Day 35: Thank you St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville, OH); St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Moon Twp); K of C (St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude – Greentree)

God is detailed oriented…Sounds like something that should be on your resume, right?! But when you think about the detail of our fingerprints and the palms of our hands…or the detail in nature.

You can’t deny God shows attention to detail!

We are frequently challenged to “think globally” and look at the big picture. But maybe God has a plan for us to just be concerned with the detail of the task He has set right in front of us…Not to go out and save the world, not to stand at every abortion center in Pittsburgh or in the State of PA. But the detail of being called to witness to life right here locally…Focusing on the detail of one person (or 2!) entering PP at Liberty Avenue and how you may be able to help her.

I think you are imitating God when you stand on the sidewalk, showing how much you care about the detail of a person’s life. We will trust the big picture to God and wait for the glorious unfolding of His plans by being faithful to the details!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

 

7-9: Charlene

The last week of the campaign and we are tired. The cold weather during this campaign has something to do with it. It’s times like this when we need to remember to “Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (psalm62) We don’t want to be glum and God doesn’t want that either. So
just like that, he puts a smile on our face and warmth in our heart.
1) Al was back on the sidewalk today! Sally is home and told him to join us. She is still taking it easy! Thank you Lord.
2) We had a very spirited group from St. Paul Catholic in Steubenville. They prayed together, greeted everyone, and David had a very nice way of reaching out to those entering PP. The Spirit was with them for sure!
3) I was reminded of what Fr. Kevin from St. Alphonse and Fr. John from St. Bonaventure said,”Abortion WILL end!”

 

 

God is our refuge!! And knows when and how to lift us up!!! Charlene

 

 

 

 

 

9-11: Beth

Our dear friends Tracy, Sandy, Beth and Dave from Steubenville were back for a repeat appearance at PP today along with regulars Edith and Ed from St. James.  What a wonderful group, praying, listening and handing out literature on a very busy morning.  Later, Fr. Jeremy Mohler from St. Katherine Drexel of Washington PA joined us in praying for a sad line of clients going into 933 Liberty Avenue. 

The weather went from bad (cold, windy, wet) to worse (cold, windy, wet, and snow) as we turned the duties over to Ceil and her friends from St. Joseph.  First day of Spring…..?

See you in the fall or if you can, please join us any Tuesday morning because the abortions continue all the time.

11-1: Cecilia

With my friends Joyce, Patti and JoAnn from       St Joes/St Marys
The girls praying a rosary…

 

It’s seemed like a Fall campaign where each week got colder.  We were well dressed for it this week!  Good thing because we had it all…drizzle, sleet, snow all within 2 hours.

The nice guard came out to salt the sidewalk in front of PP.  He said he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.  I told him it’s too bad that so many are getting hurt inside that building and again said that he could find a better place to work.  He said he was OK with working there.  But smiled.

It was so nice to close out my shift with my “girls” from St Joe’s/St Mary’s….Joyce, Patti and JoAnn!  We stopped by Catholic Charities on the way to drop off 2 large boxes of donations from our church beforehand.

The girls prayed and sang songs and jumped in on some conversations.  A few to note:

A beautiful young lady stopped to engage in a very thoughtful conversation.  She said that we were making girls feel bad about an already difficult decision and said that some girls who have been raped come for an abortion.  We informed her that that was a low number; that the trauma of abortion doesn’t make the raped women feel better; that abortion is often used as a way to cover up a rape situation…  And then we were quite saddened to learn that she was a rape victim who chose abortion.  She was glad that we were more peaceful and not yelling at the girls.  She thought that we were telling them they would “go to hell”, which we said was not our call to make.  She did say that we should, instead, encourage contraception esp the condom.  But I told her about the problems (health…) with contraception and the false sense of “protection” that they think they have which results in STD’s and unwanted pregnancies.  So I stressed that abstinence was the best option and what we promote.  Although she refused to take most of the literature that I offered and questioned the facts that I told her, she did, in the end, take a Rachel’s Vineyard flyer that JoAnn kept offering her and gave her a hug before leaving.

Another girl headed for PP stopped and willingly took several of the flyers that we had.  She said she was not there for an abortion and was shocked when I said they were performing them today.  So we suggested that she look for her care elsewhere.  She seemed interested but still wanted to keep her appointment.  While Joyce and I spoke with her, a man stopped and asked her to come talk with him a little.  Joyce told him we would gladly address any of his concerns as well.  But she did walk down the street with him for a very short while.  We were hoping that she would not come back, but she did.  However, we are hopeful that she may not return in the future.  She seemed disturbed with the abortion idea and seemed interested in the other resources.

A man stopped to say that, while respects our being there and that we have the right, he doesn’t agree with us.  He also said that if the California case comes to PA, he would not agree that they have the right to force CPC to promote abortion.  He thinks people should have a right to “choose”.  It’s the whole notion of “relativism” that is alive in our culture today.  We need a backbone to stick up for what is truly right and against what is truly wrong.  There are absolutes.  And abortion is absolutely wrong.  He didn’t want to stay to talk about the rights of the child, etc.  He just wanted to state his point and move on.  At least he “respects” us I guess.

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 2 Rosaries

Prayed 1 Divine Mercy

Offered up Songs

Provided pregnancy resources to someone to share

Patiently deal with an Abortion Adovocate

Offered Abortion Healing for someone in need

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Conversation with a worker

Endured the Cold and Snow and Rain

Patti’s daughter stopped to say hi. Here they are in their matching jackets.

1-3: Nikki

I had the honor of praying with the wonderfully dedicated group from Saint Margaret Mary Parish in moon township. What a selfless and dedicated group they are! They signed up to be there for four hours and are staying the entire time! The weather was terrible, I don’t know why I thought it might be fun to stand in the snow, it definitely was not. The snow was icy and wet and the wind was whipping it in our faces. It was a losing battle to try to keep the baby model set visible, it would be covered again two minutes after cleaning it off. Trying to pray the prayer intentions on the back of the baby signs was even a challenge as the words kept getting covered up from the snow. But, we made a profound witness to those who saw us although not many stopped to comment or engage us. One young man, however, did stop to talk. He asked us, “why do you care so much?“ We had the opportunity to explain to him how much God loves everyone, and since we love God, we love all of his creation, and explained that when those who are weak and unable to defend themselves are being harmed, that we need to come to their aid. I think we gave him something to think about, he was really just curious and seemed to be intrigued as to why we would stand out there in such awful weather. That is why it is so important that we do this, I believe. I was very happy to see the next shift manager, Mike when he arrived at 3 o’clock to relieve me. Here he is in the picture, along with the wonderful prayer warriors from Saint Margaret Mary Parish.

Thank you to everyone for your sacrifice in this difficult weather! I believe that God sees our sacrifices and is holding us in his heart.

3-5: Michael

Day 35  Tuesday  3 – 5

   It was cold, windy, snowy and wet today, but the thoughts of babies warmed our hearts. The ladies and gents from St. Margaret of Moon Township were six strong and wonderful to brave the nasty weather and keep the vigil for four hours. This movement and cause is all about God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ, coming together to pray, chant, sing, fast, cry, laugh and witness to His unending and unconditional love for us imperfect humans who are created by Him and in His image and likeness. What is more important than for us to JOIN TOGETHER AND bring Glory, Honor and Worship to the Perfect Creator of ALL!!!  NOTHING!!!   


5-7: Lisa

What fun weather for our last Tuesday shift of this 40 Days campaign, the first day of spring. We knew well enough to dress in several layers and the big heavy boots. It never got too sloppy for us tonight but just as we were beginning to feel the cold Diane and her two faithful companions came a little early so all of us could get home before the predicted heavier snow.

Johanna, Fran, Diane, Penny the Pro Life puppy   and Lisa

What a great prayer partner I have had in Johanna joining me this whole campaign, my CDA sister (Catholic Daughters of the Americas.) A another big thank you to Fran a Knights of Columbus member from Greentree. Knights and Daughters two great organizations. If Fran had not joined us three of our five Tuesday nights, Johanna and I would have been praying and witnessing alone. Thank you again Fran!

 

Day 28: Thank you St. Robert Bellarmine (McKeesport), St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg)

I recently heard about an amazing teenager, Rachel Scott…she was the first victim in the Columbine tragedy. Her life and story are beautiful as you can tell from a theory that she wrote down for a school assignment:

She says I have this theory, that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, that it will start a chain reaction of the same”

People will never know how far a little kindness can go…You may start your own chain reaction of compassion.

That’s what the many facets of the Pro-Life movement all come down to…COMPASSION. Everyone who is participating in 40 Days for Life is certainly going out of their way to show compassion. Maybe your little kindness of witnessing on the sidewalk has unknowingly directed a woman on to the next link in the chain reaction of compassion…to a Pregnancy Resource Center and into their system of Compassionate Care.  The resources on our yellow cards for material needs and housing….these are all links in the chain reaction of compassion. There is compassion for abortion workers. The Pro-Life movement is a really, really long chain reaction of compassion!!

The FALSE compassion of abortion is destructive and a BREAK in the chain reaction of compassion. But the Pro-Life movement also has  links of compassion for Post-abortive women and men.

Help can be found at  1-800-5WE-CARE

 

7-9: Charlene 

Today, I was lucky to be on the sidewalk with Fr. Brennan and Helen from St. Robert Bellamine…and of course, my other half Dick. Fr. Brennan and I have been on the sidewalk together many times and it always lifts my spirits, his warm conversation and gentle way. Today, some of my witnessing took the form of spiritual conversation with Helen and Fr. Brennan and I began to think, as a shift manager, the different ways people witness on the sidewalk…quiet prayer alone, group prayers together, signs-yes and no, walking, talking together, handing out literature…but each one is a presence. Does God have a preference? I don’t think so. God made us each different. “His love for us is impartial, but His pursuit of us is personal” (Proverbs 31 Ministries) He knows we will each approach the sidewalk differently…but He is glad we are there. Charlene

Helen (St Robert Bellermine), Charlene (SM & St Bonaventure), Fr Brennan (St Robert Bellermine)

9-11: Kathy 

A loving group from St. Robert Bellarmine parish endured the cold as they joined me on the sidewalk, along with Ed, sidewalk counselor, who comes every Tuesday. Much of our time was spent praying and offering resources to pp patrons and passersby. Some accepted. The St. Robert B group wore the provided signs. Also, passerby Robert, who stops by occassionally did so today.


Ed, sidewalk counselor; Fr. Brennan and ladies from St. Robert Bellarmine parish in Washington, PA.

11-1: Cecilia

It was probably my coldest shift this campaign.  One layer of socks was not enough.  I needed toe warmers and we did break out hand warmers.  Some of us took a quick break to thaw out at Catholic Charities.

I was concerned that I would be traveling alone with Jodi, a first timer from our church, St Joes.  But then Patti and Denny said they could come and drive us down.  And Sandi’s family was healthy enough so she could join with us too.  On the way down, we stopped at the Catholic Charities Welcome Center to drop off food donations collected from St. Joes as an almsgiving opportunity.

Denny & Patti from St Joes and Suzanne from Bellefield Presby.

 

Regulars Beth & Bill with Sandi from Holy Sep and Rick from OL of Guadeloupe.
Catholic Charities Welcome Center donations from St Joes that we dropped off prior to the shift.

Kathy filled in today for Beth who is fighting for Life in Harrisburg.  We were blessed that she took time to pray a Psalm with us before leaving.  Sandi led us in praying the litany on the back of the beautiful baby sign.  Many other prayers including Rosaries and the Divine Mercy were prayed today.  Beth came again today to pray before and after attending Mass.  It was good to see her and Suzanne on my shift again!  Lovely ladies and great prayer warriors!

Regulars Bill and Bob stopped by.  Ken from OL of Guadelupe came by as well and got to work praying the Rosary.  He is from our neck of the woods.  Several others heard the call and came to stand with Nikki so that she would not be alone from 1-2.

Before my shift was over, a man stopped asking for assistance.  Sandi took him to Tony’s for food.  Soon afterwards a couple came out of PP.  They didn’t have money for anything apparently.  She is pregnant.  They took resources that we offered but said they “had it all”.  They took my offer to pay for their lunch at Tony’s.  Please pray for them to find jobs, good housing, to stay off of drugs,….so that they can have a stable life and raise this baby.  Their other children have been taken from them.  Please pray that they do not abort this child.

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed at least 4 Rosaries

Prayed 1 Divine Mercy

Offered up Scripture Prayers

Offered up other Prayers

Conversation with someone leaving PP

Provided pregnancy resources to someone in need

Listened to those who stopped by to share their story

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Endured the Cold and Snow

  1-3: Nikki 

 Seven people responded to Tim’s email  saying that I needed company for the first hour of my shift today from 1 to 2! I feel loved! Thanks to everyone who came out to pray with me!

Selfie with Vince and Joe

Faithful Joe, lovely Gwen and  Colleen from Saint Winifred, Vince from Saint Sebastian, Beth from the Latin mass at Saint Boniface, And Margorie from Saint Richard’s.   There was a lot of prayer happening on the sidewalk today, and as many prayers were prayed we had as many varieties of weather to go along with them! I think it was the strangest weather that I have ever stood in. It went from almost a blizzard and strong wind one minute to blue skies and sunshine and total calm the next!  It was beautiful actually seeing the snow falling.  At the end of my first hour, just as the sun was coming out, Kim and her lovely crew from Saint Ann in Waynesburg arrived. They prayed with me For the last hour of my shift.

 

Snow covered prayer warriors
Saint Ann’s crew from Waynesburg

Beth, Gwen, Colleen, Margorie and Anna Marie

 It was such a joy to be surrounded by so many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ! 40 days for life is truly God’s gift to us during these dark times! It is like a hug from him! We had quite a few positive comments and no negative ones that I can remember.  Shift manager Mike arrived right on time for his 3 to 5 shift  and I handed the torch over to him. Thank you everyone who came out today!

3-5: Michael 

The weather was very interesting today. The sun would come out and the wind would die down for awhile

and then the sun would disappear and it would snow and the wind would blow like crazy.  It would keep fluctuating

like that every half hour or so. I truly appreciated the fine ladies from Waynesburg, I think they from St. Ann’s parish.

They were there from 1:00 to 5:00pm and prayed continuously. What an inspiration to me and anyone who witnessed their love and devotion to the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!  I went in the bookstore where Governor Wolfe reportedly ventured into on Monday and the owner told me he did not recognize the Governor as being in his store that day.  Perhaps the Governor entered the store when the owner was in the back room and left before the owner came out of the back room. Or perhaps the owner just does not have a good idea of what Wolfe looks like. Who knows!?!


5-7: Lisa 

Manning the 5-7 shift this evening was quiet and peaceful and Johanna and I took advantage of this and  prayed a lot.  There were several “suits” going in after 5.  It must have been a meeting night.

Tonight was quite different than last week when I did experience several confrontations and I have prayed a lot this past week for those people who are confrontational with us.

Why didn’t I say this……do this…

Confrontation – I do not like it and often I do not handle it well.  Sure, after the fact I think “Why didn’t I say this…do this.  When I am on the sidewalk I smile and say hello and the majority of people do smile back, say hello.

So I spent a lot of time this past week praying for them knowing that God does not love them any more or any less than me.  I prayed that they come to the realization of why they are so angry.  Is it their own participation in an abortion?  I prayed that they realize as in Isiah 65:17 “The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind” by our Lord.  I prayed that if their memories are filled with past hurts and they are struggling to forgive themselves God will heal the memories of the wrongs we have done when we have a humble and contrite heart.

God does not hold our failures in his mind.  He sees everything through the lens of mercy.

Blessings,

Lisa

Day 21: Thank you St. John United Evangelical Protestant/Burry’s Church; St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Joseph (Verona);K of C (St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude – Greentree)

Do you know your blood type?

I try to donate blood fairly regularly, but I can never remember my own blood type.

(No worries, I carry a card in my wallet in case of emergency!) 

Recently, I read an article that scientific testing of blood found on The Shroud of Turin (believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus),  The Cloth of Oviedo (the cloth said to have covered Jesus’ face after He was crucified) and other Eucharistic miracles show that the blood type found on these relics is AB Positive. The article anecdotally asked at the end…

“Do you know your blood type? Do you have the same as Jesus’?”

So I got my card out and did a little research to jog my memory about which blood type is the rarest, which is the universal donor,  etc, etc, etc. I had just assumed that AB + (Jesus blood type according to these miracles) would be the type that is the universal donor….a natural assumption following along the same lines  that He gave His life for us.

Well, it turns out that AB + blood is rare, the percentage of the population that has AB blood type is in the single digits. AND also, that the person with type AB + blood, is the UNIVERSAL RECIPIENT, meaning that person can RECEIVE the blood of ALL types!

Isn’t amazing how God doesn’t overlook any detail, even the TYPE of Jesus’ blood tells us:

We Are All Members of The Body of Christ and He will RECEIVE anything we give over to Him…

 

7-9: Charlene

Just arrived home from Florida where it was 87 degrees. It was not 87 on the sidewalk this morning..there was wind, but we had Pastor Win from St. John Evangelical Protestant Church and SA Jackie with Dick and I…warm, holy people.

One of my favorite songs has this line in it, “We are the light of the world…let our light shine among men…that they may see the good that we do and give Glory to God”. I thought about the song this morning as we were joined by another Pro-life group…the Christian Collegian Network. They did not sign the book. They knew the rules of peaceful vigil…they passed out literature and did a lot of talking. When they first appeared across the street, they appeared to be strategizing and I will admit, Jackie and I were wondering,”friend or foe”? Thank you Lord, “friend”. They will be back Saturday.

The reason this reminded me of my song is as we always say…we don’t know who we are reaching and how God will use us. The Christian Collegian Network knew exactly where the peaceful Pro-life Vigil was because our light shines bright!
It’s good to be back friends! Charlene

9-11: Beth and Rose

She said she knew it was wrong.  But the baby’s daddy was forcing her to do it.  But  they had no money.  But the  sonogram costs $125.

But then Jackie started to quietly explain all the help that was hers, gave her literature and said we would wait for her.

And she did come out!  Kathy called Leigh Ann at Catholic Charities and left A.’s phone number to make contact.  A. didn’t want anyone to go with her.  She just wanted to get lunch and catch her bus.

But…..she came back out!  Without an abortion!  Please pray for A.

Thanks to everyone from St. John’s Evangelical Church in New Sewickley.  We hope feeling returns to Pastor Win’s numb feet real soon.

P.S. Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership wants to improve the atmosphere in the 900 block of Liberty Avenue.  Suggestion:  shut down the abortion facility.  Sure would improve the atmosphere for about 3000 babies and their moms every year!

11-1: Cecilia

Pastor Win, Kathy and Beth

BethAnn with Unique who stopped for a long time and shared stories of people she knows who are affected by abortion. She took resources for others and I gave her some for herself.

Suzanne was back and lifted up prayers, songs and scripture
Judy with her daughters Dominique and Christa from Pope St John XXIII Latin church. They live near us and so we sometimes see their large beautiful family at St Joes daily Mass.
Patti came down this week with her hubby, Denny. From St Joes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pam brought Barb, Joyce and I down to the vigil. Here they are across the street. We had a nice presence there today. Bob also stopped to pray on his break.

1-3: Nikki

I was very blessed to have my friends from my own parish today, Joyce and Bob with me for the 1 to 3 shift. We had beautiful weather, even sunshine for a while. We had one negative comment, a woman stopped to ask us if we also protested gun violence in schools. Other than that, we had many positive comments. We were praying as a group when one man stopped and told us that, on behalf of all the babies, he wanted to thank us for being there.

In the middle of our shift, a truck pulled up, it was a biohazard truck, and two workers carried out the biohazard boxes containing the dead bodies of the babies that had been killed. It was sobering to see how they were laughing and joking as they pushed the dolly filled with the boxes. We prayed a divine Mercy chaplet for the babies while the truck was still parked there.

No coincidence FOUR Mother of Sorrows parishioners show up at the same time the bodies were being removed

After that, a nice couple stopped by to pray. They were in town for the home and Garden show and were from Mother of Sorrows Parish in Murrysville. The four of us prayed the litany prayers printed on the back of the baby signs. When we were finished another couple stopped who were also from Mother of Sorrows. What a coincidence! The five of us prayed for a little while and then a woman named Beth arrived early for the 3 o’clock hour. She had answered the call to stand with shift manager Michael. We handed the torch to Michael when he arrived and are thankful for such a blessed time to witness and pray!

3-5: Michael

Beautiful Beth who stood with Michael today,   Thank You!

5-7: Lisa

Not the usual hustle and bustle in Downtown tonight.  It seemed like half the workers went home early.  I want to thank Fran, a parishioner of St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude, Greentree.  Fran is also a Knight of Columbus and I am VERY grateful he stood with me tonight as I would have been alone without him.  Unfortunately, there were two separate interactions with two very angry men, one of which I am going to call Professor Blueberry.

This older man was extremely crude especially to any and all things religious.  He began his “conversation” saying how can we have anything against the killing of something as small as a blueberry.  This man came off as something of an intellectual but the vile things he was saying were truly horrible. I left Fran with him for a short while – pulled out my beads and after about 10 minutes used my usual tactic of asking him to pray with us – Fran & I started praying and this made Prof. Blueberry really say some very foul things but he did leave then. Truly Thank God for Fran being with me.

Day 14: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport)and St. Joseph Church (Cabot)

Have you heard about this Cutie Pie yet? He is Lucas Warren and was chosen as the 2018 Gerber baby.

He is a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia who is the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest’s start in 2010.

 Lucas’s mom says “He’s very outgoing and never meets a stranger, he loves to play, loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh.”

gerber_2018_baby_today_180205_03_5cc2587f5ac3c2fbe963b5ba20766d7c.today-inline-largeGerber/Cortney Warren

The winning photo of Lucas, submitted by his mom, Cortney, to the Gerber Spokesbaby contest.
The following is an excerpt from an opinion piece at Lifesite news, 
you can read the full article by clicking HERE
“Gerber’s choice sends a crucial message, that children with disabilities are just as valuable as any other child, and they often bring love into their homes, communities, and churches that’s second-to-none. So may Lucas be an ambassador, not just for Gerber, but for the joy that comes from welcoming all lives.”

“I’m more than happy to praise Gerber…but I don’t want to praise them for the wrong reason. Gerber did the right thing, but children with Down syndrome are valuable not because they’re cute or even because they often bring so much love and happiness to their families, although both of those things are true.

“Lucas, like every human being, is valuable whether he’s cute or not; both when he brings happiness and when he doesn’t. His value is intrinsic, not a utilitarian calculation that weighs the costs with the benefits.”

Sue and Pastor Kirk 7am-9am

It’s always so uplifting to see Diane for the early-morning shifts. Her faithfulness to the vigil impresses me year after year. With all the pro-life information she has in her car, she’s like a pregnancy resource center on wheels! And she’s always coming up with new innovations to make our vigil safer and more effective. God bless her! (I wish I would’ve taken her photo!)

I was greeted right away by Pastor Kirk and Bill from First Evangelical Free Church, Meg from St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and Vicky, who was beginning her day before work by praying at the vigil as she said she often does. We split up for the two sides of the circle, and prayer began immediately. Bill H. stopped by, too, partway into the hour. It was cold, but somehow after the soaking rains of late, the cold itself didn’t feel quite as oppressive, as it has had a talent for doing this winter. I don’t remember a single negative reaction, and there were many positives. Pastor Kirk graciously assumed shift manager duties at 8:00, as I had to get to work. Hopefully we served as early-spring seed planters this morning – the seeds of faith, hope, love, and conversion for all we encountered. Lord, hear our prayers!

In prayer: Pastor Kirk from FEFC, Vicky, Meg from St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and Bill from FEFC
Beth 9am-11am

Forgive me if I forget any names of the wonderful people who stood in the cold this morning praying through a very busy Tuesday. The FEFC of McKeesport brought Pastor Kirk, Youth Pastor Joel and his wife Cynthia, accompanied by three handsome, young boys, along with Timberly, Rick, Dan, Patty and Randy.  Joel did a masterful job of explaining the rules of peaceful witness to the boys, right from the sign-in sheet.

Rick, Patty, Dan and Randy from FEFC

The abortionist arrived at 9 a.m. sharp with her associate and there was a sad, continuous stream of clients.  Some took literature as Elsie and Ed worked each end of the yellow bubble.  Again, even though it is the worst place, one meets the most wonderful people witnessing there.

Some questions:  What happened to the only beautiful thing in PP, the stain glass window above the door?  Did they have it removed when the front door was remodeled?   Did someone realize that something beautiful did not belong where the purpose of the place is ugly?  And… why would anyone deliver cases of Girl Scout cookies to PP as happened today?  Don’t think I can look at a ThinMint or Samoa ever again without that memory.

Beth

Cecilia 11am-1pm

Suzanne from Bellview Suzanne from Bellview UPC and Cathy from Monroeville Assembly of God
My travel companions and friends! Sandi from Holy Sep, JoAnn from St Marys, Cil, Patti and Joyce from St Joes

 

Regular Bob on lunch break
Beth from St Alexis came back for my shift this week!

It was another sunny day but colder than we thought it would be in the ‘burgh.  Those who had them put on hats, gloves, earmuffs and scarves.  Most of the passersby greeted us warmly and some took literature.  One man kept yelling at us as he was walking away.  He said God would send us to hell, that God doesn’t like ugly women and called me a nasty name.  I assured him of God’s love for EVERYONE including him and told him that we still loved him and would pray for him.  It is sad that he is so angry and probably hurting.  But we are glad to accept the persecutions for the sake of our cause.

My friends Sandi (Holy Sep), JoAnn (St Marys), Patti & Joyce (St Joes) were my travel companions and held vigil with me today.

Beth (St Alexis) was back this week and I hope will come again next week.

Faithful Bob stopped to say prayers during his lunch break.

It was great to have Suzanne (Bellview EPC) and Cathy (Monroeville AofG) there too.  I think Suzanne was here last week for Beth’s shift and came back this week a little later in the day to stand with us.  We had some great conversations grounded in scripture.  Suzanne is awesome at sharing the Good News!

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 3 Rosaries

Prayed 2 Divine Mercies

Offered up Scripture Prayers

Offered up other Prayers (2)

Sang Songs to our Lord

Conversation with someone leaving PP

Pregnancy Resources to someone who stopped

Contraception Education to someone

Gave literature to someone to share with others

Listened to at least 3 people who stopped to shared their story

Prayed with someone who stopped

Patiently dealt with an Abortion Advocate

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Endured the Cold

Nikki 1pm-3pm
 It was a beautiful, sunny day to witness for life! Thank you to my dear friend Carole for coming with me for my first hour, pictured in the selfie picture.
I was going to be alone for the second hour but two wonderful married couples answered the call. Mary and Guy came first and then Hank and Judy arrived soon after. They  were also planning to stay for the 3 o’clock hour with the next shift manager, Pat.
 
 It was a quiet and prayerful time, very sad to see couples leaving the clinic after their abortions, most likely. I just prayed silently for them. Once Judy arrived, her joyful spirit was so inspiring! It was wonderful to watch her interact lovingly to everyone who passed by, and to see the way people responded to her natural friendliness! We all  have different gifts, and God uses us in different ways. Watching her reminded me of what a privilege it is to be part of 40 days for life and as Judy put it, to be monuments for God, witnesses for all to see! The time went quickly, I was happy to see Pat arrive, he is filling in as a shift manager from 3 to 5. We have a beautiful 40 days for life family here in Pittsburgh and I am  very grateful!
Pat 3pm-5pm

I started the shift with Hank and Judy for the first hour.  I notice that when the weather’s cold (or wet), I don’t bother with literature, but pray more.  When the weather’s nice like today, however, I feel more compelled to pass out literature – especially the 40 Days for Life, Pittsburgh flyers we have – so people that can know what we’re doing.  The downside is that I don’t feel like I’m able to pray much at all.

The second hour brought Jim from St. Monica’s, who, like Hank and Judy, had answered the call to keep me company on my shift.  I really enjoyed both talking and praying with him (by this time I had put the literature away) and we did have an interesting moment together. While praying the rosary I decided to look up to the top of the PP building (mostly to stretch my neck) and a woman asked me:  “What are you looking at?”  I immediately responded:  “A building where they kill 3,000 people a year.”  She had no idea and ended-up walking away with one of our precious feet pins.  And all because of a little pain in the neck.

Johanna joined us at about 4:45 and stayed on with Lisa for the last shift as Jim and I departed.

Jim from St. Monica’s in Chippewa and Johanna from St. Peter’s on the North Side and the Catholic Daughters of America.

Pat

Lisa 5pm-7pm
It was a good evening.  Rick joined Johanna and I this evening.  Rick takes up post on the far side of the circle and becomes our “Rock”.  So good to have you back with us Rick.
Nothing but smiles and thank yous tonight and the most endearing encounter with the young family that usually passes by every Tuesday after 6.  I wonder if other’s that stand for the last shift of the day experience the same joy these young children bring.  We did not see them last week and were thinking maybe their lives led them somewhere else in the past few months.  Johanna and I were overjoyed to see them coming toward us and we let them know it!  The little boy is so full of fun!  He is probably 5 or 6 and there are 3 older sisters & mom.  Well, our little pal was his curious self and seeing the change in the fetal models he was so adorably appalled that someone would actually steal the babies! Steal the Babies! How could someone do that! Steal the Babies!  Needless to say, he made our day!  God Bless this little sweetie and his family.

Day 7: St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville OH); St. Joseph Church (Cabot); K of C (St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude)

IMPOSSIBLE.

With a little help, a little support,  maybe a woman can come to see her situation a little differently….help her see her situation go from

Impossible to I’m possible.

I was struck by a refrain I heard at church this past weekend:

Turn to God and He will turn to YOU in Delight            

It made me think how, if we make the slightest movement towards God, He recognizes that and turns fully around with a huge smile on His face, thrilled that we are seeking Him in the slightest way! I feel that way about the people entering PP…we just want them to make a slight movement towards any of the 40 Days for Life witnesses on the sidewalk…and We will be delighted….to talk, to empathize and to offer practical help!

1-800-712 HELP

We would love to be given the chance to help someone go from IMPOSSIBLE to I’m Possible

to her BABY is possible, a possibility and a promise! It just takes a slight movement towards LIFE!

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The play on words reminded me of a song from my childhood, but I could only remember the first 3 lines, so I looked up the lyrics:

I am a promise, I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P”
I can be anything, anything God wants me to be

You are a promise, You are a possibility
You are a promise with a capital “P”
You are a great big bundle of potentiality
And if you’ll listen, you’ll hear God’s voice
And if you’re trying, He’ll help you make the right choices
You’re a promise to be anything He wants you to be

You can go anywhere that He wants you to go
You can be anything that He wants you to be
You can climb the high mountain
You can cross the wide sea
You’re a great big promise you see

I am a promise, I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality
And I am learning to hear God’s voice
And I am trying to make the right choices
I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be

So keep on listening, you’ll hear God’s voice
And keep on trying, He’ll help you make the right choices
You’re a promise to be anything He wants you to be
I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be
You’re a promise to be anything He wants you to be

Words & Music : Bill & Gloria Gaither

7-9: David

The Grace of God was in abundance this morning because, prayer warriors Tracy, Beth, and Shawn from St Peter Catholic Church in Steubenville, Ohio were with me. Their church has had perpetual adoration since April 1997 !!!

Tracy, Beth and Shawn
Sally and Al

Al and Sally were here for an hour. Bill stopped by. Sidewalk advocate Jackie was here. Susan was here. Vickie was here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vicky

A young lady and her brother hesitated at the entrance of pp then, walked on by. They wouldn’t take any information. Vickie and Beth talked to them a while but, they still wouldn’t take any info. At 8:00, the same girl and two others went into pp. One was dropped off from a van. Jackie bravely spoke to her at the door of the van but, she went in. We prayed for them and their babies.
Several men who walked by took some information, two said, in no uncertain terms, they keep their babies! Thank God !

9-11: Beth and Rose

What a wonderful group of 40 Days for Life people at PP today for the 9-11 a.m. shift.  From Steubenville, Tracy, David, Beth and Shawn stood as pray-ers and witnesses for the entire morning.  Coming from Butler, Jacky was there doing a remarkable job of talking the pro-life talk with quite a few people.  And Ed from St. James is now the favorite of Oddie the dog from the Bricolage theater.  Bill H. stopped by and in spite of our tragic circumstances, lots of clients today, we enjoyed each other’s cheerful display of perseverance and enjoyed the almost tropic weather (hope that continues!).  A million thanks Cil and Company who came early so I could catch the bus on time. Laurie came with her great kids also from St. Peters in Steubenville : Aletheia, Augustine, Faith Hope, George and Charity

And….dear 40 Days family, due to the generosity of our members, People Concerned for the Unborn Child has lots of kids clothing, ages newborn to 4 or 5T.  Would you please ask your local pregnancy resource agency, or food bank or church, if they need anything and if you let me know, bsvirbel@hotmail.com  what you need (sizes) and when you’ll be at 40 Days downtown, we’ll have everything ready for you to take back home with you. Thanks from PCUC.

11-1: Cecilia

For my first shift of the campaign I was blessed with beautiful people on a beautiful day!  I’d like to say I brought the nice weather back from Myrtle Beach with me yesterday but the truth is it was colder there than it was here today.  It is good to be back to work trying to save lives and make a difference.

Thank you to my friends Joyce, Barb and Sandi from St Joes and Holy Sep who made the trip to Pittsburgh with me.  We dropped off church donations to the Catholic Charities Welcome Center before arriving.  They got right to “work” praying the Rosary:

Beth was surrounded by a nice group of people.  The “S.” children were there for a short while but could not stay because their Mom was struggling to find a place to park their large van.  Even their short stay had to make an impact.  They will try again another day.  From Beth’s shift, I got a picture of David (St Marys), Tracy, Shawn & Beth (St Peters), Ed (St James) and Suzanne (Bellefield EPC) I think!:

It was nice to meet Beth from St. Alexis who comes often to the vigil.  She lifted up many prayers on “the other side” during my shift.  Here she is with Joe:

Joe arrive early with a big smile and hug for us.  We stayed with him until Pat arrived to keep him company.  Unfortunately Nikki is still sick and could not make it.  Here they are:

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 3 Rosaries and 2 Divine MerciesGave out 5 Rosaries, 1 Feet Pin, granola bars and literature

Directed 3 people “in need”… to Catholic Charities, etc…

Gave a Resource card to a girl going in with her Mom and then spoke with her Mom when she came out later to smoke.  Unfortunately the Mom said it was her daughter’s choice to make and told us to leave her alone.  We prayed that she would choose life.

Gave Chastity info to two young single girls who work at a local hospital.  They said they weren’t pregnant “yet” when I gave them the Resource card so I thought the Chastity info would be helpful.  They seemed glad to receive it.

Listened to a lady and her daughter who were from Africa and were shocked that abortion is allowed in our country.

Spoke with a young man just out of college.  He is Catholic, attended LaRoche for undergrad and Duquesne for his Masters degree.  Yet he supports abortion in some cases and campaigned for Hillary.  He gave the usual comments about life of the mother and overpopulation.  Thankfully I had flyers to give him on that.  Also he questioned if we adopted children or supported women who do choose life for their child.  We were glad to be able to share examples of the good that we do to help those in need and tell of friends that have adopted.  I hope he left thinking better of us.  We REALLY need to change public perception.  My son who is a freshman in college told me the same thing over the weekend…people think we are there to “shame” yet not “help”.

Not only are we there to help others but sometimes someone comes by and helps us.  Today I was blessed by a man maybe my age who was walking by with a friend.  They were well dressed and my guess heading back to the Convention Center.  This man stepped back to me, reached out, put his hand on my left shoulder and prayed over me for some time.  It was the greatest experience I must say and brought me to tears that he would take time to do that.  Thank you Lord Jesus for giving us strength for our journey!

1-3: Nikki

(Joe took Nikki’s shift): When I was a child, I always had thoughts of a child.  I remember the nuns telling us about the passion of Jesus, how he was tied to the posts and whipped with metal on the end of the whips.  I remember how they told us that they brought him up the mountain to nail him to the cross.  In my mind, I imagined myself going in and rescuing Jesus, so he wouldn’t have to die.  Now, here I am , 65 years old, sitting in front of the abortion clinic in downtown Pittsburgh, looking up at that 5 story building on an abortion day.  I am thinking like a child again.  In my mind, I see the abortionist aborting the babies, and I see the angels catching them, and they have wings…taking them up to heaven.

Those are just some of the thoughts that I had while I was sitting in front of the clinic.  But then a woman caught my eye, she was standing on the side of the building, in distress.  Some of the others told me that her daughter was in there having an abortion. That place is just filled with anger, hatred, sadness and grief.  That woman outside was feeling it all.  I went up to her, and I explained to her that I was with the 40 days for life, and could I do anything to help her, but she told me to get away from her, so I did.  I walked away and I felt sorry for her, that she was in such pain.

I saw Patty on the other end of the circle, she was crying as she was praying, and I felt her pain.  Many people walked by.  Some took pamphlets, most of them saying they were with us.  Some said they were against us.  But this one young man walked by, in a jovial mood, and he was saying “they shouldn’t be killing those kids up there”, kind of making a spectacle of himself, as he passed through the circle.  I told Patty that he is on our side.  She smiled.

It was a beautiful day outside, sunshine, and warm weather.  I would like to share it with everyone.

God bless,

Joe

3-5: Michael

What a beautiful day!  Almost 80 degrees and sunny. Didn’t the groundhog see his shadow?  I thought I may be alone, but instead I was pleasantly surprised by so many awesome people. Three wonderful ladies came from Immaculate Conception Parish in Washington, PA: Pat, Cecilia and Renee and they met their friend Bernadette from Cranberry. They are members of the Immaculate Secular Franciscans. We were also joined by Jim from Chippewa, Beaver County. Nothing negative to report. These people are so tremendous and humbly carry their torches for the unborn and their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  They are truly an inspiration to me and I am certain to many others.

5-7: Lisa

What a day with the unusual, beautiful weather tonight. My ever faithful pal, Johanna had arrived early to stand with Mike. Jim answered the call to be with Mike and stayed for an additional hour with us. Jim and Fran, Knights of Columbus of the Greentree Council #12355 arrived and we had a very prayerful two hours.
We engaged in a short, respectful conversation with a young woman and I believe we may have changed a heart as she stated, “I never thought about it like that”!

Jim, Fran, Jim and Johanna

Day 35: St. Paul Seminary and Individual Volunteers

At the beginning of this 40 Day campaign, I kept getting the campaign theme wrong…I was mixing up my “T’s” and spreading the word that the campaign theme was TRUTH not trust.

But Truth and Trust are intimately related and I think will be the basis for why Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry will eventually, ultimately fail.  Abortion is based on half-truths and lies.

Planned Parenthood has worked hard to become known as a health-care provider, rather than an abortion provider…but the TRUTH is, according to their own website:

Mammograms are not performed at any PP clinic

Prenatal services only made up 0.18% of their services and

PP provided primary care to <1% of their clients

“Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to TRUST you when the FULL TRUTH comes out.

Half-truths are No better than lies

They have worked the numbers hard, but their own reporting shows that abortion is a large part of their business. The most recent annual report states that they completed 327,692 ABORTIONS. Prenatal service was given to 18,684 clients along with 1,880 adoption referrals. 

Which means 15 out of 16 pregnancy-related services provided by PP were abortions.

The PP on Liberty Ave reported that they performed 2890 abortions in 2016

That is why we stand on the street right at their doors, to try and spread the TRUTH of what they truly provide, to anyone who is open to hearing the TRUTH. And if you are pregnant and in need of HELP, to try and get YOU to the many places in Pittsburgh that you can TRUST to help!

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7-9: Charlene

It was cold on the street today but I think we have had worse days. My last shift until Spring and I had the pleasure of Dick, Sally, Al, and Bill joining me. No pictures since my phone thought it was too cold. PP might have had a Halloween party because food came but no devil costumes needed. Patients didn’t start coming until 8:30…back to normal time. Let us pray that by Spring Campaign PP will be closed and we can concentrate on East Liberty and Magee. Charlene

9-11: Beth

Another busy day at Planned Parenthood.  Lots of staff and clients entered as Edith, Suzanne and I prayed quietly that all this will be over and no child will die and no woman cry when speaking about abortion.  Thanks, Jeanne, for the cute new signs with prayers included.  As John and Kathy from St. Anne’s arrived and the shift manager badge was passed to Ceil, the blonde that came last week reappeared holding her pro-Planned Parenthood sign (would she ever have the guts to carry a pro-abortion sign?).  When someone reminded her that babies were being killed inside that building, she immediately changed the subject to birth control.   The fact is: abortion is wrong; change the subject to a million different  causes and none of those causes will  mean a thing if you’re dead from an abortion.

Thanks to all the great witnesses that came for the Tuesday 9-11 a.m. shift throughout this campaign.  It was an honor to pray with you.

11-1: Cecilia

The cold and wind made it a little “tricky” today for us but the Seminarian came to stand witness for Life during my shift and that was really a “treat”!!  Fr Tom, Brian, Gabriel, Dan & Sean covered the other side of the sidewalk with prayer, song, lifesavers and flyers.  Merv kept me company and entertained when he started counting smiles that we received after offering “mints” to those passing by.  He got up to about 25 before leaving.

day 35, st. paul seminary

day 35, st. paul fr. tom

 

 

 

 

And Denny not only came back this week but he drove his wife and my dear friend, Patti and I down again.  So I thank them for their company, their friendship and for their sacrifice to come all the way to Pittsburgh again to join with the Seminarian in prayer and song!  What a blessed day!

day 35, st. paul 1

I was able to hand out flyers, pins and baby models to several girls who really needed to share them with someone they knew who was pregnant.  The one girl had a friend already there for an abortion.  She tried to talk her out of it and I begged her to go back in to let her know that help was available.  Another girl said that we could pray for her friend “N” who is also contemplating abortion.  And we had a couple pass by.  The young man took a lifesaver.  Since the girl did not get one, I caught up with them to give her one.  She took that but did not want the flyer that we had.  They went into the bookstore briefly but did come out and went into PP.  The young man did take a flyer from me before heading in.  Too bad PP won’t let them keep it.  They won’t let them become more informed so that they could make a better choice.  I was praying that they would follow their heart as they did seemed to be struggling with their decision but they refused our offer for help.

Nancy said she couldn’t take pictures so here are pictures of some of the Seminarians that came for the start of Nancy’s shift:

day 35, john paul

Seminarian John Paul
Seminarians Adam and John
Seminarians Adam and John

 

1-3: Nancy

On a relatively cold day, we had seminarians from St. Paul’s with us – John, John Paul, Sean, Adam – Patty from Sts. John and Paul parish, and then later Michael and Kimberly, all the way from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg to warm our hearts with their prayers and presence. Two visits from Karen reminded us of the challenge we face to persist in prayer and love those who oppose us.

3-5: Pat

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Things were peaceful today – and unexpectedly so since it’s Halloween.  I enjoyed praying with and getting to know a little better, Clair, who I’ve met before.  And I also had the chance to pray with (on the other side of the sidewalk) and get to know Kimberly and Mike, who were just married in July!  It turns out that Mike and I have a few people we know in common.   Pat, 5-7

5-7: Lisa

Psalm 68  Our God is the God of salvation.

I love this psalm as it reminds us all of what can be for each of us – all we have to do is ask!  Salvation for all!

This evening was surprisingly, fairly quiet.  It enabled us to pray a lot.  The beautiful new posters of the baby faces with the petitions for life to our Lord were joyfully prayed.

Mike and Kim, members of St. Ann parish in Waynesburg, had been at the vigil since 2 pm and continued to lead us in prayer for another hour.  Kim, as usual was on her knees making a beautiful impact in her petitions to the Lord.

Kim, Mike, Jim and Johanna filled the sidewalk with prayer tonight!
Kim, Mike, Jim and Johanna filled the sidewalk with prayer tonight!

Andy and Nick, members of St. Winifred parish, along with shift manager Jeff answered the call to stand with my dear faithful partner on every Tuesday shift, Johanna as word went out that she and I would have been by ourselves this evening.

Andy and Nick answered the call!
Andy and Nick answered the call!

 

 

 

 

 

A great big thank you to Mike, Kim, Jim, Andy, Nick,Jeff, and especially Johanna.

Shift managers Lisa and Johanna
Shift managers Lisa and Johanna
Faithful Diane loading up the vigil materials, as she does for 40 days straight! How many lives are silently saved because of her sacrifice? Only God knows!
Faithful Diane loading up the vigil materials, as she does for 40 days straight! How many lives are silently saved because of her sacrifice? Only God knows!

 

Day 28: St. Peter (Steubenville), St. Joseph (Cabot), St. Ann (Waynesburg), Catholic Daughters of America

The Dad of a very good friend recently died. I have known my friend, his siblings and his parents for 30 years.  I knew his Dad, but not really all that well, like who he really was…he always seemed a bit gruff to me! I couldn’t quite reconcile in my mind the tender stories his family told about him.

But then there was the eulogy at his funeral…“To know his kids, their kindness, smarts and humor,  is to know BUD, they are the best reflection of him. He has left a lasting legacy in his children, who will carry on his characteristics”

It suddenly clicked, aahhh, now I understand who Bud was, cause I know and love his children…They are the best reflection of him!

people-2585733__340And then the whole thing kinda struck me in a much bigger way…applying the same principle to God the Father. Do I really know God the Father, like who He really is? Of course I do, cause I know His children, beginning with Jesus his Son and including ALL of us who are made in the image and likeness of God. He has made us His lasting legacy and we should be carrying on His characteristics. When we choose to embrace the characteristics God has placed in us, we can be a reflection of the Father!

I think we are showing that to the people we meet on the street! I know I feel it every time I go to the sidewalk, I am surrounded by the most beautiful people because you are reflecting who God is!

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Charlene 7am-9am

Today was a day when gloves and hats were needed and the chill went deeper due to the large number of people going into PP. Customers…not visitors. We had Jackie, SWA with us who spoke with several and had a long talk with one couple…but they went in…chill. We were lucky to have our two Warriors from Steubenville…St. Peter Catholic Church, Stacey and Beth and Sally, Al, and Bill.

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It is easy to feel down sometime but we have to remember that we did not join some club in 40 Days. God called us each by name to do what we are doing…he did not say it would be easy or a quick fix.He sent us by name and said He would be with us. And that’s all we need. Charlene

Beth 9am-11am

Today it was cold outside and definitely cold inside 933 Liberty Avenue.  This morning was the busiest day, and therefore the saddest day seen in quite some time.  From Steubenville Tracy and Beth, Suzanne from Bellefield Presbyterian, and Elsie from Sidewalk Advocates witnessed a steady flow of single women and couples coming and some leaving with those little brown bags (abortion pills? antibiotics?).  When we arrived, Jackie had spoken to a couple seeking Planned Parenthood services.  But they came out later and told Jackie that the preborn baby was too big.  So we can only pray that they receive the help they need. They did not want to go to Catholic Charities.

Time went quickly and then Bill helped me disentangle the shift manager badge from my coat and hoodie and let me run to catch my bus.  Thanks, Bill.

p.s.  I left a Pirate umbrella among our stuff.  Hopefully someone will walk away with it; it was pretty much kaput anyway.

Cecilia 11am-1pm

Thanks to “Saint” Bill for being at the right place at the right time!  Beth was able to catch her bus and I was able to hit the bathroom before beginning my shift. day 28 1

Today was our church’s vigil day during my shift and into Audrey’s.  It was so nice for Father Mark to bring me down.  I was able to direct a few passersby to him during our shift.  He kept busy in conversation and also handed out brochures after a Edith left.  We had 3 newbies come down from our church!  Richard spent his time with Fr and Edith.  He rescued a sign that had blown into the street and decided to wear it.  Did anyone mention how windy it was today?

Elsie stayed much later into the shift.  And, when leaving, took a girl “N” with her to get her food for her and her two older girls.  Please pray for “N” to find food until her food stamps come in.

They were very busy at PP.  Abortions and contraception were being handed out like candy.  We could see the sadness of it all.  One girl came out seemingly with her boyfriend and parents.  She seemed traumatized.  Was this really her choice?  And what about the men’s choice?  One young man pulled up.  After a brief moment, the girl got out and went quickly in.  He took longer.  After getting out, he stared up and down at the abortion mill then slowly made his way in.  We encouraged him to get her out and offered our help.  He did come out a while later and drove away by himself. day 28 2

Newbie, Steve, joined me in conversation during his lunch break.  We worked as a team when we were able to interact with others.  He handed out the yellow business cards.  Several people took extra resources to post and hand out.  He then prayed the rosary with Rick T. when he showed up.  “Regular” Bob also stopped by to get some prayer time in.  And my church friend, Darlene, signed up to offer rosary prayers from home during our vigil shift too.  It is always so nice to have the praying going while we are trying to interact with those passing by.

At the end of my shift, my friends Joyce, Patti and her husband, Denny (a newbie), showed up for the 1-2 hour.  With Audrey now there I was able to take a break to warm up.  We were glad that Denny could provide the transportation to Pittsburgh and offer his warm smile to counteract the cold that surrounded that place today.day 28, 3

Audrey and Jim 1pm-3pm

Today was a day of many contrasts – the sun was shining one minute and the next minute it was cloudy.  Many passersby shared their support and many did not.  But the overall shift was inspirational – we had a great turnout and we prayed fervently.  It has been awhile since I was at a shift that had abortions performed that day.  I would say over eight couples or single women went into PP.  It was very sad.   They all came out sad……  Our pro-life rosary was tearful but hopeful and uplifting.

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The earlier shift was from St. Joe’s in Cabot.  They were an enthusiastic and vibrant group sharing our information with everyone.  St. Ann’s from Waynesburg came a long distance, but their hearts were strong and supportive.  They brought a calming peace and a prayerful comfort to our vigil.

IMG_9550 (640x480)If you want to know why we are there – we are praying for the parents and the babies that they may have peace and God’s love.  We pray for their spirits.  Whenever I am at the vigil, I feel the spirit of God and the spirit of the many tiny souls that are floating up to heaven.

Mike 3-5pm

We were blest to have seven beautiful people from a Catholic Church in Waynesburg from 2 to 6 pm.

They prayed the rosary for hours and were an inspiration to me and others. Karen, the passionate advocate for Planned Parenthood, was with us to keep us on our toes and strengthen our fervor for life.  A gentleman named Perry stopped to tell us he was behind us 100% and he talked for about 10 minutes about his life, the miracle of birth and the gift of life. His words of encouragement were inspirational and heart warming.

A young man named “I” approached us after being at Planned Parenthood for 2 hours with his girlfriend. She is about 11 weeks pregnant and they drove down from Erie to have an abortion. He did not like what PP had to say and he decided abortion was wrong. He took a brochure of ours into PP and they took it from him and would not give it back. He asked us for another brochure and we gave it to him. We told “I” to google Pregnancy Resource Centers in Erie, PA and to contact them for assistance and support with the pregnancy. He was very grateful we were there and he is a very nice young man with good intentions to do the right thing. 

What an awesome experience! Thank you Lord for being there with us today and for strengthening and bringing Isaac and his girlfriend to us.

Lisa 5pm-7pm

Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.

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St. Ann prayers

Seven faithful prayers traveled to Pittsburgh from St. Ann Catholic Church in Waynesburg.  Attilia, Patricia, Carol, Kim, Mike, Barb and Kathy were there from 2 pm to after 6 pm praying and witnessing.  They had come to do the Lord’s will.  There was two handsome young men who stopped and joined in prayer.  They promised to return on another day but were leaving for their Bible class.

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Susan and Larry
 Donna and Rick traveled in with me for the evening and we welcomed Susan and Larry from St. Joseph Parish in Coraopolis all of whom answered the call to come and do His will.

Day 21: St. Robert Bellarmine (E McKeesport), Clarks Mills United Methodist Church, St. Catherine of Sweden (Allison Park), Catholic Daughters of America

DREAM SMALL

Let us be little people, dreaming small and trusting in God to make it BIG!

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  Sometimes we worry about accomplishing something BIG and we are busy “dreaming big” but then we miss out on all the very important “small stuff” that God places in front of us.

Carolyn relayed a story to me… about simply telling a lady going into church that she liked her scarf…the woman was overwhelmed by the small loving comment and told Carolyn that she just lost her husband. It was her first time in church without him! The seemingly small comment made a BIG difference in the woman’s day!

Barbara says in a blog post…I offered her our quite small, two sided, 2 x 3 ½ inch black and yellow card. I believe Barbara’s small gesture of handing out our small yellow cards can lead someone to seek Pro-Life help and have a BIG impact in someone’s life!

And I ad-libbed an observation Nikki made yesterday…Many people look at the fetal models. I really think the small babies make a BIG impact and plant many seeds, especially in young people. I think we are sowing small seeds that will reap a BIG harvest someday, bigger than we can know!

I pray that as we continue our 40 Days journey, that we can see and take advantage of all the “small stuff” that God has planned for us and rejoice in those accomplishments… Hearts are being changed and lives are being saved even when we don’t know it.  We have many interactions every day with our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers… so I pray we all take time to “dream small” and make a difference in their lives as well…

God can use small people with faith like a mustard seed to move mountains. We are willing to put aside our fears and feelings of inadequacy in order to step up to the platform (sidewalk) God has placed in front of us and let Him speak through us.

We are Little People, Dreaming Small and TRUSTING in God to make it BIG!

Beth  9am-11am

Busy day at Planned Parenthood, lots of single women and couples.  But 40 Days was right there, praying and witnessing and perhaps, giving Planned Parenthood a little well-deserved grief.  (memo to Planned Parenthood employees who read our blog:  our grief to you comes in the form of a reminder to your conscience;  you know abortion is wrong, and you know it’s time to stop, we’re praying that you have the guts to do so.)

Suzanne, our wonderful Tuesday regular was with the crowd from St. Robert:  Father Brennan, Carolyn, Mary S., Mary R., and Helen. Suzanne asked me if I noticed that the same woman had escorted three different young girls into PP and then after the last one, she walked back to the 9th street garage.  So can we now assume that Planned Parenthood has an escort, middle aged, black woman, medium, height with hair slicked back on each side, working on Tuesdays if our guess is right?  So much for offering woman the opportunity to hear of another “choice” the one for life.


Cecilia 11am-1pm

Wow….what a shift!  It took “a village” to get through our shift today.  God put us all where we needed to be.  Bernie came by with her beautiful painting of the pre-born Jesus which helped to sustain us.  Here they are:1

Pastor Adam Stump from Clarks Mills UMC led us off in a beautiful prayer.  While we were in the middle of praying, “K” came by with her PP sign and waited to argue and distract us.  Thankfully Pastor Adam was able to address her in such a calm and peaceful manner.  Some of us chimed in here and there but we did still manage to keep the prayers going and reach out to those passing by.  She first wanted to know how we could work together to decrease the number of abortions.  But she didn’t like most of our answers (abstinence, NFP…).  We explained some of the problems with contraception and the false sense of “protection” they give.  We did agree that offering support services to mothers and their babies afterwards is a good thing.  (That’s where our $ should be going, to support life, not to end life!)  We got on to many other subjects.  She commented that the size of the baby models were wrong.  I asked if it really mattered to her whether they were a week off.  Would she still think it was OK to abort at any stage, and she said ‘yes’.  There were many other subjects discussed that I did not catch.  But I thank God for Pastor Adam for his words of wisdom to her and to us!  Please pray for “K” that she finds the peace and truth that she seeks and comes to embrace life. 2

My dear friend Barb, who drove us down, felt called to stand vigil across the street.  She went over there with Joyce.  As the Lord would have it, a girl standing for the bus walked up to them to get more info about why they were there.  Joyce called me over to interact with them and we come to find out that she is a refugee from Ethiopia.  She has been here a year.  She cannot return to work until she heals from a surgery so she is living with a “nice guy”.  But she is now about 1 month pregnant.  Her boyfriend says he cannot afford a child since he sends money to support his family in Africa? so he suggested abortion.  She was shocked to learn that it is legal in the US.  She is scared but does not want an abortion and will consider adoption.  We first took her to Catholic Charities to learn about resources that they had to help her.  But ended up at Duquesne University to meet up with Joyce’s Uncle Father Vince who use to be a missionary in Ethiopia.  He spoke 2 of the dialects very well and provided food for us while we made calls and shared more info with her.  Please keep her in prayer.  Pray that her boyfriend is supportive.  If not, pray that she finds housing and is safe.  Pray that she is strong and stays with her decision to keep the child.  Pray that she can make the best choice for the future of her baby.  We will stay in touch with her.  Thank you Fr Vince for driving her back home and a BIG thanks to my friends Joyce, Provie, Patti and Barb who were flexible with their day and willing to travel all over town to help this special girl in need.

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I also want to acknowledge Beth and Bob who came down to stand vigil during my shift!  It is nice to have the faithful come back time and time again!

Nancy 1pm-3pm

This time was significant since we had 5 new pray-ers from St. Catherine of Sienna. They got busy praying, and were taking in the new experience that was relatively quiet and peaceful. Many people thanked them for being there. Then we had a couple of women who decided to tell us off and scream their disagreements with us. For me it was just confirmation that our prayers and presence are working. PP is not happy about us being there. But we can be confident our prayers and presence matter. Nancy

Image.png (480x640)Great group from St. Catherine of Sweden Church making a BIG impact!

Michael 3pm-5pm

Today the weather was beautiful as it has been for this entire campaign thus far. I was pleasantly surprised to find Nikki here at PP to be with me during my shift.  We were blest to have others stopping by to be with us throughout the shift. God bless you special persons.

Image.pngA passionate and vibrant friend of PP named Karen was present during the 1-3 shift and for most of my 3 – 5 shift. She has been with us at other times as well. Karen was respectful of our campaign and eager to present a defense for the importance of PP. We agreed to disagree and Nikki did a great job of dialoguing with Karen in a respectful, assertive and professional manner.  Karen held a small sign over her head which said “Honk 4 Planned Parenthood.”  Karen was relentless and indicated we had the power to close this PP facility. I suppose she was right, however if a closing is to occur, it would be the result of our 40 DFL campaigns and the Lord’s divine intervention. We are merely vessels for Him and any power we may be perceived to have comes from the Lord. When Karen left, she wished us well and we did the same. It appears the other side may be feeling intimidated by our presence and may be doing their homework and know that over 90 abortion clinics have closed since 40 DFL began its first campaign in Texas a dozen years ago.

Lisa 5pm-7pm

A peaceful shift. Thank you to Jeff and Jim who stayed over from the previous shift to be with us for a while. Thank you to my Catholic Daughters who came to the call to stand with me for the 5 to 7 shift. Pictured, Johanna, Lisa and Donna.

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Day 14: First Evangelical Free Church(McKeesport), Geiger Church of the Brethren (Johnstown), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (Carnegie)

Surrender = TRUST

I recently started a new job…..and it has been a lot more challenging than I expected. I know from the circumstances of how I came to be hired, that it is one of those things that was meant to be!! But it has been really hard (can you hear the whine in my voice?). I start a lot earlier in the day than I am used to so my normal routine has been all out of whack, I am completely out of my comfort zone in so many ways…and I don’t like it!

But TODAY was different! As I was getting ready, it popped into my head to say a little prayer, nothing fancy. Just something like God, I know this job is part of your plan for my life, clear my head and help me learn. I figured I would just surrender all my frustrations and struggle with training and TRUST God that it will work out! And yes, I had my best day so far!!…OK, I still needed the cup of Sumatra Blend at 1pm, but really, I can say it was a good day!

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I know this is a small area of my life, but wouldn’t it be great if we could tell the women seeking abortions a similar thing…Surrender to GOD and Trust these circumstances in your life to Him. The fact is…God’s will for us is always for our happiness. When we Surrender and Trust him, it is to our own happiness that we are abandoning ourselves!!

Charlene (7-9)

It was a beautiful 7-9 shift…the warmest shift Dick and I have ever had! And it was warmed also by our warriors on the sidewalk with us. Today was the day for First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport. I have been so privileged to be shift manager the last 3 years when they came. Pastor Kirk brought 12 pray-ers during my shift!!

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Jason,Roy,Alex, Dan,5 members of the Thompson family…including children who did such a good job handing out literature (who can resist those smiling faces), our Dean who is having surgery on Monday (prayers!) and Kathryn. Also Dick, Bill and I and Suzanne who is part of our regular Tuesday team now. Sally and Al usually join us but Sally told me since FEFC was coming, she and Al would be on the sidewalk with someone who had “less numbers”…everyone was concerned she wasn’t there but she is fine and being as gracious as ever.

“Walk with each other. Do not be afraid to embrace God’s gift of life. Whatever storms or trials we face, we are not alone. He is with us” St. Mary (Aleppo) Bulletin.  Charlene

 Beth (9-11)

Don’t know why, but cupcakes were delivered to Planned Parenthood today along with numerous staff members. How anyone could celebrate anything in an abortion facility defies any sense.  We keep praying that sense returns to Planned Parenthood, abortions stop and women are given real healthcare when needed.

Today the wonderful people from the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport , Patty and Dick, joined Elsie and I for our shift as clients entered.  Otherwise, it was a quiet day and the weather was wonderful for a Tuesday in October.
Cecilia (11-1)
I was so thankful that my friend from church, Pam, could join me at the vigil today and drive us down!  I’m having issues with my transmission so we were able to get back and forth with no issues today.  And she kept me company so I wouldn’t be alone for my first hour.  Pam was so good at reaching out to passersby encouraging them to join with us!

PamSA Elsie stayed for some time into my shift and had an encounter with a young man who now has custody of his two girls and lives with his Mom.  The second girl is not his but he told his wife not to abort the child or he would leave her.  So she did give life to the girl.  He adores both girls.  But his wife ended up leaving him (she has issues).  They all need prayers.

It was a “circus” in the city today!  Many stopped to take pictures.  See the pictures of the large bus that pulled up when we were there.  The man said they will be showing off the talents of their cats at the theatre next door to PP as a way to promote foster and adopting.  How ironic!  I told him we were there too to promote foster and adopting instead of killing!

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Thank you so much to “non-organized” Peter who is not affiliated with any particular church.  He took the time to come down to the vigil to stand for life and shared his thoughts with us.  It was nice to meet him and to get input from him regarding how we deal with those who pass by.

40Thanks to John and Linda who came from Geiger Church of the Brethren to stand vigil at the end of my shift and into the next.  What a lovely couple!  They kept vigil on “the other side” and engaged in conversation with those who passed by.  They came all the way from Somerset!  God bless them!  Here they are with Peter:

We had one promising encounter with a mother who stopped to look at the models and asked us about fetal development.  We gave her the feet pin, flyer and resource sheet that we had.  She said that she thought her daughter just might change her mind if she can share those with her.  So she quickly went in to PP to try and convince her.  Sadly, we didn’t see them before I left.  But let’s pray that “F” changed her mind!

SM

“Regulars” Bill and Bob stop by during my shift.  And Shift Manger Lisa came down to train SM Billy around the time that SM Nancy showed up!  Here they are:

Nancy wrote from the 1-1 shift:

The Acro Cat bus being there was definitely a negative. The one sustaining thing throughout all this is how super wonderful the 40 days vigil  SMs and prayer warriors are.  Pat and Mary Elizabeth came to pray and did not let the bus fumes deter them.  SM Michael arrived early.   He is a super PR person.  The couple from Somerset are gems, and were able to see humor in all that was going on.  He was able to explain how buses are not allowed to idle with their motors running for more than a few minutes, but they can run their power generators as long as they want to.   We are definitely making progress in the battle.  Nancy

Lisa wrote from her 5-7 shift:

Today’s Responsorial Psalm:  If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?  These words started my day and I reflected upon them throughout this day.  They were helpful this evening.  We had a woman stop by twice confronting us with what we know is the truth.  “Karen” tried to refute the facts we know to be true.  I sensed deep sadness and denial from her.  Not one of us are not marked with iniquities, with the love of God may we continue to stand for the most vulnerable.day 13, 6th shift, debate

 

I have been shift manager for the 5 to 7 Tuesday time slot for a few years.  It is a privilege to do it.  I cannot say it is a joy, as we reflect on what and why.  I can say it is a joy to stand beside the prayer warriors God sends to me.  This second Tuesday of the campaigns always finds St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Carnegie, always well represented, in prayer with me. Walt, Tess, Vince, David and the beautiful “R” family.  It’s great seeing those children growing up in such a loving family.  Their young daughter lead us in the Divine Mercy at the end of the evening. Thank you so much.  I always know I can count on you to stand in prayer with me.  day 13, 6th shift rocco family

day 13, 6th shift vince

Thanks you also, Johanna.  My dear friend.  I thank God for you and your commitment to this cause.

day 13, 6th shift, johanna

Here is a cool picture taken by Lisa tonight:day 13, 6th shift cool pic

Day 7: St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville); Holy Angels Parish (Hays) and Individual Volunteers

ARE YOU ON FIRE?

FIREI came across an acronym today for an easy way to remember how we are best positioned to receive the free offer of God’s supernatural grace. H.O.T

H = HUMILITY

“It’s hard to be humble,” says an old country song, “when you’re perfect in every way.”It can be pretty hard to be humble, especially since we live in a society that encourages competition and individuality.

Let’s pray for HUMILITY so that we can be ready to Receive and Share God’s LOVE at Planned Parenthood!

O = OBEDIENCE

Jesus said, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Peter replied – “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.” 

They got such a big catch of fish that their nets were torn and their boats almost sank!

Let’s remember the power of OBEDIENCE, you have answered the call and been obedient by committing to the Vigil

T = TRUST

“He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts in GOD can do all things” The confident, trusting soul is like a lightning rod for God’s mercy and grace.

Let’s TRUST that God will use us as lightning rods for his Mercy  and Grace at Planned Parenthood

Our pray-ers today were definitely H.O.T and I believe God will use their efforts and all of our efforts to combat evil and rescue souls!

Charlene reports from the morning shift:

My first shift of the Vigil and I am reminded of a prayer in Sunday’s National 40 DFL blog…”Gracious and Merciful Father, we renew our dedication to defending the unborn and All whose right to life is compromised by our godless society’s selfish lack of concern”. I was joined on this Fall morning by these “dedicated defenders of the unborn”:

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It was a pleasant morning until “our godless society’s lack of concern” showed up and a white man in his 20’s took two sidesteps and knocked over Sally. We all know and love Sally and Al and we know of their dedication to the cause despite their age. The assault was over in a minute and the man did not stop except to push Sally’s bag toward her. Sally would not go to get checked and the police were called and came and took a report. . The Guard at PP said he would have come out if he had seen. He states he is going to start watching closer. Prayers for our dear Sally that she has healing!

Abolitionist William Wilberforce said,” you may choose to look the other way but you can never say you did not know”. He was talking about Slavery but our presence on the sidewalk shouts that out about abortion.  (St. Bonaventure Bulletin 10/1). ~Charlene

Shown in the above photos are:  Bill, Sally, Al, Dick, Tracey and Beth(from St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Steubenville), Suzanne from Bellefield Church EPC, and Eloisa from Iglesia Sion Church.

Beth reports from 9-11

Two good things happened today:  the abortionist and two others were five minutes late (wish they had never shown up at all) and a gentleman seeking health care for his wife got an appointment at Catholic Charities after Elsie persuaded him not to go into Planned Parenthood.

But wait…..another good thing, Tracy and Beth from Steubenville and Elsie and I all were there, praying and offering help.  And then it was 11 a.m. and the great group from Holy Angels arrived.  And I guess that was another very good thing from our shift.

Cil writes from the 1-1 shift:

I was surrounded by “angels” today!  My “angel” friends from St. Joes (Barb, Joyce & Patti) came to the vigil with me and Barb was a saint to drive us down and buy us pizza for the ride back home!  The ladies prayed the rosary, divine mercy and offered their beautiful smiles to those passing by.

Barb, Joyce and Patty were Cil's prayer companions today
Barb, Joyce and Patty were Cil’s prayer companions today

We were greeted with a great group of “angels”…Holy Angels from Hays!  Thank you to Deacon Dan, Jack, Pat & Pat, Mary Ellen, Gerard & Deana for keeping up the prayers and songs on “the other side”.

Angels on the sidewalk
Angels on the sidewalk

A young man stopped to talk with us about the need to keep praying and that God hears our prayers.  He said that they may not be answered right away.  He said that God has something like a “mailbox” in heaven and the angels go back and forth with the prayers but sometimes the devil’s demons try to stop them.  But that God triumphs in the end and our prayers are heard and answered.  So keep it up!  And let’s ask the angels to intercede and keep up the battle for us!

Two young Jehovah witness men stop and spoke with us.  I invited them to gather a group and join with us as they also believe that abortion is wrong.  The one is from Seattle and the other from Denmark so I told them to look for 40 Days there and gave them info.  It was a great conversation.

We were able to share info with a young lady about NFP and Pope Paul VI Center.  She wants to conceive but has been unable to for a couple years.  She also took birth control info with her as she believes it was the Depro that has caused her infertility.  Please keep her in prayer as we then found out that she is not married but is engaged.  So many have this fear to commit these days…

And speaking about commit… I had similar fears 25 years ago.  But my husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary today!  He has been an “angel” in my life so many times.  I was blessed to see the movie, “Mully”, with him tonight at the Mills.  I highly recommend this story of an orphan who made a life for himself and then opened his home and heart to welcome so many other orphans into his ever growing family!  Let’s pray that the women who come to PP can open their hearts to the life within them.  And that more will consider adoption or fostering children.

Nancy reports from 1-3pm:

A very prayerful time. Deacon Dan and other prayers from Hays, who came for a four hour shift, continued to pray until 3 pm. Two lovely ladies from parish close to Meadowlands , Deb and Clare, came to pray, and stayed beyond 3 so that Mike would not be alone as shift manager.

First time shift manager Michael managed a DOUBLE shift (3-7pm) and writes:

The weather is beautiful on this day the Lord hath made.  Thank you Lord for this day and all of thy blessings.

Great group of witnesses from Holy Angels parish in Hayes
Great group of witnesses from Holy Angels parish in Hayes

It was an exciting day for me as it was my first time to be a shift manager. I truly appreciate having Judy and Johanna join me so I was not alone.  Beautiful people from Holy Angels in Hays were present most of the day with Deacon Dan praying and glorifying God. What an awesome witness for all to experience. It brought me great joy when a young lady named Jessica approached me and praised us for what we are doing.  She said more people should be declaring the truth about abortion and she was so sincere and passionate. Jessica said she recently had a baby named Melissa, but the baby was in the care of CYF.  I could see how difficult it was for her to admit this sad fact, but she was hopeful she would get Melissa back once she secured adequate housing. I told her we would pray for her and Melissa and she was very appreciative. She asked if we pray out loud and I said “yes, would you like us to pray now?” and she said yes. Judy, Jessica and I held hands and I prayed. When I was finished, Jessica asked if she could pray, and she prayed the most beautiful and heartfelt prayer for several minutes. In my opinion, this young lady was in emotional pain and had alot of stuff going on, but she had a great deal of faith and love for the Lord and was an inspiration to Judy and I.  Please pray for Jessica and her baby Melissa. I told her it would bring me much joy if she gets Melissa back before the 40 DFL was over, if she could bring her to meet me here on a Tuesday between 3 and 5 pm.  She was very happy to hear that and said she would like to do it. Jessica made my day and this experience reminded me how many people are suffering, but working hard to overcome it and asking for divine intervention. God bless and strengthen Jessica in this personal battle she is in the midst of now. Faithful Bill paid the vigil a visit and spent some time bestowing his wisdom on us.

I felt anxious about being a shift manager for the first time, but I went home feeling at peace and thankful for the people of God who are all gifts to us from Him.

Grateful to be alive and in His midst,

Michael