Day 35: Thank you St. Peter Church (Steubenville) and Individual prayer warriors!

In Omaha, Nebraska there is a suburb called “Boys Town” that was founded 100 years ago to care for wayward, homeless boys. Many will remember the film in which the famous actor Spencer Tracy played Father Flanagan, who founded the town.

Father Flanagan’s belief was that “every child deserves a future”.

The most famous scene in the film is a 10 year old boy carrying his little brother on his back as he knocks on the entrance to Boys Town. As Father Flanagan opens the door, sees the exhausted boys and reaches to help them, the older brother says “He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother.” This phrase is the driving force behind the town as it continues it’s mission 100 years later, to serve unwanted, neglected children.

40 Days for Life also believes that “every child deserves a future” The work and sacrifices of 40 Days for Life can be exhausting, but may we too continue to be inspired and refreshed as we witness, with a brothers courage: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”

Charlene

Today was my last day on the sidewalk for this campaign…and what a way to go out!! First Jeannie showed up with lots of roses!!! We made a memorial in front of baby pictures and put some around the circle. Then it happened!!! A couple was trying to get into PP but the door was locked…it was 7:30!! Tracy said, “ Charlene those people are trying to get in!” So I put all of my prayer books down, grabbed some cards and went up to them. I said Hi and I saw you were trying to get into PP…we can give you help. The guy assured me they were looking for a friend who worked there. I said ok, would you like a card in case you or a friend might need it? He said he had plenty of cards. So I said,” ok God Bless” and left them alone…they walked away. The rest of the shift I wore no signs and stood right inside the circle but I kept missing people…I’m not very good at this. I did not think that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be a SA but maybe I wasn’t listening. Today he made sure I heard. I WILL take the training before the next campaign!!! I was joined by Tracy (my buddy) Beth and Shawn, St. Peter’s, Steubenville, Bill (and his son stopped by) and Mark.

Today I learned,”I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you!”(Psalm 32:8) He will make sure we hear loud and clear!! Charlene

9-11: Beth

Thanks so much to the faithful Tuesday crew, it’s an honor and inspiration to have joined with you praying and witnessing to end the heartbreak that is abortion

Sean, Tracy and Beth drove from Steubenville doing their usual 4 hour shift, 7 to 11.

Karen, from Penn Hills Claudia, Claudia and Beth Ann from the North Hills made sure this shift was well covered.  Lots of positive comments including prayers from a pastor and his friend from Canonsburg.  On the negative side  PP was very very busy this morning.  It’s hard to think about the babies that will be missing from our world and such sadness for whole generations. We’ll just keep going, we know abortion will stop even though we may not be able to see the end right now, we’ll just keep going…
We’ll keep going and save 

11-1:Fran

When I arrived there was a good number of people keeping prayerful vigil on all sides of the circle.  Although some of the group had to leave, Beth Ann, Claudia and Claudia remained to pray for another hour.  Passersby were very pleasant but, sadly, there were several young women, accompanied by their support person, who went inside without accepting assistance.  A young woman stopped to ask about the models and she was surprised to learn that late term abortions are legal. She said that she and everyone in her family are pro life and she has one child and she is hoping to soon have another one.  A short time later a young man came by and proudly stated that he is from Ohio — ‘where they have defunded PP’ — and he hopes we will soon be able to say the same thing.  Then a gentleman who looked to be retirement age, but who was still very fit, stopped to talk.  We learned that he had served our country as a Marine.  One of the ladies said, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” and we all thanked him for the sacrifices he made.  We also learned that he was raised by his mother – his father had recommended that she have an abortion – so he is very supportive of our efforts.  Around Noon, Sue and Patty from Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg and Tony from St. Thomas More came ready to pray and we were joined by Jim and Cathy who stopped by during their lunch break.  Shortly before I left, a Policeman (possibly lieutenant?) went out of his way to thank us for what we are doing.  It meant a great deal to all of us to know he is with us along with the many others who offered kind words and smiles of support as they passed by us today.  Nikki and Joe came and I was on my way…

1-3: Nikki

 It was beautiful weather to stand outside and pray today, but as always, it was a very sad time to be there. At least three abortion bound couples entered and quite a few left during my shift. It was really nice to have a bucket of fresh roses to hand out to people entering and people leaving. Whoever brought those, thank you! My husband Joe accompanied me to my shift because there was nobody signed up for my second hour. He enjoyed handing out  roses to passerbys.  I was glad to have the company of Suzan and her friend from Greensburg for our first hour. We prayed a rosary and a divine mercy for the babies whose lives were taken today.

One young woman who looked to be accompanied by her mother and a friend, or a sister, did take a rose and the information but went in anyway. I pray that the Rose touched her heart. I trust God that lives are saved when we don’t even know it. There was a little bit of excitement as we saw  what appeared to be some sort of crime. A young, very obviously athletic man came running past at TopSpeed with someone who was not nearly as in shape chasing him. The one who was chasing him clearly had no chance of catching him. Soon after that police showed up and there were flashing lights everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but I thought about an analogy of how we are trying to fight abortion. The devil is strong , Sort of like that athletic criminal. He is very fast. If we are going to come against him in this battle to end abortion, if we are out of shape and overweight like the man who was trying to pursue the thief, we won’t stand a chance. We need to be lean and strong from praying and fasting and being uncomfortable and doing  things we don’t necessarily want to do. If we are going to stand a chance at winning this battle. Thank you to whoever left the recovery bags for us to hand out! It is so nice to be able to give them to girls as they are leaving after their abortions! 

3-5: Michael

5-7: Lisa

A beautiful evening weather wise for the last Tuesday shift of this campaign.  There were only good interactions this evening so we were able to pray uninterrupted for the many lives that were ended today inside the doors of death of our city on Liberty Avenue.I want to thank my faithful team, my CDA sisters, Johanna and Denise as we made sure the last shift of every Tuesday was covered.  I also want to nominate Thao as the newcomer extraordinaire of this campaign.  This beautiful young woman would not just show up to pray on our weekly shift when she saw a need for more pray-ers but she showed up on a lot of shifts that were “lean” in numbers.  Thao, your peaceful, prayful presence was always greatly appreciated.We know we are fighting the good fight.  May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us as we finish this Fall campaign strong! Blessings, Lisa

Day 28: Thanks St. Matthias and all the individual Prayer Warriors

It is my habit to walk and trace the thin yellow line that marks the buffer zone at the PP building as I pray and witness during 40 Days for Life. As I was doing so during my shift, the guard appeared at the door and cautioned me about stepping over-the -line. I acknowledged him and moved a step back while continuing my path of prayer.

As I walked, I thought about this line that separates us and creates the “buffer zone.” A yellow line…which is ordinarily meant to caution, warn and protect from harm, here is ignored by those who cross it to enter a building where 50+ human babies are killed every week.

How ironic it is, I think, as I continue my path, to be cautioned to stay on the safe side of the line; while a pregnant Mother is allowed to step over-the-line to place herself and her unborn baby in danger as she ignores the yellow caution line.

Let us continue to pray, witness and walk-the-line in the sure hope that by our Faith and with God’s help, we may caution, warn and protect from harm, those that come with the intention to step over-the-line.

7-9: Charlene

Today was a confusing weather day on the sidewalk…warmer than it has been for my shift this entire campaign. But with rain…warm rain. Maybe it wasn’t the weather but our attitude as we celebrated the court ruling!!!  Dick and I and Greg (SA)…arrived first and discussed it…than Jackie(SA)…then Claire (a pray-Er who still has the same rules). Jackie and Greg were carefully testing the waters but then Jackie walked with a young woman to the door. Even though the woman still entered PP, Jackie felt the woman heard her! It was a very uplifting day!!
 
My meditation this morning said, “Remind yourself that God’s grace is so much more—so much more abundant, so much more powerful, so much more effective—than the sin you see. And then choose to immerse yourself in the grace that God pours out, which he does always and without fail.” He will stand with us against the evil of Abortion today AND tomorrow. Praying for safety tomorrow and enjoying a little celebration today!!Charlene

9-11: Beth

Discouragement is the devil’s strongest weapon but God sends encouragement when we need it!
When I arrived Dick and Charlene were properly drenched as were Claire, Jackie and Greg (whose supplies are in the red fios bag underneath the fetal models).

There was an enormous flatbed trailer with excavator on the back. Big burly guy goes up to Claire and tells her to move because he is pulling out,  but then he says that he really respects us standing in the downpour trying to help.  He said what we do is right and what abortion does is wrong! Encouragement
And Jackie took a young lady to Catholic Charities, they are closed tomorrow, and although the young lady wasn’t pregnant  she took the literature and was glad that Jackie spoke with her.  Dean,Claudia, friend Claudia and Lisa prayed as it poured, a couple walked to the alley and when approached the father smiled and said it was too late although they later went back into PP, laughing, I guess because they fooled me.
Discouragement
So I can either think about encouragement or discouragement. If I pick discouragement, the devil wins.  If I concentrate on encouragement maybe a baby will win. It seems that the most important thing about being prolife is Showing Up! We don’t always know what to say or do, doing nothing is worse. Nine out of ten times we’re not successful but if you don’t show up that tenth time the baby may be lost.

And Claire had placed a rose by the picture of a baby. Two women asked if that was a memorial for someone who had died.  Claire said it was, people do die in PP every week, babies 

Jackie taking a client to Catholic Charities.

We followed the court’s guideline, peaceful, one-on-one conversation, and we did walk through the yellow  circle and no one said anything as far as PP is concerned. Don’t know if this is their policy or no one wanted to come out in the rain.

11-1: Fran

As always happens on rainy days, fewer people were on the sidewalk, and the ones who were there, passed by quickly.  But, even in the rain, many people were willing to pause for Elsie to accept the literature she offered.  Also, I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for the rush of joy I felt when, for the first time, I saw the results of the new law that was passed on October 18th: A Sidewalk Counselor walked inside the half-circle (censorship zone) and spoke face-to-face with a couple entering the facility.  Being able to approach the couple made a difference in the quality and length of the conversation.  We were all praying that they will consider what was spoken to them.  Quoting an article from the Alliance Defending Freedom: “Every American has the right to speak on public sidewalks — including pro-life sidewalk counselors.”  Thank you to everyone who made that happen!   We have new reason to hope that soon, every American will once again be assured of their inalienable right to life – the central prayer of our campaign.  Our mission continues….. The rain in no way dampened the prayerful spirits of Claudia, Claudia, Elsie, Maggie and Karen.  Thank you so much for the silent prayers, rosaries and intentions that were all offered on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Use the link below to read the Alliance Defending Freedom blog about the buffer zone!

    https://adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2019/10/18/the-supreme-court-struck-down-anti-free-speech-buffer-zones-so-why-does-pittsburgh-still-have-them

1-3: Nikki

It was a prayerful shift with the wonderful and dedicated Christians who came all the way from Greene County today!

 The rain stopped soon into my shift, we prayed for pretty much the entire time, although I did have opportunity to talk with one abortion bound woman. She accepted my information and let me talk to her, she was polite, but she did not want to accept  any help and her and her boyfriend went in anyway  and never came back out. It was very sad to see how busy it was today, with many abortion bound couples entering and many obviously post abortive couples leaving. That’s why I stayed on my knees for most of my shift, that somehow makes it better. I felt the Lord’s comfort and presence with us on the sidewalk today. He is with us and he loves us and even though this breaks his heart,  we are close to him when we do this. 

Young man showed up and prayed an entire rosary on his knees

3-5: Michael

The rain stopped prior to our shift and the sun came out to crown us with a little warmth for awhile. Shift buddies, Kim and Michael, were there since 1 pm, along with three ladies from their church in Greene County. A lady stopped to ask me if we get paid to do this and I said no. I should have said we get paid “big dividends” when a pregnant woman decides to keep her baby and not abort. Four young teen girls stopped to chat and criticized us for being there. They said we harassed women and we should not be there to make women feel worse than they already feel. They said it is not a baby until it is born. We listened and tried to instill the truth, but they were closed minded and did not want to really listen openly to what we had to say. They were sarcastic and did not think we had a right to be there. Another passerby stopped and sounded a little like the four teens, but she was a better listener and was more open minded. She said she was transgender and thought we would hate her for being that way. I told her we don’t hate her and we love her and everyone.  She appreciated and thanked us for accepting her the way she was. I thank God I was there today to be a defender of life in the womb.

5-7: Lisa

Do Not Be Afraid!  Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.    Pope Saint John Paul !!     Feast Day October 22. Thank you to my buddies Johanna and Denise once again for their prayerful presence.  Elizabeth also was welcomed again this evening.

Inspired by the words of our dear Pope St. John Paul, I believe he was watching over us this evening.  We were Not Afraid, but, I can say I was irritated!  One bar patron in particular came outside frequently and hassled me each time.  I prayed to the Holy Spirit to give me words of rebuttal but they appeared to fall on deaf (inebriated) ears.  I felt very unsuccessful in handling the situation(s).  I prayed for help and here comes my angel, Johanna over to the side of the circle I was on and showered this woman with so much of God’s love and positive affirmation  that I’m sure that seeds of hope and love were planted this day by Johanna.      Johanna ended up giving this grieving soul a big reciprocated hug.  Johanna, you are so loved by me and by God.  You are a great role model to imitate!

Day 21: Thank you St. Margaret Mary (Moon), Holy Angels Parish (Hays) and Individual Volunteers!

There is a museum in the town of Ave Maria, Florida dedicated to St. Teresa of Calcutta. Ave Maria University is adjacent to the town and its President was Mother Teresa’s attorney for 12 years. He became her friend and was the benefactor of many of her artifacts which can be seen in the museum.

One of the exhibits is the video of Mother Teresa speaking to the guests at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994. At the podium, her small stature is barely visible…the white part of her habit circling her “invisible” head like a halo. Yet, her voice is strong, clear and easily heard by the assembled politicians, many whom are abortion advocates. Her speech begins without apology:

“The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion. Jesus said; if you receive a little child, you receive me. Every abortion is the denial of and neglect of receiving Jesus.” She continues, “It is really a war against the child. The murder of a mother against her own child. If we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell others not to kill one another? A country that accepts abortion is NOT teaching its people to love one another but to use violence to get what they want.” She then encourages those listening to fight abortion with adoption and offers to take any unwanted children.

The words of this humble Saint continue to teach us today! Most of us won’t be called to speak to a room full of politicians, but if you are standing at “the podium” (on the street) you ARE witnessing. In the spirit of Mother Teresa, let your voice be strong and clear, even if you are barely visible above the podium…except for your halo!

Charlene

When Steve and Tracy and I arrived in all of our layers on the cold street, I mentioned how I do not sleep well the night before my shift. I mean, it’s not like we are going to meet the lions in the coliseum! We are peacefully praying. And yet we all know it is more. This mornings devotional scripture hit the nail on the head:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand”.Peaceful prayer…God’s powerful weapon!!

We were joined by Greg, Dave, and Bill. Our Pittsburgh Pride friend, Julius, also stopped and was so sad to hear about Sally’s death. He was going to try to make the viewing and see Al. Their lives have touched so many. Prayers for them both.~Charlene

Beth

Warm hearts but frigid fingers today! Tracy from steubenville kept vigil for three hours.
Claudia and Beth Ann from St. Alexis came and lead prayers which were needed especially today, an abortion day. We saw about 4 to 5 couples go in after the abortionist arrived. A wonderful group from St. Margaret Mary came, including Maureen, Jackie, Chris, Don, Peg and Lou! Please pray for “s” who came to PP to get health insurance because she is pregnant. She had to get back to work but she said she would be back on Wednesday.
Stay warm and Thanks to our fellow witnesses for life! 

Fran

I felt blessed to be in the company of so many veteran prayer warriors today.  When I arrived I first noticed 2 very familiar faces among the many pray~ers, shift buddy Beth Ann and Claudia.   Their regular presence and ready smile always make me feel welcome.  I soon learned that the rather large group standing with them in reverent prayer were parishioners from St. Margaret Mary (Maureen, Jackie, Chris, Dom, Peg, Lou).  The gentle kindness and warmth of this group radiated blessings to the people passing by.  It was a wonderful surprise that only an hour later our numbers would double with the arrival of parishioners from Holy Angels whose hearts were filled with hope that all of our prayers will be heard (Rosemary, Joan, Mary Ellen, Jean, Patricia, Anna Marie, Dan).  In addition to these two beautiful groups of people (who spanned 3 shifts today) we were joined by Beverly, who is a long time, faithful witness on the sidewalk and also Cathy who came to pray with us on her lunch hour.  Cathy brought with her a multi-page document of prayers that she had put together herself and I regret that I did not get a chance to see inside.  I am hoping I will be afforded that opportunity again.  We were also joined briefly by Bill who blessed each of us with Holy Water and also a gentleman who, I believe, stops briefly every day to pray, and he has been doing so for some time.  This man does not sign-in and he does not address anyone from the group, but his faithfulness is very much noticed by many in our group.  I mention this because we often reflect that we can never be sure how many hearts are being touched, just by our faithful, loving presence.  May we always be willing to be a channel of God’s Love.   

Nikki

Sun shining on the dirty building

 It was a bright and sunny day on the sidewalk, and there were many prayer warriors there. A large group from St. Margaret Mary Parish on one side, and a big group from Holy Angels Parish on the other. It was a peaceful shift, not much to report. Everybody was just praying  either in groups or by themselves. As I was praying and looking up at the building, I noticed the sun shining on the bricks and the glass, showing the filthiness of the building.  It occurred to me that as the sunlight  reveals the filthiness of the building, so our presence  on  The sidewalk  reveals the ugliness of abortion.  And I was looking at the letter that is engraved in the stone above the door, the capital R, I was imagining that one day that will stand for Redeemed, when our Lord redeems this place for himself.    I am grateful for everyone who came out to pray today! 

Michael – Kim

It was a beautiful day and great to be able to enjoy sunshine and warmth in the middle of October. Even though we had no churches at this time, Michael and Kim were great prayer warriors as always. Many passerbys were supportive and defintely pro-life. Many people said thank you to us for being there and many gave us a thumbs up. These words and gestures of support are truly appreciated and help to restore our faith in people. It helps to make us realize we are not alone in this battle for life.

Johanna

I want to thank Michael, who stayed with me until Diane’s husband came to pick up the treasures we have to work with.
I also want to thank Donna who stayed with me until the 5-7 shift was done.
Michael not only did his 3-5 shift but stayed with us for the 5-7 shift. He didn’t want to leave two women alone.
We had a very good shift with many people thanking us for being there. Michael met a fellow Orthodox Catholic from Tennessee. All in all it was a happy and holy time with prayer and grateful people. Thanks, Johanna

Day 14: Thank you St. Peter (Steubenville) and St. Agnes, (North Huntingdon) and Individual Volunteers

COURAGE: The attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, painful or uncomfortable instead of withdrawing from it; the quality of being fearless or brave.

Pope Saint John Paul II often said “Be Not Afraid” and he knew well what that meant! He lost his entire family before the age of 21. His mother when he was 8; his brother when he was 11 and his father at age 20. He was ordained to the priesthood in a persecuted church in Poland, ruled by communism. He suffered debilitating Parkinson’s disease with great courage until his death. His entire life spoke to the words “Be Not Afraid

Let those words resonate with us now…in this 2019 Fall 40 Days for Life campaign…YOU ARE ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH!

Let us, as Pope John Paul II did, wield our weapons of prayer, peaceful witness and unconditional love, He did so and lived to see Poland as a free country. As we follow the Pope’s example, let us stand in solidarity and proclaim that we are not afraid and we have the COURAGE of our convictions. May God bless us and may we live to see our country free from the scourge of abortion!

Charlene

I love coming to the sidewalk on an early morning like today. Crisp, but not cold, people hustling but peaceful…sooo peaceful. Prayer warriors arrive: Dick, Tracey ( my buddy), Beth and Shawn from St. Peter’s in Steubenville, and our SA, Steve.

Our peace was shattered when a lady threw a glass of pop at the baby models. I screamed (it just came out). The women said, “That’s how I feel when I see the model and know you are working to save babies that are just going to be abused.” Beth jumped right in with several “God Bless you”. Sadly, this woman had a child, about 6, with her. He did not look or turn around…just kept walking. We need to pray for the woman and little boy. They both seem to be hurting. And we pray for the babies in PP…and we put our trust in Gods plan that he will intervene according to His own wisdom and timing. Charlene

Beth

From Father Solanus, “God, who loves tiny beginnings, will know, as He always does know, how and when to provide developments” (p. 211).  Tuesday from 9 to 11 will be my time to follow pro-life giants like Al and Sally, and Lillian R. among others who “hung out” at Planned Parenthood for so many years, praying for an end to abortion. From their tiny beginnings, just a few stalwart believers, we now have over one million 40 Days for Life participants this fall campaign. And 40 Days started with only 4 people praying around a wooden table.  God does love tiny beginnings. 

The St. Alexis Crew

 Today, my shift began with just St. Peter’s from finest, Tracy, Beth and Shawn making a valiant effort to pray and change hearts with smiles and literature and prayers, of course.  Ed from St. James joined us as did Beth Ann and Claudia from St. Alexis.  When Priscilla dropped by, as did Bill, we formed a praying presence on Liberty Avenue.

Ed guarding our work

A young woman approached the ladies and said that her friend was raped and wanted to abort.  She listened quietly as we gave her what she needed:  the truth and lots of help.  Pray for this young woman to be able to change her friend’s heart.  Only God can make incredible goodness come from incredible evil, and He will. We just have to be there to make those “tiny beginnings.”

Tracy, Beth, Steve, Shawn

Fran

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday it was cloudy and raining and cold today we had blue skies and sunshine and comfortable temperatures.  What will tomorrow bring?What a difference a minute makes.  A woman decides that abortion is her only option and she travels to Planned Parenthood.  She is met by the prayerful, loving presence of the 40 Days for Life volunteers and she learns that she has other options.  What will tomorrow bring?  Although we can never be certain of what tomorrow (or the next minute) will bring, we do know that God is with us through it all, including the women who walk into PP.  I felt God’s loving presence in the women whose mission it was to make sure that no one should be alone today ~ not the shift manager nor any of the women who were heading for the doors of PP.  

Claudia, Beth Ann, Michele, Mary Ann and Lisa brought warmth and light to the sidewalk today.  Their prayerful presence made this day even more beautiful.  A gentleman stopped and asked for information because he would like to become involved in our mission.   He wants to be involved because he believes that from the moment that the seed is planted, there is life – he knows this for certain because it is God’s Word.  Amen. 

Nikki

 I actually was feeling guilty as I was driving into Pittsburgh today with the magnificent blue sky and warm temperatures! I felt so badly about everybody who suffered in the cold rain all day yesterday, but I have to say that it was a pleasure to be able to pray in such nice weather, and especially with so many faithful members of Saint Agnes Parish in North Huntington   They had a large group of prayer warriors, about 10 of them, including their pastor, Monsignor Paul. They were all extremely prayerful and made a powerful witness of Christ’s love. It was a sad time to be there, as many couples left, who were obviously post abortion. Some of them looked so sad, I prayed for them that they will be healed and set free    And not held in bondage, which is what Satan  often does. He uses a past abortion to take a soul captive and make them feel like they are not worthy of forgiveness, when in fact, God wants more than anything for that soul to humble themselves and turn to him and ask for forgiveness. He is so merciful and eager to forgive the sin of abortion! I saw one woman who did not seem sad, she practically bounced out of that clinic, still munching on the cookie that they must have given her  recovery. I had the thought that, although she did not seem to be bothered about the fact that she left her child behind, that there were all of us there because we cared about that child, if for no other reason than the fact that that little boy or girl was part of our human family, and was made in the image and likeness of God, who is all good.  There was much to pray for today, and pray we did! It was wonderful, as always, to see the next shift arrive, Mike, Kim, and Michael. I hope they have as peaceful of a shift as I did. 

Michael – Kim

A beautiful day in the PP neighborhood, in terms of weather, prayer vigil, positive passerbys and the Lord’s presence. The Lord is everywhere, especially inside of all the PP’s. And of course, Satan is there too. The battle continues, but our Heavenly Father is on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  It was a peaceful shift with one exception. A gentleman, and I use the term generously, in a red coat, pushed Bill hard and tried to take his sign. Bill resisted and pushed back. The man ripped Michael C’s sign off of him, breaking the cord, but Michael retained possession of the sign. Then he ran off on his merry way. There are cameras which most likely captured all of this. I am not certain if we should report this to the authorities? Other than that, it was a good shift. Thank God for our devout and prayerful shift buddies, Kim and Michael. 

Michael, Kevin, Michael, Bill, and Kim

Lisa – Johanna

It was a quiet and uneventful evening.  Just a few abortion mill workers leaving for the evening during our shift. Pictured is Johanna and Denise in deep prayer.  Praying for the day that No Parking sign reads No Abortions! Bernadette and Elizabeth both stopped and prayed with us for a time.
Appealing for prayers to stand with Johanna next Tuesday 5 – 7 PM as I cannot be there.  Please do not let her be alone! 🙂 Blessings, Lisa

Johanna and Denise in deep prayer

Day 7: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church, St. James/St. Mary (Sewickley) and Individuals

Years ago, when I was young and shopping downtown with friends, someone on the street approached me for money. Startled, I initially hesitated but then I dug into my pocket for the few coins that I had left. I gave them to that soul and wished her well. Once home, my Mother told me she was happy that I gave the person something and said she may have been an “angel unaware”!

These many years later, I still see “angels unaware” in all sorts of situations and I know others do too! Whenever I’ve mentioned angels to anyone, there’s almost always a story or incident about their own angel encounter.

When the angel Gabriel announced Mary’s chosen role as Mother to our Saviour, her acceptance changed everything! As we stand on the sidewalk, with the support of the angels…we, like Mary, say “YES to Life”! Be aware of our angelic company and you’ll never feel alone. Guardians, protectors, messengers and ministering angels are just a thought away!

In Billy Graham’s book “Angels, God’s Secret Agents”, he says that “angels are a very real and powerful force in our world today. They are not sent as weaklings but to do battle and are on our side in the fight as we pray…”

Besides the reality of true angels….are each of YOU; who are “Angels Unaware” to those you witness to and encounter on the sidewalk! Keep reading for more angel stories!

7-9: Tracy

After she finished putting out the materials, Diane gave me a crash course in Shift Manager-ing. (Thanks, Diane!) I’ll look forward to Charlene’s return next week. 🙂 Thank you to early morning vigil attendees, Pastor Kirk from First Evangelical Free Church and Sidewalk Counselor, Stephen. SC’s Greg and Jackie showed up as well and everyone was delighted to welcome Ed back! He’d been absent from his ‘post’ for some time. The morning wasn’t complete without Bill making an appearance. Having run out of Holy Water, he came supplied with Holy Oil! God blessed us with fair weather and mostly friendly faces – not too much negativity out there. PP was mildly busy. Only a few couples and several girls went in. I’m not sure, but most folks entering seemed to work there. We weren’t successful deterring anyone, but the fight (PRAYING!!) continues even after anyone walks through those doors!

A couple representing First Evangelical Free Church, Jim, Charlene and Dean

9-11: Beth and Ed

It is always an honor to be at Planned Parenthood, fighting the good fight with the members of the First Evangelical Free Church of Mckeesport.  With Pastor Kirk at the lead, Dan, Rick, Patty, Barry,  Dean, Dave, Janet, and others filled in the 9-11 a.m. shift with prayer and fellowship.  Tracy from Steubenville was shift manager as Sidewalk Advocates, Jackie, Greg, Steve, and Ed offered help to the four or five couples entering PP for the early shift while the second round of clients met Beth Ann, Charlene and Jim trying to avert the disaster we know as abortion. Overall, it was a rather quiet day with prayer and lots of literature being distributed.  Tuesday is a surgical abortion day.  Our hope in God’s promise, to overcome evil, is stronger than the absolute betrayal each mother and child must eventually feel. We’re here; we’re not quitting.  We can do this.

11-1: Elsie

11AM-1PM: My parish (St. Mary’s/St. James’) was supposed to be providing prayer coverage today from 11-3, but I didn’t know for sure whether I would have companions. How pleased I was to find Charlene already there when I arrived, as well as Jim (parishioner at Assumption but a frequent communicant at St. James’)! Beth Ann from St. Alexis managed to pray and offer help and info simultaneously! Ken from a new South Hills parish soon joined us, and several kind, prayerful folks from McKeesport stayed beyond their shift. A young man came up to us just for “conversation,” he said. He recognized that abortion is wrong, but seemed to have given up hope on life, telling us that he smoked because his life didn’t matter and planned never to marry or have children because women couldn’t be trusted not to kill your babies and/or leave you. He said he is part of a movement of men who have just given up. Beth Ann and the good folks from McKeesport tried to convince him that he is indeed a beloved child of God and CAN have a meaningful life in Christ. By Noon we had been joined by two more of my fellow-parishioners, Christian and Jen, who jumped right in, sweetly offering help and info to anyone walking by or in or out of the death mill. And before 1:00 Nikki arrived!  

1-3: Nikki

 Thanks to Elsie and her wonderful crew from Saint James and Sewickley! Elsie was the hands and feet of Christ on the sidewalk for four hours today! Since she had it well covered with reaching out to abortion bound couples, I decided to take advantage of that and just spend the time on my knees in prayer. It was a blessing just to see how she interacted with  these couples with such love and concern. One teenage girl with her friend were going in and Elsie educated them on the dangers of contraception, which  this young girl had implanted in her arm. She is so knowledgeable, I learned a lot from listening to her myself! Another very young couple, a teenage boy and his girlfriend were going in to the clinic. They seemed open and receptive to hear what Elsie was telling them, and Bernadette  offered them a homemade rosary, which she had made herself. The young girl crossed over to the edge of the circle to take it from her hands and Bernadette told her that she had been praying for her and gave her a  pre-born Jesus brochure that includes a prayer for pregnant women to trust the Lord with their child. It was a beautiful prayer, and we prayed for that young couple as they were inside that God would touch their hearts. We never did see them come out, unfortunately. 

A passerby gave us this card. This couple are good friends of his and they are desperate to adopt a baby, they cannot have one on their own. Let’s spread the word!  Wouldn’t it be great if we had more couples who are waiting to adopt a baby make business cards like this that we could have to offer couples who are coming to Planned Parenthood to abort their children! 
Kim and Mike at prayer

  Another interaction reagrding the baby models happened during my shift. Elsie was admiring the baby models and was saying how glad she is that we have them on the sidewalk, and she wanted to know if we could count on them being medically accurate. I had my phone out and was looking up photos and information on a seven week fetus,  to try to determine if they were in fact accurate,  just as a young woman who, trying to act calm, but it was obvious that she was upset, she stopped at the models and was complaining to Bernadette that they are not accurate. She said, “you are not showing God’s truth by having these lies on display.“ I heard what she said, and I was actually in the process of looking up on my phone what a seven week unborn baby looks like! So, I walked over to her and I told her that.  I told her what a coincidence it was because Elsie and I were just discussing this very thing, if we could trust these models to be medically accurate! I was pulling up the information on my phone, and I had a picture of a seven week unborn baby on my phone, which actually did not look quite like the seven week model. However, she did not want to look at it or engage with us in any sort of reasonable conversation. She just kept telling us that those models were lies, and it was quite obvious that she could use prayer because she must have  a wound in her soul. Anyway, I realized that when I looked up a nine week unborn child on my phone, it was exactly the same as the seven week model. So, what we should keep in mind when we talk to people about the models, is the age of the model is from the time of conception, not the last menstrual period. So, the seven week model would actually be nine weeks LMP, which is another way to calculate it.  But, they are accurate! Pray for those who have blinders on because of something they do not want to face, for those blinders to be removed. 

3-5: Michael and Kim

Shift manager Mike, with buddies Kim and Mike have the 3-5

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

WOW     #1 The beautiful weather and  #2 The beautiful people who joined Johanna and me on the sidewalk.  Truthfully, I usually find myself somewhat jealous of shift managers that have large groups joining them.  The shift I have covered for several years, Tuesdays 5 – 7 PM, typically does not draw too many additional prayer warriors.  Tonight was not the case.  A record (for us) number of people saw the plea for prayers and joined us this evening.  Upon arriving at 5 pm, Johanna is already there enjoying seeing Mike again, We relieve him from his 3 – 5 shift.  Mike gave me one of the most beautiful prayer cards I have ever seen – Prayer to End Abortion.  Thank you Mike!Joe, a Knight of Columbus and  member of St. Bernadette parish in Monroeville and Thao, the beautiful young woman who also volunteers at Catholic Charities were also there already.  Shortly there after two additional women arrived separately but coincidentally both named Elizabeth both with rosary in hand.  Then, the greatest surprise and delight of the evening, a dear mother, Laura and her beautiful family of 6 children all veterans to the sidewalk.  Faith, Hope, Charity, Aletheia, George and little Leo.  Those dear children grabbed signs and pamphlets and made the sidewalk come to joyful life!  It utterly amazed me how many pamphlets those young children gave out and how many wonderful comments were received from passerby’s.  Amazingly, this family traveled all the way from Steubenville and are members of St. Peter parish, (two older brothers are away at college).  Finally, to round out the night after experiencing extreme traffic woes but still persevering to attend Eileen, member of St. Phillips in Crafton arrived.If not for the sobering reason we are all there, tonight was one of the most wonderful evenings I have had in a long time.  Love of Jesus and all people – no matter how small – was the overwhelming theme tonight!

Lisa between two Elizabeths
S. Family from Steubenville
Eileen with George caressing the baby models
Faith, Hope and Johanna
George entertaining Joe.  George wore the 3 baby signs.  What a joy!
The very prayerful Denise
Denise, Johanna, Thao and Joe

Day 35: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport), St. Alexis, McKeesport/North Versailles/White Oak, Culture Impact Ministry

I came across a poem called My Colors will be Clear….here is a little excerpt that I think describes all of the people who have showed up on the sidewalk for 40 Days for Life! Thank you for coming!

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, proclaim until all know and work until He stops me.

And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – for my colors will be clear!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

55 degrees at 7am. We were taking hats and gloves off…and no hand warmers in sight!! The Lord continued to Bless Dick and I with First Evangelical Free Church arriving in their van.

What great Prayer Warriors…Pastor Kirk, our Dean,Darl,David,Randy,Roy, Bill, and Abigail and Nathaniel…Abigail and Nathaniel  did not think they would be here because their baby was due 3/31 but they felt God wanted them on the sidewalk! The 3 of them made an impactful statement!!! And still FEFC kept coming…bus #2…Norbert, Jill, Patricia,Ed, and Laurie.

And when the Lord said,” Who shall I send”? FEFC said,”Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people (babies) in my hands.” What a great last shift of the campaign! Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

Thanks to Charlene and Dick who always have everything under control when I arrive.  Members of the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport headed by Pastor Kirk were beautiful witnesses for life on a beautiful day.  A few clients, definitely an abortion day.  One woman said she was there to hold her friend’s hand all the way as she aborted her baby.  She was  asked how could she hold her friend’s hand when she was on the sidewalk having a cigarette? It was that kind of day with the great regulars from St. Alexis, Theresa from St. Barbara and as Fran took over, another great group of praying pro-lifers from North Versailles/ White Oak. Ed and Vince prayed a heartfelt rosary, prayers straight to heaven.

And don’t forget, if God has His finger in your back to continue this awesome activity, Sidewalk Advocates will be offering a training session coming up on  Saturday, June 1 from 10:00a through 3:00p at the Knights of Columbus hall in Bellevue.  Spread the word – and contact Charlie (412-716-2789) or me or Sue M for more details. 
We’d like to have RSVPs by May 27

11-1: Fran 

The warmth of the sunshine was a foreshadowing of what I would find when I arrived at PP today.  Everyone offered such a warm welcome ~ accompanied by a lovely smile.  St. Alexis, St. Barbara, St. Sebastian and St. Robert Bellarmine were well represented.  Beth Ann, Diane, Claudia and Therese had been with shift manager Beth, and they remained for a while.  Vince from St. Sebastian joined us for a time and the 11:00 shift, Helen, Mary, Margie and Pat, took no little time entering into prayer.  A gentleman from out of town, on his way to the Convention Center, stopped to engage in supportive conversation.  Before he went on his way he asked how he could make a donation and we offered him a 40DFL pamphlet.  That conversation was good preparation, because a short time later, a pro-abortion woman engaged us (respectfully) to explain her position, but, as often happens, it appears that everyone’s words went the way of the wind.  A little while later, a flock of preschoolers, close to 20 in number, came by holding hands in groups of four.  Everyone of us smiled at the sight ~ how could you not?!?!  After they passed, I imagined seeing them all standing, shoulder-to-shoulder, with their little toes perched on the yellow, semi-circle, boundary-line, with their innocent smiles, and I wondered, how many of the PP patrons would be able to walk past them. Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

One to three shift

It was a beautiful, although windy day on the sidewalk! I was blessed to share it with many faithful Christians! When I arrived, Helen and her group from the McKeesport parishes were there and had been there since 11. Soon, the rest of her crew arrived who were going to be there until three. There were also a couple there who had never been there before but  had been inspired by the movie unplanned and decided to come. They were from Steubenville and were not able to come yesterday so they came today. Halfway through my shift, I was pleasantly surprised to see Bernadette and Pat show up with the beautiful statue of Mary. It is Pats birthday today, what a wonderful thing to do on your birthday, witness that these babies may also have birthdays!

It was an abortion day and when I got there at 1 o’clock, there was an abortion    bound couple  headed in the door. They did take the information, but went in anyway. I had opportunities to pass out information to people going in and also post abortion information to at least one person when they left. It is a sad place to be, even on a bright and sunny day. If I had been standing anywhere else and such beautiful weather it would have been a pleasure.  Before I left the wonderful people from cultural impact ministries were arriving for the 3 to 5 shift, along with shift manager Michael. I passed the baton to him. Thanks to everyone for coming! 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It is a beautiful sunny, breezy afternoon!  As always, wonderful people gathered at PP for 40 DFL. What more could we ask for?  We are so blest during this campaign. The Lord sends the best people to be His prayer warriors and witnesses.  What an honor to be a shift manager here and now.  All I do is show up and reap the benefits of a first class, fined tuned operation. What did I do to deserve such a priviledge and honor?  I am blest beyond words.


Matt, St. Richards; and Janis, St. Kilian

I cannot say enough about Kim and Michael, my husband and wife shift buddies who inspire me with their prayers and praises to the Lord. They are awesome and so inspiring to me and all who witness their dedication to the Lord and this holy cause. I will miss this gathering, but Lord give us the courage and desire to come down to PP to pray at times when there is not a 40 DFL CAMPAIGN going on. We are needed just as much then. I wish all of my fellow pro-lifers a fulfilling and safe Spring and Summer. See you in the Fall. God be with all of you.


Donna, Jim, Pauline, Judy of Cultural Impact Ministry;
Laura of NPC

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

A great group joined me this evening.  Marc brought his mother Marjorie.  Marjorie was a “first timer”.  We all kept busy in prayer and the evening ended on a great positive comment from a passer by.  God Bless Us All.


Foreground: Jim and Marjorie.  Standing: Mary, Mike, Marc, Audrey, and Johanna

Day 28: Thank you Riverside Community Church, St. Alexis, St. Ann (Waynesburg) and individual volunteers!

So we went to see Unplanned on Saturday night. It was sobering but hope-filled! My husband asked the question….do you think that can happen in Pittsburgh? Do you think the Planned Parenthood can close?

I hate to admit that I hesitated, but than I responded YES, yes that can happen! Because I believe God has a plan….

40 Days for Life was started in response to an increasing number of abortions at the Bryan TX Planned Parenthood. I don’t think that when they set out, they expected to eventually be running a Pro-Life center in the very building that housed Planned Parenthood. We have to trust that God is in charge and remain faithful. God initiated this work and He will bring it to completion.
God’s ways are not our ways!

So let’s stick with the plan and be ready for surprises, cause God has a way of doing that!

7am-9am Charlene and Dick

As Dick and I got out of the car and headed to the sidewalk, we said it felt warmer. We say that every Tuesday…but when we get to PP, it never is. It is probably the place as much as the temperature.

We were joined by Ed and Jackie (SA) and later by Julie, Marcia, and Jeannine from Riverside Community Church. They were very interested in what to do…so eager to help. I gave them the yellow cards  with free services to hand out. Meanwhile, Jackie was trying to speak with those going into PP…it seemed like a lot today. One new comment, “Abortion is about economics and women’s healthcare”…hmmm.

Jackie (Sidewalk Advocate) and Charlene…still bundled up on the sidewalk

My “Little Black Lenten Book” last week reminded me that, “I am created by God and put here on earth for a purpose. I may not know, this side of the grave, what my purpose is. But if I do my best, in the circumstances of my own life, to live as Jesus taught me to live, I will accomplish my purpose. In the eyes of the world, what I do may not seem all that important. It probably won’t make me famous. But there is no greater, more important accomplishment than simply doing what God put me here to do”  

This morning God wanted Dick, Ed, Jackie, Julie, Marcia, Jeanine, and I on the sidewalk, praying for the babies. We accomplished God’s purpose for us today.
Charlene

9-11: Elsie and Beth Ann

Upon arriving, I heard from Jackie & Ed that traffic into PP was, sadly, enormous this morning. Jackie thought that a meeting might be in progress and might account for some of the folks going in. During my shift, I failed miserably at engaging PP’s victims in meaningful conversation. However, we did have one ray of hope: one couple exited PP very soon after entering and left, although unfortunately they did not accept lit.
It WAS encouraging to see so many members of the Body of Christ actually show up at Calvary this morning! Riverside Community Church sent three brave, lovely, and kind-hearted ladies: Marcia, Julie, & Jeannine. St. Alexis sent the very prayerful Claudia, Beth Ann, Fred, Diane, & Rachel. Before my shift ended, an impressive group from St. Anne’s in Waynesburg arrived. They included a mom who had brought a darling baby girl & toddler boy, all bundled up against the cold. Talk about “visuals” even more powerful than photos or prenatal models. One  notable sad event during the shift was the arrival of the Cyntox disposal truck. The driver denied that he was picking up babies’ bodies, insisting it was just discarded hypodermic needles. This was hard to believe, given that there were four LARGE boxes. Claudia led us in the Rosary as the boxes were being loaded and discarded. 

11-1: Fran

The ladies from St. Alexis remained until 11:30 and welcomed an amazing group of prayer warriors from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg.  The prayers soared heavenward on each side of the circle.  Kim & Mike, Carol, Kathy, Nicole, Denise, and Athilia came ready to pray and offer literature.  We also enjoyed having with us two beautiful children who accompanied their mom and grandma.  They are living proof of how truly precious are God’s children. 

We were also happy to have with us Phelene and Christopher who each stopped to pray during their lunch time before returning to work.  It was a busy sidewalk today, as were the doors to PP.  We had a moment of hope when a woman backed out the door (I believe it was) to respond to our invitation, but the man who was with her stopped her and redirected her back through the door.  Our eyes closed in sorrow and silent prayer.  Athilia was in a conversation for about 45 minutes with another couple who were just passing by.  Hopefully the seeds that she planted will take root.  The time passed quickly by and I saw Nikki coming down the sidewalk with two beautiful roses.

1-3: Nikki

It was a peaceful shift, and the weather was beautiful! I was blessed to have the wonderful group from Saint Anne’s in Waynesburg with me the entire time. Their leader, Kim, was on her knees the whole time praying, and they all prayed as a group. We passed out information, there were some couples still going in and many couples coming out.  We are planting seeds and will never know how God is using us to make a difference! I left the vigil in the capable hands of shift manager Michael, who had prayer volunteer Regis signed up to be with him for his entire shift. 


Shift manager Michael with prayer volunteer Regis

3-5: Michael and Regis

It was sunny, breezy, quiet and peaceful today. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. Passersby were a mixed bag, mostly positive. I can’t help but feel a little pumped up after seeing Unplanned. It is so obvious how the Lord has been working with and through Abby Johnson and now with Unplanned. I guess we could say Unplanned was and is His Plan all along. Let’s all pray very hard that tons of people that are sitting on the fence regarding abortion or who are pro-choice, see this movie, and are moved to the pro-life side. Our culture of death needs to be shaken to its core and move towards a culture of life. 

Is it MeMe or MiMi?

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

The 5 – 7 shift was peaceful and prayerful.  When we thought we may have prayed enough – along comes Mimi with the command, “Pray a Rosary!” and, of course we did. Thank you to those who came to pray this evening; Johanna, Marc, Audrey and Jim and our pal, city dweller, “Gym Shorts Jim”. Blessings, Lisa

Day 21: Thanks to St. Alexis, St. Titus and all the individual volunteers!

Do you ever think about the virtue of RECEIVING? I think about it a lot when I am on the sidewalk. It is a gift to be able to graciously RECEIVE……. It can be humbling if you are receiving HELP, It can take obedience if you are receiving constructive CRITICISM and It can be joyous if you are receiving a PRESENT!

Example of how NOT to receive

I hope and I pray before I go to the sidewalk, when I am down on the sidewalk and many times for days afterwards, that the people we encounter will be receptive of our Pro-Life message!

Of course it’s always great when we have someone receive our message wholeheartedly and give us their support. But we are also happy for someone to receive our message from a bus or a car or the other side of the street!

You have to be soft to receive…like a sponge, soft enough to soak up what is being offered. We hope and pray women seeking abortion, people unaware that PP performs over 3000 abortions a year and people who have experienced abortion are just soft enough to receive……………….. a yellow card, a pamphlet, a message from our signs or the message of the fetal models.

Mary is the perfect example of how we should receive: She received Jesus with Humility, with Obedience and with Joy!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Every Tuesday when Dick, Ed, and I are on the sidewalk it has been in the 20s and cold. No change today but it felt colder…and I don’t think my hand warmers were working as well. There were single, young women going in PP from early morning…all with faces as cold as the day. We think 3 were for abortions.

Spring on the sidewalk

Ed and I were discussing, as everyone on the sidewalk does at times, “When will this place close”. And my “Jesus Calling” was there with the answer,”Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being instead of trying to figure things out yourself.” So, let’s trust and pray and let Jesus do his thing. Charlene

9-11: Nikki

 When I arrived at my 9 to 11 shift, I laid the three beautiful pink roses on the sidewalk along with wooden crosses to mark them as memorials, but unfortunately they were not there more than 20 minutes before a young man came by, obviously hostile, and was laughing as he picked them up and walked away with them. So, I decided that from now on instead of laying whole roses, I will bring roses but will disperse the petals loosely on the sidewalk.  This will serve two purposes. One, people will not be able to pick up all the loose petals to remove them, and it will also represent the way that the beautiful bodies of unborn babies are torn apart and thrown away.   The first couple who went in for an abortion would not take any alternative information, so in honor of their child I simply laid one rose petal on the sidewalk with the cross. 

Doesn’t this fetal model look beautiful with the sun shining on it? Really shows the beauty of life!  It is so nice to have the sunshine! Thank you Lord! 

11-1: Pat

I appreciated the opportunity to interact with the group from St. Alexis parish, who were there for the first half-hour of my shift.  St. Titus parish covered the full 11-1, with Patti and John (God bless them) staying all the way until 3PM.  For the bulk of the time Fr. Thomas More, the Pastor at St. Titus was on the materials side and Patti (who spent much of her time on her knees) and John on the other. 

We had one noteworthy encounter.  A man stopped as he passed us with his three kids.  He pointed to the youngest, who was in the stroller, and freely admitted that “he wanted to get rid of it,” and explained that he had serious economic fears about dividing his limited income once again to feed another mouth.  But then said that he kept hearing God’s voice in his head telling him not to do it and to trust in Him.  While he never mentioned a connection between what he heard from God and what we do in front of PP for 40DFL, I couldn’t help but think as he walked away that perhaps our collective praying had a role in his hearing that voice and trusting it. ~Pat

1-3: Beth

Thanks to John and Patti from St. Titus in Aliquippa for staying with me on todays’ afternoon shift.  We prayed and tried to hand out some literature.  Most people just kept going, enjoying the sunshine.  Clients started to come out and it was a sad procession of young women leaving PP.  Later, Kim and Carol came along with Bernadette and Barbara.   Lisa had stopped by to pray for a while when a beautiful young woman came and loudly told us we were lying because the fetal models were not the same as the pictures she had downloaded from her computer.  She had also come yesterday but the pictures were on her phone.  At the time, Lianne had remarked how sad it must be to have pictures of unborn babies on your phone to do……….what?  If she comes again tomorrow, I have no advice except to pray for her.  We did; she seemed very adamant and unhappy. The rest of shift was peaceful and prayerful

3-5: Michael and Kim

Another sunny, beautiful day.  Shift was peaceful and calm. High school boys from CAPA High School stopped and asked if they could record and interview us about what we were doing there. One of the boys did most of the talking and disagreed with what we were doing. They said babies are not viable until they are born. They were definitely pro choice and believed we did not have a right to be there and we were being intrusive to people coming to PP. We emphasized we are there to hold vigil and pray and save babies from abortion. We more or less agreed to disagree.


Carol, St. Ann’s (Waynesburg); Catherine, St. John XXIII; Bernedette, St. Gregory’s (Zelionople); Kim, St. Ann’s (Waynesburg)

5-7: Lisa  and Johanna

Shift Manager Lisa, with buddies Jim and Johanna, with a prayer volunteer

And it became very personal……On my way from the parking garage to the vigil at 5 o’clock tonight something drew my attention to a piece of paper on the ground and although I am the type of person that picks up trash, I did initially pass it by but then I realized what it was and I returned to pick it up.  What I had found was a sonogram picture.  A sonogram picture taken today at 2:07 PM at Planned Parenthood of a living breathing life!  It is my hope that the mother of this child dropped this picture by mistake.  I hope she may possibly read this post and want the picture of her baby back, that she will cherish the child she is carrying, that in a few months she will hold this child in her arms and love this child.  What I do know is that I will carry this picture with me and I will love this child and I will continue to pray for this child and “G.J.”  I ask that you also pray for this mother and child……and the hope continued this evening.  We had many positive interactions with passersby.  Several people were drawn to the fetal models.  We spoke with two women who proudly told us they were pregnant and took delight in comparing the models with the current development of their babies. Thank you Jim and Johanna who prayed with me for the entire shift.  Thanks also to “Gym Shorts” Jim who joined us again this week for the last 1/2 hour of prayer. 

Day 14: Thank you St. Alexis, St. Titus and Catholic Men’s Fellowship

St. Joseph…the Strong Silent Type

Isn’t this the most beautiful image of St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family. A man called to a life of quiet trust and faithful labor, he was a pillar of patience and integrity who fulfilled his mission flawlessly!

Men are so important when it comes to abortion. Their support can make or break a woman’s decision about abortion. In the woman’s story I read last week detailing her account of why she did NOT have an abortion, she largely attributed her boyfriend’s loving and tender response to the news of her unplanned pregnancy, to her ability to choose LIFE!

On the sidewalk, I always try to hand the yellow resource card to men, one of my standard lines as I offer it is “in case you know of anyone that needs help…just keep it in your wallet and pass it on!”

Hopefully we can empower men to empower the women in their lives to choose life!

Life IS Good!

O happy man, blessed Joseph, to whom was entrusted GOD, whom many kings desired to see and did not see, to hear and did not hear

Not only to see and hear, but to carry and embrace, to kiss, clothe and protect.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

 

Dick, Edward, and I were on the sidewalk early this morning…a little warm air behind the cold. Sally and Al used to be with us on Tuesday….and I have been thinking about them a lot since Sunday. What happened Sunday? Well, it was the Transfiguration but Dynamic Catholic didn’t talk about those present but someone absent…Andrew.
Andrew who introduced Peter to Jesus. Andrew who is never at big things with Peter, James , and John. So what was Andrew doing? Quietly spreading the word, following Jesus in a peaceful, prayerful way…bringing followers to the Lord. See why Andrew reminded me of Sally and Al. Consistent, prayerful, peaceful, getting their message out.
 
Today, like God was telling me what to say in my blog, Julius (our Tuesday Pittsburgh Pride guy) asked about Al and Sally and said he really missed them. I said the sidewalk was empty without them. And he sent them a message,”Tell them they are always in my prayers”.
Al and Sally…we miss you!!!
Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

To quote a friend, “it takes me three days to get over being at PP.”  Yep, seeing actual clients, trying to help them and watching them ignore our pleas, takes awhile to “get over.”  So even though we don’t thrive on rejection, we do get over it and we’re back on the job of trying to save lives the following week. This Tuesday was no exception. 
Charlene, Dick and Ed were on duty as I arrived and note to Dick:  Sorry, sorry, sorry.  There were toe warmers right in the small case. Shame on me for not looking.  Sunny and anything but warm, it seemed as though more people were encouraging than in past years.  Maybe the discussion about infanticide helped some people connect the dots which led to abortion being wrong against any human being, regardless of age or location, in or out of the womb. 
Then the beautiful trio from St.  Alexis came, Claudia, Diane and Alice.  Alice met her son’s friend as she looked for a parking spot.  She answered his question as to why she was downtown and after driving to the lot where he directed her to park, she was told her parking was paid.  Maybe there’s a connection!  Many thanks to the Tuesday crew.

11-1: Fran

 

When I arrived at 11 to relieve Beth, the sidewalk was almost deserted.  Alice stayed on with me and, as we were getting ready to pray the Prayers of Petition, we were joined by Father Tom. 
As Father Tom settled in, we were surprised to see four mounted police coming down the street.  Two turned left and the other two came straight past us. 
After they passed, Father Tom prayed the Prayers of Petitions as we responded.   We remained in silent prayer and offered pamphlets to people as they passed.  Alice left and a short time later, Patty and John from St. Titus (Father Tom’s parish) joined us.  It was Patty’s (and possibly John’s?) first time at the vigil, but you could not tell, they had answered the call and they understood their purpose. 
 
It seemed to me that there was a higher than usual number of people today who smiled, encouraged, thanked, and blessed us.  One mother went by holding her son’s hand and another, a few minutes later, holding her daughter’s hand.  Both of them smiled and there was an unspoken sense between us, that, “Children are a joy and a blessing”.  Still, the majority of the people kept their eyes straight ahead or on their phone or on the ground.  The gentleman who jogs and stops for a fist-bump came by, twice, down and then back.  That brief interaction means so much after watching so many pass by as if we were not really there.  Unfortunately, it was an abortion day, and we saw several couples leave and several others go in.  I understand now, the “look” – the loose fitting pants, the fast walk, the tight jaws, the intense eyes facing the doors.  It is good for us to be there to pray.   
Thank you, Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

It was actually a very prayerful and peaceful shift today. I was blessed to stand with Fr. Thomas More, John and Patty from Saint Titus Parish and Aliquippa.

John and Patty from Saint Titus, Eve and Nick from Franciscan University and shift manager Mike

They were here for an entire four hour shift, shivering in the cold, standing the whole time. They silently prayed, it was very solemn and beautiful. We had many positive comments, and hardly any negative. I was surprised at how many people went out of their way to thank us for what we were doing. As always, the baby models attracted a lot of attention.

 

One young woman who was headed into Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, accompanied by her friend, stopped to receive the information about Pro Life alternatives. I called Women’s Choice Network from the sidewalk and they agreed to see her right away. They left to go there instead. Praise God for a turn away today! Keep up with the prayers and the fasting everyone! God is using us for his good purposes!

Silent prayer warriors Silent prayer warriors from Saint Titus, Father Thomas More, John and Patty

Mike, Kim and Mike 3 to 5 shift

 

 

 

 

 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It was a sunny, peaceful and serene afternoon at the vigil. No negative gestures or comments. Several positive ones.

Passerbys gave thumbs ups, two men made the sign of the cross and one man thanked us for what we are doing.

A woman stopped with her young son and asked for a way to purchase baby models so she could educate others about pre-born babies. We gave her literature to assist her. Our shift buddies, husband and wife Kim and Mike, were stellar leading us in prayer for the entire 2 hours. What a beautiful role model couple!!! Dan from Mother of Sorrow in Murrysville joined us in prayer and vigil. I am so grateful to have 40 Days for Life in our city and at PP.

I see so much good come from this humble and peaceful movement. 

Dan from Mother of Sorrows parish

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

Tuesday, March 19
Solemnity of St. Joseph
………His betrothed is pregnant.  An unplanned pregnancy.  THE unplanned pregnancy that became our salvation!
Thank you St. Joseph for your YES to be the foster father of the Son of God.
We witnessed today for all of us, ALL children of God.
Thank you my dear Johanna and Dan, a member of the Catholic Men’s Fellowship and Our Lady of Sorrows church in Murrysville.
We had a prayerful and peaceful evening.  All Blessings of God. 

Dan and Johanna

Day 7: Thank you St. Alexis and St. Paul Seminary!

What drives a woman who deems herself strongly pro-life to consider having an abortion? According to an article in Celebrate LIFE magazine by a strongly pro-life woman, who found herself pregnant….FEAR.

Fear of Judgement, Fear of Responsibility, Fear of losing friends and a fun, carefree Life. Fear’s grip is exceptionally strong. It made her question everything that she inherently knew was wrong.

We all have fears. There is a great song that you may have heard that is about “breaking up” with fear. It has over 9 million downloads, so I’m guessing fear is a pretty common emotion. We can all relate!

But there is hope, because there is a perfect antidote to fear….LOVE

1 John 4:18: Perfect LOVE drives out FEAR

So when she told her boyfriend that she was pregnant, he responded with such LOVE and tenderness, that she became brave enough to choose what is right over what seemed easy. She was still afraid about the journey ahead, but her LOVE for her preborn child replaced her fears.

She says “don’t allow fear to drive your decisions, Trust in the Lord to help you choose the path that is right! Be brave and step out in faith!

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!

7-9: Charlene and Dick
Dick and I expected to be the only prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning but were pleasantly surprised to be joined by Ed. Ed has been coming very regularly early Tuesdays…handing out brochures and warm greetings on a cold morning.

We talked about how we love to come to the sidewalk and we know God has everything under control. Ed said he sometime wished God would “let us in on His time line”. My Mom’s favorite prayer was the Serenity Prayer, it hung in our living room. 

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change…courage to change those things I can and wisdom to know the difference”. On the sidewalk we need to add a lot of Faith…God knows we can change the world…and he is with us to prove it!!!
Charlene

Dick and I and the babies!

9-11: Beth, Mary Jane and Beth Ann
Cold feet, cold hands, brisk wind but warm hearts.  Shift managers Charlene and Dick were on duty along with Ed who handed out quite a bit of pro-life literature.  Mary Jane came to pray along with two wonderful gentleman, John Paul and Thong.  God’s blessings can take many disguises; today His blessing came as handwarmers which Diane included in the equipment box: much appreciated. 

 Unfortunately, business was also brisk at PP, lots of clients.  One woman tried to enter PP through the gallery next door.  But she would not change her mind; it’s heart-breaking.  Her friend just kept saying as she laughed that we couldn’t help her and hustled her inside PP.

From St. Alexis, Beth Ann, Diane and Marilyn came as John Paul and Thong finished their time and went to get warmed up. People passing by mostly hurried to get out of the cold.  At 933 Liberty Avenue, the greatest coldness  is inside not on the sidewalk.
Thanks to new shift manager Fran for coming right on time and taking over like a pro.


11-1: Fran

When I arrived for the shift I was greeted by the ladies from St. Alexis who had been with Beth through most of her shift.  I saw Beth on the opposite side of the circle talking with a gentleman.  I soon found out that he was not a part of our group but that he had brought his own sign that indicated he is against abortion but he wished to stand alone.  He remained at the vigil on the opposite side of the circle almost to the end of my shift and he was very kind to pick up our signage after a man walking by deliberately knocked it over.  After Beth left, Diane, Beth Ann and I prayed the Rosary.  When Donna arrived she and I prayed the Prayers of Petition that are typed on the reverses side of some of our signs.  The doors to PP were somewhat active but mostly to admit individuals, not many couples (of course, that would not be the time we would see the couples).  On the sidewalk most people hurried by not accepting literature; some smiled and blessed us while others expressed some form of disagreement.  Then Nikki arrived with three beautiful sunflowers and, not far behind her were 3 seminarians who were prepared to offer prayers for the well being of all those who are in need of hope and guidance and also for the judicial decision that would result in the permanent closure of the doors that lead to so much pain and suffering. Grace & Peace, Fran

Donna
Nikki with the Seminarians

1-3: Nikki
I  was very blessed to share the sidewalk with a large group of seminarians from St. Paul’s Seminary today. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, but in contrast to the sunny weather there was a darkness on the sidewalk, I thought. Many of the seminarians remained on their knees  which made a powerful statement of the seriousness of the reason that we do this. Although we got very few positive comments today and some negative, I believe that seeing people pray on their knees does go a long way to defuse anger. 

 It was obviously a very busy abortion day, sadly. Many couples went in while I was there, and also many couples came out. It seemed to me that when we do this, although it is very sad and we see no good results,  that it is necessary. God is putting up with so many people who don’t love him and don’t know good from evil. We are like little lights bouncing around in much darkness. It is hard, but  it is necessary. 
In addition, Frank showed up to pray,  along with John and towards the end of my shift Kim and Mike came. They are the shift buddies for the 3 to 5 shift manager, Mike.  I am very grateful to everyone who sacrificed and prayed today!

Michael and Kim

3-5: Michael
I was accompanied by shift buddies Kim and Michael who prayed and kneeled for most of the shift.
What tremendous prayer warriors for Life!!!  Nothing eventful to report. Many passerbys gave positive
body language to indicate approval and agreement with what we are doing. One person spit on the
baby display and a young woman said we should get out of here with our stuff.  The sun shined brightly
and Spring is in the air. Every time I am at PP, I am reassured that we need to be there, especially on days when they
are doing abortions. LORD HAVE MERCY!!! 3

5-7pm Lisa and Johanna

A Quiet Evening
For as much as I am sorry for the WHY we go and pray and witness at 933 Liberty Avenue I found myself very much looking forward to praying today.  I tend to be anxious about the thought of Johanna and I being alone but she reassures me that God and his angels are with us.  I had no need for any anxiety today as we were joined by two wonderful couples to bolster our ranks.  We are very appreciative of Connie and Marc and Audrey and Jim being with us tonight and with promises of coming back on future Tuesday evenings! Blessings, Lisa

Audrey, Jim, Marc, Connie, Johanna, Lisa