Day 38: Thanks to St. John’s (Burry’s) Church, North American Martyrs and St. Michael Parishes, Weirton Catholic Churches, and loving individual Volunteers

The sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue has been bursting with life and love over the last six weeks! Just scroll back through the blog posts from this campaign and see how many beautiful pictures and reports there are.

You have sacrificed your time and comfort to bring the love of Christ to those in need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of this vital mission. 

You have undoubtedly touched lives with your presence and your prayers, though you may never hear the details until you are welcomed home to Heaven. 

We should certainly celebrate the accomplishments of the last 40 days. But we also know there is more to be done.

Planned Parenthood has not yet closed its doors. Unborn children continue to lose their lives there; mothers and fathers continue to suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually because of it.

Throughout the year, Sidewalk Advocates for Life reach out to women who are entering PP on abortion days.  Please consider joining them to offer prayer support Tuesday through Saturday mornings from 7-11 AM. Or become a Sidewalk Advocate yourself!  The next training session is soon:

Saturday, June 1 from 10 AM – 3 PM
Knights of Columbus Hall in Bellevue
Please RSVP by May 27th

Contact info:
Sue M. (susanmcgrath526@comcast.net)
Sue D. (smfreedy@aol.com)
Charlie (412-716-2789)
Tim (timbarr5480@gmail.com)

May God work through us to end the horror of abortion,
and may He bless us all with His love and peace!

“Love never says: I have done enough!”
–Saint Marie-Eugenie de Jesus



SIDEWALK REPORTS

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Tom, Pastor Win and Dave, Richard and I, all arrived to a sun almost already out and breezy warm Friday.
Who would believe that Pittsburgh has a building dedicated to the unthinkable depravity of legalized abortion?
As she was going in, she stopped.  The beautiful executive type young woman came over to me and told me to get that off her building.  
This is not your building, I noted.  However, I did remove the red roses because heaven only knew what she would have done to them otherwise.
Richard, Dave and I asked Pastor Win to lead us in prayer.  Moments later, Pastor Win knelt on his prayer rug and remained in silent prayer for quite a while.
Pastor Win and Dave belong to St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church in Beaver.  It is called Burry’s Church because the land was purchased from the Burry family in 1836.
Dave accepted one of Jeanne’s baby pictures that has an entire side dedicated to prayers.  He was grateful for her good sense in providing this for us.
At one point a truck pulled up and the driver and helper entered pp.  The truck side mentioned something about building excellence.  I was reminded of the Psalm: If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.  God pours blessings on those faithful to him while they sleep.
Passers by heaped blessings on us.  I’m pretty sure I saw Al and Sally…can’t be sure.  People came to repaint the golden arch.  The supervisor asked if we knew Al and Sally.  He was in school with their son Frank.
Pittsburgh is a small city…a good thing.

Barbara
Sally and Al with their daughter…although this picture is from earlier in this campaign, they are always present in spirit on that sidewalk!

9-11 AM, Kathy and Marianne:

Thank you to all who came today.  Ten in all over the 2 hour shift.  David and Pastor Win from St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church, regulars Terry and Bill H.
Sidewalk Advocate Kim stopped by and helped diffuse a heated conversation from a passerby by offering her resources.  Thanks Kim.
Most pp patrons didn’t want resources but many passersby accepted them.  A pp vendor accepted the yellow card.  Hopefully it will be a seed that bears fruit.
Mary Ann and Chris from St. Catherine’s, Megan M, and Mary and Gary M who were passing through, thank you for coming.

Kathy

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Pastor Bryan:

1-3 PM, Elaine:

…coming soon!

3-5 PM, Fran:

I admit to being a little apprehensive about the potential for storms today, but I am thankful to say that it only rained lightly for about a half hour into the shift.  But that did not dampen the spirits of the faithful from Weirton.  John, Mary, Bridget, Daniel and Lori arrived on time, in spite of having just driven through torrential rains, and they were ready for prayer.  Umbrellas in hand, we started with the petitions followed by the Sorrowful Mysteries then we used our cell phones to find other prayers and reflections.  From the picture you can see that the young man of the group participated confidently and devoutly, taking his turn reading the petitions and also leading a decade of the Rosary – sincerely, he is a prayer warrior in every way – his young age was not an obstacle.  I believe PP closes early (this is not my normal shift) because I saw only a few women leave and later, only employees.  Not long after we finished the rosary, a man looking to be in his very early 20s approached our group, thanked us, and said that he supports what we are doing.  Then he extended his hand and offered a donation of $10.00.  We thanked him and asked if he would like to join us but he apologetically said he could not at this time.  Later in the shift we were approached by one man and, a short time later, another.  Both were requesting money and I explained our policy to each.  The first man did not accept my answer and proceeded to address each person in the group, individually, before going on his way somewhat loudly.  Dave, the 5-7pm shift manager arrived early.  He talked to each person in our group then pulled a bag from his pocket and offered 40 Days for Life pins and bracelets to the everyone – and they were very appreciative of his kindness.  

5-7 PM, David and Bill:

What a beautiful evening it turned to be. From the pictures you can see the smiling faces of some powerful prayer warriors. Some responded to the request on the blog. While some felt motivated from seeing the movie Unplanned. I thank God and ask Him to Bless all of them and their families.
As usual, we had some disparaging remarks but, they were overwhelmed by those who said, “God Bless you”! 
When the evening was over, I think we all felt like we were just getting started. We were ready for more than 40daysforlife !
Peace be with you !

David

Carissa, Justin, Michelle, Ursula, Tom, Diane, Bill

Bill and his wife Ursula

Carissa, Alex, Jim, Justin

Day 31: Thank you to St. Irenaeus/St. Januarius/St. John the Baptist/St. Joseph/Our Lady of Joy Parishes (OPV Catholic), St. Teresa of Avila Parish, St. Regis Knights of Columbus & Parish, and loving Individual Volunteers

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is so much darkness and hate afflicting the people who enter Planned Parenthood’s doors. 

That kind of darkness gives cover to the lies that are told:  “It’s only a blob of tissue.”  “You can’t handle a child right now.”  “It’s your body, you can do whatever you want with it.” 

That kind of hate gives rise to a host of evil:  Medical professionals ending lives rather than caring for them.  Counselors deceiving women about abortion being the solution to their problem.  The hearts of mothers turning against their own children.

As Christians, we are aware that the people involved are not evil themselves; rather, they have been duped by the evil one. 

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.  —Ephesians 6:12

To end that darkness and hate…to free our brothers and sisters from it…we have to bring light and love to that awful place. 

God Himself is Light and Love, and bringing Him to the people trapped in darkness and hate is what 40 Days For Life is all about. 

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. –1 John 1:5   

Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.  —1 John 4:8

THANK YOU to all who have brought God to 933 Liberty Avenue during this Lenten campaign.

There is still time to join us in this incredibly important mission…come any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until Sunday, April 14th. 


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

Richard, Fran and I arrived at the same time accompanied by a light drizzle.  
With the agility of experience Tom was already there arranging and sorting the bin and supplies. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer before Tom left.
I am ashamed to admit that I have not yet remembered to bring flowers!
Next Friday is my last chance. 
Richard covered the far side of the golden half circle in witness and prayer.
Fran and I caught each other up with Good News.
We shared greetings with passers by. We offered “God bless you” to everyone entering PP.  All offers of prolife help were refused.
One young woman asked about Al and Sally and we noted how they get better every day and plan to reclaim their place with us on the sidewalk. They will always have their place in our hearts!!
It is such a blessing to come to the sidewalk with Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life.

Barbara

Tom and Shift Buddy, Fran

Kathy and Marianne, 9-11 AM:

Thank you to Tim, Joyce, Fran, and Bob from St. Joseph’s Church from Verona.  Also thank you to Fri regulars Terry and Bill H. (not pictured) for coming. We started our time by reading the 40 days devotional and then I focused on reaching out to pp patrons while the others prayed.  We came together again around 10:30 reading some psalms together and praying the intentions on the back of the baby signs.

I passed out my first Spanish translation of the brochure “Watch Me Grow” to a young Spanish speaking couple who were passing by.  They were very appreciative of the literature.  Also gave resources to 3-4 pp patrons as they exited.  They too, were appreciative for the resources.

Several passersby by thanked us for being there and a mother and teenage daughter positively acknowledged the fetal model display.  Some negative comments.

Kathy

Tim, Joyce, Fran, and Bob from St. Joseph’s Church in Verona

Fran and Pastor Bryan, 11 AM-1 PM:

We had a very pleasant lunch-time crowd passing by today and I was happy that quite a few accepted the literature being offered.  I imagine they were thankful that the clouds were withholding their gifts from us.  Nancy from St. John the Baptist in Plum and Eileen from a Presbyterian Church in Penn Hills joined me today as well as our regular sidewalk advocates, Pastor Bryan and Walt.  We joined in prayer and shared some conversation together.  The movie, Unplanned, had been seen by everyone of us, and some more than once.  Unquestionably, it inspired each of us to a deeper commitment and also to hope because, on every occasion, the movie was well attended.  We are all praying that many will seek the truth that is so clearly revealed in this movie.  Late in the shift, a woman of the Muslim faith stopped to talk with Pastor Bryan and she offered a bag of supplies that would be helpful to an individual in need.  Pastor Bryan said he knew of someone who could use the items and that he would be happy to deliver them.  It is interesting to me that every day on the sidewalk is so different. 

Fran
Nancy and Eileen with Pastor Bryan

Elaine, 1-3 PM:

Pat and Joe, 3-5 PM:

Things seemed quieter on the sidewalks and the streets today.  I found it peaceful and conducive to prayer.  While I had signed up my parish, St. Regis, for this two-hour shift, no one came.  (I did have participants from my parish for a 2 hour shift on a Sunday morning earlier in the campaign, however.  So that’s at least some consolation to me.)  Therefore, I was VERY grateful that faithful Joe from St. Bernadette’s answered the call and came to stand with me.  It was also good to see Mark, a former SM (I believe) stop by to pray.  It was nice to be able to catch up with him.

I had no negative comments – plus I had a lot of people stop to read my sign, which was about how over 2,300 people are killed in this building each year.  The one interesting thing that happened was that a couple that seemed to be from another country – perhaps an eastern European country – tried to go into the building, but the door wouldn’t open for them despite the fact that I had seen others enter w/out problem.  I tried to give them a card, but they just walked away.

Pat

David and Bill, 5-7 PM:

It was only me and Bill on the sidewalk. The first hour and a half only produced two positives but lots of indifference. Then, a man stopped as his two sons were interested in the models. They were about 6 and 7. I told them, “You were that size at one time in your Mom’s belly.” They had many questions. I gave them some little babies and information. Their inquisitive minds were open and wanted to learn. Thank God! All the indifference disappeared!

David

A few more pix from Day 25…


9-11 SM, Sue, with Prayer warriors from St. Sebastian
(ADVICE:  please don’t block the 937 doorway, as we are guilty of doing here!)

Tom and John from Our Lady of Lake

Denise, Donna, mighty men from Starksdale with 3-5 SM, Kathy
Go see the movie, Unplanned, as soon as you can–
it’s so important to understand what really goes on
inside Planned Parenthood!

Day 24: Thank you to Oakmont/Plum/Verona Catholic Community, Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Holy Sepulcher Parish, West Hills Baptist Church, and Courageous Individuals!

Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.  A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.  He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’  Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”  He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” 

Luke 10:30-37

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has a wonderful and well-known reflection on this Scripture passage.  He points out that the priest and the Levite refused to help because they asked the very natural question, “What will happen to me if I stop?”  The Samaritan came to the man’s aid because he asked a different question: “What will happen to him if I don’t stop?” 

In Shawn Carney’s recent book, The Beginning of the End of Abortion, he relates an incident from a 40 Days for Life vigil held in front of a busy Planned Parenthood clinic in California.  A dedicated volunteer was praying there when an angry woman confronted her.  The volunteer listened attentively and spoke to the woman gently, in truth and love.  At that point, the woman broke down, acknowledging that her own abortion at that clinic years before had destroyed her life. 

The woman then lamented that no one had been there to offer her an alternative on the day of her abortion.  She asked the volunteer, over and over, “Where were you?  Where were you when I needed you?”  The volunteer took a hard look inward and had to answer honestly that she had been too timid back then.  She sincerely apologized to the woman for lacking the courage to be there in her time of need.

Way too often, I am like the priest and Levite, asking about my own needs when considering whether or not to stand on that sidewalk.  This woman’s story hits me hard and reminds me of what I should be asking instead: “What will happen to her if I don’t stop to pray at the vigil?”


REPORTS FROM THE SIDEWALK:

7-9 AM, Nikki:

I was blessed to be accompanied by my old friend Bob, from St. Joe’s in Verona for my 7-9 shift this morning.  It was just the two of us for the first hour or so, and we spent it in peaceful prayer, under our umbrellas.  I distributed many beautiful rose petals on the sidewalk, in memory of the little ones whose bodies are torn apart inside those doors.  We received all positive comments, many people thanked us for being there.  Many smiles from pre-schoolers being led by their moms to the nearby daycare.  They love seeing the baby models and I wonder what kind of impression seeing people praying in the rain makes upon their little impressionable minds?  Many seeds are planted!
 
No one else was scheduled to come, so I was very pleasantly surprised to see Marilyn coming towards us at a little after 8 am.  She had seen the movie, “Unplanned”, last night, and was so moved by it that she woke up this morning and decided to join us!  Praise God for that and I hope the movie moves many more to join us!  Couples began going in for abortions around 8.  I put away my rosary and put on my sidewalk advocate “hat”, and began to reach out to the abortion-bound couples.  Sadly, no one took me up on my offers of help…that I know of.  But, as Abby said in the movie last night…when we are out there…their no-show rate climbs.  She calls it “Planned Parenthood’s dirty little secret”.  It is hard to believe….but I have to believe it.  We do make a difference.

Nikki

Bob and Nikki, St. Joes 7 to 9

Flower petals in the rain

Marilyn was a welcomed sight!

9-11 AM, Kathy and Marianne:

Thank you to Pastor Matt, from Reformed Presbyterian Church of Oakland and Dan B. From Mother of Sorrows Church, Murrysville.  Also to Marilyn, not pictured, for coming to pray today.

Very rainy today.  I passed out yellow cards to some passersby and pp patrons.  A distraught woman passed, perhaps homeless, stating to me that she “didn’t want to live like this anymore.” I googled bigburgh.com, but the woman didn’t like the services and walked away.  I called the contact number and left message.

Kathy
Pastor Matt and Dan

11 AM-1 PM, Barbara and Pastor Bryan:

Kathy stayed for a moment to talk about UNPLANNED. Abby Johnson’s movie memoir was riveting.
Holy Sepulcher parishioners arrived and more just kept coming.
Sandi, Michael, Debbie and George came.  Walt came alone. “I come year round.  I pray the Rosary for this every day!”  
Pastor Bryan had a powerful conversation with a  woman who passionately supported her “right to choose.”
John, from the Latin Mass Community, came and started right into prayer.  
Connie and George joined in the Sorrowful Mysteries.
We read the prayers from the back of Jeannie’s pictures.We prayed the daily Devotional.
These parishioners came to pray and never stopped.
Traffic was noisy and persistent over the lunch hour.  It had a friendly feel.
It was sad to see young people going into PP.  Most had a friend with them.

Barbara

Walt, Sandi, Debbie,George, Michael (Holy Sepulcher)


Holy Sepulcher and Pastor Bryan, shift buddy

Connie and George, Holy Wisdom parishioners

1-3 PM, Elaine:

During my shift today I had parishioners from Holy Sepulcher Church with me.  One of the parishioners had a connection with a prison in Florida.  Some of the prisoners from that prison are praying for our pro-life efforts.

Elaine

3-5 PM, Pat:

I didn’t lack for company this afternoon.  When I arrived, the four faithful members of West Hills Baptist Church were there.  It was good to see those familiar faces from so many campaigns.  [And they’re always so good at passing out our literature and engaging people who pass by.]  Also there were Val and Mike from St. Mark’s in the McKeesport area, who I met last week for their very first trip to the sidewalk.  It was so encouraging that first experience brought them back.  And they promised to keep coming back as well.  Finally, we had Greg from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon.  He came because he’s a friend of Dave’s from WHBC.  It was his first time and he felt like God was calling him to be here.  He certainly was able to engage just about every passerby.  Keep him in prayer as he discerns further.

I encouraged him (as well as some of the others) to go see Unplanned this weekend if it was at all possible.  I also promised to put Greg in touch with our Sidewalk Advocates leaders as he seemed interested in possibly taking the training. 

Pat

Val and Mike from Liberty Boro – St. Mark’s

David, Pastor Larry, Karen, and Rose from West Hills Baptist Church

Greg from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon

5-7 PM, Fran and Bill:

It was a very quiet Friday evening, very little interaction on the sidewalk.  Bill and I were joined by a faith-filled family from St. Kilian: Gabe, Mike, Lianne and John.  Lianne was at the vigil earlier in the week.  She had searched the schedule to see where there were openings and filled in where we needed – very much appreciated!  We began the evening with the Prayers of Petition to end abortion and we prayed the Rosary at 6:00.  One gentleman stopped to look at our display.  He is not from Pittsburgh and so he was seeing 40 Days for Life for the first time and he was very thankful to see people standing for the babies.  Diane and Tom came to pickup the materials.  Gabe and John jumped right in wanting to help – their kindness and thoughtfulness were truly appreciated.

Fran
Bill


Gabe, Mike, Lianne and John

Day 17: Thanks to St. Thomas More & St. John Capistran Parish, Christ Church at Grove Farm, and Round Hill Presbyterian Church!

PLEASE NOTE: Vigil Cancelled tomorrow (Saturday) due to the possibility of violence! The vigil will resume on Sunday.

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?   No one is good but God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’   He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Mark 10:17-22

Jesus loved this man, so He told him how to be truly happy.  But the man walked away from Jesus.  How disappointing, frustrating, and heartbreaking that must have been for our Lord.

We, too, experience such heartbreak when we watch women go into PP.  We love them, so we tell them about better options that will allow them to be truly happy.  But all too often they walk away. 

I heard a beautiful homily on this Gospel passage once…I believe it was by Venerable Fulton Sheen in a rebroadcast of his radio show, “Life is Worth Living.”  In the sermon, he points out that we don’t actually know how this man’s story ends.  It’s possible he later reconsidered and came back to Jesus. 

Likewise, we don’t know the end of the story for the women who enter PP.  It’s possible some of them reconsider in time to save the life of their child.  And for those who don’t, it’s possible they will come back to Jesus for forgiveness and healing later on.

One thing we do know is that Jesus never stopped loving this man, no matter what the man decided to do.  And we are called to imitate that patient, merciful love for the women…and men…on the sidewalk. 


VIGIL REPORTS

Barbara & Richard, 7-9 AM:

Friday at PP began with Diane and Tom blessings. The bins were sorted and Tom zoomed away into the traffic. We remembered Al and Sally as they pray from home, steadily recovering.
Mary and Tim joined us. They got the email and felt the call. God is irresistible!  Not much later, Beth joined us. We were becoming a crowd. We prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries. A little later, Mary led us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Bill shared his holy water.  
Flowers arrived and surprised the brown grey wintered street with their color, shapes and fragrance … reminding me of the unique blessing each of our newborn babies brought.   
Parents taking children to day care, middle school children hurrying to class, PP employees, abortion bound mothers and fathers…the sidewalk was full. We prayed and focused on the PP doors. Almost  no one entered that building without our greeting and offer of support.  We could not tell if our offers will be fruitful. Nothing is impossible with God.
The next shift arrived and a gentle drizzle began.

Barbara
The beauty of new life on display!

Kathy & Marianne, 9-11 AM:

Thank you to those who came to pray this morning.
Passed out lit to passersby.  A few pp patrons accepted info.  One young woman approaching pp accompanied by her aunt was on her way in for an ultrasound and counseling.  The aunt accepted lit and said she would talk to her neice.  Let’s hope and pray for a good outcome.

Kathy

Karen and Carolyn from St. Thomas More and Friday Morning regular Terry

Sheila & Pastor Bryan, 11 AM-1 PM:

While we pray for the women who had abortions today, a couple of young men passing by need a lot of prayers too.
Not long after I arrived, a tall, thin young white man named Mark started to move the sandwich board (by the tall grey power/electric box?) but walked away when redirected by one of our vigil participants from St. Thomas More. Mark then came over to the fetal display.  He very calmly told me that he wanted to get rid of it, that it bothered him. When advised against it, he stood in front of the display for over an hour to block its view from the public and continued to engage with Pastor Bryan and other vigil participants. Mark shared his personal belief that Planned Parenthood does wonderful work for the community and, that there was no God. He was especially irritated to see “so many men praying” because “men have no say in what a woman does with her body.”  When it became clear that he was thwarting our efforts to reach out to women entering the clinic and hounding those engaged in prayer, we wished him well, withdrew our attention from him and prayed aloud.  He finally walked away, but not before supposedly making a donation to Planned Parenthood (via his phone) in our names. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps showing up.
In the meantime, on the other side of the sidewalk, a young man, who looked to be identifying as a woman, draped a rainbow flag over his shoulder like a cape. He wrote F*&% You on a piece of notebook paper and stood next to vigil participants from St. Thomas More who were saying the rosary.  This young man was shown love and respect by those participants, but sadly he responded by throwing them the finger, multiple times.  

Sheila

Elaine, 1-3 PM:

The pro-lifers that gathered today during my shift did not let the weather (the rain, the snow, the hail, the wind) discourage them from prayer and fellowship.
The sun came out a few times, as one pro-lifer said “God is shining is love upon us.”

Elaine

Pat, 3-5 PM:

With the wind as it was, I didn’t bother with a sign, but I did put a 40DFL “Pray to End Abortion” button on my jacket.  (I’ve also concluded that it’s best for me to pray on my knees as much as I can instead of trying to engage people.  It just feels more right for me.) 

Bob and Linda were already there when I got there, praying, with Linda handing out literature as well.  (And they both wore/held signs as well!)  When Val and Mike from St. Mark’s in McKeesport got there a little later, Linda had the good sense to gather us in together to say some prayers.  Thank you for that, Linda.  Great thought.  And, we had almost no negativity from anybody.  One guy even dropped off some flowers for us.  

Pat
Bob and Linda from Round Hill Presbyterian; Val and Mike from St. Mark’s

David & Bill, 5-7 PM:

It was cold and windy. We had some powerful prayer warriors on the sidewalk. We had many people thank us. Unfortunately, one girl, coming out of the gay bar,  spit on the models. We told her to have a good day, then prayed for her. A guy about thirty tried to spit on the models twice. His aim wasn’t good. We prayed for him too. Thank God!

David

Day 10…Thank you to St. Ferdinand Parish and Loving Individual Volunteers

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

― St. Therese of Lisieux

During this 40-day campaign, I’m blessed with many opportunities to make a small sacrifice for love by standing vigil outside Planned Parenthood.   

Coming to the vigil requires me to give up some of my time.  My responsibilities leave me with very few free moments, so it’s definitely a sacrifice to use them for driving downtown, parking, walking to the vigil, and staying there to pray.

Standing on that sidewalk also means I have to sacrifice some of my comfort.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer staying on the couch in my warm, dry house to purposely going out on a cold, wet, windy day.  And it’s not just physical comfort involved…I have to be willing to take on some mental and spiritual discomfort, too.  It’s not easy to put my faith into action where so many people without faith will see and judge me.  It’s not easy to listen to the negative remarks of some who disapprove of my being there.  And it’s definitely not easy to come to terms with what is actually going on inside that building and how I ever let myself ignore it. 

Looking at it from my own individual perspective, it doesn’t sound like such a SMALL sacrifice after all. 

Actually, it sounds kind of tough, and I don’t think I want to do it…until I place it next to Christ’s sacrifice for me. 

Now it looks truly small, and very do-able…with His grace.

Now it seems like the least I can do for love of the God who loves me so much.


Here are the reports from those who made the loving sacrifice to be at the vigil today!

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Friday 7-9 shift always included Al and Sally. We are saving their place.
Today, Mary from St. Sylvester signed up and came to witness and pray with Richard and me. Her warm heart made all the difference.
We had to photograph the bus as it stopped for the light. “Here’s the plan for the road ahead.” So true! How wonderful when a man and woman and their children are together and sacred in God. You see the joy of the Holy Spirit in their faces, right?
“God bless you today,” we said as people passed including those entering PP.
One PP woman scolded us. “Get something useful to do. Stop coming here to shame women.” Mary talked with her while she could. The woman kept walking away.
A lovely teenager, wearing the tats and piercings appropriate for her age, noticed the fetal models and graciously discussed babies, science, God, mothers, dads, friends, and being pretty much on her own.  If I had a magic wand…but God gives us other things.
Shalani and Kay and Kathy (9-11 shift manager) arrived. 
God is so good to share the sidewalk with us.

Perfect!

Kay from St. Ferdinand and Mary from St. Sylvester (shift prayer buddy)

9-11 AM, Kathy:

Thank you to Kay and Shalani from St Ferdinand’s church and regular participant Terry for coming to pray this morning.  Bill H also stopped by offering holy water to participants.

Passed out almost all of my lit to passersby and some to pp patrons.  Two women, who were going into the clinic, accepted yellow cards and stopped to briefly talk with me, but still entered pp. Not for abortion though.

A mother came by with her daughter who was about the age of 6, and stopped to take a picture of the fetal models.  

Kay, Terry, and Shalani

11 AM-1 PM, Elsie and Pastor Bryan:

The 11-1 shift had many negatives, chiefly that a lot of victims went into PP.  My personal negative was a selfish cowardice that made me hang back from approaching one couple & one woman who came outside on more than one occasion.  What was I afraid of?  If a gentle offer of help & a persuasive plea for their child’s life makes someone mad, we still haven’t made things any WORSE for them or their baby, have we?  What other approach can we use?

Now for the POSITIVES!!  When I arrived, the ever-gentle, ever-faithful-to-the-babies Kathy was there, offering help to everyone entering, exiting, or passing by.  Two angelic-looking ladies were there as prayer warriors, just finishing their shift.  Then Pastor Bryan arrived, & the new shift started, with Pastor on one side of the Bubble & me on the other, both of us handing out lit.  Pastor is always VERY good at engaging folks in conversation!!

We were soon joined by a lovely couple from Mother of Sorrows Parish in Murrysville.  This was their first time out on the sidewalk in many years, but they hit the pavement running — & praying!  The sweet wife didn’t have any of my selfish cowardice; she went over to the couple & the woman who came outside (separately) & gently, sincerely offered them help. Surely good seeds were sown thereby, even if lives weren’t saved today.  Her husband offered lit packets to everyone he saw exiting PP, & some of them accepted it!  
Pastor Bryan & I knew we were leaving the sidewalk in good hands, as a brave lady from Holy Spirit in Millvale began offering lit even before we left.  Elaine & a lovely lady from the Legion of Mary also arrived before I left.

1-3 PM, Elaine and Marianne:


Prayers are needed for a 25 year old woman who had an abortion today who felt she had no choice because she was raped.

I talked to a passerby who knows of a woman who is pregnant but she is also a drug addict as well.  Prayers are needed for her and her unborn child.

A young man thanked us as he told us that his girlfriend had an abortion some time ago.  He broke up with her because of it.  He started to cry and said “That was my child.”

3-5 PM, Pat:

Today I experienced a very peaceful shift – save for the woman who told me I had no business being there since I was a man.  I spent much of the time praying on my knees on the materials side of the circle while Missy, my SB, spent her time reading and praying over Sacred Scripture from the other side.  (Forgive me, Missy, for forgetting to ask about the name of your church and where you were from!)  

I did see many people coming out, one of whom I was certain had had an abortion.  It’s funny that it’s not something I dwell on much while I’m there.  However, in this instance, the reality of watching a woman walk down the sidewalk who had just killed her own child really hit me.  

Missy in prayer with the Scriptures

5-7 PM, David and Bill:

It was only me and Bill but the sidewalk was crowded with people out for a Friday night. A few accepted info. Two young men with skateboards stopped and debated for a while. They were very civil, and that surprised me. Bill said, “we are planting seeds.”
A young couple exited PP, she was walking very gingerly. I offered info but the man declined.
A lady named Rose stopped by and thanked us and said that she had joined 40 Days for Life in Indianapolis, Indiana. She said it was very rewarding.
A young lady and her daughter walked by the models and the daughter said, “Mommy, I like that little baby!”

Day 3: Thank you to Jefferson County Christian School and Individual Volunteers!

“It’s true love.”  Pop culture paints us a picture of overwhelming emotion sweeping people off their feet, carrying them off to happily-ever-after.  But pop culture doesn’t really believe in “true love,” relegating the concept to princess cartoons and romance novels. Good thing, because that’s not what it actually looks like anyway.

True love can be beautiful, but it can also be messy and difficult and tiring.  True love is holding someone’s hand as the doctor tells them bad news. True love is asking for forgiveness after you’ve hurt someone.  True love is driving a beat-up old car so you can share the money you save with someone in need.

True love wants the highest and best good for the loved one, even when it means putting that person’s needs before your own.  The best example of true love that humankind has ever seen? Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, giving up everything that was rightfully His…taking on everything that we suffer…offering His very life for our salvation.

He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.

John 13:1

This is the kind of love we need in our lives, and the kind that we need to give to everyone around us.  It’s the kind of love that leads a young woman in a difficult situation to choose life for her unborn child, and the kind that moves others to surround her with support.  May God use our presence on the sidewalk to open all hearts to that kind of love–His kind of love–TRUE love. Thank you for being a part of this campaign!

-Jen

Here are the pictures and reports from today’s vigil!

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Richard and Tom
Marianne, Kathy, and Libby

Rosy red skies glowed on our left as we crossed the Veteran’s Bridge into Downtown.
22 Degrees and we were bundled so completely that we would not have recognized each other except that we traveled in the same car.
Tom had already set up the bins. Passers by and vehicles already competed for space.
One by one, beginning around 7:30, people went into PP and then a young couple lingered to finish a cigarette each. We offered free available confidential help, but they resolutely entered. Three more couples and a young woman alone went in. One young tall healthy looking man rode his bike to the door, swiftly opened it and skillfully maneuvered his bike inside. I prayed that someday soon he will offer his youthful vitality in the cause for life.
One man gave me a dollar. I gave it away soon after asking the person to, “Pass it on!” A good vibe to share for life. One young woman waiting in her car at the light across the street, opened her window, and called, “Thank you!” to me.
Kathy, Marianne and Libby showed up and our first Shift was complete.
God is so good!

9-11 AM, Kathy and Marianne:

Friends from Jefferson County Christian School
Bringing the love of Christ to all who pass by
Young people are the future and the hope of the Pro-Life movement!

Thank you to individual volunteers and Jefferson County Christian School group.
My shift started by quietly praying together with Marianne and Libby. After we finished, I turned my attention to passing out literature while the ladies continued praying. Some patrons accepted the lit, others didn’t.  Most passersby accepted lit. 
 One young couple who accepted the lit and entered pp, exited about 30 minutes later with the young lady holding a white paper in her hand.  She pulled the lit out of her pocket and put both together.  Let’s hope and pray she looks at the resources and uses them.
A large group from Jefferson County Christian School arrived (20 total) eager to pray and reach out to those needing help.  These young people and chaperones showed the joy of the Lord through their prayers, songs, and willingness to be there.  God bless them and all who came today.

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Pastor Bryan:

Witnesses for life and love from Jefferson County Christian School

I had the great pleasure of spending my shift with this wonderful group from Jefferson County Christian School (Wintersville, Ohio) which included Pastor Martin and Pastor Foster.  Pastor Brian is pictured as well.  It was inspiring to see these youth in action, as they reached out to passersby and those entering the clinic with smiles, encouraging words and prayers. One story of note – Pastor Foster prayed over a young woman who had an abortion on Valentine’s Day and was returning to PP for a checkup.  She teared up and told us that she regrets the abortion. “I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway.” She said she wishes we were there the day she had her abortion. She also noted that her mom is the most pro-life person you’d ever want to meet. She was provided with post-abortion healing resources. 

1-3 PM, Elaine and Missy:

On my first day of being a shift manager I was excited to see so many youth  from the previous shift as I arrived at Planned Parenthood.  As I talked to a few of them before my shift started, I was filled with joy in seeing their commitment to the pro-life movement.  They were students from Jefferson County Christian School in Ohio.  During my shift, the encouragement that I felt in the midst of the darkness in the evil of abortion was when some people who passed us by gave us a smile and said “Thank you for doing this.” I am sure that God is telling us that same message with a smile on his face!!

3-5 PM, Pat:

Shift buddy Beth from St. John XXIII parish
Mary Jane from Mt. Lebanon

I only encountered one negative comment my whole shift.  And, thanks to the grace of God (and a slow wit), I didn’t respond.  
It was great to be able to have so much time to pray.  I took one side and Beth took the other and we both prayed by ourselves.  And then Mary Jane from Mt. Lebanon came and did a fantastic job of passing out the resource cards to many, many people.
 

5-7 PM, Kathy and Bill:

Blessed to stand with Bill and Mary Jane. Many interesting encounters. Man stopped to share his story: when he was 15 , he got a 17-year-old pregnant. He excelled at school and was awarded a $50 gift. He gave it to her to get an abortion. She bought $50 worth of baby clothes!  Now he is thrilled with 2 grandchildren. I invited him to come pray with us. 

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

PLEASE NOTE:

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

~Jen


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

Barbara

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 https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/to 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.)

~Jen


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…  https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/  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.

~Jen


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