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

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

Day 35: THANK YOU St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville OH); St. Joseph Catholic Church (Cabot); and Shift Buddies!

FAQ at our 40 Days for Life Vigil

This 40 Days I have been approached several times on the sidewalk and told that Planned Parenthood does

“a lot of good”

The Planned Parenthood on Liberty Avenue reports that they do about 3000 abortions every year in Pittsburgh.

How can someone defend that statistic alone? but what is the best way to answer a “FAQ” or statement if given the opportunity?

I went to the 40 Days for Life APP…it is a really good tool to have on the sidewalk! You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play, and there is a section that has Pro-Life answers to FAQ’s. This is the response to “But Planned Parenthood does a lot of good”

Planned Parenthood does provide services beyond abortion, but no amount of cancer screenings can erase the horror of killing even one innocent baby. The taking of innocent life simply cannot be offset by any other perceived good. Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services are meant to distract clients, community members and voters from the barbarity of abortion. Some of these other services don’t even exist. For example, while Planned Parenthood has clamored for taxpayer funding in order to provide women with mammograms, not a single Planned Parenthood facility was certified as a mammography facility [1][2]. Planned Parenthood provides fewer than two percent of manual breast exams and less than one percent of pap tests in the United States [3]. Meanwhile, the abortion giant provides nearly one third of America’s abortions [4].

[1] https://www.liveaction.org/what-we-do/investigations/mammogram-falsehoods/
[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/10/12/02/the-repeated-misleading-claim-that-planned-parenthood-provides-mammograms/?utm_term=.545b6f642a59
[3] http://protestpp.com/docs/DefundPPTalkingPoints.pdf
[3] https://www.liveaction.org/news/new-video-debunks-planned-parenthoods-3-percent-abortion-myth/

 

In addition to the above response, Planned Parenthood charges quite a bit for their services.  Follow this link to read an article that shows the price list for services provided by a Planned Parenthood.

https://40daysforlife.com/2018/10/27/day-32-planned-parenthoods-price-list/ 

 

Hopefully we are ready on the sidewalk with some answers to this FAQ and the phone number for FREE services at a Pregnancy Help Center  1-800-712 HELP or alternative clinics in the area that do not do abortions (getyourcare.org)

Continue reading for the updates from the sidewalk for today:

7-9: Joe

Joe sent in these photos from his shift:

Thanks to Joe B. for subbing as 7-9 shift manager and to those who stood with him!

humility

Prayer volunteer and sidewalk advocate Jackie

The bedrock of Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for Life, Al and Sally

9-11: Beth

How wonderful to see Tracy and Ashley from Steubenville along with Al, Sally, and Jackie when I arrived. Shift manager, Joe had everything under control. Ed joined us soon thereafter. Ed never met a dog he didn’t like and has become our Ambassador on Liberty Avenue, changing peoples opinion of pro-lifers from meanies, to people who even like pets. Beth Ann brought her friend from St. Alexis, Diane and Jaime. Thanks so very much for braving the chilly weather and standing as witness for the babies. Cecilia brought new pray-ers with her and another day at PP added more prayers to the “shut this place down” request line headed upward.

11-1: Nancy

St Joseph group

Regulars on way to work or lunch break

 

 

 

 

Powerful witnesses – Mom is 39 weeks pregnant! Sara from Eastbrook UMC

 

 

Powerful prayer warriors from St Raymond, St Florian and Our Lady of Grace.

 

1-3: Donna

It was a beautiful day to pray today. Thank you to my friends Karen and Sue from our church, St. Thomas Anglican Church in Gibsonia.

We handed out a lot of cards and 40 Days For Life pamphlets and had many positive comments and quite a few said “God Bless You”. One negative comment where someone said “Get away from me”. One passerby thanked us and walked up to PP and placed her hand on the building and prayed. A PP worker came out and told us to move a flower that was inside the yellow line. It wasn’t ours but we moved it and made sure our roses were outside the line. There was a lot of activity at PP today. One girl walked past PP and we gave her a pamphlet and card and she realized she passed it up and went in with our information. As she walked in she looked at the information and us and said huh. Someone came by and handed us the booklet that says Love The Jewish People and another man came by and handed us the card that says GOSPEL on it. On the other side is a business advertisement for a Flag Specialty Shop.

                                                                                   Earlier today I was in the Dollar Store and a women behind me asked to see the back of my God Loves You t shirt. She asked me where I got it and I told her I had them made and that I had them in my trunk if she wanted one. I explained to her why I had them made and why I was wearing it. Her name was Patti and she said she prays everyday for an end to abortion. Thank you Father for all your faithful prayer warriors.

 

3-5: Pat

Well, things were a bit eventful today.  We had Fr. Jason from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie stop by for a few minutes to pray.  He said it was his first chance this campaign because he’s been so busy and he feels terrible about it.  We had a woman carefully study our fetal models for a few minutes and then say that she was very pleased to see that the people who are trying to spread God’s word finally have fetal models that accurately depict God’s biology.  We had an older couple tell us that they had just gone into PP to make a pledge to PP for us being there.  The woman then asked each of us individually if we had ever adopted a baby.  We had President Trump’s motorcade pass by only a block from us.  And we had the resulting back-up of traffic on the streets and people on the sidewalks (who were waiting for buses that couldn’t move).

But I think the highlight of it all was having a young traveler named Matthew stop and pray with us.  He’s from Minnesota and he’s worked with a pro-life group called Red Rose Rescue in the Detroit area.  He is traveling the tri-state area on bike and found us by looking for a Planned Parenthood.  He didn’t know if there would actually be a 40DFL vigil going on, but was pleased to find us.  What a nice surprise both for him and for us.

Picture of Matthew’s bike – note the 40DFL sticker.

Matthew from Minnesota has been traveling the tri-state area on his bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I want to thank fellow SM Jeff for coming out to make sure that I wasn’t flying solo, and faithful Benson, who I was happy to be able to pray with once again.

Jeff B. made sure I was not alone on my shift. (I think the rays mean that God was smiling upon his sacrifice.)

5-7: Lisa

An evening with an international flavor.

Tonight as we spend our last Tuesday evening 5 – 7 shift for this 40 Days campaign the streets were busy!  This evening Johanna and I had more people stand with us and several very positive interactions with those passing by.  Johanna and I are very proud to be members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.  My court is Court Westinghouse #759 out of the Turtle Creek valley and Johanna is with Court Allegheny #664 with members from the North Side.  We were joined by the organization’s State Regent, Peg, who is a member of Ct. St. Rene #1868 comprised of ladies in the Monroeville area.  Judi joined us again for a prayer filled evening.  Jim did his usual quick stop as he is leaving the city for the evening.  Peg knows Jim as a fellow parishioner of St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville.  Next, Peg saw a life time friend Lisa who also works downtown.
When we arrived this evening, Matthew from Minnesota was on his knees.  He was very interesting to speak with.  He advocates for Life as he free spirits along on his bicycle.  Another lady joined us for a while but I apologize that I do not remember her name.  The street was filled with a lot of people from the convention center.  Notably a young woman from Jordan and a young gentleman from Venezuela spent time with us discussing their conviction to Life in their home countries.
We had a conversation with a hurting homeless couple who recently had a baby that they were encouraged to abort because their baby boy would be born very ill.  They loving carried their child to almost term as he was born premature and lived on this earth only 8 hours.  She was able to hold him, love him and have pictures taken to have with her always.  The baby was cremated and she has kept his ashes with her.  Prayers for this sad situation.

Judi, Johanna, Peg and Lisa

One of our beautiful baby pictures reflected onto the front door of Planned Parenthood

Why we are on the sidewalk

Day 28: Thank you: Clarks Mills United Methodist Church; St. Joseph (Cabot); St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg)

Thank you Shawn Carney, founder, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life for visiting our vigil last night!

Pastor Joe led us in prayer during the last hour of Mondays vigil, from 6pm-7pm and said that Grace will end abortion.

We had a reception at Catholic Charities where Shawn inspired us with excerpts from his book which included stories of babies saved, abortion facilities closed and conversion of abortionists! The stories show the Power of Prayer and that we must trust in the love, truth and mercy of Christ. Our true enemy is evil and sin…and we get to go out there and offer Hope!

Shawn talked about how the location being downtown  gives our time more power because people are walking by and accessible. Abortion survives on busyness and distractions, but we are a reminder of what is going on and they will remember that impact. Although it is harder to see results from a downtown vigil, we are standing for our Lord and we are not alone. One guarantee is we have solidarity with the babies who are losing their lives.

Nikki mentioned how this is the 17th campaign that has occured at Planned Parenthood and is requesting for all of us to fast however you can on the last day, beginning at 7pm on Saturday, 11/3 and ending at our closing rally at 7pm on 11/4!

Let’s finish strong!!!

Pastor Joe and team members prayed over Shawn and then Nikki and Jeanne presented him with a Pittsburgh gift! It was a blessed night, God is good!

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Dick and I were met on the sidewalk by Pat and two distinct signs…the signs seemed to me to represent the clash we witness everyday on the sidewalk…light and darkness…thank you Katie for providing the light!
A Tale of Two Cultures
We were joined by Pastor Adam, Sally and Al…3 other bright lights. We were speaking about the closing of Planned Parenthood and Pastor Adam said that he believes the devil has a tight hold on PP and he works on us thru the “3Ds”…”Doubt, Deception,Discouragement”…that sounded pretty true for me. Pastor Adam also reminded us that God is more powerful and when the Lord is ready, the Holy Spirit will prevail and down will fall PP. When in doubt…think of that!    Thank you, Pastor Adam.        Charlene

9-11: Beth

Today it was “Good Morning” to most, “good mourning.” to some. Ed, Adam, Mary Ann, Beth Ann, Teresa and I followed Shawn Carney’s advice, we stood in solidarity with the babies that lost their lives today at Planned Parenthood. Busy day, but we were there praying for miracles to happen. Please pray for a family, whose father brought his daughter to PP. He argued his case for the abortion, but Adam said he noticed the woman before and she looked like she was not running to somewhere but running from somewhere. Would abortion un-rape her or would an abortion seem like a second rape? Horrible situation, beautiful baby lost. We’ll keep praying; it’s our first resort.

11-1: Nancy

Cecelia and her group from St. Joe’s in Cabot

Patti and Joyce with Nancy in the background

1-3: Nikki

When I arrived on the sidewalk at 1 o’clock, I found Cecilia, Joyce and and a third faithful member from Saint Joe’s in Cabot who I am sorry I do not remember her name, all three were fervently praying on their knees facing the doors of Planned Parenthood. There was a fierce a spiritual battle going on today at Planned Parenthood. A young man was trying to talk his sister out of having the abortion. He said she was distressed and was crying and was not sure of what to do. He took all of the information they gave him and gave it to her. We all prayed that she would come out, but sadly she never did. As I was praying on my knees in the crosswalk, I was holding some of the roses that Barbara brought to our event for Shawn Carney last night. A young man was headed in the doors and I offered him a rose to give to his girlfriend, who was in there already. He took the rose and must have given it to her because when he left later on he did not have it. A third battle was being fought as a grandfather stood outside for a long time, as his daughter was inside for an abortion. She had received the information from Cecilia, but chose to go ahead with the abortion anyway. We do not know if any lives were saved today, but we do know that those who lost their lives, did not lose them alone. We were there as a witness to the amazing value of their lives, and we were praying for them and for their families.

Much prayer on the sidewalk during the one to 3 shift

Kim and her faithful group from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg

I was joined with the very faithful and dedicated group of prayer warriors from St. Ann in Waynesburg, led by the very dedicated Kim. She prayed on her knees for much of their shift, and their prayers were unceasing. At one point while Cecilia and her group were still there, a man stopped to pray for us. I really felt the Holy Spirit with us as he prayed for our protection and for help for us and for abortion to end. When he finished praying, we asked if we could also pray for him, which we did. One young woman stopped because of the baby model set and debated in a reasonable tone with me. It was a hard shift, but that is what it is to be God‘s instrument in this difficult and discouraging battle. Thank you to everyone who came and prayed today!

3-5: Michael

Sunny and cool today. I appreciated being with an outstanding group of folks from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg. See their picture on Nikki’s 1-3 shift. They travel to Pittsburgh every 40 DFL Campaign to give their time to pray and witness for the Lord and His babies. We were all once His babies and now we are His children and servants. It was very peaceful today and I could feel and sense onlookers’ support and wonder at our presence. People don’t have to say a word, but their body language speaks volumes. This is my last day at PP for this campaign as we are leaving to visit our son and grandchildren in
Florida. I will keep 40 DFL in my thoughts and prayers.

5-7: Lisa

Very grateful to Mike for staying a little longer tonight as the traffic getting into downtown delayed my arrival.  Thanks also to Mike for having his phone to take our photo for the evening.  Benson stayed on a little longer than usual this evening.  I know that young man is really making God happy with his conviction to this campaign and so many are in awe of his very rare dedication for a young person.  Benson you are an inspiration!
We had a couple walk by slowly and then walk back to us inquiring about what we were doing.
Ron and Marie were in town visiting Pittsburgh before going to a wedding in central PA.  They are celebrating their own wedding anniversary and we helped them with directions to some points of interest.   They live in Detroit, Michigan.  Marie took pleasure in and pictures of the fetal models.  They were happy to join us as we completed our recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  A Blessed Evening with my prayer partners, Johanna and Denise.
Lisa