Information about The Magee Project and reports from Day 39: St. Ann Catholic Church (Castle Shannon), Word of God parish (Braddock/Swissvale), St. Sebastian Catholic Church (Ross)

Magee

INNOCENT BLOOD RUNS IN OAKLAND TOO

*  Did you know that abortions have been performed Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC even before Roe v. Wade was decided?

**  And that Magee does between 500 and 700 abortions every year?

***  And that the University of Pittsburgh offers abortion training to medical students and Associate professors at Pitt perform abortions at Magee?

 

Imagine the spiritual walls erected at Magee by decades of shedding innocent blood.  Isn’t it about time for those walls to come down and for a renewed culture of life to be restored!

Each night pray-ers for life meet at Magee Women’s Hospital to pray to end abortion.  Pat took these two pictures on May 2, 2017.  Join in prayer!

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Join The Magee Project (founded by our very own Meredith Parente) for a major prayer event:  A week-long Jericho Walk around Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland, from Sunday, April 30th, and ending on Saturday, May 6.

 

From Sunday (4/30) through Friday (5/5) the Jericho Walk will begin at 6:30 PM.  We’ll meet at Magee – on the corner of Halket Street and The Blvd. of the Allies – to circle the hospital one time in silent prayer and meditation.  We’ll then gather briefly after walking to pray together and then and dismiss for the evening.

 

On Saturday, May 6th, we’ll meet at 8:30 AM and circle the hospital seven times in silence. We’ll gather at the end to make declarations about the spiritual walls we’ve asked God to topple and to declare what we are asking God to plant in place of those walls.

 

We’re asking individuals to make the effort to come to as many evenings as possible.  For churches and church groups (such as the Knights of Columbus), the hope is that they would adopt one evening, and then come again on Saturday morning.  Contact Meredith at TheMageeProject@gmail.com or at 412-795-3924 with any questions.

  

As for parking, on street parking is available on Halket St, across from the main entrance to the hospital, but is limited to one hour.  There is also a parking garage available right at Magee’s front entrance.  But don’t park in the Panera/Quality Inn parking lot.  Even if you buy a coffee there, if you walk off the lot, they’ll tow you.

 

And finally, be aware that a launch event for our Jericho Walk will be held on Friday, April 28, at 7 PM at Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene (Pastor Joe Stump’s church), which is at 5604 Interboro Ave. in Pittsburgh.

 

AND NOW FOR PICTURES AND STORIES FROM THE SIDEWALK:

 

There was a nice sized group of prayers from St. Anne’s (Castle Shannon), a few Saturday regulars , and a parishioner from St. Joseph’s.  There were about 15 escorts and, unfortunately, 2-3 customers.  One couple took some information, but continued inside.

Virginia, 7-9

It was another Saturday with a plethora of pray-ers!  I began my shift with the St. Anne’s Respect Life group in the middle of the rosary.  The man leading had a beautiful booming voice which could be heard on both sides of the circle.  I couldn’t help but think that the escorts must pay attention on some level, especially at the door with the baby models also being in full view!  Beth (SA), Joe (SA), and Joe were also present.  A short time later, a large group from Grove City College came and eagerly signed in and took signs to wear.  You can see them lining the street in the picture, their smiling faces bolstered everyone and it was a joy to have them with us!  Several rosaries, divine mercy chaplets, and many other prayers were offered.  Lots of people in costume passed by for some kind of convention.  We were able to hand out a lot of cards and offer free help to any who was simply open to accepting it! God Bless everyone who came.  Thank you!

Sue, 9-11

Pray-ers from St. Anne's in Castle Shannon w/Joe B
Pray-ers from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon w/Joe B
Grove City College students
Grove City College students
GCC students form their line
GCC students form their line

Three large healthcare facilities offering abortion in Pittsburgh…and we wonder why a city this size worries about the future?  The healthcare giant getting federal funds is located in downtown Pittsburgh where this 40 Days for Life campaign is ending for this season.  But abortion will not stop.  Abortion may not be front and center in some lives for the next several months but babies will continue to die under the watchful eye of PP.

So today we watched and prayed.  On my particular shift, Word of God parish and Madonna del Costello parish was represented by Dave, Maryann, Mike, and Bernie.  None of them are strangers to the sidewalk for life.

An older, distinguished looking gentleman with a camera took a picture of Maryann as she was praying.  He didn’t need to ask permission, but the polite thing to do is to ask.  George was evasive of how he plans to use the pictures other than for class, but under gentle and firm persuasion he did ask Maryann’s permission.  She graciously said yes.  He accepted our brochure to let us know if the pictures he took get published.  Taking a picture of someone in prayer… the man saw something that attracted him.

I was able to reach out to several people going into PP today.  Joan and Judy were also Sidewalk Advocates keeping vigil and reaching out.  A young couple did take post abortion information from me, after the seed was planted and watered by Judy and Joan.

Another 30 something woman would not take information – offered twice.  Visibly stressed and smoking, she told me after she looked at the baby models her mind was made up.  She told me (paraphrasing) “look, there is nothing there”.  I said it is her baby.  She walked inside while telling me to shut up.  Simultaneously, an even older woman walked by and yelled at me that it was the woman’s choice.  I won’t argue that statement.  It is a legal choice, but a deadly one for baby and mother.  The mother just isn’t aware.  Please pray.

The town was full of characters from the comic convention.  Right before I left the sidewalk for the day, two men crossed over to the our side of the street.  Unsolicited, the one said  “Stay vigilant.”  I took that as a message.  God has never spoken to me from a burning bush nor have I had any visions.  But I know wisdom when I hear it.  Anyone coming to the sidewalk must remain vigilant this weekend.  The convention has many dark spirited people walking by.  God is practical.  He told us he was sending us out among wolves.  WE must remain vigilant for life all year round.

Thank you to all of those who I shared the sidewalk with today… you know who you are.

Please keep Deacon Ron from Madonna del Costello and Word of God Parish in prayer.  He usually leads his parishes in prayer at the vigil but sadly, his wife died on Thursday.  The viewing is tomorrow and the funeral will be Monday.  Please pray.

Marian, 11-1

Pray-ers from Word of God parish
Pray-ers from Word of God parish

There was a lot of traffic in and out of P.P. today.  Some of the girls who came out together may have been training as escorts.  As this campaign comes to a close, I have to say how encouraging it’s been to read all of your reports and to stand together with you in this cause.  We uplift one another when we come together in prayer.  If the people who run P.P. we’re being honest, they would place a sign in their window stating, “No Lives Matter”.  Abortion subtracts from all of us.  The abortionist preys upon those who are economically disadvantaged and plants seeds of doubt.  40 Days for Life recognizes and supports that all life is God ordained and has purpose.

Dean, 1-3

Nelson and Sue from Word of God Parish in Swissvale
Nelson and Sue from Word of God Parish in Swissvale

I was so blessed today to be able to stand in prayer and witness with my fellow parishioners from St. Sebastian.  There were lots of folks on the streets of Pittsburgh today, what with a comics convention and a Pirates game going on.  With everyone dressed for spring — and the comics convention participants dressed in many colorful ways! — it was hard to believe that it was snowing just yesterday!

I met two wonderful Spirit-filled ladies, Pat and Bernadette, who are active with a pro-life prayer ministry by the name of Preborn Jesus (www.prebornjesus.com).  And speaking of the Holy Spirit, Bill stopped by as well, as ever on his Holy-Spirit-led “beat.”

We were very encouraged that SO many of the passersby – and even some people leaving Planned Parenthood! — were open to taking the yellow resource cards.  For me personally, it had to have been a record number of cards that I was able to give out.  Praise God!!  One young gentleman and his wife stopped to shake our hands and thank us for being there.  We engaged in a few conversations with some searching souls.  There were some rude and unsupportive comments as well.  At one point, a woman exited Planned Parenthood and purposely knocked the fetal models over.  But the negativity today was far outpaced by the general openness to our message.  Please pray that all of the yellow cards handed out today, along with the conversations had, will bear much fruit!

For Life,

Sue M., 3-5

Linda, Mary Lou, Gloria, and Dot, from St. Sebastian
Linda, Mary Lou, Gloria, and Dot, from St. Sebastian
Pat and Bernadette from Preborn Jesus Ministry
Pat and Bernadette from Preborn Jesus Ministry
Mary Ann, Mary, and Guy, from St. Sebastian
Mary Ann, Mary, and Guy, from St. Sebastian
Jim, Sandy, Dot, and Gloria, from St. Sebastian
Jim, Sandy, Dot, and Gloria, from St. Sebastian

I was asked to re-post my Shift Manager report from yesterday.  Here it is:

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The highlight of my evening – heck, the highlight of the whole campaign for me – was meeting Violetta and her five children.  The first thing she said when she saw me and our signs (and our baby models) was:  “Oh you guys are just the greatest.  Thank you for being here.”  Then she explained.  She had been at the East Liberty mill seven years ago for an abortion.  As she went in there were people there who were trying to convince her not to have an abortion.  She heard what they were saying, but went in anyway.  Well, through a series of strange events – along with the voice of her conscience – she walked out and decided not to have that abortion.  Then she introduced me to Nyona, who is seven, the baby she was going to abort.  (She’s the one right in front of her mom with the purple coat and the big smile.)  It was obvious the way that she talked that she understood that it was God who ultimately saved her and her baby.  She said that she had made the mistake at 16 of having an abortion right there at PP. We talked quite a while and I have her information from “Silent No More.”  When I shook Nyona’s hand I said:  “I’m glad you’re here.”  She said:  “I’m glad I’m here too.”
 
Pat, 5-7 (Friday)

DAY 32: SS. John & Paul Catholic Church (Sewickley), Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Robinson), St. Ferdinand (Cranberry), St. Therese (Munhall)

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GENTLENESS ONE MORE TIME

If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies.  It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes.  In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.  Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze.

James 3:3-5

I’m glad that “Gentleness” was our theme for this campaign because it gave me the chance to really evaluate how I’ve reacted in the past to people who make negative comments when I’m out there on the sidewalk.  And as a direct consequence, I’ve done much better these past weeks with those who make an insulting comment and then keep on walking.  In fact, I can’t remember a single occasion when I took the bait and made a reply.

However, my success with those who wanted to stay and engage me in “conversation” was extremely limited.  This campaign I had two encounters which clearly fit into this category.  And both times I fell well short of how I’d hoped to behave.  While I was not what you might call “belligerent,” I was far from gentle.  With the second individual, I can remember making more than one sarcastic remark towards her.  Each time I did it I instantly thought to myself, “Now why did you go and do that?”  The one saving grace in both instances was that, even though I had many more points I wanted to get across, once I realized how high my blood pressure was getting (and how fruitless continued conversation would likely be), I disengaged, walked away, and resumed praying.  It was a small consolation, but a consolation nonetheless.

But recently, I’ve discovered that there’s another reason for me to be grateful for this theme of gentleness.  It’s had the subtle effect of making me look at some other aspects of my life – specifically, how I interact with those I work with and those I live with.  Turns out that I’m not as gentle as I thought I was.  And now I know that I need to both pray and work so that some changes can take place in those areas as well. 

May God grant us all an increase in gentleness in how we deal with all of our brothers and sisters. 

GENTLENESS - TITUS 3 2

 

AND NOW, OUR REPORTS.  WE LEAD OFF WITH GINNY G. WHO, ALONG WITH BILL. H., FILLED IN AS SMs:

Parishioners from Ss. John and Paul joined us this morning in praying for life.  A little into the shift Fr. Tim and the Guardians for Life joined us and prayed the rosary and the Stations of the Cross. There were fewer escorts, but still several (3-4) at each post.  One of the parishioners from Ss. John and Paul approached the escorts (these escorts were very young girls) and tried to engage them in dialogue, mentioning Abby Johnson’s book, etc.  No dialogue followed her attempts to discuss pro-life matters.  There were couples going into the PP building, a few took literature but none came out to the best of my knowledge.

God Bless,
GINNY. G., 7-9

 

So many people, and so MUCH prayer, going on on the sidewalk this morning!  Father Tim and his Guardians for Life were in full swing when we arrived, and we were blessed also with many more prayer warriors from St. Michael in Wheeling, Ss. John & Paul of Franklin Park, Holy Trinity in Robinson, and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kittanning.  Sadly, it was also quite the busy day for the clinic as well.  We reached out to many who were entering and exiting but received no responses or apparent interest.  I should qualify that – WE did not see any response.  With ALL the prayer going on today, complete with folks on their knees on the sidewalk, I believe firmly that hearts were touched and seeds planted.  The Lord will bring those seeds to fruition, in His time!

At one point, as we were praying vocally as a group, a young man approached and came down the sidewalk in between our two lines of prayer, raising very loudly his opinions that we were only there to advocate control over women’s bodies and that we should be promoting safe sex instead.  All of the prayer warriors simply continued praying.  He finally calmed down after speaking with a small group consisting of a few escorts and a few vigil participants.  I personally rejoiced that that varied little group, even with their opposite opinions, were able to placate him.  We prayed for him.

Keep praying for Life!

Sue M., 9-11

Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life
Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life
 Prayer warriors from Ss. John & Paul, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guardians for Life
St. Michael in Wheeling
Tom & Mary Jewel with K of C sign
Tom & Mary Jewel with K of C sign
NOT SURE
Prayer  warriors from Ss. John & Paul, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guardians for Life
Ss. John & Paul
Ss. John & Paul
Holy Trinity in Robinson
Holy Trinity in Robinson

Saturday morning is a busy time on the sidewalk in front of PP.  Not only is the sidewalk full of prayer warriors who come from a variety of places — but the doors are always opening and closing at PP.  Pedestrians abound as they walk to the convention center, bus terminal, and to the Strip District.  Volunteers who are doing their best to help keep Pittsburgh clean walk by with their rubber gloves and garbage bags.  The many stress related cigarette butts in front of PP get picked up and are traded in for money for the organizations – cigarettes by the pound.  PP earns those groups some money…cigarette butts are plentiful.

The day was gloomy.  It was catching.  Liberty and Smithfield is a place for many close encounters.  One young woman who gave me permission to share briefly was waiting for her sister who was inside PP having her second abortion.  The woman with whom I spoke was distressed about the decision.  We talked at length while prayer warriors from Holy Trinity prayed on the other side of the circle. The woman took pictures of the signs that Diane had made that advertise the 800 # s for help – aptly titled:  Abortion Hurts Women.  This woman, hurting from her sister’s decision, was there to support because she already knows the after affects on the sister from the first abortion.  While not agreeing with the decision to abort, she didn’t leave her sister in need.  We hand out Project Rachel information because, while not agreeing with the decision to abort, we know post abortive men and women need help.  This young, wise woman agrees that abortion should be illegal.  I met Jesus on the sidewalk today and God knows her name.

PP had 18 women upstairs today with many being minorities.  The women get a sonogram and a pill to start the process.  There is a book upstairs that has testimonies from women who have had abortions…evidently one woman testified that she was having her 6th abortion at PP.  PP thrives on repeat customers – and many come from far away.

It was a gloomy day on the sidewalk today.

Marian, 11-1

Hayley shared her story against abortion with me.  She is one of seven children and when she lost her father four years ago at the same time that her mother was expecting, they were being counseled by a doctor to have an abortion.  But her mother didn’t and both are doing well today.

Thanks to Joe W. who put in extra time on the sidewalk this afternoon.  There were several clients at P.P. today and no one seemed interested in accepting the alternative information that SA Maggie was handing out.

Dean, 1-3

SA Maggie and Hayley from Seton LaSalle.
SA Maggie and Hayley from Seton LaSalle.
Dear ladies from Holy Trinity in Robinson Twp. who prayed with us today.
Dear ladies from Holy Trinity in Robinson Twp. who prayed with us today.

The 3-5 shift today was pretty quiet which is a blessing when you are a rookie substitute shift manager.  The ritual changing of the guard took place from Dean to me and off I went.  Within a few minutes of my wondering if this would be a solo mission, Mary from St Sylvester’s in Brentwood arrived and we promptly started a Rosary.  Less than a decade in and Mike from  St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry (my home Parish) arrived. Less than 3 decades in and my namesake brother, Bill, arrived and the four of us were there together for the majority of the shift.
Bill’s daughter, who is 7 months pregnant stopped by to add some joy to our time there.  Near the end of the shift Adam arrived, followed by my relief, Jeff, and the baton was successfully passed forward.

Bill S., 3-5

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Mike, Mary, and Bill

(Sorry. I wasn't able to rotate this picture for some reason. PM)
Proud papa, daughter and grandbaby still hiding!!

 

Jeff B., 5-7  Bill, Mike and I stood for the  5 pm shift.

 

Pat M.

DAY 25: A day that was a little different.

BONUS FRUIT!

fruit tree

By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  So by their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:16-20

So what is the fruit of 40 Days for Life?  And is it good fruit?

Well, since God planted the 40 Days for Life tree back in 2004 in College Station, Texas, it certainly has grown.  Campaigns have been held in 675 cities in 40 countries, with over 700,000 people taking part.  And where these campaigns have been held the fruit has been 12,914 lives saved (that we know of), 143 abortion workers quitting their jobs, and 83 abortion centers closing their doors for good.  So yeah, I’d say that’s some pretty good fruit – and I thank God for calling me to be a part of it.

However, this week found me meditating on a different kind of fruit that 40 Days has produced.  Because it’s something above and beyond our obvious mission, I’ve come to call it “bonus fruit.”  

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to once again reconnect with a friend and college classmate.  Each campaign Laurey’s group makes the three-hour drive from Elk County, stands vigil and prays for three or four hours, and then makes the long journey back to “God’s Country.”  And each time they do, she and I get together for a short hour’s break for a coffee at Bruegger’s.  In fact, when the schedule of churches gets posted, the first thing I do is to find out what day they’ll be coming down so I can reserve it on my calendar.  I try not to let anything interfere because I really look forward to our talks which center on our respective families and our shared Catholic faith.  Every once in a while I’ll mention to her that the only thing that would make it any better would be if she could manage to bring with her another friend and classmate from our days at St. Vincent – her husband Brad.  Would we have ever reconnected as we have without 40 Days for Life?  Maybe, but not likely.  Bonus fruit.

This experience started me thinking.  Why is it that there’s a part of me that actually looks forward to the start of another 40 Days for Life campaign?  An experience which will have me standing on a city sidewalk in all sorts of weather and have some very respectable looking people hurl insults at me.  An effort which will have me tied to a computer every Saturday as I struggle to put together yet another stinking blog post!  (Offer it up, Pat.  Just offer it up.)  For crying out loud, I even enjoy our team meetings.

I look forward to the next campaign because it’s a reunion of old friends.  By the grace of God, 40 Days for Life has given me the chance to get to know some of the very best people on the planet and I consider it a joy just being in their company.  I’ve been able to grow from their example, benefit from their prayers, and have had the chance to offer my prayers for them as well.  Some tree, huh?

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure.  

Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth.

Sirach 6:14-15

TODAY THE VIGIL WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT.  BECAUSE OF A POLITICAL EVENT OCCURRING ONLY A BLOCK AWAY – AND THE ANTICIPATED COUNTER-PROTEST OF THAT EVENT – WE DECIDED TO LEAVE THE SIGNS THAT DIANE BRINGS EVERY DAY AT HOME AND HAVE A LOW-KEY, LOW-VISIBILITY DAY WHILE THAT EVENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL.

Virginia, Dan, and David
Virginia, Dan, and David
Jim and Jimmy
Jim and Jimmy
Mark, Joe, and Dan
Mark, Joe, and Dan
Pat and Dan from St. Maria Goretti
Pat and Dan from St. Maria Goretti
Patty from Denver
Patty from Denver
Faithful family from Saints John and Paul
Faithful family from Saints John and Paul

Sue, Tom, and Rosemary

Sue, Tom, and Rosemary

It was a prayerful, peaceful, and blessed early morning at the vigil and so much warmer than past Saturdays (Thank you God).  Dan and Pat from St. Maria Goretti shared in prayers with the year round Saturday morning regulars of Virginia, David, Jim, Joe, Mark, and Bill H.  The weather was so good that Randy biked down to join in prayers. Patty, who is with FOCUS in Denver and who was visiting her daughter at Duquesne, lead us in the 7 Sorrows of Mary prayers.  It was wonderful.  A beautiful and prayerful family from Saints John & Paul made a powerful witness as they stood in a circle in prayer.  While the PP escorts were present on both sides and across the street, the clinic did not have many going in, hopefully due to our presence, witness, and God’s grace.  Peace to all those who come after me today.

Tim B., 7-9

The 11- 1 shift was attended today by Leslie who came from Providence PCA in Coraopolis.  Leslie and her family fund-raise for Choice Pregnancy Center.  Jim, from Holy Trinity Knights of Columbus, also came to pray.  George, a strong advocate and “walk the talk” adoptive parent prayed from his prayer book.  Nadine came to pray from Word of God parish in Swissvale – Madonna de Costello church.  Katie and Judy worked as Sidewalk Advocates today.

Saturday is an abortion day so activity in and out of the doors was busy.  People willing to take information did- and of course there are always those who do not take information.  Stacey from St. John XXIII parish also stood with us during part of the 11-1 shift, arriving during the 9 – 11 am shift.

Thank you for your witness today.
Please keep informed of our vigil through the blog posts and emails.
Family takes care of family!

Marian, 11-1

Wow, God is providing the most fantastic weather this weekend!  When I arrived, Tim was finishing out his shift. We had lovely Marsha, her husband, and 3 children + Nephew! from Saints John and Paul.  I joined them in praying the rosary and divine mercy chaplet.  Dan and another lovely lady from St. Maria Goretti represented their parish.

There was a steady stream of clients entering PP.  Please pray in particular for a woman who had an abortion today, but did accept information…that she will seek the help that she will need.  Ken from Kittaning and Stacey also came and spent time in prayer.  I believe this holocaust will only end by prayer, so I thank God for these 40 days of opportunity to bring it to the sidewalk!

Sue, 9-11

I don’t have much to report today as I was advised to not attend today’s vigil by our dear Nikki.  I was on my way into town and drove past the protest on Liberty Ave.  I saw at least 4 police vehicles and overall it looked pretty intense.  Thank you Nikki and Marian for looking out for me.  By the way, discretion is the better part of valor.

Dean, 1-3

Despite the chaos in the afternoon on Saturday, Jeff B. came out and served as shift manager from 3-7.  Thank you Jeff and those who joined you.  Here are his pictures.

A couple from St. Sylvester's stayed from 3 to 6
A couple from St. Sylvester’s stayed from 3 to 6
Pastor Bryan - back in action
Pastor Bryan – back in action
A family from Assumption parish in Bellvue
A family from Assumption parish in Bellvue

AND HERE’S A PICTURE FROM EARLIER IN THE WEEK:

Katie with her sidewalk chalk
Katie with her sidewalk chalk

Pat M.

Day 18: Thanks to St. Alexis (Wexford), St. John (Baden), Good Samaritan (Ambridge), and Mt. Zion Baptist Church (Butler)


Image result for rope-a-dope Ali v Foreman

DOING GENTLENESS – PART 2

The year was 1974.  The place was Kinshasa, Zaire.  And the fight would become known as “THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE.”  George Foreman was the undisputed champion with a record of 40-0 (37 by knockout).  The challenger, and decided underdog, was former champion Muhammad Ali.  Ali’s supporters weren’t just afraid that he would lose.  They were afraid that he’d be killed.  But Ali had a plan. 

Beginning in the second round, Ali frequently began to lean on the ropes and covered-up to protect himself as best he could, letting Foreman punch him on the arms and body.  He would later dub the strategy “the rope-a-dope.”  By the 8th round, both Foreman’s punching and defense became ineffective as the strain of throwing so many wild shots had taken its toll on him.  Ali was then able to move in on the exhausted Foreman, knock him to the canvas, and win the fight on a TKO (technical knock-out). 

Foreman’s fists were arguably the most lethal in the history of boxing.  And this resulted in his earning early-round knockouts in nearly all of his bouts.  But it was in this strength that Ali deduced his weakness – a lack of stamina. 

So this is the lesson I suggest we take from Zaire and bring to Pittsburgh.  When someone insists on going “toe-to-toe” with us out there at the vigil, they’re expecting us to verbally punch back.  After all, doesn’t everybody?  But if we decide instead to listen patiently to all they have to say – without interrupting – what then will happen? 

At the very least, “fight-fatigue” will eventually set in upon our opponent because we won’t be giving fuel to their fire.  As a bonus, we’ll have some time to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance about what we should say if that chance does come about.  And if it does come, I’ll also suggest that we begin by respectfully summing-up their point of view to make sure that we have it straight.  By following the principle of seeking to first understand, then to be understood, will be a further surprise – and a little more water on their flame.

Where things go from that point, no one can say.  But if we approach these encounters from the beginning by remembering to STAY HUMBLE AND REMEMBER THE RUMBLE, we’ll have given ourselves ‘a puncher’s chance’.

AND NOW OUR STORIES AND PICTURES FROM THE SIDEWALK

It was a quiet, peaceful, and prayerful morning.  The Saturday regulars were joined by the ladies from St Alexis in Wexford and Mark, a prayer warrior.  Then Father Tim and his van full of the faithful Guardians for Life filled the street with prayers and song.

Tim B., 7-9

Ladies from St. Alexis
Ladies from St. Alexis
Guardians for Life
Guardians for Life
Guardians for Life
Guardians for Life

Part of my Lenten devotion is a daily email with a reflection and something to think about for that day.  Today’s theme was “This Day We Fight”. On the way down to PP I kept psyching myself up for the fight and thinking, YES…This Day We Fight!!! We are there to fight for those women, children, fathers and workers.

Well, when I arrived there was already an army amassed including Fr. Tim and the Guardians for Life, a large group from St Michael’s in Wheeling, and a Sister Jolene(?) (sorry if I didn’t get her correct name).  She came to pray in honor of her brother’s birthday.  Her brother, Fr. Joseph, passed away in October 2015.  He was a devoted Pro-Life advocate throughout his priesthood.  Sister also wants us to know that 40 Days for Life is remembered daily in prayers at the Mother House!  The battleground was set with many PP escorts and many praying pro-life warriors.  Chuck and his group were doing the Jericho march, Bill came and walked around the circle in constant prayer.  A lot of clients went in and a lot of life-affirming information was handed out, including the 10-week precious feet pins!  Please pray for a couple who was in need of housing.  A trio of lovely ladies from Good Samaritan came as I was leaving to start their shift.  We all covered that place in so much prayer that I left confident we won this spiritual battle, ’cause we are God Strong!

Sue D., 9-11

 

Warriors from St Michael's in Wheeling
Warriors from St Michael’s in Wheeling
Good Samaritan Pray-ers!
Good Samaritan & St. John’s Pray-ers!

I will title this:  “Judy from the Northside was spat at today.”

This is what she wished she had said in response:  “God would love you if you had spat at God Himself…because your life is precious beyond words!”  Judy and I are Sidewalk Advocates together and as a result have become friends too!  I was standing next to her as we saw the young men approached.  Judy offered information and the spit came in response with the spittle landing right at her feet.  Just previous to this, I had asked Anita from WV to be one of the dedicated prayers for us as we witness on Saturdays.  “The devil saw Jesus in Judy today as it walked by.”

As I came into my favorite coffee shop to write this, a middle aged woman was sitting discussing her writing with a mentor of sorts.  The woman was wearing a hat with horns.  If you know me by now, I had to ask her before left “Why the hat?” She responded it was part of an act and she decided to keep wearing it.  I told her I write about people I meet.  She smiled, left, and another woman with interesting symbols on her sweatshirt sat down… to be continued!!

So I ask questions of the many wonderful witnesses who come to the street called Liberty at a site where liberty is ripped from the womb.  The three ladies pictured are not only active in 40 Days for Life, but they are Ladies of Charity and in a women’s group which hosts baby showers.

I met Mark who came with the group for WV.  He has been witnessing since the abortion clinic was in the other location in Pittsburgh.  Bob, who prays everyday as he walks by, also has been praying since the abominable clinic was in that other part of town.  I asked the young escorts and the women coming out of the volunteers training program today if part of the training included showing them what an abortion looks like-  videos are available.  No one would answer me– not even the trainer herself.

Marian C., 11-1

We handed out some of the Rachel’s Vineyard literature to S., who had been at P.P. today.  She asked us to pray for her.  We know that she’s hurting right now.  Otherwise the afternoon went fairly quietly.

Food for thought when refuting the abortion argument: The abortionist sells the concept that the unborn baby is an nonviable mass of tissue.  But, they know the harvest potential from selling these babies organs.

Dean D., 1-3

Beverly and Jan from Good Samaritan-Ambridge and St. John's-Baden.
Beverly and Jan from Good Samaritan-Ambridge and St. John’s-Baden.

Began the shift with sun shine.  Ended shift with Sonshine Jerome from St. Thomas Moore and Pastor Ben from Mt. Zion Baptist.  Prayed throughout this shift.  Pray for T.  His girlfriend was awaiting her abortion upstairs.  God let him talk in such a way that it was shared that it’s never too late to leave the clinic and not have the abortion.  He took our info then went back in.  Intense prayer followed for him and girlfriend.  At end of shift Sonshined as SM Joe and Pastor Ben ministered to homeless man.

Kathy K., 3-5

Prayerful Christians serving the Lord.  Carry on Christian soldiers!!!  (Picture below.)

Joe W., 5-7

 Jay, Kathy and Pastor Ben from Mt. Zion church in Portersville
Jay, Kathy and Pastor Ben from Mt. Zion church in Portersville

Pat M.

Day 11: Bellevue and Manordale Knights of Columbus

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GENTLENESS:  THREE TIPS TO GET US THERE:

Gentleness is our theme for this campaign.  And the little story from the drive-thru might be a good image to have in mind as we each prepare for our next scheduled time on the sidewalk.  Based upon my own reactions to confrontation – both good and bad – I’ve identified three key things we can do which will better enable gentleness to come through:

  • BEFORE you go, “Ya gotta pray!” – When I’ve failed to specifically and intentionally ask God to put you in the proper frame of mind, and to display the type of demeanor out on the sidewalk that He wants, I’m nearly doomed to failure. But when I remember to do this – even after I’ve already started my shift – I know that the grace I need to overcome my oh-so-natural impulses is there to draw on.
  • When you’re THERE, “Ya gotta pray!” – There isn’t one among us who doesn’t take some time to socialize a bit with our fellow pray-ers at the vigil. It would be unnatural not to.  But if we aren’t spending the bulk of our time on some type of prayer, then common sense tells us that we won’t be nearly as prepared to respond with gentleness when someone expresses their displeasure with us.  And while I can’t prove it, I’d be willing to bet that those who really don’t like us find it much more difficult to confront a group in prayer than one in casual conversation.  Consequently, they’re a lot less likely to do so.
  • Bite your tongue – No way to sum it up any better.  Most of the negativity we receive as we stand vigil (at least 80%) comes in the form of, what I call, “drive-by” comments.  These are people who, as they walk past, say something derogatory, but keep on going.  Fine.  Let them go.  Resist the urge to offer a retort.  To absorb the blow with grace gives evidence of your gentleness.  But saying something in response simply is to invite a confrontation.  [I’ll talk about how to deal with a “frontal assault” confrontation in a future post.]

But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father.

Mt 5:44-45

 

It was a glorious morning and I was blessed to be surrounded by the year round Saturday morning “regulars” of Virginia, David, Joe and Bill.  We were joined by sidewalk advocates Jim, Sue and Beth.  Cory who was coming by for the parade stopped and prayed for some time with us.  We prayed passionately for a young couple who entered the clinic crying. We tried to talk with her and give her resource info her but she wouldn’t engage.  Pray for her.

Tim B, 7-9

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Virginia, David, Bill, Joe

Cory and Beth
Cory and Beth

C.O.L.D.!!!  But as always, we (Sue D., my tag-team shift manager today, and I) found warmth on the sidewalk this morning, the warmth we always feel when surrounded by friends and fellow prayer warriors in the pro-life movement.  Early in the shift, we were blessed with the regular Saturday-morning Sidewalk Advocates working their “beat” as usual — Marian C. and Judy V. — along with Beth (“Just-Keep-Going“) S.  Bill H., another regular (to put it mildly!), was also there.  Soon Stacey R. arrived, and then later in the shift, Ken B. and Chris C.  Rosaries and prayer ensued.  Several people and couples entered and exited Planned Parenthood during our shift this morning.  We approached them and offered help, but unfortunately only one woman entering the clinic accepted our literature.  The annual St. Patty’s Day parade attendees and participants, most of them sporting a lot of green, were out in full force.  We were able to distribute a considerable amount of literature to passersby.  Marian and Judy engaged several people in what I know were meaningful conversations as they lasted awhile!  During the time I was there, no one reacted negatively toward us, and all was peaceful.  Marian, who had arrived on the sidewalk around 9:30, took over shift manager duties at 11 to prepare to continue to freeze, along with Judy, for two more hours — God bless them!  Keep praying!!

Sue M., 9-11

Ken B., Stacey R., and Chris C. (Chris is from St. Bernard; the other two did not list a church)
Ken B., Stacey R., and Chris C. (Chris is from St. Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon)
     On this cold day, the 4 men remained in continuous prayer by reciting the decades of the Rosary.  Praying men on the sidewalk are a powerful witness to women, but especially to other men.   The signs they chose to wear were the Choose Life signs which have the Knights of Columbus logo.  Like kids in a candy store- these Knights were joyful to see those signs!!
    Many positive comments could be heard as the pedestrians passed by after the parade.  The few mocking comments that were made, were made by women.  At the end of the sidewalk, when they meet God, they will have to answer for that.  God does not appreciate mockery.  Judy, my Sidewalk Advocate partner, stayed through our usual shift as Sidewalk Advocates.  Judy is starting a pro-life group at the north campus of the community college.  Three staff members have agreed to be her sponsor and over 40 students signed up to join the group.
    The clients coming out of PP were not receptive today to taking information.  Everyone thinks they are going to be fine… especially the friend walking out with them.  Deceptive practices make people assume incorrectly.  The baby models, as usual, brought a comment or two.  One boy about 10 years of age stopped and asked about them.  He thanked me for (briefly) explaining the sizes.  He seemed to understand when I said you were once that size in your mommy’s “belly”.   He was smiling as he walked away.
    Two men stopped to talk after seeing the baby models.  Once gentleman took a card and cared about the message of the models.  His friend had a little different attitude.  He thought the models were rubbing salt in the wound of women coming out after having an abortion.  We agreed that abortion is hurtful.  I explained that how women feel after coming out of an abortion clinic is because of the choice they made.  The truth does hurt at times when wrong decisions are made.  Our presence on the sidewalk is not hurting anyone.  I heard two comments to “mind your own business”.  I thought to myself–we are.  Life is our business.  Thanks to our benefactors who supply the hand warmers.  That great invention was needed today.  We may have had cold hands (especially Charles) but as they say – cold hands, warm hearts.
     From the sidewalk, with grateful appreciation for those present today,
Marian, 11-1

 

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Bellevue Knights of Columbus

I was pleasantly surprised by how much approval we got from passersby.  Only a few had anything negative to say.  Planned Parenthood seemed fairly quiet today, with only workers there today.

Dean, 1-3

Dennis and Gerry from Murrysville Knights of Columbus
Dennis and Gerry from the Manordale (Murrysville area) Knights of Columbus
Dave and Don from Murrysville Knights of Columbus
Dave and Don from the Manordale Knights of Columbus
Manordale KofC group shot
Manordale KofC group shot

A special thanks to my brother Knights of Columbus who recognized that their presence, on a day when the St. Patrick’s Day parade was being held, would be especially needed.

Pat M.

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Day 4: Holy Wisdom parish and St. John XXIII Latin Mass Community

ARE YOU ALL IN?

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Back on her January 23rd post Nikki wrote about how she was fighting the lukewarmess she was feeling towards the upcoming Lenten campaign.  She knew she had to make a decision:  either be ALL IN or ALL OUT.  Thankfully, God gave her the grace and the courage to commit to being ALL IN.  Then, just a few weeks later, she wrote the following:

I also think that it is more important than ever to add FASTING to our prayers!  Jesus said that some demons can only be driven out by prayer AND fasting!  St. Augustine said that fasting and almsgiving are the two wings that carry our prayers to God!

I think you see where I’m going here.  If we’re going to be ALL IN, then fasting needs to be a big part of our lives during this Lenten campaign.  With that in mind, I have a few tips to offer with respect to that most challenging spiritual discipline:

  • Let God decide what kind of fasting you’ll be doing. While you may have your own ideas as to what you want to fast from, your fasting is sure to have more of an all-around impact (i.e., not just with respect to saving lives and changing minds and hearts, but on bringing you closer to God) if you surrender all of your ideas and simply pray:  “Lord, what is it that You want me to give up?”  Then, pay attention as you go about your day to listen for His answer.
  • Start small and build.  There’s the decision to be ALL IN on fasting, and then there’s the actual execution of that decision.  There are many things I feel prompted to give up as Lent approaches, but I know that I’m not strong enough to give them all up at once.  So I start with one thing and give that up during the first week (usually sports-talk radio).  Then, by the time I get through that week and have become somewhat acclimated to that sacrifice, I’m ready to add some other small thing to it for the following week, and another the week after.  That gradual build-up makes the arduous mountain that fasting can be, seem not so steep.
  • Consider committing to a day on bread and water OR liquids only through our fasting calendar. Really, when you can choose which of these two fasts to do for 24 hours (7PM – 7 PM), it’s not as hard as you might think.  The first step in getting there is to go to this page of our website and scroll down to the link which says:  Prayer and Fasting for life.

AND NOW, THE SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS:

SM Barbara L. was with her parish ALL DAY on Saturday.  And her husband Richard was her assistant SM for 6 of those 12 hours.  [I’d call that being “ALL IN.”]  Here’s what she had to say:

Today, Holy Wisdom and Saint John XXIII Parishes helped cover Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil.  Joining in prayer were Chris, Beth, John, Al, Sally, Bob, Rose, Richard, Barbara and Claire.

Since the beginning God has called His people.  God designs vocations and they are awesome.  You will not be bored. Saint Peter, one of my favorite people of God, in saying yes, progressed from virtue to virtue and ended upside down.  Peter’s is an outstanding beauty in the stories of love.

We arrive and stay to pray on this sidewalk because we are looking for God.  Abortion hurts the baby, the mother, the father, the grandparents, the siblings, the baby’s whole family.  The abortion hurts the doctor, the nurses, the secretaries, cleaners…everyone working at the abortion site.  It is almost inconceivable that abortion, killing the baby, is promoted as a solution to a crisis pregnancy.  Yet, people promote abortion publicly and shamelessly.

Thank Goodness, seeking and choosing this terrible “solution” need not be the last chapter in the story of a crisis pregnancy.  Life is the solution your heart seeks.  Let your baby live.  Repent and turn to God if you have had an abortion.  Pittsburgh prolife organizations have the back of those of us who meet you on the sidewalk.  Our hearts and “HELP” sheet are crammed with help for you, ready right now.

Barbara

Beth, Sally, Al, and John
Beth, Sally, Al, and John
Pat (delivering the materials), SA David, and SM Richard
Pat M. (delivering the materials), SA David, and SM Richard L.
Pat and SM Tim B.
Pat and SM Tim B.

The frosty temperature didn’t prevent over a dozen of the faithful of Father Tim’s Guardians for Life or those from Holy Wisdom parish & St. John XXIII Latin Mass Community from praying and witnessing at the dawn of this day.  The Sidewalk Advocates had counselors in all directions from the clinic.  One group of four men walking down the sidewalk walked around our prayerful group on the road rather than thru us.  I believe it was out of respect.  Hopefully we had this same effect on those women or couples thinking of entering the clinic.  Maybe, just maybe, we saved a baby today.

Tim B, 7-9

 

Bill, Virginia, Richard, Joe
Bill, Virginia, Richard, Joe
Fr. Tim and his team
Fr. Tim and his team
"All Day" Barbara in the middle
“All Day” Barbara in the middle

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The weather was unwelcomingly cold as I arrived at the vigil today — and it sure stayed that way!  The Guardians for Life were in full force and faithfully praying the Rosary.  The PP escorts, as they always are on Saturdays, were also in full force.  In the minutes before 10a, many people, mostly women, were entering PP.  Since I am on the sidewalk every Saturday morning as a representative of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, I’ve come to know that PP holds training meetings regularly on Saturdays at 10a, so undoubtedly that is what was going on.  I have never been able to find out, though, just what exact purpose the training is for …. it is still a goal of mine to do so, as they attract a fairly large number of people, more people than can possibly be employed inside PP — and I never see any repeat faces from week to week.

With the large numbers of the Guardians for Life, one always wonders if anyone will be left praying on the sidewalk when they leave!  But we were blessed soon afterwards with Claire, Rose, Rose, Tripp, and Mary from St. Boniface, along with “regular” Ken, and the sidewalk remained filled with prayer.  Sadly, however, only one young woman entering PP during the time I was there accepted our offer of literature.  Keep praying – we’ve only just begun!

Sue M., 9-11

Do you wonder if we make an impact on what people think of those who pray in front of PP?  Last night as I was leaving the vigil to catch my bus, I noticed a young couple smiling/chuckling while looking across at PP.  I caught the young woman’s eye and asked if they wanted information as to why 40 Days for Life stands and witnesses.  The woman asked “Why are the men kneeling?”  The engaging conversation lasted about 5 minutes with at least one other person at the bus stop hearing the explanation and the friendly and fact filled conversation. The couple, open to hearing the message, saw and heard something new about PP last night because they saw two men kneeling.  Thanks  Pat and Matt for your witness.  The two young men who passed by, before I crossed the street, also noticed.  Grown men kneeling in prayer – what an awesome sight!  Men who support women…who could ask for anything more?

Marian, 11-1

Not many people were out this afternoon. I prayed with Barbara and Bob. Thank you Barbara for praying the whole vigil today. You really are an inspiration for the rest of us. Don’t give up.

Dean D., 1-3

Dean, Shift Manager and Bob, Saint John XXIII Parishioner
SM Dean and Bob, Saint John XXIII Parishioner

 

Pat M.

Day 25: Holy Wisdom & St. John XXIII Latin Mass; St. Alphonsus (Wexford)

WANTEDSECRET AGENTS

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When we do 40 Days, we do it out in the open…and under very open skies.  Well, when this campaign ends (in just two weeks), how would you like to switch gears and do some undercover pro-life praying…with the added benefit of actually being under cover?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, won’t be downtown, but in Oakland. Amazingly, you will actually be able to walk right through the front doors of a facility which does 500-700 abortions every year.  

Now because it’s stealth praying you’ll be doing, leave all pro-life signs, shirts, and hats at home.  A lack of discretion could jeopardize the entire mission, which is still in the gestational stages.

LOCATION:                          

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

NAME OF THE MISSION:  

The Magee Project

OBJECTIVE:

Ending abortion at Magee and bringing a culture of life

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:          

One hour of undercover prayer per month (or more if you like)

YOUR CONTACT:

Our own Meredith P. at themageeproject@gmail.com.

Sound intriguing?  Then contact Meredith today to get more of the secret details.

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Completely unnecessary musical accompaniment:

AND NOW, OUR REPORTS FROM THE SIDEWALK…

There was an unusual number of extremely well dressed young people (twenty somethings) on the streets in groups of 4-10 passing by.  All seemed friendly as the passed and looked at our displays.  Then one young man looked at my sign “Pray To End Abortion” then at the displays, then at PP, and enthusiastically came over to me and gushed “Thank you so much for being here.  Thank you.” He then shook my hand and off he went.  What a blessing of encouragement. This was one of many.  

The Choices team of Betsy and Laura brought the mobile sonogram down and I was joined by many prayer warriors who hadn’t signed up, rather, they just showed up. There were no churches signed up and several of the early Saturday morning regulars were away so I was thinking  we might not have a strong presence, but I was wrong.  Al and Sally stopped on their way to Ohio as did Virginia. Regulars David and Bill H. were there and Charles from Living Word who has been to vigil in the past during the week decided to come on a Saturday.  Barbara and Richard just showed up. Peter, on his way to pray at the East Liberty facility, opted instead to join us downtown.  What blessed morning it was (except for that cold, damp and rainy thing 🙂  ).  I had prayed for God’s assistance and was answered.  No doubt Heaven always hears me.

Tim B., 7-9

Betsy and Laura - the mobile sonogram team from Choices
Betsy and Laura – the mobile sonogram team from Choices
Sally, Virginia, Albert
Sally, Virginia, Albert
David, Bill, Jimmy
David, Bill, Jimmy
Charles and Bill
Charles and Bill
Peter
Peter
What do they say about making plans?  Peter had a good plan to go with his friends from the Oratory to pray at the abortion facility in East Liberty…but he ended up coming to pray at the vigil site with me (long story). I saw first hand how God used Peter to help strangers today and that was before we arrived in front of PP.  Thank you Peter for being open to how God used you today!!
 
St. Patrick showed up today too.  He interceded through Judith, Elizabeth, Patty, Reene, Joan, Bo and Tony.  Christine and Mike juggle their schedules so they can come down on and off campaign to witness and give out resource information. They care about life at the older generation stage too!  Ken B. travels in from Kittanning on a regular basis on Saturdays to witness.  Judy, Kathy L. and David (stayed through  the 10:00 hour) were there as Sidewalk Advocates.  Charles, Chris and Barbara stayed through the 10:00 hour too. Richard also was there. Barbara and Richard have been an official team for 50 years!  Cornerstone Television Network was represented today by Terry and Dan Black. It was their first time to the vigil and in front of PP.
 
We had S, a young married man, challenge our presence from the bus stop across the street.  He and I spoke at length.  We differ on so many issues but engaged in a peaceful conversation.  Although he doesn’t want children, thinks the world is over populated and that PP doesn’t perform abortions, we agreed on one important aspect of abortion choices. He said he would not abandon his wife if, without it being a couple decision, she became pregnant. But like a young woman who agreed to talk to me today, S sees the baby is only a fetus until it exits the womb.  It makes sense then that to some PP does not perform abortions….if they don’t understand genetics.  Puppies in a dog are also fetuses.  Neither person would take information although the right of a woman to choose to have a baby was discussed.
 
A  father of a child who was being aborted today was quite honest with me. He said they had done the research before making the choice to abort the baby.  He told me, when asked, that they were prepared for the consequences.  Therefore, if he took information from me it would be like me taking information from a Jehovah Witness. I understood that analogy.  I pray that they are prepared.
 
The sidewalk in front of PP is an interesting place to stand. Sometimes it reminds me of the  opening lines to the television show- Dragnet.
 
Marian, 9-11
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 Shift Managers Rose W. and Joe W.
Chris and I were finishing the Rosary, Joyful mysteries, when Chris noticed a young couple walking toward the PP doors. They were holding hands and smiling at each other.  “Oh, don’t go in there,” Chris called. “We can do more for you than they can. What do you need?” “We just need a pregnancy test,” said the young man. Chris pointed to the mobile sonogram van parked across the street. “They can do more for you and the care is free,” he said. After declining our invitation to walk them over and introduce them, they walked over and went in. All the sidewalk counselors came over and we celebrated. God is good!
A bonus report from Barb L. from this morning

First of all, big thanks to shift Mgr. Marian and Adam from St. Alphonsus who stood with me this afternoon. We didn’t have much interaction with the crowd that passed by, but we did get to share each other’s testimony about praying at the 40 DFL vigil.  God bless Jeff B. for biking into town from Munhall on a windswept afternoon to substitute.

Dean D., 1-3

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Pictures below from Jeff B., 3-5

edith-from-st-george-in-oaklandEdith from St. George in Oakland

group         Pauline, Laurie, Elissa, Steve and baby Melody. Members of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, Allegheny Co.

Pictures below from Joe W., 3-7

Denise and Steve from St. Joseph's in Corapolis
Denise and Steve from St. Joseph’s in Corapolis
Parishioners from St. Killian's in Adams Twp.
Parishioners from St. Killian’s in Adams Twp.

MORE STORIES AND PICTURES WILL BE INCLUDED WHEN THEY COME IN.

Pat M.

Day 18: THE PINK SHIRTS ARE COMING! THE PINK SHIRTS ARE COMING!

THE PINK SHIRTS ARE COMING! THE PINK SHIRTS ARE COMING!

On Thursday my bus dropped me off at the park-n-ride over two hours later than I had planned.  In what I guess was an effort to shake-off the frustration of the day, I decided to steer my car in a slightly different route home.  As I drove through the neighborhood of Alpine Village, I saw a man in a pink T-shirt walking the other way.  Knowing that men rarely make this fashion choice, I suspected that something was up.  I couldn’t catch what his shirt said as I passed him, but I thought I saw the words “Planned Parenthood” on it.  That was all it took for common sense to go out the window.  Instead of continuing on my way, I stopped the car, put it in reverse, and backed up to get a second look at that shirt.  (Not sure if I actually checked my rear view mirror before doing so.)  Sure enough, it said:

pp-pink-shirt-image

And so, with the aforementioned common sense still abandoned by the side of the road, I put my window down and decided to engage him in conversation.  I started by saying that I had noticed his T-shirt and was wondering if he was worked for PP.  He said that he was, but only indirectly.  He explained that he was canvasing the neighborhood asking people how they planned to vote in November.  I asked him, in an even-toned manner, why he would work for an organization that was in the business of killing people.  He surprised me by not defending abortion, but by saying that it was only 3% of their services, and then asserting that PP does a lot of good things besides abortion.  I made sure to patiently listen to him as he started to list them.  And then, I listened some more as he compared PP to the sun.  (Yup, that was a first for me too).  He explained that while the sun causes cancer, it also makes plants grow, gives us warmth, provides solar energy, etc.

Finally, I responded.  I told him that by his own reasoning, we really couldn’t condemn Hitler either.  After all, while he may have killed millions of Jews in the Holocaust, he also built Germany up from the ashes of WWI into a strong and prosperous nation.  (Note to reader:  When I expressed this during the actual conversation, it didn’t come out quite as clearly and succinctly as you see above.)  Back and forth the conversation went, all the while in a civil manner from both ends.  As it did, I figured that it would be better for me to try to drive home just one point instead of a hundred.  That point was this:  If an organization was committing only one murder a year, let alone the over 300,000 PP commits, why would anyone want to work for them?

At some point in the conversation I decided that I needed to thank him for patiently listening to my views way he did.  He really was a thoughtful and reflective type of guy.  He told me that he really liked engaging discussions where he could hear other people’s views on things.  I then told him that my name was Pat.  His was Walter.  Seeing that we had been talking to each other from across the road, he asked me if it would be OK if he came closer to the car.  I said, “Sure.”  He told me about how many houses he has to canvas each day and the places he has been.  Being black, he said that it was clear that he wasn’t nearly as welcome in some of those places.  He ate a granola bar as we spoke and admitted that he really hadn’t dressed warmly enough that day.  I offered him a granola bar that I had in my car for him to have later and he graciously accepted.  This led to another few minutes of discussing, of all things, his mother’s peanut allergy.  As we parted we shook hands.  I was grateful for the encounter and got the clear sense that he was too.

As I finished my drive home I thought about the things I had said (and didn’t say).  I had some regrets, but overall, I was glad that I had decided to engage Walter…and that God had given me the grace to do so in the manner I had.  I felt that I might have planted some seeds.

If these people employed by PP haven’t already been to your neighborhood, expect to see one soon.  So be prepared, both with what you want to say and how you want to say it.  The pink shirt they will be wearing will probably offend you.  But the person inside of it might be receptive to gentle reasoning and patient listening.

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WE THANK THE FOLLOWING CHURCHES THAT SIGNED-UP FOR SATURDAY:

Holy Family Catholic Church (Steubenville), St. Sebastian Catholic Church (Ross Twp.), St. John (Baden), Good Samaritan (Ambridge)

AND NOW, ON TO OUR REPORTS…

Prayer Warriors traveled far this morning to be at the vigil pre-dawn, coming from Steubenville, Latrobe, and Indiana.  Song and prayer rang out and echoed on Liberty Avenue.  Fr. Tim lead in song and prayer in front of pp while prayer warriors from the Oratory prayed a little down the street and others lined the other side of the arc around the entrance.  Sidewalk Advocates were positioned on both sides and across the street as well.  Sadly it was a busy morning with many going into the clinic.  But the dawn was breaking and hope was abundant confident that God hears our prayers.

Tim B., 7-9

Fr Tim and Guardians for Life Latrobe
Fr. Tim and Guardians for Life Latrobe

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Pray-ers from the Oratory in Oakland
Pray-ers from the Oratory in Oakland

Except for the few times that PP has closed on Saturday, the morning shift in front of PP is always busy with customers.   The escorts are out until 10:00 waiting to escort their clients through the doors.  Prayerful witness and reaching out is important.  As is written in the Bible, no book can contain all the things that Jesus did while on Earth.  He was dealing with people…. so no wonder.  A lot happens on the street – too much to report.

To emphasize, Saturday morning is abortion day at PP.  Therefore, the presence of the Sidewalk Advocates and those reaching out with practical help is imperative.  Terri, Joe, David and Sue were the Sidewalk Advocates this morning.  Those of us who are Sidewalk Advocates hug each other offering each other signs of support.  

Matt, who came from Living Hope in Latrobe (not his first time), is very good at reaching out.  He even had someone yell at him… he touched a nerve in a good way.  Our presence on the sidewalk does that. 

Libby, from St. Sebastian, shared with me that when she was in training to become a nurse she was assigned to the obstetrics department.  Some doctors performed abortions.  As a student nurse, Libby learned the value of life.  She helped identify aborted babies as male or female. Hospitals issue death certificates for aborted babies. Loving the OB, but not wanting to participate in abortions, Libby changed her specialty to psychiatric nursing.  Now Libby sometimes encounters post-abortive women who need psychological help.   In hospitals.   At that hospital, many years ago but after Roe v Wade, babies aborted had death certificates for the record – proof of life.

Another nurse visiting from California spoke with the escorts and us.  She is pro-life.  Matt, Lucy and I spoke at length.  Lucy mentioned her niece who is messed up from an abortion.  An intervention is being sought to help her.  Lucy was adamant about the dangers of IUD’s in women.

One woman did walk out of PP and did tell me she changed her mind.  Still upset walking out of PP, the escorts (now off duty) paid no attention to her nor tried to stop me from reaching out to her.   The young women was visibly upset but took no information.   PP considers us dangerous protestors, but only to the customers as they walk in the door.  One young woman did say she was going in for an abortion today.  She took a card and walked with me but would not stop to talk with Terri.  The young woman ignored three voices of reason before entering the door.

(Sue probably has much to write…. If she did not write about Michael… post abortive… decision made at the age of 17… has repented and knows he is forgiven by God  but still regrets the decision.  Three of us prayed with him and he took resource cards.  Sue reached out, he reached back.)

Marian C., 9-11

The weather had become beautiful after a chilly morning, and it was a comfort to pray today with many folks from my home parish, St. Sebastian.  Katie stopped by with little Nick, who joined us in passing out literature to passersby in his very sweet and polite way.  Bill H. came by as well.  We rejoiced at the news of the mom who changed her mind and decided to keep her baby during Marian’s shift!!!  Marian was still there with us during most of the 11-1 shift, and I was there during her whole shift as well, so I am finding it hard to remember what happened during which shift – thank you, Marian, for covering the “main stories” !!  I did have a nice surprise visit from a young man named James who visited us during his morning run and out of the blue told me he is interested in attending training to become a Sidewalk Advocate.  Matt also expressed interest.  The Sidewalk Advocates for Life will be holding a local training session soon for those interested – please email kathlaslow@yahoo.com if you are interested in attending!

Sue M., 11-1

Matt from Living Hope Church, Shift Mgr. Marian, and Libby from St. Sebastian
Matt from Living Hope Church, Shift Mgr. Marian, and Libby from St. Sebastian
Susan & Jeanette from Holy Family
Susan & Jeanette from Holy Family
Harry, Mary Ann, Vince, Dot, Libby, & Sue (SM), all from St. Sebastian, with Bill H. Hiding in the back
Harry, Mary Ann, Vince, Dot, Libby, & Sue (SM), all from St. Sebastian, with Bill H. Hiding in the back

 

Quiet afternoon. There didn’t seem to be much traffic exiting PP. Most folks were receptive to our yellow cards.
Sorry for no pics, but the group St. Sebastian who stood with me already had their picture taken by Sue M.

Dean D., 1-3

What a lovely afternoon to spend in prayer with members of the body of Christ. Adam (from Monroeville) and I were joined shortly after three by Marcella, Barb & Jan from St. John’s and Good Samaritan who promptly engaged in a scriptural rosary for the unborn. The streets were busy with Penguins fans and families and folks out on the beautiful afternoon. Later Lenisa from St. Thomas More entered our “prayer piazza” as did Dan from St. Maurice whose beautiful voice was especially impactful as we prayed the stations of the cross.  We squeezed in the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the hour of mercy, too.  As the sun moved lower, Beverly and Barb from Good Samaritan & St. John the Baptist continued in praying the very special devotions included in the materials to pray in front of an abortion clinic. There were moments when we choked up at the enormity of this loss of life.  May God bless each of my fellow prayer warriors in a very very special way, and reward their faithfulness with joy in their lives.

Jeannie French, 3-5

 

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Beverly from Good Samaritan in Ambridge, Brenda from St. John the Baptist in Baden, Dan from St. Maurice in Forest Hills
Beverly from Good Samaritan in Ambridge, Brenda from St. John the Baptist in Baden, Dan from St. Maurice in Forest Hills

Last picture from Joe W., 5-7

Pat M.

Day 4: St. Ann’s (Castle Shannon), Cultural Impact PA, Holy Trinity (Robinson) – and many others

JESUS WAS AMAZED

centurian-of-faith

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum.  A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him.  When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave.  They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”

And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.  Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.  For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me.  And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”  When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

LK 7: 1-10

Just a few weeks ago I heard this gospel passage proclaimed at mass.  Of course, I’d heard the story many times before.  But on this particular day, I was given the grace to have the words go past my head and into to my heart.  In fact, it would be more accurate to say that felt the gospel that day rather than heard it.  I was able to not simply understand, but to experience why Jesus was amazed. 

This centurion gave us one of the greatest examples of faith (not to mention humility) in all of scripture.  And you know what?  If this pagan was able to amaze Jesus with his act of faith, you and I can do that too.  So, if you haven’t already done so, today (notice that’s TODAY, not tomorrow) set aside five minutes of your time.  Use that time to really think and pray about what one act of faith you can make during this 40-day period, perhaps by taking on some sort of prayer or fasting that you’ve never dared to attempt before, which will truly amaze Jesus.  And then, trusting that He will give you the strength to accomplish it…do it!

jesus-amazed

AND NOW, OUR REPORTS FROM THE SIDEWALK:

The first Saturday morning shift started started in the dark with Tom and Diane dropping off the signs and materials and the arrival of the first part of a large group from St Anne’s.  As the sun rose DOZENS of the faithful came to pray.   Many were from St Anne’s and Fr Tim brought the his large group of Guardians For Life.  Prayer and song rang out.  The Saturday regulars of Bill and Bill and the sidewalk advocates were positioned around the perimeter.   We were blessed to have the mobile sonogram from Choices Pregnancy Services staffed by Betsy and Jill.

While the Planned Parenthood escorts were out on both sides and across the street, they weren’t very busy.  One couple came and parked across the street, got out of the car, and stood for a long time talking.  Then they got back in their car and drove away.  Maybe we made a difference today and saved a baby?

Tim B., 7-9

Tim's group shot
Group shot

 

Fr. Tim with the mobile unit in the background
Fr. Tim with the mobile unit in the background

As I saw that Tim B said it was not very busy on the early shift, the same cannot be said about the 9 am to 11 am shift.  The Sidewalk Advocates had to have their eyes and ears open.  The PP escorts certainly did.  They of course are notified when someone is coming along so that they can form a circle around their prey.  I can only liken their behavior when they do that as cancerous organisms surrounding weak cells so they can go in for the kill.

The sidewalk was also busy with many representatives from a variety of churches who come for their twice annual pray hours.  Many do more outside of this time for life and we are grateful.  St. Anne’s Parish from Castle Shannon was there, so the parishioners shared about Kurt Kondrich who will talk about Chloe’s Law.

Elsie, 15, and Claire, 14, have the advantage of youth in their witness!  They come with Brian and Lisa who have young faces to influence the younger generation walking past.  Our faithful Jericho walkers who come year-round came today – a powerful 85-year-old man and Mrs. S., better known as Adam’s mom!   Ken who joins us on Saturdays, even off campaign, prayed today.  The Emmaus Brothers came as well.  Peter, a member of the Emmaus Brothers, actually counsels at one of the pregnancy resource centers.  The Emmaus Brothers’ mission is to break men’s heart open.  Seminarians from St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe helped distribute information.

Maryanne came today for the first time.  Tim, her husband, has been praying with 40 Days for Life for 3 years.  Tim will be a Grand Knight this year for the Knights of Columbus and has his work cut out for him.  Robert, who stops by to pray and receive support, told me that his sister, a native Pittsburgher wrote a book titled Not Off the Hook at 491 about forgiveness.   (How often should we forgive?)

One young woman walked up and asked if she could interview me.  She has spoken with Sue just previously.  She did not have credentials nor would she give me her last name. I did not give permission because she was not forthcoming with credentials not would she share her last name. I asked why she chose us and what her stance on life is.  She told me the story is controversial and she is pro-choice.  We talked briefly about the baby models since we were standing right in front of them.  I gave her a 40 Days for Life brochure and told her my full name after I interviewed her.

Another young woman came out of black car, with totally black windows, to go into PP.  She stopped briefly to listen.  She did not stay in PP very long.  I think this young woman missed an escape route God offered her today.  She got back into that black car with totally black windows.

Marian, 9-11

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The folks from Cultural Impact Ministries made sure that almost everyone who entered or exited PP left with some pregnancy support material.  Most of the people passing by were receptive to our material as well.

Dean, 1-3

SM Dean
SM Dean

flowers

 

faithful year-round prayer John M.
Faithful year-round prayer John M.

Holy Trinity from Robinson sent prayer warriors as my shift began. They told me they would pray intensely the whole time. They did !😀  5 women started and were joined by others as shift progressed.
Prayers were answered :
1. Numerous passerbys took resource cards and roses were given to passer-bys.
2. 2 young men said they would return to pray with us.
3. Charles stopped to talk and share with the prayer warrior. When I sensed he was interrupted the prayers, I invited him to my side of circle to share. I attempted to take his eyes off of Lucifer and focus on moving forward with Jesus. (Using Hebrews 12:2 fixing  our eyes on Jesus)  Good discussion ended as I was greeted by Joe, the next shift manager.

Kathy K., 3-5

Glad to be back on the sidewalk again. Sharon, Jim & Kathy (Holy Trinty parish ) were well organized, disciplined, and loving. Yinz prayerful witness was much needed medicine for my soul.

Thanks Ya’ll,
Your Brother in Christ,
Joe W.

Sharon, Jim, Kathy from Holy Trinity
Sharon, Jim, Kathy from Holy Trinity

PAT M.

Day 32: CIM – PA (of Christ Church Grove Farm)

fan flames

BOLDNESS

If my 39 year-old self had a preview of the things my 49 year-old self is doing now, that 39 year-old self would probably pray for a swift end to all things.  Seriously, who in their right mind would stand for hours on a very public sidewalk in downtown Pittsburgh with a sign around their neck that just begs for trouble, pray out loud with virtual strangers, and then attempt to pass out pro-life literature to all who walk by (and occasionally curse at you)?  And if that wasn’t enough, to do these things in the cold and rain and snow to boot?  “That’s just nuts!,” my younger self would surely say.

By nature I’m neither bold nor timid, just, you know, normal.  But what the heck has happened to me these last several years?  My goodness, I’m even doing sidewalk counseling now – the one thing I explicitly remember swearing that I would never do.  And just recently I’ve even started putting pro-life bumper-stickers on my filing cabinet at work in an place where my coworkers can’t miss them.  Who is this guy?

How all of this happened to me is still a mystery.  But the source of this boldness isn’t.  It all comes from God.  He called me and I, in “semi-trust,” began taking baby-steps in the direction he was leading.  And what I found was that, as I would give Him an inch, He would eventually show me a clear and manageable path to go another inch.

That “showing” was done almost exclusively through the bold witness of others.  God knew I needed that.  I absolutely needed to first see the kind of boldness He wanted from me on display by others.  I saw it through Nikki first.  And since then, through so many others I began to meet through these campaigns.  Eventually I read the story of how 40 Days for Life got started.  I was blown away by the boldness of founders David Bereit and Shawn Carney.  And it was their boldness that inspired enough boldness in Abby Johnson that she was able to leave the abortion industry.  And her boldness has now inspired many abortion workers to follow her lead.

THE MOMENT ONE DEFINITELY COMMITS ONESELF, THEN PROVIDENCE MOVES, TOO.  ALL SORTS OF THINGS OCCUR TO HELP ONE THAT NEVER OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE OCCURRED…WHATEVER YOU CAN DO OR DREAM YOU CAN DO, BEGIN IT.  BOLDNESS HAS GENIUS, POWER AND MAGIC IN IT.  BEGIN IT NOW.  

– Johann Wolfgan von Goethe

This campaign is coming to a close.  Ask the Lord what bold thing he would have you do next.

AND NOW FOR OUR REPORTS…

The first shift of the day was somewhat quiet. The Saturday regulars were in attendance, and a fella named Chris from Jeannette.  Chris actually approached a few of the escorts with an outstretched hand, but they refused the offer of a handshake, saying they were not permitted.  A few couples entered the building, some refused the literature.  There were lots of prayers said on this shift.

God Bless,
Virginia (subbing for Tim), 7-9

Marian wrote about her shift from 9-11

Charles Stanley says “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”  That advice is good and plenty full of wisdom.  When standing on the sidewalk in front of PP as prayerful, peaceful witnesses for life… we should remind ourselves constantly of the wisdom of God.  The struggle is sometimes within ourselves when witnessing. We are responsible for delivering the message through prayerful peaceful witness…and turning the other cheek when someone yells at us, ignores us, knocks over a sign (happened today), or doesn’t seem to be on the same page of life.  We are not failing when these things happen.  I know I didn’t get the message the first time it was proclaimed to me– or even the tenth time!  St. Paul had to be blinded first!

My witness (without me knowing it) actually began at the bus stop in Oakland this morning.  Those who know me, know that I talk to strangers!   A young man ran to catch the bus where I was standing.  We shared pleasantries and I found out that today is his 22rd birthday.  We chatted.  He was going to celebrate in town and I told him I was going to a prayer vigil.  We got off at the same stop downtown but walked in different directions.  Not long after my arrival in front of PP, he passed by.  I saw him a few times this morning going in and out of a local pub.  I had told him I would say prayers for his birthday. Happy Birthday!

Today’s sidewalk was well represented on both sides of the street by PP escorts.  None of them would pray with me when I asked them to pray for the people in Wilkinsburg.  No praying aloud?  I suggested a silent prayer then.   (The death toll was 6… including an 8 month old baby in utero.)

Our representation for 40 Days for LIfe was sparse. Meredith (SA), Bill H., Virginia (Shift Manager), Dave (SA) and his friend Dave were praying in separate areas when I arrived.   Shortly thereafter, Sue and Joe arrived for the Sidewalk Advocates shift.  Judy arrived before 10 am for her scheduled Sidewalk Advocates shift.

Another Dave came to witness.  Dave is a regular 40 Days for Life prayer warrior.  He brought great pamphlets from Amy (SA) which pictures a pregnant wonder woman who needs a hero herself.  Dave really cares about the people and drove in from Weirton then heading to work after he left the sidewalk.

Danielle and Vaughn stopped to chat with us.  Both were doing Christian outreach on the real meaning of St. Patrick (former slave).  They took information from us and we took their information.  Terry, a retired police officer, stopped to chat and had a reminder to let those who say curse words to us move on (and not to respond) His arrival time was perfectly timed by God.   Judy spoke with one woman who told her that 2 years ago Catholic Charities helped her when she was pregnant.  Her baby is now 2 years old!!!

Jim and Donna arrived from Culture Impact Ministries.  Donna, a social worker, talked to Sue about becoming a Sidewalk Advocate.  Katie and her husband, Chris, came by with a huge basket of candy (attached to pro-life messages) to hand out to the crowds of people walking to and from the parade.  Margie and her two young sons, Joey and Anthony, came to pray and witness.  Margie was enthusiastic in handing out the life pins.  When I left, she was fully engaged in a great conversation with a young man passing out information for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The boys were praying the Rosary.  Youth witness is powerful.

Lindsey ended up being a “slave to the traffic light” today so she arrived late.  God had a plan.  During that time, I saw a former neighbor to whom I did not get to say good bye when he moved. We had a chance to catch up.  It was during this time that Margie came over to me to tell me that a woman and her friend who came out of PP told her that “she didn’t do it.”  That statement is a hopeful one!

When it was time to catch my bus, I did not have to wait long.  Our God is in the details. Please continue to pray for hearts to be softened.  But remember, God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart.  Moses did not have an easy job leading the slaves to freedom.  He had an even harder time after they were free. Trust!

​Marian, 9-11

David from St. Mary Byzantine CC Church in Weirton; Jim and Donna from Cultural Impact Ministry; and Sidewalk Advocate Judy
David from St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Weirton; Jim and Donna from Cultural Impact Ministry; and Sidewalk Advocate Judy
Maggie, Anthony, and Joseph V. from St. Peter in Steubenville; David from St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church
Maggie, Anthony, and Joseph V. from St. Peter in Steubenville; David from St. Mary Byzantine
Dave and Dave
Dave and Dave
SM Virginia
SM Virginia

Here are some pictures from Julie’s 1-3 shift:

Julie 1

A group from Erie, PA

Julie 3

Regular Katie and a friend passed out little cards with baby in the womb  development information.

Off-duty SM Jeff B. (who was there in the late afternoon and evening) wrote:

There was a lot of foot traffic this afternoon for the 3 5 shift. Ben from St Bernard’s stopped for an hour or so on his way to other things.  I am always surprised at how many people just stop for a little while going about their daily business.

Kathy was the shift manager from 3-5 and wrote:

There were many blessings during my shift today…

  1. Four people from Erie, praying diligently
  2. Jeff and Joe came for stability on both sides of circle
  3. Rita ,who chose adoption came with 13 year old daughter. Lord is drawing her into 40 days
  4. Lonny stopped to Show support. He attends Church in Pgh, near Wilkensburg. Led prayer
  5. Jess,from gay bar, talked about sisters aborting his neice or nephew. He comes every St Patricks day, talks to us
  6. Joe engaged in an intellectual challenging discussion with Bobby. I went over and lwas encouraged by his passion
  7. “H”, friend of Bobby, apologized for friends behavior. Told of her sister’s RAPE and that she kept her niece!! Precious Niece!
  8. “H” then told me she was RAPED 3 weeks ago and needs help. Pray she will call number on green sheet What a day!

Joe finished out the vigil until 7pm and wrote:

I’m used to being by myself on my shifts, but don’t recall feeling
lonely (Jesus, Mary and the 40 Days team are always with me).

Tonight not only did I feel alone but a bit combative. I didn’t
succumb to my desires, but I must admit on a few (maybe more)
occasions I felt like engaging in the verbal assaults and even wanting
to bodyslam a couple drunks into the pavement.

It troubles me to say that I was constantly giving into this self pity
party, and losing my focus on our mission, my shift was dragging on
and on.  But then Jesus  (who always wins) sent Lisa K. down to talk and pray
with me, and I realized but again my cowardice, my selfishness, my
pride.

I guess that’s why I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing
group(40 days) of Jesus lovers, who insist on bringing out all that is
good about me while diminishing my patheticness. (what a mountain for
them to overcome). Were it not for the profound heartfelt respect and
admiration I have for all of you…….I don’t know what to put here.

So with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks, from the bottom of my heart
I say THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU BROTHERS AND SISTERS for letting me tag
along.

CHEERS,
Joe W

Pat M.