DAY 12: THANK YOU! Knights of Columbus; Catholic Men’s Fellowship; Harvest Baptist Church, Natrona Heights; Individual Volunteers

That toe lady pic of me tells it all. I am way too silly.  She’s So Cold, Rolling Stones, 1980, remains one of my #1 hits. Left to myself, goodness knows what I would do or fail to do.

In His passionate, fatherly generosity, God sends “rescue teams”.  He sent me a hefty one last fall, during our 40 DAYS campaign.

A young woman who supported PP regularly visited us on the sidewalk.  She championed PP for hours at a time, walking back and forth, peering closely into your face, and loudly demanding answers about abortion and God.

One day our parish sponsored the prayer vigil for the entire twelve hours.  She accompanied us for at least 2 of them. She phrased her questions skillfully, appeared to listen carefully, misconstrued our answers and returned the conversation to her original premise.  Clever. Exhausting. Annoying. That‘s how I saw her.  Some of the parishioners who came that afternoon patiently gave her their full attention for quite a while.  I couldn’t.  I knelt down to pray.  Tears started.  I sobbed.  I hate to do that.  There was no hiding it.

She completely unnerved me.  I knew some answers that might have helped her.  My heart went out to her.  She swamped me.

Soon my friends left.   I was alone.  I sat down and held my prolife sign on my lap.  She stood at the curb, called out cheers for PP and held her PP sign above her head.  Half hour later, we said goodbye and she left.


I had to thank this roughly enthusiastic PP woman.  I dropped the ball.  Was I wasting too much time  being TOE LADY … irrelevant, lukewarm ….

I asked God to send a rescue team.

“What are you doing to evangelize the culture?” Pope Saint John Paul II asked Cardinal George during his ad limina visit to Rome.  Returning to Chicago, Cardinal George tossed the ball to Reverend Robert Barron. “I want you to evangelize the culture.”

Lucky me! Bishop Barron caught the ball.

I already had and loved CATHOLICISM.   I already subscribed to his daily Gospel reflections.  I needed more.

This winter, my rescue team found me one of Bishop Barron’s videos.

The New Evangelization and Higher Education

I learned.  I watched more.   I bought the The Pivotal Players and his book, To Light a Fire On The Earth.

Bishop Barron revisits and restates the ancient truths about God and man in Jesus Christ.  He reminds us that today’s heresies are not new ideas.  They are reworded misunderstandings that have captured people since ancient times.

Aquinas and Why the New Atheists are Right




The New Testament is really about a lot of people

who want to grab the whole world by the shoulders

and SHAKE them.



Evangelization is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ



Contemporary secular culture

rejects religion and the supernatural.

Even so, people remain Christ-haunted.

People long for the answers

to questions they have lost the ability to ask.

These answers are found only in Christ

When discussing evangelization, certain adjectives kept coming up.  Nimble, quick, and canny are favorites.

While personal conviction, knowledge of the tradition, and zeal to be a missionary are essential, they have to be rounded out by good instincts for where the target audience IS at any given moment, and which strategies are likely to reach them best.

PP people will continue to break my heart.  But this PP woman will not make me cry again.  EVANGELIZATION is what her heart wants.  I offered what I had.  Her questioning technique blocked me.  Now I better understand in whose strength I can help.  I can see the ancient enemy more clearly.  I can be patient.  I can accompany and love her as she tries to cooperate with the rescue team God sends her.  I have a back up team I can access because nimble, quick and canny have not described me for quite a while, if they ever did!

“Rescue team” is Bishop Barron’s concept.  He uses it to refer to God’s persistent, loving direction of the ancient recalcitrant Israelites, and us.




I set out my mittens, scarf, and winter coat last night to be ready for the vigil this morning, but I didn’t end up needing any of them!  Thank you, Lord, for a welcome taste of spring on a February morning.

Besides the warm weather, I was blessed with warm fellowship on the sidewalk.  Mark, a Knight of Columbus, arrived to make sure I wouldn’t be standing alone–despite the fact that he was just getting over being sick.  Vince came, too, as he does on so many Sunday mornings.  And we were happy to see Bill when he stopped by on his way to church.

Together, we prayed two Rosaries and a Divine Mercy Chaplet while handing out resource cards to passersby.

Sue and Kathy took the shift baton just as Matt, Mary, and Therese joined our group.  Thank you all for being there this morning!

Vince and Mark
Early Sunday Witnesses



A pleasant yet misty spring like day was in progress when my good friend Kathy L. and I arrived on the sidewalk this morning.  I felt overdressed in my winter coat.  We arrived to find Vince and the lovely family of Matt, Mary, and Therese, and Patty joined us soon afterward, as she so often does on Sunday mornings.  Vince led us in a heartfelt Scriptural Rosary, Joyful Mysteries, as only Vince can do.  After he left, Kathy and I moved to the other side of the circle to provide some witness on the other side.

It was a very prayerful shift.  If anyone ever wants to pray from Scripture, Kathy L. is your gal!  She led us through many psalms, and we sang some hymns.  Patty and the Matt-Mary-Therese family continued in prayer on the other side.  I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, and my resolve to continue in this prayerful battle was strengthened.

The foot traffic was rather light today, which it usually is on Sundays, and we had only one negative-commenting passerby.  Kathy and I prayed for a change of heart for him.

The heavy rains and wind came about halfway into our shift, but we persevered in prayer throughout although Kathy’s Bible got soaked.  Thanks be to God for the privilege of being His witnesses and providing friends in the Lord by our sides!!!

Patty, Mary, Therese, Matt, Sue (Shift Manager) and Kathy



We got lucky and our shift started just as all that rain moved on to the east.
We were fortunate to have 4 prayer warriors to stand with us today and got in a couple Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets.

We had a few positive comments and only one negative.

Roseann, Shift Manager, Karen, Anna Marie and Mary


and Shift Manager, Rich



The shift was uneventful.

Had some amazing people praying with me including a family of 6 who has been at the vigil before.

God is good!

Amazing family joining us in witnessing!



I was praying for a word of guidance before starting my shift today. I opened my Bible to John 1:5.

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

I drew encouragement from that. I thank God for the gift of this 40 days ministry and all who participate in it. Although the darkness does try to enter in, with angry comments, those standing to witness for life are not overcome. I give thanks in particular for Joyce and Sarah from Harvest Baptist and Meme who prayed with me in the Light today.

Joyce and Sarah
Harvest Baptist


Faithful 40 Days Witness



Ken greeted me and hung out for a bit. He’s good people! Then Jim and Cathy(my 40 days muses) showed up and we prayed a couple of rosaries. They’re good people, it’s a trend.

Thank you Jesus for bringing such high quality individuals into this fight for life.

Peace to all.

Ken, Jim and Cathy
Good People!








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New baby brother is resting in his sister’s lap.  His brother takes his turn.  Their mother had been strongly advised to “terminate the pregnancy”… that is to say, their little brother. Sharing these pictures with me, she said, “I’m always available to share my experience with anyone who wants to hear.  Life is something given and taken by God.  We are not intended to interfere, at any point.”

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Dad, all his grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles were gathered about, quietly talking in the warm sunny room.  Mom sat in the chair by the window quietly holding him.  He was wrapped in the blue and white blanket Granny knit for him.

“Tommy” had just come home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He was sleeping.  Everyone knew their little boy was expected to live only a few more days.  They chose to bring him home.

At home they could dress comfortably, receive visitors and rest.  Together they loved Tommy, treasuring this interlude with all their strength.

I was a nurse on their hospice team.

A few days later, Tommy died.  My team mate, “Jeannie,” was much more experienced in hospice care.  She and I made this visit together.

Mom asked me to put a new outfit on her little son.  She stayed with me as I washed his face and hands.  She put lotion on his arms and legs.  I dressed him and wrapped him in his little blanket.  Tommy’s Mother went back to the chair by the window and sat down, keeping him in her arms.

Jeannie called the funeral director and gave him specific instructions.

“When you get here, take your time.  Let the family help the mother hand you her baby.  This will be agony for her.  Leave the baby face uncovered, unless the family requests otherwise.  Carry the baby gently in your arms when you take him from the house.”

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Elvira Parravicini, M.D., wrote “Aspects of Beauty: The Medical Care of Terminally Ill Newborns.” During med school, I decided to become a neonatologist.  I had been participating in the meetings for prenatal diagnosis in my hospital.  I stopped going to these meetings. It was just too painful.  The proposal was always for termination of pregnancy.  There was no space for me as neonatologist.  I believe that any medical condition can be treated, whether the estimated length of life is ninety years or seven minutes.

One day, I did go to the meeting.

The doctor presented the cases of two women expecting babies with a life-limiting condition. These women did not want to terminate. Who is going to take care of these babies?  I raised my hand and said, “We can do comfort care.”

Comfort care is not a matter of trying to be kind to the patient, and not doing anything medical because there is nothing we can do. Because there is no recovery possible, the patient’s comfort becomes the main goal of treatment.   Comfort care is a medical and a nursing treatment. To be comfortable a newborn baby needs to be welcomed, clean and warm.  The baby should not be thirsty, hungry or in pain.

“Kangaroo care” is a good example of comfort care.  These babies get cold easily. In an incubator, the baby cannot be close to parents.   Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin contact. Mom and Dad alternately hold baby on their chest. Family can visit.  Spending time together the family celebrates the joy of having their baby close.


The teenaged parents had tattoos and piercing.  Many staff suggested that they should “terminate the pregnancy.” They refused. “These are our babies.”

The babies shared a single heart with severe anomalies. They had to be delivered prematurely because Mom had high blood pressure.

I felt sad in the delivery room.  People were saying that this Mom was crazy to bring the babies to term. “She is going to get a cesarean section. This wound will mark all her life.  She will possibly have problems having other children.” Some young physicians in training were ready with their cameras to take pictures of the “rare case.”

Finally, here they are! The two beautiful little girls were embracing each other because they had been united by their chest their entire life.

The Father asked me if he could hold them. “Of course,” I said. The babies were just gasping a little bit.  Their heart was beating very slowly.  Their Father kept reassuring his children.  “Don’t worry. Daddy is here!”

I wondered, “Who knows what grades this teenager gets at school?  He is a great Father!”

The atmosphere in the delivery room had completely changed. I saw tears.  People were embracing this young Father.  The cameras were no longer around. The people were the same, but completely changed.

Edited for space

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Today, the little brother  is 2 years old and keeping his family busy as “he gets into everything.”

The story of the other two families ends differently.

During their short time, the other three babies were surrounded by family, cherished, held, warmed, cuddled, breathed on, smiled at, kissed, hugged, loved … and loved some more.

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The dying of the frail babies targeted for termination and the anguish of their parents progresses quite  differently.  Abortion tears a ghastly hole through which a terrible darkness enters the human heart. It bloodies the baby body.  It bloodies the hands of everyone who consents.

God continues to love each and every person guilty of this horror. Fear not little flock.  Run to your Father. Tell him about your sin and your anguish. Repent.  Run to safety…to the open loving arms of your Father. He knows what to do.

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I question my sanity on only two mornings each winter.  The first is when I wake up and realize that it’s the day of the March for Life.  It then hits me that I’m about to face 10 hours in a bus and lots of time outdoors in potentially cold weather in a sea of people.  The second is when I wake up and remember that I’ve agreed to take the 7-9 AM 40 DFL shift on a cold Sunday morning.  Yet shortly after that realization hit me this morning, I started to reflect on what Nikki wrote in her blog on Wednesday.  And it helped.  Basically she said that we don’t do what we do because we love doing it.  In fact, we’d rather be almost anywhere else.  But we do do it because of love.

Today my parish, St. Regis in Trafford, did our part by taking the first of two 2-hour shifts this campaign.  And my fears that I might be alone (which I have each time) were put to rest when Rose from the North Hills arrived early.  She was followed by my most faithful couple from St. Regis, Yolanda and Albert, who is a brother Knight of Columbus.  Then Bill, the Grand Knight for our council, arrived and took his maiden voyage out in front of PP.  Shortly after that, we were joined by one of the best prayers 40 DFL has, Vince, also from the North Hills.  [Sorry Rose and Vince, but I forgot your respective parishes.]  All stayed for the entire two hours as we alternated praying with good conversation.

Bill, Rose, Vince
Bill, Rose, Vince


Bill, Rose, Albert and Yolanda
Bill, Rose, Albert and Yolanda



My first shift of the vigil was a peaceful blessing.  As we prayed, Arlene, Bill, Lisa, and I experienced no negative reactions to our sidewalk presence and many positive ones. Many families with young children were walking by us; there must have been an event in town today geared to families (auto show?). I wonder how many conversations were initiated in those young families by our presence and signs.  I hope lots of good ones!

Sue, Shift Manager Arlene and Bill St. Colman
Sue, Shift Manager
Arlene and Bill
St. Colman
Arlene and Bill Lise, Shift Manager another day Saint Colman Parish
Arlene and Bill
Lisa, Shift Manager another day
Saint Colman Parish



It was cold!  Two prayer volunteers joined us for about 11/2 hours.  We have been with 40 Days since the beginning.  We are glad.



We had a couple of oddities.  However, everything came out well.

On a positive note I had 5 amazing prayers with me and we prayed 3 scriptural rosaries! It was a grand time of prayer!





I was blessed with plenty of prayer partners at my shift today.

Joe and Kim who prayed on the previous shift with SM Maggie stayed with me well into my first hour. Joe and Karen and their beautiful family from St. Monica Parish responded to the SOS for SM standing alone and prayed with me the entire time.  Joining us was our regular Pat from St. Bernadette’s.  Also Steve and Denise came from St. Joseph’s  and regular Kathy.

There were a few unfriendly remarks or gestures but plenty of hope too. There was a family who stopped for pictures of the fetal models. A young man, Joe came by to say thank you to a SM who answered all his questions in a previous encounter and helped him to see the good in the work that we do at 40 days for life.

Joe and Karen, parents of this lovely family. Saint Monica Parish
Joe and Karen, parents of this lovely family.
Saint Monica Parish


Steve and Denise Saint Joseph Parish
Steve and Denise
Saint Joseph Parish



Shared my entire shift with Jim and Cathy from Saint Gregory’s parish in

It was a peaceful shift with peaceful, virtuous company. 40 days seems
to be filled with these wonderful Christians. I hope and pray those
virtues infiltrate my hardened heart.

All glory and praise be to God.

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Day 40: Thank you, Catholic Charities; St. Regis Catholic Church, Trafford; Holy Trinity Ukranian Catholic Church, Carnegie; Individual Prayer Volunteers

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 War memorial cemeteries are built

 to honor those who have sacrificed their lives during the war.

America’s Wars (1775 -1991)

216 years

651,031 Battle Deaths


America’s Abortions (1973 – 2015)

42 years

58,586,256 Baby Deaths

Where is the cemetery families can use to bury the body of their aborted child?

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Ordinarily when a family member dies the rest of the family has a grief process.  If successful, the grief process “closes the wound.”

Our culture resists, and is even hostile to, admitting the reality that abortion kills a child, a member of a family.


America permits abortion to

kill their child

wound the mother

strip the parental rights of the father.


If a man’s pregnant partner seeks to have an abortion, the father’s consent isn’t legally required.

A woman may choose to terminate a pregnancy against the objections of the father.

The father does not have a legal right to be notified of an abortion.

If a prospective mother seeks to abort a pregnancy against a father’s wishes, an attorney may be able to draft an agreement where the father agrees to pay the costs of pregnancy and obtain full custody after birth.


Arthur Shostak (Bachelor of Science, 1958, Cornell University; Ph.D., 1961, Princeton)  accompanied his partner to a well-groomed suburban abortion clinic in the early 1970s.

They had both agreed abortion was best.

Sitting in the waiting room proved to be a “bruising experience”.

When he left the clinic, he was shocked by how deeply disturbed he had become.

Shostak spent the next ten years studying the abortion experience of men. His study, published in 1984, covered 1,000 men who accompanied their wives or girlfriends to abortion clinics. This study is still the benchmark study in the field.  Here are some of his discoveries.



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Abortion rewrites the rules of masculinity.

While a man is expected to be strong, abortion makes him feel weak.

A man is expected to be responsible.  Abortion encourages him to act without concern for the innocent.

It encourages him to destroy any identifiable and undesirable outcomes of his sexual decision making and/or attachments.

They feel sad.  They feel curious.  They feel a lot of things.

But usually they have talked to no one about it.  It is taboo.

More than one in four equated abortion to murder.

Slightly over 80 percent said they had already begun to think about the child that might have been born.

29 percent said they had been fantasizing about the child “frequently”.

68 percent believed men involved in abortions “did not have an easy time of it.”

47 percent worried about having disturbing thoughts afterwards.

Many men began to cry during the interview.

When asked if the man and woman should have an equal say in the decision, 80 percent of married men agreed.  Fifty-eight percent of single men agreed.

Many expressed frustration and anger about the failure of women to consider their wishes and feelings.

In a subsequent interview Shostak said:

Most of the men I talk to think about the abortion years after it is over.

With a man, if he wants to shed a tear, he had better do it privately.

If he feels that the abortion had denied him his child, he had better work through it himself.

He does not share his pain with a clergyman, a minister.

He does not share it with a close male friend.

It just stays with him.

And it stays for a long time.

According to Dr. Vincent Rue, one of the nation’s most experienced psychologists in the field of post-abortion issues:

Typical male grief responses include remaining silent and grieving alone.

A guilt-ridden, tormented male does not easily love or accept love.


Men have reported a large number of problems that they claim were a direct result of their abortion experience. These include:

broken relationships,

sexual dysfunction,

substance abuse,


risk taking and suicidal behavior,

increasing feelings of grief over time,

feelings of helplessness, guilt, depression,

greater tendencies toward becoming angry and violent, and

feelings connected to a sense of lost manhood.


If we listen to the national professional mental health organizations, abortion carries no psychological health risk, certainly none greater than child birth.

This flies in the face of thousands of stories that I have heard – the stories that you hear from women and men impacted from abortion, both in this country and abroad.

Post abortion treatment is a human issue because abortion represents to those who are negatively impacted by it an intentional death experience.

 The American Psychological Association, in 2008, provided a report to the American people that basically says that abortion carries no increased relative risk.

I would submit to you that this is incorrect.  It is incorrect scientifically and there is abundant research, some 385 studies, that would ague in opposition to what the APA said.

“Project Rachel: The Psychoanalyst’s Role.”  Vincent Rue, MSW, PhD

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Jeannie, designer of this happy note,  continues to grow in wisdom and grace.

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Today was the day I signed up my parish, St. Regis in Trafford, to stand from 7-9 AM…and I worried.  I worried about the weather forecast (scattered thundershowers).  I worried about the fact that the EQT 10-Miler would close down Liberty Avenue “sometime around 7 AM”.  And I worried that Jeff, who was bringing the materials to the sidewalk for Diane today, might not get in before Liberty was closed down.  In short, I forgot that TRUST was the theme for this campaign.

All worked out better than I could have reasonably expected.  Steph, my wife, decided late that that she would come with me.  Two of my brother Knights of Columbus, Mike and Albert, came.  Albert’s wife, Yolanda, and their daughter, Susan (from Saint John XXIII Parish), also came.  We had a good mix of prayer and good conversation.  Many thanks to all  of you.

Mike, Susan, Albert, Yolanda and Steph
Mike, Susan, Albert,
Yolanda and Steph
Susan, Yolanda and Vince. Vince is leading the Rosary meditations.
Susan, Yolanda and Vince.
Vince is leading the Rosary meditations.



Today was one of the most interesting experiences I have had at 40 days.  It was the day of a 10 K race that goes right through the 40 days site, so just to get down and travel through the city was a minor miracle.

There was a “pro-choice advocate” cheering on the runs while she held a sign proclaiming her support for PP.  God gives us the grace to work for His cause, the cause of Life. She was loud, and I believe that we were prayerful.  Many runners, especially women supported her and thanked her, so we are reminded to pray for our nation.  Hopefully, they act in ignorance.

I am grateful for Kathy, Vince, Theresa, and Bill for standing for 40 days for Life.  It rained during the entire two hours, and it was quite heavy by the end.



Praise God good weather for my shift.

I had a wonderful family with 6 kids keep me company and they prayed one rosary after another. I had a few individuals join me for the end of my shift.

Praise God for all his love and care!

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Bill and all these people filled the sidewalk with life and prayers. Not only was the weather warm but, so were the hearts!

Angy, Father Jason, Natalia, Martha, Patty Holy Trinity in Carnegie
Angy, Father Jason, Natalia, Martha, Patty
Holy Trinity in Carnegie


Prayeer witnesses: St. Bernadette, St. Madonna Del Costello, Family from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
Prayer witnesses:
St. Bernadette, St. Madonna Del Costello, Family from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church


George and Friend St. John's
George and Friend
St. John’s
Aileen, Martha Father Jason
Aileen,  Father Jason, Natalia


Bill, Prayer Witness, Shift Manager
Bill, Prayer Witness, Shift Manager


And God saw that it was good.

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Day 33…Good Works






WAOB (We Are One Body) 106.7FM

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For all its strength, comfort and sublimity,

human friendship has about it the frail delicacy of old lace.

It is never a rugged thing

because of our inability to share our inner self.

We cannot give ourselves away utterly

because we do not belong completely to ourselves.

Betrayal of a friend is a kind of a suicide.

Walter Farrell O.P.


Frederica Mathewes-Green (October 27, 1952)

celebrated her birthday recently.

Highlights from an article she wrote 24 years ago

offer refreshing reflections

for those of us dazed and dusty from the sidewalk.

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The abortion debate seems like an unresolvable conflict of rights between the right of women to control their own bodies and the right of children to be born.

In a culture that treats pregnancy and childrearing as impediments, abortion surgically adapts a woman to fit in.

In college I advocated the repeal of abortion laws and supported my friends who traveled for out‑of‑state abortions.

For years I bought the line that the unborn was just a “glob of tissue.”

An unplanned pregnancy felt like an invader, an evil alien bent on colonizing one’s body and destroying one’s plans. The first right must be to keep one’s body safe, private, and healthy.  Without that, all other rights are meaningless.

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It is because I still believe so strongly in the right of a woman to protect her body that I now oppose abortion. That right must begin when her body begins, and it must be hers no matter where she lives—even if she lives in her mother’s womb. The same holds true for her brother.

When I ran across a description of a mid‑pregnancy abortion, I was horrified at the description of the syringe’s hub jerking against the mother’s abdomen as her child went through his death throes.

I learned that early abortions are no more kind.  The child is pulled apart limb from limb and sucked through a narrow tube into a bloody bag.

Dr. Willard Cates of the Centers for Disease Control estimated in 1981,  that 400‑500 times a year children are born alive after late abortions and then made to die.

Even if there were any doubt that the unborn was a person, if I had seen someone doing this to a kitten I would have been horrified.

The feminism that hoped to create a new just society had embraced an act of injustice as essential.


The average woman does not gain, but loses when she has an abortion.

She loses the cash.

She undergoes a humiliating procedure.

The delicately‑balanced ecology of her body is disrupted.

Nicks and scratches in the uterus can cause scarring which may lead to endometriosis.

Damage from an abortion that goes unnoticed until she is far into a later, wanted pregnancy, can cause a miscarriage.

If those scars are near the opening to the fallopian tube, the opening can be partly obliterated and lead to an ectopic pregnancy.

Alternatively, the scarring at the tube’s entrance may be complete and the woman is sterile. She thought she was aborting one pregnancy, but she was aborting all her pregnancies for the rest of her life.

Abortion can kill a woman.

The last loss is the loss of her peace of mind. Many women grieve silently after abortion, their sorrow ignored by a society that expects them to be grateful for the “freedom” to abort.

Her most devastating loss

She loses her own child. This child is as much like her as any child she will ever have, sharing her appearance, talents, and family tree.  In abortion, she offers her own child as a sacrifice for the right to continue her life. It is a sacrifice that will haunt her.


Do women want abortion?

Not like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream cone.

Like an animal caught in a trap,

trying to gnaw off its own leg,

a woman who seeks abortion is trying to escape a desperate situation

by an act of violence and self‑loss.

Abortion is not a sign that women are free,

but a sign that they are desperate.

Frederica Mathewes-Green

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If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

If we acknowledge our sins,

he is faithful and just

and will forgive our sins

and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

1 John 1:8-9



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Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D., started one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-aborted people in 1986, after founding The Center for Post Abortion Healing.

Theresa adapted and expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats, Rachel’s Vineyard.

Do not continue to live in the shame, fear or numbness – call our toll-free national hotlines:
Rachel’s Vineyard: 877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463) – National Hotline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-LIFE (866-482-5433)


Co-founded in 2003, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign responded to a need for a pro-life ministry in which men and women who had had experiences of abortion could offer and gain support.
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Sister Mercy Maria Egbeji, Superior of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy, Rankin, reports that she and the sisters will pray for us during their Holy Hour of Adoration.

WAOB 106.7 FM broadcasts 40 Days for Life participants praying the Scriptural Rosary every month.  Tune in and pray with us!


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French from the Bench

Last week, I saw X-rays of my broken collarbone.

First was the Emergency Room photo— “the original”- how beautiful the human body is as planned by God- I could see the break in my collarbone – a clean sharp swatch separating 2 parts of “the architecture”.   The next image was a few weeks after the break — what had resulted from the break—the 2 bones reminded me of train cars in a bad accident—one slides up and over the other.   The damage to the beautiful architecture was dramatic!

I think the embrace of the evil of abortion has really disrupted God’s plan for mankind.  From the horrific violence in the clinics to senseless mass killings here and around the world, we truly have broken with God.

Like my impatience with my own healing, I am impatient with our long struggle to end abortion and return respect for human life.  But, we really have a “train wreck” here.  It is going to take time, skill, patience, and God’s guidance to fix.

Let us heal together with Him who heals us all!




How beautiful our 40 Days for Life family is!

Peggy, Dan, Judy, and Vince all answered the call to come and pray on a cold, wet Sunday morning.  Vince led us in a very powerful and emotional Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, meditating in detail on the suffering of our Lord.  It struck me that I often forget one of the most important reasons to take part in this vigil–in reparation for the agony that abortion caused our Savior, agony that He willingly suffered for me and for each person who passes through the doors of PP.

Thank you to Diane and Tom for getting us started this morning with all the needed supplies…the umbrellas and hand warmers came in very handy today!  God bless Bill, who wasn’t feeling very well when he made his morning prayer visit.  And thanks to Ken, who came from quite a distance to lead the next vigil shift!

Peggy, Judy, Dan, Vince Sunday Sidewalk Witnesses
Peggy, Judy, Dan, Vince
Sunday Sidewalk Witnesses



A peaceful Sunday morning.

Made more peaceful because this abortion facility is closed today and no one was harmed.

A quiet and prayerful time with Patti, Mark and Andrea.

Also prayed with a family from St. ELIZABETH ANN SETON.

Patti, Mark and Andrea
Patti, Mark and Andrea


Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Family
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Parish Family


Faithful Prolife Witnesses
Faithful Prolife Witnesses



We had an awesome time today. A group from Zion Church in Brookline sang hymns in Spanish, made a mini Jericho March back and forth around the semicircle and had their pastor Frank ask that this Planned Parenthood be closed! Alleluia!

We also had a group from a parish in Bridgeville praying the Rosary along with the Parochial Vicar there, Father Joe.

God is so good!

Shift managers Audrey and jim, Father Joe and faithful witnesses
Shift managers Audrey and jim, Father Joe and Holy Child Parishioners


Zion Church in Brookline came to pray out loud in downtown Pittsburgh.
Zion Church in Brookline came to pray out loud in downtown Pittsburgh.


Everybody praying for Life
Everybody praying for Life



Despite the chill and dampness in the air, what a blessed day!  During the earlier shift, a large congregation from the Zion Church in Brookline was a lively, energized Hispanic group.  They circled seven times to replicate the march at Jericho – praying to let the walls fall.  Their song, dance, and prayers spoke loud and clear of their faith in the Lord.

Holy Child, Jim’s and my home parish in Bridgeville, took the 1 to 3 p.m. shift.  Father Joe inspired us as he lead us in prayer joined by Thomas from Holy Child and Colleen and Dick from St. Winifred.  Regulars Margie and Larry from St. Mary’s faithfully prayed and kept us warm with their love.  As I was standing there praying today and looking on at the facade of Planned Parenthood, I saw the bricks were in the form of crosses, many crosses – representing the many tiny souls that are lost there every week….

Another best of the day was an unplanned visit from alumni and students from Franciscan University.  The young men just happened to be walking down the street and saw our vigil and became part of our witness.  The young women were inspired by their Mom – a regular 40 Days vigilant.  We prayerfully said the Rosary over and over again….  The response from the few passersby was that of support and thankfulness.  God is good.  Sometimes the most inspiration comes from the heartfelt discussions on the sidewalk.  We pray, we share, and we witness!

Jerico March
Jerico March


Shift Manager Jim Holy Child parishioners
Shift Manager Jim
Holy Child parishioners


Shift Manager, Audrey with Holy Child parishioners
Shift Manager, Audrey
with Holy Child parishioners


Franciscan University Alumni and Students
Franciscan University
Alumni and Students


Bricks, form of crosses representing many tiny souls lost there to abortion.
Bricks form crosses representing many tiny souls lost there to abortion.

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Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.

By those who love her she is readily seen,

and found by those who look for her.
Quick to anticipate those who desire her,

she makes herself known to them.

Watch for her early and you will have no trouble.

You will find her sitting at your gates.

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.

Wisdom 6: 17-19, 12-14

And God saw that it was good.

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Check back for more NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK!

DAY 26: THANK YOU, Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Saint John Fisher Parish, Richmond OH

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde 1854-1900


I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Francis Thompson 1859-1907


To clone a person, you would have to clone their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, first grade teacher, next door neighbors and so on until you have included all their people.

Lewis Thomas 1913-1993


In our audacity, we witness in prayer to change hearts.  We know that heart changes are difficult and painful and take a lifetime.

History gives us a glimpse of the heart of the person who wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  Reading it, you can’t stop thinking about Jesus holding his arms wide open on the Cross.


Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was baptized as an infant in the local Church of Ireland (Anglican).

Wilde’s mother was a lifelong Irish nationalist.  She wrote poetry for the revolutionary “Young Irelanders” and read their poetry to Oscar.

The movement of the “Young Irelanders” may be said to date from the founding of the Nation newspaper, 1842.  “Educate that you may be free” was the keynote of the new journal, which was destined to find its way within a year into nearly every household in Ireland. It preached temperance, patience, energy, and resolution. It held up the spirit of the people while it taught them tolerance and union.

Jane Wilde attended Mass with her sons in a chapel where Father Prideaux Fox, a Catholic priest, was the celebrant. Father Fox said, “I am not sure if she ever became a Catholic herself, but it was not long before she asked me to instruct two of her children, one of them being the future erratic genius, Oscar Wilde. After a few weeks I baptized these two children, Lady Wilde herself being present on the occasion.”

Wilde’s father, Sir William Wilde, was a well-known surgeon. Anti-Catholic, he bitterly opposed Oscar’s interest in the Church. “I am sure that if I had become a Catholic at that time he would have cast me off altogether.”

In his student days at Oxford, Wilde met fellow student, Sir David Hunter Blair.  Blair became a Catholic, joined the Benedictines, and eventually became Abbot at Dunfermline Abbey.

In his book, Victorian Days, Blair wrote that Wilde asked him many questions which revealed “how genuine were his own sympathies with Catholicism.”

Hunter-Blair’s evangelizing efforts had no immediate effect, and the two men parted, Hunter-Blair taking Holy Orders and Wilde turning to the literary world of London. Wilde was forthright about his motives. “To go over to Rome would be to sacrifice and give up my two great Gods: Money and Ambition.”

“I suffer a great deal from my Romish leanings, in pocket and mind. And now my best friend turns out to be a Papist!” One of his first friends was Robert Ross, a Catholic.  Ross was with him at the end.

In October, 1900, Wilde sent a telegram to Ross. “Terribly weak. Please come.”

Ross went and later told how, after he arrived, “he rushed to the Passionist Church in Paris and brought back Father Cuthbert Dunne to attend spiritually” to Wilde.  Father Dunne recorded following.

Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional Baptism, and afterwards, answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man (Wilde) was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition , Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.

The next day Oscar Wilde died.

After he was laid out, Father Dunne “placed a rosary in his hand and put palm branches over him.” Father Dunne said the Requiem Mass at Saint Germain-des-Prés.


I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,

And unperturbed pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat – and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet –

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,

Save Me, save only Me?

Rise, clasp My hand, and come!


Francis Thompson


Lewis Thomas, 1913- 1993.  The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher.

Francis Thompson, 1859-1907.  The Hound of Heaven.  YOUNG IRELAND AND THE FENIANS, Taken from A History of Ireland by Eleanor Hull




Barbara 11-1, 3-5 (Saturday) Shift Manager

Holy Wisdom, Saint John XXIII and Saints John and Paul (Wexford) parishes filled the sidewalk with their beauty during these two shifts.  Joining us were also people from Saint Michael Parish (Wheeling) and Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Enjoy the photos.  These are just some of the people.

Chris, Bill
Chris, Bill and friend


Chrisline, Kathy, Craig, William Saint John XXIII Parish
Chrisline, Kathy, Craig, William
Saint John XXIII Parish


Craig, Doug, Tom, Bob, Jim Sts. John & Paul, Wexford
Craig, Doug, Tom, Bob, Jim
Sts. John & Paul, Wexford


Saint John XXIII Beautiful Families
Saint John XXIII
Beautiful Families


Jonathan, Killian Brady and Christine Franciscan University Steubenville
Jonathan, Killian
Brady and Christine
Franciscan University


Jeannie, Shift Manager Injured reserve

The most important task of EMTs when they reach a head or spine injury victim is to secure the victim’s head, neck and body to prevent further injury.    When this happened to me, — when my neck was braced and my cut, bruised, broken body was strapped to a hard board for transport to the trauma center, I could not believe the pain.  It felt like there were nails on the board, particularly behind my head.

Just then, I had a glimpse of Jesus on the cross—his beaten, whipped, scourged body would suffer the further insult of being lashed to a hard, unyielding splintered piece of wood. During my 40 minute bumpy ride to the emergency room, every Pittsburgh pothole drew tears.  Tears of pain, yes, but of grateful joy for what our Lord endured for me, his precious child.  I was able to offer my suffering up because I know His Story! It changed everything.

That is what we are doing on the sidewalk—telling HIS STORY; bringing the redemptive, powerful love of Jesus to each of his beloved children, whether they are vulnerable mothers, scared friends, lonely fathers or misled abortion workers, our knowledge of the vast and enduring love of Jesus is the answer!

I pray we continue to keep telling HIS story!





Diane and Tom beat the sun to the sidewalk this morning, supplying and setting up all our vigil’s needs before dawn. The Bellevue Knights of Columbus were well-represented by Charlie, who also blesses the pro-life effort as a sidewalk advocate.

Devoted despite feeling under the weather, Vince arrived with his beautiful Scripture readings for each mystery of the Rosary, which we all prayed together.  Jim, Charlie’s fellow Knight, joined us later and stayed on as Sue came to lead the next shift. She mentioned a woman who appeared nervous and defensive as she protested the vigil the day before. Sue astutely pointed out that the woman’s agitated demeanor may have been a sign that she was troubled by what she was doing, and that her heart may soon be ready to accept the truth. Sue graciously lead us in prayer for the woman’s conversion.

Charlie and Vince
Charlie and Vince


Jim and Vince
Jim and Vince



Yet another beautiful day to be outside.  The sidewalk was very quiet this morning, likely due to the later Steeler game today.  I was joined by Jim from the Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Regina from St. Clare of Assisi, Mary Jane from St. Francis of Assisi, Kelly from St. John Capistran, and Patty from St. Bernadette.

Patty pointed out that today in the Catholic Church is the Feast of St. John Paul II.  We asked his intercession and prayed the Rosary, for saved lives, changed hearts, the closing of PP and Allegheny Reproductive, and the ceasing of abortions at Magee.

At one point a man walked by and said, “You’re here on a Sunday morning?  Now that’s persistence!”

YES sir, persistence is what we are all about!  We will persist in our vigil until abortion comes to an end in our great city — indeed, in God’s world!!

Regina, Patty and Jim
Regina, Patty and Jim



Quiet. Peaceful. Prayerful.

Even though we had many travelers passing on their way to the Steelers game I felt calm. I had great people to pray with!

A man from West Africa commented to a fellow prayer that he doesn’t understand how abortion exists in our country when there are so many resources to help women.

A young man yelled to us from his car, “Thank you! Thank you! My mom chose to keep me!” And then, he started to cry.

It was beautiful!!! And, finally, Ann uttered to us “Blessings, blessings, blessings”.

Thank you Jesus for a great shift!

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This is my first shift manager assignment, and I was a little nervous going in. I sent a group text to immediate family for prayer. God is good. It truly was a peaceful, prayerful vigil.

I arrived to a warm greeting from the previous shift manager Maggie.

Father John from Saint John Fisher (Richmond OH), and Megan, from Mother of Sorrows (Murrysville), were my first prayer partners.

Prayer Partners for Sunday
Prayer Partners for Sunday


Father John and Megan
Father John and Megan

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I was warmly greeted by our new SM Ken, Fr. Jack, and the women from Catholic Family Land. They were prayerfully singing.  It was so
beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.  What a blessing.

The Starr family, from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 5-6 hour, prayed fervently and ended in song.
The men from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 6-7 hour ready to
serve our Holy Family.  They prayed joyfully, sang joyfully and
amazingly( I’m jealous), and after my shift was over, prayed over me
joyfully. I’m grateful.
Catholic Family Land participants traveled from Brookdale, Ohio (a
long way). They came armed with the spirit ready to do battle for the
lives of our brothers and sisters. It was as authentic a witness as I’ve
experienced in my journey with 40 Days for Life.
Soooo, I would like to give yinz a Howard Dean campaign shout out,
“YaaaaaaaaaaHHaaaaaawwoooo awesomely well done.”
Thank you Jesus.

Rock, Jack, Gary Catholic Family Land
Rock, Jack, Gary
Catholic Family Land


Jack Starr Family Catholic Family Land
Starr Family
Catholic Family Land


Catholic Family Land
Catholic Family Land


And God saw that it was good.

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DAY 19 THANK YOU, People of God Covenant Community; Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon; CMU Catholic Newman Club; Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church, Zelienople; Carmelite Nuns of Erie; Carmelite Nuns of Loretto; Passionist Nuns of Pittsburgh; Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Let’s listen to what some great minds have said about the mystery of BEAUTY   

To me, team work is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.  You become selfless.

Mike Krzyzewski 1947

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir 1838 – 1914

I am among those who think that science has great beauty.

Marie Curie 1867 – 1934

O, thou art fairer than the evening air clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.

Christopher Marlowe 1564-1593

A great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.

Pablo Neruda 1904 – 1973

By plucking her flowers you do not gather the beauty of the flower.

Tagore 1861-1941

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1794 – 1822


This is the beauty of the soul

  • the splendor of the light of human reason,
  • of divine reason and wisdom,

breaking forth from the soul to give life and beauty to the actions of man.

Walter Farrell, O.P.


fall blog 3 woman

The soul has a double principle of order;

  • the reason of man
  • the reason and wisdom of God

Both of these carry with them the notion of light, of clarity, of splendid illumination.

  • The one is the light in the hands of a wayfarer, guiding each of his steps, sweeping about the dark world around him in a constant revelation of truth, of goodness, of
  • The other is the powerful creative beacon that calls into being the path followed by the pilgrim man, that creates the beauty he sees, and that calls him home to the source of all beauty.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

Sin is the enemy of beauty, for sin is the enemy of virtue.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

We can picture venial sin graphically as the ropes that securely bind the hands and feet of a man; they do no intrinsic injury to man’s ability to act, but certainly they hinder his activities.

There is, then, a grave danger in venial sin, the grave danger of slipping bit by bit into mortal sin and so into the eternity of hell’s punishment.

Walter Farrell, O.P.


These statements are based on the SUMMA THEOLOGICA by Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (1225 – 1274).  They are not easy reading.  Chesterton can explain why this complexity is inevitable.

When once one believes in a creed, one is proud of its complexity, as scientists are proud of the complexity of science.  It shows how rich it is in discoveries.  If it is right at all, it is a compliment to say that it’s elaborately right.  A stick might fit in a hole or a stone a hollow by accident.  But a key and a lock are both complex.  And if a key fits a lock, you know it is the right key.

G. K. Chesterton  ORTHODOXY


One early Friday morning this fall I was witnessing at PP.  I noticed a young woman standing alone nearby, finishing a cigarette.  I removed my prolife sign and walked over.  As we talked, I offered her our little yellow and black card that outlines Pittsburgh area free help for crisis pregnancy.  Although she accepted the card, she walked into PP telling me that she “was just going in for a checkup.”

Was it was outrageous of me to bother this young woman whom I did not know?  But I do know her.  And, what I offered her was just a pin point of light.

I offered her our quite small, two sided, 2 x 3 ½ inch black and yellow card.

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fall blog 3 card side 2

The light of hope offered on this tiny card is available due to the beauty of the love of too-numerous-to-count volunteers who stand ready to help her and her baby in their crisis.

She and I had just begun to talk about beauty.  She deserves that as much as I do.  It is what her Father created her for.

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JEANNIE Shift Manager/ Injured Reserve

A month ago I was cycling and was hit by a car.  Lying on the pavement immediately after the accident I was acutely aware of my surroundings—noises of traffic and pedestrians (a few had stopped to assist me), horns and radios…  I also heard the hysterical voice of the driver who hit me screaming that she had just “killed someone on a bike”…. I tried to do my best to let her know I was alive, but all I could utter was “I’m OK.  I’m OK.”  It was a truly chaotic situation.

As I lay waiting for help, and aware that I was unable to move,  I purposefully envisioned handing God my broken body.  I entrusted Him (again as always), to care for me in that very moment and all that would follow.   I suddenly felt a wave of peace.  I had no idea how hurt I was, or what lay ahead for me.  All that mattered was that God was in charge, and I trusted Him. Everything was going to be OK!

The EMTs soon arrived and the severity of my injuries became clear as I described my pain to them.  Trust in the Lord prevailed and allowed me to calmly explain who I was, what had happened, and who the police should be in contact with.   I’ve always believed I’ve trusted in God, but that evening, as I lay broken on the pavement, trust in Him brought me holy peace in body and soul.

As my fellow shift managers witness for life on the sidewalk, I pray that you can each feel the true peace that comes from turning this effort for LIFE over to God.  Place into God’s hands all those who the devil has conscripted – He alone can bear the burden of this holy battle; TRUST HIM alone!

With gratitude for the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I unite my daily prayers to yours as we labor to build the Kingdom of God on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood.  Trust brings Peace!

In Life


DEE sends us GOOD NEWS.

The Carmelite Nuns of Erie PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!!

We are remembering the 40 days of Prayer in our prayers this month, grateful for all the prayers, efforts and sacrifices made by the participants on behalf of God’s little ones under attack in what should be the safest place for them — their mother’s womb.

Yes, our battle is not with earthly powers, but with the principalities of darkness, the kind that Jesus said could only be cast out by prayer and fasting.  God grant success to your work of love and may Our Lord ever be your strength and Our Lady your comfort in this struggle for life. The fast of our Order is September 14, until Easter, so we are with you.!!!”

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Carmelite Nuns of Loretto PA 

40 Days for Life is being remembered in the prayers and sacrifices of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Be assured of our prayerful support during Pittsburgh’s 40 “Days for Life Campaign September 27 – November 5.  May St. Therese obtain choice graces to assist mothers, save babies and end abortion!

God bless you!

Mother John of the Cross, OCD, and Community

Passionist Nuns of Pittsburgh

We join with 40 Days for Life in praying that pregnant mothers will love and cherish these babies ande there will be an end to abortion.

May God bless your work and save many babies and keep all of you safe during your vigils.

While we pray for this intention throughout the day, we pray especially during Holy Mass at 8:00 and from 5 – 6:30 PM during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every day.

Sincerely in Christ,

Sister Mary Ann, C. P.

Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

We will be praying the daily Rosary in community for your intentions. The Sisters will do penance privately.


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After learning several days ago that the People of God Covenant Community had adopted this morning’s vigil hours, I found myself really looking forward to my shift on the sidewalk.  It’s so uplifting to spend time with men and women who truly love the Lord and strive to live in a way that pleases Him.  Thank you to Pat, Ben, Bill, Patty, and Tom for the prayers, songs, witness, and fellowship.  And thank you to Sunday regulars Vince and Dan who have become like family…it’s always wonderful to share the vigil with you.  Lots of passers-by were happy to accept the yellow resource cards, the dear woman who always asks about Sally stopped to chat, and Bill came by to pray on his way to church.




Thanks to the wonderful people from St. Bernard’s who came today.

Marilyn and Thomas
Marilyn and Thomas
Phil and Rich
Phil and Rich



I arrived to the sight of the large, very faithful “P” family who hail both from my home parish and from People of God Covenant Community. I’ve been blessed to share vigil hours with this family and Community in the past, so I knew they have a very effective way of bringing the Holy Spirit to the vigil. This time was no exception! More members of the Community joined us as the shift went on, and we sang and prayed the whole time. The light breeze blowing this morning was not the only wind blowing at the vigil today – the Holy Spirit made His presence known!

About halfway through our shift, a very nice couple respectfully approached us and asked if I could please move my van, which I had parked on Liberty in front of PP on the west side. The Acro Cats bus was back in town! I moved the van, and the couple pulled the bus up and parked it, leaving its motor running for the rest of the shift. As it did recently during the vigil, the phrase on the bus “foster and rescue” (meaning cats) struck one of our participants as ironic. We prayed that it might strike passersby the same way – specifically, how much more important fostering and adopting humans is than doing the same for cats.

A woman came by asking for literature regarding rape and domestic violence. She noted the card I gave her that listed contact info for women’s shelters and said she would try calling them, and I assured her they would have the information she needs. I did not get her name. Please pray for her.

People of God Covenant Community Faithful Prayer Warriors
People of God Covenant Community Faithful
Prayer Warriors



These three prayer warriors prayed the rosary with great fervency. It was like a shower of grace that people walked through as they went to the cat circus. The cat bus was pouring out some fumes but, luckily there was a nice breeze.

Saint Gregory Parish
Gary, David, Barb, St. Gregory Parish



Regulars Jim and Cathy from St. Gregory’s in Zelienople joined me for my shift. Beautiful people, beautiful souls, pleasant shift. How delightful to witness for our Jesus.

All glory and praise is his.


And God saw that it was good.





DAY 12: THANK YOU, St. Monica Catholic Church, Beaver Falls; Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton; Individual Prayer Volunteers

MUSIC is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life.  There’s not some trick involved with it.  It’s pure and it’s real.  It moves, it heals, it communicates, and does all those incredible things.

Tom Petty 1950-2017

Tom Petty is one of many people who feel called to muse about the mystery we call music.

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There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.

Pythagoras 582BC-497 BC

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.

Plato 427BC – 347BC

I call architecture frozen music.

Goethe 1749-1832

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.

Beethoven 1770-1827

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo 1802-1882

Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Anderson 1805-1875

Music is the universal language of mankind.

Longfellow 1807-1882

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Berthold Auerbach 1812-1882

Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with his gracious presence.

Bach 1865-1750

I try to apply color like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.

Miro 1893-1983

A nation that has no music and no fairy tales is a tragedy.

Ai Weiwei 1950

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And suddenly there was with the angel

a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.’

Luke 2:12-14

According to the evangelist, the angels “said” this. But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song….

And so, from that moment, the angels’ song of praise has never gone silent.  It continues down the centuries in constantly new forms and it resounds ever anew at the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI JESUS of NAZARETH, The Infancy Narratives

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The most beautiful “Ave Maria” I have ever heard is actually called, “The Most Beautiful ‘Ave Maria’ I’ve ever heard”.  Google the title or click on .

Here is the text.  Use it as you sing along.


Ave Maria,

gratia plena,

Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu

in mulieribus,
et benedictus

fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria.

Ave Maria,

Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis

nunc et in hora

mortis nostrae.


This music video features the Visitation scene from Franco Zeffirelli’s, JESUS OF NAZARETH, 1977.

The music is the “Ave Maria” by Michael Lorenc.  Russian soprano Olga Szyrowa is singing, oh, so very beautifully.

Mary, newly pregnant with Jesus, is assisted by neighbors and sent off by her mother Ann, to visit her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist.

Each mother greets the other and joy fills the scene.

I watched and learned to sing along… slowly, laboriously…loving it.

But then with a shocked wrenched heart, I remembered the rest of the story.

According to one world view, these joyfully anticipated babies came to a bad end.  Jesus Christ and John the Baptist were captured and killed.

Beauty and ferocious evil  are real.

“Therefore we must not in our own day conceal our faith in creation.  We may not conceal it, for only if it is true that the universe comes from freedom, love, and reason, and that these are the real underlying powers, can we trust one another, go forward into the future, and live as human beings.”

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI ‘In the Beginning…’

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Music can evoke terrible scorching longing.  This longing hurts so much that some people lock the door to their heart.  But longing can be a gift of God.  C. S. Lewis said that we must learn to eat the food of heaven or starve to death eternally.

Feeling captured by a crisis pregnancy, parents fear that letting their baby live will kill their hopes and dreams.

Trusting Goodness Incarnate, these parents must learn to open their heart to the beautiful music this new baby is created to bring to their life.

If they are unable to learn this lesson before choosing abortion, God promises to meet them in their repentance, if they choose that while they still have time.

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….. From the 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh Bench:

This accident and the ongoing recovery has reminded me just how fragile and vulnerable a human body is— When I read the daily accounts of my 40 Days for Life  brothers and sisters in Christ during the first weeks of this vigil I feel I am transported to the sidewalk where you all stand in  faith.

Human bodies are weak and broken and needy.  Tiny ones need our voices, hurt and scared ones need our strength, the cold need warmth and many are hungry for sustenance of all types. In our Lord’s name you reach out your human hands and voices to provide comfort and hope.  Please know you do not stand alone!   Just as prayer has lifted me up during this healing time, know that I am honored and humbled to be a part of this body of Christ on the sidewalk seeking to wrap our arms around each life created in the image of God.

In Life and with Prayer, Jeannie

SM-Injured Reserve

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Tom and Diane got the vigil rolling this morning with their daily delivery of resources and inspiration.  Talk about TRUST–giving up the time for this task twice a day for forty straight days, campaign after campaign, knowing that God will use their sacrifice for great good!

I was blessed to share the sidewalk with peaceful, prayerful Patty for the full shift.  Thank you for being there this morning and for all you do in defense of Life!

Shortly after we began, a young man stopped to talk to us.  He said that he knows abortion is wrong but that it has to be available in case of rape.  We pointed out that the abortion would further traumatize the woman and that the child conceived is an innocent victim as well.  While he wouldn’t concede either point, he was very respectful throughout and hopefully walked away with greater awareness that might one day change his mind.

Faithful Bill stopped by with an urgent prayer request for a troubling situation.  Please pray for a young woman, possibly still a teenager, who is in her second trimester of pregnancy and in the throes of addiction.  Pray for the baby, who will be born addicted, as well–if lucky enough to make it to birth at all.  And pray for Bill, who is experiencing such anguish that he is unable to help them.

One of the last people who stopped to talk was a man who said that he has six girls and is now awaiting the birth of his seventh child.  He happily accepted a yellow resource card.

Mary from St. Monica joined us at the end, planning to stay until 11 AM with shift manager Sue.  Thank you both for allowing us to pass the baton to keep the vigil going!

Mary and Patty

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So prayerful this morning!  I was blessed again today with a peaceful shift, along with fellow prayers Mary and Pat.  We prayed, a lot.

There was quite a bit of foot traffic — Steeler game attendees.  I always try not to get distracted (as a shift manager, this can be tricky), but sometimes I wonder what the passersby are thinking as they see our signs and hear us pray.  I noticed that one man appeared to close his eyes for the entire time he was walking past PP.  I wondered what that was all about  — and if his eyes really were closed, as they appeared to be!

A few positive responses, but mostly people were just “neutral.”  Many thanks to Pat and Mary for their faithfulness in prayer this morning.  Our Lord hears, and He is getting ready to answer us in a big way or ways!!!

Pat, Mary and Sue
Pat, Mary and Sue

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All was quiet from 11 to 1 p.m. today. We did not have one negative comment and had several people who were happy we were standing for life.

I could call it a good day but as long as abortions are performed at 933 Liberty Avenue, I’ll reserve calling it a good day until they close their doors for good.

Thanks to all who came to pray and witness today.

Transfiguration Parish Prayer Warriors
Transfiguration Parish
Prayer Warriors

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Cole, Bernadette, Amy, Joan, Judy Transfiguration Parish
Cole, Bernadette, Amy, Joan, Judy
Transfiguration Parish

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Prayer Warriors Cathy, Jim, and Philline united their prayers to change hearts on the front line.
Gods’ Grace is abundant !

Cathy, Jim and Philline
Cathy, Jim and Phillene

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Dave hung out for half my shift evangelizing.  So good to see him and catch up. Joe prayed humbly and relentlessly for the whole shift.  Thank you Joe and well done.

I had the reward of some inspiring encounters with a fellow fighter for life, and a 16 yr old young man who was interested in the truth. God is so good.

For a losing home Steelers game my shift was fairly tame (the normal,“you don’t have a vag…” rants). Though, one man (20s) shoved his middle finger so close to my face he tickled my nose hairs. I can’t believe how fast those pesky hairs grow as I age.

It’s such a blessing to be a tiny part of this movement.

May God’s will be done in us.


Dave and Joe Fierce Warriors
Dave and Joe
Fierce Warriors

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And God saw that it was good.







DAY 5: THANK YOU, Individual Volunteers; Sidewalk Advocates; Immaculate Conception Parish, Greensburg; St. Colman, Turtle Creek; Ascension Holy Name Society, Jeannette; St. Agnes Parish, West Mifflin; St. Mary Catholic Church, Herman


Two girls looking so much alike, looking at life, can be worlds apart.


Mind your own business.

It’s my choice. 

I can’t have this baby now.

No one will ever know.

I will get over it.


A mother who is absolutely sure that she cannot have this baby at this time, lives in a different world.  She cannot see the different choice.


This is really hard.

I’ll have a baby some other time.

I am so sorry.


“No man ever steps in the same river twice,

for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Heraclitus, 535 BC – 475BC


This pregnancy is this baby.

Another pregnancy will be a different baby.

The baby you are carrying is one of a kind.

Its DNA makes it elaborately unique and irreplaceable.

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From a single cell you built a body that has one hundred trillion cells.

You made hundreds of different kinds of tissues and dozens of organs, including a brain that allows you to do remarkable things.

Even using the highest estimate for galaxies and the lowest estimate for human cells, there are at least 800 billion more cells in your body than there are galaxies in the known universe.

What makes each body unique? … Actually, it is this 0.1% which makes DNA of each individual unique.

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 You and your baby are God’s gift.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you….

Jeremiah 1:5


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“In conceiving this idea of sanctity for us, God reckons with the unique nature, strength and capacity of each individual. Nevertheless, he deals with us freely, as a painter with the colors on his palette.  We cannot foresee in advance which colors the painter will prefer, which he may use up, while scarcely touching the others, or what mixtures he may decide upon to produce his overall effects.  No more is it possible, by simply assessing a man’s nature, to predict God’s gracious intentions for him, the idea of sanctity to which he must conform or the sacrifices it will require of him – though we can predict quite certainly that sacrifices will be demanded of him, since all love involves self-denial.”

Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988), Two Sisters In The Spirit

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I can’t have this baby now.

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?

Job 38:1-2


Your baby is already yours,

now and forever.


This is too hard. You don’t understand.

Don’t judge me.


You seem troubled.

Let’s slow down.

Let’s talk about why you are here.

Let’s look for the way both you and your baby can live.

You can’t see it yet.

We can look together.

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“May this anagogy of light initiate us into the sublime realities at play in the mission of evangelizing: it is about nothing less than engaging all men and women of good will in passing out of darkness into the wonderful divine light (cf. 1Pt 2:9).  How to be credible in this mission? By being conformed to Christ Jesus, the Light of the world.”

“You are the light of the world!” Pierre-Marie Dumont.  MAGNIFICAT, October 2017

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Prolife witnesses are not geniuses or saints. Beginning with the offer of our tangible presence on the sidewalk, we try to share our world.  As a Catholic prolife witness, I am ever grateful that I can lean on the beauty I see in Catholicism.


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Jeannie is recuperating.

In her generosity, she shared a sample of her art.



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Jennifer 7-9 Shift Manager

The first Sunday morning of the Fall 2017 vigil was graced with the peaceful, prayerful presence of Kevin, Jean, Susan, and Matt From Immaculate Conception parish in Irwin.  We were happy to be joined by Vince, who brought blessed salt and a scriptural Rosary; and Bill, who shared his heartbreaking and yet uplifting testimony of why he goes to Planned Parenthood to pray each day.

Thanks and God’s blessings to all who carry the light of Christ to that valley of the shadow of death we know as Liberty Avenue.

Kevin, Jean, Susan, Matt and Vince
Kevin, Jean, Susan, Matt and Vince


Sue 9-11 Shift Manager

Although downtown itself was busy this morning when I arrived and it was hard to find a parking spot (which it never is on a Sunday morning), foot traffic was relatively light during my shift today.  We were blessed with a peaceful and very prayerful, although chilly, two hours.

One man passed by and thanked us, telling us he was adopted as a baby.  Another man came by and earnestly expressed his support.  We did encounter one “dissatisfied customer,” but he eventually passed by on his way.

My prayer partners for the entire shift — Betty, Arlene, and Bill, all from St. Colman — were delightful to pray with.  The “R” family showed up toward the end of the shift for their second day in a row.  What a breath of fresh air they always are!   Thank you to all of you!

The "R" Family This is their second day in a row at the Vigil!
The “R” Family
This is their second day in a row at the Vigil!


Betty, Bill and Arlene St. Coleman Parish, Turtle Creek
Betty, Bill and Arlene
St. Coleman Parish,
Turtle Creek


Roseann and Rich 11-1 Shift Managers

I can no longer claim that Sunday’s are uneventful. About 10 minutes into our shift and in the middle of a Rosary, a couple were walking by and the man decided to upset our display. He sent the fetal models flying into the street and toppled the sandwich board. Fortunately, they kept on walking because with that kind of anger who knows what might have happened. “St. Michael, defend us in battle”.

Later on a young man who claimed to be a teacher at a school just around the corner stopped to express his concern and displeasure. He said that when the school has fire drills their safe zone just happens to be where the 40 Days vigil is also. He doesn’t believe that we should hand out plastic fetal models to 11 year olds. We asked him if his concern was really about the models or if he just didn’t like the fact that we were there. He probably stayed a good 15 minutes trying to make his point although he was respectful. “St. Michael, defend us in battle”.

On a lighter note, thanks, to the good people from Ascension Holy Name Society who came to pray with us.

Ed, Rachelle, Charlene and Pat
Ed, Rachelle, Charlene and Pat


Maggie 1-3 Shift Manager

It was peaceful.

A man said to the prayers, “If I punched an abortion doctor in the nose I’d be arrested. But he can kill the baby and nothing happens to him.” He also said he’d like to put gum and a toothpick in the lock so the key wouldn’t work tomorrow. And finally that he would like to remind the women considering abortion that their mothers chose life.

We also had a young man remove his hat and put it on his heart as he passed by the group that was praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

We had a man proclaim, “Blessings,” to us as well.

Before the shift started we all blessed ourselves and the circle with holy water.

The prayers sang hymns and prayed the Rosary.  It was a lovely afternoon in front of a horrific house of pain and death. “LORD have mercy!”

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Saint Agnes Parish West Mifflin
Saint Agnes Parish
West Mifflin


Audrey and Jim 3-5 Shift Managers

What a beautiful way to start the month of October!  The glorious sun kept us warm and smiling.  The 1:00 to 3:00 pm shift was reciting the Rosary when we arrived.

Larry and Margie from St. Mary’s in Butler, along with Patricia from Columbia and shift manager Jim, had a prayerful vigil.

If you look closely, you can see the shadow of shift manager Audrey taking the pictureJ

Father Mark, from St. Mary’s in Butler, joined us and we prayed the Pro-Life Rosary.  It would not be a 40 Days vigil if Bill didn’t stop by to share his wisdom and love!

Despite the crystal clear day, it is always ominous to stand outside of Planned Parenthood and imagine the horrors that happen there.  One sign worn around our necks made in clear that over 2,100 abortions are committed there every year.  But as I stood and prayed, I envisioned these blessed souls floating to heaven….

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See Audrey reflected
See Audrey reflected
Father Mark
Father Mark


Marshall 5-7 Shift Manager

John, Flynn, Kathy and John stopped to pray this evening.

Flynn’s mom used to pray here.

John, Flynn, Kathy and John
John, Flynn, Kathy and John


Thank you, Sunday Shift Managers and all the generous people who joined us on the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic to pray today.


And God saw that it was good.



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


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




In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was a formless void,

there was darkness over the deep, and

God’s spirit hovered over the water.

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

…God divided light from darkness.

Exodus 1:1-3, 5


The heavens declare the glory of God;

The firmament proclaims the works of his hands.

Psalm 19:2


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



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

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

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

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

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





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

There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Universe.


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

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

How many atoms are in a cell?

Approximately 100 trillion atoms are in a cell.

What is a cell?

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

How many cells are there in a human body?

The estimate is 37.2 trillion cells in the human body.




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

and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,

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

God created mankind in his image;

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27



Lennart Nilsson “Drama of Life Before Birth”

1965 Cover, Life Magazine







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



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

Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9



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

she has shown great love.

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

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

Luke 7:47-50




Watch out, the devil exists!

The devil exists even in the 21st century.

And we must not be naïve.

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

His Holiness Pope Francis


Then the LORD asked Cain,

Where is your brother Abel? He answered,

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

Genesis 4:9






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

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

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

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

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

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



NIKKI 9-11

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

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





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

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

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





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




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

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

Mary and Jimmy prayed with us.

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



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




JOE 5-7

Faith filled 40 Dayers




Extra! Extra! Additional note for Saturday

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


Stay tuned for more NOTES from today.


Go out into all the world.

Proclaim the Gospel to everyone.

Mark 16:15

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Exhausted he prayed, “Enough Lord!”

The Lord said to him: Go back!

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


George Weigel  in Roman Pilgrimage writes:

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

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


FORTY DAYS FOR LIFE discipleship is a celebration worth enduring.




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

BILL S. 3-5 Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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







JEN 7-9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People of God Covenant Community
People of God Covenant Community


SUE M. 9-11

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

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

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

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

Keep praying!

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


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



Maggie S. 1-3

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

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


Diane is on top of it:







Prayer witness Sunday 3-5 Smiling Faces of ProLife Witnesses


DAVE 3-5

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




JOE W. 5-7

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

Thank you, Men for your witness this evening.








And God saw that it was good.