Day 38:  Thank you to St. Regis (Trafford), Shift Buddies, and Individual Volunteers!!!


Liberty Avenue is closed to traffic from
3 AM Saturday until 12:30 PM Sunday

Saturday Vigil:  7 AM to 5 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue
(closing early due to concert on street)

Final fast:  7 PM Saturday until 7 PM Sunday

Sunday Vigil:  7 AM to 7 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue

Closing rally:  6:30 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue,

followed by food and fellowship at nearby Catholic Charities




Friends, we’ve made it to Day 38 despite so many challenges…physical, mental, and spiritual.  We can easily see that we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without God.  What a beautiful, grace-filled way to learn humility!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13


There are still two days left and we want to finish strong.  Nothing would give satan more relief than to have us throw up our hands and say, “Close enough…I’m done.”

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9


It’s not going to be easy.  The race and concert on Liberty Avenue this weekend will mean more trouble finding a parking space and a potentially greater number of antagonistic passers-by.  And Nikki has asked each of us to join her in a final 24-hour fast from 7 PM Saturday until we gather for the closing at 7 PM Sunday.  We will have to rely on God for the strength to meet these challenges.  But we know from the last 38 days of experience that He will not disappoint!

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6


Here are reports and pictures from today’s vigil!

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

The city felt warm, dark and damp.
Always an original, Diane was warm, sunny and bright.
She arranged the shift manager supplies swiftly, chatted for a moment and, tickety boo, zoomed away.
Her creativity is mind boggling.
Our shift buddies Al and Sally took up their post and our shift officially started.
Already people were going to work, taking the kids to day care, going to school and catching the bus home after night shift.
Sean, Cathedral Parish, had almost missed coming this fall..
Their new baby has kept the family awake and busy.  Baby has big brothers, Peter and John.
One woman told me that her going to PP was none of my business.
“You are my business,” I answered.  “You are my sister!”
God plants the seed.  We till the soil.

It feels like a blessing to have been a part of Pittsburgh 40 Days this fall.

Richard, Sean, Sally, Al
Sidewalk morning prayer, Sean, Sally and Al

Kathy, 9-11 AM:

I spent time praying and passing out literature until Theresa from Heidelberg arrived.  Thank you for coming, Theresa.

Bookstore owner, Eric, sends the 40 Days family his appreciation for the card sent to him from the group.  He and his family are not members of The Tree of Life but still were affected by the shooting as were the rest of us.  Daniel Lager, Barb’s friend and also Eric’s, who was wounded in the shooting is improving thank God.
Two passersby stopped. The first, a man from SC, attending the chemical engineering convention inquired about the vigil.  He was very interested and accepted a 40 Days brochure and thanked me for being there.  The second, a woman named Della, stopped at the fetal baby display as Ginny and her grandkids arrived,  to tell us that 18 years ago she asked God to give her a baby.  God did and Della’s second request to Him was that the baby would love Him.  Della shared that her daughter, now in college, has a heart for God.  Touching!
Some negative comments, but most were positive.
Ginny with grandchildren Cayesen and Brooklynne
Bookstore owner
A lonely rose blown in the circle by the wind















Marie, 11 AM-1 PM:

We said lots of prayers with Megan , Bill, Barbara and her husband, Brooklynne and Cayesen, Marie, Ginny, and a tall guy.
We also witnessed lots of people making the movie, actors, extras, and crew members.
Brooklynne said we had a few haters , but lots of good people.










Dave and Noreen, 1-3 PM:

It was a nice day today.  We had more positive comments, hand shakes and fist bumps than ever. Dave and I were joined by Jerry from Beaver County and Kaitlin from Turtle Creek.  Barbara was also from Beaver County, and Ann from Clairon. We had some long distance travelers come to pray with us today.
Dave, Jerry, and Kaitlin
Noreen and Ann

Pat, 3-5 PM:

While I only had two individuals from my parish show for this, our second 2-hour shift of the vigil, I was glad to have brother Knight of Columbus, Gene and his faithful wife, Louise, with me for the first hour.  Also with me for the first hour were Rich and Diane.  Mary Jane joined a little after 3 PM and we all prayed together the Rosary for the unborn given to us by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Of course, I also had Fran, my very faithful Shift Buddy there with me until the end of my shift.  At that point, SB Bill showed-up and I handed the badge over to him since Mary Jane was going to stay until about 5:30, by which time I expected the next SM, Marshall, to have arrived.

Mary Jane, St. Bernard’s
Louise and Gene (St. Regis), SB Fran, Rich and Diane (St. Louise de Marillac)


Marshall, 5-7 PM:

Note from Jen:  A huge thanks to Shift Buddy Bill for filling in when the Shift Manager was unexpectedly detained at work and couldn’t get to the vigil by 5:00.  A huge thanks to Shift Manager Marshall (who was kindly substituting for a teammate) for still coming after a long day of work at a site over an hour from the vigil.  And a huge thanks to young volunteer Benson, whose faithful presence means so much to all of us.  This 40 Days for Life team–family, really–is so blessed!

Marshall, Bill, and Benson

Day 31:  Thank you to ECC Students for Life, St. John the Baptist Parish, Living Hope Church, Shift Buddies, and Individual Volunteers!

Lately, we’ve been acknowledging some weariness in praying for the closure of PP and wondering when God will answer.  It seems to hit us at this point in the campaign.

Shawn Carney spoke to this issue on Monday, reminding us to put all our trust in God and His plan even though we don’t know its details.  Many of the good things that have come from 40 Days for Life campaigns have taken the participants by surprise, at least in terms of timing.

By the grace of God, the Gospel readings for daily Mass this week have been very appropriate to the situation.  Taken from Chapter 12 of the book of Luke,  they contain many important lessons, including the importance of staying ready since we cannot know when things will happen.

  • Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who built enormous new barns to hold his bountiful harvest so that he could take it easy for the rest of his life, not knowing that his life would end that very night. (Lk 12: 16-21)
  • Jesus exhorts His followers to be like vigilant servants awaiting their master’s return from a wedding even though they didn’t know when he would arrive. (Lk 12: 35-38)
  • Jesus points out that a man was unable to prevent a break-in because he was unaware of the hour when a thief was coming. (Lk 12: 39-40)
  • Jesus explains what happens to a prudent steward who faithfully continues in his task even when his master is delayed, and what happens to a foolish servant who turns away from the job at hand and is then caught off guard when his master returns at an unexpected time. (Lk 12:42-48)
  • Jesus chides His listeners for figuring out when the weather will change but not realizing that their lives would soon change, too. (Lk 12: 54-56)

God knows what He is about.  He knows when PP will close.  I need humility to accept that I am not in charge of the details.  I just have to stay vigilant and keep praying until He takes me by surprise—because He will.

Come and join us on the sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh as we pray for an end to the violence of abortion and reach out to our hurting brothers and sisters.  Use this link choose a time or simply show up between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.  (Please note that we will end the vigil at 5 PM tomorrow, Saturday 10/27.)


Here are the reports from today’s vigil!

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Crossing the Veterans Bridge on our way into town, again we noticed the Church on Mt. Washington and the moon…both brightly beaming.  God is in His heavens.  All is right with the world.  Diane supervised and we helped arrange supplies.  Pat came to pick up the mobile supply unit.  I think that’s what he and Diane call it!  Sally and Al, our shift buddies, give us street cred.  These guys have been showing up, outside, all seasons, all over the county, for pro-life events for decades.  “I love to stand outside wearing cold wet shoes,” Al declares as his reason for their fortitude and perseverance.  Sally has reasons, but her smile says it best.  About 4 sets of young women went in looking dressed for a really bad decision.  It always feels bad.  When they repent, God will be ready.  A young woman stopped and asked me to pray with her.  Today she will quit her job.  She was not interested in advice.  Prayer is what she wanted.  People passed, nodded, thumbs up, smiles and accepted “God bless you,” with a return blessing.  Kathy came and accepted the lanyard.  Being part of 40 Days for Life challenges me to be my best self.  What a blessing.

Al, Sally, Richard praying on the not-yet daylit avenue.
Fetal models, 40 Days for Life info, Just the Facts: Pro-life praying points
Yesterday’s rose petals. On the pavement they mix with cigarette butts and tiny bits of refuse. The aborted babies’ bodies are treated as carelessly.


9-11 AM, Kathy:

Spent time in prayer.  Passed out “Your Biography” and yellow cards.  Many passersby accepted lit.  One man stopped and asked what I was doing.  I explained while he looked through the handout “My Biography.” He replied that he doesn’t agree with my viewpoint but will read the material.  A few negative comments but nothing unusual.  A large student life group from St Mary’s, PA arrived and filled and lit up the sidewalk.  Thank you for traveling such a distance to witness for life!

St Mary’s student life group
No water spilled on this sign 😉


11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

Had a great group from St. Mary’s, PA and Elk County Catholic High School.  One of the mothers told me that today is 17 years to the day that Magee Women’s Hospital tried to convince her to abort her baby.  She resisted – even though they were very persistent.  During the story she was looking at her beautiful 17-year-old daughter who is alive today because of her parents’ courage.

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

Dave and I were at PP from 1 – 3 today and St. John the Baptist had people there.  It was nice because that’s our parish so we had some familiar folks with us.  In the picture is Dave with Frank.  Our friend Mary was there earlier but I completely forgot to take her picture!!  AAAHHH!

Dave and Frank


3-5 PM, Pat:

A few weeks ago I talked about how it was frustrating it is – but also a lesson in humility – that one can’t really pray and pass out literature at the same time.  We need to choose.  But this time, as I was trying to spend as much time on my knees praying as I reasonably could, a new thought occurred to me.  When you pray on your knees people who pass by look at you in a different way than they do when you are standing and praying.  So as I watched the people passing by look at me I realized that a powerful message was getting across to them while I was engaged in prayer.  And I think that message is as simple as this:  “Wow, those people really are serious about stopping abortion.”  And that vision won’t soon leave them either.  It becomes a seed in their mind which God can work with.  Perhaps the next time they are confronted in some way with the topic of abortion, their reaction to it will be a little different than it would have been.  Perhaps it will be a little less abstract to them.

As for my shift, I was glad to be with the good people of Living Hope Church in Whitney.  They’ve been here before and come a long way (about a 1.5 hour drive).  So thank you.  Thank you also to Walt, from St. John’s in Plum who was with me for the first hour.

And finally, a note to self and to my fellow shift managers.  While I’m betting all of us regulars have become a lot better over the years at being disciplined about not reacting to those who hurl negative remarks at us, I think it would be good for me/us to get into the habit of mentally preparing those who come to pray with us – right after we introduce ourselves – for these situations and instruct them that we do not want to engage in any way with these passersby, but simply ignore them.


5-6 PM, Kathy:

Thanks to mother and son, Marlane and John, from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum.
Faithful Benson also stopped by briefly to join us in a prayer.  A few folks accepted lit.  A light rain started and soon Nikki came to SM the last hour.

Marlane and John


6-7 PM, Nikki:

I filled in for the last hour of the vigil and was blessed to pray with Peggy from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum. It was sad to see so many women  leaving the clinic, most likely post-abortive. I couldn’t help thinking about their poor little babies being left behind. I hope that my witness  on my knees and my prayers helped show that each one of those little ones was worthy of someone’s prayers and sufferings.

Nikki and Peggy from Saint John the Baptist Parish




Day 24: Thank you to St. Joseph Parish, St. Thomas More Parish, Round Hill Presbyterian, and Individual Volunteers!

Humility: the state of being humble

40 Days for Life is based on a Scripture passage about humility:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

We need to humble ourselves in order to recognize that we don’t have the power to defeat this problem on our own.  We have to turn to God, Who alone can end abortion forever.

Humility: From the Latin root humus, meaning ground.

The international headquarters of 40 Days for Life is emphasizing this need for humility with a new slogan:  “Knees on the Ground to End the Local Violence of Abortion”  Kneeling in prayer puts us in an outward posture of our inward state.  Kneeling reminds us–and everyone who sees us–that we are weak and in need of God’s help.

Humility: the theme of the Fall 2018 campaign of 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh…straight from the Holy Spirit to Nikki’s heart.

An inward state of humility and an outward posture of kneeling are so important for what we want to accomplish on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.  I love this theme and I’m grateful to Nikki for listening to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Despite all that, I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t kneeled on the street yet.  I guess I’ve been embarrassed by what people might think.  Not even the people passing by so much as the people with whom I’m praying…like I’m trying to show off or something.  I know it’s ridiculous…just proves that the devil will use any little angle he can to keep us from moving closer to God.

With God’s help, I plan to get over myself this week and kneel before Him on the sidewalk to ask for the immediate and permanent closure of Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh as well as an end to abortion everywhere.  Won’t you please come with me?

Here is a link to the schedule…  You can use it to find a good time to join us, or you can just show up when the Holy Spirit moves you to.  We’ll be at 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh from 7 AM to 7 PM now through November 4th.  When discerning whether or not to bring children with you, please be aware that there are passers-by who engage in varying degrees of aggressive behavior.


Scenes from the Sidewalk, Friday 10/19

7-9 AM, Nikki:

We had an awesome presence on the sidewalk for the 7 to 9 shift this morning! There were four of us from Saint Joe’s in Verona: Bob, Joyce, Tim and myself. Faithful Sally and Al were there also for our entire shift. Before my shift was over, a large group of Pittsburgh homeschoolers arrived, there must have been at least 15 of them! And also parishioners from St. Thomas Moore church in Bethel Park arrived for the beginning  of their church’s time slot which goes until three today! It was so inspiring to see the dedication of many people who are willing to come out in the cold morning to witness to the sanctity of every human life! There were couples beginning to enter the abortion clinic around 8 o’clock, some did take the information, others did not. The most inspiring thing that happened, I think, was that a young man named Mark stopped to talk to me to share his personal conversion with me. He was miraculously delivered from drugs, alcohol and homosexuality through direct help from Jesus and Mary! He is going to St. Mary of Mercy Church in town right now and carries a picture of Jesus with him everywhere he goes, which he took out of his bag and  showed to me. I am praising God for His miraculous works! Mark wants to get involved in 40 Days for Life and is planning to come to the sidewalk tomorrow when we have a need in the afternoon.  He told me to look up the testimony of a woman named Mary Catherine Baxter, which I will do. Supposedly she has books published all around the world. She supposedly received visions of heaven which showed her what happens to aborted babies. According to Mark, and according to this book which I will look up, every time a baby is aborted there are two angels on either side of the woman. They take the soul of the baby and put it in a white box. The soul is supposedly something like a gray mist. They carry it to Jesus, he holds the soul in his hand and breathes on it, and it becomes a full-grown nine-month-old baby. The baby is then named “precious”, unless the parents on earth have given the baby a name, and in that case, the baby receives the name given to her by his parents. I thought that was just beautiful, and it rings true to me. It was a blessed time on the sidewalk this morning! Thank you to everyone who came! 

St. Joe’s group
Faithful Sally & Al, celebrating 62 years of marriage tomorrow!
A touching Memorial left by someone on the sidewalk today
Catholic Homeschoolers of Pittsburgh along with Saint Thomas More parishioners


9-11 AM, Kathy:

When I arrived, Nikki and the group from St. Thomas Moore and a family of homeschoolers were receiving the rant from a woman stating her opinion as to why they shouldn’t be there on the sidewalk. As she left, she yelled, “…and Kavanaugh is going to overturn Roe vs Wade!”  We hope he and the other justices do soon, but remember this woman, and others like her, in your prayers.

Another homeschooling family came and prayed together on the other side of the circle.  Thank you, family.  The others and I read today’s devotional and sang the hymn, “All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name”.  It was the first time they heard this hymn.
Many folks passing by accepted literature.  One woman entering PP took a picture of both sandwich boards.  When she exited the building, I asked if she would like a pamphlet on fetal development which she declined.  She said that PP does other things than abortion that are good but appreciated my concern.
Dan and Bob from St Thomas More Church
Many roses brought today

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

St. Thomas More stood witness for the entire day.  Several of their parishioners were present during my shift.  They took pictures they planned to send to Nikki.  The shift was uneventful except for some disgusting and perverted art work being taken into Planned Parenthood.  They must have been planning to have a function because they were also taking in service ware.

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

We had a pretty quiet day today during the 1 – 3 shift.  We had some great people from St. Thomas More parish, as well as a couple other prayer warriors.

David, Mary Jane, Rose Ann and Leslie

David, Toni and Adriana
Carolyn and her daughter Karen

3-5 PM, Sue:

When I got there for the shift, Mary Jane was still there and Julius and Bob from Round Hill Church were already set up! It was busy on the sidewalk. Lots of people passing by. We handed out as much information as we could. We got some negative looks as well as positive comments. It always strikes me as odd when people glance at the baby models and than give you a negative look…they are biologically correct fetal models…! A woman who I recognized and recognized me, passed by and showed her displeasure that we were there. She was quite a ways down the sidewalk when she returned to have a discussion with us. We came to no agreement on our views, but Bob was really attentive and a good listener. She thanked us for that as she left, which I thought was a big step forward! I also want to relay a story from Cathy, who came to bring a flower after work. On her way down the sidewalk, she stopped to say a kind word to a woman with a disability. As they were chatting, the woman asked Cathy where she was going. When Cathy told her, the woman said that she knows ayoung lady who is in PP recovering from an abortion today. Cathy laid her flower on the sidewalk for that baby and will pray for the Mom. She took some post-abortion information in case she could pass it on to the woman on her way back. Lori, her daughter and daughter’s friend from Round Hill Church came to stand with us just as next SM David showed up as well Claire to pray the psalms and Jim on his way home from work.

Julius and Bob from Round Hill Church
Lori, her daughter and daughter’s friend from Round Hill Church
Cathy who dropped by after work to bring a flower to the vigil

5-7 PM, David:

We had a nice evening to pray and witness. An artist, Chiaka Howze, came by and wowed us with his gift of artistry evident in the picture he drew of Matt and Mayim. I wish I would have taken his picture. He was quite a character. It was the typical passersby. We had a few negatives and a few positives but it was good that we were there!  God Bless!

Round Hill Presbyterian minister Matt and his daughter Mayim
Chiaka Howze’s impressive sketch!
Memorial for precious lives lost at Planned Parenthood
Kaylee, Rayli, Benson, and Lori. The ladies are from Round Hill Presbyterian.
Rayli, James and Claire from St. Bernard’s, Lori, and Kaylee

Day 17: Thank You to St. Bonaventure, Holy Sepulcher, West Hills Baptist, Harvest Baptist, and Individual Volunteers!

As we near the halfway point of the campaign, we may be feeling a little worn out.  After all, it’s not easy to sacrifice our time and our comfort for 40 straight days.  But there’s no better way to recharge than to remember why we undertake this difficult task.  If your strength needs a boost, listen to these words of encouragement from people who have devoted their lives to ending the pain and suffering that abortion causes.

“I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task. My former abortion clinic is closed because of their sacrifice. Babies are alive because of them. Women are no longer being hurt by abortion in their community. You can do this. You can save a life. I now stand alongside you in this 40 Days for Life movement.”


“40 Days for Life is a testimony to the power of prayer and what can happen when we’re consumed by a magnificent obsession, namely that life is sacred and every baby at every stage of development deserves to be protected under law. God is on the move amidst the darkness.”


“40 Days for Life helps us to be spiritually aware of the need to pray for our unborn brothers and sisters, empowering us to be on the front-lines, reaching out to mothers and fathers with a message of hope. There is no movement more important, and 40 Days for Life is leading the fight, spiritually, and practically, in the trenches every day.”


“Fasting and praying with 40 Days for Life unifies pro-life energies and illuminates us with grace in our efforts to conquer the culture of death. I strongly encourage every person and organization that believes in the dignity of life to join the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion, restore families, and renew communities for life.”


“Historians will write about the crucial role that 40 Days for Life played in the end of legal abortion. We encourage each young activist that we train to become involved or lead a 40 Days for Life campaign in their community because we believe it is one of the most effective ways for our movement to abolish abortion.”


These encouraging quotes are from, where you can find lots of other uplifting news and stories.  One small way to fast today is to give up some time spent watching TV or checking out social media and instead, head to the 40 Days for Life site to feed your soul.  Then, with renewed strength and passion, go to to tell us when you’ll be joining us on the sidewalk as we stand for Life.  Or just show up at 933 Liberty Avenue any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.

Thanks, and God bless you!

~Jen M.


7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Pro-life witness takes to the street.
Tony, David, David, Theresa accompanied by two little boys; St. Bonaventure parish
Letting the world know why we’re in front of Planned Parenthood.
Friday morning arrived downtown as we helped Diane sort her sidewalk supplies.
Diane drove away and St. Bonaventure witnesses filled the sidewalk.
Tony, Theresa and David were joined by Saint John XXIII parishioners, Al and Sally.
David arrived with his two sons. Terry came and completed our sidewalk pro-life team.
Two young women declined help and went into PP.  One of the women came out soon after for a cigarette break.
She said that her friend already had two little children.  The dad was not helping.  Her friend felt she could not have another baby.
She then went on to say that she was alive because her mother had aborted a baby just before she became pregnant with her.
“I am alive because my mother had an abortion.”
We offered our hearts and our information.  That was not enough today.
We pray that some day the hearts of the people who had an abortion this morning will choose life and repent.


9-11 AM, Kathy:

Thank you to St. Bonaventure’s church members and Fr. John.
Thank you to SA Pastor Bryan, Fr. John, and a youngster from St. Bonaventure Church. The woman in the yellow jacket is Camille.
Before entering PP, Camille asked Theresa for a yellow card.  After 20 or so minutes, she exited PP and told me, with tears in her eyes, that 6 years ago, the sidewalk people (40 Days) helped her choose life for her daughter Serenity, now 6 years, old and that she also became a Christian that year. Camille accepted resources for a doctor and Pastor Bryan prayed for her before leaving us.  Please keep Camille and family in your prayers.
A few negative comments but more affirmations.

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

The 11-1 shift was without incident.  Holy Sepulcher had two representatives on my shift and several more came at 1PM.  Please see the pictures in Noreen’s report below!

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

Juanita, Debbie, Rich, Bob, Gretchen, Walt, George and Dave from Holy Sepulcher Church in Butler
Fran, Mystery Man Bill, Bonnie and Mike. Bonnie and Mike are from St. Bernard Parish.
A woman shared her story with Mary Jane about how 30 years ago she chose life and placed her daughter for adoption.
They prayed together and shared a hug.
A good day on the sidewalk today.  Several people stopped to talk to us with words of encouragement.  One man shared that his ex-girlfriend had an abortion at about 20 weeks.  That’s what broke them up but she recently contacted him and said she was sorry she did it.  We assured them we would pray for peace and healing for both of them.
Bernadette came by today with her beautiful picture of the Blessed

3-5 PM, Michael:

Two married couples (Larry & Karen seen here; David & Sara not pictured) from West Hills Baptist Church in Moon Twp along with Fran from St. Joseph in Verona and Michael, Shift Manager, from St. George.
 Delightful people who prayed fervently together. Much colder outside, but very warm volunteers with warm hearts and abundant love for the Lord. It was a peaceful and quiet vigil without incident.

5-7 PM, Sheila:

Sabrina, Debi, Joyce and Sam from Harvest Baptist Church in Natrona Heights; faithful Benson.
Benson of St. Ann Castle Shannon with Shelia, Shift Manager from Weirton, WV.

DAY 10: Thanks to Memorial Park Presbyterian, St. Teresa of Avila RL, St. Mary of the Assumption, Weirton Catholic Churches, Sidewalk Advocates, Shift Buddies, and Individual Volunteers


The virtue of humility is often confused with poor self-esteem or with false modesty.  As Christians, though, we know humility is really just awareness that our loving God has given us so much despite the fact that we have not earned any of it.  It’s also an awareness that He loves each of His children just as deeply as He loves me.  Humility calls us to look outside ourselves and to understand our place in relation to God and to His children.

That place is one of both honor and servitude.  We see it best in the life of Jesus Christ, Himself.  The very Son of God, present from the beginning of time, creator of all that is, deserves all honor and glory forever.  Yet He stooped to wash the dirty feet of His friends.

Jesus calls us to serve one another, just as He did.

Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant: whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.  For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mk 10:43-45

Humility lets us be aware of the needs of women and men caught up in difficult situations, of unborn children in danger of being aborted, of post-abortive sisters and brothers in need of healing.  Please join us on the sidewalk as we intercede for them in prayer and offer them help and hope.

Here is the link to see when your presence is most needed or to sign up for a particular time:  You are also welcome to just show up any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.

Check below for pictures and reports from today’s vigil.  And if you missed it, go back to the Day 9 post to read Helen’s joyful report of a life saved yesterday!  


7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Paul, Terri, Kathy, and Trish from Memorial Park Church
Richard, Steve, Sally, and Al


Kathy and Terri kneeling
Once again as we crossed the Veteran’s Bridge, we could see the Catholic Church far away above the Fort Pitt Bridge shining brightly.
The thin moon slice weakly but steadfastly lit a tiny part of the sky to the left.
All is right in the world!
Diane drove up and we sorted our supplies.
Kathy and Terri arrived promptly at 7.  Paul and Steve arrived soon after.
And then, Al and Sally.
The cast for prayer and witnessing was assembled and praying.  As you can see, Kathy and Terri spent time kneeling.
One young man stopped to “Praise the Lord.” The six of us joined hands and prayed the Lord’s Prayer.
It was a beautiful morning shift.

9-11 AM, Kathy:

Prayer warriors from St. Theresa parish
Sue to the rescue!
Thank you to the group from St. Theresa’s parish who came to pray during my shift.  Sue and Eileen answered the plea to come for the open last half hour.  Thank you ladies.
Many pedestrians were receptive to accepting the fetal development brochure.  Some PP patrons accepted literature but still entered clinic.  One older woman, who accompanied her daughter into PP blessed herself making the sign of the cross, turned to Sue and said, “What am I going to do, my daughter has MS?”  She entered before we could tell her about Pittsburgh Palliative and the name of a high-risk obstetrician.  Please pray for this family.




11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

We had two St. Mary of the Assumption participants during my time and three to four other individuals who stopped to pray. Relatively peaceful day.


1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

Noreen, David and Beth
Anna Marie and Debbie

It was a pretty good day with lots of positive comments.


3-5 PM, Pat:


This was the most ideal weather I think I’ve ever had for a shift.  Thank you Lord.  And thank you Fran for being my faithful shift buddy once again.  For most of the shift it was just Fran on one side and me on the other.  Although John (I didn’t get where he was from) did stay for a while at the beginning of my shift and SM David came early for his, so Fran and I did have company for part of the time.

The one thought that came to me while I was praying (I’m trying to do it on my knees as much as is practicable), was that you really can’t pray AND attempt to distribute literature to those going in and out of PP or passing by at the same time.  While I find this to be frustrating, and it makes me feel divided, I also reflected that this is something to be accepted by me in humility.  It’s a reminder to me that God is God and I am not.

The highlight of the evening for me was as I was praying on my knees next to PP on the “bar” side of building and looked up to see a woman at the top of the circle about to cross the street.  She had turned towards me, but didn’t say anything.  When I made eye contact with her, she gave me a big smile, blew me a big kiss, and said good and loud:  “Thank you.”  Now this would have been good enough in and of itself, but the woman behind her waiting to cross the street was (I believe) an employee of PP who had just walked out.  I wonder what she thought of that.


5-7 PM, David:

Lori and Mary (Sacred Heart of Mary), Bridget (St. Joseph the Worker), MiMi, and Benson

Tonight I was joined by some great prayer warriors! Weirton, WV was well represented by Lori, Bridget, and Mary. I can tell you, during Lent, Sacred Heart of Mary has the very best food!
Mimi and Benson, our rocks, were there like clockwork.
As they all signed in, a young man expressed his agreement with us and told us of a girl he knew in his youth who had an abortion. We all could see how he still carried the burden of that abortion. We all huddled together with him and prayed for him, the baby, and his healing.
Nikki and Joe came. She knelt and prayed the Rosary!
It was a beautiful evening, and God brought people together and worked through us! Thanks be to God!

Check back soon for more reports from the sidewalk!

DAY 3: Thank you to Friends from St. Joseph, St. Ferdinand Respect Life Group, North American Martyrs, Ascension Holy Name Society, a Shift Buddy and Individual Volunteers!

SPECIAL NOTE:  A few Pittsburgh streets will be closed part of Saturday and Sunday for the Great Race and the Junior Great Race.  Please see the list below before coming out to pray this weekend.  

That’s such an encouraging quote for us, since the Holy Spirit has led Nikki to name “humility” as the theme of Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for Life campaign this fall!  And truly, we are fighting the devil himself when we stand against abortion.

Humility is a powerful thing.  When someone approaches us prepared to engage in an argument, our humility can surprise them and calm them enough to discuss the issue with civility.  Even if that fails, our humility will be noticed by others witnessing the encounter and will make it more likely for them to consider what we have said with an open mind.  Most importantly, our humility makes us approachable to women and men who are caught in a difficult situation and are looking for an alternative to ending their child’s life.

No one could ever pass through the doors of Planned Parenthood with the intention of having an abortion if they were aware of how deeply they and their unborn child are loved by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  When we are present there in humility, we let God shine the light of that truth through us so that all might see.  We fight against the evil of abortion because we are aware of God’s immeasurable love for each of us, and we can increase our humility by remembering that we have only come to that knowledge through His grace and not through our own power.  Please join us on the sidewalk as, in humility, we pray and witness to the love God bears for each and every one of His children!  Click here to sign up for a specific time, or just show up any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.

Please note the following road closures if you will be joining us this weekend:

Road closures for the Junior Great Race on Saturday 9/29/18 starting at 10 AM

  • The city side of Fort Duquesne Boulevard from Commonwealth Place to 7th Street will be closed until 12 p.m., but the other side will remain open to vehicles.
  • Stanwix Street, Cecil Place and 6th Street will be closed between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue until 12 p.m. 
  • Commonwealth Place will not reopen until 1 p.m. 

Road closures for the Great Race on Sunday 9/30/18 starting at 6:30 AM

  •  Beechwood Blvd to Forbes Ave & Morewood Ave will be closed from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Forbes & Morewood Ave to Fifth Ave & Bigelow Blvd will be closed from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Fifth Ave & Bigelow Blvd to Fifth Ave & ramp to Blvd of the Allies will be closed from 6:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
  • Fifth Ave & ramp to Blvd of the Allies to Commonwealth Place & Liberty Ave will be closed from 6:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Here are pictures and reports from today’s vigil!

7-9 AM:  Richard & Barbara

Bill and Richard
Bob, Joyce, and Tim from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Verona
Sally, Al, and Chris
As Richard and I approached downtown this morning, we noticed the Church lit up on Mount Washington.  What a heartening sight.
Diane, Marian and Pat greeted us as we all set up for the first shift this morning.
At 7 AM sharp, Bob, Joyce and Tim arrived to pray from St. Joseph Church in Verona.  Tim had his Mother’s Rosary.
We prayed the Sorrowful and Joyful Mysteries over the next two hours.
Sally and Al arrived just as everybody else did.
A little later, Chris stopped to look at the fetal models.
After we talked awhile, he said that he had formerly stopped to talk with 40 Days volunteers.
He would do all he could to make them feel silly or uncomfortable.  When he read the Bible he would look for inconsistencies.
Today he is Pastor of Browns Hill Bible Chapel.
Chris led Sally, Al and me in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
9-11 AM:  Kathy
Kay, Linda, and Pam from St. Ferdinand’s Respect Life Group
Kay, Linda, and Pam from St. Ferdinand’s came to pray and each wore a baby picture sign.  While they spent time in prayer, I handed out many “Your Biography” sheets to passersby  that describe the development of the unborn child.  Most thanked me.
One woman,  accompanied by her grandmother, accepted resources but still went in to PP  for a pregnancy test.  She came out later and announced that she was parenting.  Around the same time, a group of toddlers from the local daycare walked by with their teachers.  Jesus loves the little children!
Several couples and individuals entered PP.  Some accepted literature upon exiting the building.
11 AM – 1 PM:  Marie

There were two men from North American Martyrs praying during the shift plus other unscheduled individuals who stopped to pray.  One man stopped for info and to pray.  Has a friend who is recently pregnant and also a drug addict and contemplating an abortion.  I provided him with info/literature.  He is going to try and bring this woman to meet and talk with 40 days staff on Saturday.  Pastor Bryan also provided information to this individual.  No untoward happenings.  No pictures – my camera needs to be recharged – hopefully next week.


1 – 3 PM:  Noreen

Dave, Albin, Bernadette and Fr. Joe
Dave, Albin, Fr. Joe and Nick

Lots of anger today on the sidewalk.  At the end a lovely woman came up and thanked us for being there witnessing and praying.  I guess it all evens out in the end.


3-5 PM:  Pat

Ted, John, and Eleanor
Ivy and her mother, Alyssa. Alyssa’s mother is the Campaign Director for the Columbia, MO, 40DFL campaign!

Well the first thing that hit me was the noise.  I had forgotten how loud this part of Liberty Ave. can be on a Friday afternoon.  But, you adapt, and “offer it up.”

Given our campaign’s emphasis on humility, our “Knees on the Ground” signs, and Nikki’s reflection from Thursday, I decided to start my shift by kneeling and saying a rosary.  I knelt next to the electrical post to shade myself from a surprisingly strong sun.  After praying a while and watching people go back and forth – and in and out of PP – it occurred to me as I saw a young woman coming out of PP, that I should offer my prayer time for her conversion.  She didn’t look like someone who had just had an abortion, but looked to be someone who was just visiting PP, perhaps for birth control.  I figured she would walk away as she left, but she was one of the rare PP visitors who stopped to look at our fetal models.  In fact, she looked at them long enough that I decided to get up, walk around the barrier, and let her know that, if she wanted, I could get her some literature on that and what we were doing.  Diane has things so well organized in the literature box that it only took me 30 seconds to get everything I wanted – including info on birth control.  I gave them to her and she accepted them, along with one of the soft fetal models we have.  She seemed to really like that (thanks, Jeannie’s friend!)  With prayer and good information, who knows how her life might now be forever altered.

I’d like to thank Ted for being with me for the first hour and John and Eleanor for both hours.  And also for Philene who prayed with me during my last 1/2 hour.  But I especially want to thank my shift buddy, Fran, who was there when I got to the vigil and then agreed to stay with 5-7 SM David until either his shift buddy showed or the scheduled church group showed up.


5-7 PM:  David

Charlene and Ed from Ascension Church, Benson, Theresa from St Bernadette, and Paul from St Joe’s
Beautiful flowers left in memory of the precious lives ended at Planned Parenthood.
Joining me in prayer and witness was Benson.  This is his third year and he comes every day. Charlene and Ed from Ascension Church, Theresa from St Bernadette, and Paul from St Joe’s also came. It was a beautiful warm sunny day.

40 Days for Life Pittsburgh Kicks off Fall 2018 Campaign!

Tonight’s kickoff rally sends us into our 40-day campaign full of purpose and motivation…grateful thanks to all who led and participated in this evening of encouragement!

May God bless us with humility and strength as we enter these days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion here in Pittsburgh and all over the world!

Jim & Audrey, Masters of Ceremony
Fr. Donley offered enthusistic encouragement and support.
Katy’s beautiful voice led us in praise and worship of our God, Who alone has the power to end abortion.
So grateful to Nikki for being open to the Holy Spirit as she leads our efforts!
Helen updated us on the amazing activities of PCUC, generous sponsor of our campaign and Pittsburgh pro-life powerhouse.
Joe expertly led the “auction” of empty hours, and selfless souls agreed to cover each one.
Shift managers and buddies gratefully received a blessing.
Pastor Bryan closed our rally with a beautiful blessing and a blast of the shofar as we go out to do spiritual battle.