Day 16: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Lower Allegheny Valley Churches, City Center Parishes, and all of our other volunteers!

40 Days for Life

Father Knows Best

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

Luke 11:9-13

The Lord God is our Heavenly Father, who not only WANTS what is best for us, but GIVES it to us. Even when we don’t realize it or understand it.

Jesus tells us in the above passage that human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children. MOST of the time, this is true. Just look at these examples in the images below. We can imagine little ones asking their loving dads to help them, to teach them, to love them.

What is so beautiful about human fathers is that they are meant to be images of God our Heavenly Father. Even when they fail to do so, they are still called to that in their very being. And if all of these human fathers shown above can do so many loving things for their children, Jesus reminds us how much MORE Our Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

We can ASK for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and hearts!!

During 40 Days for Life, we too can ASK and PRAY that the Holy Spirit come into our lives anew. When we do this, we not only have the power of God working mighty deeds in OUR LIVES as pro-life advocates, but He can work mighty deeds in the lives of all passersby on the sidewalk, all of the abortion workers for whom we pray, and all of the abortion-vulnerable men and women who enter Planned Parenthood. God CAN and DOES do mighty works! Let us continue to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK. May we TRUST that God in His goodness will work powerfully to do what is BEST for ALL of His children, and bring them to FREEDOM, JOY, and LIFE.

Shift Manager Reports

Barbara:

Diane, Peg, Cathy, Mar, and Richard expertly set up the sidewalk for our Thursday vigil. Cathy and Mary belong to the newly organizing Catholic parish, Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Churches. The sun came out, the sky was blue and a gentle breeze refreshed us all.  Bill came.  It was great to see him.  This is the first time we have seen him this fall.  

Very soon after, Suzanne joined us.  Her preschool granddaughter lives with her and she took her to preschool this morning.  Today is her first witness day with us.  She felt the Holy Spirit suggest that she join us.  Talking with her we learned that she is not new to prolife.  “I learn things from the internet,” she said. Reporting that she does not belong to an organized religion, Suzanne and we prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

Today is an abortion day at Planned Parenthood.  It is hard to realize that people schedule a visit here and leave their legally killed baby behind.  All of the workers appear normal before they go into the building. All of the parents appear normal before they go into the building. When the people come out of Planned Parenthood, they appear unchanged. Loving each and every person, God searches each heart, hoping for a whisper of an opening.  He longs to return them to the path of LIFE. “More tortuous than all else is the human heart.”  Jeremiah 17:9

Thank you to Diane, Mary, Cathy, and Peg!!
Thank you to Cathy and first-timer Suzanne!!

Judy:

Thursday 9-11 shift – Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, joined by other friends and a couple of God’s creatures.

I didn’t get last week’s blog report done, so I’m including it in this week’s (I will keep it short). So, just so you don’t lose interest before you start, I thought these pics might hold your interest. Last week Meredith, Chuck and I held down the vigil. We had a lot of positive, affirming people pass by, which was encouraging. We were later joined by Priscilla from St. John the Baptist Ukrainian, who stopped by to pray the rosary before continuing on her errands. We were also joined by Daniel from St. Joseph to pray the rosary as well. In the beginning of the shift, there was a young man who was extremely agitated and was hurling verbal abuse at us. In the midst of his rantings, he disclosed that he had aborted 3 babies of his own. That explained his angry and abusive spirit. Join us in praying for God’s mercy on his life.

We were able to engage two couples that day who seemed to be on the fence and were willing to listen to information about other options and reasons for not having the abortion. But sadly, we did not see them change their minds before the end of our shift. We still see their faces and each time they come to our minds we will pray for them. Side Note: towards the end of the shift the mounted police came down the street. It was a blessing to see them; they were so beautiful. The officer on the last horse is Shannon, a friend of mine.

Today, we had Meredith, Pastor Joe, Kathy, Lynn, and myself. We engaged a couple who got out of the car in front of us. A very tragic situation. They were seeking an abortion. Long story short we were able to talk with them at length and pray with them a couple of times. We saw them head through the doors. We don’t know the outcome, but she did not come back out during our shift.

Shortly after we arrived, a large butterfly flew up to me, landed on my leg and proceeded to crawl upward along the zipper of my coat. I’m assuming it was the color of the coat that attracted it??? I love nature because it’s so close to God’s heart. The butterfly is the symbol of life…new life. And we are speaking LIFE in the Name of Jesus over the culture of death at PP and in the City of Pittsburgh!!!! And I believe the butterfly was God’s message to us…the culture is shifting to LIFE!!!! Hallelujah!!!

Thank you to Suzanne, Meredith, and Shift Manager Judy!!
Thank you to Kathy, Lynn, and Pastor Joe!!
Thank you to Shannon and all of the other mounted police who help to protect our city!!
Thank you to Chuck and his friend!!
The butterfly begins its ascent!
The butterfly is a sign to Judy of new LIFE!

Lisa K.:

It was a sad day at Planned Parenthood, as many days are. For me, it was mostly sad because I met and spoke with (and hopefully consoled) a father whose child was killed there today (it was the man Judy spoke about in the report above). It’s a terrible thing, that reality. And there are no perfect words to say to make things better. But he seemed to genuinely appreciate the kindness and concern he received. But his life will never be the same. And of course, neither will it be the same for the mother or their family. I pray that he allows himself to grieve.

Some other people walked past with their “one-liners” they like to cast out toward us. My husband mentioned some ideas for responding to one person in particular who passes every week and says the same disgusting line. But in response to that line, I simply replied, “Have a nice day.” I told my husband that it does not seem prudent to engage someone in a discussion who is so angry. But I also told him, “There are SO many hurting people out there.” And this person is one. I pray that that hurt can be healed.

Lastly, there was another woman who talked to me who is post-abortive. She first was confused about why we were there– whether we were promoting abortion or not. When we told her that we are there to pray for an end to abortion, her tough demeanor seemed to soften. She said that she had had an abortion a long time ago, and that she had been forced into it. She said she had been far enough along in her pregnancy to find out that the baby was a boy. She said her son would have been twelve this year. I was able to give her some post-abortive information, and she seemed really thankful.

So much sadness. So many people living with this pain. But we can help. We can talk to them and give them resources. We can pray. We can love.

Thank you to Lindsay, her beautiful little girl Carys, and To Ken!!
Thank you to Sidewalk Advocate Joan!!
Thank you to Sidewalk Advocate Walt!!

Cecilia (sending on behalf of Carolyn):

The weather was just beautiful today. It was nice to see Shift Manager, Carolyn, and her smiling face. We thought that we might be alone a few days ago, but several heard the call and joined us. Praise God!

Thank you to Beth from Precious Blood Church for signing up to let us know that she would be there. A young man, Marcus, who spoke with us was impressed to see her reading her Bible. I was blessed to have members from my Parish family, St Joseph in Cabot, with me. Thanks again to our priest, Father Jim, for coming down a second time to the vigil. And thanks to my good friends, Joyce and Patti for making the trip with me too! Mike was there with us from the beginning and joined right in with my parish in praying the rosary. He even stayed into the next shift. Cletus, from St Anne, stopped by since she was in the area, and spoke with us for a while. She talked about the garbage being taught to our kids in school in Health class, etc., and the other immoral stuff that is pushed on us in the world today. She planned to return to catch Helen. Donna from St. Kilian and Marianne from St. Alphonsus stopped by for a short while, then decided to go to
St. Stanislaus to continue to pray.


PP had too much traffic today. One young couple came out and stopped by the bookstore. I was able to speak with the man at first. He said that the time was just not right for them. But you could see the sadness in his eyes. I gave him a Rachel’s Vineyard pamphlet and he asked if they helped men too. The girlfriend came over and seemed to appreciate the resource. I told her that she would probably have a lot of emotions going through her after this and RV may be able to help her. Prayers for repentance and healing for this couple.


Another lady that exited PP was waiting for her husband. She went in for an ultrasound because she was told she was pregnant, but PP informed her that she wasn’t pregnant, so she was confused. So I gave her our yellow card and said she could go to one of the CPC nearby for free help. She said she was on the pill, so I gave her info about that and suggested NFP.


Many other encounters today. I should write them down but then this report would be too long. I am thankful for all the pray-ers that come to the vigil. The support is there as we reach out to those passing by. God hears, and we pray hearts will be changed and lives saved because of the faithfulness of so many.

Thank you to this beautiful group: Beth, Cletus, Mike, Joyce, Fr. Jim, Cil, and Patti!!

Helen:

A beautiful day in the city! Mike from the 1:00-3:00 shift stayed an extra hour to pray. Paula, Vicky, Mary Catherine and Ann came from Aspinwall. Mary Catherine and Ann are truly an “extra effort” mother-daughter team. Mary Catherine has to park the van so that Ann can scoot out and onto the sidewalk in her wheelchair. Then Mary Catherine has to leave and park the van. At the end of the shift it’s the same pattern in reverse. 

Nothing is sweeter than the prayers of the rosary as we see PP employees leaving for the the day. I wonder how many of the people in those long lines waiting for the buses to eastern and western suburbs pray with us, even if we don’t see them.

As we got close to the end of our shift, a poor lady spat her dislike for us on the sidewalk where it barely missed Mary Catherine. We’ll pray for her, too. 

Thank you to Helen and her friend!!

Mary M.:

The evening shift began with Mary Catherine and her daughter Ann of St. Scholastica, and Sharon of Epiphany.  After Mary Catherine and Ann left, we were joined by Jim from Holy Child in Bridgeville. 

The evening was busy with passersby but quiet for us; some people walked by with a smile and some with a frown or shake of the head.  I’ve noticed how so many people walk by with earbuds or headphones, oblivious to us and to what’s happening on this street, in this place that we stand vigil before, day after day. 

I recall also being oblivious, for too long, to what was going on in abortion mills all over the country.  I was always prolife but didn’t feel there was much I could do about stopping abortion.  But one day several years ago while I was downtown, waiting for an event at the library, I went for a walk and discovered people standing, holding signs, and a prolife display.  I realized that this was Planned Parenthood and these people were there to protect the rights of the unborn.  I had always shied away from this kind of conflict, but in talking with these people, I realized they were peaceful and loving, open to answering questions and dispensing information to anyone who needed help.  They asked me to join them but I still didn’t think I could be “out there,” in full view of the world, aligning myself with a very unpopular cause. However, the thought stayed with me and it seemed unfair to let other people do all the work, so before long I got the courage to join them, sign and all, in public prayer and peaceful protest-and it seemed right.  We may not be able to stop abortion today, or next week, but knowing the lives of some children will be saved, and maybe the truth will get through to just some people, is worth being there. 

Thank you to Mary Catherine, Ann, and Sharon!!
Thank you to Sharon, Shift Manager Mary, and Jim!!

May we remember to trust in the care of our Heavenly Father,

and to see His love reflected in our human fathers.

God bless all fathers, all mothers, and all families.

Day 9: Thank you to City Center Parishes, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, The Catholic parishes of Oakmont, Plum, and Verona (OPV), St. Paul Seminary, and the parish grouping of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland, and SS. Simon and Jude… and all of our other volunteers!

40 Days for Life

Do you think people want FREEDOM? How about JOY? I tend to think that most, if not all, people, desire these good things. And actually, the Lord Jesus Christ desires these things FOR us:

Galatians 5:1a tells us, “For freedom Christ set us free.”

In John 15:11, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

These are just a couple examples.  But here’s an interesting thing about the freedom and joy God wants for us.  These mean something very DIFFERENT from the meanings of freedom and joy that the “world” gives us.

Today’s First Reading (Oct. 3) is from Nehemiah 8, roughly vv. 1-12.  Here I offer you an edited version of that passage:

The whole people gathered as one…
and they called upon Ezra the scribe
to bring forth the book of the law of Moses
which the LORD prescribed for Israel... and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law.

Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God,
interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.
Then Nehemiah… said to all the people:
“Today is holy to the LORD your God.
Do not be sad, and do not weep”–
for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.
He said further:  “…Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”
And the Levites quieted all the people, saying,
“Hush, for today is holy, and you must not be saddened.”
Then all the people went to eat and drink… and to celebrate with great joy,
for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.

Why were the people crying when they heard the words of God’s Law?  Because they were saddened that they had not been living it out.  They wanted to live according to the plan of God.

And what does Nehemiah tell the people?  “Go and be miserable, because now you have a whole bunch of boring, restrictive laws to follow, and your life is going to be a drag.”  UH, NO.  He tells them (in a manner of speaking), “Rejoice and don’t be sad!”  He tells them that this is GOOD NEWS, because now they know what to do– and how to live!!  

Imagine a home in which the parents never gave the children any rules to live by,  We all know that chaos, and ultimately, despair, would ensue.  We see it all the time.  Good parents teach their children how to live, not to restrict them- but precisely for their genuine FREEDOM and their lasting JOY.

One more thing (sorry for the length).  In the passages I cited above from Galatians and John, guess what the adjoining passages say?

 The whole verse of Galatians 5:1 actually says, “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”  

In other words, this tells us to not go back to the way we were living before, because THAT was SLAVERY.  We become slaves to our temptations, passions, addictions, and sins ALL TOO EASILY; it happens to us ALL.  So this is a great reminder to us to embrace the true FREEDOM that Christ has for us.

And as for that passage in John, the verse I cited is found within this context:

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

So according to the Lord Jesus, JOY is COMPLETE when we follow His commandments- particularly His commandment to love.  

But AGAIN– we can fall into a “worldly” definition of love.  Love has often been defined as “To desire the ultimate good for another person.”  If that is the case, then we can find true and complete joy in giving of ourselves in love.

Now.  What about 40 Days for Life?  How are we experiencing true freedom and joy in our own lives?  If we’re not, it might be because we are following those worldly definitions.  And if we want the women and men who enter Planned Parenthood to ALSO know this true freedom and joy, we have to be living it ourselves.  We can’t give what we don’t have.  

Let’s LIVE it so that we can then GIVE it.  May the abortion-vulnerable people entering Planned Parenthood be touched by our true desire for their ultimate good.  May the workers know this love as well.  Many of them may not know that this kind of freedom and joy are possible.  But I can guarantee that NO ONE who lets their baby live will EVER regret it.  Abortion, on the other hand, will lead to a lifetime of regret, often in ways that might not even be conscious.  Many of us have seen, heard, and known post-abortive people who tell us this.  And it is a sad reality that DOES NOT HAVE TO BE.

Let us continue to PRAY and FAST, that all might know the life-giving love, freedom, and joy that comes from following the will of our great life-affirming God.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:

It was a warm, muggy morning. Not much rain, and by the end of my shift the skies were blue and the sun was shining. I was blessed to have my husband, Joe, accompany me. And, it was great to see my sidewalk buddy Peg, who I haven’t seen since last campaign! I got to meet Larry, who is a fairly new participant. Diane had our materials all set up and stayed to pray a little while with us.

It was a very quiet morning, with only one potentially abortion-bound couple who entered. They would not take any information.  Dolores, representing the City Center Parishes, arrived for the second half of my shift. All was peaceful until the very end.

As I was getting ready to leave, after greeting the next shift, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Judy, Chuck and Meredith, a hurting young man stopped and was visibly upset with us. He was upset about the fetal models.  He was trying to control himself, but he was visibly shaking and almost looked like he was trying to hold back tears. He was telling us that we give Christians a bad name, that we are there to shame people who are going in, and that Planned Parenthood does all sorts of good things for women. As I suspected, he told us that he had been there three times himself to abort his own children.  

I tried to have a reasonable conversation with him. I honestly felt only love and compassion in my heart for this poor young man, whom Satan obviously has bound through his own participation in abortion. Unfortunately, he would not let anyone else get a word in. I tried to talk, and ended up raising my voice, just in an effort to be heard, but it probably sounded like I was arguing. Please pray for this poor young man. Obviously, the fact that he is so bothered by us means that his conscience is still alive and there is hope! Abortion is so terrible, it is Satan‘s best tool to enslave God’s children. Please remember to pray for him. 

Thank you to Bill, Larry, Peg, and Joe!!
Thank you to Shift Manager Nikki and Dolores!!
Second shift arrives. Thank you to Meredith, Shift Manager Judy and Chuck!!

Lisa K.:

I have just told many stories from today to my husband… so I hope I can adequately convey them the same way here. Perhaps I will share only a couple things. First, THANK YOU to my wonderful OPV family (the grouping from Oakmont, Plum, and Verona parishes)!! It was a delight to pray with my parish family! It struck me more than a few times while we prayed… these people I was praying with were the real deal. Our time today was spent in so much prayer, many times of silence, and with many sacramentals!! So beautiful! So again, I thank this group of wonderful, prayerful people.

There were a few angry people, but that’s to be expected. But– one of our participants (Marilyn) commented on how many people said “God bless you” as they passed her. She was so encouraged and touched by that!

One very powerful story I wanted to share: A woman approached me saying, “Can I ask you a question?” I said, “Sure.” She asked whether any of us have ever adopted or fostered children. I said that yes, I have. She was happy to hear that. She seemed quiet and thoughtful. I thanked her for having a heart that cared about the children. A few moments later, she came back. She said, “I had this done a long time ago (she motioned toward Planned Parenthood), and I’m not over it.” I said, “I’m so sorry…. that’s a big wound in your heart that takes so much time to heal.” She said, “So much TIME? That wound is for the REST of your LIFE. This happened 30 years ago, and it NEVER goes away.” It was so sad to hear her. I happened to have a brochure in my hand for Rachel’s Vineyard (and I almost NEVER have one of those on me…. even though I should). But I briefly told her about it and offered her the brochure and also the yellow card, which also offers help with post-abortion healing. She was so touched and thankful. It was an amazing moment. God bless her and help her to heal.

Thank you to Frank, Fran, Marilyn, Marlane, Jon, Dan, and June (not pictured)!
It was a blessing to pray with all of you!!
Had to include Nancy in this one– thanks, everyone!! 🙂
And I love this sweet photo of Fran!! Thank you for your work for LIFE!!

Carolyn:

Helen:

These gentlemen from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Council were at 40 Days for Life for part of the 1-3, all of 3-5 and some of them stayed for 5-7. They all prayed a beautiful rosary.

Liberty Avenue was busy with school students, commuters and early Pens fans.

A young woman, maybe junior high, disagreed with our effort. We explained to her that there are many people who would want a baby unwanted by his/her mother or father. She said she was unwanted. We told her that there are people who want any baby, even a baby with disabilities. She just listened.

Another woman looked at our models, turned to us and said, “What about rape?” We explained that rape is a crime, and someone should go to jail for rape, but a baby should not have to die because he came into the world via a crime.  As she left, she said, “The Lord bless you.”

It’s always tough when someone needs, not a meal, but money. I offered to take the young man to Catholic Charities, but one of the Knights gave him $1 and another gave him $5. He offered to return the $1 because it was more than he needed.

I believe our prayer touches everyone who passes us on the street. No one truly ignores us.

It was a holy day at PP today.

Helen

Thank you to the holy men of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!!
More prayer warriors. Thank you so much!!
Thank you to Sue and her beautiful family!!

Mary M.

The 5-7 shift was a great shift to work because I was surrounded by a wonderful group of people from the grouping of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Sts. Simon and Jude, and St. Margaret of Scotland, including some Knights of Columbus.  Some of the group were there from a previous shift and stayed on to pray with all of us.  Very uneventful, some positive comments and a few, but very few, negative ones.  Many prayers were sent up from this marvelous group of people. 

I was told by someone coming out of the gallery next door that I could not stand in front of the gallery (I stood alongside the door, not in front of it) and I let him know that we are free to assemble anywhere outside of the yellow line.  I’ve been told that before by people associated with the gallery, so I’m putting out a plea that while it is perfectly okay to stand alongside the gallery door, please always be careful not to block the door or anyone coming or going from the gallery.

Thank you to the group from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, SS. Simon and Jude, and
St. Margaret of Scotland, and the men of the K of C!!
Names from both photos (NOT in order):
Vince, Bob, Bob, Donna, Karen, Jim, Nancy, Pasquale, Laura, Dave, and Al.
Thank you ALL!!

Day 2: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Joseph/St. Mary/St. John parishes, and all of our other prayer volunteers!

Today’s Responsorial Psalm tells us:

The Lord takes delight in His people.
Psalm 149:4a

So, IN WHOM does He take delight?

The Lord takes delight in ALL of His people. Not only the born, not only the “privileged.” He takes delight in those with psychological difficulties, those who struggle with their weight, those who are poor, those who are post-abortive, those who are abortion workers…..

Does He always take delight in what we DO? Of course not. Like any good parent (and He is the quintessential Parent), He wants the BEST for us. and sometimes the choices we make are NOT what is best for us. But is it possible for our Heavenly Father to still delight in us nonetheless? Yep. Mostly, He simply delights in our EXISTENCE. What joy, what freedom, what glorious relief that should be for our weary souls. He loves us and delights in us because WE ARE.

Let us pray that all whom we encounter on that sidewalk may know that they are loved, simply because they exist. And may those abortion-bound couples recognize the worth and value of their children…. simply because they exist.

God help us. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, we trust in YOU.

Shift Manager Reports

Barbara:

Warm and dark morning greeted us as Diane, Peg and Eileen S. arranged our sidewalk supplies.   Lovely soft drizzle sprinkled the neighborhood for just five minutes. Together we read the Devotional for Day 2.   Busloads of commuters walked quickly by and answered our “God bless you!” with their “God bless you!” Blessings all around. Katie arrived, lovely and stocked with power bars and literature to share.  She got busy right away.   She spoke with a young woman who took her literature and shared a conversation, but then went into PP.  Sadly, young women declined our help and went into PP.  We prayed for them and their baby. Right on time, Chuck and a friend arrived.  Chuck’s friend gave me her blessing that lifted my feet above the pavement! Showing up to pray in front of PP downtown sounds like a chore if you have not done it.  Try it.  It is a blessing. Peace. -Barbara

Thank you to our wonderful team members who set up every day!!

Meredith:

It was Mary Ann’s first experience at the vigil. Katie did a good job getting literature into a lot of hands, but we didn’t get much opportunity to speak to anyone. We got help taking the photo from a student out on the sidewalk for a fire drill! Some of the kids looked at the models, but it was mostly mass confusion! It would have been difficult to get to the doors of PP while the students were there. A person from the gallery next door set their sign in the middle of the sidewalk and complained that our presence was keeping people from coming into the gallery. Beautiful morning to praise and worship God at the gates of hell!

SM Meredith, Chuck and Mary Ann from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, with Katie and Helen.

Lisa K.:

This shift started out peacefully, and ended up being a little hectic. But it was for a good reason: we were trying to save someone’s life. We don’t know the end result of the story, but Sidewalk Advocate Katie was awesome. And thank you to all of those who prayed an assisted in any way throughout that situation! May the Lord bless and guide that couple.

Thank you especially to Mike and Mary Pat from St. Vincent, who came for the first time! And Ken, who came for the second time…. and his first time, last campaign, was inspired by his seeing “Unplanned.” Thank you, Lord!!

Oh, by the way, I was also threatened with physical harm from a woman I was merely offering help to. Wow. So this issue leads people to threaten?? This is some of the awful fruit of the abortion culture? So sad. Her last words to me were, “Leave me alone.” That would have been sufficient. The threat was unnecessary.

Thank you to my Shift Buddy Fran, and to dear Helen!
Shift Manager Lisa K. and Ken. Thanks, Ken, for coming back to pray with us!
Thank you to Claire and Colleen!!
Thank you to Beth Ann, and first-timers Mary Pat and Mike!!

Cecilia (contributing on behalf of Carolyn):

What a beautiful day to share with Shift Manager, Carolyn, and members of my parish family from St Joseph and St Mary churches.  Carolyn is such a lovely lady and is from a very active church it would seem.  We were so thankful that our Priest, Father Jim, could be with us today!  He has been to other clinics before to pray, but it is his first time with us.  Father Jim, Margie and the two other couples who came for our vigil, Pam & John, and Patti & Denny, kept both sides of the sidewalk filled with prayer.  At least 4 rosaries were said, and they prayed the prayers on the back of the signs. 

We had several helpful encounters…

One young lady came out for a smoke and was willing to speak with me.  Her sister was inside.  She was glad to take the resources that we had, and wanted to talk her into keeping her baby.  Her sister has other children but is married to a not-so-nice guy.  I said that adoption would be a better option if she does not want to keep the child.  They are from New Castle so I told her about Alpha Omega Center up there.  Praying she changed her mind.

A guy stopped and said that he and his wife had a child care place but that he wanted to do something more for fathers…start a non-profit.  I told him about the National Fatherhood Initiative that TriLife Center is involved with and gave him our 40 Days resources in case he wants to hook up with some other group near him…Brentwood I think?

A young lady stopped.  She attended our rally on Tuesday and was very moved.  She is involved with the MAYA Organization in Swissvale and told me of the good work they do.  She was interested in learning more about Angel’s Place and the Guiding Star Project that we spoke about.  They are expanding / growing out of their facility and may benefit from teaming up with other organizations in the area.

We also had a man, Matthew, from the Red Rose Rescue stop by on his bicycle.  He travels the country.  How ironic it was for him to come on a day that others brought red roses to scatter and I remembered to bring my large red rose that was given to me by Elk County RTL several years back.  Unfortunately I left my rose behind but pray that it will be used for good this campaign. 

Thank you for stopping by to pray, Matthew! God bless you in your travels!
Thank you to Patti and Denny!
Shift Manager Carolyn, Fr. Jim, and Margie. Thank you all!
Thank you to Pam and first-timer John!!

Helen:

What a beautiful day! 

Matthew was the young man on his bicycle who was with the 1:00-3:00 shift and then on his knees for about an hour while the 3:00-5:00 group prayed.

The 3:00-5:00 vigil had three beautiful testimonies from women who stayed for at least ten minutes to tell their stories. First, a mother who accompanied her daughter to the abortion mill 13 years ago, and when there was a slight complication about blood work, the daughter decided against the abortion, and now there is a 13-year-old grandson keeping things lively. She’s so glad he’s around.

Second was a beautiful lady who wanted to share her dismay over the state of our land on abortion. She talked about a book she’s reading and spiritual support from Scripture.

The third lady disagreed with much of what we believe from the Bible and Catholic Church teaching, but she also talked about her past life with drugs and other lifestyles. 

Shift Buddy Anita does a beautiful job of witnessing for Christ. She talked to a lady who is trying to decide if she wants to keep her part-time job. We parted with promises of prayer and hope for God’s guidance in her life. 

It was a pleasant change of pace to see three beautiful steeds guided by Pittsburgh Police Officers. 

Our prayer time was also quitting time for many employees of PP. It was good to see they were closing the place for the day. 

-Helen

Mary M.:

This evening I was joined by Joe, Larry and Red Rose Rescue member Matthew, who had also joined the previous shift and I believe had been in front of Planned Parenthood on his knees most of the time in prayer. It was a joy and a privilege to speak with this courageous young man, who has done two stints in jail for his rescue work.

One young woman came by, curiously checking out our display, and I learned she was two months pregnant. I gave her some pregnancy help info and we enjoyed looking at the Watch Me Grow brochure. Two young men stopped by to ask us why we were there, and I was happy for the opportunity to explain our position. One of them said his girlfriend had aborted their baby years ago, and I assured him his baby is safe in Heaven. We had a good, respectful exchange.

Thank you to this group who came to pray for our last shift of the day!!
Thank you to Larry and Joe!
And thank you again to Matthew, for your prayerful presence.

Day 41: Thanks be to God for another amazing campaign!!

We are so thankful for the wonderful 40 days you have shared with us on the sidewalk! We have prayed together, and shared many moments together that have been difficult, powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful…. all of these and more. A sincere THANK YOU to all who participated in any way. It is YOU who make our time on the sidewalk bearable, and YOU who make it a HOLY time as well. Thank you.

The First Reading from our Palm Sunday liturgy began with these words:

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.

-Isaiah 50:4a,b


I recently heard Bishop Zubik offer a reflection on this verse from Isaiah. He mentioned how his first grade teacher had taught him and his classmates how to put letters together to become words, and how they could use those words to say important things. He later compared that education to this passage, saying that the Lord, also, has taught us, His followers, how to speak the words God needs us to speak.

There are times in our culture and society– like now– when many things go awry and when many hearts go astray. Bishop Zubik reminded us that WE are to be those ones who have a “well-trained tongue.” And WE are the ones who can “know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

I connect this to the LIFE issue in this way. So many of those people who pass by our prayer vigil are pro-abortion. Many of our family members and friends are as well. The abortion workers and the clients going inside might think that abortion is helpful or caring (in some irrational way). And there are many things we cannot do to change their minds or hearts. But there are other things we CAN do to make a difference in their lives. We can use our “well-trained tongue” to speak words of love and life to them. We can speak truth and hope. And as we speak, perhaps they will be “roused” out of their hopelessness… or their confusion… or their pain.

And to support one another in this “training our tongues” and “speaking rousing words to the weary,” we held a prayer service to close our vigil last evening (Sunday). We followed up with a potluck, fellowship, and sharing about the vigil. It was quite well attended; one of our team members estimated about 60 people joined us! Thank you to all who came and shared that special time with us.

Photos from the Closing Events:

Fr. Thomas More leading us in prayer on the sidewalk
Shift Manager Tim
Many wonderful people gathered in prayer
Thank you, Fr. Thomas More, for your inspirational words!
Later at Catholic Charities.
Thank you to Jeannie for our amazing dessert table!!

Nikki setting up drinks
Sweet baby colors for our napkins
Joe greets Kevin
Dee bringing in her lovely sweet potato casserole!
Shift Buddy Pastor Bryan greeting some of our wonderful volunteers
Thank you to everyone who came!
Many pro-life heroes at these tables!
Melissa shared her amazing testimony of choosing life for her son!
Thank you, Melissa, and God bless you!!
It was really a full house! Thank God!!
Shift Manager and Sidewalk Advocate Sue gives information about
the next Sidewalk Advocate training on Sat., June 1.
Shift Manager and Knight of Columbus Charlie is forming a plan
to have Prayer Buddies for the Sidewalk Advocates!! WONDERFUL idea!!!

Contact Sue for more information at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net.
Our local 40 Days for Life director, Nikki, testifies to the power of prayer!
Dedicated souls!!
Shift Manager Donna encouraging us and asking for prayers for
a young couple whose unborn child may have a difficult diagnosis.
Nikki giving a gift to the team– a photo collage of all the Shift Managers and Shift Buddies!
Meredith explains about the Magee Project: Praying for an end to abortion at Magee Hospital. For more information, contact Meredith at meredith@rescuepittsburgh.org.
Nikki and Shift Manager Donna
Thank you, Joe– what would these events be without you as M.C.??
Pastor Bryan, sending us forth with words of encouragement and a blessing! Thank you!!

Several years ago, my family and I began cheering for the Pittsburgh Marathon runners. We loved doing it so much that we have done it every year since…. But our involvement has evolved such that my husband’s band has been an official marathon band for the past three or four years. It is an amazing experience, mostly because of how we see the power of the music elevate and motivate the runners when they might be otherwise in a potential slump.

My husband has directed the band members on which motivational songs will work well for those “slump” moments. Our best-received, by far, is…. the theme from “Rocky.” One moment, some of the runners are starting to lose their stamina….

But then, they hear my nephews begin with this awesome trumpet riff below….. and WOW!! It changes the world.

At least, it changes the world for those runners at that moment.

And so, I encourage all of you, those of you with “well-trained tongues….”

Speak words to the weary that will ROUSE them… and bring them life and freedom and joy!!! We have the good news; we might want to show it– and SHARE it!!

God bless you all during this sacred time of Holy Week. And hope to see you all soon!!

Day 37: Thank you to Bridge City Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburgh Region Byzantine Catholics, City Center Parishes, The Sower’s Chapel, and all of our other volunteers!

Some of us Christians are celebrating today (April 11) the optional memorial of St. Stanislaus the Martyr —not Stanislaus Kostka, for whom the church in the Strip District is named. This particular Stanislaus was an 11th century bishop from Poland who was martyred. I found his story to be an interesting parallel of our own, as we fight for what is right and holy on the sidewalk during our 40 Days for Life vigils.

St. Stanislaus was noted for his preaching, and many sought after him as a spiritual advisor. He was eventually named bishop of Krakow. The Polish king at the time, King Boleslaus, was called out by St. Stanislaus because of the king’s cruelties and injustices, and especially his involvement in a kidnapping. Stanislaus excommunicated the king because of these atrocities. And, in turn, the king himself killed Stanislaus while the bishop was saying Mass in a chapel outside the city on April 11, 1079.

The parallel that I see is that like Stanislaus, we, too, do spiritual “advising” on the sidewalk, we, too, “call out” Planned Parenthood because of their cruelties and injustices, and…… well, HOPEFULLY none of us will ever get killed because of our attempts to change our culture, or give help to the men and women in need on the sidewalk. And yet– any time we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, it IS a kind of small, or “white” martyrdom (as opposed to a “red” martyrdom, which involves the shedding of blood).

Jesus tells us in the Gospel for today’s optional memorial, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the Evil One.” (John 17:15) Interesting, isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t tell us that we should be leaving Earth, because we shouldn’t be around all the bad things happening. No, just the opposite. He prays that we would NOT be taken out of the world… but He ALSO prays that we would be kept safe from the evil one.

We are MEANT to be a force for good, aligning ourselves with our God, and striving always to bring Christ to our broken world…. even in the midst of our OWN brokenness. Let us not be afraid– ever– to stand up for what is right. To stand up for Jesus Christ. To stand up for LIFE.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9am):

Peggy and I were joined by Vicki from Bridge City Church, and then Katie came with lots of  resources to offer to abortion-bound couples.  It was a quiet morning, not much traffic going into Planned Parenthood. I only saw one abortion-bound couple, but quite a few single women.  We received some positive comments, maybe one negative. A large group of prayer warriors arrived for the 9 to 11 shift. Shift manager Judy showed up with a broken foot! How is that for dedication! Meredith and Chuck were also there to represent Lincoln Place Nazarene Church, along with Karen and her friend from Christ Church in Penn Hills, and some others. I left the sidewalk for my last shift in many good hands. I pray that we will touch hearts and save a life today!

Thank you, Vicki and Shift Buddy Peg!!

Thank you to the many prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning!!

Judy (9-11am):

As you know from Nikki’s report above, Judy came with a broken foot…. so she gets the “hero of the day” award!! Thank you, Judy!! And thank you to Pastor Joe, Chuck, and Meredith!!

And now, for Judy’s actual report. 🙂

It was a beautiful sunny morning on Liberty Avenue. When we arrived, Katie was already on the scene handing out materials. Lincoln Place Naz: Pastor Joe, Judy, Meredith, Chuck. Jeannie was also there. From Christ Church Ministries: Deb, Karen. We were later joined by Mary Sue from St. Mary of the Assumption, Libby from St. Sebastian, and Alan from Butler.

We were able to hand out materials to a number of people. We were able to intercept one young lady going in for an abortion. She listened to us for quite some time and allowed us to pray for her. She was very open to listening and we pleaded with her to not kill her baby. She already has a 5 month old and she said she could not raise another baby. We offered her so much help…she stood there and listened to us for a long time, but she chose to go in anyway. We continued to pray that she would change her mind before it was too late.

What a wonderful group from 9-11! Thank you all so much!!

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

My shift was kind of chaotic (at least from my perspective). I am SO, so thankful for the beautiful Byzantine clergy who were there. Not only is it wonderful to have priests and deacons praying with us, but they were also more than capable of keeping things sane and prayerful on their side of the circle. Thank you!!

I was on the other side of the circle, where things got intense and sad. Wonderful volunteer Alan and I talked to a man for quite a while, and tried to help him to make the decision for life for his unborn child. It didn’t happen. The baby was aborted. That experience saddened me, mostly because it DIDN’T have to end the way it did. Such an absolute tragedy.

A very angry woman came yelling at us out of nowhere… and then when one of our volunteers tried to calmly talk to her, she yelled back, “Don’t talk to me!!” Interesting, considering that SHE started the “talking” to begin with. Sad.

I am also thankful for the beautiful S. family who joined us today. They were bright points of sunshine on that sidewalk! God bless you all!

Thanks also to Daria and Bill, who came all the way from Oil City and joined us for the first time! So did Raquela, who traveled from Aliquippa for the first time as well! All of these first-timers came today because of the impact that the movie Unplanned had on them. God bless you all!

Thank you to John, Bob, and of course, my “protector,” Shift Buddy Fran, and my “go-to” woman, Sidewalk Advocate Katie!!! God bless you all!!!!!

Thank you to the beautiful S. family!! You all did a fabulous job!!
Thank you to first-timer Raquela!!
Thank you to the beautiful Byzantine group,
who travel so far each campaign to pray with us!!
The BEAUTIFUL chanted Byzantine Catholic prayer service….
SO wonderful to hear on the sidewalk.
Thank you to my Shift Buddy Fran, and to faithful prayer warrior John!!
Thank you to lovely Debbie and her lovely sister, Judy!! God bless you, ladies!!
Shift Manager Lisa K. (me) with sweet Raquela!! Thank you for being there today!!

Helen (3-5pm):

Even our light jackets seemed too warm for the afternoon sun. Most popular signs were the beautiful babies with the litany of prayers for moms and babies, dads, even abortionists on the back.

When someone stops to look at our models, it’s always an opportunity to start a conversation and offer one of the tiny models for the person to keep and/or show to others.

Derrick is pastor of a church with several branches across Pennsylvania. He has lived in Pittsburgh for a while, but now he plans to move to the other side of the state to be near his wife’s family.

Maureen and Mackenna brought pro-life information from Genesis.

Kevin was part of the Latin Mass Community at Holy Wisdom parish. 

Bill comes every day to pray, and he joined us today.

We know the faces of those who will smile. Today a young man raised his hand to me for a “high five.” As I touched his raised palm, he said, “HaHa! I love abortion.” 

We’re looking forward to prayer and celebration on Sunday evening.

Helen

Thank you, Dan, for joining us today!
Thank you to Bill and Phil!! God bless you both!

Charlie (5-7pm):

Quiet night on the sidewalk for prayer and witness for life. We had a few young people ask us some questions. It was a nice conversation. Thanks to my prayer buddy Amy, Kevin from Holy Wisdom, and all that came from Bridge City Church.

Thank you all for praying with us today!

Next week is Holy Week, friends. Let’s enter into it with a deep sense of companionship with Jesus. Let us remain with Him as we remember His Passion and Death. And let us not be afraid of the evil one’s temptations. Above is an artistic depiction of the devil tempting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before He died. Like Jesus in the garden, we, too, can trust in God when the enemy presses in. God is absolutely trustworthy. Let us end our 40-day vigil and enter into Holy Week with that trust in our hearts. EVEN trusting God that He WILL end abortion at 933 Liberty Avenue.

Day 30: Thank you to the Manordale Valley Council of the Knights of Columbus (Murrysville), Christian Assembly of God Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. John Baptist de la Salle (Delmont) & St. Mary’s (Export) City Center parishes, St. Joseph (Lucinda) and our other volunteers!

Today’s First Reading tells us this familiar sobering tale:

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’

Exodus 32: 7-8

In the Responsorial Psalm of the day, we see a continuation of the same theme:

Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.

Psalm 106: 19-20

And from all those thousands of years ago, we have not changed. Why do we do this? Why are we children of such disobedience and rebellion? We see human examples of this all the time, often from children who don’t care about what their parents are telling them- especially if it’s something GOOD for them.

Why are we so ready to dismiss that which is GOOD, and exchange it for something FAR LESS GOOD…. or even BAD for us? Choosing our OWN way instead of GOD’S way is never going to end well.

Abortion-minded couples are like this too. Abortion workers as well. And yes, ALL of us can fall into this mindset. Lent is a perfect time to consider what our priorities are. Do we really want GOD? If so, how are we going to choose to live?

Let us step out in faith, and trust that by doing God’s will and living HIS way, we will ultimately live a life of JOY. We cannot have true joy apart from Him. But WITH Him, we can have it all.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9am):

 It was a good start to Day 30 on the sidewalk today! As always, it was wonderful to see my sidewalk buddy Peggy and faithful Tom setting up the materials.  I brought roses and Peggy brought a beautiful colorful springtime bouquet, which we scattered on the sidewalk as a symbol of the beauty of every life that is tragically discarded behind those doors, in hopes that they will touch some hearts.

The Knights of Columbus, Manordale Council in Murrysville sent four wonderful prayer warriors. It was a blessing to stand with them for my entire shift. Also, Pastor Paul came with three ladies from his church, Bentleyville Assembly of God. He brought his guitar and sang and played,  which was awesome!

After praying silently on my knees for the first 45 minutes, when couples begin entering for their abortions, I got up and began offering help and alternatives. Sadly, nobody that we know of took us up on our offers of help. But, we prayed for those couples and for the babies. They did not die alone and forgotten. 

Beautiful flowers in memory of the beautiful lives lost at Planned Parenthood.
Tom and Shift Buddy, Peggy! Thank you!
Two of the faithful Manordale Knights of Columbus! Thank you!
Thank you, Pastor Paul and lovely ladies from Bentleyville Assembly of God!

More prayer and song from the Bentleyville group and Dave from the Knights of Columbus! Thank you all!

Meredith (9-11am):

I arrived, pleasantly surprised, to a full sidewalk this morning and someone playing a guitar and singing worship songs! Very different from the shift I did earlier in the 40 Days with one other person!!!

My good friends Pastor Debbie from Christ’s Church Ministries and Jessi from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene came with me today. Just leaving was the group from Manordale Valley Council of the Knights of Columbus. The guitar player was Pastor Paul of Christian Assembly from Bentleyville, PA, who brought three ladies from his church, staying from 7:30 – 11am. Their worship was so beautiful and encouraging on the streets of the city. Before long Bill H. stopped by and Chuck and Katie arrived. A newcomer joined us who had seen Unplanned and felt a need to respond. Thank you Al for heeding the call!

Katie and I are accustomed to working together and we took up positions on either side of the door. There was what seemed like an equal amount of traffic both in and out of PP this morning. I tried unsuccessfully to engage couples leaving in conversation, to see if I could determine why they were there. One couple left unwilling to speak to me, but were back in short order. They unfortunately went back inside.

The saddest part of our morning came when a couple went in who I felt were hesitating. The man kept looking at us, and eventually came out and spoke to us. He didn’t want his wife to abort their fourth child, but he couldn’t talk her out of it. He’s a Christian and knows it’s wrong, even though doctors were recommending it to her because of medications she takes. Multiple people contributed to the conversation with him and we prayed for him and encouraged him to go in and try again. We prayed fervently, but he came back out unsuccessful in his efforts. Jess pointed out how good it was that we were there for him. Imagine how much harder it would have been for this young man without our support and encouragement. He said it was so spiritually uncomfortable in the waiting room that he couldn’t stay in there. Pray for M and his wife M and for their family. If she has the chemical abortion, she will struggle with the decision she made for the rest of her life, as she too considers herself to be a Christian. It was time for us to go, so we took turns hugging M and telling him we loved him and were praying for him.

We left the scene in the caring hands of Lisa and a nice sized group of prayers from the eastern suburbs!

Thank you to Pastor Debbie from Christ’s Church Ministries, and
Jessi and Shift Manager Meredith from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene!

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

To finish the story that Meredith started above, it was very sad for us to learn that M did indeed begin the chemical abortion process, but we were able to tell her husband about the possibility of abortion pill reversal, and that there was still hope.

There were a several angry people…. with ridiculous comments as they passed by, including one woman who Katie awesomely took under her wing. Thank you to all those who had to endure the rough situation with that one woman- especially Tracy and her sweet little ones!

I am so thankful for all of you prayer warriors that came out today. God bless you all.

Part of the large group from Export and Delmont. Thank you!
Another part of the Export/Delmont group. Thank you so much for coming!
Thank you to Tracy and her beautiful children, who were such a delight on the sidewalk!
Thank you to Mike from St. Bernard!

Helen (3-5 pm):

So sad to hear the incident during the earlier shift. Prayers for the man and his lady.

The sign-in sheet was so full, we had to use the margins of the pages. Let’s hope that happy inconvenience will last for the rest of the vigil. 

As Carolyn was leaving, five ladies from Lucinda in Clarion County arrived, along with our Shift Buddy Anita, and Philene, a veteran pro-lifer from the South Hills, stopped on her way home from the office and stayed to pray. 

The ladies from Clarion were Karen, Linda, Ann, Patti and Desiree’. They had a lot of questions about what goes on at PP. Unplanned has not reached their local theater, but it was the big topic between prayers. We prayed the rosary at least five times as well as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

The man with a half-full glass and an unsteady gait gave his attention to one of the Clarion ladies. She ignored him and he went away.

Another man stopped and told us he was embarrassed to ask but he needed $10 for his child. After he repeated it twice, we told him Catholic Charities was just down the street. He said he had been there and they were closed. Anita and I assured him they should still be there. He said they closed in March. We walked with him about halfway to Catholic Charities when he stopped and said, “I don’t want to go there,” and he left to go in the opposite direction. I did tell him that we were not supposed to carry money when we were at the vigil. That IS a good idea. 

The action from PP seemed to be employees leaving at the end of their day. It was good to see Joe K., who traded shifts with Charlie. 

Thank you to Joe, Joe, and Anita!

Anita and Barb in the sunshine! Thank you, ladies, for your prayers!


Joe K. (5-7 pm):

It truly seemed like a “5 O’clock World” today as everyone seemed to hustle home -not much attention paid to the vigil…  Except one young woman who stopped by, wanted to “pray” with us and quickly “prayed” that we wouldn’t be so judgmental – but didn’t stay long enough to become “enlightened” about 40-DFL and particularly our current theme:  L-O-V-E…  Also, humorously absent was the failure to recognize the irony in such a claim…
Joe, my shift buddy from St. Bernadette’s, and I prayed from the “Rolodex of Prayers” and shared…
Another gentleman, Rocky, stopped by a couple of times – he’s in a tough situation and can use prayers.  Rocky shared with us that he had crossed paths previously with Kermit Gosnell…
The shift / vigil ended for the night as faithful Tom, Diane, and Penney packed us up for tomorrow…

Check back later for more reports as they come in.

God bless you all!

Day 23: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. James (Sewickley), St. Bernadette (Monroeville), and all of our other volunteers!!

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.

Jeremiah 7:23-24

Oh my. This passage from Jeremiah tells us a lot about the pridefulness of the human heart, doesn’t it?

Imagine it: God Himself stands before you, and tells you to listen to His voice, and walk in the way of His commands….

And you say…. “Mmm, nah. I’m good.”

Or even worse…. “Get the @&%$ away from me!”

God deserves to hear an answer to this question: WHY? Why would we– or why DO we– say such things to Him?

The reason I bring all this up is not ONLY because this is a very common human response…. but because this is what we see on the sidewalk all the time.

So often, abortion-minded women do NOT want to hear the voice of reason, the voice of help…. ultimately, the voice of GOD. Many have hardened their hearts. Let us pray that God will SOFTEN those hearts so that they will be more open and receptive to hearing the voice of…. LOVE.



Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9):

This morning was chilly but  peaceful. It was great to see Diane as she was setting up, and always my faithful sidewalk buddy Peggy! I was pleasantly surprised to see Beth from my new parish, Saint John the 23rd. She wasn’t signed up but saw Donna’s email saying that we needed people from 7 to 9, so she came. There were three of us for our shift.  

I immediately pulled the roses apart that I had brought, and scattered the petals on the sidewalk. They actually look very beautiful and colorful that way, and I think it is more appropriate, since they represent the beautiful bodies of babies which are torn apart.

As I was kneeling in prayer at the beginning of my shift, I saw a little boy, probably about three years old, holding  his mother’s hand, and he was gingerly tiptoeing around the rose petals, trying not to step on them. It was so sweet!  

One man walking through growled about us throwing trash on the sidewalk, and I made a comment that it was appropriate that he thinks roses are trash.  That just as some people think beautiful unborn babies are trash, some people think beautiful roses are trash.

We prayed for the first hour, and the second hour offered resources to those going in to Planned Parenthood. I had some interaction with a young woman who stopped to smoke inside the circle before going in. She was making small talk with me, but I could sense that she was angry, but she was trying not to let it show. She was pretending to be very casual about it. After some time of making small talk with each other, I asked her if she was there for an abortion, to which she replied, “Yes.” She had already refused the resources and help that I had offered her, so I told her of the harm that would come to her, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, if she were to get an abortion. She replied that she wished somebody had aborted her. I told her how much God loves her and how when we get away from him and do not live according to the way he tells us, that we get ourselves into painful situations, but I told her that she is young and that he could make beauty out of her life. She said to me, “I may decide to have a kid someday.“ Without thinking, the words just came out of my mouth, “You already have one, and he already has a beating heart and little perfectly formed fingers and toes.” I think those words went directly through her hard exterior shell; I think they pierced her heart. That was the end of our conversation and she went inside. I prayed for her and her baby and will continue. 

Beautiful women of prayer: Diane, Beth, Shift Manager Nikki, and Shift Buddy Peg!

Rose petals scattered on the sidewalk

Thank you to faithful prayer warriors, Shift Manager Judy, and Chuck from Lincoln Place!

Judy (9-11):

When we arrived, Katie was already there, and Chuck and I were joined by Meredith. I think the only minor negative things were one insult and one individual using the worst profanity they could think of.

I have struck up a casual acquaintance with the Coca Cola Driver who delivers to PP. Last week, as he finished his unloading, he asked me if he could show me a pic, and it happened to be a pic of his little 4 week old daughter. She was unplanned, but has become such a blessing to them. Today I saw him again, but he was delivering to someone else…not PP. I asked him if the next time he went inside the PP building if he would offer up a prayer from the inside of the building for God to speak to all the staff about stopping abortions. He was flabbergasted! He could not believe they were killing babies in there…he thought abortions were illegal in PA.

WOW … is the general public not aware??? He assured me he would be praying from the inside of the building for the abortions to stop.

A young lady came out who had taken her friend in for an abortion. The abortion was being performed as she was talking to me. She said she had 2 children of her own and did not believe in abortion. She joined me in prayer for her friend and the baby. It was so sad. I gave her our resources for after abortion and told her to make sure she gave them to her friend.

Nikki had met a woman during her shift prior to our shift, who was going in for an abortion. She had an opportunity to talk with her for a while before she went in. The lady came out during my shift and leaned up against the window in front of the building where I was standing…and I recognized her from Nikki’s description. She had an ultrasound pic in her hand, and I asked her if that was her baby. She said it was and she didn’t know why they gave her the pic. I asked if I could see it and she handed it to me. I told her how precious it was and the baby was a gift from God and a miracle of life. She said she was an addict and couldn’t bring a baby into the world as an addict. I told her of a similar story of a friend of mine in a similar situation, who had her baby and how God had healed the baby. She was willing to talk to me and to listen to everything I had to say. I begged her to keep the baby, offered her resources to help her during her pregnancy and after the birth, talked about adoption. She said she understood everything I was saying but she was going to have the abortion. I asked her if I could pray with her and she said yes. I prayed for God’s blessing over her life and for God to convince her to keep the baby and to protect the baby as he went into the arms of Jesus. I didn’t realize it, but I still had the ultrasound pic in my hand. She asked me if she could have the baby’s pic back. As she left to go back into the building, I just kept praying that she would look at the pic and not go through with it.

A young man came out and walked past me, and I asked him if his friend was having an abortion. He said no and kept walking … but she was. When he came back up the street to go back in the building I offered him the resources for after abortion help. I told him that she will need help that he can’t provide to her and that those resources would give her information and resources that will help her during the difficult times.

We are thanking God for the opportunity to pray and witness. We can’t look at the losses, because we just have to be obedient to what the Lord tells us, because the battle belongs to the Lord, not to us!

Lisa K. (11-1):

It was a sad, busy, and prayerful shift. I am forever thankful for the dear people who join us in prayer every day. Sandy (from St. James in Sewickley) and I prayed together for much of the time, while Katie and Elsie handed out materials and reached out to many people entering PP.

Just like last week, one thing that struck me today was the ANGER of some of these women. One woman in particular got so angry with Elsie, as Elsie simply talked to her and offered her resources where she could get help. It so saddens me that these women are so hurt, and don’t know what to do with that. If only they knew that we truly want to help them, and even more importantly, that they are LOVED by God and are NOT ALONE in their struggles.

On the positive side, there were several men who passed by, independently of each other, who thanked us or said, “God bless you” as they passed. One priest stopped by as well, to thank us for what we were doing. And one of my favorite things I heard today was, as two young men passed by, one of them said to the other, “I just don’t understand why people want to kill their kids.” It gave me hope that some people DO see, and they DO know, and they DO care.

Meredith, Shift Manager Judy, and Chuck- thank you for your pro-life work for the Lord!
Thank you to Maggie from St. Philip in Crafton!
Thank you to Tony, Ibie, and Sandy from St. James in Sewickley!

Helen (3-5):

Quiet afternoon. Rain stayed away.  How lovely it is when a passer-by says “Thank you” or “God bless you.”  A young man stopped to look at the fetal models. I asked him if he’d like a little one of them for himself. He smiled broadly and thanked me. 

Thank you to Shift Manager Helen’s son, Frank, for joining us in prayer today!
Thank you to the faithful members of St. Bernadette!

We apologize to Helen for not being able to post all of her photos, due to some technical difficulties.

Charlie (5-7pm):

Nothing exciting tonight, just some good quiet time for prayer and quiet witnessing for life with St. Benedict’s.

Thank you to the members of St. Benedict,
and thank you to Shift Buddy Amy and Shift Manager Charlie!

May we trust in the power and love of our God

as we continue to pray and sacrifice for families in need!!

Day 16: Thank you to Bridge City Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard Parish, Bishop Zubik and City Center Parishes, St. Agnes Parish (N.Huntingdon), and to all of our other volunteers!

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.

~Jeremiah 17:7

Friends, nothing will get us through this life more peacefully and gracefully than by trusting in the Lord God and doing it HIS way. It is NOT always easy to do that… I think we can all attest to that. But wow, if you were in a dark cave, and someone came along and gave you a flashlight and a map so you could get out, wouldn’t you DO it?

That is exactly what Our Lord Jesus Christ has done. He has given us His Word, His Church, His Holy Spirit…. to guide us through this life and help us to know the way…. how to live, and how to get where we’re going, And we don’t EVER have to be afraid of His plans for us. He is TRUSTWORTHY. We who can testify to His trustworthiness in our lives KNOW this.

Let’s SHARE that truth. Jesus Christ is ALIVE. He KNOWS us. He WANTS us. And He wants to show us the way to a peace-filled and grace-filled life, and to ultimately show us the way to Him for eternity.

Do the folks on the sidewalk know this? Can we share Christ’s love with THEM? Remember that our theme for this spring campaign is LOVE. Let us share HIS love with those who may not even know that they need it. They NEED HIM…. as we ALL do.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:


 I had the privilege of praying on the sidewalk with two members from Bridge City Church, Doug and Vicki. It was very quiet and peaceful for the first hour and we spent that time in silent prayer. After that it began to get busier, and I was able to give many young women pro-life information as they walked in the doors of Planned Parenthood.

Please pray for two young women who went in for abortions, who both had friends with them who took the pro-life literature, and said they were going to try to talk their friends into leaving. It is very sad to see this struggle between life and death play out right before our eyes, but, we are being faithful and we trust in God!  It was wonderful to see Pastor Joe, Judy and Chuck as they arrived for the next shift. Welcome back, we missed you! 

Thank you to Doug (L) and Vicki (R) from Bridge City Church,
and thank you to Shift Buddy Peg (center)!
Thank you to this prayerful trio from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene!
L-R: Pastor Joe, Shift Manager Judy, and faithful Chuck

Meredith:

It was wonderful to have Judy back at her post as Shift Manager, and she brought with her from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pastor Joe, Chuck and Meredith. I (Meredith) have been getting to town extra early for the 9-11 shift, but left home a few minutes later and had to go to 3 garages before finding a spot. By then, I was late and managed to leave my roses in the car.

🙁

So in order to keep track of how many couples were going in, I picked up roses from the sidewalk and laid them down again to keep track. We were hoping that a couple of ladies would be leaving, as Nikki had told us that there were a couple friends of clients who were trying to talk the clients out of an abortion.

We had some single women leave with their brown bags of contraceptives, and finally one couple of young ladies left with no bags. One of Nikki’s couples? Don’t know. One young person went in who I think I recognized as a young woman transitioning to being a man. I had met her somewhere else and thought I had recognized her there from being at Planned Parenthood. Another opportunity to pray.

I almost missed an opportunity to speak to a woman going in following a man. I turned to speak to her, expecting to be rejected as I had all morning…many mornings! But she stopped to talk and took a card. I assured her that we could help her with whatever she needed. We prayed fervently for her, and hoped to see her come back out. But she didn’t come out for the rest of our shift. I walked to my car and drove back to PP to deliver the flowers I had forgotten. As I drove up, I saw the woman and her partner outside PP! By the time I parked and got out, Lisa was walking them to Catholic Charities! Praise God! I don’t know her name, but please pray for her. Pray that she WILL choose life for her little one and will be able to connect with the help she needs.

Shift Manager Judy, Pastor Joe, Chuck, and Meredith. Thank you and God bless you all!

Lisa K.:

This was a very busy and interesting shift. I am so thankful for Marilyn and Margie, as well as my Shift Buddy, Fran! You were all such troopers!!

We had many women who entered or exited PP who were angry with us. Two of them were offended, one yelling, thinking that we were assuming they were going in for abortions. But we do NOT think that, of course, and are there to help with all kinds of issues and needs the women might have. Of course, we were calm and kind in response to these women, even the one who smacked the pamphlets out of a prayer volunteer’s hand, and sent the pamphlets flying onto the sidewalk. The anger makes me sad. It’s so unnecessary.

With God’s help, I was able to talk to a couple who came out. As Meredith mentioned above, we went to Catholic Charities together. I hope and pray that they were able to get the help and resources that they need.

A young man was very interested in the brochure he received from one of our volunteers. I offered him a resource card as well. He told me that his sister was pregnant, and was considering abortion….. but he KNOWS it’s a baby. I asked her how far along she is, and he said, two or three months. I gave him a tiny 12-week fetal model, and told him that if she’s three months along, this is the size of her baby, and the baby is fully formed. He said he has 13 siblings, was raised in a Catholic family, and abortion was always taught as wrong. But he was worried about his family, because many of his siblings are sisters. I gave him a bunch more cards, and invited him to come back and pray with us any time.

Bishop David Zubik was scheduled to come and pray with us this afternoon. Many faithful people came to join him in prayer. But we did have one “difficult” situation with someone who was basically there to cause trouble for the bishop. Unfortunately, this individual likes to yell– especially things that are not kind– and we had to kindly but forcefully ask him to move to the other side of the street. 40 Days for Life is peaceful and prayerful. This is VERY important. He didn’t like that, but at least, he did finally move. And shortly after the bishop began to pray, the man across the street actually left– thanks to the prayers of some of our volunteers, I believe. 🙂

One more story. A woman was interested in birth control, but I talked with them about birth control being dangerous for women, and that there were other places (other than PP) that could suggest some alternatives to her. They did go in briefly, but then came back out, and I was able to give them some brochures about birth control and its problems before they left.

Thank you, Margie and Marilyn from St. Richard!
Bishop Zubik blesses regular volunteer, Bill
Bishop Zubik leads us in the rosary
Thank you for joining us today, Bishop. Your presence was much appreciated.

Helen:

We were blessed to have a large group from St. Agnes Church in
North Huntingdon with their pastor, Fr. Paul Fitzmaurice. They had prayer
groups on either side of the doors of PP, and prayers of the rosary and
Divine Mercy never stopped.
Our shift buddies led the prayers and looked to the needs
of all who prayed. Not a lot of traffic in or out of PP.
Visitors to the city for the big collegiate wrestling tournament were curious,
and a few gave us nods and smiles as they passed our vigil.

Thanks to the wonderful group from St. Agnes in North Huntingdon!

Charlie:

Tonight Amy and I were joined with Mary Jane, Jim, and a group from Bridge City Church. It was a bit cold but dry, and we said some nice prayers. Quiet night over all.  Pictured is the group from Bridge City Church with their pastor, Pastor Gary. 

Thank you, Bridge City Church, for beginning and ending our vigil today!
Charlie and Amy, shift manager and shift buddy, kept the last watch of today’s vigil.

May the Lord continue to bless and help us on the sidewalk. We do it for the moms. We do it for the dads. We do it for the babies. Our world has GOT to get a new grip onto reality. The human race is GOOD, and every time a baby is conceived, that is evidence that the human race SHOULD CONTINUE.

Day 9: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, City Center Churches, and all of our other volunteers!

Queen Esther of Persia

“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

~Esther C: 12, 14-16, 25

This passage from today’s First Reading is a beautiful prayer of dependence that Queen Esther prayed to God. I love that twice she says to God, “I am alone and have no help/no one but you.”

This Lent, the Lord has been calling me to deeper trust in Him. What is Queen Esther’s prayer but a prayer of trust? The fact is, in this spiritual battle against the evils of abortion, we are “alone” in a sense, and have “no one but God.” In other words, no one is going to be able to deliver us from evil except HIM.

May the Lord God deliver us from evil…. from the evils of abortion and all that goes with it…. now and forever.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:


It was a beautiful and peaceful shift. I love the early morning shift; people are sleepy and on their way to work, and nobody is angry! It was so nice to have warmer weather and bright skies also.  Peg and I started out by praying on our knees. Bob came to join us. He has been coming often, and we were very grateful for his presence there! We prayed as a group for a while and chatted about encouraging pro-life news.

Toward the end of our shift, couples began to go in for abortions. Some took the pro-life information, but went in anyway.  For each baby, I knelt and laid a tiny wooden cross with the flowers. There were five wooden crosses on the sidewalk by the time I left and Meredith took over.  All of these babies had somebody to pray for them today.  All of their parents were told there were alternatives. 

Shift Buddy Peg, 7-9 Shift Manager Nikki, and volunteer Bob
Busy day ay PP

Meredith (9-11am):

Just after a couple went into PP this morning, while I was on the far side of the circle from the display, a large group of female students came by on their way to the August Wilson Center for an event. While they were backed up on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street, several were able to take a good look at the fetal models. I think they felt more comfortable looking without someone being in close attendance, so I gave them some space. I tried giving models with the explanatory card to another group, but they steered clear.

Planned Parenthood was busy again this week. It didn’t seem as busy, but again, my six roses ended up on the ground. (And again, people picked them up!) I tried to speak to one couple who came out with brown bag in hand while they waited for their Uber. I asked if they were ok or if they needed any help and he assured me, not unkindly, that no, they weren’t having any f-ing baby; she just got a prescription, but thanks for asking. I admit, I kind of zoned out on the attitude toward pregnancy, and didn’t know what else to say so I walked away. They were having trouble connecting with their ride, and I wondered if the script was for the abortion pill, so I tried approaching her more directly, but she tried to avoid me, finally assuring me that it was for an infection. Maybe. Maybe not. People lie, a lot. So I prayed for them. We pray for all of them. Thank you, Father God, for hearing our prayers. One day, this madness will cease! Thank you to Bob, who, fortunately, came again this week, as my prayer buddy was running late!

Volunteer Bob and 9-11 Shift Manager, Meredith

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

Once again, I am so grateful. My shift was powerful and amazing, because GOD is powerful and amazing. Sadly, there were women coming out after their abortions…. and our feelings of sadness and helplessness were definitely there. But I must have told Jesus “I trust in You” about a million times during that shift. We trust Him that HE’S got it under control, and we don’t!!!!

My prayer partners were wonderful. Fran, Carolina and I prayed a rosary together, during which a young man named Robbie stopped by to pray with us. He even asked for a rosary to keep. He was a bit unusual, but seemed genuine at the same time. We were glad he stopped by.

After the rosary, I really wanted to focus myself on silent prayer and the clients. Chuck was on one side of the circle, Carolina was on the other, and Fran and I were angled in the center. At one point, regular volunteer Bob stopped by to pray a rosary, and he stood in the center as well. I felt like we were sentinels, standing guard and keeping watch with our silent prayer. It was moving and powerful. I think those who passed by could sense the solemnity as they passed.

So THANK YOU to all those who came to pray with me today. God bless you all.

Volunteer Carolina and Shift Buddy Fran
Chuck from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene
11-1 Shift Manager Lisa K.

Carolyn (1-3pm):

From City Center Churches: Dolores, Rhodora, Nathan, and Fr. Chris,
along with 1-3 Shift Manager Carolyn

Helen (3-5pm):

Our shift went prayerfully. Joe & I prayed a rosary. No traffic at PP. Mimi came. We found her a seat on the top of the boxes. Another rosary. Then she had to head home. We then used the Scripture verses for a longer rosary. Lots of people out walking…more than usual. Katie came and went straight to the sidewalk with her graceful chalk art.  Charlie and Amy came a little early, so we got to compare notes before we had to leave. No complaints about the cold. 

Shift Buddy Joe and 3-5 Shift Manager Helen
Mimi graced the vigil with her presence once again

Charlie (5-7pm):

Amy and Sidewalk Advocate Katie were here with me tonight. We had one couple tell us their story about having two unplanned boys when the mom was 18 and 20. They were so happy that they didn’t choose abortion. There was also an incident where one of our signs was pushed over by an angry man, but that was over really quick.

Sidewalk Advocate Katie, Shift Buddy Joe, Shift Buddy Amy, and Shift Manager Helen
Always uplifting chalk art from our Katie!

Day 2: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Holy Angels Parish (Hayes), City Center Churches, Catholic Men’s Fellowship, and all of our other volunteers!!

In today’s liturgical First Reading, we hear from Deuteronomy 30:15-20. This passage tells us that Moses admonished the people of Israel to follow God, and they would have life. By NOT following God, they would die.

Sometimes, we can physically die from not choosing God. And sometimes, the death is spiritual. We can find ourselves lost, and far away from where we had perhaps even intended to go, initially.

But God is a God of mercy…. a God of second (and third, and fifth, and 80,327th) chances.

Do you know anyone who has had an abortion? I do. Some people talk about the abortion experience as though it were liberating. Even Abby Johnson, the well-known FORMER abortion worker, felt that way at first. But we know that having an abortion not only causes physical death to the child in the womb, but it can cause spiritual, emotional, and psychological death to the mother. Oftentimes, these are effects that she may not even be cognizant of. But that doesn’t make it any less sad.

Point is….. this is LENT, folks. The PERFECT time for change….. for turning our hearts around….. for following the Lord more perfectly. He tells us in today’s Gospel, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23b) He also says, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” (Luke 9:25)

So if we think that abortion is an easy way out, and a way to “gain the whole world,” as Jesus says, we are fooling ourselves. We will, instead, lose our souls in the process…. a result that is not desired by anyone, including Our Lord.

Let us continue to pray for an END to abortion, and a new BEGINNING in post-abortive healing for those who need it.

Shift Manager Reports:

Peggy (Shift Buddy with Shift Manager sub, Jeff):

Busy morning – lots of prayers.  No takers for our info. Katie was also there late in the shift.   Pictured is Saturday night Shift Manager Jeff, who filled in for Nikki because she was sick, and faithful volunteer Mary Ann. 

Jeff and Mary Ann

Meredith:

I won’t lie! It was cold from 9-11 this morning. Cold enough that it didn’t even occur to me to take a photo! Sorry!

I arrived to find substitute Shift Manager Jeff in excellent company with Mary Ann, Peggy and Katie! Jeff was a tall pillar of ice by the time I arrived and was glad to be relieved. He was subbing for Nikki, who was under the weather this morning. Praying for you, dear sister!

Mary Ann is such an inspiration. If you know her, you know why! 9 am brought Jessie and Chuck, dear friends from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. 

The sad news was that it was a busy morning at PP. After the first abortion-bound couple went in, I decided to lay down a flower for each mother going in who would not take a flower from me. By 11, I had laid down all 7 stems and counted the bunch of mini roses already there for the couple that had gone in just before I arrived. There were numerous single women going in as well. Most came dressed in classic abortion-day garb, loose fitting bottoms, but one young woman came in pj’s, wrapped in a large fleece blanket. She was accompanied by an agitated mother who didn’t appreciate us speaking to them, and a tall befuddled boyfriend. Mom and boyfriend came back out to smoke and mom told us she didn’t like abortion, but her daughter had to do it. Trying to speak to her just brought abuse and “don’t talk to me.”

Bob came by not knowing about 40 Days for Life, but decided to join us in prayer and presence. He spent time in the past at the East Liberty abortuaries and currently attends Faith Bible Baptist, a long time pro-life church. Herb came by as well, a friend of Katie’s, and attempted to reach out to clients going in or coming out of PP. No abuse from passersby this morning, and even some thank you’s for being there, and head shaking over Congress not protecting children born alive after an abortion. Glad to see Lisa’s beautiful face at the end of my shift.

❤

God is good!

Lisa K.:

Meredith is right….. it was cold! Thankfully, I didn’t mind until about an hour and 20 minutes into the shift!

It was a shift which was, for me, a mixture of beauty and sadness, as many of us know and understand. I am deeply grateful for so many prayer companions this afternoon, and particularly for Katie and Herb, who served as Sidewalk Advocates today.

Stan, Shift Buddy Fran, and Bob
Herb and Katie
The dear group from Guardian Angels and Holy Apostles:
L-R: Jack, Rose, Mary Ellen, Pat, Deacon Dan, and Stan
Beauty and sadness. As the temps slightly rose, the whole side of the PP building
started to drip. I imagined that these drops were Mother Mary’s tears….

Helen:

Sarah was waiting for the Chippewa bus but she was early, so she prayed a rosary. Suzanne read Scripture. She’s from Bellefield Church in Oakland.  Dan came all the way from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville. Fr. Thomas More will send a report.

Dan from Mother of Sorrows and Fr. Thomas More
Suzanne and Sarah
Shift Manager Helen’s selfie
Mary Jane and Fr. Thomas More

Fr. Thomas More (He wrote some additional thoughts on his time at the vigil today, and was a “blog report sub” for Helen! Thank you, Father!):

After a few minutes of quiet prayer on this cold afternoon there on the sidewalk outside of Planned Parenthood, as people were entering and exiting, it quickly became clear of the bold confrontation again between life and death, good and evil. 

And though the temptation to feel helpless may come at times, the deeper awareness of the power of our prayer today cut right through it all.  That simple Hail Mary is the boldest prayer to offer.  Indeed, Our Lady weeps, yet she sees far more than we can imagine, and she honors our request for her to intercede.  That short stop there to pray this afternoon made, or will make, a difference for someone, though I may not realize it today. 

My gratitude for the faithful there during these hours with me, for their presence, encouraged me to never stop praying for an end to abortion, so that it be replaced by a love and respect for human life.

The theme chosen for this spring campaign is LOVE.

May we always show the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ

on the sidewalk, and everywhere.

God bless you all.