DAY 40: THANK YOU, People of God Covenant Community, Living Hope Church; SHIFT BUDDIES Vince P., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; VOLUNTEERS Thao and Sandy; HOST for our Closing, Catholic Charities; and all of you who came to the sidewalk to witness with us today and throughout this fall!

Salvator Mundi (detail, 1395), Francesc Comes ©akg-images /Album/Oronz, https://us.magnificat.net/

In your sight the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground.
You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life, you whose imperishable spirit is in all.  Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend, you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned, so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.

Wisdom 11:23, 27 – 12:1-2

We are an alleluia people!

Pope John Paul II

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Bishop Robert Barron

Joyful, armed with age old Biblical truth and beauty, Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life witnesses showed up on the pavement outside pp daily for 12 hours, for 40 Days.  We prayed, sang, encouraged, cooperated, stumbled, sighed and cried.  We stepped back.  We showed up again. 

Those of us on Nikki’s list love each other.  Even wrapped in layers and with faces reddened by the weather, we recognize each other.  It is as if we grew up in the same neighborhood.  We anticipate each other.  We are in step.

Our rhythmic joy bringing to the sidewalk reminds me of a video.  These guys share a joyful vibe.  They move gracefully, anticipating each other’s moves.  Their faces are happy.  They know they are doing their best.  They know their hearts are in good company. Their editor is almost as good as ours!

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

FUEL

Al and Sally

Sally always made deviled eggs for the Closing.

Beloved ardent witnesses for life

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Early this morning, Diane set up the vigil for the last day of our current campaign.  Please say a prayer for Tom, who’s fighting the flu.  May God bless them both for their faithful service and incredible ideas to make the vigil more comfortable and fruitful!

My shift buddy, Vince, and I were happy to pray with Thao, who has been such a blessing to us all this fall.  We were also glad to have the witness of Michael, whose mom has helped organize the Harrisburg 40DFL vigil in the past.  
Bill H. stopped to share the joyful news that his daughter is pregnant!  And Bill E., Friday shift buddy, came with his wife, Ursula, to pray for a while.  Please hold him and his family in your prayer as his sister died unexpectedly two days ago.  
As we were praying through the 20 decades of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a charter bus with a police escort came down Liberty Avenue.  I have no idea who is visiting Pittsburgh that would warrant that kind of production, but I hope they noticed our vigil as they passed by–especially if it is someone in government or running for office.  
Uplifting little “God-wink” to share:  there was a huge gust of wind exactly when we were reading about the “noise like a strong driving wind” heard at the descent of the Holy Spirit!
And an encouraging moment to tell you about:  a young man stopped to stare at the fetal models and ask questions about abortion.  He truly seemed surprised and horrified at the details.  We gave him some information about the development of the child in the womb to share with others.  Those fetal models are such a witness to truth!  
Ken arrived at 9 AM to guide the next shift, joined by Pat, Bill, and the People of God Covenant Community.  Thank you to all who have prayed and witnessed over the last 40 days…God will use your sacrifice for such good that we can’t even imagine!  

Pat and Ken, Shift Manager 9-11

Michael, Thao, Vince (Shift Buddy), Jen (Shift Manager), Bill

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We had a lot of foot traffic today due to the Steelers playing, but it was relatively quiet with a few negative and a few positive remarks.  Although no one was signed up for our shift today we had faithful prayer warriors Marg and Nadine to witness and pray with us.

Nadine, Marge and Rich, Shift Manager

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Well it was a great blessing when a bus load from Living Hope Church in Whitney Pa  showed up, with Pastor Doug leading his faithful sheep.

Attached is a beautiful sketch of a sleeping baby. This was sent to a friend of mine on All Souls Day, including this prayer.
R.I.P. Today on All  Souls Day let us remember all babies: born sleeping, or we’ve carried but never met, those we’ve held but couldn’t take home, the ones that came home but didn’t stay. Make this an image on your wall if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby.
In memory of all babies too perfect for earth 👼☁☀.
Dedicated to all our babies.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

STAY TUNED!

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 33 Thank You: Saint Kilian Parish “That Man IsYou” Men’s Group, Cranberry; Saint Mary, Holy Child, Saint Barbara Parish, Bridgeville/Cecil; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Carnegie; Sisters of Saint Basil, Sister Elaine OSBM; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Individual Volunteers Thao N., Susanna A., Maia M.; FUEL Sister Elaine O.S.B.M., Sisters of Saint Basil; and all the people who came to witness with us today!


The Shepherd’s Prayer (1864)
Jozef Israels(1824 – 1911),©akg-images
https://us.magnificat.net/

The Shepherd’s Prayer pictures a man and a woman sharing a meal in an idyllic rural setting. How different that pastoral scene would look if we could see it through a transmission electron microscope. 

TEM uses a high energy beam of electrons to let scientists observe interactions between atoms and electrons.  TEMs can magnify objects up to 2 million times.

Your naked eye sees Israels’ work as he painted it.  Your TEM view would see very active atoms and molecules instead of trees and sandwiches.  You can call both scenes idyllic.  Atoms and their accompanying items obey the laws of nature … idyllic.    

Is this microscope equipped to discern whether a person is able share the burden as well as the beauty of togetherness? No!

What can that high energy beam tell us about the peaceful quiet we notice surrounding the man and woman?  Nothing!

The Person who can equip you with what microscopes can’t see is not shy. The Bible is immersed in him. He tells you there about himself all the time. Listen. You will fall in love.

More tortuous than anything is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, explore the mind
and test the heart,
Giving to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their deeds.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Call Him by name. Saint Anselm of Canterbury learned God’s name while he was praying. This name for God is what Anselm heard God say.

that than which nothing greater can be thought

In designating God as he does, Anselm is giving expression to the elemental Christian conviction that the divine power disclosed in Jesus Christ … must be utterly strange.

Bishop Robert Barron, The Priority of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 215

When you let Him into your life, hold onto your hat.  Adventure calls!

Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together,
shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.

Luke 6: 27-28, 31, 36, 38

We witness for for babies’ lives and the fullness of life for abortion vulnerable mothers, fathers and families, and for people caught in the darkness of supporting abortion.

Those of us witnessing on the sidewalk know all about sin. We know it first hand.  We know that agony. And we know God’s forgiveness and joy. Visit us on the sidewalk. Let’s share our God stories.

Enjoy this little music moment.  These two men and their band are working toward their salvation.  Each is invited to a private heart to heart with our Father. Hearts ache.  God promises all of us that he will be right in the there with us … our strength in the battle.  Invite him!

Blues Brothers (1980)

FUEL

DEE, Founder and Manager

SISTERS OF SAINT BASIL, Uniontown, Sister Elaine OSBM

I met Sister Elaine while shopping for red roses to take to the Sidewalk.  She told me that she and her sisters always pray for an end to abortion.  She said she would add a mention of 40 DAYS to their list.

Al and Sally

JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

“The one who serves God willingly is heard;
 his petition reaches the heavens.”  Sir 35:20


Before I went to the vigil this morning, I opened an email with the Scripture readings for today’s Mass.  The verse above jumped out at me and got me going!
 
Thanks to Diane, Tom, Vince, Thao, Sue and Ken for serving God willingly this morning, and thanks to God for hearing our petition to end abortion!
 
It was a very peaceful morning of prayer, but one thing that happened really struck me:  a woman walked past PP pushing an empty infant stroller.  I suddenly got a chill thinking of all the women who, because of PP, will push an empty stroller in their minds for the rest of their lives, carrying the grief of their lost children.  

Vince arrives to serve as Shift Buddy as Diane and Tom set up the vigil.

Thao, Vince, Jen, Tom … Sunday Early bird Witnesses for Life

Ken and Sue, Faithful witness and Shift Manage

RICH AND ROSEANN SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We had a large prayer group on the sidewalk today. Rosaries, Divine Mercies and litanies were said. Most of the comments were positive and I recall one angry woman who yelled out something about rape victims.  God in His timing will answer our prayers and end the scourge of abortion. Thanks to all who came out today.
Roseann and Rich

Mike, Joe, Don from St. Kilian’s “That Man Is You” Men’s Group

Don, Rich, Shift Manager, and Marge, Saint Kilian’ Witnesses

Mike, Lucina, Joe, Don, Marge

The beautiful faithful witnesses for life, R Family

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Usually Sundays at 40 Days for Life tend to be quiet, at least from 1 to 3 pm before people start drinking. But today was somewhat frightening, as a woman walking with a friend started to yell at us as she passed by. She yelled, “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” Hearing herself yelling and seeing no reaction from us, she just got revved up more and more and was screaming louder and louder again and again this mantra:   “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” 
I actually thought she was coming unhinged. She carried on for so long that other people, not even with her, also started to scream, “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” One man publically condemned us and yelled, “JESUS SAID, ‘DON’T JUDGE’. YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ANYONE! GO HOME!”  A few other voices in the distance joined in on the verbal lashing. I felt slightly alarmed that a mob might begin to form, so just in case I had my phone ready to dial 911 and/or record video. Thankfully after maybe ten minutes of this she and her instant followers decided to leave us alone, and hopefully themselves go home.  Now I’ll admit her vocalizing such anger was kind of scary, but I felt sad for her. Because what she was subconsciously masking as intense anger … sounded like deep anguish to me. So I pray the next time she passes by maybe peace and healing will start in her. Maybe she will turn to somebody for help … maybe she will see that it IS our business, and we CANNOT go home and leave the unborn babies ALONE to their fates. We CANNOT leave innocent babies, men and women ALONE with no one to pray for them, cry for and with them,  nor  help them. ABORTION IS EVERYONE’S PERSONAL BUSINESS!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church made a great showing and we were blessed that Father Jason was here with a lovely icon of Jesus surrounded by the innocents. Are there any more innocent than those killed by abortion? Unborn, not to the age of reason. Never having had the opportunity to live. Deprived of life at its dawn. Lord, have Mercy on us. Lord, have Mercy. 

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic parishioners crowd the sidewalk with prayer. Father Jason, Pastor, is in the back row to your right.

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

It was a peaceful, prayerful, and pleasant shift with fellow Jesus lovers witnessing for life.
All for the greater glory of God!!!
Joe W

Barbara, Deacon Myron, Mike, Patty, Tony, Angela

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Carnegie

Faithful Bridget prays kneeling.

Father Jason and parishioners from Holy Trinity Ukrainain Church

STAY TUNED

And God saw that it was good.

Day 26: THANK YOU, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish; Saint Gregory Parish; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Individual Volunteers Thao N., Susanna A., Maia M.; FUEL Sister Mary Ann, CP, Passionist Nuns and all the people who came to witness with us today!

WINNING THE BATTLE FOR LIFE

PEOPLE CONCERNED FOR THE UNBORN CHILD

50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BANQUET

OCTOBER 20, 2019

WHAT IS A SOLDIER?

MARY WINTER

When an afternoon talk show on KDKA in 1972 presented the views of a woman from Pittsburgh who was bragging about her abortion in Colorado, I called the Diocese and asked what they were doing to stop abortion.  The person who answered said, “a lady in the South Hills, Mary Winter,” had been speaking out since 1969.  She formed a group called “Women concerned for the Unborn Child.”

Program notes, Pro-Life Directory And Resource Guide, PCUC 2019

HELEN CINDRICH

A soldier is a citizen trained for battle. His/her assignments may be as tough as hand-to-hand combat or as gentle as caring for the children of refugees fleeing the battle. My son recently completed a 12-year stint with the U.S. Army. During that time he worked every day to be the fastest, strongest, fittest member of his brigade. His reports inspired me to strive to do my best in the Army of Life where I fight for the babies.

Helen Cindrich, Executive Director, People Concerned for the Unborn Child (PCUC): Editor of the PCUC Newsletter

BETH SVIRBEL

For me it’s someone who fights the good fight to the end, a person who wears out while others rust out.

Beth Svirbel, PCUC President

Elizabeth Svirbel, PCUC President

WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?

KRISTAN HAWKINS

Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life in America was the banquet speaker. Hawkins was recruited in 2006 to launch Students for Life of America’s full-time operation.  Since then, she has built up a small organization made up of a few dozen student groups scattered around the country to a coordinated national team serving more than 1200 Students for Life chapters in all fifty states. 

BULLET POINTS for prolife soldiers from her talk!

There’s nothing I can do.  It is in God’s hands. NO!  You are God’s hands.
You are kidding yourself if you think a billion dollar industry will go quietly in the night.
They are going to do everything they can to stop us.
We believe in a God who spoke our world into existence.  He can abolish abortion through us.  Act like you believe this!
What are you going to do?

Pope Benedict XV’s Maximum Illud, 100 years old next month, reminds soldiers that God is a winner!  Benedict begins:

Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation
Mark 16:15
Even in the first three centuries, when persecution after persecution, inspired by Hell, fell upon the infant Church in a raging attempt to crush her, even when the whole of civilization was deluged with Christian blood, out on the far frontiers of the Roman empire the heralds of the Gospel journeyed, announcing their tidings. 

WHAT DOES A SOLDIER LOOK LIKE?

Out of uniform a soldier looks like anyone.   Looking closer, you see that a soldier’s heart gives him away.

They are rich only in the faith and prayer that keeps them rooted in the personal relationship of love with Jesus, the master who sends them.

Pontifical Mission Societies, “The Church On Mission,” Magnificat 21, no.8 (2019) 300.

Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.

Matthew 10:16

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, sung by Angelina, (EWTN).

FUEL 3

DEE

Dear Dolores,

Thank you for sending us the information about “40 Days for Life”.  The flier is hanging on our prayer board and we pray throughout the day that the abortion mill will soon be closed and the evil of abortion and the taking of life will be ended.  

This is our special intention during Vespers and the Holy Hour every day from 5 am until 6:30 pm.

We also ask the Angels to keep all the participants in the Prayer Vigils safe from all harm. Thank you for your witness to the sanctity of life.

Sister Mary Ann, CP, Passionist Nuns

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

The sidewalk was incredibly peaceful and prayerful this morning from 7-9 AM.  Thank you to my shift buddy, Vince, and the wonderful company we had from our 40DFL community and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish.  We offered all the mysteries of the Rosary as well as a Divine Mercy Chaplet for an end to the misery and sorrow caused by abortion.  

Vince, Bill, Suki, Drew, Tom, Jen, Thao…early Sunday morning Witnesses for Life!

Most Precious Blood Parishioners, Phil, John, Nikki, Cynthia, Bob, Drew, Suki

NIKKI B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I had forgotten how much I enjoy praying on the sidewalk on Sunday mornings! It is so different from weekdays! So quiet and peaceful and even Sacred! There was a wonderful showing from my own parish, Most Precious Blood Of Jesus Parish. It was great to pray with so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ! Roseann and Rich were the shift managers after me, and they’re becoming members of our parish also! The third picture was of them with a few people from our parish. Thanks to everyone who came out for most precious blood parish! 

Latin Mass Community Sunday Morning Prayer Witnesses with Joe on the far end!

Outstanding Parishioner Outcome for Sunday Witnessing

Outstanding Prayer Witnesses including Roseann and Rick, 11-1 Shift Managers

RICH AND ROSEANN SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

God bless all of those who came to pray and witness with us today.  Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish was signed up to witness and during our shift Chris, Dan and Rose came to stand with us. The faithful R. family from Elizabeth Ann Seton and Bridget from Our Lady of Grace also came. Jim who lives in downtown stopped by.
For the most part everything was calm today. An older lady passing by made it known that she supported abortion.  A family from Portland, Oregon who were pregnant with their third child thanked us for our presence there. 

Dan, Rose, Chris Parishioners of the Latin Mass Community, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish

Faithful Flourishing Sunday Worshipers R. Family

Bridget on her knees in prayer

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Today God blessed the 40 Days for Life vigil in a special way. We actually had so many people praying the rosary we had two rosaries going at once! Me and my shift buddy Marie were honored to have the opportunity to pray with Pittsburgh’s Latin Mass Community of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish with many “on fire” devout families and young adults,  and their priest Rev. Canon William Avis.
 
As I was settling into the vigil, a woman walked quickly past and yelled: “What you people are doing is wrong, and I hope your God forgives you!” I really can’t even comment on that, because it’s such a perplexing thing that she said! But it just shows how upside down and twisted Satan has made the issue of the RIGHT to LIFE.
 
Later, as I was reading Luke, I was still contemplating the woman’s convoluted comments. A portion of Zechariah’s Prophecy stood out to me: “For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God the dawn from on high will break up on us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace”.  I pray God sheds light upon those who are spiritually blind and think protecting the unborn is wrong.
 
I also pray that the “extra five steps” given the sidewalk counselors to continue speaking to abortion bound women bears much fruit (see link to attached article).

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/10/19/pittsburgh-abortion-buffer-zone-appeal-bruni/stories/201910190046

Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parishioners

Most Precious Blood of Jesus blessed downtown PP with their prayerful witness

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

The campaign is past the half way point and gaining momentum. The shift starts with gratitude to God for the near perfect weather. Then Catholic guilt tries to sneak in. Who am I to get such great weather? But that is fended off with humility and the shift goes on.
And prayers were offered to our dearly departed Sally and Al made a surprise visit after the PCUC Banquet.
It would be his 62nd anniversary today and this is where Al wanted to remember his wife.
Truly, I think she was there before Al got there, and will be there after he left. Let us turn to her to intercede to close that murder mill. Al says they put in 28 years of faithful prayer. Imagine the faith it takes to do that. Beyond me, I will tell you. Death does not separate us. Hebrews 12:1 applies. It just makes the departed prayers more powerful as she is closer to Jesus!

Saint Gregory Parishioners join Most Precious Blood Of Jesus parishioners to cover the sidewalk in prayer.
ALLELUIA!

STAY TUNED!

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 19: Thank you, Transfiguration and Saint Victor Parishes; Saint Bernard Parish; Saint John/Saint Mary/Our Lady of Lourdes Parishes; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Thao N., Maia M.; FUEL, Carmelite Nuns in Latrobe, Pittsburgh witness’ nephew in Florida!

Al and Sally

Witnessing for life with us downtown a year or two ago, Sally hadn’t noticed the young man until he bumped her, on purpose.  Sally fell all the way down to the brick pavement.  Al rushed to her side as people quickly gathered around her.  “I felt like a feather floating down.  I am not hurt at all.  My Guardian Angel does a good job for me,” she said.

Sally kept her Guardian Angel busy.  She and Al witnessed for life in Pittsburgh on sidewalks and curbs, in all seasons, for decades.  We never called them Al or Sally. It was always Al and Sally.

Last evening Sally died in the hospital due to the stroke she suffered about a week ago. Our hearts are broken.  We look forward to seeing her again.

Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.

The prolife witness of Al and Sally helped God open the hearts of pro abortion people. It is difficult to understand the heart of a doctor who does abortions. For some insight into one doctor, here are a few excerpts from the autobiography of abortion doctor and co-founder of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), Dr. Bernard Nathanson. 

Ruth was a captivating, innocent, exceedingly intelligent young woman whom I met at a McGill dance in the autumn of 1945, in my first year in Montreal. She was seventeen and I was nineteen.
In my third year … we were spending more and more time together and talking seriously of marriage.  And then she became pregnant. I had no inclination to marry. I was still facing another year and a half of medical school.
The night before the abortion we slept together huddled in each other’s arms; we both wept, for the baby we were about to lose, and for the love we both knew would be irreparably damaged by what we were about to do. 
Although for a brief period in the immediate aftermath we huddled together as co-conspirators in an unnameable crime, eventually we drifted apart. 
 
Thus was the first of my seventy-five thousand encounters with abortion.
 
For every ten thousand Ruths there is one abortionist: icy; conscienceless; remorselessly perverting his medical skills; defiling his ethical charge; and helping, nay seducing, with his clinical calm, his oh-so-comforting professionalism, assisting women in the act that comes closest to self-slaughter.
 
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 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.
And for the first time in my entire adult life, I began to entertain seriously the notion of God….
I am no longer alone.  It has been my fate to wander the globe in search of the One without Whom I am doomed, but now I seize the hem of His robe in desperation, in terror, in celestial access to the purest need I have ever known.

Nathanson, Bernard N. The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind. Lewiston: Life Cycle Books LTD, 1996.
 

Sally, we know your Guardian Angel knew how to help you in the hour of death. With love.

DEE

FUEL 1

Carmelites in Latrobe

May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, help all who are fasting and praying for an end to abortion and especially at the Clinic at Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh.  

Carmelites in Latrobe
May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, help all who are fasting and praying for an end to abortion and especially
at the Clinic at Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh. 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help please close this clinic, soon!! Amen.
God bless and strengthen you and all who work with you and protect you. 
We are fasting and praying with you, the Rosary, Mercy Chaplet, etc to end abortion at this clinic.
Your most hopeful,
Carmelite Nuns

___________________________________

FUEL 2

We received this letter from a woman who has prayed at our Pittsburgh vigil. 
 
My nephew is in prison in Florida; he is involved in Prison Ministry and he has joined me in prayer for the last two 40 Days Vigils.  I think he shows a great deal of insight into the Respect Life problem, for someone who has been out of mainstream society for over 20 years.
This is what I received on 9/27/19.
I am praying with you and your church today, September 27, 2019, for the lives of the unborn.
Specifically, I am praying that:
God will move the hearts of the lawmakers and judges in this country to wake up and reverse Roe v. Wade;
Those performing abortions will come to their senses and protect rather than abort the unborn;
Those contemplating abortion will be moved to find a humane life-affirming alternative;
Those who have already had an abortion will come to repentance and find healing;
Those who name the name of Christ Jesus will never fail to stand in the gap for the helpless, and will never waiver from a strong biblically based pro-life position.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JENNIFER M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Thank you to Tom and Diane for faithfully supplying all our vigil needs first thing this morning.  Thank you also to Vince, Bill, Thao, and Steve for heartfelt prayers and witness for our sisters and brothers in danger.  Thank you to Ken and Pat, who took the baton for the 9-11 shift.  And thanks be to God for the amazing life of Sally Brunn, who prayerfully, courageously, and tirelessly fought for the protection of the unborn for decades.  
She touched so many of us with her clear insights, positive attitude, and beautiful smile.  We will miss her terribly but entrust her to the care of our Lord, Whom she loved so well.  Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord; let perpetual light shine upon her.  May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.  Dear Sally, please continue to intercede for the unborn and for your 40 Days for Life family!

Ken, Steve, Vince. Steve is the son-in-law of Bob N.,

who perpetually prayed and witnessed for the unborn for years

along Sally and Al!

___________________________________

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

A little chilly this morning on Liberty Avenue, but warmth and joy from our 40 Days participants. Today’s Gospel speaks of the thanks offered at the feet of Jesus by the Samaritan healed of leprosy. So at His feet I give thanks:

For Jen, Vince and Steve who held the previous shift of witness for life. Always a joyful moment of greetings and prayer when we change shifts.

For shift manager Sue who was a little under the weather and unable to attend this morning. God speed you a quick recovery, Sue.

For Pat who stayed with me for two hours with prayer and holy conversation, always a constant and faithful witness for life.

For Rich and Rosanne who prayed the Rosary with us and managed the next shift.

For Sally, the first person to greet me when I arrived at 40 Days for Life during Lent, early on a Saturday morning, in the cold, about eight years ago. I will always remember the smile and joy. She will forever be the face and the heart of this apostolate for me. May God grant her eternal rest.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Saint John Henry Neuman, pray for us.

Pat and Ken

___________________________________

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We arrived at Planned Parenthood and were greeted by Ken and Pat of the previous shift. As we prayed the Rosary other prayer warriors started arriving. One man cleaning the street stopped to talk to us about abortion and I pray that we planted some seeds for life. We had some angry passersby today and one young man knocked over the sandwich board.  Although some were angry, some thanked us for being there. Thanks to all who prayed with us today.

Prayer warriors from Transfiguration and Our Lady of Grace

R. Family and Shift Manager Rich

___________________________________

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

It was an uneventful time at the 40 Days for Life vigil. I’m grateful for the participants from Saint Bernard Parish in Mount Lebanon. We also had two wonderful prayerful young ladies pedal all the way from Hazelwood on their bikes to join us in prayer!
We prayed a Rosary and a Divine Mercy with Sally in our hearts.
Please pray for a regular prayer warrior who seems to be going through a very hard time, living in a car. He’s a good man and I pray that God leads him to a comfortable and safe living situation.

Sunday witnesses from Saint Bernard Parish in Mount Lebanon.

___________________________________

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A beautiful fall day serving God with prayers and community service. 

Sunday afternoon witnesses share the sidewalk with Bill in the middle!

___________________________________

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Beautiful afternoon with my prayerful friends (40 days family) Jim and Cathy. Also Jim and Lloyd stopped by to pray and support us. 
May God’s will be done in all of us. Peace of the Lord be with you!!!

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 12, Thank You, Saint Barbara/Saint Mary/ Holy Child Parishes; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Thao N., Susan B., Amy M., David P., Maia M.; and all the people who witnessed with us today!


Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (c. 1659-1660)
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.
© BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN-GP / Jorg P. Anders.
https://us.magnificat.net

But contemplation of this masterpiece, particularly the placid beauty of the angel, unveils an even greater mystery: in his purple tunic, Jacob appears as the figure of the One who, conceived and begotten in the bosom of God as his eternal Wisdom, wholly deigned to be born and ever remain the son of man.  Yet here, at the break of dawn, this true God, rendered handicapped – and what a handicap for a God to be mortal! – prevails over the almighty God, wresting from him, in hand-to-hand Eucharistic battle, the perpetual blessing that revokes the original curse weighing upon humanity.

Dumont, Pierre-Marie.  “A Strange Adventure.” Magnificat 17, no. 5 (June 2015): 448.

Pierre-Marie Dumont reviews … the goodness of Richard’s and my children … the perseverance of Bishop Zubik … the exuberance of Father Tony… the fortitude my parents lived … the ardent steadfastness of my sisters and brothers in Pittsburgh 40 Days … God strengthens me with beauty. One day early in my middle years, I decided that being visible as a Catholic always got me in trouble. I decided to lie low. This decision lasted for longer than I want to admit.

During those days, a friend and I went to a nearby university to hear the president of Planned Parenthood speak. We planned to be a prolife voice during the question and answer session. I sat in the audience like a stone. I was unable to speak. I was so surprised! I had never seen myself as weak.

“A dead thing can go with the stream,
but only a living thing can go against it.”
G. K. Chesterton, “The Five Deaths of the Faith.”

In the readings from Mass today, Paul writes,

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7

How bereft our life would be if either of these women had been a coward.

Ave Maria composed by Michat Lorenc.

This Friday morning a volunteer told me that she felt a powerful reluctance about coming to pray in front of PP.  She actually stopped coming for a while.  Then, she realized this was a bad decision.  She still feels powerfully reluctant.  Nonetheless, she comes any way, in all weather, all year.

Wow! How beautiful! 

My power is made perfect in weakness.

Corinthians 12:9

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

Al and Sally

JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

The vigil started off right with Tom delivering supplies and Bill H. assisting.  My shift buddy, Vince, brought his nephew, Tyler, to pray with us today.  Faithful Thao joined us, too.  Young people on the sidewalk really make a statement, and I was grateful to them for joining us.  
We were able to pray through all the mysteries of the Rosary, meditating on Scripture passages throughout, before reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Not long after, we greeted Sue and Ken, coming to cover the 9-11 AM shift.  Sue is still radiating with joy from yesterday’s save.  What a blessing to have God work through her to save a mother and child!  

Tyler, Vince, Thao

Early morning Witnesses for Life!!

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SUE M. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Sunday mornings on the sidewalk are always peaceful, and today was no exception.  Many Steeler fans came by throughout the shift, and we received more positive comments from this crowd than usual today.  Ken, my loyal shift buddy, was inspiring as always to pray and talk with.  Patty M. arrived after a while, and then Sue B.  Sue and I graduated from high school together almost 40 years ago,and it’s a blessing to reconnect!
So the Gospel this weekend at Catholic Mass is Luke 17:5-10, which begins with the apostles asking Jesus to increase their faith.  The priest who celebrated my Mass had interesting things to say about this passage.  Father said he sees the mustard seed passage as one of the most misunderstood in the Gospels.  That people tend to read that and think their faith must be tiny since they haven’t actually been able to make the “big things” (trees uprooting themselves and planting themselves in the ocean, or more likely other seemingly impossible events) happen and that therefore there’s no hope for their personal faith and that it will always be pathetically and inadequately small.  He explained that God is the One Who makes those big things happen but that what He needs from us for these things to happen is for us to keep doing our part, the things that we are obliged to do for Him as His servants (as discussed at the end of the passage).  Which are mostly little things day in and day out.  And that He will work through our devotion to doing those things for Him not only to increase our faith but also to take care of the big stuff that only He can.  He added that we do need to ask God on a regular basis to increase our faith.  This all brought to my mind the vigil:  all we have to do are the things He expects of us and that we are obliged to do as His servants (praying on the sidewalk at PP and fasting), and KEEP doing them regularly and faithfully, and He will take care of the big things (i.e., hearts softening and abortion clinics closing).  Very encouraging!
A happy and blessed Sunday to one and all!
Sue M.

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RICH AND ROSEANN, SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We came prepared for rain but were fortunate to avoid it. Amy and Vince came to witness and pray with us. It was nice to see them again as they witnessed with us last week. We had a young father and his 4 year old son that was passing by and stopped to talk with us. He wanted to know why we were there and we gave him a brochure and explained our 40 days campaign. He told us that he was from West Africa and we would be seeing him again, so maybe we have a new recruit. Other than that, it was very calm today even though there was a lot of foot traffic.
Roseann

Amy and Rich, Sunday witnesses !!

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LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

“There are children present!”
Today was a balmy, breezy, and thankfully not too damp day at the 40 Days for Life vigil. I had a wonderful group of parishioners from Holy Child and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. We filled the sidewalk with spirit, grace, prayer and friendly good fellowship! I always love it when the R.  family and their beautiful children show up, there’s no better sidewalk witness than children!   
Also, sometimes God will put people from your past back into your present, and this blessing happened today with the beautiful, sweet daughter of a dear friend of mine. It was so wonderful! 
As we were praying the Rosary, we got a  colorful “walk by” verbal lambasting  from a pretty young woman who I suspect is a regular harasser. Normally, insults and foul language don’t upset me. In fact, I just feel the grace of God that much stronger! But today I got upset by it (internally), to tears. My first thought was to yell to her quickly retreating back “mind your mouth, there are children present!” I was mortified that somebody would speak like this in front of young and teen children. But the second thought that popped into my head (after a self-admonishment about keeping peace) was that my words would bear no weight. Why would this young woman care about her crude words harming children, when she supports the physical destruction of innocent pre-born children?!

I also remembered that these particular children are regular prayer warriors like their parents, and I stopped worrying about their ears hearing things that were inappropriate. So instead of getting angry, I wiped away my tears and I started to pray extra hard for that spiritually blind, sadly lost, and foolish young woman. May God lead her to his glorious, healing light of truth, repentance and conversion to His Love.

Saint Barbara/ Saint Mary/ Holy Child Parishioners

Beauty on the Downtown Sidewalk

Pro life Sunday Witnesses

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ANDY L, SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

Rosaries… Litany of the Sacred Heart… Scripture readings… Chaplets of Divine Mercy… and prayer from the heart were on the menu. And the meal was wonderful.
The rain held off. We had a visitor, Lisa, whom we spoke to for a good while.  She shared her experience of aborting her baby and crying through the entire experience.  We prayed together.
God’s Will be done. 

Shift Manager Andy with Sunday Prayer Warriors

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JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Rough day at the ballfield translated into a number of drunk, angry and abusive Steeler fans.
Fortunately, two young, cheerful, magnificent, faithfilled authentic Christians (Chris and Suki pictured) accompanied me for my entire shift.
Also the humble fatherly influence of Tom D. probably spared me from attempted violence. 
Oooh weeeee God is so good.
All glory and praise be to God!!!

Chris and Suki

Evening Prayer Witnesses

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 5: THANK YOU, Saint Regis Parish, Trafford; Saints John and Paul Parish, Franklin Park; Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Bellevue; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Pat R. and Family, Bridget S.; and all the people who witnessed with us at the Vigil today!

Virgin and Child (called the Pazzi Madonna),
Donatello (c. 1386-1466), Louvre Museum, Paris, France.  
©  Dist. RMN-GP / Pierre Philibert.
https://us.magnificat.net

My soul clings to you.

Your right hand holds me fast.

PSALM 63:9

We pray on that rough orange brick sidewalk in front of the downtown abortion site. We pray that nobody crosses the sidewalk and goes in to do abortion business. We pray for a change of heart for people involved in abortion…that they turn to God, ask for forgiveness and open their heart to Him again.     

People involved in abortion are prey of the ancient evil one.  Our creator hears our prayer. 

Abortion business is fiercely bloody.  When people take the life of the baby growing in the mother’s womb, they howl a grotesque “NO!” to the plan our Father has for them and for this baby.

God’s plan is love.

In his patient generosity, in one of the more endearing conversations in the Bible, God spoke with Job.

Then from the heart of the tempest Yahweh gave Job his answer.  He said:

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

Brace yourself like a fighter;

now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me.

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?

Tell me, since you are so well informed!

Who decided the dimensions of it, do you know?

Or, who stretched the measuring line across it?

What supports its pillars at their bases?

Who laid its cornerstone

when all the stars of the morning were singing with joy….

JOB 38:1-7

God’s plan is beautiful.

Eric Metaxas, in MIRACLES, details some facts science has discovered about the earth’s foundations.  He credits Hugh Ross PhD, astrophysicist, as one of his sources.

“Big Bang” is a term unintentionally coined by physicist Sir Fred Hoyle in a 1949 BBC interview.

The scientific consensus is that about fourteen billion years ago the whole universe arose – or actually exploded – out of nothing and has continued to explode, or expand, ever since.

The Big Bang that created the hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars and planets – was an extremely and precisely controlled explosion.

It is only because it was as precisely controlled as it was that the universe exists.

The details of the precision give us some idea of the wild miracle of our existence.  Here is just one example of the fine-tuning, among many that are available.

Consider the four fundamental forces physicists know – gravity, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force.

Each force has a value that is so heart stoppingly precisely calibrated that we can hardly take it in.

If any of these forces were ever so slightly different, our universe would not exist.

But how were the values of these four fundamental forces determined? 

How is it that they just happened to be precisely right for our universe to come into being?

Perhaps more impressive – each of these crucially precise values was established once and for all – within one millionth of a second after the Big Bang.

None of these forces has deviated in the slightest in the fourteen billion years since.

It seems impossible to avoid logically concluding that the existence of our universe is a miracle, one of impossible proportions.

MIRACLES. Eric Metaxas. pp 48-55

SING ALONG!

What a Wonderful World | Playing For Change | Song Around The World

All human nature vigorously resists grace because

grace changes us and the change is painful.

Flannery O’Connor

******

Lord, send out your Spirit

and renew the face of the earth!

Psalm 104:30

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

This year I was smart.  I always sign-up my parish for one 7-9 Sunday morning shift, but last year was, I believe, the second year in a row that I made the BIG mistake of picking the Sunday of the EQT Mile, which causes our group all kinds of transportation and parking headaches.  Well, this year I planned ahead and made sure not to do that again.  (Pause here to imagine the big pat on my back I gave myself.) 
However, while on my normal 3-5 shift this Friday one of the vigil prayers happened to mention that he would be running in the Great Race this Sunday.  (Pause here to imagine the one or two curse words I might have spoken to myself in that moment.)  Ah, life.
The upside was that I did have three of my fellow parishioners (and two brother Knights of Columbus) join me:  Yolanda, Albert, and Lud.  And we were all blessed to have Vince from St. Sebastian’s lead us in the full Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Thank you once again Vince.  

Vince, Lud, Albert, Yolanda

Pat’s fellow Saint Regis, Trafford, parishioners and brother Knights of Columbus

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SUE MC. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Although the Great Race was going on downtown this morning, the actual race did not come by PP, so it was quite the peaceful Sunday morning on the sidewalk.  (Not that we don’t welcome their presence; quite the contrary.)  The shift consisted mainly of my shift buddy Ken and myself.  THANK YOU, dear Ken, for coming all that distance to pray — today, and all the days that you do so!  We prayed and reflected. 
Bill stopped by on his way to church and shared his belief that abortion will end when the divisions among the Body of Christ finally cease and we all come together.   
At one point a man came by and shouted “Get a job!”; we prayed for him.  About halfway through the shift, we were blessed to meet Vonda, a woman from out of town who was visiting the city.  Very spiritual, she had a lot of insight, and we shared prayer and great conversation. 
I am so thankful to personally have been so blessed through this vigil to meet the most wonderful people.  Come, Lord Jesus; end the scourge of abortion on our city, our whole country, and our world!

___________________________________

RICH AND ROSEANN SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We got to our shift early because we feared we would be late due to the Great Race in town today. We were greeted by Sue and Ken. It was nice to see those who we know from previous 40 days and meet new pro-lifers who want to end the scourge of abortion. It is a blessing and honor to stand with so many dedicated to defending life. 
Thanks to Mark, Ann, Amy and Vince (who didn’t want his picture taken), and the “R” family who prayed with us. We prayed Rosaries, the Divine Mercy and did some singing. A very good 40 days shift.

Ann, Mark and Amy

Pat R. and Family

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LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

It was a peaceful, prayerful, sunny and warm prayer time with the wonderful folks at Saints John and Paul.

??

Outstanding prayerful presence by Saints John and Paul Parishioners

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ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

After prayers, including a pro-life Rosary, we were blessed to have a priest stop by. That is when the Holy Spirit really started working. We had a wonderful conversation with Nyja, a young woman around 18 who asked us to explain what we were doing and was not pro life.
We spoke of the science of DNA of unborn babies being different from that of her mother from the instant of conception … and that DNA remains the same for that person all the way until their death 100 years later.
Melissa the shift helper shared her personal story with her, and told her about the movie Unplanned and the movie on YouTube called the Silent Scream. She wrote the names down and said she would look at them and do Google research on the subject. It was a very pleasant and respectful conversation, and she seemed very open to the ideas of life!

Parishioners, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Bellevue

Spirited Witnesses

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JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Pictured, faith filled Bridget and Jim, Cathy and friend. Not pictured Mary Jane from St. Thomas More joined me during my shift today.
 
I’m so grateful for their witness. They truly inspire me to strive for a more authentic life. Also, a big THANKS to all who do the extra work and make it so easy for me to throw my crumbs into the glorious 40 days for life pot. 
 
What a blessing this ministry has been for me!!!
 
Peace of the Lord be with everyone.

Jim, Friend and Cathy

Faith Filled Bridget

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 40: THANK YOU, Saint Katharine Drexel Parish; Transfiguration and Saint Victor Parishes; The Acts Men; Living Hope Church; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken, Kristy; all People who witnessed with us today!

He calls me forth into freedom.

He saves me because he loves me.

Psalm 18:20

___________________________________

Listen.

I bring you news of great joy,

a joy to be shared by all people.

Luke 2:10

___________________________________

Although we sometimes felt cold, wet, tired and maybe intimidated, I’ll bet JOY describes us best today.  With our beloved Nikki leading, we took LOVE to the sidewalk downtown 12 hours a day for 40 Days.  Off stage, an enormous crowd of people stood ready to share comprehensive, confidential help with abortion bound people and people wounded by abortion.  Prolife is always on duty. 

A “flashmob” video filmed on a sidewalk square in front of Saint Felix Cathedral, in Sabadell, Spain, shows a crowd of people who look rather a lot like we do today…singing and happy.

The Som Sabadell (We are Sabadell) flashmob performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was conducted by Rubén Gimeno with 100 performers and a jubilant crowd of children, parents, sons and daughters.   Look closely.  Doesn’t that person remind you of someone you saw witnessing with us these past 40 Days?  How about the little kid dressed in orange, climbing the pole? 

Let us rejoice! 

THANK YOU!

Responding to a request from DEE, these brothers and sisters in Consecrated Life helped sustain us these 40 Days.

Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Jolenta Sredinski

School Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Frances Marie 

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Loretto, PA,  Monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux

Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, North Hills: Saint Louise Convent, Coordinator, Sister Anne Kull, SCN

Carmelite Monastery, Erie, Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden: Congregational Moderator, Sister Sharon Costello, CSJ

Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Rector, Father Robert and Student Representative, Deacon Nathan Adams

The Ark and the Dove,  Administrators, Sisters Bernadette, Mary Gianna and Mary Justin

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN 7-9

We had a wonderful group of prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning, including lovely parishioners of St. Katherine Drexel who had to drive an hour to be with us.  We offered up a Scriptural Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion.  Positive reactions from passersby outnumbered the negative ones.  Vince was able to help a man whose power wheelchair battery died nearby.  And sweet Sue took over just as the skies opened up and let loose a torrent of rain.  Praying that she wasn’t soaked by the end of her shift!
The picture of the yellow line was actually a mistake…I accidentally take photos of the ground just about every time I turn on the camera.  😂  But I smiled when I did it this time because I think God was telling me to share something with you. 

Looking at that newly-painted line on the sidewalk today, I noticed a slight wobble in it.  I think it’s a sign of a slight wobble in the whole PP organization, one that will get bigger with time and eventually cause the whole thing to topple. 

May God use our presence over these last 40 days to bring that about as quickly as possible!!!

Parishioners of Saint Katharine Drexel, Washington County, with Bill and Vince, Shift Buddy.

Even more Saint Katharine Drexel friends with Vince!

There’s a slight wobble in the newly-painted circle…

___________________________________

SUE Mc. 9-11

Within one minute before I arrived for my shift this morning, it started to pour down rain. I apologized for the unwelcome gift I’d brought!!!

Bob, Pat, Joan, and Judi from Transfiguration were there when I arrived to relieve Jen and Vince. We were joined shortly by Sheila from St. Camillus in the New Castle area. Sherry from South Hills Assembly joined us for the third week in a row. Bill H. (from “everywhere”!) stopped by. Later in the shift, Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration arrived, as well as Kathy & Bill from St. John XXIII. I thank every one of you for your dedication to prayer in very soggy conditions!

Toward the end of the shift, a man came by who was on a break from selling candy at the convention center.  He politely asked why we were praying at this particular location in town and we explained that it’s an abortion clinic and about 40 Days. He hadn’t realized that the building houses an abortion clinic. He told us he is “not a big fan of abortion, but I just kind of keep my head down and don’t say too much.” We invited him to join us at the next vigil. I had the feeling he walked away thinking.
It had struck me right away that the man’s quote is probably the exact thought process and M.O. of most pro-life Americans. Dear Lord, please awaken and encourage the sleeping giant of the pro-life American majority to stand up and speak up for LIFE!!!

For Life  

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

The rain did not put a damper on the attendance or on the spirit of prayer today.  What a group of faithful people who show up rain or shine!
Regulars from Transfiguration prayed with us today. 
First time participants at 40 Days was a group from Oakdale Pa. (Crossroads Men’s Ministry) who call themselves The Acts Men came to witness. It was a blessing to meet, speak and pray with them.
I did not get a picture of the R. family who came and said the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with us nor of Bill H. 
As our shift was ending, a group from Madonna Del Costello/ Word of God were arriving.
An awesome day.
 

Faithful prayer warriors from Transfiguration Parish

The Acts Men, Crossroads Men’s Ministry

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Marie P. 3-5

The sidewalk was full when I arrived just before 3:00 p.m. with members from Living Hope Church in Latrobe and The Acts Men from Oakdale.

It was so nice to have such a large presence on the sidewalk today as there was a lot of foot traffic with conventioneers from the Tekko 2019 event at the Convention Center and Penguins fans. We really must pray for our young people – the people coming from the convention are certainly in to a different “reality”- dressed in costumes celebrating Japanese pop culture.

It was evident that they do not understand the reality of abortion but are quick to make passing comments as they walked by us. How sad. I pray that they wake up to what is “reality” – certainly not dressing up in cartoon-character costumes!
Thanks to Living Hope for their strong showing on both sides of Liberty Avenue…and to The Acts Men from Oakdale for their witness on the sidewalk.

I want to thank Suzanne from Living Hope for her witness to John, a young man who engaged us in “debate” today. He was wanting to argue and I assured him we were not there to argue with him.
He was a little hampered in our discussion (by alcohol) so it seemed a futile effort to convince him that we are there not to judge or “hate the women who come there for abortions” (his words).

The Acts Men from Oakdale and Jackie from Living Hope

Suzanne from Living Hope

Living Hope Church ready to depart on their bus!

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MARSHALL 5-7

Preparing for the closing, the sidewalk is becoming crowded with several prayer warriors and faithful people who have responded to God’s call to protect the lives of the innocent.
It was a privilege to fill in today at the closing time for 40 days and Joe White. Prayers for all mothers and fathers who have conceived a child and those who desire but are currently unable. God bless their decisions.
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

Mary, Dawn, Bridget and Gail

Jason, Kevin and Melissa

Jim and Kathy

Praying the Glorious Mysteries at the Closing

___________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 33, Thank you: Saint Coleman, Turtle Creek; Saint Mary of the Assumption, Butler; Saints John and Paul, Franklin Park; Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church, Zelienople; Vince P., Ken, Marie P., Mary M.; and all the People who witnessed with us today!

DRAW A SCARY PICTURE

Our grandson got an “A” with his picture. 

My dictionary defines “crisis” as an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life.  Even when life is sympatico, pregnancy feels like both of these. However, in a worst case scenario, when a pregnancy seems to threaten all she holds dear, pregnancy terrorizes a mother.

We ask abortion bound mothers to -b-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  Stop and think.  Abortion makes you the mother of a dead baby.  Abortion hates you and your baby.  It creates a howling darkness in your life.  -B-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  We can help you today with phone numbers and emails and personal introductions. Today you CAN choose life for you and your baby.

We can help you consider the big picture. Perhaps that can help you avoid another terrible crisis like this. In her video, Lead, Kindly Light, Audrey Assad sings about the light that lit her path home.  

Ms. Assad credits John Henry Newman and his poem Lead, Kindly Light with her inspiration for this video. He wrote the poem while he was close to death on an ocean voyage.

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LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT

LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom

Lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home –

Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet;  I do not ask to see

The distant scene – one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou

Shouldst lead me on.

I loved to choose and see my path, but now

Lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will:  remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still

Will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone;

And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

At Sea

June 16, 1833

___________________________________

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean I think the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Something Beautiful for God. Malcolm Muggeridge

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

The next-to-last Sunday morning of the campaign began with Tom supplying all of our vigil needs.  Then Vince and I were able to pray all the decades of the Scriptural rosary.  God gave us a loving smile by having the sun break over the tops of the buildings just as we started meditating on the Resurrection.  
 
Bill stopped by to request prayers for Jane, a wonderful youth minister with stage IV cancer.  D & E also came to ask for help as they do every Sunday morning, but today D mentioned that she is 18 weeks pregnant.  I let her know of as many resources as I could.  Please keep them in your prayers, too.
 
As Sue, Ken, Bill, and Arlene arrived for the next shift, we all prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together.  

Tom, coKeeper of the Signs and Vince, Shift Buddy

Sue, Shift Manager 9-11, Bill and Arlene and Ken, Shift Buddy 9-11

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SUE 9-11

What a beautiful morning it was on the sidewalk.  Quite the contrast to last Sunday!  Regular 40 Days participants Arlene and Bill joined shift buddy Ken and me.  There were roses on the sidewalk when we arrived, and we added more flowers and also rose petals.  No wind this morning to blow them away. 
We prayed the daily devotional, Rosary, Psalms, and the pro-life intentions that are on the backs of some of our signs.  Jen and Vince from the 7-9 shift had told us of their joy this morning when, just as they began praying the Resurrection decade in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary this morning, the sun appeared between the buildings.  And in between prayers at my shift, our discussion this morning continued to focus on the Resurrection theme and on the virtue of Hope.  We are getting close to the great celebration!! 
It was nice having Sherry, from South Hills Assembly, join us this week again.  Toward the end of the shift, Marge and Cathy arrived from St. Paul in Butler, along with regular Patty, for the next shift.   There were no negative comments this morning that I remember – if there were, they were drowned out by our prayer. 
For Life

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

What a beautiful day, regular prayer warriors, some sunshine and warm weather. What more can one ask for? How about for God to put Planned Parenthood and all those who perform abortions out of business.
God Bless all who came to pray with us today.

Kathy, St. Mary of the Assumption and Rich, Shift Manager

Rich and Jim

Sue on her knees!

Marge and Kathy from Saint Mary of the Assumption

Bill, Faithful Witness

___________________________________

KRISTY 1-3

There was a great group from Saints John and Paul Church when I arrived.  We prayed a Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and talked about the Unplanned movie and the impact it’s making on people to open their eyes and hearts to what’s really going on in Planned Parenthood.  I read the cast of the movie went through major spiritual warfare while filming, but the effect of the movie seems to be paying off and saving babies!  

Saints John and Paul Pro Life Witnesses!

Saints John and Paul Cloud of Pro Life Witnesses

___________________________________

ANDY 3-5

Three new prayer warriors.  All retired nurses from Altoona.             Inspired by the movie Unplanned.  They decided to do something about it. So they googled the closest 40 Days campaign and ended up in Pittsburgh praying with us!

Altoona Pro Life nurses inspired by Unplanned.

Saint Gregory’s in Zelienople made a nice showing on this beautiful spring day. 

___________________________________

JOE 5-7

Always amazing to watch regular folk standing up for life through their prayerful witness, especially when Fathers are sacrificing with their daughters. Fills me with Hope for our future.
God is great!!!
Peace of the Lord be with yinz

Jim, Dave and daughter Deanna, Cathy, Tony and daughter Katelyn, Saint Gregory Parish

Kenneth from Steubenville

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 26: THANK YOU: St. Maria Goretti Parish, Bloomfield; St. Mary of the Assumption, Butler; Holy Child/St. Barbara/ St. Mary; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church; Shift Buddies Vince, Ken, Anna Marie, Kristy, Marie, George with his wife, and Kathy ; Volunteers who came to witness today!

Tell me,

what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

THE SUMMER DAY

Mary Oliver

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for your elegant reminder that life is uniquely designed, ONE – WILD – PRECIOUS.  Francis of Assisi lived the message his way.

Each life lived in Providence, then linked to another life, and then to another, is designed to change the face of the earth.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ludwig Güttler, Matthias Grünert, and Jochen Bohl lived their way. Through them Providence brought life back to Germany. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 –1945) was a German, Lutheran pastor. His THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP is a classic. Bonhoeffer staunchly resisted the Nazi dictatorship. He vigorously opposed Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April, 1943, and executed April, 1945, as the Nazi regime was collapsing.

Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) with the “stone bell” at the top, lent the Dresden, Germany, skyline its distinctive silhouette.

Ilse Walter remembers when this Lutheran church was bombed. “Spring was almost in the air on February 13, 1945,” she said.  In what followed, the bombing of Dresden, tens of thousands lost their lives.

After Dresden was destroyed, the baroque church stood for decades as a decapitated, empty shell.  The ruling communists ignored the church as they rebuilt the city.

The events that demolished the Iron Curtain began in discontent in Poland, and continued in the German Democratic Republic.

Ludwig Güttler was the chairman of the Society to Promote the Reconstruction of the Frauenkirche. Reconstruction began in 1994. Britain, which led the Dresden bombing raids, contributed more than one million euros.  The son of an English pilot who dropped bombs on Dresden created the golden cross atop the church’s dome. Coventry, the English city which was flattened by German bombing during World War II, donated a golden cross and orb. Many nations contributed. The total cost of the project came to $218 million.

Completely reconstructed, Dresden Frauenkirche hosted Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIO in January, 2011.  In this video you see Frauenkirche!
Matthias Grünert directs “Herr wenn die stolzen Feinde, ” one of the most beautiful moments in the Oratorio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojAjYfafyjk  

Lord, if proud enemies rage,

let us then in steadfast faith

look to Thy might and help.

We will put our trust in Thee alone,

so may we withstand unharmed

the talons of the fiend.

Lyrics

During the Frauenkirche Consecration Service, October, 2005, Dresden Bishop Jochen Bohl said, “A deep wound that has bled for so long can be healed.  From hate and evil a community of reconciliation can grow, which makes peace possible.”

Corporate PP, a “proud enemy,” sees itself as Goliath.  We are David.  That Biblical contest lasted for one afternoon (1 Samuel 17:50).  Our contest is lasting longer.  Add your precious life to ours. Together in prayer we will ask God to give each mother the strength to CHOOSE LIFE for her baby and for herself.

We have room for you on the sidewalk.

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NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN 7-9

So much for March going “out like a lamb”…it was the coldest Sunday morning yet.  But that didn’t stop a wonderful group from St. Maria Goretti, Our Lady of the Angels, and Immaculate Heart of Mary parishes from praying with Vince and me.  We offered up 20 decades of the Scriptural Rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet, and our frozen fingers and toes.  May God use it all for His glory as he ends abortion forever!  

Vince, Shift Buddy, and parishioners from 3 outstanding parishes, St. Maria Goretti, Our Lady of the Angels and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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SUE M 9-11

Well, so much for “March going out like a lamb”!  Yet the more important Lamb was definitely with us on the sidewalk this morning, and we had a very prayerful shift. 
My shift buddy Ken and I were joined by Sherry from South Hills Assembly, Nick from St. Maria Goretti, Philene from St. Bernard, Anna Marie from Holy Apostles, Patty (I’m sorry Patty, I can’t remember your church!),  and Rena & Gary in town from Ancaster, Canada!!  We did a lot of praying. 
At one point at the beginning of the shift, as the four of us who were there at the time were praying the Rosary, a man walked by and loudly counted us, saying, “One, two, three, four!  I’m donating one dollar to Planned Parenthood for each one of you!  Thank you!” 
We did not respond but just continued in our prayer, each one of us adding him to our intentions (and, as we discovered after the Rosary, each one rejoicing at the extreme meagerness of the purported donation amount!). 
There was a passerby at my shift yesterday also who was counting vigil participants. 

What a blessing it is indeed to STAND UP AND BE COUNTED for the Lord and for Life!

Rena, left. Gary from Anacaster; Anna Marie, Holy Apostles; Philene, St. Bernard; and Nick, St. Maria Goretti on the close right.

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ROSEANNE AND RICH 11-1

From “no coat” yesterday to “4 layers under your coat” today and with good fellowship you hardly noticed the change in temperature.
Margie from St. Mary of the Assumption witnessed and prayed with us. Sundays are usually quiet and today was no exception. We had no negativity during our shift today which is always a good thing. Hopefully that will continue. St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us. 

Margie from St. Mary of the Assumption with Roseann, Shift Manager

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LINDSAY 1-3

Amazing prayer warriors arrived from Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville.
Constant prayer in brutal cold conditions and snow!
We were led by a true Knight from Knights of Columbus.
 

Prayer warriors from Holy Child Parish including Audrey and Jim wearing red!

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ANDY 3-5

Joseph, George, Michael Joseph and Michael are brothers, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church George, Holy Trinity

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JOE 5-7

My apologies to Sophia and Katiya from Holy Trinity and sisters Mary and Rose from St. Boniface for dropping the ball and not getting your pictures, but you are all amazing.

What a glorious day shared with such faith filled, committed, jubilant Christians standing, kneeling and praying for life.

I don’t possess the vocabulary to express how blown away by the witness, the humanity on display at that death mill today, so I’ll just say, “Thank you, Jesus, for being so generous to me.

All glory and praise be to God!!!”

Deacon Myron with wife Bobbi,

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

Witnesses including Maria and Ainsley from Salvador Holy Trinity

Joseph, Father Jason and Michael. Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

Faithful Bridget

Jim, Cathy, Joseph, St. Gregory and Francis from St. Killian Parish

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And God saw that it was good.

  

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

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

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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

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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!”

DUET

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.

CHOIR

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!

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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.

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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

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Happily for us sinners, there it good news!

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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.

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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.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK 

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

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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.

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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!

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KRISTY 1-3

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

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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.

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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.