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

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.”

ABBY JOHNSON, FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD DIRECTOR

“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.”

JIM DALY, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY

“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.”

LILA ROSE, LIVE ACTION

“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.”

PEGGY HARTSHORN, PH.D., HEARTBEAT INTERNATIONAL

“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.”

KRISTAN HAWKINS, STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA

These encouraging quotes are from https://40daysforlife.com/, 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 https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ 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.


NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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

~Jen



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.