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.



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



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.



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!



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



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



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.



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

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



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.

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


Al and Sally


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!!



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.



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.

Amy and Rich, Sunday witnesses !!



“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



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



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.

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


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



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



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!



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



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



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



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



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! 


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



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  



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


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!



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!


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.



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


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


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



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



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?


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.  

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.


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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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.


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.



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



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!


ANDY 3-5

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


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


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


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


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

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


Bach brings us to the Garden in Gethsemane.

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


So is my Jesus captured now.

Moon and light

are quenched for sorrow,

because my Jesus is captured.

They lead him away, he is bound.


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

Have lightnings, has thunder vanished in the clouds?

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

shatter with sudden force

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!


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

Moon and light are quenched for sorrow

the false betrayer, the murderous blood!

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


I know your works;

I know that you are neither cold nor hot.

I wish you were either cold or hot.

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

I will spit you out of my mouth.

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


Happily for us sinners, there it good news!


So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off,

his father caught sight of him,

and was filled with compassion.

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

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


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


JEN 7-9

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

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


SUE 9-11

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

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

Sally and Melinda, faithful prolife witnesses

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


Roseann and Rich 11-1

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

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

Beth, Regular Prolife Witness, St. John XXIII Parishioner

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

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



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

Parishioners, Saint John XXIII witnessed in great numbers today!

Lovely Saint John XXIII family brings joy to share.

More pro life beauty from Saint John XXIII.

Saint John XXIII parishioners Janet and Kevin


ANDY 3-5

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

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

Shift manager Andy with Saint John XXIII parishioners.

Saint John XXIII parishioners continue to arrive to witness.

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

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


JOE 5-7

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

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

Peace of the Lord be with all of you.

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

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

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

And God saw that it was good.  

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

Mary Magdalene, Giovanni Bellini.

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

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

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

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

Here are the lyrics.                

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


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


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

CONTACT: : 888-456-4673


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



JEN 7-9

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

Vince and Jim going the extra mile early Sunday morning!

People of God Covenant Community, with shift manager Jen

Shift Buddy Vince and Jim


KEN 9-11

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



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

Pat and Roseann, Shift Manager

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



Volunteer Joe with Shift Manager Lindsay

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


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

Joe with shift buddy Katie


ANDY 3-5

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


JOE and KATHY 5-7

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


PAT M. 7-9

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

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


St. Regis parishioners begin the Rosary

with shift buddy, Vince, St. Sebastian

Lud, Vince, Yolanda, Albert


SUE 9-11

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



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

Regular 40 Days Prayer Warrior Family



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


ANDY 3-5

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

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

Sunday Witnesses for Life going the extra mile!


JOE 5-7

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

All glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  And God saw that it was good.

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


DAY 40


Knock-out Punch FAST








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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A dead thing can go with the stream.

Only a living thing can go against it.

G.K. Chesterton


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

The glory of God is a human being fully alive!

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

 Be still and know that I am God!

 In awe, the person stands ready.

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


 Leading her 17th campaign in the Steel City,

Nikki is as tough as…well…steel!

Shawn Carney, Day 39 Blog

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

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

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

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

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

All is right with the world.







JEN 7-9

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

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


Vince, Shift Buddy
Julie, knees to the ground!


SUE 9-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spirited Prayer


Sue, Shift Manager
Julie, Prayer Companion


KATHY K.  1-3

Many people came to pray. Grateful to God!

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

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

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

We prayed for her, guessing she had an abortion.

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

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

Sunday Afternoon
They came to pray!


JOE 3-5

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

View Crest Presbyterian Church

Faithful servants Jim and Cathy
















JOE 5-7

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














And God saw that it was good.