Day 13: Blessed are the persecuted (and then we smiled)
A car stops at the red light in front of pp. The window rolls down and the driver gives us the finger. We look
at one another and smile then I say, thinking I’m a funny guy “must be a friend of yours”. Joe K. the sidewalk advocate and my usual prayer partner most Saturday mornings just smiles.
I then paraphrase the Sermon on the Mount “Blessed are those who are persecuted and have evil things uttered against them for My sake for their reward will be great in Heaven.” I then usually add “bonus graces for us today”. More smiles.
Forgive me if I sound glib or self-indulgent but I was trying to make these points:
When we witness outside of pp we get noticed
We impact those who see us in ways we don’t always know
I acknowledge it is not always easy to pray outside pp
We are blessed when we endure the difficulties of our witness
If having someone give me the finger or utter some vile comment to me is the worst persecution I’m to receive, then I say, “Bring it”. I can handle that. Ditto for Joe.
So, if you are hearing a “calling”, want to get some bonus graces, need to do something meaningful and to make an impact, come join us on the street. Bring a friend or family member. FORWARD this email them as your “ASK”. If you are able to help this Tuesday we have an EMPTY SHIFT 2:15-3pm and 5-7pm with just the 40 DFL Shift Manager.
Here are the stories from today on the street. Stop back throughout the day as it will be updated as stories and pics come in.
From Sue D. 7-9:
“It was nice to see the sun today! Rose and I gave out a lot of information to people who would accept it. My favorite thing to pass out is the 10 week precious feet coupled with a yellow resource card. Several people really gave a hearty thank you, and it made me feel like the precious feet pin is somewhat of a “gift”! The most activity we had was a school fire drill. 1st time 40 days pray-er Dario came early for his 9am shift and we prayed the rosary, just finishing as Lisa and her daughter came to take over the next shift.” Sue
From Lisa C. 9-11 (who filled in as Shift Manager – special thanks to her!):
“Quiet morning with Dario, Natividad, and I praying at PP! We were thankful for clear skies, smiles, and “God bless you” s. Blessings of Lent,Lisa”
From Ginny D. 11-1:
“Patty, Sue, and Loretta from Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensburg, diocese came to pray and witness all day. We had so many positive comments today, at least 5 or more. “Bless You’s, Thank you for being here” ,etc. It was so uplifting. There was only one negative comment from a lady who said we were hurtful by what we were doing. We prayed for her.”
“A very very happy story. A lady came with a beautiful little girl, Jessie. The lady was her aunt. Her niece went to get an abortion, but when she heard the heartbeat she changed her mind. She told us how much happiness and joy that Jessie brought to their lives.” Ginny
From Beth S. 1-3:
“Wish I had some exciting to report for the 1-3 p.m. shift, but it was just a warmish, sunny afternoon in front of a cold, miserable place, PP. From Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg, Sue, Patty and Loretta stayed with me and prayed. Francis and Rosalind arrived and I made it home before the rush. Thanks to all who said an encouraging word as they passed. As for the discouraging words, nothing we haven’t heard before and that’s not going to stop us.” Beth
From Jeannie 5-7:
“What a beautiful time on the sidewalk this afternoon. I was blessed to be joined by three women Lisa, Beth, and Julie. Lisa “felt lucky “to have just missed her bus to Monroeville . She was able to spend some time in prayer with me on the sidewalk. She was celebrating becoming a grandmother, (baby Preston) and was reminded how perfect God’s plan is for our lives. Beth came down from Wexford and joined in for my second hour, and when Julie from upper St. Clair also arrived, we realized we all liked to sing 🎶— so we had a little gospel revival on the sidewalk.
What a beautiful way to have nightfall on the city! We had lots of good comments, and a few little children looked at the babies and we could hear the explanation from their parents. It was a truly uplifting experience.
SO-/ I prefer our women’s movement to the one we hear about incessantly in the papers. Women are moms and we’re pro-life.” Jeannie
This is one of my favorite songs. It truly speaks to my heart. Maybe many of you hear it the same way and can relate to it. Specifically the line “I have heard you calling in the night… I will go Lord, if you lead me…” Do the ears of your heart tell you that God is talking to you when you hear it? Or how about the line “Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send?” Well it did for me, despite me trying to ignore it for awhile.
Give the song a read, if you know the tune, sing it. And if you feel that twinge in your heart and want to say “Here I am Lord” well, consider adding more time to your commitment to pray to end abortion, fast and almsgiving (which can be giving your time to witnessing at the 40 DFL vigil). OK, that was the “ASK”. We could use help this Wednesday on EMPTY HOURS from 11-12 ; 1-3 and from 3-4
We are thankful today that prayer warriors from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of the North Hills who heard the call and signed up to witness at the vigil along with many individual prayer warriors.
Today we will have pics and stories “from the street” from these dedicated shift managers, so stop back throughout the day:
7-9: Sue D.:
“I was joined this morning by Rose, who I met during the fall campaign, Vicky
who came to pray for a
couple minutes before work and the men of North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church. We were blessed with warm weather, no wind and only a slight drizzle in the last 15 minutes! The street was kinda quiet today, I guess because of the President’s Day Holiday. PP was
open and quite a few employees went in. Rose handed out a lot of literature and had to come back to the bin 3-4 times to get more! Me and “the guys” also handed out a lot of resource cards and Precious feet pins on our side too! ” Sue
9-11: Billy L.
“My shift was 9 am to 11 am with the North Hills Presbyterian Reformed Church. I stood out with a David, Charles, a Phoebe and their little ones, Miriam, Micaiah, and baby Esther, along with a Vita and a Charity and her children.
It was so wonderful to have this many volunteers standing out in the rain. It was pretty clear not muchwent on today the traffic of passersbies was kind of empty and we sang Psalm 146 to the tune of What A Friend We Have in Jesus.” Billy
11-1: Ginny D.:
“Five of my grandkids prayed with me today at PP. It was very wet. They did a lot of offering up for the babies. Some of them , it was their first time. They had loads of questions. I do believe they will become lifetime pro-lifers. They prayed two rosaries and two Devine Mercy Chaplets. A lady from Steubenville Ohio was there with her son to pray with us.” Ginny
NOTE from Tim: “Ginny thank you for hearing the call and sharing it with your family. God bless you all.”
From Beth S. 1-3:
“When we arrived this afternoon, Ginny was there, soggy and leading her five beautiful grand kids in the pro-life cause. They made it through torrential downpours as did Anthony and Maggie V. from Greensburg. As we signed in, Maggie was helping a young man, struggling with a girlfriend’s past abortion. He took all the literature that Maggie gave him and after praying with him, he said he was going to try Rachel’s Vineyard. Hopefully, one more heart healed. Good work< Maggie. Got thumb’s-up from a bus driver, a Muslim woman stopped to remind us that her religion condemns abortion, two women, one 18 weeks and one 19 weeks pregnant, took our yellow help cards, just in case. And by this time Bill H. and Bill D. both came by and the rain stopped and the sun came out. Shift manager, Francis arrived and Bill D. said he would stay awhile and keep him company. Many all our shifts have the Son shine on them as He did on us today.” Beth
From Francis 3-5:
“Roselee is coming down with something. So I took the reigns. It was a lonely shift. Gave me private time to think and pray. Thank you for putting this event together. Compared to you and so many others, I do very little. In any event, it’s my gift to our Lord each lent. I Spoke with one lady for about 20 minutes. She has four children and is due in June with her fifth. Highlight of my otherwise lonely shift.” Francis
Are you the 10th leper? “Were there not 10 cleansed?”
Only 1 leper said “Thank you.” I’m guessing if you are reading this you are the 10th leper. The one who showed gratitude to God for the many blessings you have been given. You went to the vigil and prayed. You didn’t say “oh someone else can do it because they’re …not as busy…better suited…”.
I know it’s not easy sometimes. We all have our leprosies be it laziness, excessive love of the good things or the attachments to the activities or stuff of life but God’s grace has given us the strength to overcome them, to heal us and we show our gratitude by participating in 40 Days For Life.
So, let me also mimic the 10th leper and thank you for making the effort and dealing with the discomfort of going to the vigil. OK, I admit, it was really warm and sunny for awhile, but let’s not forget the wind, rain and dark, chilly mornings and evenings. Those days took a little more effort. Again thank you.
If you haven’t yet been able to make it to the vigil there is still time to say thanks. This is the last week. You don’t need to stay long. Just show up. Stay as long as you want. God will also give you peace and joy in addition to the healing. If you can’t make it please pray. And if you ever hear the call to come back after this campaign ends, know there are some who pray year round. I know there are sidewalk advocates and the “regulars” there most abortion days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Join us.
The only critical need remaining for this week is WEDNESDAY 5-7, so that shift manager Joe K. is not alone! If you can help, please click SCHEDULE above to sign up and to let us know.
In addition, not-so-critical, but still would be helpful…prayer volunteers would be appreciated on today (Monday) at 2pm, Wednesday from 3-5pm, Thursday at 2pm and next Sunday from 11-1.
Again, Thank You. Tim B.
Today at the vigil we had many individual prayer warriors, the faithful from Elk County Right to Life (St. Mary PA) and Round Hill Presbyterian Church
Stop back throughout the day to see pictures and to read stories. Here is from Sue 7-9 am:
“I was greeted by Diane, Tom and beautiful Rose when I arrived this morning. We were all prepared for the gusty weather! It was very nice praying with Rose as she handed out stacks of 40 Days for Life pamphlets. She was very quiet about it, but I never saw such an affinity for people accepting literature!! It seemed quiet on the street and a small handful of workers went into PP today. We offered a rosary, divine mercy and Holy Face chaplet! Two ladies came to pray for the next shift as Ginny arrived and I left the sidewalk in good, faithful hands!” ~Sue
From Ginny 9-11 am:
“Four ladies from Elk city pro- life traveled 3 hours to witness and pray Two sisters from Steubenville came to pray A young physician, John, came down to pray and witness for life for the first time from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville.Thank God for all these wonderful people.”
From Nikki 11-1:
“I had a peaceful shift from 11 to 1 and was blessed to share the sidewalk with four faithful sisters in Christ from elk County right to life. These wonderful women sacrifice faithfully every campaign! They drive three hours each way, and witness for four hours! What an inspiration they are! We prayed together, and used Jeanie‘s new baby signs with the wonderful prayers printed on the back, thank you so much Jeannie! We had many positive comments from passersby, thanking us for being there. No negative comments at all today. It was a quiet day at the clinic, not much happening. It was also great to see a new face, a man named John, who is a physician, was there when I arrived. Shift manager Ginny said he had been there since 930. Thanks to all who came and prayed today!” Nikki
From 1 to 3 shift manager Sister duo Beth and Rose (right) Remember last summer, when it wasn’t the heat but the humidity? Well today it wasn’t the cold as much as the wind that made a cold place even colder. Luckily, Rose and I were met by the warm, loving ladies from St. Mary’s in Elk County. We now know that the sound of a mating elk is called a “bugle.” What a wonderful crew. As they were leaving, Colleen and Gwen from St. Winifred’s came and we prayed as the wind howled. It seemed like mostly employees coming and leaving what has to be the coldest place on earth,Planned Parenthood.
and 3-5 ShiftManager Rosalina (left) along with the group from Round Hill Presbyterian Church
From Audrey (on left) 5-7 pm:
“The 5 to 7 pm shift today was cold and quiet. Pastor Matt and his son from Round Hill PresbyterianChurch (Elizabeth) graced us with their presence. The end of the 40 Day vigil never feels like the end. We pray, “Oh Lord, give us the strength and the energy to keep fighting the battle for life even when the going gets so tough.” Audrey
“Then Peter stopped looking at Jesus and began to notice the difficulties around him. Seeing that the wind was so strong, he became fearful. He forgot for a moment that the strength holding him up on the water did not depend on the circumstances, but on the Will of the Lord… Peter began to sink, not because of the waves but because his confidence in him who can do all things wavered. He cried out to Jesus: Lord Save me!” (From ‘In Conversations with God’ Vol. 4 p. 335)
Sure it’s easy at the vigil when people walk by and say “thank you being there” or “God bless you” but how about when someone drives by and gives you the finger? Is that a big wave for you?
Does your confidence wane at times? Do you really believe we can end abortion? Do you find it hard sometimes to go to vigil to pray? Do you find it hard to talk about your pro-life views? The waves around you are sometimes big but you are not alone.
This past Saturday three mature women arrived at the vigil and were signing in and one of them stepped back inside the buffer zone and was quickly rebuked by a pp escort. I reminded them of the line and told them they are just trying to intimidate us and asked if they were upset by it. The three of looked at me all with the same look that said “Really? You think that upset me? Really? We’re a lot stronger than that!” What a great demonstration of Trust and being in the loving hands of Jesus! They didn’t see that incident as a wave. Barely a ripple in the water.
The underlying foundation of 40 DFL isn’t that we will end abortion with our efforts, which are showing great results, rather we are praying for God to intervene. It is by accessing HIS power that we will end abortion.
St. Augustine said “God does not demand the impossible. Instead, when HE makes a request, HE asks that we do what we can do, that we ask for what we cannot do and for His help to carry it out.”
We are in the back half of the campaign and the waves can big and the wind seems strong at times. But we can walk on water. WE ARE NOT AFRAID. We are having a big impact. If you have been to vigil consider coming again. If for any reason you haven’t been able to make it, there is still time.
Be bold. Share the joy. Bring a friend and family member. Help them to do something really important and meaningful. Wouldn’t it be something to say after you are asked “what did you do today?” and you can say “I saved someone’s life”.
If you haven’t yet brought your church group or want to come again, click SCHEDULE above to see the times when we need you most. Or come when it is best for you. Just come to the vigil. Ideally we would like you to sign but if you don’t that’s OK just show up. Stay along as you want.
Come Walk on Water. I know you can do it.
Today at the vigil we had prayer warriors from from several churches from Weirton and St. Alexis in Wexford plus lots of individuals.
Stop back to this site throughout the day as we will be posting pictures and stories from the vigil.
Peace and joy. Tim B.
The weather didn’t dampen the courage of these ladies from the Weirton Catholic Churches who stood vigil from 9-11 am.
From Jeff 7-9 am:
I got to the the sidewalk at 6:50am only to find Diane and Maryanne M. waiting for me. Phil and Bill from Reformed Presbyterian Church of North Hills showed up soon after, as well as Phoebe with her three children, Miriam, Esther, and Micaiah. Her husband Charles joined them around 9 as I was leaving. Therese from St Barbara’s joined us around 8:30 and brought the rain with her, and Bill H stopped by to check to see that things were ok.
Phoebe with children Miriam Esther and Micaiah from Reformed Presbyterian church of North hills. Micaiah stood like a soldier in the rain.
From Nikki 11- 1 pm:
“I had a very quiet and peaceful shift today. When I arrived at 11 shift manager Jenni was there with this wonderful young mom and her precious children.
What a beautiful witness for life they are!
After they left it was just me and a woman named Theresa from Saint Barbara‘s in Bridgeville. It was her first time there and she had been there for two hours. She left and soon afterwards Beth and came from Saint Alexis in Wexford. It was her and I during most of the shift. We prayed together and separately, received mostly positive remarks. It seemed like the clinic was not Busy. I don’t remember anyone going in except for a delivery of some sort.
Bethann was a great prayer partner today! At 11 the next shift managers sister team arrived, Beth and Rose. And also faithful Bill.
As I was leaving the next group from Saint Alexis came to witness. Thank you everyone for your perseverance in this battle!”
From Beth S. 1-3:
“We, Rose and I, began our shift meeting the “award-winning” Nikki: way to go girl! The wonderful folks from St. Alexis, Claudia B., Mary R., Vince P., and Claudia L. helped pray through the rain and an occasional outright downpour. Perhaps the rain kept all the negativity away because there were very few offensive comments but a few “thank yous” and some smiles. It didn’t look like any clients went in, just an employee or two. All shifts should be as peaceful but maybe not so wet. Francis and Rosalind arrived right on time and Vince said he would try to stay with them if necessary. What a great group!”
Picture: In the rain Shift Manager Rosalina 3-5
Shift Manager Sue 5-7:
“It was a dark and stormy night…well not really, but it rained a lot for the first hour that we stood in front of PP! I was joined by my Dad, Diane and Mary Jane and we all had our umbrellas up just like the people passing by. The que for the bus stretched onto the other side of the buffer zone tonight. We were able to say many prayers and witness simply by having the 40 days signs around our necks. We got a lot of positive, supportive comments. The negative ones were mostly muttered quietly. Prayers were offered for the employees that left PP. Bill stopped by briefly and told us the wonderful news that PCUC honored Nikki and Joe with their Founders Award at the banquet held over the weekend! Congratulations to our fearless leaders!!” ~Sue
Do your friends know how strongly you believe in the sanctity of life and that you are a pro-life warrior? When I first got involved in pro-life activity, I didn’t tell many, if any people let alone my friends or co-workers. Looking back I’m not sure why but I’m guessing it was a concern with “what would they think?”. Would they think less of me or ridicule me? I’m guessing it was some of both. Perhaps it was that pride or vanity or fear thing. Oh, and let’s not forget how uncomfortable I was praying downtown in front of everyone passing by.
However, slowly I became emboldened. I went from “praying only” at pp, to holding a bumper sticker as a sign (wow, how’s that for bold). But slowly my signs got bigger and my prayers longer and louder and involvement in 40 DFL deeper. The little mustard seed started to grow. And I became more joyful.
Working in God’s vineyard does make me happy.
So then I started telling friends, family and co-workers and you know what? They were interested and wanted to get involved too. They just didn’t know how. Let’s be clear, they all didn’t jump at the chance. Some just politely said “oh”.
Abby Johnson said, “Abortion is a silent tragedy”. People don’t hear about it or think about it. I believe there are many good Christians out there who would stand against abortion but they don’t know how.
So now I tell people about 40 DFL, how it adds purpose and meaning to my life and then how to get involved. And you know what? They get involved. Of course not all of them but some. After this calling is not for everyone. “Some are apostles, some prophets, some evangelists…”
My advice to you is “BE NOT AFAID” tell your friends. Maybe forward them a good blog (like this one) or invite them to join with you when you are going next to pray at the vigil. Or sign up to go again. Or just show up. Click SCHEDULE above if you want to sign up.
Just tell them. Peace and joy.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) for the last two shifts (3-5 & 5-7) we need prayer warriors, so that Michael and Lisa M. will not be there alone! Stop by if you can even if for only a few minutes.
Today at the vigil we will or have had St. Mary of the Assumption (Glenshaw) and Holy Apostles Parish (South Hills). We will be posting pictures and stories from today’s vigil throughout the day so stop back.
Here’s from Shift Manager Sue D. 7-9 am:
“It was a really quiet morning on the sidewalk! It just didn’t seem like there were even that many people in town….I focused my time praying quietly, it is so important that I decided not to even attempt to engage passersby or hand out any information. I let the baby models speak for themselves! Several workers went into PP this morning but overall it was pretty quiet. Bill stopped by and told me a story about how someone prayed over him this weekend and he is healed from arthritis! He was feeling very limber and was trying to remember how to do the Teaberry Shuffle, LOL!! As I was finishing my shift, a person made a comment “my body, my choice”….I just glanced at the baby models and wonder if she ever considers the baby’s body? Ginny arrived for her shift right on time, it is such a blessing to meet so many faithful people!” ~Sue
From Ginny SM 9-11 am:
“My son was on his way to the bus station. He spotted me in front of PP and stopped to pray.”
“A couple his first time at 40 Days and her second They spent an hour praying. It was a very quiet morning otherwise.”
From Beth S. 11-1 pm:
“Today it was as chilly on the outside of Planned Parenthood as it must be on the inside of Planned Parenthood, considering their business. When Peg and I, from St. Elizabeth of Hungary arrived, Rose and Mary Angela from Holy Apostles were waiting. We were joined by Anna Marie, also from Holy Apostles, to continue praying until Nikki came around 3 p.m. There were a few negative comments, my favorite coming from a woman who kept asking me if I was voting for Trump. She seemed really annoyed with me when I told her the election was over. Well, sometimes life comes at your fast. There were also quite a few positive comments, thank yous, thumbs up, etc. All in all, a peaceful, prayerful occasion.”
From Nikki 3-5 pm: “I had a very peaceful, prayerful shift from 3 to 5. It was great seeing Beth when I arrived along with her friend from her Parish, St. Elizabeth. Also there was Peg, from holy apostles Parish. After they left, I was joined by faithful Bill and my dear friend and fellow shift manager Lisa, who had come to make sure I wouldn’t be alone. We had many positive comments, I don’t remember any negative.
A few times, people stopped and just wanted to chat about the importance of life. One man stopped and asked, “is this an abortion clinic? I had no idea!“. One woman wanted to pray with us, which we did. Most of the shift, we just prayed silently and while I prayed, I watched people‘s expressions. Many, many people look at the fetal models. I really think they make a big impact and plant many seeds, especially in young people. I think we are sowing seeds that will reap a big harvest someday, bigger than we can know! We just have to keep going, as Beth always says. Thank you shift manager Hank and Joe for filling in for the 5 to 7 shift tonight!”
From Joe K. 5-7 pm:
“Well, today is the half-way point and this was the first day that reminded me that we are truly into the fall season – hoodies-n-coats…
The shift transitioned from Nikki, Lisa, and Bill to Hank and I must say that it was a little bit of a different evening… First, I was honored and thankful to have the opportunity to share the shift with Hank.
Passerby “A” also transitioned shifts and offered support, shared some Bible verses, and also asked for prayers. One scripture passage shared was Psalm 92, the King James Version (KJV), which is one of the places that mentions a unicorn…
Not that I didn’t believe (the reference), but when I got home and looked it up – there it was in verse 10 – “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn”. I could definitely to do a better job of TRUSTING… Thanks & prayers for “A”!
One gentleman stopped by in his Range Rover to gloat over the downfall of a local leader… Another veryangry young man made sure (multiple times) to expresshis “displeasure” with my personal participation in our vigil. This was mixed-in with occasional thanks and support from passerby’s to balance out the evening.
Hank provided many of the passerby’s with friendly hello’s!
A young person from a local college working on a “project” interviewed / photographed Bill, Hank, and myself at various times… I believe we were all open and TRUSTING. I do hope and pray that not only do they publish the TRUTH about the issues and our movement, but that this TRUTH is self-recognized / realized.
Hank and I utilized the rest of the shift to pray and share – talking about, among other things, Trust, Forgiveness, and Healing…”
I was praying recently on a Saturday morning at planned parenthood. There was a priest praying as well (Fr. G). We were approached by a twenty-something year old woman who was inquisitive as to what we were doing and why. While we were talking with her, a couple entered pp (after rejecting information from the sidewalk advocates). The young woman upon seeing what appeared to be our lack of success asked “what’s the point of you being here? You don’t stop them from going in. Why not do some other type of social work to help those in need?”
And the priest said the most profound thing, and I’m paraphrasing here, “While we didn’t stop them from going in, the baby felt our love. And soon it will be in presence of God and will feel unimaginable love.”
Wow. That floored me. “The baby felt our love”. That gave a whole new meaning and purpose to why I should pray and witness outside pp. For that short remaining period of the baby’s life it felt love. Our love.
That revitalized my commitment and has me eager to go down to the vigil to pray and give my love. I’m now more confident than ever that my efforts “will not be in vain” despite an apparent lack of success.
If you have love to spare and haven’t yet signed up to pray at the vigil, sign or just show up. Stay as long as you want. Let the babies feel your love before…
Just click “Schedule” above to sign up.
Today at the vigil we have prayer warriors from St. John United Evangelical Protestant Church 7-11am ; Madonna del Castello & Word of God parish (Braddock/Swissvale) 11a – 3p ; Individual volunteer/s 3-5pm; EMPTY SHIFT 5-7 PM (if you can stop down between 5-7 it would be greatly appreciated by Sue.)
Stop back throughout the day as pictures and stories from today’s vigil will be posted.
This week we need people to share their love for the two empty hours on Tuesday… from 11-12, and from 2-3. And also Wednesday 2-3.
From Shift Manager David 7-9 am:
“Ron, Pastor Win, and David from St John Evangelical Protestant Church. On the sidewalk, in the rain, at 7am, these three men, never stopped smiling, praying, and witnessing, for God!”
From Shift Manager Ginny 9-11 am:
“A group from St John’s Church was at the vigil today. There were many “Thank You’s for what we were doing “ from passer by’s . But there were a few derogatory and hateful remarks from others We just continued to pray for all.”
From Nikki 11-1 pm:
“When I arrived on the sidewalk I was blessed to see Pastor Win with two members of his (Burry’s) church. They had been there since 7am! It is so inspiring to see men of prayer AND action! We prayed together for a few minutes before they left. Already arriving for the 11-3 shift were Deacon Ron and two men from Madonna del Castello and Word of God parish in Braddock/Swissvale. Three MORE men of prayer AND action! AWESOME!!! Soon after they arrived, we were joined by two faithful ladies, MaryAnne and Georgette! Ken (a new shift-manager sub) also came to pray during his lunch break. Deacon Ron had prepared prayer booklets, which he passed around and everyone prayed together for the entire time I was there! They were a beautiful, prayerful and peaceful witness!”
“A young woman named Bethany (it is her real name…she asked me to post it) stopped with her beautiful little girl in a stroller. They baby is Annaikah Grace. She told us that she was on the table to get an abortion when she discovered she was much further along than she thought…so she courageously chose life for this little beauty! She has also bravely given up two of her children for adoption and showed us photos of the “forever families” to which her babies were given. She receives regular updates about her children and is happy that she was able to bless these families who were praying for a child. She asked me to post her story so that if anyone is in a crisis pregnancy is afraid of the adoption process…she would like to reach out to them to help them. I have her contact information if anyone needs it.”
“During my shift I received equal amounts of positive and negative responses. I saw thumbs-up from cars, and many passersby expressed their thanks for us being there. On the other hand, there was an older woman (in her 60’s) who was walking with a group of people, who (with forced bravado and a forced smile) yelled out (with her fists in the air), “Yeah! Choose abortion!!!” My cheerful response was out of my mouth before I even though of it…I said, “I am glad your mom didn’t choose abortion!” She was so caught off guard by my loving reply that she didn’t know what to say, except a weak “I wish she had!” Her group all laughed rather nervously as I think they realized the silliness of her reply.”
“Later a young girl was walking with a group, and she was also trying to impress them with her bravado as she shouted “Thank God for abortion and women’s rights!” I thought about the IRONY of actually thinking you could THANK GOD for the “right” to KILL!!! But I didn’t respond to her, except for a gentle smile and an interior prayer for her.
At 1pm, the next shift manager (sister dynamic duo, Beth and Rose) arrived and I handed off the torch to them.
Thank you everyone for your beautiful prayers and witness today!”
From Beth S. 1-3 pm:
“When Rose and I arrived, we were met by the wonderful group from Madonna del Castello with Deacon Ron leading the prayers and songs. Patricia from Ingelsia Sion Church mentioned that the traffic was very light today and it only made sense after I realized that it was Columbus Day and lots of businesses were closed. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood was opened and I heard one of the workers say that something was being planned for tomorrow. Maybe they’re planning to close the place!
Anyway, Win, David, Jim and Ron were joined by Maryanne and Peggy from Madonna del Castello, Joan from St. Patrick’s in Canonsburg, and from North American Martyrs, Manny, (sorry if I missed one woman whose name I forgot) so we had a great group of people handing out the yellow cards and witnessing for life.
One woman and her son stopped to thank us for 40 Days. They were from Washington State, just visiting. She gave Pittsburgh high marks for just about everything especially the friendly people, friendly to the cause of life!”
From Shift Manager Hank 3-5 pm:
“It was a relatively quiet afternoon, not the usual traffic given that it is Columbus Day and many people were off. Billy was with me for the entire shift so we had both sides of the circle covered. We received a number of thumbs-up, a high-five and several thanks for being here. Most by-passers returned our greeting warmly. We did distribute many of the little feet and other materials. We did of course have time to pray for an end to this abomination.”
From Shift Manager Sue 5-7 pm:
“I was proud to take over shift manager duties from my Dad…Him and my Mom are the root of my pro-life beliefs! She was home continuing her day of fasting and praying for the all the intentions of our vigil! I was joined shortly by Anna Marie who graciously answered the call to stand with me and travelled an hour to be there, what a sacrifice! I felt so peaceful just praying together and was so happy to hear how she became such a committed pro-life witness…her heart was moved to action when partial birth abortion was explained to her by a friend in her church! The sidewalk was fairly busy and we did hand out some 10 week precious feet pins and yellow cards! We got some supportive comments and one young lady turned around, smiled and said “I choose life too”! “
I walk my dog* early every morning and lately have seen the most beautiful sunrises. I am reminded by them that I must begin again and again. It’s a new day. Yesterday is gone. I can’t change it. Sure I made mistakes and OK I sinned some but that’s done. Today I begin again. I need to get back on track for my journey to heaven. I need to make a few changes even if they are ever so small.
I need to begin again because I haven’t always been the best version of myself. I make mistakes. I like the comfortable life. I’m lazy sometimes. I cling to my predictable routine. But with Jesus’s helping hand I begin again and make small changes.
So it is with the Fall 40 DFL campaign which has started and I once again I need to put aside some of my “me time” and make a sacrifice to do something really important. I need to participate in something that adds a little purpose and meaning to my life. And so I’m going to witness outside of an abortion center every Saturday for the next few weeks with the hope that we might dissuade someone from going in (40 DFL recently stated that when people are praying outside “no shows” go up to 75%) and also witness to those passerbys making them aware of what we are doing.
Are you ready to begin again? If you haven’t yet signed up to pray with your group or individually there is still time. Signing up is best but if you can’t please still come. Just show and stay as long as you can. You’ll make a difference. Click SCHEDULE above to see the sign up schedule to join our campaign. AND PLEASE NOTE WE NEED SOMEONE TO JOIN THE SHIFT MANAGER ON TUESDAY FROM 3-5 PM AS MICHAEL WILL BE ALONE.
So as the sun rises today we Begin again. And again tomorrow. The journey may be hard but the destination is worth it.
I hope to see you on the streets, again.
Today at the vigil we will have the pray warriors from North Hills RP Church, St. Mary Glenshaw and St. Joseph Verona.
Stop back later today as pictures and stories will be posted throughout the day.
Peace and joy to you.
* my dog is pro life and participated in yesterday’s Life Chain 🙂
Here’s 7-9 SM Pat’s report:
My day started out with lots of layers – and I needed them all. It was cold out there this morning. And then about 10 minutes into my shift I began a conversation with a passerby who didn’t know what we were doing. When I explained, he told me that he was “for abortion.” Our conversation from there went at least ½ hour. Dan (not his real name) could use your prayers. He’s an African-American man in his late 20’s who sees the world so differently than we do. I hold out some hope that some of the things I said to him will get him to adjust his thinking.
I was blessed to stand once again with Charles from North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church. He brought along with him two others from NHRPC as well: Bill and Deb (another first-timer to the sidewalk!). Mary Ann from St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview, another veteran, was also with us.
Here’s from Nikki 11-1 pm:
I was blessed once again to have my friends from my church, Saint Joseph in Verona, to be with me for my shift today. The weather was beautiful, clear blue skies and Beautiful sunshine! We had lots of positive comments and thank you’s from passersby! I had a nice conversation with Eric, The bookstore owner, who is an Orthodox Jew. He told me happy new year, it is the beginning of the Jewish new year. I asked him what year they are on, and he answered they are in the year 5778! Isn’t that amazing? They literally have counted every year since the first man was created! I just think that is cool. He is a good guy!
There was a somber undertone, thinking of the tragedy that took place just a few hours before in Las Vegas. We offered prayers for the Victims in our rosary.
It was wonderful to see marie and Ginny, sister sidewalk duo, as wehanded off the baton at the beginning of my shift, and then again at the end to see
Our other sidewalk sister duo, Beth and Rose as they took over for the 1 to 3 shift. May God continue to protect us and to use us for his glory for these 40 days!
From Beth S. 1-3 pm:
“Please, will someone remind me next February, when the cold, wet slush is seeping into my boots, please remind me how beautiful the weather was today.
My sister Rose and I were joined by Mary Jane from St. Pius X and Tony, from St. Joan of Arc. Busy day at Planned Parenthood with many young women leaving with those mysterious brown bags.
We had mostly positive comments, a few negatives and one very sad story from an older gentleman who said three women he knew had abortions and all they do is cry when the memory returns. Each abortion turned out to be a big mistake, getting a solution that was the opposite of the one they thought the abortion would bring. I mentioned healing resources but the gentleman just shook his head and said how wrong things can be.
What a sad story, one that we try to prevent every time we come to our shift. Does anyone return to Planned Parenthood and tell them of the harm that they do to vulnerable women when they need help the most? What compassion would they offer?
Francis and Rosalind came with the promise of prayers and their presence. We continue, we just keep going.
Submitted, beth s”
From Rosalina and Francis 3-5 pm:
This young man answer the call for empty hours from 3 to 5!
Francis writes: We need more like this young man! Benson from St. Ann’s in Mt. Lebanon. This is Benson’s 6th day. He’s coming all 40 days. Arrives after school each day about 3:30 and stays ’till 5!!!!!
From Sue D. 5-7 pm:
“Evening shifts are a new thing for me…I have always been on the 7am-9am shift! The crowds are pretty similar, they just go in the other direction! I had the delight of meeting Benson before he went home, he is one of our devoted young persons who has been there several times already in the 1st 6 days. We have such reason for hope.…The pro-life generation in action! Judy answered the call to stand with me and I was so happy to meet her, we prayed together as best we could over the traffic and people. We also worked the “community outreach” piece of this campaign and gave away a fair amount of the 10 week Precious Feet pins. I was thinking about guardian angels all day today and when I got in my car to go home, the first song that came on was “ The God of Angel Armies, Is Always by my Side” I heard it from beginning to end! What a gift, thank you God!”
The rain held off and the sun even tried to peak out over the Prayer Vigil and Jericho March to protest planned parenthood, ask for God’s help to defund pp and ultimately end abortion. Several dozen came out on this Saturday morning despite the forecast and early sprinkles. KDKA TV covered the event and interviewed Jeannie F. who emphasized that tax dollars are not to be taken away from women in need rather that should be redirected away from pp to Federally Qualified Health Centers of which there are 12 within a 5 mile radius of pp. She emphasized that solution to dealing with women in crisis is to deal with the crisis be it material needs, pressure or perceived lack of options and not abort the child. She also brought a carload of great signs that boldly and clearly witnessed to our purpose.
In closing those participating were asked to continue to Pray to End Abortion and to contact their U.S. Senators and Congressmen and ask that they pass legislation to defund planned parenthood.
My Thanks to all who came out despite the weather and concerns over counter protests. Thanks also to those who couldn’t come but prayed for us.
Here’s how you can help defund Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh
On the last weekend in April, pro-lifers across the country will hold rallies, marches, prayer vigils and demonstrations at Planned Parenthood facilities as part of the second annual National Day of Prayer and Protest Against Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion chain and receives over $500 million from taxpayers like you every year. But pro-life leaders in Washington are working right now to end that government subsidy.
Come out on Saturday, April 29 and join tens of thousands of pro-lifers across the country in support of this urgent campaign to defund Planned Parenthood!
Event: Prayer Vigil and Jericho March at Planned Parenthood
When: Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Where: 933 Liberty Ave, in downtown Pittsburgh
More Info: Contact Tim Barr at email@example.com
Editors addition: Please note that 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh is part of 40 Days for Life. The group does not endorse candidates nor will include any information on the websites which appears to have a party affiliation. 40 Days for Life is not a political movement. Please read the mission statements on the About page and on 40 Days for Life- the national website. Any use of these websites to endorse candidates or political parties will be removed and reported to 40 Days for Life- national.
Did you ever feel that you are just not qualified? Or don’t have enough of something, be it skills, education, time or money? Or then think, can’t somebody else do it that is better suited for the task?
Isn’t it possible that is similar in a way to how the apostles felt when they told the Lord they only had 7 loaves of bread to feed the large group of followers? When they looked at the few loaves of bread and themselves did they think “He really doesn’t have much to work with”?
How many times did our Lord tell them “Be not afraid” ? How many times does our Lord say this…to us? When we say, “what can I do to prevent or end abortion? What is the value of going to the abortion center to pray?”
When his apostles said they only had 7 loaves to feed the masses, they thought they could only make do with what they had and thought it just wasn’t enough. They didn’t take into account what God can do to magnify our efforts to proportions well beyond our wildest imaginations.
As our Spring 40 DFL campaign comes to an end we can consider in hindsight that perhaps we are those 7 loaves of bread. He multiplied us. By our participating we fed the masses. Our unique individual efforts have fed the masses in all walks of life that we encountered downtown: the abortion bound, the passersby’s in cars and on the sidewalk and pp workers and like a ripple in the water we will affect so many more. We are not perfect. We are all flawed. Some of us have a bit of Pharisee in us. Yet, He made use of us and we had a very big impact and affect on so many people in so many ways. Most of which we will never know.
Please, do not question the value of your being there. Know for certain you have touched and fed the souls of so many and the lives you saved will have a profound impact for the good in time to come. Because as we all know, HIS laborers do not labor in vain. So you should have no doubts about whether you made a difference.
So I close simply by saying Thank You for your prayers, fasting and witness. Thank you for stepping up despite not being perfect. Thanks for being a loaf of bread.
If you haven’t yet been to pray at the vigil you still have this last week. The Spring Campaign ends Sunday night with a short prayer vigil at 6:30 at pp followed by a closing rally and reception at 7 pm inside Catholic Charities at Liberty & 9th St. As is true in our spiritual life, it is never too late.
After this 40 DFL campaign is over, If you ever hear the call in the night with the ears of your heart to do some charitable deed to protect the unborn, know that year-round every Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday prayer warriors and sidewalk advocates are outside planned parenthood praying and trying to save lives and souls. We are usually there from 7 till 11 am. No need to sign up. Just show up.
Be not afraid, join us.
We hope to see you at the rally and again soon. I hope you have a Happy Easter.
Today at the vigil we were blessed with St. Mary (Glenshaw), St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg) and & St. Irenaeus (Oakmont).
In thanksgiving for the blog writers whose fingers are trained for battle— and prepare the reflection before they go on leave!!
Marian adds from Saturday- addition, not a do-over… recognizing others in the pro-life community:
In the Spirit of cooperation:Before I head to the sidewalk on Saturday mornings, I do my “heavy lifting” in prayer.I meet the wonderful people at The Oratory (Adoration) and St. Paul’s Cathedral for Mass on Saturday mornings.It is not by my design.If it were, then I would only be dreaming of them instead of meeting them in person.
Each Saturday, our younger brothers and sisters from CMU and the University of Pittsburgh, who are active in the pro-life community, meet at the Pittsburgh Oratory to drive to the abortion clinic in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. Although not ever having been there, I have never heard that location described with words other than with synonyms for dark and creepy- by veterans of the pro-life community. On my way, out of the door at The Oratory, I met Mark and Nicholas.Mark and I recognized each other from Mass and Bible study.Mark has been praying in front of the East Liberty clinic since last semester. Today, Nicholas was joining the group for the first time. Both young men have recognized for years there is something wrong with abortion. They are willing to acknowledge that in public, prayerful, peaceful witness. The younger generation fighting for life is well represented at the Pittsburgh Oratory.
Then at the end of Mass at St. Paul Cathedral, I started talking with Yolanda.Yolanda is a veteran of pro-life witness when the abortion clinic in downtown Pittsburgh was located closer to the shopping area. Yolanda would go to work and see the guards and another group of people.At the time, she didn’t know the location near her work was an abortion clinic.She recognized the Rosary beads in the hands of many who were praying, so she joined in prayer there on a regular basis. We have other veterans from that period of time too praying with us on a regular basis. Today, Yolanda, as she usually does, joined in praying the Rosary with the usual prayerful suspects at St. Paul Cathedral.They have been keeping us lifted in prayer daily.Companions on the journey— visible and invisible!!
Saturday was still a gloomy day on the sidewalk but I knew there were people who had my back in prayer!
40 Days for Life – welcomes prayers from all denominations!! Prayer works.
Reports from today:
Kathy L. 7 am -9 am:
Thank you to all who helped cover for me last Monday due to a family emergency. And thank you for your prayers for my dad who is on the mend.
Peggy and I prayed through some pro-life prayers together. I noticed several passersby glancing at our “Choose Life” signs. The usual PP workers arrived. Bill H. also arrived and stayed briefly. One young woman passed by and hurled an insult toward us. Bill may have countered her statement with a blessing. Not long after that, Ginny arrived to assume SM duty.
Ginny 9 am -11 am:
St Mary’s Pro-life group from Glenshaw
Elaine ,Ginny ,Vince We had a peaceful prayerful morning.
Johnny and Maryellen report for the 11 am to 1:00 pm.
People traveled from Waynesburg today. Some faces are camera shy.
Beth, with many hats in the pro-life movement reports for the 1 pm to 3 pm shift:
We started out in the sun and even when the rain came, I think the SON stayed with us. Lots of good friends from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg made the 1-3 shift a wonderful, prayerful occasion. Carol, Kathy, Mary Ellen, Tilly, Jake, Mike and Kim, Elaine joined Rose and I as we kept vigil on a busy day.
Bill H., Katie and Nick stopped by and Alice from St. Alexis came to help with the 3-5 shift. It seemed as though there was lots of employee activity, and hopefully, few clients.
Thanks, bloggers, for all you do,
Francis on the sidewalk for life from 3 pm to 5 pm:
Francis reports that he was alone for part of the shift but Alice, from St. Alexis, did witness with him for awhile.
Nikki and Joe stand vigil for the 5 pm to 7 pm shift:
We had a peaceful shift for the most part. A young man stopped to look at the fetal models. He wanted to take a picture of the five month model. He said that his pregnant girlfriend died, she was five months pregnant. So he lost her and his only child. He told me he started doing heroin when he was 15. He has been clean now for four years and has a job and plays the guitar in a worship band at a large church in Cranberry! I told him I would pray for his girlfriend and his child and him, and he even gave me his phone number in case my son ever wants to talk to him. It was very encouraging getting to talk to him!
After that Joe and I prayed together. We thought we would finish this vigil on a positive note, and then a woman who was headed into the bar looked at Joe, who had just greeted her with a friendly hello, and she spit right on him. You could just feel the anger and the hatred seething out of her. That was a shock for Joe, but we will pray for her healing. Nikki
Bonus report from sunny Florida per Sean’s email from Sunday for the national report:
It was Sunday. “The abortion center was closed,” said Tom in Fort Lauderdale, “but the vigil was not!”
So, on the Lord’s Day, a number of volunteers went out to pray.
“We impact a different public than we do during the week,” Tom said. “In the morning we see many churchgoers passing by and in the afternoon we see many at leisure. Most are unaware of the battle we fight every day at that center. And most are unaware of the stakes.”
He said 40 Days for Life is the ideal vehicle to bring the problem to light. “Everyone can participate. All it takes is a little time and a willingness to stand for life.”
Thank you to all who witnessed today. Let the “Sonshine” in our hearts!! We get by with a little help from our friends.