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!

Day 32: Thanks to Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Church of the Assumption, Guardians for LIFE

Keep Ireland Safe for Babies like Me!

Like more than a few of you, I am of Irish lineage.  My father’s ancestors traveled to the “new country” to avoid starvation and make their way in the melting pot of American society, settling first in Boston, then here in Pittsburgh.  Ireland has long been a source of pride for our family,  most especially since the majority of Irish law has supported Biblical Law- up to and including a a ban on abortion except in very exceptional circumstances.      GO IRISH!

 

to quote from a Friends of Ireland email :

‘The Catholic faith which Patrick imparted to the Irish people has defended, consistently for two millennia, the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life in all of its stages and conditions.’   

It was the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution which has long protected our irish brothers and sisters before birth.  Now, the people of Ireland are voting on a referendum that would strip protection from their tiniest citizens in the womb– those defenseless children —guilty of no crime, innocent, pure,  and certainly loved from afar.

The 8th amendment, signed into law in 1983 was groundbreaking in its recognition of AN EQUAL RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE MOTHER AND THE UNBORN CHILD.  What a beautiful message of peaceful co-existence

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TODAY TO PRAY that Ireland retains the beauty and simplicity of the 8th Amendment, drafted in the spirit of a people that knows suffering and prejudice; drafted with the love of the Irish people- even the tiny ones!

Hang a Shamrock, Have an Irish Draught, Eat a piece of Soda Bread, but above all else, PRAY for a continued PRO-LIFE IRELAND !


Today’s Shift Reports from the Irish Streets of Pittsburgh:

 

7am- 9am Tim Reports:

Bellevue Knights of Columbus hold vigil this morning– THANK YOU KNIGHTS- you are a Blessing!

Kilts and prayers. 

There was a lot of  activity on sidewalk early this morning.  The Bellevue Knights of Columbus arrived early and were planning to pray the entire day of the vigil.  These knights were joined by the Guardians of Life and their KOC team as well.  Prayers rang out and were heard by all the early people coming for the parade, some in kilts. What a powerful witness and presence we had today.

Tim B.

Saturday Morning Prayer Warriors with Guardians for Life take up the vigil to Pray to End Abortion

 

Knights of Columbus Signs of Encouragement on the Cold Sidewalk this morning
Baby Models work in ANY WEATHER! Praise God
Gaurdians for Life brave the weather with SA Terri

Bellevue K of C and other witnesses for life filled the sidewalk this morning!

9am- 11am Sue & Sue Report:

The sidewalk was busy with a lot of people going to the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! We tried to use the opportunity to increase awareness about PP and offer alternatives to abortion and PP.  When we were just about finished with the shift, the police came and asked us to clear the sidewalk for safety due to a threat that they received. We were so grateful to have the knights with us…and for Diane’s amazing engineering skills which enabled us to take all the the vigil materials with us!!

Guardians for Life with SA Terri
Guardians for Life in active prayer
A Guardian and a Knight — a strong combo!

Editor’s Note:

At about 11:00 today, we were informed by the Pittsburgh Police that the area was to be cleared of all persons due to a suspicious material placed in a nearby trash container.  Someone called into the police worried that we might be in danger….. As of this publishing, no harm came to anyone on the sidewalk, as all were cooperative in leaving the area.

FINISH STRONG for the Little Ones Relying on us- Stop in at the Vigil this Week

THE VIGIL RESUMES AT 7am TOMORROW–  This is your very last week to be a part of this important, effective project— Please join us on the sidewalk!!

 

Day 25: Thanks to St. Maria Goretti/Bloomfield,St. Sebastian/Ross Twp,Starkdale Presbyterian/Steubenville OH,St. Therese/Munhall

OH BABY!

Have you met our 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh Babies yet? 

 I come from a beautiful big family (7 girls, 4 boys) and one of my lovely sisters had the idea that if we could just remind folks what (actually who) we LOSE in abortion, we could really make a statement for life.   “Let’s remind everyone of the joy and beauty of children” she said.  and VOILA:  We have 4 beautiful little ones who will be representing our work here. 

These are images purchased for use in communication; pictures representing little ones we know we are losing to abortion. We know that abortion takes away our children from our lives, our families, even our city  — Children whose faces we will never see, but those hearts belong to God!

You will see pictures of some of our babies today and most days on the sidewalk.  On the BACK of each picture that same wonderful sister developed a beautiful pro-life prayer litany that can be shared as a group or prayed individually.

If you have not already found it, you will appreciate that this set of intentions really covers so many of the needs of our society– for the Disabled, Lonely, Young, Poor, and Suffering…. For Medical professionals and Students, new Doctors…. For those who work in Abortion clinics and those who pray outside of them…For Judges and Legislators and Policmen and Security Guards….. and more. 

And the great part? 

Every single person we pray for was once a beautiful little baby  — like the 4 who are our witnesses on the sidewalk each day — and like those we pray to rescue from abortion. 

 


DAY 25         Reports from the SIDEWALK:

Shift Manager Report from Virginia,  7am-9am

Shout out to St. Maria Goretti Parish in Lawrenceville

Patrick from St. Vincent, Steve and Dan from St. Maria Goretti, and Dorothy from Our Lady of the Angels STORMING HEAVEN

FOR THE SECOND SATURDAY IN A ROW,  there were no  “death”scorts outside  of PP during this time.   Praise be to God.   Perhaps our presence is making a difference with these folks who surely must have hearts open to hearing the truth!!!   There were couples  that entered the building  (about 3) that did not take about literature or engage in any conversation.   But we were strong– There were prayer warriors from St. Maria Gorietta parish in Lawrenceville keeping watch and praying in HIS NAME. 

 


Shift Manager Report from Sue 9-11

Shout out to  St. Sebastian Parish in Ross Township

It was the second Saturday in a row with no PP escorts– Dan and Steve from St. Maria Goretti kept us company in prayer along with Patrick from St. Vincent, Dorothy from Our Lady of the Angels & Tom and Rosemary of St. George in Bridgeville came to pray and blessed the sidewalk with their beautiful sung prayer. I spent about a half hour trying to help a man and a 16-year-old international high school student from Ecuador with their Megabus situation via my phone.  There are many needy folks on the sidewalk– please pray for this family !

Sue, Sandy, Mary Lou, Maria, Libby, Mary, and Guy – Awesome St. Sebastian Prayer Warriors!
Many women and a few couples entered PP during our shift.   A man walked by and said “You Christians should be praying at home.”  If he only knew how much we would love to be praying at home.  More notably, if he only knew how important it really is for Christians to be at the foot of the modern-day cross at Calvary:  abortion clinics.  He walked by too quickly for us to engage him in conversation.  We prayed for him.   On a brighter note, we received many words of support.  At one point, a teenage girl holding a PP printout with who appeared to be her mother exited PP — they passed Sidewalk Advocate Judy, who reached out to them verbally, walked a bit …….. and then the girl turned around and came back to talk to Judy.  Although we didn’t know exactly why she’d been at PP, Judy said she told her she is pro-life and will not be going back to PP again.  Praise God!

 Shift Manager Dean Reports from 11-1

Shout out to:  St. Sebastian in Ross Township
Rosemary and Tom Unite in Prayer

Thanks also to the folks from St. Sebastian who prayed with us today.   P.P. was very busy . One woman exiting there and turning down our yellow card was heard to say, “Satan loves me, I don’t need Jesus”.  I know that a number of people try to say whatever they think will upset us the most. If only she knew how big of an enemy Satan is for HER, and how much she truly needs Jesus, she would realize that OUR battle is won already; and that Jesus died on the cross for HER,  and that He loves her more than anyone on Earth ever could! 


Shift Manager Report: 1-3 pm Billy

Shout outs to  St. Sebastian in Ross Township & Bishop William Waltersheid, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

This afternoon was a busy afternoon for Planned Parenthood, I saw about 5 different groups of people go in today. We were all trying to talk to the women who came out and they were not really interested in our help.  I saw a couple people covering their children’s eyes while we were out, and one holding onto her daughter as they walked into the clinic.

Bishop William Waltersheid bouys up the prayer warriors today on the PP Sidewalk. Thank you BISHOP!

That’s the bad news.       However we were accompanied in prayer by a Bishop — Auxiliary Bishop William Waltersheid of the Diocese of Pittsburgh! I was accompanied by Mary Lou, Libby, a gentleman by the name of Vince, a woman named Maryanne, Nadine and another couple I believe the gentleman’s name was Guy! 

Despite the expected negatives, it was still such a great blessing  to share fellowship with the Body of Christ on the sidewalk!!


Shift Manager Report from  Kathy  3-5pm

Shout out to Starkdale Presbyterian Church in Steubenville, Ohio

Pastor Carl, Kimberly, Arleen, Bob, Jack and Sandy– Delightful People!

Having an adventure with a delightful bunch of people (Starkdale Presbyterian) warmed by sunshine was a Blessing today.

After Pastor Carl led us in prayer, we offered help through yellow resource cards to passersby. Two women came out of pp but did not take info… but we were there to offer!

While I was praying on the opposite side of circle: Sandy, Arleen,and Pastor Carl conversed with a tour bus driver.  The Tour bus was parked right beside us. AND– the Busdriver took cards to give to young people on his bus. You never know How our God will work!

We were joined the second hour by Kimberly, who prayed, offered more help to patrons coming out of PP and even  and invited some to come pray with us.  Blessings to ALL.


 

Day 18: Thanks to St. Ann, Holy Trinity, Good Samaritan, St. John, Beaver Valley Knights of Columbus

REMINDER –  Our official 40 Days VIGIL will become virtual at 1pm on Monday, March 5, meaning there will be no signs or materials on the sidewalk.  If you are inclined to pray on the sidewalk at this time, please do so.  Our official vigil continues at 7am on Tuesday.


Perhaps it is because our Vigil this year started on Valentine’s Day, or Because the March for Life Theme was  LOVE SAVES LIVES, or perhaps the overwhelming Gospel  message that God IS LOVE, but I have really been thinking about Love during this campaign.

and, actually in our country — WE are IN LOVE  ———    with OURSELVES!

We are allowing our self-interests and selfishness to pervade.  Even our “selfie” culture relies on self-love.  Look at the unloving way we speak to one another, our lack of concern for each other, the harsh language and criticism of anyone who is different. It is as though we have reverted to the worst traits an adolescent can show- selfish, judgemental, stubborn, mean… We all have grown through this phase in our own lives, but our culture currently calls us back to those same ugly traits.

Dean Martin wrote and sang a song in the 1950’s that rings a bit more than true:

“You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You”
You’re nobody ’til somebody loves you
You’re nobody ’til somebody cares
You may be king, you may possess the world and it’s gold
But gold won’t bring you happiness when you’re growing old
The world still is the same, you never change it
As sure as the stars shine above
You’re nobody ’til somebody loves you
So find yourself somebody to love

The great news is that for Christians, we  KNOW WE ARE LOVED every minute every day!  Not Because we deserve it.  Not because we earned it, but simply because WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD!!

What we are doing on that Sidewalk is ALL ABOUT LOVE

LOVE for the Mothers and Fathers who find themselves in a Crisis Pregnancy …

LOVE for the children who will be taken from their mother’s wombs …

and yes, even LOVE for those who are involved in providing abortions–

We LOVE because each human being is a BELOVED CHILD OF GOD- worthy of care and compassion and kindness!

Imagine what a difference LOVE would have made to the Parkland, Florida school shooter, or to a mother whose boyfriend tells her to abort his child, or to a racist who hurls evil words at the disadvantaged… 

What the world needs now is LOVE-  Let’s continue to give it to all we meet ( and the little ones we can’t meet personally) every day!

With love and in Life, Jeannie

 

 

 


Shift Manager Report from Sue on 9-11 Shift

I arrived on Saturday to Fr. Tim and the Guardians for Life reciting the Stations of the Cross. St. Anne’s group was also there and stayed until 11am. There were no “escorts” today, but still women and men were going into PP so not sure if they were or were not doing abortions. It was covered with prayer regardless.

We offered resource cards to anyone going or coming out of PP and the people passing by. We want to let them know that there are many clinics in the area that are federally funded, provide the same services, but do not do abortions. One guy yelled from his car to “keep up the good work”. It was so nice to have Mary from St. Sylvester’s show up to say the rosary.   It was heartwarming to meet and greet so many beautiful pro-life people on this sunny, but cold Saturday! ~Sue


Shift Manager Report from Dean 11am-1pm

HOLY TRINITY, Robinson Twp, Prayer Warriors

Please break my heart God for what breaks Yours.

When I say that, I realize I can’t even begin to feel the sorrow that God must feel at seeing His most precious gift, life, be thrown away so callously.  Only a few women exited PP during my shift today, &  sadly, they each refused our yellow cards of assistance.

Thanks Holy Trinity parishioners, who came today to pray.   – Dean


Shift  Manager Report from 1pm-3pm  – Billy

We had twelve people today total, and even more people coming to the Vigil, it was a fantastic shift. I had Helen and her crew from Holy Trinity Church out in Robinson Twp. 

I had Diane come and pray with us, and Tom from Washington D.C., who moved to Washington PA with his wife and three children. He came and was passing out gospel tracts along with “pray to end abortion” cards, he his wife and his son Eli are in the picture below. Then before the end of my show a lady named Maggie and her daughter Clair came to pray with us. For the time I was there we had lots of comments some bad ( that we brushed off), and many people in support.  We even had a person say they were going to pray for us. Our  prayers continued for an hour and a half when Mimi came to pray and  it was wonderful.   

I would love to give a shout-out for Maggie for ministering to a woman who walked into Planned Parenthood  & walked right out.  Sadly, we learned that this woman was grieved from her abortion 20 years ago.  Maggie and our Holy Trinity church friends, surrounded her with love and compassion.

Then… Maggie walked this woman to Catholic Charities to help her find resources and free clinics. Please say a prayer for this woman, I could only imagine what being haunted for 20 years over that choice would be like. Normally when I have shifts things don’t get this personal, this real, this big —  God bless you all!  -Billy


Shift  Manager Report from Kathy  3pm-5pm 

Cold mixed with sunshine is still cold!! The warm continual prayers were surrendered to our God by Brenda, Jan, and Beverly from Baden. Claire and Maggie from Steubenville were a sweet Mother /Daughter team, echoing the prayers . Amidst the prayers we handed out cards and invited passerbys to come pray with us.  -Kathy

 


Shift  Manager Report from Jeff 5pm-7pm

4 great guys from the Knights  of Columbus in Beaver Valley — Number 604  faithfully stood from 5 to 7 with me to witness and pray for Life!  God Bless you gentlemen, and your families, too! – Jeff

 

Day 11: Thanks to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Ferdinand, and Harvest Baptist Churches!

drive-863123_1920is Jesus your Life GPS?

I will admit it.  I was never any good at geography, and now, I am not sure I could accurately read a map.  I remember as a little girl being so excited to plot out a family vacation on the dining room table.  Maps were always so important!

Today, our paper maps have been replaced by GPS ( Global Positioning Systems) Devices and Applications on our phones that track us from outer space.

I use my GPS  daily– even for regular commutes.  I work 8 miles from my home  and rely on my crowd-sourced  GPS app each time I commute to work to tell me which route to take.  I may go through the Liberty Tubes one morning, the Fort Pitt Tunnel another day, or up and over the Carrick neighborhood another time. I may stay on main highways one day and exit onto back streets and neighborhoods another day.  A travel GPS  is an amazing tool !cross-3080144_640

But what about the journey of my life?  Is Jesus my “Life GPS”? Can He be for all of us?  Let’s think of Him in those terms for a minute… Why Jesus is like my GPS:

  1.  I have to turn to him — I have to switch on my GPS and listen  – I have to be open the Word of God and attentive to His direction .  He is always there– waiting for me to turn to Him, waiting for me to acknowledge that I could use a little (or a lot) of help— I just need to look toward Him; to listen to Him.
  2.  He knows the best route for my life  – The Lord’s perfect plan for me is known fully to Him. AND – Boy does He have a world view!  Like the road GPS, often, the route for my life using Jesus is not always the most direct or popular way, but  it is the best path for me.
  3.  My Jesus GPS leads me, but He doesn’t force me to go.   I don’t always listen to my Jesus GPS, just like I don’t always listen to my road travel GPS.  I have to choose to humble myself and submit to  His path.   And like our road GPS, when I ignore my Life GPS, and/or  make a  wrong turn,  Jesus can always find another way to get me to where I’m going.                                                    I travel a number of ways to and from my job on the East side of Pittsburgh.  I am surely going to travel many routes in my journey to join my heavenly father.  I must make sure I am LISTENING to my Jesus GPS to ensure I get there!

As we continue on our JOURNEY  to open hearts and minds to the beauty of Life, in downtown Pittsburgh, lets  be sure that JESUS is our GPS!

If you are still thinking about joining 40 Days for Life, PLEASE DO!  It’s not always easy, but it is always a blessing.  We welcome you to come any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until March 25th, but especially this Sunday from 11-1 with Rich & Roseann so that these dear shift managers will not be left standing alone.   Click here to see other times that prayer warriors are most in need.  You can let us know when you are coming by emailing nbruni@40daysforlifepgh.com.

May God bless you all!  

In Christ and for Life, Jeannie


SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS from Satuday, February 24:

7-9    Shift Report from Tim:

Fr. Gruber joins St. Elizabeth members Mimi, Mary and Jim with his beautiful “Baby Faces” Quilt

As the first shift of the day got underway so did the rain but it didn’t dampen the spirits for the group from St Elizabeth’s and the regular Saturday morning Sidewalk Advocates.  Fr G. from St Ann brought a beautiful quilt that so clearly shows the beauty any joy of children. Thanks to St E’s who had a steady group of prayer warriors rotating throughout the early morning.

9-11 Shift Report From Susan:

The weather was a bit misty but certainly not cold for my shift. I doubled as Shift Manager and Sidewalk Advocate today. Just as at the foot of the original Cross at Golgotha, I was honored to witness today with three Marys at this sad modern-day Golgotha — Mary from St. Sylvester, and Mary Helen and Mary Pat from St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Beth, Sidewalk Advocate and St. Elizabeth parishioner, was also there. Bill H. stopped by, too.

Mary from St. Sylvester and Mary Pat from St. Elizabeth

The negative: Lots of traffic going into PP today. One woman jogging by yelled loudly, “My body, my choice!” One angry man on his way to the Greyhound station said, “God killed millions of babies in the flood, and then Jesus impregnated a woman with a fatherless baby.” Hmmmmmm …..?! He quickly walked away, so I had no time to respond. Another person, when I offered him/her a yellow card, stopped, looked directly and seriously at me, and said, as if reading from a script, “I am a gay, transgender, atheist, anarchist who practices witchcraft. So no, I don’t want your card.“ I pointed out that getyourcare.org is for everyone, but he/she walked angrily away.

Beth and Mary Helen from St. Elizabeth of Hungary

The positive: two young boys (10 or under) passing by with a group of young men stopped to look at the babies. We explained them to them, and as they left they were saying, “Abortion is wrong!” Additionally, we had several people quietly indicate their agreement with us.

From the above account, it looks as if my shift was more negative than positive, doesn’t it? Some days sure seem like that. But we do, and we must continue to, think about it like this: Were we not there for all of those folks today? Did we not pray for them? Did we not invite them, when going in to PP, to come back out and talk to us because we have real help for them? Do we not acknowledge that we will never be aware in this life of the multitude of seeds of faith, hope, and love we’ve been privileged to plant, through God’s grace, in all the people we’ve encountered? Do we not have the actual Lord of the Universe on our side and working through us every minute we are in front of PP? God wins this battle, along with all others — praise be to Him! We just have to stick with Him!     

Two of St. Katharine Drexel Church’s BEST prayer warriors

11-1 Shift Report from Dean:

A quiet end of the morning/beginning of the afternoon as only a few folks could be seen entering P.P. Say what you want about the incessant rain but, it seems to diminish the number of people wanting to pick an argument.

 

3-5 Shift Report from Kathy:  Beautiful weather,beautiful people standing for life: pleasure of praying with and offering help in name of Jesus to many, made time pass quickly. 
When offered yellow card a young man said ,   ” I don’t want that one.   I have a friend who can’t talk about her abortion, she is hurting very bad”. He was given a Healing the Hurt booklet with Rachel’s Vineyard information. 

Pastor Mark, Jamie, Sylvia, Eric and Sabrina from Natrona Heights

2 girls stopped and asked to take selfie because they love life: one had 17 month old and was married!  She took a photo for us, too.

Lance and Marsha and family with our selfie Passerby who “Loves Us”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-7 Shift Report from Jeff still to come

Day 4: Thanks to Guardians for Life and SS John & Paul Parish

LOVE SAVES LIVES

I am one of the lucky ones — one of those folks who was able to travel to Washington, DC to join the 2018 March for Life. For those new to the movement, this yearly demonstration of support for Life challenges a 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing widescale abortion  in our country.  This year (2018) was the 45th occurrence of the January gathering. The theme this year was a beautiful one; LOVE SAVES LIVES. This is was language under which we came together… women and men, young adults, couples and singles, teens, babies in strollers, folks in wheelchairs, and those struggling to complete the 1 mile march for a variety of reasons.  there were all ages, all races, all reasons for being there.

Some of my favorites-- Handmade & heartfelt!
Some of my favorites– Handmade & heartfelt!

The day started with a rally on the National Mall with VIPs on stage showing diversity but union in our endeavor. I was delighted to see and hear a marching band from an all male high school in New Orleans (St. Augustine) playing great music in front of one of the Smithsonian museums – these young men had been on a field trip exploring the underground railroad and their teachers had planned for them to witness for the vulnerable – in this case unborn children- as part of their education in Christ!

I traveled to the 2018 March for Life by car with 3 other women. And lest you think the pro-life movement is homogenous, know this: There were 2 Democrats in the car; Our ages spanned 25 years. One woman was a single mother, another, a naturalized citizen. There were 2 empty nesters, and one woman is actively parenting grade schoolers. 2 of us work full time, one part time, and the other volunteers in the community. For one woman, it was her first trip to the March; another had been over 30 times!  We did not all know each other as we set out for Washington early Friday morning, but like what happens in the faith community on cross-1517094_640the sidewalk at PP, we have became recommitted to work together to end abortion in our country because

THE LOVE OF THE LORD SAVED OUR LIVES!  and…

LOVE SAVED a LIFE at PP TODAY 

SHIFT REPORTS:

7-11 am  Tim and Terri

Early Morning Crew Virginia Dave & Joe take the baton from the Deeleys!
Early Morning Crew Virginia Dave & Joe take the baton from the Diane & Tom

The year round early Saturday morning sidewalk advocates Virginia, Joe and David were in place as the sun rose to help, love and offer options.  Diane and Tom were right on time to drop off all the great resources to draw attention to our witness.  Regulars Bill H. and Jericho walker Chuck offered prayers and powerful witness.  

day 4-2

 

 

 

We were so blessed to have Betsy and Jill in the Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram join us and give us a close alternative to pp

 

day 4-4Father Tim and the numerous Guardians for life arrived en masse and filled the street with prayer, song and hope. 

Grove City Students joined in
Grove City Students joined in

 

 

 

 

At the end of my shift a several car loads of Grove City College students arrived early after their long drive to offer prayer in defense

They have a prolife group on campus and it is always a blessing to see our youth stand up for life.

Terri and Judy Advocate for LIFE
Terri and Judy Advocate for LIFE

 

Their presence today brought a  ray of sunshine to the cold sidewalk. A group of parishioners from Saint Johns and Paul Catholic Church also came to witness with us. They have been with us on the sidewalk in the past

of life. .day 4-5 ANDWe had a great moment of hope and joy.  A young woman approached pp, accepted literature and the resource card and then went into pp.  A little while later she came out, said something to us but wouldn’t engage.  She crossed the street and encountered the loving gaze of Terri who took her by the arm into the mobile sonogram until.    From Terri: Thank God that the mobile unit was there and she allowed me to take her to it. The girls in the mobile unit were wonderful. I went back to speak to “S” after the sonogram and we saw her baby. She is eight weeks pregnant. I feel very confident that she will choose life because of something that she said to me before we parted ways. We exchanged phone numbers and I will keep in touch with her. Please pray for this beautiful woman and her child.  

SM Dean with Larry, Keith and Julie of SS John & Paul
SM Dean with Larry, Keith and Julie of SS John & Paul

Shift Report 11-1 Reported by Dean:

 There wasn’t much to report today as traffic at P.P. was light. When I arrived, the Mobile Ultra Sound van had been across the street for a few hours and that is always encouraging to see.

SM Billy with Eric

SM Billy with Eric

Billy wrote from his 1-3pm shift:

I was shift manager from 1 to 3. With me today was a man named Eric, a mother and daughter named Lisa and Greta who came to pray with us.  We also had Patty with us.  A woman came to up to Patty, who was standing on the other side and said she stands in front of planned parenthood at Miami Florida..  She said thanks for standing up for women and life. 

A gentleman came up to me and asked what we doing there, and if a clinic was near us I said yes it is planned parenthood. He noted that the advertising by them was not good.

After we prayed Lisa and Greta left us. Patti came back and we had some great conversations. Eric left at 2. A woman in a car honked at us for supporting life. A young man came up and asked to take our picture saying it was great to see people standing for life in the modern age. 

Finally before we left, a gentleman walked up and asked about the size of the babies and asked for a Picture of the baby and a fetal model, and  Patty gave them to him. 

God really blessed us. 

Shift 3-5 from Kathy:  Seven lovely women and one husband answered the call to fill this shift with me. I praise God for His faithfulness in filling our 2 hours.   Prayer and sharing testimonies made time pass fast with the snow- rain. One woman had chosen adoption and her daughter is 22 now. Another moved here in September and had 40 days experience in a different setting.   

Prayer Warriors late Saturday
Prayer Warriors late Saturday

Our hearts were touched when an elderly couple fell across the street. Two of my sisterrs ran across to help. Before they reached them, 5 young  teens helped the couple to their feet and proceeded down the street hding their arms. In our world of racial tension, the barrier was broken. The couple was white, the teens were not .  Donna and Rochelle arrivedfrom Steubenville answered the call forvthe 5-7 , which was cancelled. Standing graciouly and prayed in the snow because they heard God’s call.

Steubenville sweetie came to pray
Steubenville sweetie came to pray

With the inclement weather building, and a beautiful SAVE in our experience today, we closed our vigil at 5pm.

Please be sure to check the Schedule for needs on Monday and Tuesday, and remember:

 

LOVE SAVES LIVES!

Day 38: OLOA, St. Peter, St. Teresa, Holy Name, Ss J&P, Catherine, James and more see POTENTIAL!

Our Lady (ies!) of the Angels!
Our Lady (ies!) of the Angels!

 

 
First Report from Sally: 
First off, I want to tell you all that there are NO PARKING SIGNS along PP’s side of Liberty Avenue from the corner at 10th Street down to the alley. No parking from 6 a.m. Friday, 4/11/14 until midnight, 4/13/14, going into Monday morning.  There are cones along the curb lane. So people who normally park there for the vigil will not be able to do so, even on Sunday. Other blocks & streets do not seem to be affected.
 
On this warm, but rainy morning, PP was very busy. Three abortionists went in around 9 a.m., and PP must have had over a dozen couples as well as single girls as customers.  
We had almost a dozen pray-ers from Our Lady of the Angels in Lawrenceville, 3 from St. Catherine of Siena, two from St. Peters, others from St. Teresa, Most Holy Name, St. John & Paul, St. James, and 3 from St. Joseph in Weirton, WV
 
Emil paid the OLOA a visit, and we gave flowers to several people.

Where 2 or more are gathered in My Name...
Where 2 or more are gathered in My Name…
 
I was also able to give the information sheets from Sheila to a lady with a baby in stroller  who had gone into PP looking for a pregnancy test. Evidently they were too busy to take her, and she came out a short time later. She was thrilled to receive the information, especially when I pointed out Choices, which is not far from where she lives. A young African American girl came by and we were able to give her the information sheet and a flower. She was so happy to receive both. She said, “Thank you. You guys made my day.”
 
Sally 

LATE SHIFT NEWS:

This 4-7 shift was probably one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had.  I’m sure the good weather was a part of the reason – along with the fact that this would be my last shift for the campaign.  But there was more to it than just that.  Right away when I got there I noticed that we had yet another sign.  [Should have taken a picture of it.]  Someone of our 40 Days family had decided to blow-up to a very large size the FREE RESOURCES FOR WOMEN sheet we hand out and put it on what looked to be a large cork board.  Amazing.  It just made me smile.  And then I got my first look at our Rolls Royce-like new plastic tub/container-thingy.  I just shook my head and smiled again.  Also making me smile was seeing once again the good group of people from the Ascension Holy Name Society.  What fantastic pray-ers they are.  And it’s always such a powerful site for people to see a priest (and a not so young one at that) out there leading the prayers.

HOLY NAME gang!
HOLY NAME gang!

The one prayer request I have is for a middle-aged man (I didn’t get his name) who stopped to say that while he agrees that abortion is murder, didn’t quite understand why I felt that our being there really did anything.  While my answer was not as good as it could have been, I took him through the principals of 40 Days for life, a bit of it’s history and growth, and the rough numbers of lives saved, abortion workers converted, and abortion mills closed.

The point I was hoping to get across was that these things didn’t just happen by accident.  In response he explained to me that he is now a Buddhist, after being raised as a Christian.  He basically thinks that, if there is a God, it’s a waste of time to think about him or pray to him b/c God is not knowable or reachable.  He also mentioned his having trouble seeing how God could exist or be real if there was evil in the world.  Before we could finish our conversation he had to leave.  Again, please pray for him.

Men of GOD--- Holy Name and Fr. Joe pray today
Men of GOD— Holy Name and Fr. Joe pray today

 

It’s funny how diametrically opposed my thoughts and feelings were to this man’s.  I spent so much of my shift this evening with the sense in my heart what we were doing was so truly and completely worth doing.

 

Pat Malley

  
 
 
Third shift heroes: marian, rachel and theresa
Third shift heroes: marian, rachel and theresa
Recognizing that ALL LIFE has potential!

Day 31: Thanks to St. Louise and Friday Friends all Praying in the Rain!

Clinic Worker Signs
Clinic Worker Signs

I saw Christ in Wind and Thunder … . Joy is tried by Storm!  

Today was a lot like life:   A little sun, a lotta rain, and a wide cast of Characters — we had it all today and more! MANY MANY THANKS for the faithful gang from St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair  (THIRTY TWO  -32- wet & wonderful strong , including Sr. Mary Faith Balawejder )  who anchored this “leg” of the 40  Days Marathon.

The STL crew was pleasantly joined by many Friday  Friends from other places, including Beth, Kim and Meaghan from Wexford and points north, ever loyal guardians Bill Harrison and John Mihm, Paul  (& his OL Guadalupe picture) from St. Gerard, Anita and little Erin from St. Winifred  Off duty Shift Manager Ginny  and granddaughter Brooklynne joined us, too as did Alana from St. Felix, LaVerne from Incarnation, Lisa and Terry.

We used the CLINIC WORKERS sign (above ) at the beginning and end of the day — and saw several staffers reading it.  It even got a cheery umbrella today.  Keep praying!

It was a character day at CAPA and the students were dressed in a wild array of costumes from Star Wars characters to Furries to Fantasy figures….Wonder Woman even made an appearance!   

day 31, st. louise3
Gina , Liz, Kwi, (STL) Beth (St. Alphonsus)

Aside from some kind of conference at PP, the abortion traffic was blessedly slow……  rain does NOT stop pro-lifers!

We had a few nasty interactions with passersby– mostly challenges from a handful of students who apparently  loved spectacle.   A young man actually spit at our main 40 Days Sign as he walked by…  I am convinced God stepped up the rain just after that to wash this evil away!

Sr. Faith Balawejder beautifully counseled a post-abortive mom who tearfully talked of an abortion she had SIX YEARS BEFORE.  This poor woman named her son and grieves for him today.  Sister spent time with her, we gave her post-abortion materials and a beautiful rose, &  prayed as a group with her.

image-3
Brooklynne & Paul head the outreach effort

Young Brooklynne was a standout and passing out rosary beads and flowers—who can resist a beautiful little girl all dressed in pink?   She trained her new friend Erin well, too, and they both were unmoved by the downpour.   Ah… Children!

A young couple from First Church of God stopped by and showed us a sonogram of their  24 week old baby   with great joy.

image-2
Sr. Faith & Dan from STL just before our post-abortive woman appeared!

A young student named Rachel asked   “I see you out here on the street all the time…why would you be here & make women so uncomfortable at this difficult time in their lives?”….   She stayed and talked with us for about 30 minutes, surprised at the development of the unborn child (we gave her a “little one” to take) and open to learning about how abortion REALLY affects women.  We pray that her inquisitive spirit continues to lead her down the path of the truth.   She is one heart who had been reached SOLELY BECAUSE of 40 Days…..She said she had stopped to talk to someone from our group before and was surprised to learn something each time she stops….

On a side note, there where many acts of kindness —-“Friday Friend”  Meghan gave away her umbrella to a homeless man (and her rosary beads to another) in the course of her several hours with us…. a woman dropped her change purse and 3 of us stooped down to collect the coins… A mother had trouble getting into her car and Paul lent a hand….     

STL SIDEWALK FIRST TIMERS CLUB:   Sally, Gennie, Rick, Lindsay,Gina, Baby Mozes, Marie (returning to sidewalk after long absence)   THANK YOU faithful and Faith-Filled  pro-lifers.

 

day 31, st. louise
Randy, Meaghan,Kim and RAIN

I am hopeful that after this wet day on the streets, all the wonderful pro-lifers I had the pleasure of joining on the sidewalk today are warm and dry tonight! 

 

 

MORE PHOTOS TO FOLLOW!

 

Your humbled shift manager, Jeannie

Day 24: Thanks to YWAM, North Hills Church of Christ, St. Mary in Glenshaw and SS. Peter & Paul in Beaver

Believing that God has called us as he called NOAH to speak the truth, our brave Noahs stood today in defense of life:

Early morning shift manager Sally wrote:

 

Morning sun, but then mostly cloudy. Warm, but with such wind gusts that it felt much colder. The wind gusts were so strong that, when  PP’s door was opened, it would not close. The guard had to keep
pulling it shut.  Thankfully, no rain during our morning shifts.

We had a wonderful turnout from Youth With a Mission, also City Reach Church, St. James, St. Alphonsus, Holy Sepulchre & North Hills Church of Christ.

Group from Youth with a Mission (YWAM)
Group from Youth with a Mission (YWAM)

 

Jen with Ann and their children from North Hills Church of Christ
Jen with Ann and their children from North Hills Church of Christ

 

PP was busy, with at least 10 couples and many single girls entering.    Two abortionists, unknown to us, went in about 9 a.m.

One of the pray-ers was visibly shaken when she saw a mother escorting her young daughter into PP to kill her grandchild.  That is one of the things that always causes sadness for those who stand vigil outside.
We can never understand how a parent can cause their child so much pain and suffering by participating in the death of his or her own grandchild.

One young girl and her mother came out while awaiting their turn.  The girl seemed so comfortable with what was about to happen inside, that she could not have really understood. 

Jan was there to pray, and pass out cards advertising WCN’s coming Diaper Derby. Jackie was passing out flyers advertising help that Catholic Charities offers.

A good group from St. Mary of the Assumption parish had arrived before my shift ended.    May God bless all who stood vigil today.

Shift Manager Sally

 

Pat managed the 4-7pm shift and took these photos:

the wonderful Cahill family from SS. Peter & Paul in Beaver

As the shift wore on and things became less busy on the streets and on the sidewalk, I had the chance to pray by myself while the rest of the group was on the other side of the circle.  I thought about what Lisa had written in the blog yesterday and tried to capture the proper somberness of the moment.  After all, this was not just an abortion day, it was also a Friday during the season of Lent.  That day were we especially contemplate the cross and the suffering of Christ.  Standing there I did a lot of looking up at the building and thought about the parallels between those who were at the foot of the cross then to where I was in the moment – at the foot of the building were many perfectly innocent lives were also brutally taken away.  Not to make to much of it, but as I was looking up I noticed for the first time that the facade of the building seemed to have a giant cross in the center.  Maybe others have noticed this before, but I never had.    

 
Lisa C. and her beautiful kids spent their 3rd and final Friday evening of this campaign in front of PP.  Every campaign they sign themselves up for whatever Friday evenings need filled.  What a witness.  Thanks guys.
 
Pat, 4-7 shift
Pat writes, "Does anyone else see a cross on this building?"
Pat writes, “Does anyone else see a cross on this building?”

 WOW!  I SEE IT!  Could this be a sign?

 

MORE REPORTS AS THEY ARE RECEIVED!  – Jeannie

Day 17: FOUR SEASONS; One Day! Thx to OLG, Pgh Oratory, St. Eliz., Trinity Cathedral, St. Alphonsus, City Reformed…

Four students from the Pittsburgh Oratory!
Fantastic FOUR from Pittsburgh Oratory!

BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN FOR LECTURE TODAY! 

FOUR SEASONS, ONE DAY.  You’ve Got to  LOVE Pittsburgh!

Many people came to pray this morning. About 8 college students from Pitt & CMU, as well as 2 ladies, and 2 beautiful little children, from City Reformed Church in Oakland, and people from St. Alphonsus, Our

Lady of Grace, St. Elizabeth and Trinity Cathedral.  PP got a late  start. Customers did not start going in until 8:30, but they were busy.

One couple came out too early to have had an abortion. The girl was  carrying a white paper. They refused literature, got in their car, and  left.  Two ladies were fascinated by our fetal models and took literature.  One of them took a small fetal model and card because her daughter had just given birth to a baby at 36 weeks.

A lady went by in a car yelling a standard pro-abort question: “How many have YOU adopted?” Standard answer, if they hang around to hear it, is: “As many as you have.”  Which should make them stop and think.

Our status, whether we are old or young, male or female, have no children, or have born children, or have adopted children, has nothing to do with praying and offering women and men alternatives to abortion.  

We were “treated” to a really heavy snow fall just before Ginny showed  up for her shift.  Fortunately, it melted as fast as it fell.    Sally

Joe W and Johnny AJoe W and Johnny A

I (Pat) had the 4-7 shift.  I admit to having a little concern as I walked down from my office to PP knowing that from 5-7 it was very possible that I would be standing alone.  But, as Shift Manager Al B. has told me in the past (and don’t forget that Al and his wife Sally stand in front of PP year-round):  “Even when nobody’s here, I’m not alone.  God is right here with me.”  So, with that thought in my mind, I put the matter in God’s hands and trusted that however things worked out, all would be well.

One thing I did notice during my shift, and which I’d never seen before, was that a large number of young women (25-35) exiting PP b/t about 4:30 and 5:15.  They were primarily African-American, looked to be around college-age, and were dressed in a manner that you might see in an office setting on a casual Friday.  While I attempted to give literature to many of them, all of them declined in polite manner.  Were they attending some sort of PP seminar?  Even a woman who passed by as a large group were coming out looked at me in a kind of horror.  As we spoke it was clear that she understood well what goes on at PP and knew that this kind of a thing was a cause for concern.

I want to thank Joe W. (who was with me for about 2 hours), fellow Shift Managers Jim F. and Bill H., and Mimi, who showed up at 6:45 to pray the rosary.  [I was glad to join her despite knowing that my participation was not really optional.]  Inthe end, I was alone for a total of only 10 minutes, so thanks for all of you who were praying for me.

Jim F and Bill H
Jim F and Bill H

Finally, I want to send out a special thanks to Joe W. whose witness tonight to those who approach us – and in particular to a man named James this evening – was just fantastic.  Joe, your passion for the faith and for the cause of the unborn is a beautiful thing to see.  And you really inspired me as I listened to you say just the things James really needed to hear. 

Pat M.    

THIS JUST IN:

Talk on Life with Dr. Alveda King

When: Saturday, March 22 2014, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: David Lawrence
Category: Global and Cultural Awareness

Come join us for this incredible opportunity as Dr. Alveda King (the niece of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) comes to Pitt to talk to us about civil rights, life and the family. Admission is free!