Day 25 – Saturday: Holy Wisdom/John XXlll all day

Tomorrow’s 9-11 shift (Sunday March 6th) has no one signed up to stand on the sidewalk.  Please consider joining shift manager Sue McGrath and spend some time witnessing to the Babies Sacrificed on Liberty.

God’s angel came to Joseph, and he came to understand that his life

would be defined not by his fears but by God’s dreams. And in the end,

everything that Joseph feared was changed by God’s plan.

Bishop David Zubik – Pittsburgh Catholic , 1/15/16

What is God’s plan for you? No, not your dream – God’s Dream for You!

 

  1. Don’t know God’s Dream for You ?          Express in prayer a desire to know.
  2. Indifferent to God’s Dream for You?       Express in prayer a desire to care.
  3. Disappointed in God’s Dream for You?   See #1.
  4. Afraid of God’s Dream for You?                  Pray for Courage
  5. Afraid of failing God’s Dream for You?    Pray for the humility to try & fail for Him.

                            (sin of pride, by the way)

  1. Glad you pursued God’s Dream?                Pray praise and thanksgiving.

In the midst of all that praying, may I humbly ask that you consider the pro-life movement as part of God’s plan for you. A respect for life doesn’t have to mean standing on a sidewalk ( well, not right away) but could include volunteering with People Concerned for the Unborn child (PCUC.org) or at one of the many pregnancy resource centers in our area.

Maybe God’s plan is that your witness will inspire someone you love to be discerning, caring, courageous, and humble enough to bear witness themselves. Someone who is struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, addiction, hunger, or illness, can witness everything they fear changed by God’s plan.

 

Virginia covered the first shift of the day for regular shift manager Tim and had this to report:

The 7-9 AM shift on Saturday March 5 was very active and well attended. Members of the Trafford Catholic Church (not sure of the name), Fr Tim and his group and some of the wonderful students from Steubenville were present. Unfortunately, there were customers for Planned Parenthood that were offered literature and services, a few pieces of literature were accepted. The mobile unit came around 8 AM.

Marian reports in from her 9-11 shift:
 When I arrived today, the sidewalk was full of people.  The PP escorts were there in full force as well as so many Sidewalk Advocates and prayer warriors.  Sidewalk Advocates try to stand near the doors (if not standing at the corners) so that the women and men entering the clinic can hear them.

The PP escorts led people to shield them from the truth.  It is so sad to see young people escorting the women into the death grips of PP.  But even more sad is seeing the older men and women escorting the women into PP.  It makes one wonder if they would protect their own families from danger.  Now on a more joyful note:

There are many ages standing vigil for life. I asked a few of the younger people why they witness for life- especially early on a Saturday morning. They each wrote down a few words for me:

 Theresa, 20, wrote: “My parents were part of Operation Rescue and went to jail standing up for life.  So, it’sbeen a huge part of my life since- even before I was born.”
Madeline, 21, states: “I was inspired by my parents and all the others involved in Operation Rescue so this is how I can follow in their footsteps and make a difference.”
Molly, 19, wrote: “As a young person in our country I want to do Our Lord’s will and protect His little ones, the tiniest citizens of the USA.”
Ben, 16,  and Eli, 15, come to the vigil with the Guardians of Life.  No one forced these young men to come.  As friends, Eli encouraged Ben to witness.  They wrote: ” We are here because we  believe in protecting the innocent.”
Nick, a Sidewalk Advocate, was also standing with two young men who have the courage to witness for life.  One said to me that is an emotional experience being on the sidewalk.  That is so true… when one’s heart is open!
Margaret, 19, came with her dad.  She was a student on one of the buses that was stranded on the Pa Turnpike coming back from the March for Life.  She writes: “After spending 32 hours on the Pa Turnpike, I have realized one of the greatest witnesses to life is being a witness of joy. Those of us on the bus stayed very positive through it all. That optimism is really what strikes people.  It is not only important for young people to be involved in this fight for life, it is also important to be a joyful witness to life.”
dominic marion
Dominic

Dominic, young in face and in heart, but having 7 decades under his belt has these words of wisdom.  I asked him to write what he said to me.  “Our job is not to judge.  But to point out that  they are on the wrong path (those heading into the abortion clinic).  If I see a person going in a direction where a bridge is out, it is my duty and right to point out to them that the bridge is out.  If they still choose to follow that path then so be it.”

 

 

It was a pleasure to stand with Judy, Beth, Sue, Nick, Jeff, Rose, Terry, Cecily, Meredith, Bill, Marilyn, Barbara and so many wonderful people who care enough to want something better for the stranger.

Kathy K sends us this report from the 3-5 shift:

God’s presence was evident when I arrived to see the joyful faces of Julie, Kathy, and Barbara. Francesca arrived and said ,”She feels called to be here.” Holy Spirit calling A woman smiled, gave a thumbs up and said,”I am with you in this.” I recognized a pro bono lawyer of prc and introduced Rebekah and said she really is with us in this! I received a hug. A man stopped, his story was too familiar: when he was in his 20s , a girlfriend told him she aborted his baby. He was unsure if she was lying but it haunts him. He has asked Gods forgiveness but he keeps wondering about his child. We talked about forgiveness and gave him Rachels Vineyard number for more help. He also wanted the Steps to Peace with God pamphlet. Never know what God will do on the sidewalk.

barbara from kathy k
Barbara from Holy Wisdom

This rose was given to Barbara by a lovely passerby. I know it was from God in honor of 12 hours she gave Him today. Just as beautiful was to watch her give it to a small girl passing by.


Editors Note:  Barbara and her husband Richard stand on Wednesdays 3-5 as shift managers, but spent the whole day today on the sidewalk with their church.

 

5-7
Barbara’s husband Richard on left w David from K of C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear about the day from Barbara herself:

I felt reluctance about covering the 12 hours for our parishes, Holy Wisdom and Saint John XXIII. Shame on me. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst. Whoa! The entire 12 hours felt orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. All day, every minute except for about ten minutes where I was alone and had a chance to catch my breath, the sidewalk resounded. Each person reflects the gifts of the Holy Spirit uniquely. Possibly 50 people came to pray over the 12 hours. Imagine the beauty of that! Yes, we gathered to pray for people vulnerable to abortion, and to try to intervene at any possible moment today. Nonetheless, love ruled the sidewalk. At the closing 45 minutes this Saturday, Richard and I were were joined in prayer by Claire, Lisa, David, Marshall, Joe. A resounding “Alleluia.”

Jeff ss Liz Rose Marilyn
Jeff, daughter & father, Liz, Rose, and Marilyn
rose and judy
Rose and Judy
richard clair
Richard and Claire

 

Virginia, Susie, David Anna Pat
Virginia, Susie, David, Anna, Pat
suzie anna David Bob Chris of xx111
Susie, Anna, David, Bob, Chris
francesca kathy
Francesca and Kathy
Cathy julie Kathy
Cathy, Julie, Kathy K.
FR Jack St Pat's Canonsburg
Fr Jack from St Pat’s Canonsburg
al sally
Al and Sally, Iconic pro-life couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday – Day 34 – Manordale Knights of Columbus, Memorial Park Church in Allison Park, Our Lady of Grace in Scott Twp, and West Hills Baptist

Thanks to Manordale Knights of Columbus, Memorial Park Church in Allison Park, Our Lady of Grace in Scott Twp,  and West Hills Baptist for their prayerful witness today.  I like to think that as we are praying and witnessing for these unborn children, that they, in turn, are praying for us, their mourners.

We need a little help Wednesday and Thursday from 3-7  if you can spare an hour or two.  Parking on Penn Ave (on the street) under the 579 bridge is $2 for two hours and is a short 5 minute walk to 933 Liberty.

day 34, first shift, Manordale Knights
Manordale Knights with S.M. Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy L writes about the 9-11 hours:

Thank you to Memorial Park, Three Rivers Assembly of God, Manordale Knights of Columbus, and St. Mary’s Churches for coming to pray during my 9-11 a.m. shift today.  Some pray-ers even stayed until noon enduring some April showers that started around 11:15 a.m.   Despite our soggy appearance, we received several positive comments supporting life and opposing abortion.  That was encouraging!
Another encouraging moment occurred when Terri (Memorial Park) and Karen (T. R. Assembly of God) were engaged in conversation with a woman who noticed Terri’s sign, “Jesus forgives and heals,” and sincerely began to tell Terri and Karen about her abortion that took place sixteen years ago.  For the next ten or so minutes, this dear woman shared about the guilt and sadness she experienced from this event and another traumatic experience from her childhood but has found forgiveness and healing from being “born again” through Jesus Christ.  She was willing to accept some resource handouts and is considering becoming a volunteer in some capacity with a pro-life organization.  Praise God for His redeeming love and power shown in this woman and for the compassion of Terri and Karen.
Witnesses from Memorial Park Church and Three Rivers Assembly
Witnesses from Memorial Park Church and Three Rivers Assembly

Rose W. reports in from  the 11-1 Shift:

Today’s rain reminded me of all the blessings God showers on us each day – sometimes we need to be reminded of them, so He “hits us over the head” so to speak, with raindrops. Several  of those blessings were in the form of the lovely people from Memorial Park Church, who were there for my first hour. Kristine and Karen, from Our Lady of Grace Church,  arrived at 11 and were staying till 3. Later Marie, Mary Jane and Pam joined them. We prayed the entire time and even sang some favorite hymns.  Karen, from OLG, had an organized list of prayers for the entire time. I especially loved the Litany to Jesus in the Womb of Mary.  Even the ladies from MPC prayed it with us and liked it.  What a true joy when the Body of Christ unites together in prayer! I am so privileged to be a part of this! We had a few negative and a few positive comments from passersby and one man stopped to pass out Bible tracts – so I took his and he took mine.

day 34, second shift, Our Lady of Grace
Karen, Pam, Kristine, Marie and Mary Jane from Our Lady of Grace

 

day 34, third shift, west hills baptist
West Hills Baptist joins the cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth and Rose had the 1-3 shift and write:

Our Lady of Grace, St. Pius and St. Norberts:  Wet but wonderful!
What a beautiful prayer service provided by the women from Our Lady of Grace parish Respect Life Group.  At their last meeting, they assembled a two hour long group of prayers storming heaven for the pro-life cause.  The rain was our steady accompaniment and PP was somewhat busy, few couples, more men than most days, sullen-looking employees.  Amy H. brought  her son, Nathan, (future gold medal winner in skiing), the faithful Mary Jane appeared and as I was leaving, the Access van pulled up and Susan J. from St. Norberts joined Rosalina as I ran to the bus.   Thanks to all.  P.S. We have a beautiful umbrella belonging to one of the prayers from Our Lady of Grace.  Just let us know how to get it to you.  It  belongs to the woman who lead the Divine Mercy chaplet.

 

“None of us is alone in this world; each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole.”

Bl. Pope John Paul II
My Dear Young Friends, St. Mary’s Press

 

Monday Day 27 – Cultural Impact Ministries, Omega Center and many others

Thanks to Cultural Impact Ministries, Alpha Omega Center, the folks from St. Scholastica and everyone who stopped by on this glorious day!

Kathy L. reported in from the 9-11 shift:

“Ask and ye shall receive.” This morning at the vigil, I asked the Lord as I prayed with MaryAnn, that He would send someone to us that we could offer help through our list of resources. 

 During the nine o’clock hour, MaryAnn was my prayer partner.  We were joined later by Pam and Mary once again who drove all the way from West Virginia who came for the ten o’clock hour.  Shortly thereafter, Richard and Francine from Christ Church at Grove Farm arrived with a few others to pray as well.  While they were signing in, Sarah B. and friends from New Castle joyously arrived after having had to switch vehicles because the original one that they were driving broke down.  Much activity was going on with our groups arriving, people passing by on their way to the Pirates opener, and several young women entering PP.  One young woman stopped by in her car to ask me if PP has an OB/GYN on staff.  I replied that I didn’t know and offered her a listing of the free local resources sheet that she could call which she accepted and said that she would.

 As I finished speaking, I noticed another young woman looking over the fetal model display and talking with MaryAnn about if the fetus is considered a baby at conception.  As I listened to her ask questions, I offered some Scriptural answers which she listened to attentively.  She also shared with me that she is a Christian but is sexually active which has been bothering her and thought she might be pregnant.  She was receptive to going to Women’s Choice Network to have a pregnancy test performed and to listen to abstinence counseling.  Because Rose W. arrived for the eleven o’clock hour, I was free to drive this young lady to the Oakland WCN today where she met with one of the counselors.   Please pray for “Ray” (not her real name) for God’s help in her life.  She is a very sweet person who is looking for guidance and I believe was the answer to my morning’s prayer request.

Rose W. stood the 11-1 shift and had this to write:

Cultural Impact Ministries
Cultural Impact Ministries

What a welcome I had today on my shift, with the warm sunshine on the outside and the sunshine from within spread by the lovely groups from Culture Impact Ministry, which advocates for Christian values via education, and Alpha Omega Center from New Castle which focuses on the mom in a crisis pregnancy and offers free pregnancy services. ( I spoke with Sarah from Alpha about putting her info on our pregnancy resource sheet.) These folks were very enthusiastic pray-ers who also handed out literature and warmly greeted many as they passed by.  Elsie, from St. James was also handing out literature.  Some of them had come for the first time to pray with us and want to come back. Many of the Pittsburgh Pirate fans walking by on there way to the opening game at 1:05 today took the literature. There were only a few nasty comments but a few thumbs up as well.

 

Alpha Omega Center
Alpha Omega Center

 Beth S. and Rosemary were there on the sidewalk from 1-3 and Beth had this to report:

 

Patty with Shift Manager Beth
Cathy with Shift Manager Beth

What a beautiful day in the neighborhood except for our PP neighbors; we’re always praying for miracles to happen.  We had Jim and Donna with my sister, Rosemary and I for most of my shift.  Please pray for their son who is undergoing cancer treatments and as pro-life people, we all understand the connection between prayer and miracles. We handled out quite a few information cards to a mostly friendly group of people passing by. 
Then around 3 p.m. the wonderful Levit family ( or is it Lieb) made the journey with some of the nicest, well-behaved children ever seen.  It was a treat just to see them standing with us, a real advertisement for “Life is Precious.”  Don and Nancy, also from St. James in Apollo arrived just as Francis relieved me as  shift manager.  And their dog added a new member to our team from the animal side of God’s kingdom!
But the strangest information we had was that PP was hosting an “advocate” to enroll people in Obamacare today.  A few older folks came out, nothing like a crowd.  So let me get this straight:  Planned Parenthood had an “advocate” to enroll people for Obamacare which will provide free birth control pills which do nothing to prevent sexually transmitted diseases but actually contribute to the increase of cases but Planned Parenthood’s new window display warns everyone to get tested for STDs which are increased by the pills they distribute.  Huh? And all with my tax money!  I just keep praying; see above mention of miracles.

This family is a great witness for LIFE!
This family is a great witness for LIFE!
Mary Catherine, Ann and another prayer warrior from St. Scholastica in Aspinwall
Mary Catherine, Ann and another prayer warrior from St. Scholastica in Aspinwall

 

 

 

 

Day 20 Monday – Thanks to K of C St John Neumann Council

Thanks to Knights of Columbus St John Neumann Council for standing with us today. Vigil needs this week are  Thursday 5-7 .

Please take a moment to read the beautiful witness of some of our shift managers who stood for  3 hours  and took the time to write about it the same day. Thanks to Kathy, Rose and Beth for your contribution.

Kathy L writes:

Another cold morning in Pittsburgh but warmed by God’s love through sunshine and fellowship.  Julie C. came to pray with me during the nine o’clock hour and shortly after she left, four women from St. Francis Xavier in Moundsville, WV arrived to pray during the ten o’clock hour.  Thank you ladies.

 During our time on the sidewalk, we received many glances from passersby toward our signs and fetal models.  One young man named Cam, who was on his was to the bus station, stopped to take my and Julie’s picture with the fetal models.  Whatever his motivation, may God use it for His good.  Another young man coming out of PP accepted our list of Local Resources for Women to pass on.  Another young man, drove his car to the front of PP and carried in eight to ten duffle bags which looked filled with something.  A few women entered the building.

day 20, third shift, knights from st. john neuman
Knights from St. John Neumann council

 

 

Rose W writes:

Although it was chilly today I was dressed warmly!  After shift manager Kathy and the nice West Virginia ladies left, I was privileged to be alone and pray for an hour.  Then Joe from Holy Trinity, who works downtown, came and we prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross  during his lunchtime.  Also, a good friend, Rick T.,  joined us for  the Stations while he was on his lunch hour. There were workers entering and exiting PP today, but it was mostly a quiet time, and a few gave passersby us the “thumbs up.”

Mary Jane
Mary Jane

 

Rose, Joe and Rick T.
Rose, Joe and Rick T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I wanted to mention something that happened to me last week.  While returning home from my husband’s aunt’s funeral in Erie, we were listening to an oldies radio station and the song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies came on and brought back some good memories of the sixties.  Does anyone remember that beautiful song?  I think the lyrics fit our situation.  “. . .and the load doesn’t weigh me down at all, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”  This song keeps ringing in my head and that’s what I was singing today when I had to walk the few blocks from the parking lot to PP with my chair and heavy bag of stuff.  When we think of the unborn and what we do for them – it ‘s a privilege, not a burden, for they are our brothers and sisters.  If you would like to hear this beautiful and inspirational song, go to YouTube or just google the song title.

Beth S. writes:

David v. Goliath with the Knights of Columbus, St. Norbert, St. Elizabeth and St. Pius

Last week my husband brought home Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath.  although the Bible version has more going for it, like graces bestowed, the book did venture an explanation why David, little, young and poor, defeated Goliath, gigantic, armed and fearsome.  Basically, David didn’t play by Goliath’s rules.  He played by God’s rules:  have faith, do your best, trust Me to do the “miraculous if you do the ridiculous” (Mother Angelica’s motto).

At the start, just myself and my sweet sister Rosemary praying in the cold in “one corner” as the boxers would say.  Facing us was the dismal storefront branch office  of the biggest abortion provider in the world, Planned Parenthood , a “giant” in the field of eliminating our future through abortion.  Then, Mary Jane D. came with her wonderful enthusiasm, and then the heroic Marshall M. from the Steubenville Knights of Columbus.

So yes, we are going to win this one.  We won’t play by the giant, PP’s rules:  gigantic amounts of  money, gigantic amounts of political power, gigantic support from the media.  We’ll win by playing by God’s rules: prayer, fasting, peaceful witness. As David said when Goliath was dead and everyone was amazed:  “…..All those gathered here will know that it is not by the sword or by the spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
And when they’re in our hands…we’ll accept all the pro-abortion world as our brothers and sisters and show them a more victorious way to live, by being forgiven and pro-life.

Rosalina is the shift manager from three to five.  Reportedly, the back of her sign says:

Pray for Winter to End! 

day 20, third shift, rosalina
Rosalina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some more photos from Rosalina’s and Francis’ shift:

day 20, third shift, rosalina and mimi
Shift Manager Rosalina with daily prayer volunteer, Mimi
day 20, third shift
Rossaly, shift manager Francis and Knights from St. John Neuman
day 20, second shift, mary jane, rose and beth
Mary Jane with Shift manager sisters Rose and Beth

 

See you on the sidewalk!

jeffsigrough2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13 St Patricks Day

***THERE IS ONE EMPTY HOUR AT 4PM TODAY (Tuesday!)  SHIFT MANAGER SHEILA IS SCHEDULED TO BE STANDING ALONE AT THIS TIME.  PLEASE COME AND PRAY WITH HER!  ALSO, TOMORROW (Wednesday), THE 8AM, 10AM & 4PM HOURS ARE EMPTY!***

There were a dozen shift managers today to cover for the fact that we had no groups/churches scheduled for today.  A dozen more of our 40 Days family came and joined us.  Please read their stories, and ask God if this is something you are supposed to be doing with us.

 

day 13, first shift, cathy, rose, nikki and mary jane
Kathy, Mary Jane, Nikki and Rose

 

Kathy managed the vigil from 7-9am and wrote:

T’was a cold St. Patrick’s Day morn today, but the warmth of Mercy was with us.  On my way to the vigil, I was greeted by Sue M. who had just left PP and was on her way to work.  Bill H. was waiting for me to relieve him, and after a prayer of departure, he left.  He also informed me that many young women  were entering the building today, a meeting possibly?  

Nikki joined me for the nine o’clock hour and we prayed together.  She introduced me to the Divine Mercy chaplet prayer in song.  It’s words are beautiful sung or spoken.  During our time together, a young man entered the building but then exited quickly.  He confirmed that there was a meeting going on.  His reason for entering–to get a physical for a driver’s license but also commented that he was against abortion. 

A few moments later, a lively group of adolescents from a local school came streaming down the sidewalk and were instructed by their teachers to stand against the wall.  A routine fire drill was the reason for them being there and a few of them commented on our fetal models and noticed our signs.   Perhaps seeds were planted in those few minutes and may God’s protection be upon them.  As we began the ten o’clock hour, MaryJane came to join us.  Liz B. and Kiwi came towards the end of the hour and Rose W. took over for the 11-1 p.m. shift. 

Here is a report from Nikki from this morning:

day 13, first and second shift, changing of the guard
Kathy, Liz (with Kiwi in the purse), Nikki and Rose

I arrived at 9:10 this morning to find the early morning shift manager, Bill, on his way out…and the second morning shift manger, Kathy, ready for her shift.  Bill said that he was kept company by Susan from 7-8am and Sue M. from 8-9am….so he was never alone.  I was there to make sure Kathy, who was the manager from 9-11, was not alone.  She and I stood on the quiet, cold sidewalk and prayed and sang.  Many people went into the clinic, but most seemed to be employees.  One young man exited, and when Kathy talked to him, he said that he had gone there for a medical exam for his driver’s license (I didn’t know they did that!), but that the staff was all in a meeting, so he was unable to get the exam. 

Mary Jane arrived at about 10:30, and prayed and sang with us.  At one point, a couple walked by and asked us for directions to the Federal building.  We pointed it out to them, and before they walked away the woman said to us, “I will be here (meaning at the vigil) on Wednesday!”  I wonder if she goes to a church that has a time slot on Wednesday?  It’s so encouraging to see how our Church family is uniting for this important cause!  And I am especially inspired to see how our 40 Days team members are helping to fill the empty hours today, since there was no church and we had the whole 12 hours empty!  We truly “have each other’s backs”.

May God continue to keep His mighty hand upon us throughout the remainder of our 40 days!

Rose W. writes:

This morning was a bit chilly, but we didn’t mind. Mary Jane, Liz and I prayed for awhile and a young girl named Kayla was walking by and paused, so I asked her if I could help her.  She asked my what is an alternative to abortion?  I responded that adoption is an option and we believe in keeping the baby.  She did indicate that she was pregnant and wanted to keep her baby, but she needed help and was new to the area.  I gave her the Resource Sheet and told her about the free untrasound and that there were many numbers there she could call.  She said she had an abortion several years ago and still felt bad about it.  I told her about Rachael’s Vineyard, gave her a pamphlet and a booklet, ” Heaven Speaks About Abortion.”  She was grateful and said we could  keep her in our prayers.  Her name is Kayla.

Later Sue McGrath came to join us on her lunch hour.  Another young girl and her boyfriend stopped by and asked for some pregnancy resources, too.  She was pregnant and really concerned since she is no longer on her mother’s health insurance.  We gave her a Resource Sheet as well and directed her to the WCN on East Ohio Street. She left with her boyfriend in the car  and waved goodbye as she was dialing on her phone. She seemed to want to keep her baby.  Her name is Mia and she said we could pray for her, too.

Later, Chris joined us on his lunch hour and we said the “Shut this place down” litany before he had to go back to work.  Johnny came during Beth’s shift, so she was not alone.  I want to end by stating that I prayed beforehand that God would send us girls that needed help on my shift today and he did.  Hopefully we were able to direct two girls who needed it, in the right direction.  There is so much power in prayer!!!

 

day 13, second shift, sue and rose
Sue and Rose

 

day 13, second shift, beth, johnny and chris
Beth, Johnny and Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth S. had 1-3 and writes:

Some stories beg to be repeated, others deserve silence even while the story breaks your heart.  Today, a beautiful woman told me her story about abortion and healing and hope.  Details don’t seem quite right because she came to me speaking as a stranger who just needed to tell that story one more time.  I felt privileged to be the recipient.
  It seems that we may be near the tipping point when the pro-abortion tide starts to turn and stories such as I heard today will become a voice loud as thunder.  We who stand there need to hear those stories even if it’s just to keep us going, confirm what we already know; that abortion kills a child and grievously wounds a woman.  And that wound, leaves a scar that only kindness and mercy can lessen. 
Today, from 1-3 p.m. there was little activity at PP, just the usual employees avoiding eye contact as they returned from lunch.  Jack A. from St. Killians came early and stayed the entire shift; my storyteller prayed with us while kneeling, and two beautiful women from Providence Church in Ellwood City drove 45 minutes to be with us, Rachel and Bethany.  They had copies of the video 180  to give away, what a powerful video that is!  The weather was definitely a factor with the wind adding to the chill and keeping the passers-by to a minimum. Pat came right on time and there were prayers there all the time.  Today, it was all about stories told in hope and, in hope, demand our prayers.

Pat M stood from 3-4 and reports:

I was there only from 3-4 because Barbara and Richard were sneaky and showed-up early to relieve me.  [Thanks guys.]  The bad stuff all occurred within the first two minutes as Beth S. and I were making the change over of shift managers.  As we were talking a tall man in his mid-60s who was using a cane swore at us, and another pray-er several times – and fairly viciously.  Thankfully, we all were restrained and polite towards him and after a minute or two he walked away.  Two sisters were with me – Bethany, who’s been with us several times before, and her younger sister, Rachel, who’s visiting from their home in upstate NY

Pat took this  photo during his time at the vigil:

day 13, third shift2

Barbara and Richard had the 4-5 shift and writes:

PP was covered this shift with Irish people…at least we all professed Irish ancestry..  We’ll leave it at that.  Never argue with a person who claims to be Irish…they never back down.  Passers by were mosty in a good mood…thanking us for being there, blessing us, smiling at us and accompanying us in their hearts.  These Irish eyes were smiling.

Day 13, third shift, jim, jeannie and bill
Bill, Jeannie and Jim

 Jeannie covered 4-6, while Jeff B. and Randy K. finished off the day from 6-7.

Thanks to everyone for coming out today!

Day 6: St Bernadette – Monroeville

My church went to see the Son of God movie that came out last week, and I urge you all to see it if for no other reason than to show Hollywood that there is still a demand for movies that inspire faith.  Why see a movie where I know the plot and how it ends?  For the same reason you go to church on Sunday, to give God a chance to speak to you in a different way.

The scene that spoke to me was Simon of Cyrene taking up the cross for Jesus on the way to Calgary.  He is shown as reluctant to do it at first ( why me), the same look I get when I am asking for help for the 40 Days vigil (note to self: consider Roman Centurion as recruiting coordinator).  But as he journeys with Christ, Simon witnesses firsthand Christ’s suffering, and by the time he gets to Calvary, he doesn’t want to let go of the cross, cause he knows what will happen if/when he does.

So it is with us on Liberty.  We know what will happen if we don’t pick up His cross.  We have seen His suffering through His children who are surgically and chemically crucified in the Place of the Skull.  But we also know the joy of Easter Sunday, the celebration of the defeat of death.  We may never get to celebrate the closing of 933 Liberty, but it’s closing (joyous as is may be) cannot compare to our eternal life with Him and his Liberty Avenue babies.

Thanks to St Bernadette Church for taking a shift early in March, and all of our individual vigil participants.  And thanks to Dean D. for covering the 7-9 shift.

9-11 am shift and Kathy writes:

My first time as vigil shift manager was very encouraging.  When I arrived Dean, Karen, and Gregg were there which, after greeting one another, we spent time in prayer together.

Karen and Greg
Karen and Greg

One gentleman passing by made a positive comment when we finished.  Bill W. appeared briefly to support us too.  Dean was willing to stand with me for the ten o’clock hour since no one signed up, but because of God’s kindness and Nikki’s e-mail plea, a group of six women showed up to pray with me.

our 40 Days for Life family answers the call to fill an empty hour
our 40 Days for Life family answers the call to fill an empty hour

God bless them.  Towards the end of the hour Sue R., accompanied by her five children, came to pray also.

Sue and her beautiful children also come to help fill the empty hour.  What great witnesses for life!
Sue and her beautiful children also come to help fill the empty hour. What great witnesses for life!

This outpouring of support is appreciated and needs to be demonstrated especially on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays–the abortion days.

day 6, first shift, women show up to pray

 

10-1pm shift and Rose writes:

I was able to go an hour earlier today before my shift and the 3 hours flew by. Kathy was not alone from 10 – 11 and she let us in various pro-life prayers.  Sandy, from Steubenville stayed several hours as well as Liz. We did lots of praying.  Later Jean, Winnie , Angela, Jerri, Regina and Dee as well as  Cherise and her 3 year old Mark, showed up from St. Bernadette in Monroeville and we prayed several rosaries and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  While I was kneeling for the sorrowful mysteries near the fetal model display a young girl stopped by to admire them.  I asked her if she was pregnant (yes) and if she was going to keep her baby and she said “yes” and I gave her a 10 week model of a preborn baby, the explanation card and a pamphlet.  She seemed very interested in the baby models, but also perplexed, so I assume she just found out she was pregnant.  Liz gave her a pregnancy resource sheet in case she would be tempted to abort and we asked her if we can pray for her.  She needed to rush to class but said “yes” as well.  Her name is Asia and immediately we added her to our rosary intentions.  A little later a man named Pray Deep (yes, that’s his name ) stopped to encourage us.  I gave him some literature to pass on and he also asked for our prayers.  He had just been interviewed for a better job – he hopes to earn more money so he can give more to causes like ours.  Please keep Asia and Pray Deep in your prayers.

Heidi and Chrishna, also  from St. Bernadette, came for a short while during their lunch break and  led us in one of my favorite prayers, “Jesus who is  . . .Shut this place down!”  There are four pages of the various names of Jesus from the Bible and it is a joy to say this prayer as it is a reminder of all the ways Jesus loves, saves, delivers and blesses us.  We had several people who encouraged us as they walked by and several who took pamphlets as well. It started to warm up as I was ready to leave and the sun came out.  What a blessing to pray at PP, meet some very devout pro-lifers, pray with them, and witness to others for life.

Cherise and Mark, Heidi and Chrisna and Dee

(one of the ladies from St. Bern) Cherise, Mark and Dee

Four ladies from St. Bernadette

More photos taken of prayer warriors from St. Bernadette:

 

Thanks to Beth and her sister for covering the 1-3 shift, as well as Rosalina and her husband Francis for covering 3-7.  This is a hectic time of day for most families, and knowing you can cover for us is a great comfort.

 

Day 5:Church of the Assumption in Bellevue and St. Gregory Parish in Zelienople

I have been thinking about our presence on the sidewalk.  And as I watch people go by as we stand there I wonder:  What do they remember?  What catches their eye?  The signs?  The peaceful grouping of people?  The flowers?   The sound of praying aloud or singing?  It seems many people walk by,  just ignoring us as if we were just standing there waiting for the bus.  But the truth is, God is working on their memory.  And one small moment may return to someone who passed us on the sidewalk and change them.

Great are the works of the Lord;
    they are pondered by all who delight in them.
 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever      –Psalm 111

Here is the review of today’s vigil.  Thank you to Sue McGrath, Nikki and Patti for remembering the unborn standing out in the cold morning.

Nikki writes:

I woke up this morning and the first thought in my mind was poor Sue…standing on the sidewalk in the freezing cold.  It was 8am and my phone said it was 18 degrees.  I knew one person had signed  up to be with her, so she wasn’t alone.  But, it was just too cold to leave her for her whole three hour shift.  I quickly dressed and drove downtown, arriving at 9am to find Sue and Patty huddled together on the lonely sidewalk…both shivering.  After two hours of standing in the cold, Sue was grateful for my offer to relieve her.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful and dedicated vigil shift mangers!  Patty and I stood together and prayed…and as we prayed the sun began to shine right on us!  The sun doesn’t shine very often…or for very long on that part of the city, so we enjoyed praying with the sun on our face.  It was a very quiet and peaceful time in the city.  I was blessed to be there.  At 9:45 Roseann and Rich arrived for their 10-1pm shift.  I hope they didn’t freeze too badly!  It was still only in the mid 20’s.

Sue and Patty, First Shift 7-10am

Sue’s perspective on the morning shift:

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL!

As I sit typing this blog entry for this morning’s 7:00a – 10:00a shift, I am still thawing out, with those icy-yet-wonderful feelings remaining in my legs that mean I am finally in the warmth and out of the cold!  I am typing this one whole hour earlier than I thought I would be able to.  More on this in a little bit ….

I arrived at 7:00 a.m this morning (which really still felt like 6:00 a.m. due to “spring ahead”) to find David already there and praying on his knees on the freeeeeezing cold sidewalk.  He stayed there for well over an hour, too.  Talk about inspiring!  Bill joined us for a little while on his way to church, and Patty also came around 8:00a.  Although we could tell it was shaping up to be a sunny day, it was reeeeeally cold.  A quiet morning on the streets – several passersby, all with whom I tried to make eye contact, but none of them really even seemed to take notice of us.

On a “prayer break,” Patty came over to my side to chat a little.  We talked about the building and how, despite its beautiful brick façade and stained-glass window (how ironic) at the top, it looks rather dirty and unkempt – certainly nothing like anywhere we would choose to go to have any kind of medical procedure at all.  She mentioned that she and a friend were heading this afternoon to see the new movie “Son of God.”   We talked about the creators of the movie, Roma Downey and her husband, and how they’d said in an interview that one of the reasons they’d made the movie was for their children.  Just when I was fondly remembering Roma’s role on the TV series “Touched By An Angel” and wishing it was still on, lo and behold – an angel pulled up to the curb in a car!  It was none other than our own Nikki.  She got out of the car and said, “Sue, it is just too cold for you to stand here for your full three-hour shift.  You go get a coffee, and I’ll cover the last hour.”  I cannot remember a recent time when I felt more grateful!  I did take her up on her offer.  I was so floored by the fact that Nikki went out of her way on a freezing cold Sunday morning to come down and relieve a shivering shift manager.  This Nikki of ours is one extremely special and dedicated lady!!!  And I finally now know who I want to be when I grow up!!  THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU, Nikki!!!

Thank you Church of the Assumption in Bellevue  for your presence from 11am-3pm.  Mary Thimons of Assumption parish shares this experience from today:

As my daughter and I were praying in front of PP today, a young lady came up to us confused and said “do they do abortions in there??” we said yes, and then she said “but I thought Planned Parenthood, meant they help “plan” your parenthood.  She was serious, she had no idea.  It is good to witness, even on a slow Sunday, if this helps educate even one person, it is worth it.

Thank you to Rich and Roseann King for keeping vigil as shift managers from  10am-12pm today!

Rich and Roseann King, shift managers

Jeff, the shift manager from 1-3 writes:

Cold in the shadows today. I was joined by Rick from Assumption Church in Bellevue and Stan from St. Sylvesters.  Town was busy with people going to the home and garden show. So we were getting our message out to a lot more people than usual. It may be one of the few times they even think of the plight of the unborn.

We are grateful to the parish family of St. Gregory in Zelionople for keeping the remembrance of the unborn from 3pm-7pm.  The 1 hour or more driving distance from Zelionople to downtown Pittsburgh is a sacrifice of love and commitment to the smallest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters in the human family.  

Thanks for reading!!! Let us bless the Lord, and give him thanks:

Psalm 145:

The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Day 37 Thursday the 31st – St Alphonsus, Wexford and Memorial Park Church, Allison Park

Traffic advisory for Sunday: Their will be rolling closures on Liberty Avenue from 8-10:30am for the Equitable 10k Race.  5000 runners expected, so I am guessing no parking on Liberty either.  But what a way to close out the Vigil; if you can stop down one more time, Sunday morning would be that time.

Dear 40 Days family:

It would seem that all of our shift managers are all on fire as we near the end of our vigil, and as each report came in, I was amazed by their stories.  So spend some time curled up with your tablet or phone or desktop computer and savor God’s glory.  Or you could print it.  It’s a keeper.

Marie writes:

God provides in the most wonderful ways and today it came in the form of a wonderful group of prayer warriors from my parish, St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford along with some wonderful friends to participate in the vigil. I was joined at the start of this morning’s vigil by Donna P. and Donna L. It was a dry and pleasant start to the day. The rain held off during the four-hour shift.

Donna P, Donna L, Emilie B, Michele M & Barb W

In addition to the large signs, Kathy dropped off the fetal models this morning. This is the first time I had the opportunity to stand vigil with the models being present. Nikki has always said that the models have a tendency to draw people’s attention and sometimes will stop and ask about them. I did notice many passersby looking down at them. One young man stood by the models. I went over and asked him if I could help him. He asked me how big the largest model is and how heavy it would be. I told him I thought it was probably about 30 weeks and maybe 5-6 pounds. I was guessing because I wasn’t sure (fortunately I think I was pretty close on my guess!). He then went on to say he just had a son a month ago and he weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. at birth and now weighs 10 lbs.! He was very thoughtful as he looked at the model and we talked for a short while about his baby boy, named Isaac. I could tell it really struck him to look at the model and then think about his son. His name is “D” and we told him we would pray for him, his son and the mother. He seemed grateful and thanked us before he walked away.

Beth P, Lucine P Rev. Matt, Nancy and Paul T – St Alphonsus

Other members of St. Alphonsus included Barb W. , Michele M, David S. and Cathy A. God is so good. I was hoping for 4 participants from St. Alphonsus and 8 came! It was a blessing to have such a wonderful turnout of faithful, pro-life people!

Cathy A. with picture of Mary & Preborn Jesus

As our shift was coming to an end Emil came down to harass the gathering as he always does. I had not seen him in  several weeks and with my back turned toward the direction from which he came I was unprepared for his visit. Today was different though.  After he said his unkind words to us as he turned to leave he kicked the stand that the fetal models were on and knocked them over and into the street!  I was totally unprepared to him to do this and felt that his reaction was so unnecessary.  After we collected the models and put them back into place I was upset for not being prepared for this.  In hindsight his reaction shouldn’t have surprised me because he was very foul in his language to the 3 of us women who were standing there and the look on his face was more disgusting than usual.  I will admit it took me a while to regain my internal composure after that and resolved not to let the incident ruin the otherwise wonderful witness given today.

Lisa sent in the following:

Rosemarie, Liz, Mimi, Kathy, Jamie, Tony

 This last shift of mine was, again, such a time of thankfulness and joy. I am constantly overwhelmed by God’s generosity to us all, in giving us the gift of one another. That is something that just continually amazes me when we spend time at that vigil together, united in Christ and in prayer.

My favorite moment of the afternoon was seeing how little Mimi (one of our regulars) authoritatively told our group– with her preciously thick Italian accent– that we were going to begin the rosary. What she didn’t know was that half of us were not Catholic. Does something like that minor detail bother someone like Mimi? Of course not! And the funny thing was…. all of the non-Catholics were praying the rosary right along with her anyway! What a joy! They surely did it out of respect for her. And what FUN the Holy Spirit was having with all of this. It tickles me (and I’m sure it tickles the Lord) to see things like that. So thank you to all of you sweet, faithful pray-ers this afternoon. God bless you!

Mimi, Jamie, Rosemarie, and Liz
Group from Memorial Park Church
Beth Ann from St Alexis and Marilyn

Read what Marilyn has to say about her last shift:

Confessions of a shift manager. When I realized one of my shifts fell on Halloween, I must admit I was a bit unsettled.

Inspiration sometimes waits until the last minute, as it did for me yesterday. Twenty minutes before I was to leave to attend Mass before going to the vigil, an idea popped into my head to hand out Halloween treat bags on the sidewalk. All I had was a box of 32 fruit gummy snacks in fun Halloween shapes, kid stuff — you see selfishly I purposely did not buy any chocolate to pass out to trick-or-treaters as I gave up chocolate for these 40 Days. I’m telling you this not to brag, but to be totally honest – it was selfish — I have this nasty addiction to chocolate that I am trying to master. Halloween has always been my downfall. But, with 40 Days falling during Halloween, I figured what better way to offer it up. But, I digress. So, here’s me racing through the house gathering up supplies (never thinking last year when I bought the treat bags on clearance after Halloween that I would be using them outside PP!) As part of our mission is outreach, I figured what better way to educate the public by inserting the great new 40 Days brochure into the treat bag. Then my mind started racing, should I have two different kinds of bags, one for general passerbys, one for people going into/out of the clinic – what else could I put in the bag – on and on and I was running out of time. I assembled a few of the bags, then gathered the supplies and figured my friend Beth Ann could finish them in the car on the way down.

Several campaigns ago I honestly was thinking it is time to stop being a shift manager. I did not want to go down there alone anymore – even though we are never really alone. I had a little scare with a kooky lady and I’ll admit our tattooed friend from past campaigns rattled me. I figured if God wanted me to continue doing this he was going to have to let me know. And, that he did. Without asking, my friend Beth Ann told me she wanted to accompany sometime. Well, that sometime has turned into a faithful companion on the journey. She came with me for every single shift for this campaign! What a blessing she has been to me. God knows what we need, we only have to ask. We are not in this alone. And when we don’t see God with skin on, we have the multitude of heavenly hosts, all the saints & angels surrounding us – our guardian angel awaits our call.

Back to Halloween, so we’re down at the clinic and so blessed to have the presence of Memorial Park on my shift. The first person I met from MP was Jim, a ‘newbie’ to 40 Days (though you would never know it!) and the music director at Memorial Park. He jumped right in, lead us in song and prayer and helped pass out treat bags! His fellow parishoners Kathy, Terri, Rosemarie and Jamie joined in beautiful song. When we ran out of treat bags, Jamie ran to CVS to buy more treats! So, here we are on the sidewalk assembling more goodie bags, folding brochures and getting the word out. It’s amazing how friendly people are when there is candy involved! Even the neighboring bar owner, who was making so many trips back and forth with supplies for what I guess he was anticipating a busy evening, seemed friendlier than usual. The mailman’s eyes perked up – people generally were in a jovial mood. Folks in costume stopped and talked. We did pass out a lot of treat bags and hopefully not all of the brochures ended up in the garbage — I walked over to throw away some wrappers and right on top of the trash were two perfectly good flyers which I rescued and we re-used! Several people thanked us for our presence. I did not encounter any negativity, and later found out that Beth Ann had specifically asked friends to pray for us on this Halloween!

I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend Cathy when I arrived. She brought the beautiful framed Preborn Jesus artwork  at http://prebornjesus.catholicweb.com . Megan from Mother of Sorrows helped pass out treats. I met Liz from St. Louise who told me she was going to be a shift manager for the next campaign! I was so excited. She is hoping someone else steps up and she could share a shift with them. When you are on the sidewalk for two hours it goes fast. Four hours can be a very long time, especially in bad weather and it is a big time commitment when you factor in parking and travel time. Wouldn’t it be great if next vigil we had enough shift mgrs for everyone to have a 2 hr shift!

With each campaign I have participated in I have grown more confident on the sidewalk. I really think that very soon we will no longer have to witness at 933 Liberty Avenue. Our presence is making a difference. More people are being educated; hearts are changing, women are given options. Take a risk, if you feel God is calling you to become a shift manager, you will be so blessed! You will meet the most amazingly nice people who have a heart for our Lord. Love one another, what better way to show our love than to pray for the least among us. God is not deaf to our prayers. He cares and just needs more of his hands and feet on the sidewalk! Even if you have never prayed at an abortion clinic before, come to our closing rally this Sunday 6:30pm which begins at PP and then concludes at Catholic Charities:

Dee G, the 3-5 shift manager was sick for the past week and could not make her last shift. Not to worry, Pat M picked up 3-4 and Barb L. picked up 4-5.  Vigil intact.  Marilyn sent the following pic in:

Tom, Marilyn and Joe from St Bernard’s

 Jeff was on the 5-7 shift and writes:

When I arrived for my shift, Bill H. was on vigil with Joe White.  Bill stayed till 6 and Joe till 6:40.  Diane picked up the signs at 6 and I stayed till 7.  It was my most quiet 2 hours yet.  A steady rain kept us company and warded off the evil spirits of the night.  And Emil, too.

I took my grandkids to the zoo this past summer, and as we were leaving to go home, the 7-year-old raced ahead with his 4-year-old sister right behind.  I was following with the empty stroller, and took off after them, calling to the 2-year-old, Meredith, to hurry up. She was 20 feet behind, and staring intently at something out of my view.  Then I heard it – a waterfall – and Mer enthralled before it.  I scrambled for my phone to take a picture, when I stopped and thought (or He said, I don’t know which) forget the phone and enjoy the moment

After 20 seconds or so passed, she looked around and saw me in the distance, took two steps toward me, and stops.  She turns to the waterfall and waves, as if to say goodbye for now, but I’ll be back.  She chases after me, and together we chased the other 2.

So as I left my last shift tonight, I practiced the lesson my granddaughter taught me.  I turned and looked with the eyes of a child to see the face of God on that shiny wet sidewalk, and in the faces of all who witnessed with me.  And I whispered…bring me back, Lord.

Bring us all back.

Day 34 Monday – Catholic Men’s Fellowship and Ascension Holy Name Society

As we enter the last week of our 40 day vigil here in downtown Pittsburgh, my thoughts (and sidewalk discussions)  are looking down the road to the 41st annual March for Life in January and , of course, our Lenten  40 days Vigil in March.  We would love to hear some comments about what your group’s plans are for January 22nd.  You are sure to see a lot our 40 Days Pittsburgh family down in DC for what has annually been the media’s most ignored event of hundreds of thousands of people standing up for life.  Let us know!

Cil reports in from the 11-1 shift:

A cold but sunny Monday in Pittsburgh this afternoon. I was so thankful to have 3 of my St Joes church friends join me on my final Monday shift, Provie, Patti & Joyce. When we arrived, SM Bill greeted us along with Dan, from Mother of Sorrows representing Catholic Men’s Fellowship. We were so blessed to have Dan stay with us through my shift and into the following.

Dan from Mother of Sorrows with SM Bill.

We were surprised when, halfway through my shift, our own Fr Mark from St Joes showed up to stand with us for an hour. He found he could squeeze in a short amount of time prior to a meeting and wanted to be with us. We were so thankful for his witness to life and the blessing he gave us before leaving!

Here is a picture of us all, from St Joes, holding the pro-life signs that our MS Edge kids made Sunday night. The Edge kids also helped us by filling in the “contact” info on the 40 Days bookmarks that I was able to hand out to those passing by today.

Maria, from Assumption, came later in the shift to help brighten the city sidewalk.

Maria and Diane

We were blessed to have Diane, from Good Samaritan, make a visit with us. She had not planned to stay long but then did end up staying into the next shift. Diane is active in witnessing at the East Liberty clinic. She came by hoping to speak with Nikki. I gave her a bookmark with the contact info and she will be in touch. She was glad to learn about Abby Johnson’s ATTWN ministry. We thank Diane and all who witness at the East Liberty abortion clinic too!

During my shift we had several who stopped to talk. I will mention a few…
Just after arriving, I saw a girl walk out PP doors and stand there looking around. I asked if we could help her. She came over and I told her about the material that we had. She said that she could use “abortion healing’. So I gave her the packet I had on that and spoke with her some about Rachel’s Vineyard. Tears came to her eyes and we offered her a flower. We also said that we would pray for her. She gave us her name but we will call her “B”. She then asked if she could make a call on my phone. Soon after dialing the number, she saw her boyfriend (?) coming down the street. Unfortunately the two of them went back inside the doors of PP, talked there a short while, then she used his phone to apparently call her mother. He then came out and left, she came back out and said that she was waiting for her mother. She stayed in the circle and didn’t seem to want to talk any more. She no longer had the flower and we’re not sure what happened to the material she took from me. Please keep “B” in prayer as I believe she is in need of healing (physical, emotional, spiritual) from a recent abortion.

We had two other beautiful ladies stop to speak with us after receiving the pro-life handouts.

Lori says she has a long story to share and did, in fact, share it at a pro-life event one time. She found herself pregnant when she was young and was directed to a crisis pregnancy center I think in Monroeville. The man she was to marry “heard in a dream” that he was not to marry her and that her child was not his. So he fought 4 paternity tests only to find that the child was indeed his. Lori is willing to share more of her story with us and gave us her phone number and email address. She said that her daughter, Shanna (sp?) is 18 and she “needs something to do”. She really likes babies and so she wants to encourage her to come and join with us.

Ashley stopped by later and told us the story of her sister’s son, Joshua, who was born prematurely (at 26 weeks I think?) because her sister later found she has an “incompetent cervix”. Joshua was only 1# 9 oz and 13 ½“ long and his future was not so bright. She showed us pictures of him. But we also saw a picture of him now, as a 9 year old boy who is just as health as anyone. She said that she is so much for life esp seeing how he was born so early yet, legally, could have been aborted. She said that they could not even touch him at first because his skin was so sensitive with the nerve endings so close to the skin surface. That made us think of those poor babies who suffer so much in the womb at the hands of the abortionists. Her sister, Amy, is again pregnant and is at 29 weeks. Please keep her & the baby in prayer that she can carry this one longer in the womb.

Between these conversations and others, our prayer warriors were able to work in a rosary, divine mercy chaplet and sing songs of praise. Thanks to all for your prayers and witness to life!

Beth reports in from the sidewalk with this story:

Maria, Dan and Diane stayed a while after the one o’clock shift,  keeping my sister Rose and I company until almost two o’clock. We had some time for prayer and soon after, D. stopped to talk. I offered her some literature after she indicated that she supported our cause. And then the story came out.
D. said that when she was younger she went to Women’s Health Center where the abortionist perforated her uterus causing severe hemorrhaging and an emergency trip to Magee where, 17 pints of blood later, she found herself, sterile, incontinent and with gastrointestinal and heart problems that still plague her today. It was especially painful because she couldn’t tell her parents or her church the cause. Later, she tracked down the abortionist who was then working for Planned Parenthood, filed a per se lawsuit because she couldn’t find any lawyer who would take the case. The court awarded her…..nothing.
Stunned, I told her that there were pro-life lawyers practicing at that time. And she said that she just didn’t know.
D. reluctantly took the blue sheet with post abortion information. Pray that she is given the courage to tell her story to help others who need to know.
Later, when Ann, Mary Catherine and Evelyn came to pray the 3-4 p.m. time, Evelyn said her husband, a lawyer, would have taken the case. And Mary Catherine summed it up: “we have to get the word out.” Amen to that.

Francis had the 5-7 shift and writes:

This is the Motte family. Mrs. Motte works at Hillcrest Christian Academy. They are a very lovely family. We even prayed the rosary together when Minnie came at about 6:55. It was a fast rosary, but we got it done. Lindsay Hayes also came. She’s new, although her mother has come before.  She belongs to St. Bernard Parish in Mt. Lebanon.

Jeff wrote in the email for today:

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And, while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.”

–John Steinbeck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author

(Concomitant – adjective; naturally accompanying or associated.)

“…are the concomitants of failure in our system.” Failure in whose system? God’s world or our egocentric secular world? And what is success in God’s world? Achievements, accomplishments, an end to abortion at all costs?

Jesus said to be child-like if we want to see the Kingdom of God. Be kind, generous, open, honest, understanding, feeling, and let’s throw obedient in, too.

Let God be the judge of our success!

Day 30 Thursday – St John the Baptist, Plum Boro – All Day!

Thanks to St John the Baptist parish for covering the vigil all day, and thanks to Lisa Koslosky for organizing and standing for the innocent babies of 933 Liberty!

Barb had the first shift and writes:

7am Thursday morning was crispy and dark in front of PP this morning.  We set up and were vigil ready at 6:58 am.  Saint John the Baptist (Plum) parishioners arrived on the stroke of 7.  Peg and Joe were warmly dressed and ready to pray.
Diane arrived in her white van & unloaded the 40 Days for Life Vigil signs and an abundance of flowers.  Dazzling purple and white and green cast ripples of life to the early morning grey and brightened it immediately.  Many mothers, taking children to child care, accepted flowers for their children.  Day 30 of our Vigil begins with fortitude, flowers and prayer.  God is with us.  All is right with the world.

Marie P. managed the shift from 9-11am and took this photo of her prayer participants:

Lisa had the 1-3 shift and writes:

I should just tell one short story about the 1-3 shift. As we were praying the rosary, a rather “scraggly” man came walking down the street with confidence, and a purpose! He seemed angry, and I heard him muttering things about priests, etc., and I thought, “Oh boy, here comes someone to persecute the Church….” Then he stopped in front of us and shouted, “I agree with you!! I think abortion is wrong!” (Something like that.) Then he shouted, “I’m gonna pray one Hail Mary!” And he shouted– yes, shouted– the first half of the Hail Mary. The volunteers and I prayed the second half of the prayer, then the man yelled, “God bless you!” and briskly walked away. I think we were all so stunned, we just kind of laughed and said, “It was hard to tell how that was going to go!” It was such a funny moment for the group and I to share.

There was such a sense of joy and unity in the group who come to pray with me today, that I almost feel guilty for having enjoyed the time with them! But wow… a solid, pleasant, and prayerful group. It was just beautiful to be with them. So I send a special thank you to Johnny, George, George, Michael, Audrey, Jim and Liz. May God bless you all! And I am SO very thankful to all those who came from my parish, St. John the Baptist in Plum. May the Lord bless you all as well.

back row, L-R: George, Michael, Jim, Audrey
front row, L-R: Johnny, Liz

Dee managed the 3-5pm shift and wrote:

Today’s shift was much drier than last week.  A bit chilly, but, beautiful, none the less.   

Pat stopped by to see how things were coming along. There were 2 people with me at 3, so, 

he did not have to stay. Liz and Mary Morgan were with me. Then Mimi came by and Philene Reilly. We prayed the rosary and Mimi told us stories about her prayer experiences.  

A young man named Frank stopped by. He said he told his story to another shift manager, maybe last week. When Frank’s mother was pregnant with him, her doctor said she had a tumor and she had to get rid of it. It would kill her. His mom had strong faith in St. Joseph and she knew she was pregnant. When Frank was born, she took him to the doctor and said “Have you met my tumor yet”?

Miracles do happen–usually silently.   

Mary Whitaker prayed with me and Philene from 4 to 5.  It was a peaceful, prayerful day.

Julie had 5-7 and writes:

Hi all,

I was on for shift manager from 5 to 7pm today after work. The wonderful folks from St. John the Baptist in Plum came to pray. First there were 2 people sacrificing their time with their families (each had a spouse and 3 children at home). I believe DEE took a photo of them. Then two couples came (Mario and Mary; John and Kim-some of them I actually had met about 4 years ago at a young adult retreat!). We stood in a circle and prayed the scriptural rosary. Mario ventured out of our circle to offer flowers and God’s love to passersby! We prayed for the women who anticipate tonight going to the PP on Saturday for an appointment for an abortion, asking God’s mercy on them to touch them with his love. We prayed for the PP workers and offered the Lord’s prayer for God’s will to be done in their lives.

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”

Albert Einstein

Abortion is a problem created by our secular society. Those of us who live with one foot in the secular world and one foot in God’s world may feel that abortion can never be stopped. And even if we do stand vigil to witness the innocents slaughtered in our city, we can sometimes grow weary of the struggle. I was certainly one of those people, not wanting to commit to Christ because I feared leaving the secular world behind, that I might miss it. That is, till I stood vigil with the 40Days family here in Pittsburgh, and everything changed. Their joy, their resolve, their faith, their fellowship, their commitment to “dreaming the impossible dream” made me want to be around them, to be more like them, and to witness the faith like them. So I take that leap of faith and attempt daily to put both feet in God’s world, and He has not disappointed. I am more aware of a solution to abortion because I can now see the problem from a different level. I have a path set before me that will lead me closer to God’s truth, and for me, that path is prayer. Prayer on the sidewalk, prayer in the morning, prayer in the evening, prayer at lunch, prayer while your driving (we could all use a little more of that). Prayer asking God what it is I am supposed to do now that I practice putting both feet in His world.

And prayer that I may never grow weary of showing the world His love, because nothing is impossible when it comes to God’s world, when you are “all in”.

Thanks to Helene Paharik for the quote and her loving instruction, the 40Days family for the inspiration, and thanks to God for showing me the path.