Day 21: Thank you St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church (McKeesport); St. Joseph (Cabot); Bridge City Church (Brighton Heights)

I had a chance to see the Gosnell movie this weekend. The most striking part of the film for me was the testimony of an expert witness during his trial.  Alexandra DeSanctis from the National Review describes the scene from the movie:

In his effort to get Gosnell off the hook, the defense attorney cross-examines another abortionist, who testifies that she, unlike Gosnell, would never snip a living infant’s spine, never allow unlicensed staff members to administer anesthesia, never let a woman die on a table in her clinic. She’s a good abortionist.

She says she has performed more than 30,000 abortions, many of them in the second trimester. The defense attorney slowly walks her through the procedure used to legally terminate those pregnancies. He shows a sonogram of a 23-week-old fetus, has the abortionist explain just where she’d inject a needle to stop its heartbeat. He has her explain how she evacuates the brains of the fetus in the womb to allow for its removal, how she’d use scissors to aid in the process. And what would she do, he asks, if a fetus happened accidentally to be delivered alive?

The abortionist hesitates only a moment before saying she’d provide “comfort care,” which she describes as keeping the fetus warm and comfortable. “Eventually it will pass,” she adds.

“So basically you’d let it die?” The defense attorney finishes the thought for her. “Seems like it’d be more humane to just take a pair of scissors. …” He trails off and grins; he’s made his point. How can Gosnell be punished for doing what every abortionist does? They all ensure that unwanted fetuses are killed. The means by which they do so is a secondary concern.

The Gosnell movie is pro-life because it unflinchingly exposes the fact that all abortion necessarily involves the death of a human being.

I am reminded  of what Nikki said in her blog a couple of weeks ago: “The Lord is answering our prayers. He has removed the cover of darkness and exposed evil…making it clear. No more deception. People are now free to choose good or evil”

You can still see the movie through Wednesday 10/17 at AMC theaters in Waterfront, Mt Lebanon or Westmoreland.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

This morning we needed layers, gloves, and hats. But Dick and I were joined by vets: Al,Sally, and Helen from St. Robert Bellarmine…all dressed to the 9s in warm gear!
Helen, Sally and Al
I was thinking all week about the discussion at the team meeting (even though I wasn’t able to be there) about the closing of Planned Parenthood…so many others have closed…why not this one? I know God’s time is not our time. I know God will win in the end. But the human part of me wants it NOW!!! What more do we need to do? Matthew Kelly has a thought on that…”Do what is necessary ; then do what is possible; and the impossible will follow”. We are doing the necessary…praying on the sidewalk. Doing what is possible is up to each of us…we each know what one more step after necessary would be for us.Then we can keep moving forward in God’s plan and nothing will be impossible. Thank you Lord for keeping each of us on the road to the closing of Planned Parenthood!  Charlene

9-11: Beth

Fellow pro-lifers, it was cold outside PP today but absolutely soul-chilling inside, judging by those entering this morning. Charlene and Dick waited patiently as my bus took a surprising, longer route.  But I was there in time to see the abortionist and five associates walk past me in stone cold silence as we said that we would be praying for them.  Ed continued to make friends, furry and human, handing out doggie treats and literature to pets and their owners.

And today made up for a slow last Saturday.  Lots of sad-looking clients and workers in more than the usual amounts .  Beth Ann and Theresa arrived to offer warm-hearted prayers, especially for the young woman who had to be in the last trimester and came back out soon after, still mightily pregnant carrying a sheet of paper.  Who knows what that was. And to add to the frigid atmosphere, the biomedical waste truck parked down the street and three huge boxes were taken out by PP employees.

Finally, Cecilia and Joyce and Sandy and Vivian came to the rescue with warmth from friendship and prayer.

11-1: Cecilia

Cecilia and her group from Saint Joe’s in Cabot along with individual volunteers who showed up for 1 to 3 shift

The sidewalk was beautifully adorned with many flowers, thanks to this generous husband of a vigil participant from yesterday.  He brought them today!  What a blessing!  There are many good people in this world!

        

Bob
Joyce, Sandi and Vivien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-3pm Nikki

 It was a gorgeous fall afternoon to pray and witness for life today! It was nice to see Cecilia and Joyce and their group from Saint Joseph in Cabot when I arrived. They are such faithful witnesses and such wonderful sisters in the Lord! I brought my good friend and shift buddy, Carol, with me for my shift. It was a blessing to Pray and chat with her.

Nikki and shift buddy Carole

Also,  it was a nice last minute blessing to see Jeanie‘s two sisters, Claire and (I’m sorry I forget the name of the other one), they brought a beautiful homemade sign that said we love you which they held as they prayed the Psalms during their shift. Maryjane been so faithful to come just about every day, and she was there for my entire shift and was  planning to be there for another hour after I left. It was a very peaceful shift on the sidewalk. No negative comments at all, and quite a few positive ones. I love looking at the fetal models that Diane brings. They make such an impact on so many people notice them! Shift manager Mike showed up for his 3 to 5 shift, along with the pastor from Bridge city Church, Gary, and Vicky arrived to begin their time of prayer.  Others were expected to be arriving shortly, as I left the vigil in the capable hands of Mike, the next shift manager.  God is good!

Faithful Mary Jane

3-5: Michael

Vickie from Bridge City Church and SM Michael

5-7: Lisa

A peace filled, knees to the ground, prayerful time this evening.  A blessing to have Lori, Denise and Johanna with me tonight.  We definitely felt a fall chill!

Lori, Denise, and Johanna

 

Day 14: Thanks St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville); St. Bernadette Catholic Church (Monroeville); St. Catherine of Sweden (Alison Park)

 The mighty activity of the Holy Angels is always dependent on what God wills.  Most importantly, the angels accept the Kingship of Jesus in a nature (Human Nature) that is lower than their own nature. Satan in his pride would not accept God’s will to take on human nature. 

But the Angels who did not rebel against the exaltation of human nature by Christ Jesus, are considered as having triumphed in a great spiritual war. Let us call on these spiritual warriors to defend us as we stand on the front lines of the battlefield of abortion.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Today was an interesting day on the sidewalk. I arrived with Beth and Tracy from St. Peter Catholic Church in Steubenville.

Tracy from Steubenville
Al, Sally and Beth from Steubenville

I went to bless the building with Holy Water…a practice I learned from Bill. Since it is before 7 and I had no sign on, I Blessed the front door, for all who enter there. A young man, who I later found out was an employee, said that he objected to my doing that..he said it several times. I will say it’s so quiet that time of the morning, he startled me a little. During the morning, he kept coming out…like he was checking on us…or looking for someone. Another ironic thing, another employee entered with flowers and a Congratulations balloon. Hmmm..Sad. Sally and Al, Bill and then Beth joined us for her shift. Thanks Pat for the portable supplies and thanks Diane for the kneelers. Charlene

9-11: Beth

Nikki was so right. At the kick-off for 40 Days, she said that she would have never met so many nice people, so willing to work for a greater good, if it hadn’t been for pro-life and all it’s activities.

Ed and I met were privileged to spend time, well spent time, with two faithful ladies from St. Peter in Steubenville, Tracy and Beth.  Beth Ann from St. Alexis arrived and began praying and witnessing to those passing by.  Finally Jerry, from St. Bernadette came ready with her chair and by that time, Nancy, the next shift manager was on the scene.  I want to publically thank the ever-thoughtful Nancy who noticed me running to catch my once-an-hour bus last week.  She came early, saying she wanted to make sure I made the bus in time. See what I mean about meeting so many nice people.

11-1: Nancy

Thank you  St. Bernadette’s for standing for life today!

1-3: Nikki

When I arrived for my 1 to 3 shift I was greeted by the 11 to 1 shift manager, Nancy, who told me the wonderful news that a baby was saved during her shift! Praise God! While she was there two women came outside from Planned Parenthood and told them they changed their mind and were going to have the baby! They even had the ultrasound picture and showed it to them! They told Nancy that the young mother had felt like the Lord was giving her signs all week that she shouldn’t abort her baby! I wonder if seeing us on the sidewalk was further confirmation!
 It was nice to spend my two hour shift with Dee, who is  part of our 40 days team and is the coordinator for Saint Bernadette Church. She was spending the entire four hours on the sidewalk and had a great group of people with her. I prayed the rosary and the St. Michael’s chaplet on my knees facing the door. They were working on the door and so the doors were propped wide open, which was nice as I felt like my prayers were able to  freely enter, although I know that our prayers penetrate walls, but still it was good. The sense that I had as I was praying was one of sadness and abandonment. Many couples were leaving the clinic, I am assuming after having had abortions. It seemed to me that they were leaving their child behind, totally abandoning the very person who needed and love them the most. It occurred to me that perhaps their children’s tiny bodies were still warm, even as they casually walked away, to get on with the rest of their lives, seemingly not even giving their child another thought. I know that is not how many women feel after their abortions,  but that is how it seemed today. And, I just felt the abandonment that these children share with Jesus, as he was abandoned in his greatest time of need as well. Keep on praying and fasting everyone! This is important!
Memorial on the Sidewalk

3-5: Michael

Beautiful Indian Summer day!  Woman stopped and said she wanted to speak to just Benson, our dedicated high school junior from Mt. Lebanon H.S. and St. Anne’s Parish. She asked him what help is there for women who have had abortions and what are we doing to help women who decide to have their babies, but don’t have the resources to care for them. Some of us chimed in and told her what the pro-life movement does to help pregnant women and to continue helping them after their babies are born. This women was very angry and may have had an abortion or was close to someone who had one. She told Benson and I we should not be there talking to women because we have penises and have no idea what it is like to be pregnant. I responded by saying we don’t really need to talk to women, we are there to pray and keep vigil. Life can be interesting and challenging when we are confronted by the other side. It reminds us to stay grounded and be steadfast in our commitment to this holy and precious cause. I thought if the pro-choice people really care about women, then why do they promote killing baby girls who will become women someday. Lord have mercy on all of us.
Ladies from Saint Catherine of Sweden with 3 to 5 shift manager Mike

 

 

 

 

5-7: Lisa

Tuesday evening 5 – 7 shift was pleasant.  Benson was fortunate enough to hitch a ride home with Shift Mgr. Mike as he left at 5 pm.  Judi was a most welcome addition to the Tuesday evening team of Johanna and Lisa.  Judi came to us from Russellton and is a member of Transfiguration parish.

Judi, Lisa, Benson, Johanna

The 40 Days for Life Daily Devotion inspired all of us and we prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Fabulous weather!

Day 7: THANKS First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport); St. Alexis Catholic Church; Holy Angels Catholic Church (Hayes); Beaver Falls Knights of Columbus

Get out the Drain-O…In the spirit of HUMILTY, let us “clean out” our desires and fears, removing any obstacles, so that the grace God wants to pour through us during these 40 days…will flow freely,  right to the doors of Planned Parenthood! No, I don’t want you to drink any Drain-O….Just pray the prayer of humility below!!

Prayer of Humility-O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

 

From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.

 

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Today was Day 1 on the sidewalk for Dick and I. It was the first time I saw the new barriers and I think we should thank the City for giving us a place to sit when we get tired.😂
Pat delivered our portable station and I love it! Given the “knees to the ground”, I might suggest some kneelers in there. The First Evangelical Free Church, with Pastor Kirk was there bright and early and began praying at once. Such a Holy presence. I was a little off my game and forgot to write down names for the blog…except our Dean..no need to write his name.
                                                                                                                                 
I also forgot my flower but I did do a rosary on my knees. I felt like people reacted differently to “knees to the ground”. ..softer, not ignoring, taking note. I was happy to be back.   Charlene

9-11: Beth

Sometimes the best story happens while something else is going on.  Today Charlene and Dick had everything organized and ready when I arrived at PP.  Pastor Kirk of the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport had his faithful crew coming in shifts for the entire 7-11 shift.  Great folk with an admirable record of 40 Days attendance.  Norbert, Dave and Dean where on duty when Patty, Tracy, Robert and Dan arrived.  We were joined by another great group, the ladies from St. Alexis, Claudia, Beth Ann, Jannine, Therese and Claudia. Ed from St. James was with us today also!

Right before Nancy came to take over as shift manager, big smiles on Patty’s face (my apologies if I have the name wrong).  She pointed out a couple with a new baby who were speaking with a man and his little daughter, and asked if I knew why that baby was here.

I’d been watching the door, the couple was down the street, something else was going on.  Patty said she heard the man say that they were here because a year or so ago, a lady took the baby’s mom to lunch and spoke with her for an hour.

***Afterwards, the mom chose life and the baby was proof***

Thank you my fellow 9-11 prayer-ers who heard the best story of the day, when something else was going on.

11-1: Nancy

***Will update as report comes in***

1-3: Nikki

Today was my first afternoon shift of this campaign. I have to say, I like mornings better. Mornings are so much more peaceful. In the afternoon there just seems to be a spirit of confusion there at Planned Parenthood. Anyway, I arrived to see the earlier shift manager, Nancy, along with deacon Dan and Mary Lou from Holy Angels church in Hayes, along with a crew from Donegal.  They were  ready to leave, but Deacon Dan and his parishioner were there for the long-haul until 3 o’clock.

Shift manager Mike shows up for the 3 to 5 shift
Deacon Dan and Mary Lou praying

I forgot my flower sitting on the Kitchen table at home, so halfway through my shift I walked over to the florist on sixth Avenue and bought some flowers to lay on the yellow circle. It just looked so depressing with the few dead and tattered remnants of previous days flowers, I thought we needed some fresh ones. Deacon Dan and Mary Lou prayed prayers out loud, while I kneeled to pray the rosary on my own, and also the Saint Michael the Archangel chaplet. A woman pastor, who calls herself a prophetess stopped to talk to me for a long time. I remained on my knees the entire time that we talked.  She was very much against any sort of organized religion, especially Catholicism, so I thought that by remaining on my knees that would keep the conversation from escalating into an argument she finally left when it was time for me to leave.

Beaver Falls K of C

I was encouraged to greet the next group as they arrived, a group of knights from Beaver Falls. They brought along a priest from Lebanon, Fr. Antwan. I hope the weather holds off for them! It looked like a storm was beginning to brew as I left.

Thank you to everyone for coming out to Pray today! I know the Lord is hearing our prayers, and I know that we are making a difference!

Also, I almost forgot, there was a young couple that I was sure was headed into Planned Parenthood. I had just stood up after praying and was able to offer them the resource card. She took it and allowed me to explain the help that was available but then she gave it back to me. She looked very sad as she looked over at the baby model set, and she said that she understood that there is help available, but that sometimes abortion just has to be done. She seems so sad and resigned, I continued to speak to her about the worth of all human life, including hers and mine and her unborn baby, I thought she was pregnant. She did not disagree and thanked me for being kind but then turned and I thought for sure she would enter Planned Parenthood, but they walked past and did not return. Who knows? Maybe a heart changed and a life saved? We will probably never know!

3-5: Michael

Johanna, Benson, and Lori

We were here with three terrific Knights of Columbus men from St. Monica Church in Beaver County and a wonderful Maronite Catholic Priest from a Mission Church in Beaver Falls. Sorry I forgot their names.

Pictured are three wonderful 40 day Lifers: Johanna of Catholic Daughters, Benson of St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon and Lori of Abby Johnson’s creation known as And Then There Were None with international locations.

Rain, thunder and wind did not dampen (pun intended) our passion for the life of the unborn. We are united in our love for the Lord and all of His creation. Amen.

5-7: Lisa

Today we celebrate the feast of our Guardian Angels.

We pray, O God, who in your unfathomable providence are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us, hear our supplication as we cry to you, that we may always be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company.

Fr. Tony Gargotta inspired me this morning with his Homily about the power and beauty of our Guardian Angels.  Each of us, at the moment of our conception, has been assigned a heavenly guide. We need to pray not just for our Guardian Angel to protect us personally but also pray for the Guardian Angels of the babies who have yet been born.

The last shift of the first week of 40 Days for Life – Pittsburgh was fore casted to have the possibility of torrential rain.  We were sure glad the weathermen were wrong.  We did not even have to open our umbrellas!

I was happy to greet my shift buddy, my dear Faithful Johanna.  We were privileged to be joined by a beautiful woman, Lori who is a card carrying member of the movement started by Abby Johnson, “And Then There Were None”.  Lori’s work as a researcher here in Pittsburgh presented her with a new assignment.  The research they wanted her to do was on fetal babies.  Yes! Right here in our own city with baby parts provided from our own woman’s hospital (I believe you will know the hospital – but I do not know if I can (legally) say it.  Lori knew without any doubt she could not do what was being asked and left her employment – of 20+ years!  This is when she discovered the work Abby was doing helping people like her get through this type of ethical challenges.  Not that Lori worked in an abortion facility, but what would have been expected of her with the new assignment would have been just as bad.  God Bless her courage.

We did have one big episode this evening.  A young woman approached us suffering severely from stomach pains.  It appeared she may have been suffering an appendicitis. Henrietta, asked that we call an ambulance for her.   The ambulance arrived – and parked right outside PP.  That did not look good for them!  Henrietta did NOT come out of PP.  She worked all day and this attack came over her as she was waiting for her bus home.  The severity of her symptoms subsided slightly and was decided by her and the ambulance workers that she could get by without an ambulance trip to the hospital but that she would get medical attention as soon as possible on her own.  We were happy to pray for and help her.

Pictured is Henrietta, Lori, Lisa & Johanna

 

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!

heart-951873__340

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.