.

God created the universe in order to enter into a history of love with humankind.  He created it so that love could exist.

Therefore we must not in our own day conceal our faith in creation.  We may not conceal it.  Only if it is true that the universe comes from freedom, love, and reason, and that these are the real underlying powers, can we trust one another, go forward into the future, and live as human beings.  God is the Lord of all things because he is their creator, and only therefore can we pray to him.  For this means that freedom and love are not ineffectual ideas but rather that they are sustaining forces of reality.



For help with a crisis pregnancy:

For help after an abortion:


Our Monday and Tuesday shift managers are accompanied by prayer volunteers.

However, there is always room for more.  Please come on over.




Honestly, I was dreading the vigil this morning…coming off a hectic week and knowing that forecasted temps were in the teens.

In His goodness, God helped me to show up anyway and provided faith-filled, friendly prayer companions who made my shift very pleasant.

Thank you to Rose, Ben, Vince, Bill, and Sue for showing me God’s Smile this morning.

An encouraging sign:  many people were interested in taking fetal development literature from Rose!


SUE 9-11

It was quite cold as I arrived for the 9-11 shift, but when you’ve been doing this year after year as I have, just the sight of “old faithful” (old in their commitment, NOT in their years!) 40 Days-ers does wonders to warm you up!  And that’s exactly what happened this morning.

Arriving to Jen and Vince praying felt like a family reunion, and I also met Rose for the first time (who was just as warm and welcoming!).

Vince graciously stayed and prayed the Rosary with me until about 9:30 when the Canonsburg crew arrived.  What a prayerful bunch they are!  We did a LOT of praying.

There were few passersby – all were either positive or neutral in their reactions to us.  The one exception was a lady who just shook her head as she walked by.  We prayed for her.

Patty arrived around 10:30 to join us in prayer, and Rich & Roseann, always on top of things, arrived for their shift at least 15 minutes early.

We all finished off the shift with the scriptural Glorious Mysteries.



As Sunday’s are for the most part quiet, today was no exception. We were thankful for all those who came to witness and pray with us. You meet the nicest people when you come to 40 days.

St. Colman Church was scheduled during this time.

A passerby stopped and gave a donation today because he was grateful that we were there.

Mary Jane, Rich, Pat, Arlene, Bill
Mary Jane, Rich, Pat, Arlene, Bill


PAT M  1-3

Today my parish, St. Regis in Trafford, was signed-up for the 1-3 shift.  Fortunately the weather was good and things were nice and peaceful.  I had my family with me (minus the two girls at college) as well as Bibi and Rey, who is a brother Knight of Columbus.  Bibi and Rey stayed with me for the bulk of the shift (thanks guys, I really appreciated you being there!).  Shift Manager David R. came about a half hour early so I was able to both catch-up with him and spend some time praying in solitude.  Near the end, Megan from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville came with her two daughters to pray and be with David, as did Marian.

Shift Manager David
Shift Manager David


Grace, Kate, Steph, Bibi, Rey
Grace, Kate, Steph, Bibi, Rey


It was a beautiful Sunday. We prayed and discussed.

Megan and her daughters arrived for the hour of Mercy.

Marian came for an hour.

Ann reached out graciously to several people with our pamphlets. Phillene, Ann, and Mary Kay prayed the rosary like three little angels.
A lady stopped looking for a young man who has been missing since last month. We prayed for him.


JOE 5-7

David stayed for my entire shift, because he didn’t want me to be alone.

We prayed with a couple of God’s children that were suffering.

At the end of the shift David received a call that his brother was in a motorcycle accident and was life flighted to Presby.

Please, let’s all lift  them up in our prayers.

David, Marykay, Philene
David, Marykay, Philene


And God saw that it was good.

As the Gnome Goes





This Sunday, November 6, 6:30 – 9

Meet on the Sidewalk at

Planned Parenthood at 6:30 for PRAYER AND SONG

and immediately following


Catholic Charities 212 9th Street, 15222 Downtown Pittsburgh



Saturday Coming to Pray

Saints John and Paul 7-8, 10-11

Guardians for Life 8-10

Saints John and Paul

Saint Alexis Catholic Church, Wexford 11-3

Saint John Neuman Knights of Columbus, Steubenville 3-7



Our gnome stood on the porch this morning, silent, bathed in sun, crowned with flowers, nestled in leaves and looking good!    He looked like he is supposed to.

We look like we are supposed to when we stand witness and pray in front of downtown’s abortion site.

We bundle up for the weather.  We women surrender concern for our makeup and hairdo as we return time after time to the sidewalk.  We are ready to share useful information, even though some people, only a few, hurl invectives, rush past and don’t care.

Powerful and admired people seem to control the national abortion conversation.  It could be easy to feel discouraged.

But I am sure that just as our gnome looks good, so do we…to the only One whose opinion matters…the One who is not fragile… Who listens as we speak from our heart.

What are human beings, that you make much of them, or pay them any heed?

You observe them every morning and try them at every moment!

How long before you look away from me, and let me alone till I swallow my spit?

If I sin, what do I do to you, O watcher of mortals?

Why have you made me your target? Why should I be a burden for you?”

Job 7:17-20

In time, in conversation He brings us in full circle to love.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! … You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Augustine of Hippo, (386)

Read the excerpts from Book One and Book Two.  

It is always a blessing to learn how our Father is busy melting hearts and dazzling minds.


BOOK ONE Though I’d been with Planned Parenthood for eight years, I had never been called into the exam room to help the medical team during an abortion.  Cheryl poked her head into my office. “Abby, they need you.”   “Sure.”

I took the ultrasound probe.  “Okay,” the doctor said. “Just hold the probe in place so I can see.” Just like that, I was assisting in an abortion.

The cannula was inserted into the uterus.  At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of it.

Next the tiny foot started kicking. As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling. The cannula was being rotated by the doctor, and the tiny body was violently twisting with it.  The little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube. The uterus was empty.

I froze. From deep within me I knew, “Never again!”

I had invested myself, my heart, my career in Planned Parenthood because I cared about women in crisis.  From my first days, I’d told myself I was there to decrease abortions.  Not only had I been a leader in abortion efforts here in Texas, lobbying at the capitol, repeating clever talking points to the media, and running an abortion clinic, I’d even aborted two of my own children.  My sins were calling out to me.

I looked out my office window and saw two volunteers for Life standing on the other side of the fence. “We are here to help.  Let us help you.”  I’d heard them say that a thousand times.

In that moment, I saw with clarity. I am on the wrong side of the fence. Tears were pouring and my heart was hammering.  I grabbed my purse. I pulled out of the Planned Parenthood parking lot, then into the Coalition for Life parking lot as close to the back door as I could.  “I’ll call them and ask if I can come in.”

“I’d like to come in and talk to you guys.  I’m out here in your parking lot.  Can I come in your back door?  I don’t want anyone to see me.”  Sobs shook my whole body. When she came back on the line, her voice had gone really steady, like she was talking somebody off a ledge. “Abby, I’m opening this back door now.  Come in.”

They looked dumbfounded at seeing the director of the clinic their organization had been protesting for twelve years, sobbing, undone.

“Abby, how about if we pray for you.”  And before I knew it their heads were bowed and Shawn Carney was pouring out his heart to God, thanking Him for the work He’d been doing in my heart.

I felt the presence of Almighty God, the connection I’d been longing for over the past few years.  Once again the tears flowed – more deep cleansing tears. A dam deep inside of me had broken, and a torrent of guilt, grief, pain, remorse, shame, secrets and fear was bursting out.  It was a horrible, wonderful, frightening, cleansing gush of raw emotion.

Abby JohnsonunPLANNED, 2010, abridged




“In this book I will demonstrate the following:

Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.

The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.

Darwin’s theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.

There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.

It is reasonable to have faith.

Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.

Atheism is motivated not by reason, but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.”

Dinesh D’Souza.  What’s So Great About Christianity, 2007









Tim, Shift Manager 7-9

Dozens came for the last Saturday morning vigil.

The team from Saints John and Paul arrived early in the dark and were joined by the Saturday morning regular prayers and sidewalk advocates.

Father Tim came along with a few dozen of the Guardians for Life from Indiana, Greensburg and the Knights from Uniontown. Fr. Tim lead in song and prayer.

Marian coming for the next shift said she could hear the prayers and song echoing down Smithfield street long before she got near to Liberty Avenue. What a beautiful witness.

We are also blessed by only a few women going into pp despite an abundance of escorts on both sides of the facility. Let’s hope and pray we turned a few hearts away today.

Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team Christine, Virginia, Bill, Joe
Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team
Christine, Virginia,
Bill, Joe
Prayer Witnesses Holy Family Parish
Prayer Witnesses
Holy Family Parish
SAints John and Paul Witnesses for Life
SAints John and Paul
Witnesses for Life
Knights of Colunbus Uniontown
Knights of Colunbus
Father Tim Prayer and Song Guardians for Life
Father Tim
Prayer and Song
Guardians for Life
Bill and Bill Saturday Regulars
Bill and Bill
Saturday Regulars


Marian, Shift Manager 9-11

The Saturday morning shift is always bustling with activity.  The usual suspects were there as I arrived. If there is life to be defended Father Tim, the Guardians of Life and the Sidewalk Advocates show up.

Joining them on the 9 – 11 shift today were the faithful witnesses of Saints John and Paul!  Deacon Tom, Joseph, Gene, Carol and Barb took positions of prayer!

Robert L. from St. Mary’s in Moon Township came down on his own as he has been doing for many, many years.  He is a veteran of the street so to speak.  He explained the meaning of his last name. Depending on whether one is German or Chinese, his last name could mean “one who is left handed” or “forest”.  That conversation was a reality check once again about abortion…there is no handing down legacy when babies are aborted.

Ken made the trip in from Kittanning again… he is a “usual suspect” too.  It was heartwarming

to see Amy (with her three children and husband with the Guardians) and Ken smile as they greeted each other.  Home school families have a special bond.

We offered the baby models to those passing by.  One Gentleman (capital G) took two, then turned around and joined hands with me enclosing the two baby models in our hands. He offered loving words of prayer for the babies and those impacted by abortion.  Another older man also shared his concern for the unborn…and questioned how anyone could be a PP escort.

Once again…so many positives.

Judy, a Sidewalk Advocate had a brief conversation with a woman who took information then walked back to talk more.

The woman’s message was to keep the message of HOPE…for the women.  This woman also took Project Rachel and Silent No More information from me.

The escorts are also present on Saturday mornings.  Two left early…something must have been bothering them.

Diane is always searching to improve getting the message out.  She shared this link today.  Must view… we should have thought of that….

A feminist pro-life group of hundreds or more in Chile marched to Santiago government buildings but without signs or banners.  They instead amplified the pregnant marchers unborn children’s heatbeats and let that chorus of heartbeats be the only sound of the march.

Terri Marian, Shift Manager
Marian, Shift Manager


Dean, Shift Manager 1-3

Thanks so much to the folks from St. Alexis and Saints John & Paul who prayed with me today.
A young man asked one of our prayer warriors if she thought she could end abortion by praying about it. YES. That’s why all of us are part of the 40 DFL family. We come together and lift our prayers to God, who will end abortion in His time.
As this campaign ends, let’s not be disappointed or discouraged that it hasn’t happened yet. It will.

St. Alexis Family Witness
St. Alexis
Family Witness
ProLife Witness Mary from St. Stephens
ProLife Witness
Mary from St. Stephens
Matthew and Julia Saint Alexis
Matthew and Julia
Saint Alexis


Marshall, Shift Manager 3-5

The 3 to 5 shift had a small turnout yet we prayed to God through Rosaries and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Bev and Adam helped to pray and pass out flyers.
May God bless our work.  Have mercy on us.


Joe, Shift Manager 5-7

Marshall Shift Manager Knight of Columbus
Shift Manager
Knight of Columbus
Denise and Steve St. Joseph's, Coraopolis
Denise and Steve
St. Joseph’s, Coraopolis




Peter is Still Speaking


Our shift managers will be witnessing alone on Monday from 3-7

Tuesday 8-11 and 2-5


Sunday is covered. Come anyway.


40 Days for Life is a pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vision to end abortion. The mission is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity.

As a Catholic, it is my pleasure to share our riches with my sisters and brothers from other denominations.

Caravaggio brings us to Peter’s side as he tries to assist his captors while they attach him to his Cross.  He was killed that day, about 2,000 years ago.

St. Peter is Still Speaking airs on WAOB (We Are One Body) 106.7 FM, at 9, 12:30, 5 M-F and 8 & 12 on Saturdays.  This source of beauty and wisdom does not broadcast lies. How, then, is this “speaking Peter” related to the crucified Peter?

Let’s look at this set of facts with three other fact sets.


George Weigel, THE END AND THE BEGINNING, reports,  “Among the enemies of Soviet communism…none was more feared by the KGB and its predecessors than the Catholic Church, which was regarded as a prime ideological enemy even before the Bolsheviks seized power in a crumbling Russia in 1917.  …from the Communist point of view, the difficult business of fitting the Polish cow with the saddle of Marxism-Leninism was made far more difficult by Poland’s intense Catholic faith and Catholicism’s links to Polish national identity and Polish patriotism.”

“It was in these years – 1945, 1946, 1947, that a young churchman named Karol Josef Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) first came to the attention of the Polish communist secret police.”


Edmund Burke: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”



In THE HAND OF GOD, Bernard Nathanson writes, “At dinner I was seated next to a cadaverous appearing man….  He introduced himself as Lawrence Lader.”  “We began to talk, and the conversation lasted eight years; in that time, every abortion law in the United States was struck down, the lines between pro- and anti-abortionists were drawn and the battle joined.”  “Lader…knew…that  it was the perfect historical moment in which to strike against senescent rheumy-eyed Authority.”

“He also sensed that the Authority had to have a familiar form, a discernible shape….”  “What better than the Roman Catholic Church.  And so we set to work, and it was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

“…we attacked at every opportunity.  Our favorite tack was to blame the church for the death of every woman from a botched abortion. There were perhaps three hundred or so deaths from criminal abortions annually in the United States in the sixties, but NARAL in its press releases claimed to have data that supported a figure of five thousand.  Fortunately, the respected biostatistician Dr. Christopher Tietze was our ally.  …he never denied the authenticity of these claims.”


When the authorities thought they solved their Christian “problem” by crucifying Peter; when the Soviets eviscerated Poland after WWII; when NARAL set its sights on the Catholic Church to undermine our historic legal protection of unborn babies…when authorities chose killing people as a solution to a problem, they made the historically wrong choice.  This choice has been wrong since the beginning.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.”

Thou shalt not kill.

“Stalin would later say, memorably, that trying to make Poland a communist country was like fitting a saddle to a cow,” Weigel notes.  Pro-life advocates in the United States of America stand firm in our belief that our USA heart will not remain fitted with a law that makes abortion legal.

With the psalmist we sing, “Our soul clings to Him.  His right hand holds us fast.”

Peter is still speaking.














Here are the churches who came downtown Saturday to share and pray with us at Planned Parenthood.


Clarks Mills United Methodist Church

Church of the Assumption, Bellevue

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Brighton

Living Hope Church, Whitney PA



Tim B., Shift Manager, Saturday 7-9

Saturday mornings are usually peaceful to start. First of all, it’s still dark and usually a little chilly. But like a symphony orchestra it all comes together beautifully.

First Diane arrives and so efficiently unloads and sets up all the displays and signs. Sidewalk advocates Virginia, David and Joe arrive from different directions and, of course, there is Bill H. and Jimmy and Nick, Saturday regulars. We were blessed to have Pastor Adam gather us all and lead us in inspirational prayer.

The facility escorts usually come out at 7:30 but today none came out and we believe God heard our prayers and we were blessed with a closed facility so no babies died here today. Praise God.
We were joined by the ladies from several of the North Pittsburgh Churches and later Shift Manager Rick T. and his group from Assumption Church in Bellevue joined in the prayer. As I was leaving, a large group of college students were arriving, I’m guessing from Grove City as one had this sweatshirt on.
The day was warming up and sun was shining. It was the beginning of great and blessed day.

Sunday Sunrise Team
Sunrise Team
Marianne, Donna, Bill with Marie and Mary
Marianne, Donna, Bill with Marie and Mary
Assumption Church parishioners with shift manager Rick Thimons
Assumption Church parishioners with shift manager Rick T.
Jerico Marchers
Jerico Marchers


Rick T., Shift Manager, Saturday 9-11

The 9-11 AM shift on Saturday was prayerful and peaceful.  Praise God as it appeared that no abortions were being performed at Planned Parenthood today.

I would like to especially thank the many faithful Christians who prayed and witnessed on behalf of unborn children and women in need including Sam, Hannah, Ian, Christopher, Johnathan, Owen, Alex, Johanna and Vincent from Grove City College; Catherine, Francine, Joe, Sara and Mary from Assumption Church in Bellevue; Ken, Margaret and Jacob from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kittanning; Benton, Mike & Mike (A deacon and seminarians from St. Vincent College); Marjory, Tamara and Linda from Trinity Lutheran in New Brighton, Charles and Marianne from Mary Mother of Hope in New Castle and sidewalk advocates Sue, Jeff and Judith.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you in His care and may the lives of the unborn and born always be cherished and protected!

Grove City students witness for LIfe
Grove City students witness for Life
Deacon and Seminarians Saint Vincent College Marianne, Charles Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kittanning
Deacon and Seminarians, Saint Vincent College
Marianne, Charles, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kittanning
Ken, Margaret, Jacob Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Kittanning Sue, Sidewalk Counselor
Ken, Margaret, Jacob
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Kittanning
Sue, Sidewalk Counselor


Sue Mc., Shift Manager Saturday 10/29, 11-1


I covered the 11-1 shift today.  I’d actually arrived at PP earlier, at 9:00a, as a Sidewalk Advocate — we all rejoiced that there were no escorts present and PP appeared to be closed for business!!!  We did notice some folks going in, but they did not appear to be going in for services — a meeting, perhaps?

But later, after 11, during my actual 40 Days shift, a young couple entered and came out with a small brown paper bag, so it looks like the “health clinic” part of PP was actually open.

The weather was gorgeous and there was a lot of foot traffic.

We were blessed by some seminarians and a brother from St. Vincent’s; one seminarian from New Jersey; a group of Grove City College students; Linda, Tammy, and Margie from Trinity Lutheran Church; Chuck and Marianne from St. Mary Mother of Hope in New Castle; Rosemary and Tom from St. George Orthodox Church, and; Dave arriving on his motorcycle.

Bill H. and his young look-a-like son stopped by as well.

It was a prayerful shift, and I was able to hand out many of the yellow cards to passersby.

A gentleman who had lost his brother to drug addiction stopped by and was telling me about the huge opiate abuse problem in our area; my heart went out to him…so many brutal attacks on human life in our society.

We continue to pray.  I departed to the beautiful sound of Rosemary and Tom singing their prayers.

Linda, Tammy, Margie Trinity Lutheran Church
Linda, Tammy, Margie
Trinity Lutheran Church
Marianne, Mary Mother of Hope Mike, Seminarian
Marianne, Mary Mother of Hope
Mike, Seminarian
Rosemary and Tom St. George Orthodox
Rosemary and Tom
St. George Orthodox


Dean D., Shift Manager, Saturday 1-3

Thanks to the folks from Trinity Lutheran who prayed with me today.

Again great news as P.P. was not open for business today. Many people accepted our yellow cards that are so full of useful information. Thanks again, Diane.

Look, I know that all of you will be turning out to vote but, if you know anyone who is on the fence about staying home, try to convince them of the urgency to vote. There is so much at stake!

Members of Living Hope Church
Members of Living Hope Church
Ron and Kevin Living Hope Church Latrobe
Ron and Kevin
Living Hope Church, Latrobe


Kathy K. , Shift Manager, Saturday 3-5

Delightful time of prayer, witnessing and fellowship!
Adam from Life Church handed out many flyers.
About 20 people from Living Hope lined the sidewalk, holding signs, offering Hope to those passing by.
Dean had delighted us at beginning of shift when he said, “No abortions were done today.”
A circle of us prayed with a teen girl and her brother.  “Their mom is taking care of their baby brother who has a trach, and was ill since birth.”
Pastor Bryan came with box of donuts which added a special touch to our shift.
Gratefully His, Kathy

Lovely Family Living Hope Church
Lovely Family
Living Hope Church
Sarah loves this sign. She chooses it every campaign.
Sarah loves this sign.
She chooses it every campaign.
Sarah and Marta Happy Birthday Marta Marta is Sarah's Mom
Sarah and Marta
Happy Birthday Marta
Marta is Sarah’s Mom


Joe, Kathy W.,  Shift Managers, Saturday 5-7

Shout out to Living Hope Church, way to represent Christian soldiers.
What Joy filled, peaceful, beautiful souls that lined the sidewalk imitating Christ, as they witnessed for life. What a blessing for me to serve with yinz.

Your brother in Christ,
Joe W.



Members of Living Hope Church, Whitney PA
Left to right, Rod, Mike, Owen, Andrea, Sarah, Jackie, Marsha, Marta, Pastor Brian, Kevin, Abby, Casey, Wanda, Kathy (shift manager) Tom, Brenda.


And God saw that it was good.


Day 11: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Verona; Unity Community Church, Plum; St. Ferdinand, Cranberry

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” They divided his garments by casting lots.         Luke 23:33-34

“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32              _______________________________________________

Be not afraid.  God offers his infinite ocean of  great mercy and goodness to every person.  Take heart from these excerpts from the autobiography of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, The Hand of God.

“I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.  I worked hard to make abortion legal, affordable, and available on demand.  In 1968, I was one of the three founders of the National Abortion Rights League.  I ran the largest abortion clinic in the United States, and as its director I oversaw tens of thousands abortions.  I have performed thousands myself.  How could this have happened?  How could I have done this?”

“By 1984, however, I had begun to ask myself more questions about abortion: What actually goes on in an abortion?  I had done many, but abortion is a blind procedure.  The doctor does not see what he is doing.”

“I wanted to know what happened, so in 1984 I said to a friend of mine, who was doing fifteen, or maybe twenty abortions in a day, ‘Look, do me a favor, Jay.  Next Saturday, when you are doing all these abortions, put an ultrasound device on the mother and tape it for me.’

He did, and when he looked at the tapes with me in an editing studio, he was so affected that he never did another abortion.  I, though I had not done an abortion in five years, was shaken to the very roots of my soul by what I saw.’”

“Some of the tapes weren’t of very good quality, but I selected one that was of better quality than the others and began to show it at pro-life gatherings around the country.”

“The SILENT SCREAM depicted a twelve-week-old fetus being torn to pieces in utero by the combination of suction and crushing instrumentation by the abortionist.”

“But my pro-life views were scientifically based, and I made this clear to all audiences…. At the prayers and invocations at pro-life rallies, I would unbend enough to recite the Pledge of Allegiance…but the prayers found me with my eyes fixed rigidly in front of me, lips unmoving.”

“Then I attended an action by Operation Rescue against Planned Parenthood in New York City in 1989.”

“Now, I had not been immune to the religious fervor of the pro-life movement.  I had been aware in the early and mid-eighties that a great many of the Catholics and Protestants in the ranks had prayed for me, were praying for me, and I was not unmoved as time wore on.  But it was not until I saw the spirit put to the test on those bitterly cold demonstration mornings, with the pro-choicers hurling the most fulsome epithets at them, the police surrounding them, the media openly unsympathetic to their cause, the federal judiciary fining and jailing them, and municipal officials threatening them – all through it they sat smiling, quietly praying, singing, confident and righteous of their cause and ineradicably persuaded of their ultimate triumph – that I began seriously to question what indescribable Force generated them to this activity.  Why, too, was I there?  What had led me to this time and place?  Was it the same Force that allowed them to sit serene and unafraid at the epicenter of legal, physical, ethical, and moral chaos?

And for the first time in my entire adult life, I began to entertain seriously the notion of God – A god who problematically had led me through the proverbial circles of hell, only to show me the way to redemption and mercy through His grace.”

Bernard Nathanson was Baptized and received into the Catholic Church in 1996. He died in 2011.


WE HAVE SOME EMPTY HOURS IN OUR PRAYER VIGIL.   Please sign up or just come by to pray with our Shift Managers.             Sunday: Full 

Monday: 7-9 and 3-7

Tuesday: 3-4



Saturday 7-9
Despite the darkness and rain the prayer warriors from St Joseph (Verona) showed up early to begin the vigil. They were led in prayer by parishioner and 40 DFL Director Nikki Bruni. Our prayers were rewarded as it appeared that planned parenthood was closed. There were no escorts nor any clients going in. Praise God as many babies were spared today. There was a joyful spirit among all.
Tim B.

Nikki, 40 DFL Director surrounded by St. Joseph parishioners
Nikki, 40 DFL Director
surrounded by St. Joseph Parish parishioners
Bill, Shift Manager
Bill, Shift Manager


Joe Sidewalk Advocate
Sidewalk Advocate/ and also a shift manager on another day.


Saturday 9-11

As a Sidewalk Advocate, I am used to the sidewalk in front of PP being busy.  Street traffic, pedestrians, clients and the Saturday morning presence of the PP escorts keeps my attention.  As I walked along Smithfield St. toward Liberty Ave., I did not see any pink vested people.  No escorts on Saturday morning…. Hmmmm!

The sidewalk was still busy with friendly faces.  Tim and Bill always greet with a recognition of name.  Joe K. and David were present in their roles as Sidewalk Advocates.  PP closed for the day for whatever reason is always good news.  In addition, St. Joseph parishioners were praying and stayed until 11 am.

Therefore, on the 9 am -11 am 40 Days for Life shift, I had the pleasure of seeing familiar faces and some new faces to the sidewalk.  Tim and Sue took pictures of the groups.

Rick, Mary, Jonathan, Alex, Madi, Sam, Ruth, Angela, Maverick, Ian and Owen represented Grove City College pro-life community.  These dedicated pro-life students came to witness on a rainy Saturday morning.

Monica F. from Virginia came with Tammy, Ashley and Ancon- two daughters and son-in-law.  Monica knows David B and Margaret B, 40 Days for Life national team CEO.  Alexandria, VA is their common ground.  While standing there, a friend of Monica’s from VA walked by and stayed to talk and witness.  Only the Holy Spirit knew about that meeting ahead of time!

Sister Jolentz Srendinski came to pray on her birthday.  She came also to honor the memory of her brother, Father Joe Srendinski, who was active in the pro-life movement.

Judy, Amy, and four other Sidewalk Advocates (three of whom are still in high school) came for their shifts on the sidewalk.  Judy helps all and helped a man today in dire need of help.  Please pray for him.

Rose W. came by as well and prayed with her own sign.  Rose walks to the vigil with her sign showing.  She has two sons who are studying to be priests and has been a witness on the sidewalk for many years.

Quenisha, an enthusiastic advocate for life, stopped to talk to us.  She told us about Embrace Grace, a national advocacy group (baby showers) helping pregnant women.  Their local presence is on Craig Street in Oakland.  Sidewalk Advocates Judy and Sue took all information.

Marian C.

Rose W. Monica with friends and family
Rose W. and
Monica with friends and family
Grove City Students
Grove City Students
Marian, shift manager and Bob from St. Joseph’s Church in Verona. Bob has made his life’s work a pro-life work- wealth of knowledge. He should give a talk to us about it!


Saturday 11-1

I subbed for the 11-1 shift today.  As I’m sure you’ve already read, PP was CLOSED today!!!  No one seemed to know why.  Joe K. told me he’d only seen two people going in, whom he thought were employees.

The first hour of my shift was occupied with an interview by a Pitt senior for a class.  The young lady had stopped by last week and had begun to interview Marian and me, but she returned this week with her credentials and a very professional-looking recording set and microphone.  Thanks to our well-spoken Marian for sticking around after her shift to join me in the interview!  It was a positive and professional exchange.

Patty, Shannon, and Barb, from Unity Community Church, arrived at 11 and held the fort down while Marian and I were being interviewed.  Thank you, ladies — God bless you!  One lady came by and was fascinated by the fetal models.  She asked if that was their actual size at the stages of development noted on the display box, and we responded yes, absolutely.  She said she was happy we were there.  A young couple stopped and were also looking at the models.  They also were very supportive and said they didn’t understand how anyone could procure an abortion as every child is made by God and He has a purpose for their lives.  They said they have four children and proudly showed me a photo of their infant daughter.  It was a positive shift.

For Life,

Sue M.

Patty, Shannon, Barb Unity Community Church
Patty, Shannon, Barb
Unity Community


Saturday 1-3

Great news! PP was not open for business today. That made things fairly quiet this afternoon. (but that’s a good thing)
2 women came by toward the end of my shift, claiming that we turn more people away from Jesus than we attract to Him. I tried explaining that we’re not judgmental but, their minds were closed. They wanted to argue just for the sport of it. However, they left with some of our handouts. Maybe they’ll come to a different opinion.

Dean D.


Bender Family  St. Ferdinand Respect Life Group


Editor’s addition:  Pat M., is sharing the blog with Barbara this campaign but Barbara can not post tonight.  We all donate time and talent to this work.  Pat forwarded this email that Joe W. sent in.  It is late Joe!!  But  Pat told me not to be too hard on you about it because you just got married.  Note to Joe and his new bride…. CONGRATULATIONS~~~!!    This is service above and beyond the call of duty….   Pat’s  note

“It looks like Joe W. forgot to send to both Barb and you.  But go easy on him, he just got married on Friday and was doing a 4 hour shift on Saturday – with his wife!”      Best wishes to you both on your marriage….. don’t spend too many honeymoon days in front of PP….Marian 

Joe and his new bride stood from 3 pm to 7 pm:

Diane and David. D for dedication. Diane for her total commitment to keeping us well organized on the sidewalk and David coming to Pittsburgh from Weirton after work and Adoration . (Marian- editior’s note)
Pat and Paul from St. Ferdinands Cranberry (Editor’s note: couples make wonderful witnesses for life showing the support of each other)
Jeff, Sue, Jocelyn, Tyler from first Alliance Church in Erie, Pa.. (Editor’s note: A family coming from Erie to pray for babies in Pittsburgh..Thank you.)


Editor’s note: Adam and Anthony(St Elizabeth of Hungary It is a small world!!

It is incredible to me the amount of sacrifice in time, talent and treasure the 40 Days for Life family shows for the unborn.   Behind the scenes life is supported.   Anthony,  pictured above, relieves me after my hour of Adoration at the Pittsburgh Oratory.  I left on Saturday morning for my shift and Sidewalk Advocate time.  At the bus stop, Anthony was getting off the bus as I was waiting for mine to return home.  We talked for the first time.   People are truly amazing.   Anthony went to the vigil.   I am not sure if it was part of his original plan… but meeting on the sidewalk was the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit was certainly arranging some sidewalk encounters on Saturday!!   Marian



God looked at everything He made and found it very good.