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.

 

Prayer Vigils for the Unborn

You are all invited to join us for a FULL rosary on behalf of the unborn.  We will be asking for our Mother’s intercession on behalf of the unborn, specifically for the closing of the Planned Parenthood located at 933 Liberty Avenue.  Each Sunday, throughout the month of May, we will be reciting all 20 mysteries.  We will be kicking off this devotion on Sunday, May 6th at St. Alexis’ Church, following the 11 AM Mass & Baptism.  We anticipate commencing at 1 PM.  The 3 remaining Sundays, we will actually pray in front of Planned Parenthood, bright and early, beginning at 7 AM.

We must keep in mind that Mary is the Queen Mother and was bestowed this title virtually at the time of her acceptance of being the Mother of Jesus.  A common misconception today is that the Queen is the woman married to the King.  For the Jews however, the mother of the King was in the role of the Queen.  A prime example is in the Book of Kings, with Bathsheba as the mother of King Solomon.  Bathsheba was the wife of King David, but only became queen when David passed on and Solomon became King.

Fast forward to the Book of Revelation, in chapter 12, “A great sign appeared in the sky. It was a woman clothed with the sun, with moon under feet, AND ON HER HEAD, A CROWN OF TWELVE STARS.  SHE WAS WITH CHILD AND WAILED ALLOWED IN PAIN AS SHE LABORED TO GIVE BIRTH.”  As you can see, she was already wearing the crown, while she was with child.  According to Scripture, she was already Queen mother, before she actually gave birth.

What way to better honor our Mother, than to seek her intercession on behalf of the unborn.  What better time to ask for her intercession than during the month of Mary.

I hope you are able to make it to at least 1 Sunday if not more.  Incidentally, this prayer vigil will be held on one other special Sunday in June since mothers are not the only ones who are impacted by abortion,  we will be there to pray on Father’s day, June 17th as well, again at Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh at 7 AM.

~Vince P.

Day 38: Thank you to Elk County Right to Life, West Hills Baptist Church, St. Regis Catholic Church, and Individual Volunteers!

So here we are on Day 38, with just two days left to go.  We’ll be gathering in front of Planned Parenthood on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM to mark the end of this campaign and to praise God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us during the last 40 days.  It has been a long, cold, wet battle. We are tired and Jesus is granting us a time of rest now, as He often did for His apostles. But we know there’s more work to be done to bring about the day that every human being is recognized, respected, and protected as a precious child of God.  That means it’s also time for perseverance.

Nikki, guided by the Holy Spirit, named the virtue of perseverance as the theme of this campaign.  It’s so fitting. We don’t know God’s timetable for this battle, only the outcome: complete and total victory for the Lord of Life!  What a beautiful reason to hope.  And hope is the key to rallying ourselves to persevere.  Most Reverend Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, spoke of this hope in his keynote address at the 2016 Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Dinner:

“People sometimes ask me if we can be optimistic, those of us who are religious believers, about the future of our country.  My answer is always the same. Optimism and pessimism are equally dangerous for the believer because both God and the devil are full of surprises.  But the virtue of hope is another matter. We have every reason to hope.  Scripture tells us we must live in hope, and hope is a very different creature from optimism.  Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be, and that in serving him, we do something fertile and precious for the renewal of the world.”

So please, have a blessed and joyful Easter, catch up on sleep, thaw out your toes.  But then make your way back to the task at hand in a spirit of perseverance and hope.  Sidewalk Advocates and their prayer partners stand in solidarity with those who suffer all year through.  You can learn more about them by contacting Sue at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net And if Planned Parenthood is still on Liberty Avenue in September, 40 Days for Life will be there, too.

How is God calling YOU to continue fighting for the cause of Life?

~Jen


Here are pictures and reports from today’s vigil…please stop back as more are added!

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

Daylight was already peeking around the building tops and Diane and Tom had the sidewalk furnished.  Our last Friday was underway.  There was absolutely no rain or breeze.

Al, Bill, Jen, Kim and Ryan arrived.  Jen and Ryan are sidewalk preachers.  Jen had amazing and repeated success engaging people.

Jeannie came with a bundle of prolife signs she had refurbished.  She had flattened, strengthened and refreshed the signs, replaced the strings and inserted grommets.  She stoutly refused to enter a conversation about Wallace and Gromit.

Al and I prayed a Sorrowful Mystery Rosary and included Sally’s recovery in our intentions.  She is steadily getting better.  The sidewalk is much colder without her.

Many people recognized and greeted us.  Moms with kids in tow headed for the day care center just down the street, smiling and calling their kids to keep them near.

All of us will probably be here again in the fall.  As Joe says, “All to the glory of God.”

 

Cross Roads Preachers Jen and Ryan with Al
Sidewalk Advocate Kim

Jeannie, 9-11 AM:

What a beautiful collection of the body of Christ we had this morning on the sidewalk. We saw a little bit of the sun, but the devil allowed the cold to persist and we kept each other’s spirits up through prayer. I was blessed to have Jen and Ryan full of The Holy Spirit to deeply engage several passersby with the word.  In this picture a gentleman who stopped and started talking to them on the street chose to be included in the middle of the bunch!!!!!

The 10 o’clock hour brought me five fantastic women from St. Mary’s PA Right to Life. I am sorry that my picture of them did not work out.  We had several groups of young people come by maybe classroom excursions, and it was great to see them appreciate the Fetal models. It’s funny how the first reaction is that it is something off color or grotesque.  Then — once they realize what it is and that each of them was at one time that tiny and that perfect — it’s a different story.

Jen, Ryan, a visitor, Al, Cathy. Great group!
These five blooms represent the five beautiful women who stood and prayed the Rosary at Planned Parenthood this morning from St. Mary’s, PA.

Marie, 11 AM-1 PM

Nancy, 1-3 PM:

Not much traffic in or out of PP.  The cold sidewalk was made bearable by the warm hearts of the prayer warriors.  Elk County group stayed from 10-2, and West Hills Baptist church were there from 2-5.   A few individuals also prayed.  It was very encouraging to see the many witnesses for life standing up for the lives of the unborn babies and their families.

Lisa and Family, 3-5 PM

Pat, 5-7 PM:

Well, I signed my parish (St. Regis) up for this time slot, but I was the only member there this evening.  Thankfully, I had my faithful prayer partner, Bill from St. Philip’s in Crafton, with me for the entire time.  I also had a brother Knight, Paul, along with his wife Pat (St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry), with me for the first hour.  I believe they had already been there for at least an hour before I arrived.

Perhaps it was the cold, but this seemed to be my longest 2-hour shift of this campaign.  While the streets and the sidewalks were both very busy, I can’t remember a single negative incident.

Bill, Daniel, Paul, Pat, with Nadi in the front

Day 31: Thank you to Manordale Valley K of C, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Holy Sepulcher Catholic Church, Clarks Mills United Methodist Church, and Aquinas Academy!

Please note:  Our vigil will end at 3 PM on Saturday 3/17 and resume at 7 AM on Sunday 3/18.


I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

 

From “The Servant Song”

by Richard Gilliard & David Haas

 

We know that suffering is a part of this earthly life.  We know that we are often powerless to prevent or relieve it.  But I think we sometimes forget how much good we do simply by being there with the one who is suffering.

My family is going through a difficult time.  No one can instantly solve our troubles except God; and I know that, in His divine wisdom, He may have reason to allow it to continue for a while.  In the meantime, it gives me so much comfort and peace to know that we’re being held in prayer by so many people, especially those in our 40 Days for Life family.

When we stand on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, we hope to reach out and save everyone there from suffering.  Sadly, we are not always able to.  But we are truly doing so much good just by being there for those in their darkest hour—or in the case of the unborn children, at the hour of their death.

Thank you to all who have stood on that sidewalk offering your presence and prayers for those in trouble.  You may not always see the results of your sacrifice, but they are real and they are precious.  For those of you who have not been to the vigil yet, we prayerfully ask you to join us in this important ministry!

~Jen


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

 

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

As soon as the clock turned to 7am, Manordale Valley Council Knights of Columbus began to arrive.  Joining us in prayer were Tim, Dennis, Vito, Bob, Anna Marie, David, Sally and Don.

The weather felt frigid, but the company warmed everything else.  Beth arrived and took up her position of honor as sidewalk advocate.  Together we did our best to let everyone crossing our path know that abortion is not the choice for a crisis pregnancy.  We were ready to help in any circumstance they offered.

Tim, Dennis, Bob and Anna Marie from Knights of Columbus, Manordale Valley Council

Regina, 9-11 AM:

What a happy surprise to be greeted by lovely Shift Manager, Beth who had traded shifts with Kathy,  to stand in as our Sidewalk Advocate today! Her sincere and caring offer of help to each of the many women entering Planned Parenthood today warmed and inspired my heart on this bitter cold morning! Beth, you are SO good at this!

A lovely couple finished a rosary with Pam, Shalini and Kay, the beautiful, smiling woman of Saint Ferdinand’s in Cranberry, before hopping in their car to warm up. Shortly thereafter, we continued our 5 decades with Dan and Al from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville. We noted the blessing participation in The 40 Days Vigil provides, uniting us with brothers and sisters from different parishes, dioceses, and denominations! Love always unifies!

Before leaving, Dan and Al led us in an appropriate Lenten Stations of The Cross reflection and Divine Mercy Chaplet, as we huddled together to pray and block the freezing wind.

The elements didn’t stop Terry from Saint Bonaventure, or David from Holy Sepulcher from showing up! They jumped right in to join us on our final Decade of the shift!

These folks were all such inspiring examples of Holy, selfless generosity and love today! Thank you! We are all truly one in the Lord, and Jesus, whose love is ALWAYS victorious!

Thank you for your presence!
Thank you for your prayers!
You are making a difference!

 

Marie, 11 AM-1 PM:

The shift was cold but quiet.  Even in the cold members of Holy Sepulcher and Girard Alliance churches faithfully prayed as witnesses to life.

Members of Holy Sepulcher and Girard Alliance churches
Faithful witnesses to life–despite the cold!

Noreen, 1-3 PM:

It was a good day on the sidewalk.  We had some parishioners for Holy Sepulcher in Butler, Bob, Rick, Gretchen and Michael.  A couple from Erie prayed with us, Sue and Jeff.  And Roseann from St. Thomas More came by on her lunch hour. We had some words of encouragement from a few people which is always uplifting.

Sue, Jeff, Bob and Rick
George, David, Roseann, Gretchen and Michael

 

Pat, 5-7 PM:

Tonight the streets were crowded.  And I think that may have contributed to the slight increase in hostility I felt tonight.  There were a few comments and eye rolls, and we had one of our signs knocked over into the street by two young women.

But then there was Aquinas Academy who brought down about half a dozen or more young women – along with three adult chaperones – to pray.  [Hey Aquinas, why no guys???]  This wonderful scene on the sidewalk more than made up for the increased negativity.

And once again I had my faithful sidekick, Bill from St. Philip’s in Crafton.  What a great partner for prayer and good conversation.  Although I joked with him that I could simply recycle a picture of him from past weeks for the blog, the picture you see is a fresh one.

Wonderful witnesses from Aquinas Academy!
Friday faithful–Bill from St. Philip’s

 

Check back later for more!