Day 18: Thanks To Sidewalk Advocates and Individual Volunteers

One family’s journey to bring life into the world”…
… “In the harshest place on Earth, Love finds a Way”

Text from a pro-life video? An account of the birth of Jesus? A national 40 Days for Life Reflection? NOPE — this text is from the trailer of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS – a documentary movie showing the natural life cycle of Emperor Penguins. Turns out, we can AND SHOULD all learn a lot from this committed, loving animal.

Here’s a little summary of the emperor penguin’s life cycle:

After a long arduous walk to the mating grounds and a few weeks of engagement and courting, the female lays one single egg and passes it directly on to the male, who puts it against the “brood patch” on his feet. Then the female leaves the colony and returns back to sea to feed. The male emperor penguins have to wait more than two months– 68 days — with the precious eggs until the females return and the eggs hatch!   For 68 days this penguin Dad  protects and nurtures his offspring within the egg.

In the harsh Antarctic environment, how do penguin dads do it? Emperor penguins depend on each other for keeping warm. They stand very close together in a circle, constantly turning around, so each bird in turn has the chance to warm up in the center and alternately has to bear the cold and snowstorms on the outside of the crowd. In this way, the whole group can survive in such extreme climate and protect the eggs until the female penguins return from feeding.

Not until the female has returned (or their instinct tells them they have to leave to save their own life) will a dad emperor penguin journey back to the sea to feed. TALK ABOUT COMMITMENT TO YOUR BABY!!

Think of a clutch of eggs of any of our birds- from Hummingbird to Ostrich — These new parents are presented with oblong, fragile shell- covered eggs that look NOTHING like baby birds. And YET, the bird parents will risk their lives protecting what they know instinctively to be their offspring.

And birds are not the only ones…….. the animal kingdom is full of examples of adult animals recognizing, caring and sacrificing for their offspring in the very early days of life.

So, the next time someone refers to you as a “bird brain” say “THANKS” ! -Jeannie


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Despite the fact that the vigil was officially cancelled today due to safety concerns, some dedicated witnesses manned the sidewalk this morning to pray for and offer life-affirming options to clients of PP and their children.

Tim, 7-9 AM:

I was blessed on this brisk morning to see Pat, year-round Saturday morning regular Bill H. and Michele from St. Peter’s already at the vigil when I arrived. It was a busy morning with couples going into the clinic and a full team of escorts on both sides.  One young man accompanying a woman was receptive to us and accepted material. I picked up two daffodils and placed them near the yellow line for the first two couples going in.  As I was preparing to leave, four rugged looking men were walking down the street towards us and when they got to us the first one said “Great job” and another added “Thanks for being here” and the other gave us the thumbs up.  It was so encouraging and just what I needed.

Charlie arrived to take over at 9 along with Bill S. from St. Ferdinand’s.  They were blessed with sunshine as it peeked over the building and were joined by the faithful frequent group that traveled down from Edinboro to pray and witness.

Tim
Pat, Michele, Bill
Please pray for today’s victims of PP

Charlie, 9-11:30 AM:

I filled in as a shift manager from 9 to 11:30. Tim Barrett has pictures of the group that came at 9. Then at 11, a group of seminarians and two students from St. Vincent came. We prayed a rosary but I’m sorry that I left at 11:30–I was frozen through. 

Bill, Bill, and Tim

SM Charlie and group of faithful from Edinboro
A witness from Holy Wisdom parish joined by our Seminarians and students from St. Vincent

Day 11: Thanks to the Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Guardians for Life and more…

Its not just the number of hours in a week that make you FULL TIME — what is up with 40 40 always 40 … ?


Mentioned 146 times in Scripture, the number 40 generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation. Here are some of my favorite biblical 40’s:
– 40 days to build the Ark, and 40 days of the Flood Genesis 7:17
– Israelites Wandered in the wilderness for 40 years Exodus 16:35
– 40 years of Peace in Israel Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28
– Egypt was desolated for 40 years  Ezekiel 29:11
– 40 years for Israel to be restored Ezekiel 29:13
– 40 days of Fasting by Moses Exodus 24:18; 34:28;
– 40 days of Fasting by Elijah 1 Kings 19:8
– Nineveh overthrown after 40 days Jonah 3:4
Jesus Fasts 40 days in the Desert   Matthew 4:2
– Christ appeared 40 days after the Resurrection Acts 1:3
– 40 years later the Romans destroyed the temple Matt 24:1 – 2

Scholars suggest that the period of either 40 days or 40 years signifies a period of testing, trial and judgment. Each period of 40 years marks an epoch (generation). So if the bible in the Hebrew context talk of generations, it talks of one period of 40 years to another. For example: So Noah made the ark for a whole generation, meanwhile preaching repentance, in which God was patient for a whole generation to pass before he destroyed the earth. 


One of my favorite non-Biblical 40s The word Quarantine comes from the Italian ‘quaranta giorni’ meaning —– ‘forty days’ which was the period that ships were required to be isolated before passengers and crew could go ashore during the Black Death. I feel in a way we are QUARANTINED together as the Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life community right now to strengthen us for building the kingdom of God through the Gospel of Life.


In fact, I have always seen 40 Days for Life as an event in itself– … But last weekend at Catholic Mass, the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert was retold and I clearly heard that the 40 Days in the desert was a PREPARATION for Jesus as he accepted his public ministry. Finishing the 40 day period was the BEGINNING of His life’s work!! The devil’s temptation during that time served to strengthen Jesus for what he was about to do.

Jesus didn’t give a heavy sigh after his 40 days in the desert and think “Sheesh, I’m glad that’s over!” He strapped on his sandals, packed his gear, and headed to preach and serve and die for us. His 40 days was a beginning for sure.

CAN YOU join me in pledging that this 40 Days for Life does not signify the End of our work, but rather a NEW , refreshed BEGINNING for more Pro-Life work in Pittsburgh?   

HERE ARE TODAY’S SHIFT REPORTS FROM OUR COMMITTED, FRIGID, ST. PADDY’S DAY PARADE DAY PRAYER WARRIORS:

7-9 Shift Manager Ginny and 9-11 Shift Manager Sue

7-9 Shift Manager Ginny writes:

Tom had just about finished “setting up” when I arrived at 7AM, there was another person,
Pat who was there until 8 AM. David was also there for the shift. There was numerous escorts, about 11.  Early on one couple had tried
to get into PP, left, only to return later and entered the building (unfortunately).
Fr Tim and his “angels” came about 8 AM, a glorious sight for sure. There was light foot traffic into the clinic, only one other couple aside from the one mentioned above.
Lots of young and older folks colorfully dressed on their way to the parade.
About 8:45 the “owner” (several individuals say they own this place) of the “lounge” right next door
to PP, loudly announced his property rights and told people to get out of the doorways, etc.
He then entered the bar,  returning to set up a large crate-like item on the sidewalk, that was the last I saw him.
Sue came at 9.



9-11 Shift Manager Sue reports a hopeful story of a potential life saved: 

I arrived to a very large group from the Guardians for Life, along with Joe and AJ from the Bellevue K of C and another faithful pray-er on the opposite side who had been there from the earlier shift (I am sorry that I did not get her name). Sidewalk Advocate Terri reached out to a couple being escorted in, but they did not respond.We could see the woman in tears as the couple stood in the PP vestibule. We prayed for the couple as Terri stood within their sight line. We were very happy to see the couple come out within a much shorter time period than an abortion procedure would take. Please pray for this couple, that they will ultimately choose life for their child!!

Despite the hubbub of many people walking up Liberty toward the parade or Pens game, it seemed that overall, fewer people entered PP this morning than on a typical Saturday. The wind picked up, and poor Charlie got beaned on the head by a large piece of flying paper trash. Persecution comes in many forms! One pleasant young woman approaching PP accepted a yellow card from me, listened to my explanation of it, and told me she was “just going to her doctor’s office in the basement.” Jim L. came with two huge bundles of roses and handed them out to passersby. The companion of a woman who accepted one said to her, “You realize that rose is from a person on the other side,” and the woman replied, “I know but I don’t care!” Hopefully all of these folks discussed above will have a change of heart!

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:
Thank you Knights of Columbus for standing with me on a cold, blustery day. It was a fairly quiet day, given the otherwise party atmosphere. This also meant a drop off for P.P.’s business, which was something for which we can be thankful.

KUDOS to Shift Manager Jeff who is presenting WATCH ME GROW ! on the sidewalk.
Guardians for Life IN ACTION

Shift manager Billy and Knights of Columbus

1-3 Shift Manager Billy Reports :

For my shift today I was accompanied by Charlie who has been such a good sport for being at the vigil all day. Shout out to Charlie, Kurt from Knights of Columbus, a Jim, from North Hills, and an Adam from Monroeville came down to witness with me today.  We had a crowd of people standing by us multiple times blocking the way for passerby traffic, and many entering in next door to Planned Parenthood during the shift, and the parade was going on. We had a lot of nay sayers, but we had a lot of supporters coming passed us, and one guy walking by me had his hand in the air saying He was pro-life, and he high-fived me. I had a couple of times of silent prayer. The parade though being very busy for us we were able to see that only a couple of people left the abortion clinic today, and I only saw one or two people go in. All in all a good day. Happy Saint Patrick’s day!  – Billy

3-5 (plus many earlier hours!) Shift Manager Charlie Reports:

All in all very good day. At 4pm we had a shouting match between a group of about 8 yelling at us and 2 guys defending us. Me along with the 3 other guys kept quiet . Things quieted down after a minute but noticing that things were not going to get better we decided to wrap up at 4:30.



Day 4: Thanks to St. Maria Goretti, Bloomfield and many wonderful Individual Volunteers

Like many of you, I have been involved in the pro-life movement for more than a few years. My sainted mom, God rest her soul involved the whole family in prayer and witness for the cause of life even before 1973. Several of us remain actively involved today…. 46 years later.

I always thought once the country realized the humanity of the unborn child, and therefore the injustice of Roe v Wade, laws would immediately change to respect life ….. but I was wrong. — It is 2019 and we are seeing both the most liberal and most conservative abortion laws introduced by states throughout our country…

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Why ? Because Abortion is a Civil Rights issue and like any historic struggle of this nature, when the Rights of one group of Americans need to be expanded, other groups push back in fear of losing their rights… Changing civil rights laws requires Changing Hearts, which takes time.

Consider these Civil Rights timelines:

1619 : A Dutch ship brings the first permanent African settlers to Jamestown, VA.
1651 : Rhode Island declares that an enslaved person must be freed after 10 years of service. — the first legal protection for people of color in the United States.
But, it was not until 1868: — A full 217 (two hundred and seventeen) years and a horrible war later that the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified granting human rights to Black Americans.

And :
1848: the first Women’s Rights Convention is held at Seneca Falls, NY with Pro –Life feminist heroes Elizabeth Cady Stanton  & Susan B. Anthony leading the way.

1920: ( 72 years later)  the Nineteenth Amendment giving American Women full voting rights is ratified.

And even more recently with the advantage of mass media, although 43 million Americans have physical or mental disabilities, it was only 1990 that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications!!

So here we are 46 years after Roe v. Wade and the Abortion issue continues to divide us. THANK HEAVENS!!! Abortion is still an issue because someone is being denied human rights, and it tears at the conscience of Americans. Praise be to God that the issue is NOT SETTLED.

The time for reasonable debate and dialogue about this civil rights issue is…. NOW. The abolitionists (who labored for 217 years to end slavery) and suffragists (who worked for 72 years for voting rights) would be PROUD.

-Jeannie (proud pro-life feminist)

SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS :

7- 9 am Shift Manager Virginia says:

This shift was quiet. Tom dropped off the materials, and Joe, David and myself were present.
Joe had the “baby display”  (designed by Jeff) so David was in from of the Condo/offices with that.
There were 3 couples [male-female] that went in but took no literature, and ignored any verbal greeting.
About 8:30 a fellow came (Dan) and was shortly joined by a friend, Lawrenceville parishioners.
There were many PP escorts, about 11. A fellow passing by and taking a yellow card, suggested we try and hand these cards out at AA meetings.

9-11 am Shift Manager Sue reports:

The weather was so nice this morning, I almost didn’t need hand and feet warmers inside my gloves and shoes. When I arrived, there were sidewalk advocates, a group from Erie as well as Dan and friends from St. Maria Goretti’s! Quite a few people went into PP but we did our best to offer our yellow resource card. The group from Erie spent the entire shift praying on the other side of the circle. On our side, Dan lead us in the Divine Mercy then Jared and Mary came around 10am and lead the rosary. Sue

Married couple Jared and Mary joined the prayer team advocating for Adoption!

1-3 pm Shift Manger Billy says:

I was shift manager from 1 to 3 today and I stayed with Joe and Katie until 4 in case they needed any extra help. We had a gentleman (I didn’t get his name) and Mary Jane there until 2:30, I was with Bridgette and Nadine until 3 o’clock, and Joe came a little earlier than his shift today. We prayed. I saw about 8 people total come out of planned parenthood, got a bunch of compliments and a few negative comments. Lisa K was there praying for an hour. We had also a gentleman asking about War today. It was a very eventful start and from 3 to 4 I helped Katie out for a bit.

Thanks for coming today!

3-5pm New Shift Manager Report from Katy:

My first shift as a shift manager started with being greeted by Billy, Joe, Nadine, and Bridget. Billy stayed an extra hour to pray with us, which was wonderful. Joe was a great example of Christ, saying Hi to everyone that passed us on the street. The greeting was often unreciprocated, and there was the occasional individual telling us to “get a life,” but periodically there was someone that would ask how we were, or offer encouragement. We were greeted by a Messianic Jew witness who shared with us his hopes of Roe V. Wade being overturned. There was a man who turned after already being down the road to speak to us about how “we will be living on the moon soon because the world is overpopulated,” and then continued to hop around on viewpoints, stating views such as more people should adopt, so we were ultimately unclear on his position. Despite that, I was thankful that he felt compelled to turn back around and engage with us. Lastly, there was a cute moment where a mother walked by our display model with her son and said “you were that small once,” to which the son excitedly responded “really?!”

I am so grateful to God for this opportunity to witness for life!

Shift Managers Billy and Katy and Personable Joe
Shift Managers Billy & Katy & faithful Joe


From 5-7 Shift Manager Nikki:

We arrived for our 5 to 7 shift tonight to find two very chilly prayer warriors, Katy and Joe. They had faithfully prayed and witnessed during the 3 to 5 shift. Shortly after they left, a young man from Saint Sylvester‘s parish was  walking past and he saw our signs. He stopped and told me that he had heard about 40 days for life from his men’s group at his parish. He kindly offered to get us something warm to drink. I told him I did not need anything, but invited him to stay and pray, which he did. We prayed a rosary, then he left to go to the festival of praise at Holy Apostles parish tonight. After that it was just Joe and I praying by ourselves. One  older couple stopped to talk. The husband was an obstetrician, although he is now retired. He said he has delivered 7000 babies. He is so angry about the governor of Virginia’s comments and about the terrible laws which now permit infanticide. He was so visibly angry, he said he will be speaking about it on the Christian radio station this coming week. He thanked us for being there. We got Many, Many, Many  thank you’s and positive comments. I did not hear a single negative one. In fact, at one point, somebody from the bar threw another person out, yelling and swearing at him, telling him never to come back again. Then he looked at us and saw us praying, and he apologized to us for his bad language! Isn’t that something?  Finally, a prayer volunteer named Mary, coincidentally also from Saint Sylvester Parish, came for her assigned 6 PM hour. We prayed together until faithful Diane and Tom arrived to pick up the materials. Thank you everyone for praying today! 
 – Nikki

So there was this young man Jack just passing by …… Welcome to the Prayer Team Jack
from St. Sylvester in Brentwood.

Lovely Mary joined for our last hour of prayer on the sidewalk. Blessings, Mary!

Day 39: Thanks to Guardians for Life, St. Maria Goretti, St. Ferdinand Church,

OUR MESSAGE IS being HEARD! 

Last week on the sidewalk, I watched an employee of PP walk out and pour water on the musings of my favorite street prophet which read:  “Every Human Life Saved is > any $ Amount “  The chalked message was a response to the pledge-a -picketer message PP has posted.  The PP employee took time and used paper toweling to attempt to scrub the words off the sidewalk .    She was definitely bothered by it what the message said, which means SHE READ AND UNDERSTOOD IT  and she felt she had to remove it — It GOT TO HER!    

 

Another  PP employee addressed me about the baby photo I was wearing.  She said “You know they don’t look like that, don’t you?”  (referring to the innocent ones killed in the clinic) .    I said    “Well, I know you don’t look like you did when you were 2 years old, but you are still you — it is still a child!”   She through up her hands and walked angrily away.

Many of us have experienced similar instances where folks are “acting up” in response to our presence.  It may just be showing us that convenient middle finger, or using the phrase that often accompanies that gesture,  or maybe a shake of the head or an audible “tsk”,  sometimes these poor souls even lose control of their drool  (if you know what I mean).  I  know it is easy to become upset or unsettled when folks approach us with this impolite behavior.   I react viscerally as well….  it is a bit nerve-wracking.

But …..   once things settle down (and they always do) we must realize that this behavior means that

WE ARE CHANGING THINGS ON THE SIDEWALK.  

I think we can safely say that WE Are getting under the skin of the PP employees/supporters.  They read our signs, they see our images, they witness our commitment and ……  THEY REACT.    If our message didn’t hit home, didn’t stir something within them —- if we were insignificant,  or clueless, would any of them bother with us?   I think not.

I pray that we are given the peace to react to these angry acts of PP supporters  by acknowledging them as the beginning of the conversation on abortion people in our country need to have.  

                                                 

 

Perhaps, now that we are under their skin,

we can make it to their HEARTS!   

 

SHIFT REPORTS

Shift Report from Tim, 7-9am

Thanks to Father Tim and the Guardians for Life who made such a powerful witness on the sidewalk with their prayers and presence. Liberty Ave was closed to traffic so we really stood out on the sidewalk.

The Saturday morning “regulars” mentioned they were saddened by the end of 40 DFL.  It gave a sense of being part of something so much bigger than their individual efforts. And they really liked the extra prayer warriors to give witness to life.  Never the less, this dedicated team will be back next Saturday morning and every one thereafter.  God bless them all. Tim B.

Shift Report from Sue:

I arrived this morning to the faithful Guardians for Life finishing out a Rosary, and they stayed and prayed until around 10:00.  Dan from St. Maria Goretti joined us, followed shortly afterward by Rosemary and Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville.  I for one am blessed every vigil by Tom and Rosemary’s lovely sung prayer, and this vigil was no exception.  SA Judy also arrived around 10:00.

PP business today was pretty “average” for a Saturday – “average” of course always being too much.  We offered cards and literature to each person going in, and we also prayed for each person going in.  For the first time in my years of coming to the PP sidewalk, I witnessed a PP escort accompanying a woman OUT of the clinic and down the street.  I am pretty certain I saw this woman go in; thus, she likely did not have an abortion, but all the same, I’ve never seen this happen.  At one point, a passerby said to us “Just adopt!” and I replied “Amen – perfect idea!”, although I believe her intention was to imply that we should do that instead of being on the sidewalk.  Judy, as she regularly does, told each PP escort that their lives are profound and have been since before they were born.  Today, one of the male escorts replied to her that he had talked to God and that He was going to forgive us.  Amen – may God forgive us and the escorts and every person who loves Him, and may he break hardened hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit!

Dan from St. Maria Goretti, with Rosemary & Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville

 

Shift Report from Dean:

Peaceful shift for the first hour and a half, until the last half an hour a man came to pass out tracts.  He was trying to get into an argument about differences in Christian religions.  Happily, we were able to avoid arguing with him.

St. Ferdinand Church Prayer Squad!

Shift Report from Billy:

Today  I was accompanied  by 2 volunteers named Maggie and Tammy. I was visited by a guy named Chuck  and while he was talking to me a lady walked  by with her son. She explained to us that she went with her friend to take her friend to the particular  clinic we were at and explained in detail and even expressed to her son this clinic was an abortion clinic.  Then we had Mimi come visit. Out of all the people who I had recognized going  6 went in and 4 came out. Out of the four the one woman definitely seemed to not be comfortable there  and seemed to work else where. All in all it was pretty quiet today.  Billy

 

Shift Report from Kathy:

Joan, Mike, Mimi, John, Bridgette:Beautiful People

Mimi arrived just as I arrived.   She commanded:  “Say Rosary.”
God provided Joan, John,and Mike from Bentleyville at just the right moment.

Mike led the Rosary and Bridgette joined us. Afterward, Mimi shared all she would do tonight and we watched as she crossed the street and zoomed down Liberty. 

Praying on her knees Bridgette was observed by many as the concert preparations were underway, touching hearts  —- including mine.
Jim joined us, too.   

Prayers continued until we were delighted to see Diane and Tom. 

Day 32: Thanks to BELLEVUE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS all day and Individual Volunteers

 

LOOK OUT – THE ABORTION FREIGHT TRAIN IS COMING!

After a trying week on the sidewalk, I think we all need to understand that those of us in the 40 Days for Life movement are attempting to rescue lives —– from in front of a moving freight train!   

That Freight Train is the well funded, Madison Avenue Scripted, Hollywood Star -Studded, Millionaire Financed BIG BUSINESS of Abortion … It is lethal , and it moves FAST.

So… IMAGINE  you are in your car and you approach a railroad crossing gate which has descended, signalling a train is imminent.

Suddenly, you notice child playing innocently on a train track unaware of the imminent danger.

WHAT do you do?

YOU shift your car into park, unbuckle your seatbelt, open your door, and  run, yelling, to help.   You search for anyone who might be able to lend a hand, you wave your arms furiously, you call out to the child….. you do whatever you possibly can to change the the course that life appears to be on for that child.   You do your best…

Unfortunately, the odds of all ending well are against us in these situations: 

MOST TIMES we are simply not able to safely make the rescue ….  We watch as the pregnant mom enters the abortion clinic.  We are too late, too unconvincing, too outnumbered …. to succeed.

SOMETIMES we ourselves will be “injured” attempting to help.   We are mimicked, ridiculed, scorned, verbally abused  —- even as we use our powerful and peaceful commitment of PRAYER!

but…

EVERY ONCE in a great WHILE, through the Grace of God & often with the help of others,  we are successful :  We can push that child off the track — and work to embrace him and (re)unite him with those who love him.  We are able to offer REAL CHOICES to women who are abortion-minded —-natural choices that do not involve violence or death.

THIS IS a pretty MIRACULOUS outcome—  we call them SAVES!

Heaven knows it is difficult, but please continue to answer God’s call to be pro-life, and to answer His call to put yourselves in the physical path of the Abortion Freight train.   We know our work results in MIRACLES called SAVES.   I am honored to stand, and kneel with the pro-life community in Pittsburgh.

 


  WITH DEEP SYMPATHY for the FAMILIES and COMMUNITY Grieving Today … 

Before I share today’s reports, Let us all take a moment to pray for the victims of today’s violence in Squirrel Hill.  With heavy hearts we have learned of the hateful acts of a man who randomly, callously and purposefully took the lives of gentle souls united in prayer at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.  

I was within one mile of the Tree of Life Synagogue this morning.  As I pulled over in my car in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood to offer a rosary, an Orthodox Jewish man and his son walked unknowingly and peacefully past my car on the sidewalk.   

It brought the heinous reality of the massacre up close-  Every living human person is beloved by God.  May God have mercy on the souls of the departed and provide aid to the injured.  May His peace flow like a river in this city of rivers….. 


Shift Manager Reports:

Sunrise Crew welcomes God into the day

 

7-9 am Shift Manager Tim reports:    

We were blessed to have Jill and Betsy in the Choices mobile sonogram, the year round Saturday morning Sidewalk Advocates and the Bellevue Knights of Columbus. Sadly it was a busy morning at PP. Yet we prayed and God heard our prayers.   Tim B

 

Good Morning Jill and Betsy!

 

9-11 am Prayer Warriors between raindrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9-11 Shift Manager Sue Reports:

Charlie and his Knights of Columbus, along with Mary Pat, were holding down the fort when I arrived.  Shortly afterwards, as Joe K. was still there after his 7-9 shift as a Sidewalk Advocate, we noticed a couple standing in the circle in front of PP, shuffling their backpacks and bags and not particularly looking as if they were preparing to go in.  Joe, however, thought he would approach them anyway to offer them information.  Before I knew it, he was leading them across the street to the mobile ultrasound unit!!!  They entered, and all indications were that they received services there, as we did not see them exit before the mobile unit left quite some time later (although we’re certain they must have left the unit at some point due to the fact that the mobile would not drive off with them inside).  Praise God for this bright spot on an otherwise very sad morning in Pittsburgh.

Shortly after Joe led the couple to the mobile, Joan showed up to pray along with Tish, Lisa, and Bo, all from St. Patrick in Canonsburg.  Mary and Arlene from St. Maurice arrived soon afterwards, along with Rose from St. John XXIII.  They did a lot of praying.  Several couples and singles entered the clinic, unfortunately not responding to our offers of help and literature.  We prayed for each one.  At 11:07, which at that point was officially Dean’s shift, I received a text from a friend who was lunching in Squirrel Hill, telling of the horrible news and asking us to pray.  We all prayed together.   Dear Lord, please send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of this city, this country, and this earth!

Tish, Lisa, Bo, and Joan from St. Patrick in Canonsburg, with Bill H.

 

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:

Our prayers go out to all of those people effected by the killings at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill today. I saw many of the first responders en route as I passed through that area on my bus trip to 40DFL this morning. All killing effects all of us.

Knights of Columbus Bellevue and Verona

 

 

1-3 Shift Manager Billy Reports:

 

Tom and Jenny

I was shift lead today with 2 knights  of Columbus AJ and then Kurt, along with Tom  and Jenny.  Tom began reading  the passion of Jesus. I also noticed  there was  a rainbow flag around the tree with our choose life sign and what came to my mind was Noah finding mercy from God. I was thinking  we are being the merciful choice for the babies. We were accompanied by a sidewalk ad vocate. We also got visits from Mimi  and Rick who prayed the rosary for us.

I noticed  we had seen people accidentally mistake planned parenthood for another place, and also a few women were having issues with the door.   Our  side walk advocate gave a  would -be client information and that person  went on !!  Other than that we did not have any issues

.

 

3-5 Shift Manager Kathy Reports:  

Quiet rainy prayerful shift: grateful to Ken, Jim, Rick, sidewalk advocate Marian .

Prayer Warriors

Day 25: Thanks to Guardians for Life, Holy Child (Bridgeville), St. John & Good Samaritan in Ambridge, and others

“KIDS TODAY!” — SHEESH

It is true that  pro-life activism and in particular, 40 Days for Life does not lend itself easily into the lives of young adults.  They are busy with school and  school activities, sports, arts, jobs and job pursuits.  BUT just because we do not see scores of young people at the 40 Days for Life Vigil, make NO MISTAKE about their ability to carry the pro-life message forward.  They are the FUTURE of this critical movement.  And… “KIDS TODAY” are actually doing some really great things:

For those of you who don’t know it yet, Pittsburgh is home to the very vibrant and effective  REHUMANIZE INTERNATIONAL organization, founded by our very own CMU-educated Aimee B. Murphy, who has long joined us on the sidewalk.   From their mission statement:    …. We work to ensure that each and every human being’s life is respected, valued, and protected.  As such, we oppose all forms of aggressive violence, including but not limited to:   abortion, unjust war, capital

… from the ReHumanize International Website. Lots more edgy graphics are available for download

punishment, euthanasia, torture, embryonic stem cell research, assis

PRO -LIFE Duquesne University Students

ted suicide, abuse, human trafficking, police brutality, etc…  

I recently attended the annual REHUMANIZE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE held at Duquesne University and hosted by  the Duquesne University CEL- Consistent Ethic of Life  Club.

I heard there that EVERYONE matters – every human being– yes, the guy with mental issues, the senior with Alzheimer’s , the baby conceived in date rape, the prisoner being mistreated by guards or cellmates, the wheelchair bound young woman who relies on intermittent oxygen for life….EVERYBODY matters!

 

One of the most moving parts of the conference was the ARTS component– several young people entered visual art entries on the theme of respeoct for human life.. it was

So whenever you worry that the next generation is not “getting it” over abortion, YOU are getting it WRONG!!!

 

Shift Reports from today:

Irene and Terri– Guardians for Life!

Shift notes from Tim 7-9 am:

Guardians for Life takes it to the street!

Thanks to the Guardians for Life, including long time prayer warrior Irene, who made a strong presence with a witness, prayers and songs. Several couples went into pp but thankfully, a few of them accepted literature .   Thank you so much Pat M. and Kathy L. for giving up part of your Saturday to stand and pray with me today.

When I arrived there were lot of young women going in and out of P.P. I couldn’t tell if they were conducting some sort of training session…One young woman waited until she was ready to cross the street and hurriedly kicked at our 40DFL sign, knocking it on it’s side. (down,  but not out)  —-dedicated Sidewalk Advocates Virginia, Joe, David and Terri. Let’s hope we planted a few seeds. 

 

 

Shift Notes from Susan, 9-11:

 

Knights of Columbus continues an AWESOME commitment to the unborn!

This morning presented yet more evidence that the 40 Days folks are truly family.  This morning, I slept in for the first time in I cannot remember how long.  Something went wrong with my alarm, and for some reason my body didn’t wake itself up like it usually does despite the alarm working or not working.  I woke up less than 10 minutes before the start time of my shift!  Appalled at myself and embarrassed, I called Tim, and he just chuckled and said not to worry.  I arrived to find Joe K. covering for me.  God bless these men!!!  

When I finally arrived, the Guardians for Life were just packing it in for the morning, and I was joined by Tina and Brigitte, two lovely prayer warriors who had made the trip all the way from St. Clairsville, Ohio.  There were a lot of people entering PP today, both for services and for what we could tell was some kind of training session, making for a heart-rending morning.  We reached out to all of them, with very little response.  One passerby, a pretty, statuesque young woman, made it a point to pose right next to the window bearing the Planned Parenthood logo to have her companion take her photo while saying what a good organization PP is.  Most of the folks we were able to hand literature to were passersby, not even going to PP.  Judy, my SA partner, was able to get several brochures, including one for Rachel’s Vineyard, into the hands of a grandmother who had come out to the sidewalk to have a smoke while her daughter was inside having an abortion.  She said she herself has six children.  We prayed for her.  We got a lot of prayer in this morning, thanks to Tina and Brigitte, who knelt to pray for a good portion of the time.  There was a lot to pray about.

Notes from Dean, 11-1 shift :

Thank you so much Pat M. and Kathy L. for giving up part of your Saturday to stand and pray with me today.
When I arrived there were a lot of young women going in and out of P.P.    I couldn’t tell if they were conducting some sort of training session, or what was going on. One young woman waited until she was ready to cross the street and hurriedly kicked at our 40DFL sign, knocking it on it’s side.   (down,  but not out   😉 )  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from Kathy, 3-5 shift :

Prayer Warriors Christine, Beverly, Mindy and Joe

Beverly and Minda from Good Samaritan in Ambridge prayed on one side of circle as I prayed on other side. We prayed together as we were joined by first timer Christine from Zion Christian in Carrick. 
Christine brought a poem she had written:”When you were born!”
We were grateful that she shared it and prayed with us. Gave her 40 Days brochure to share at her church. 
Shared diaper info with 2 moms-to-be:  First one greeted us by pulling up her coat and rubbing her belly. “I am having my baby ,” she beamed.  She is due in February. 
Second one.:   “I am due any day,”she glowed. Penelope will be her name.
Both were glad we were there. Many positive comments. 

 

 

Notes from Billy:

Good afternoon I was with Holy Child – St. Barbara Parrish in Bridgeville today. 
We had a huge turn out today of pro-lifers which was incredible, I got to meet some lovely people.
There was a Terese, there was a Nancy and Bill, Audrey, Vince, and Shelly just to name a few, and we prayed, we discussed  about the Gosnell movie —– if you haven’t seen it you have to!  It  will be playing until Tuesday now to my knowledge. It was humbling, and reinforced to me why I am down here with you all ——  we are here to fight for babies and their right to be born!  We are fighting for babies not blobs, but  actual babies.  We had a passerby watch us as we were reading from stations of the cross, and two pro-life girls walking by us that encouraged us as well.  A couple people went in and out of Planned Parenthood, and this week the door was open but we didn’t have a lot of issues today! It was a good day!

Day 18: Thanks to St. Elizabeth of Hungary /Pleasant Hills, St Sebastian /Ross. Twp. Mt. Zion Baptist/Butler

“IN THE EVENT OF A CABIN EMERGENCY, SECURE YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST BEFORE TENDING TO YOUR CHILD’s”

I  may be one of the vast MINORITY of  airline passengers who listens to the safety instructions given by the cabin steward/s.  I guess part of me thinks its rude not to look when someone’s speaking.  I always count the number of seats I’d have to pass before my exits, and look around to see others on the flight who made need a bit of help.  It has been years since I travelled with a minor, but one direction I am sure I know is this:  IN THE EVENT OF A CABIN EMERGENCY, SECURE YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST BEFORE TENDING TO YOUR CHILD’s.      I’ll admit to hearing that for the first time and thinking “this is backwards– children are in the most danger in risky situations, they need to be aided first” …  After thinking it through I eventually realized that the direction given by the cabin steward was most certainly correct.  You must stabilize your own well-being IN ORDER to help someone else.

Same with Abortion!   If we want to provide assistance to an unborn child who is threatened by abortion, we must ensure HER MOTHER is OK–

For years the pro-life movement has been relaying the stunning development of a fetus.  We know so much about these innocent little  beings– how truly unique they are, even showing left or right handedness in the first trimester.   We have rallied around the FACT that an individual growing human life exists before birth.  It is important information.

EXCEPT…. This beautiful child lives within her mom.  A Crisis Pregnancy is not a Pregnancy in Crisis— It is a pregnant MOM with a Crisis.   

The baby is NOT the crisis. He or she is naturally, wonderfully, developing within mom without any special assistance from anyone! I’d suggest that the baby is VERY self-sufficient in utero.  Moms don’t even have to feed unborn babies- they help themselves!   The womb is often seen as a symbol of warmth and peace and comfort.  Indeed it is.

It is the outside world that generates the  crisis— A woman  not be capable of providing for a child, the father of the child not supportive or even violent,  the woman’s work environment will not support her pregnancy,  the woman still needs to finish her education……. !

As we move forward in this important mission of LIFE, we must commit every resource possible to ELIMINATE the Crisis from a Pregnant woman’s life instead of eliminating her Child.  As we stand outside the Abortion Center, we must remember that the  VERY BEST WAY to give hope to children threatened by abortion is to GIVE HELP and HOPE and LOVE to their mothers.

Be that person who everyone knows will love and not judge, will be generous to a fault, will listen and understand.

Let’s  “Secure Mom’s Oxygen Mask” so SHE can in turn be able to care for her child.

SHIFT REPORTS:

7-9 Report from Tim

It was a brisk yet very blessed morning. There were no pp escorts which we took to mean no abortions were being performed and lives were saved today. While the group from St Elizabeth’s  was standing vigil a young woman walked by and erupted into the pro abort rhetoric   However, we starting in a lower tone talking with her and she opened up for a back and forth discussion. She voiced her concern with the possible abuse that could occur with adoption and then shared with us that she had an abortion. After several group hugs she apologized for her harsh words and accepted the Rachel’s Vineyard pamphlet.  Please pray for her healing.  Tim

Morning Joy

9-11 Shift report from Sue:

There were no escorts at PP when I arrived this morning! Very few people entered during the first hour, so we are hoping that PP did not do abortions today. Although in the last half hour it seemed to get busier with several couples and women who were alone entering their doors. I was joined by a nice sized group from St. Michaels in Wheeling. It was one of their participants first time on the sidewalk and he led the Rosary and Divine Mercy. Mike prayed on his knees on the sidewalk. Dean and St. Bonaventure’s showed up for the next shift with bouquets of flowers in memorial for the aborted children. Thank you for remembering and thank you to all who came to pray today! Sue

 

11-1 Shift Report from Dean

There was a strong show of support for 40DFL by St. Sebastian of North Hills and St. Michael’s of Wheeling, WVA when I arrived this morning. 
A young woman talking with one of the faithful from St. Michael’s, tried in vain to prove her point that a baby isn’t a person until the baby is outside of the womb.
God has a destination and a purpose for all the lives that He has created.

St. Sebastian prayer Warriors

Praying from St. Michael’s West Virginia

Shift report from Billy

Today, I was accompanied by a man named Tom and his family and Libby and Vince from St. Sebastian . We ended up having a conversation about the catholic teachings of life and we ended by seeing two adorable children walk by. I was also accompanied by Mary Jane. Tom was reciting Psalm 51 by memory and it was word for word because I was following along with my Bible ! A gentleman stopped and told us it was beautiful.

Another gentleman stopped to talk about an abortion. Mary Jane and he had quite a conversation. The next group arrived early from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and Tom repeated Psalm 51 I read Isaiah 53 l

I forgot to mention this last week planned parenthood‘s door was not working properly , and it still today so praise God for that.

Shift manager Marshall 3 to 5:

The weather has turned but we strive to grow in the grace of our Lord. Today from 3 to 5, it was so wonderful to see men at the clinic.

Generally, it is mostly ladies which is a good motherly witness and presence, but we do need men to stand for life as well. Thanks to the men of Zion Baptist whom stood with me and others. Also, we met a mother of a Franciscan University student. She stopped by from her hotel to pray. She sat a the closed door of PP as an independent silent witness. It was beautiful. God bless!

In the photo. Larry, Tim from Zion Baptist in with Marshall (SM) and Bill is hiding in the back.

Day 11: Thanks to St. Ann/Castle Shannon, Holy Trinity/Robinson Twp., and Living Hope Church/Greensburg

“For My Dear Joseph, waiting for me in Heaven – your Mother”

IF YOU SAVE ONE LIFE … 

I  recently returned from a trip to Columbus, Ohio which is home of the Ohio State Capitol.

There is really nothing like a trip to a State (or National) Capitol to see how strongly GOD figures into our nation.  You need only look to see the immense number of Godly references etched into the beautiful stone and marble of these monuments.   Visit the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Park, or our own State Capitol in Harrisburg to see that our founding fathers knew, as we do today, that all of our success finds its origin and direction in the Almighty.     FUN FACTS :      During the first meeting of the Continental Congress in September 1774, George Washington prayed alongside the other delegates, and they recited Psalm 35 together as patriots…. …. …... Lincoln’s second inaugural address is etched in his memorial.   It mentions God fourteen times and quotes the Bible twice…….. …. …… …….  The cornerstone of the Washington Monument includes a Holy Bible, along with copies of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  ………. …… ……  the  Jefferson Memorial includes his words: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

But last weekend on the grounds of the Ohio State capitol I saw an even more timely, and  relatively new memorial:

“IF YOU SAVE ONE LIFE, IT IS AS IF YOU SAVED THE WORLD”   The memorial was a tribute to a holocaust victim who, like the Catholic  St. Maximillian  Kolbe sacrificed his own life to save another from sure death in the Nazi concentration camps.  I read his story and thought about our movement.   This is true for EVERY PRO-LIFER.  The idea is PERFECT for the 40 Days for Life Movement.  JUST THINK- ONE LIFE can really change the world, so if our actions save JUST ONE LIFE, we are truly part of saving the whole world.


Abraham Lincoln famously pronounced : ” I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”  

By the time you read this, the honorable Judge Brett Kavanaugh is likely to be Justice Kavanaugh.  We celebrate that this man of honor, faith, and integrity will be a part of the judicial arm at the highest levels.        GOD BLESS AMERICA     – French off the Bench


7-9 Shift Report from:  Tim

Betsy and Jill : Showing Moms their Babies every day!

It was truly a blessed and joyful morning.  The faithful from St. Anne’s arrived before the vigil got underway and they were joined by Fr Tim and the Guardians for Life, the Knights of Columbus and the team from Holy Family Steubenville. Betsy and Jill brought the Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram to offer alternative services. We had a strong presence and made a powerful witness and perhaps we chained a few hearts and minds. Tim B.   

Knights of Columbus: Faithful Pro-Lifers

Guardians for Life and Holy Family Steubenville,  OH REPRESENT!

 

 

9-11 Shift Report from: Sue & Sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

9-11 Shift Report from Sue:

We were blessed with many prayer warriors during the 9-11 shift today:  the Guardians for Life were there in full force along with representatives from St. Anne, Holy Trinity in Robinson, and St. James in the West End.  Also, Bernadette from St. John XXIII, along with one of her daughters and one of her little grandsons, stopped by to kneel and pray.  The foot traffic in and out of PP was about average for a Saturday morning, at least during the time I was there.  We prayed and shared information with those who would accept it.  Although the wonderful Choices ultrasound van was parked across the street for the entire shift, we unfortunately were unable to direct anyone to it.  So it was a seed-planting day spiritually –

St. Ann Castle Shannon brings the “A Team” to PRAY

praise God for all of the uncountable future plants and flowers we know He is tending!!

 

Prayer Warriors from Holy Trinity in Robinson Township – AMEN!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-1 Shift Report from: Dean

 

This was a fairly quiet afternoon. Thank you, prayer warriors of Holy Trinity for standing strong. The Ultrasound van was just finishing up as I arrived.

1-4  Shift Report from: Billy

 

Bridget from Our Lady of Grace and SM Billy

Hey its Billy   — Today’s shift was a great way for me to get back into being shift manager. I was with three members of Holy Trinity church Helen, 

Jim and Kathy. We were lead in a beautiful prayer period. It started out sunny and everything seemed great,  no problems.  All of a sudden a man came over and said to us he wants to pray to end abortion protesters and I thought on it and pondered. I didn’t feel the need to engage. They don’t want  to see the end of abortion protesters gone the same way we do— we want to end protesting only when abortion is gone!!!         It began to rain and we were praying the entire time we were praying. Then the sun came out and then we took a break from praying and   —-  began praying again and then the rain came there was some thunder but we did fine and we finished praying at 3.      Before I forget to mention a young gentleman came up and asked if he could pray with us and  I told him he could join us.    At 3 Holy Trinity church members left,  and I was joined by  Bridget of the South Hills from  Our Lady of Grace.   She was there with me for my last hour. We talked,  had a couple of people pass by and a few come and stop us for some nice comments,  and Bridget and I talked about this campaign’s theme:   Humility.      I referenced Luke 18  —-the Pharisee and Tax Collector.     

Jessica, Jackie and Kevin from Living Hope Church in Greensburg- AMEN!

Shift manager Joe came at 4 and he took our pictures.                      Its good to be back. 

 

4-7 Shift Report from: Joe   

You can not out give God, how true!

Authentic Christian Warriors ( those pictured, and our rock Nikki) came to inspire and spread the love of Jesus
With me.
Praise and Glory be to God.  – Joe

Day 5: THANKS St. Regis/Trafford, St. Mary/Herman, Park Baptist/McKeesport, Holy Trinity Ukranian

” Do I really HAVE TO DO IT?

I am back to the gym after a many month hiatus.  My “poison” of choice :  Boot Camp Class 2-3 times a week.  Burpees, Weight training, Cardio, Core Strengthening …

  • I KNOW exercise is good for me, and that I am a more balanced person when I push myself physically.
  • I KNOW that I am not expected to be the best one in my class, and that there will be many younger and more agile  folks in at the gym.
  • I KNOW, too that my time is not so completely scheduled that I can’t find a few hours a week for this.
  • I also KNOW that God gave us bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, and that I have an obligation to maintain His gift.

OK but  I HATE GOING to Class!   I especially despise those first few minutes of “warm up”.  Having sat at a desk all day, my body is shocked into physical exertion and I panic about what the next hour will require.   It takes sheer determination to do this thing that is anything but FUN!

…  Same with my 40 Daysfor Life Shift!

  • I KNOW it is good for me, and I am a more balanced person when I do it.
  • I KNOW I am not expected to be the best on the sidewalk.  (Sidewalk Advocates are amazing)
  • I KNOW that my time is not so completely scheduled that I can’t take several hours a week to be on the sidewalk.
  • I KNOW that God has blessed me with the incredibly good fortune to be ABLE to stand or kneel on my own.

Knowing all these things …..  IT IS STILL SUCH A CHALLENGE  to COMMIT 

NOT my happy place!      But where I NEED to BE…

TO MY 40 DAYS SHIFT! 

I especially dislike the initial approach to PP when I realize that my life for the next 2 hours will expose me to the deepest hurts in our city.  I hate the idea of being so close to a center of  death.  I hate watching broken women and men leave PP.  And of course, I hate being cold or wet or harassed…

SO WHY DO IT? WHY BOTHER?

At the end of my time (at exercise class or )on the sidewalk, whether I am rolling up my exercise mat, or returning my PRAY TO END ABORTION sign to the 40 Days supply bin,  I feel JOY!     In my heart, I know I did what was best — what made sense for who I am as a person.  As much as I didn’t want to be at that place for that time; and  I am changed!

AND when you involve GOD in your tough activity, the added benefit benefits can astound us:

We now know that  PRAYING TO END ABORTION

  • Saves Babies Lives
  • Gives Mothers REAL CHOICES which are not violent or regrettable
  • Converts Abortion Workers
  • Closes Clinics

So…..  We don’t need to Love or even Look Forward to our time on the Sidewalk,

We just need to SHOW UP!

INVEST AN HOUR OR TWO — No Pain, No Gain!

French off the bench

 


7-9am Shift Report  From Pat:   St. Regis/Trafford

SM Buddy  Vince, and Mike, Yolanda, and Albert from St. Regis.

I knew not to make a rookie mistake.  A rookie mistake is to see that the temperature for your two-hour shift will be in the low 50s and to interpret “low 50s” as actually meaning “low 50s.”  When you’re standing out on a cold sidewalk for a couple of hours, even in deceptively nice weather, you know the time has come for layering…and yes, gloves.  (In fact, I’d say that it was only a few degrees away from being an earmuff morning as well.)

Despite consistently not being bright enough to schedule my parish for a day when there is not a huge Sunday morning event in downtown event (this time it was The Great Race), I had three of my faithful fellow parishioners join me for the entire two hours.  Thanks guys!  And we were all blessed to once again have SMB (Shift Manager Buddy) Vince with us to not only lead us in prayer, but to bring prayer guides with mediations on the mysteries of the rosary.  Bill H. also stopped by for a bit and asked for prayers for a recent health concern.

The most interesting thing that happened occurred when I was on the “materials side” of the sidewalk and Mike, Yolanda, and Albert were on the other side.  I noticed that a woman came to speak with them for about five minutes.  The conversation seemed peaceful so I stayed where I was.  Albert told me later that she was from out of town and, as she passed us earlier on her way to the Greyhound Bus station, we were all praying together.  She was impressed by this felt that God had told her to return in order to give us some words of encouragement and to pray for us, which she did.  Thank you so much kind stranger, and may God bless you as well.

  – Shift Manager Pat


9-11 Shift Report from Sue   

Flowers on the sidewalk, from loving prayer volunteers

My shift manager buddy Ken and I were the only folks manning the 9-11 shift this morning.  We prayed the Rosary and talked about the Life cause.  At one point a young man came by and earnestly engaged us in conversation.  He was on his way to catch a bus to his mom’s funeral in another city.  It was such a wonderful conversation due to Ken’s gentle witnessing and the genuine openness of this young man to learning about the pro-life message.  The young man left in a very appreciative and, we believe, enlightened mode.  The “R” family showed up around the middle of our shift and knelt to pray a Rosary.  Ken had brought a bunch of red roses, and the children were happy to place them around the circle.  I wanted to get a photo of them, but my phone was malfunctioning.  This family is a huge blessing to the vigil and always such an inspiration and blessing to me.  As I’ve mentioned many times, I never go to the vigil to be blessed myself, but somehow I always am — every time!  Many thanks to Ken and the R family!!!

For Life,

Sue M.

 


1-3  Shift Report: Bill and Park Baptist Church/McKeesport

SHOUT OUT TO Bill D.  who stepped up as SHIFT MANAGER.  Thanks Bill!

Sunday Sunshine and Smiles

Park Baptist Church Brings PRAYER TO THE PAVEMENT today!

  Photos of the GREAT people of Park Baptist Church in  McKeesport; OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!

 

Roseann, Mary Jean, Margie and Larry


11-1 Shift Report:  RoseAnn

Prayer and SMILES …. more to follow…

PRAYER MOB! Roseann, Rich, Margie, Larry

 


Shift Report 3-5  from Madonna

It was a beautiful day to pray and I am happy John came with me.

Patty, Nadine, John and I said the Rosary.

Nadine led the Divine Mercy chaplet.

There was a minimal amount of insults.

There were a few words of gratitude and a couple of men stopped by to say they were praying for an end to abortion, too.

Thank you and God bless you.

 


5-7 Shift Report from Joe

Holy Trinity Ukranian Church (pictured)Martha,Pat, Natali,Angie, along with Deacon Myron (not in picture) our fearless leader Nikki, joined Jim, Cathy, (my shift buddies) and I, to witness for life

Day 39: Thanks to Marathon Prayer Warriors Holy Wisdom & St. John XXIII ALL DAY

“I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS….”

Celebrating a rare  NO ABORTION SATURDAY  at PP in Pittsburgh!!!

Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Detail – Milan

I never appreciate Christianity as much as  I do at this time of year when we enter into this most holy week  —  what an incredible blessing it is to journey with Him, and to remember and reflect on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

I was blessed to be in Milan last Lent, and to see firsthand DaVinci’s larger than life Last Supper.  I wanted to share a few images with you as we journey together during this holy time!

The Last Supper was painted in a Dining Hall! It is beautiful, enormous, compelling….

On the opposite end of the Dining Hall where the Last Supper is painted is another, not quite so famous painting which would foretell what was to become of this itinerant preacher.  I was taken by the busy-ness of the crucifixion scene, and while it was embellished by the artist, the reality is that crucifixion was a public spectacle– the crosses lined major travelways and the Romans used the slow, painful torture of crucifixion as a deterrent for Jews who might challenge or disturb the Roman order in Jerusalem. I can imagine all who would turn away from these sites– mothers shielding children, sensitive folks pulling their robes over their heads, friends of the crucified unable to bear the suffering…  The Romans wanted Jews to watch these crucifixions, but just like like today, human torture tears at our hearts, and we turn away in pain.

Visitors leave roses at this panel on a door at the Milan Cathedral

It reminds me of what we do on the sidewalk each day- Even though we do not visibly show the horrific human torture of abortion, we are witnesses: visible signs of the uncomfortable truth that lives are lost in abortion, and —-some passerbys automatically turn away.

I always find it challenging to redirect someone who wrongly believes our fetal models are gorey or grotesque… This happens with adults and young people alike! It seems that the only ones who can immediately appreciate the models are toddlers and young children.  They immediately say “baby” !!

The reality is that any representation of human flesh — even the beautiful models of unborn children, touches our senses in a deep way.  When we draw attention to the living, vulnerable bodies of our brothers and sisters,a human reaction is inevitable– and so many people become strangely anxious.

As we witness to the love and hope offered by the One whose suffering we will claim as our salvation this week,  He is truly with us.  

This is one of my very favorite pictures from Milan– To me, it represents our world so well…    This was a busy, noisy, confusing intersection in the old part of the city.  I stood and watched countless pedestrians, busses, scooters, drivers for a few minutes, amazed at all the life and noise and activities in the street.

AND  THEN, I saw HIM.   There was Jesus on the cross, painted onto the left side of the second traffic arch! He had been there all the time! What a comfort it was to be reminded that Jesus is with us, that He died for us, loves us, and invites us to perfect joy with Him.   He remains at the center; the sure promise of our eternal destiny; the hope for us all.

 

 

This is an enlargement of the picture above-  Remember, amid your crazy, busy, noisy lives,  He is with you ALWAYS! Blessed Holy Week and Joyous Easter to all!


Shift Reports from TODAY on the Sidewalk with Holy Wisdom and John XXIII Prayer Warriors:

NO DEATHSCORTS = NO ABORTIONS TODAY!         Praise be to GOD!

7-9 Shift Report from Sue

Barbara, Michael, Bill and Virginia – EARLY SHIFT

The very-welcome sunshine was beaming down between the buildings when Kathy L. (Sidewalk Advocate) and I arrived.  There were no escorts this morning, a sight which always makes my heart leap, as usually this is a Saturday indicator of it being a non-abortion day. The lower-than-usual number of people going into PP seemed to confirm that theory.  We were greeted by a large group of pray-ers from many different churches, including St. Joseph Cathedral, St. Michael Cathedral in Wheeling, St. Mary in St. Clairsville, OH, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. Ferdinand.  Barbara, shift manager and blog writer, was there for the whole day and glowing & smiling just like it was a summer day. She reached out to a young passerby who stayed and prayed with us for awhile.

During the second half of the shift, many young people began to enter PP for what we learned was a training session.  For what, I don’t know.  We had some positive responses from passersby and some negative ones.  One man quickly walked by and said to us, “Get a life,” a comment which I always find ironic.  A 55-year-old woman came by and told me a sad story of her mother forcing her to have an abortion at age 17.  She said she knows she is forgiven after asking God, but the horror and sadness of the experience has stuck with her. We saw a few people with signs headed for the “March for Our Lives” event in Market Square.  Again, that LIFE theme …. Bill stopped by a couple of times.  All in all, it was a peaceful — yet cold! — morning on the sidewalk.                             

St. Alphonsus’ Finest: Marie, Donna, Beth


9-11  Shift Report from Tim:

Katrina and Clare with Sister Jolenta this morning

              Bill and Birthday Boy Bill!

What a brisk and blessed morning it was.  I was blessed to have Barbara and Richard join me from the beginning. They plan to pray and witness for the entire day at the vigil.  Several young men stopped to look at the fetal models and engage in conversation. One of them, Michael, joined in prayer and stayed for my entire shift. Sister Jolenta joined us and shared that she has been to Mass before arriving and offered it for all of us.  I was blessed too, with several groups of women coming to pray and many of the regular year round prayer warriors including Bill S. who was celebrating his birthday.

The best blessing of all was there were no pp escorts which we hope means they were not performing abortions and many babies were spared today.

 


11-1 Shift Report from Dean

Holy Wisdom crew joined by folks from W VA and Ohio today!

I was thankful to have the inspirational company of Barbara on the sidewalk today. Thank you for giving so much of your time.
Many people were leaving P.P  today without accepting information about the pregnancy support groups.

I continue to pray for people to change their hearts and minds on this issue.  At least we stood in witness to life and we really never know the seeds that are planted by our presence and prayer.  


1-3 Shift Report from Billy

Rose and St. John XXIII members join the group

Hi everyone today’s vigil was awesome. Today the March for Our Lives gun protest was going on & many people commented.  One said we should ‘get behind a real protest’.  lol

Around 1:30 a young girl by the name of Jessica stopped by. She is a young mother who opposes abortion and is currently fighting for of her custody daughter. She poured her heart out to Barbara and to me. 

While this was going, on a woman named Rose came to join to pray. Jessica stayed my whole shift— She was so soft spoken please pray for her! Also a man came and asked for money and I left for a second to buy him food and when I came back a lady named Mimi came to pray.   

Members of St. John XXIII stand for LIFE

Mimi, like Bill H. is an AMAZING everyday 40 Days for Life prayer warrior and we are blest to have her 3-5pmjoin us each day!

Before I left Jessica got information from Kathy to join us for 40 days again.It was an eventful day for sure!       Thanks again to all the volunteers who joined me today!

Your brother in Christ Billy 

 


3-5 Shift Report from Kathy

Prayer outside planned parenthood was in process when I arrived. Mimi was in charge!  Barbara smiled. Rose and Barbara listened. Beautiful picture!  Throughout shift, members of Barbara’s church came and prayed.

Tim, a student at Byzantine seminary, prayed and shed sunshine on Liberty Ave . 
Honored to be on sidewalk with precious people. Cant forget Jim, sidewalk advocate,, spent time passing out info to many people, his presence was greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

MORE TO COME… stay tuned!