Day 40: Thank you, Catholic Charities; St. Regis Catholic Church, Trafford; Holy Trinity Ukranian Catholic Church, Carnegie; Individual Prayer Volunteers

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 War memorial cemeteries are built

 to honor those who have sacrificed their lives during the war.

America’s Wars (1775 -1991)

216 years

651,031 Battle Deaths

___________________________________

America’s Abortions (1973 – 2015)

42 years

58,586,256 Baby Deaths

Where is the cemetery families can use to bury the body of their aborted child?

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Ordinarily when a family member dies the rest of the family has a grief process.  If successful, the grief process “closes the wound.”

Our culture resists, and is even hostile to, admitting the reality that abortion kills a child, a member of a family.

___________________________________

America permits abortion to

kill their child

wound the mother

strip the parental rights of the father.

___________________________________

If a man’s pregnant partner seeks to have an abortion, the father’s consent isn’t legally required.

A woman may choose to terminate a pregnancy against the objections of the father.

The father does not have a legal right to be notified of an abortion.

If a prospective mother seeks to abort a pregnancy against a father’s wishes, an attorney may be able to draft an agreement where the father agrees to pay the costs of pregnancy and obtain full custody after birth.

http://family.findlaw.com/paternity/fathers-rights-and-abortion.html

___________________________________

Arthur Shostak (Bachelor of Science, 1958, Cornell University; Ph.D., 1961, Princeton)  accompanied his partner to a well-groomed suburban abortion clinic in the early 1970s.

They had both agreed abortion was best.

Sitting in the waiting room proved to be a “bruising experience”.

When he left the clinic, he was shocked by how deeply disturbed he had become.

Shostak spent the next ten years studying the abortion experience of men. His study, published in 1984, covered 1,000 men who accompanied their wives or girlfriends to abortion clinics. This study is still the benchmark study in the field.  Here are some of his discoveries.

___________________________________

BIG BOYS DON’T CRY

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Abortion rewrites the rules of masculinity.

While a man is expected to be strong, abortion makes him feel weak.

A man is expected to be responsible.  Abortion encourages him to act without concern for the innocent.

It encourages him to destroy any identifiable and undesirable outcomes of his sexual decision making and/or attachments.

They feel sad.  They feel curious.  They feel a lot of things.

But usually they have talked to no one about it.  It is taboo.

More than one in four equated abortion to murder.

Slightly over 80 percent said they had already begun to think about the child that might have been born.

29 percent said they had been fantasizing about the child “frequently”.

68 percent believed men involved in abortions “did not have an easy time of it.”

47 percent worried about having disturbing thoughts afterwards.

Many men began to cry during the interview.

When asked if the man and woman should have an equal say in the decision, 80 percent of married men agreed.  Fifty-eight percent of single men agreed.

Many expressed frustration and anger about the failure of women to consider their wishes and feelings.

In a subsequent interview Shostak said:

Most of the men I talk to think about the abortion years after it is over.

With a man, if he wants to shed a tear, he had better do it privately.

If he feels that the abortion had denied him his child, he had better work through it himself.

He does not share his pain with a clergyman, a minister.

He does not share it with a close male friend.

It just stays with him.

And it stays for a long time.

According to Dr. Vincent Rue, one of the nation’s most experienced psychologists in the field of post-abortion issues:

Typical male grief responses include remaining silent and grieving alone.

A guilt-ridden, tormented male does not easily love or accept love.

___________________________________

Men have reported a large number of problems that they claim were a direct result of their abortion experience. These include:

broken relationships,

sexual dysfunction,

substance abuse,

self-hate,

risk taking and suicidal behavior,

increasing feelings of grief over time,

feelings of helplessness, guilt, depression,

greater tendencies toward becoming angry and violent, and

feelings connected to a sense of lost manhood.

___________________________________

If we listen to the national professional mental health organizations, abortion carries no psychological health risk, certainly none greater than child birth.

This flies in the face of thousands of stories that I have heard – the stories that you hear from women and men impacted from abortion, both in this country and abroad.

Post abortion treatment is a human issue because abortion represents to those who are negatively impacted by it an intentional death experience.

 The American Psychological Association, in 2008, provided a report to the American people that basically says that abortion carries no increased relative risk.

I would submit to you that this is incorrect.  It is incorrect scientifically and there is abundant research, some 385 studies, that would ague in opposition to what the APA said.

“Project Rachel: The Psychoanalyst’s Role.”  Vincent Rue, MSW, PhD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsys38RNBkw

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NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

Jeannie, designer of this happy note,  continues to grow in wisdom and grace.

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NOTES FROM THE OTHER SIDEWALK

PAT 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

Today was the day I signed up my parish, St. Regis in Trafford, to stand from 7-9 AM…and I worried.  I worried about the weather forecast (scattered thundershowers).  I worried about the fact that the EQT 10-Miler would close down Liberty Avenue “sometime around 7 AM”.  And I worried that Jeff, who was bringing the materials to the sidewalk for Diane today, might not get in before Liberty was closed down.  In short, I forgot that TRUST was the theme for this campaign.

All worked out better than I could have reasonably expected.  Steph, my wife, decided late that that she would come with me.  Two of my brother Knights of Columbus, Mike and Albert, came.  Albert’s wife, Yolanda, and their daughter, Susan (from Saint John XXIII Parish), also came.  We had a good mix of prayer and good conversation.  Many thanks to all  of you.

Mike, Susan, Albert, Yolanda and Steph
Mike, Susan, Albert,
Yolanda and Steph
Susan, Yolanda and Vince. Vince is leading the Rosary meditations.
Susan, Yolanda and Vince.
Vince is leading the Rosary meditations.

____________________________________

MARSHALL 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

Today was one of the most interesting experiences I have had at 40 days.  It was the day of a 10 K race that goes right through the 40 days site, so just to get down and travel through the city was a minor miracle.

There was a “pro-choice advocate” cheering on the runs while she held a sign proclaiming her support for PP.  God gives us the grace to work for His cause, the cause of Life. She was loud, and I believe that we were prayerful.  Many runners, especially women supported her and thanked her, so we are reminded to pray for our nation.  Hopefully, they act in ignorance.

I am grateful for Kathy, Vince, Theresa, and Bill for standing for 40 days for Life.  It rained during the entire two hours, and it was quite heavy by the end.

___________________________________

MAGGIE 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

Praise God good weather for my shift.

I had a wonderful family with 6 kids keep me company and they prayed one rosary after another. I had a few individuals join me for the end of my shift.

Praise God for all his love and care!

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DAVE 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

Bill and all these people filled the sidewalk with life and prayers. Not only was the weather warm but, so were the hearts!

Angy, Father Jason, Natalia, Martha, Patty Holy Trinity in Carnegie
Angy, Father Jason, Natalia, Martha, Patty
Holy Trinity in Carnegie

 

Prayeer witnesses: St. Bernadette, St. Madonna Del Costello, Family from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
Prayer witnesses:
St. Bernadette, St. Madonna Del Costello, Family from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

 

George and Friend St. John's
George and Friend
St. John’s
Aileen, Martha Father Jason
Aileen,  Father Jason, Natalia

 

Bill, Prayer Witness, Shift Manager
Bill, Prayer Witness, Shift Manager

___________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

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Day 39: Thank You to Sidewalk Advocates, Guardians for Life, St. Patrick, St. Katharine Drexel, Seton Hill University RL Club, Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Armstrong County, and Individual Volunteers!

mother teresa

 

“And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child,

how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

Those are the words Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., in 1994.  I’m asking that the individuals who read this blog who either work at Planned Parenthood or who support abortion pay particular attention to them – and perhaps even meditate on them.  Because in light of those words, I have to ask what your reaction was to the terrorist attack in New York a few days ago?  Or to what happened in Las Vegas a few weeks ago?  Surely you saw the injustice of it, and were disgusted, as we were, by the total disregard for human life.

But here’s what I’m truly curious about:  On what rational or moral grounds do you object to these mass murders?  Yes, people were killed who didn’t want to be killed.  We can agree upon that.  But, isn’t that also what happens several times a week inside of 933 Liberty Avenue?

You may argue that the babies aborted are not yet “persons” (mental gymnastics that simply escapes me), but you can’t argue with the science which clearly tells us that, biologically speaking, human life begins at conception.  Isn’t that “Embryology 101”?

So, whether you’re calling “the product of conception” a “person” or not, there can be no question that what is being snuffed out is a human life.

40 Days for Life will be leaving your doorstep on Sunday evening, and won’t return until Ash Wednesday when (if necessary) we’ll be back again for another campaign.  But in the meantime, I urge you, please think about these things.

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love,

but to use any violence to get what they want.  This is why the

greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” 

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta from that same speech

Pat M.


IMPORTANT NOTES FOR TOMORROW, SUNDAY 11/5:

–Due to the EQT 10 Miler race, Liberty Avenue and other streets will have closures and parking restrictions until almost noon.  See maps below for helpful information.

EQT 10 Miler Sector Closure Map

Pittsburgh Parking

–The Fall 2017 Campaign Closing Rally begins with prayer in front of PP at 6:30 PM, followed by a pot-luck social at Catholic Charities just up the block at Liberty and 9th.  Please join us!  


7-9 AM, Tim:

Sidewalk Advocates
Sidewalk Advocates
Guardians for Life
Guardians for Life
Praying for hearts to be converted and abortion to end!
Praying for hearts to be converted and abortion to end!

Saturday morning started as usual, dark and cold but then things it brightened up.  The sidewalk advocates Virginia, David and Joe were on post standing vigil along with year round Saturday regulars Stephanie, John M., Bill H. and Bill S.  Then two white vans pulled up and Father Tim, the Guardians for Life and the Knights of Columbus poured out.  The sidewalk was then filled with the faithful and song and prayers rang out echoing on Liberty Avenue.  As my shift was ending a large group of students from Grove City College arrived and began to pray. What an encouraging site to see such a large group of students. What a bright, beautiful, blessed morning it turned out to be.  

 

9-11 AM and 11 AM-1 PM, Sue M. (thank you, Sue!):

 

Grove City College students
Grove City College students

 

Julie from St. Patrick, Arleen and Mary from St. Maurice, and Lisa, Joan, & Bo from St. Patrick
Julie from St. Patrick, Arleen and Mary from St. Maurice, and Lisa, Joan, & Bo from St. Patrick

 

Mike, John, Joan, and Deb from St. Katharine Drexel
Mike, John, Joan, and Deb from St. Katharine Drexel

 

Many pray-ers from St. James, West End, and St. John XXIII, North Side
Many pray-ers from St. James, West End, and St. John XXIII, North Side

 

Today I pulled a “double”, although it did not feel that long to me as it was full of prayer and just great people.  So many prayer warriors today.  I arrived to the faithful Guardians for Life, and shortly after that a large group of Grove City College students arrived to pray.  Then came folks from St. Maurice in Forest Hills, St. Patrick in Canonsburg, St. Katharine Drexel in Bentleyville, and St. John XXIII on the North Side.  These folks meant business — so much prayer was going on.  For the second shift, a huge group arrived from St. James in the West End, including a beautiful baby girl “G” who was just an angel!!  Bill H. in his Holy-Spirit-led way, was in and out during the two shifts.  Regulars Billy and Bob stopped by.  

PP seemed today to be a bit busier than usual, unfortunately.  We had many remarks from passersby, I’d say about an equal amount of thumbs-up and thumbs-downs.  “K” from the PP-supporting side was there, and several of the ladies dialogued peacefully with her.  The quality of the thumbs-ups and encouragements more than made up for the negative comments from passersby.  One gentleman was waiting for the bus across the street and made a point to cross over to thank us for being there.  A young family in town from Syracuse thanked us and took some literature to distribute in their hometown.  And a gentleman who was emptying trash cans on the sidewalk suddenly stopped to pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be with us.

God is working.  I believe we can now see only a very small percentage of the workings of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts as we pray on the sidewalk — not even the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  If we stay faithful, we will someday see His glory revealed and the end to abortion forever!  Come, Lord Jesus!

 

1-3 PM, Dean:

 

Prayer warriors from St. James
Prayer warriors from St. James

As this campaign comes to a close, I encourage all of us to recharge over the next few months. Thank all of you for being God’s hands, feet and mouth on the sidewalk. It has and continues to be a pleasure serving alongside such dedicated Christians. Have a memorable Thanksgiving. I plan on serving in the upcoming Lenten Campaign. May the joy and love of Christ be with each and every one of you.

 

3-5 PM, Kathy:

 

Marian, Bill, and Marie
Marian, Bill, and Marie

 

Beautiful group from St. James was with Dean when I arrived. Ruth was engaging a woman who held a large “I support Planned Parenthood” sign in conversation.  When she left the whole group was very pleasant to her.  Truly a loving peaceful witness.

My friend, Marian, came with me to pray. It was her first 40 Days shift. She had taken me to my first March for Life in the early 90’s. We were joined by Bill, Marie, Bill, and Ken.

God provided great prayer warriors, prayers, and fellowship. Very grateful!

 

5-7 PM, Jeff:

 

Ken and Bob from Catholic Men's Fellowship,  Armstrong County
Ken and Bob from Catholic Men’s Fellowship,
Armstrong County

 

Stephen and his wife Carrie from Holy Sepulchre in Butler
Stephen and his wife Carrie from Holy Sepulchre in Butler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 38: Thank You to Sidewalk Advocates, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and Faithful Individual Volunteers

fishing-net-1003351_1920

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”  

They said to him, “We also will come with you.”  

So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  

When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” 

They answered him, “No.” 

So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  

So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.

-John 21: 3-6

 

Peter spent several years as one of our Lord’s closest friends, following Him all over and helping with His ministry.  He watched as Jesus was executed; then saw the risen Lord.  And yet, after all that, he momentarily said to himself, “Hmm…now what?  Well, I guess I’ll go back to being a fisherman.”

We’ve spent the past 38 days praying, fasting, and reaching out to those affected by abortion.  Yet my calendar going forward shows nothing but the kids’ activities, holiday events, etc.  It’s as if I’ve said to myself, “Hmm…now what?  Well, I guess I’ll go back to my old life.”

Don’t get me wrong…I truly believe that God is pleased with our sacrifices and efforts in the Fall 2017 campaign.  We also know from Scripture that He has ordained a time for every purpose under Heaven, and that Jesus Himself took His disciples off to pray and rest when they needed to refresh.  So I think it’s okay for the intensity to go down for awhile after the campaign ends this Sunday.

But I really can’t just go back to the way things were.  My brothers and sisters are being hurt and killed at Planned Parenthood year-round, so I need to keep fighting for them year-round.

There are basic ways to keep going.  I can pray daily for hearts to be converted and for abortion to end.  I can fit fasting into my week, maybe choosing a day when I know abortions are taking place on Liberty Avenue (currently Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.)

There are also more powerful ways.  Sidewalk Advocates for Life, who courageously stand vigil and offer life-affirming alternatives to PP clients on abortion days throughout the year, welcome and train new members regularly.  (Next training session:  Sunday, November 12th from noon-5 PM.  Email 40daysforlifepgh@gmail.com for more information.)  And silent sidewalk prayer partners are also needed to uphold them and to offer them fellowship in their challenging but crucial ministry.

We all know Peter didn’t go back to fishing in the end.  Jesus had a lot more planned for him…as He does for us.

Dear Lord, please call us and strengthen us to continue defending your children even after this campaign ends.  As we cast our nets to catch up those who are vulnerable, please fill them to overflowing with men, women, and children who have been saved and can sing Your praise! 

 

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Rose, Sally, Al, Harry
Rose, Sally, Al, Harry

Friday morning, before dawn, felt silent, warm and sweet.  People quietly bustled.  Rose arrived.  Jeff arrived with our daily supplies. 

 Harry arrived just in time to help us unpack and arrange items for DAY 38 of our 40 DAY, 12 hour witness.  Harry is from St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford.  His son (youngest of 5 children) and he are going to a Boy Scout event this weekend.

 Al and Sally arrived and took up their prayer stations.  Faithful prolife veterans, they have publicly witnessed for life in the Pittsburgh area for decades.

 One by one, someone unlocked the PP doors for a worker who went in just as the door closed and locked behind them.  At some point the doors remained unlocked.  At least 3 couples went in.  They looked away as we offered prolife help.

 Greeted with, “God bless you,” a young man looked away and said, “Shut up!”  Great! I thought.  There’s a sign of life.

 Actually signs of life flourish in the faces and in the hearts of passersby.  So many smile, nod or give us a thumbs up.  We are not wasting our time, or theirs.

 

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

Thank you to vigil participants from St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon Township, St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Greensburg, and Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg.

 

Your presence made a difference in people's lives today!
Your presence made a difference in people’s lives today!

 

Shift Manager Marie with Sidewalk Advocate Pastor Bryan
Shift Manager Marie with Sidewalk Advocate Pastor Bryan

Today’s 11-1 shift had a good group of faithful prayer warriors.  Fr. Frank from St. Margaret Mary was also part of the group.  There were both positive and negative responses from those passing on the sidewalk.  This group did a good job of faithfully standing in witness for the unborn.

 

 

1-3 PM, Pat:

Shift manager Pat spent much of the shift praying on his knees, what a powerful witness!
Shift manager Pat spent much of the shift praying on his knees, what a powerful witness!

 

 Faithful crew from St. Margaret Mary and also individuals who came from Greensburg

Faithful crew from St. Margaret Mary, and also individuals who came from Greensburg

 

Off duty shift manager Regina and her daughter came to stand with shift manager sub, Katherine. Pictured with other individuals who just stopped by on their own.
Off duty shift manager Regina and her daughter came to stand with shift manager sub, Katherine. Pictured with other individuals who just stopped by on their own.

Not being used to this time, it was a little strange to see so many people – both workers and clients – go in and out of PP.  I was there with groups who came to pray from faraway places such as Moon Township and Greensburg, which gives some idea of how far our footprint extends.  While only there for about 15 minutes, Nikki showed-up since she had some time available.  (Now if I had her schedule, and had some “free-time”, well, let’s just say that coming down to the vigil would have even crossed my mind.)  This gave me the opportunity to leave a little early and head back to work.  Thanks again, Nikki! 

But while I was there, I did have an interesting conversation with Theo (not his real name), a young man in his early 20’s, who has been in the U.S. for only a few years and grew-up in the African nation of The Congo.  The conversation started because he didn’t understand what my sign meant.  It read:  “Shouldn’t human rights begin at conception?”   This lead to an interesting conversation because he really had no idea that abortions were legal in the U.S. and happening, at a rate of about 3,000/year, right inside the building we were standing next to.  He was having a hard time grasping this…as he should.

Please check back throughout the day as more pictures and stories are posted!

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR SUNDAY:
Due to the EQT 10 Miler race, Liberty Avenue and other streets will have closures and parking restrictions on Sunday morning, November 5th, until almost noon.  See maps below for helpful information (thank you, Pat!)

EQT 10 Miler Sector Closure Map

Pittsburgh Parking

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 33…Good Works

THANK YOU

HOLY CHILD CATHOLIC CHURCH, BRIDGEVILLE

SAINT MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, HERMAN

INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS

DAUGHTERS OF MARY, MOTHER OF MERCY COMMUNITY

WAOB (We Are One Body) 106.7FM

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{LIFE IS DIFFICULT}

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For all its strength, comfort and sublimity,

human friendship has about it the frail delicacy of old lace.

It is never a rugged thing

because of our inability to share our inner self.

We cannot give ourselves away utterly

because we do not belong completely to ourselves.

Betrayal of a friend is a kind of a suicide.

Walter Farrell O.P.

___________________________________

Frederica Mathewes-Green (October 27, 1952)

celebrated her birthday recently.

Highlights from an article she wrote 24 years ago

offer refreshing reflections

for those of us dazed and dusty from the sidewalk.

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{EVIL CAN MASQUERADE AS GOOD}

The abortion debate seems like an unresolvable conflict of rights between the right of women to control their own bodies and the right of children to be born.

In a culture that treats pregnancy and childrearing as impediments, abortion surgically adapts a woman to fit in.

In college I advocated the repeal of abortion laws and supported my friends who traveled for out‑of‑state abortions.

For years I bought the line that the unborn was just a “glob of tissue.”

An unplanned pregnancy felt like an invader, an evil alien bent on colonizing one’s body and destroying one’s plans. The first right must be to keep one’s body safe, private, and healthy.  Without that, all other rights are meaningless.

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{GOOD CAN UNMASK EVIL}

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It is because I still believe so strongly in the right of a woman to protect her body that I now oppose abortion. That right must begin when her body begins, and it must be hers no matter where she lives—even if she lives in her mother’s womb. The same holds true for her brother.

When I ran across a description of a mid‑pregnancy abortion, I was horrified at the description of the syringe’s hub jerking against the mother’s abdomen as her child went through his death throes.

I learned that early abortions are no more kind.  The child is pulled apart limb from limb and sucked through a narrow tube into a bloody bag.

Dr. Willard Cates of the Centers for Disease Control estimated in 1981,  that 400‑500 times a year children are born alive after late abortions and then made to die.

Even if there were any doubt that the unborn was a person, if I had seen someone doing this to a kitten I would have been horrified.

The feminism that hoped to create a new just society had embraced an act of injustice as essential.

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The average woman does not gain, but loses when she has an abortion.

She loses the cash.

She undergoes a humiliating procedure.

The delicately‑balanced ecology of her body is disrupted.

Nicks and scratches in the uterus can cause scarring which may lead to endometriosis.

Damage from an abortion that goes unnoticed until she is far into a later, wanted pregnancy, can cause a miscarriage.

If those scars are near the opening to the fallopian tube, the opening can be partly obliterated and lead to an ectopic pregnancy.

Alternatively, the scarring at the tube’s entrance may be complete and the woman is sterile. She thought she was aborting one pregnancy, but she was aborting all her pregnancies for the rest of her life.

Abortion can kill a woman.

The last loss is the loss of her peace of mind. Many women grieve silently after abortion, their sorrow ignored by a society that expects them to be grateful for the “freedom” to abort.

Her most devastating loss

She loses her own child. This child is as much like her as any child she will ever have, sharing her appearance, talents, and family tree.  In abortion, she offers her own child as a sacrifice for the right to continue her life. It is a sacrifice that will haunt her.

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Do women want abortion?

Not like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream cone.

Like an animal caught in a trap,

trying to gnaw off its own leg,

a woman who seeks abortion is trying to escape a desperate situation

by an act of violence and self‑loss.

Abortion is not a sign that women are free,

but a sign that they are desperate.

Frederica Mathewes-Green

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{GOD DOES NOT PLAY HARD TO GET}

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

If we acknowledge our sins,

he is faithful and just

and will forgive our sins

and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

1 John 1:8-9

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Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D., started one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-aborted people in 1986, after founding The Center for Post Abortion Healing.

Theresa adapted and expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats, Rachel’s Vineyard.

Do not continue to live in the shame, fear or numbness – call our toll-free national hotlines:
Rachel’s Vineyard: 877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463) – National Hotline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-LIFE (866-482-5433)

http://rachelsvineyard.org/

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Co-founded in 2003, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign responded to a need for a pro-life ministry in which men and women who had had experiences of abortion could offer and gain support.

http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/
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NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

Sister Mercy Maria Egbeji, Superior of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy, Rankin, reports that she and the sisters will pray for us during their Holy Hour of Adoration.

WAOB 106.7 FM broadcasts 40 Days for Life participants praying the Scriptural Rosary every month.  Tune in and pray with us!

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fall blog 5, jeannie

French from the Bench

Last week, I saw X-rays of my broken collarbone.

First was the Emergency Room photo— “the original”- how beautiful the human body is as planned by God- I could see the break in my collarbone – a clean sharp swatch separating 2 parts of “the architecture”.   The next image was a few weeks after the break — what had resulted from the break—the 2 bones reminded me of train cars in a bad accident—one slides up and over the other.   The damage to the beautiful architecture was dramatic!

I think the embrace of the evil of abortion has really disrupted God’s plan for mankind.  From the horrific violence in the clinics to senseless mass killings here and around the world, we truly have broken with God.

Like my impatience with my own healing, I am impatient with our long struggle to end abortion and return respect for human life.  But, we really have a “train wreck” here.  It is going to take time, skill, patience, and God’s guidance to fix.

Let us heal together with Him who heals us all!

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NOTES FROM THE OTHER SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

How beautiful our 40 Days for Life family is!

Peggy, Dan, Judy, and Vince all answered the call to come and pray on a cold, wet Sunday morning.  Vince led us in a very powerful and emotional Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, meditating in detail on the suffering of our Lord.  It struck me that I often forget one of the most important reasons to take part in this vigil–in reparation for the agony that abortion caused our Savior, agony that He willingly suffered for me and for each person who passes through the doors of PP.

Thank you to Diane and Tom for getting us started this morning with all the needed supplies…the umbrellas and hand warmers came in very handy today!  God bless Bill, who wasn’t feeling very well when he made his morning prayer visit.  And thanks to Ken, who came from quite a distance to lead the next vigil shift!

Peggy, Judy, Dan, Vince Sunday Sidewalk Witnesses
Peggy, Judy, Dan, Vince
Sunday Sidewalk Witnesses

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KEN 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

A peaceful Sunday morning.

Made more peaceful because this abortion facility is closed today and no one was harmed.

A quiet and prayerful time with Patti, Mark and Andrea.

Also prayed with a family from St. ELIZABETH ANN SETON.

Patti, Mark and Andrea
Patti, Mark and Andrea

 

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Family
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Parish Family

 

Faithful Prolife Witnesses
Faithful Prolife Witnesses

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MAGGIE 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

We had an awesome time today. A group from Zion Church in Brookline sang hymns in Spanish, made a mini Jericho March back and forth around the semicircle and had their pastor Frank ask that this Planned Parenthood be closed! Alleluia!

We also had a group from a parish in Bridgeville praying the Rosary along with the Parochial Vicar there, Father Joe.

God is so good!

Shift managers Audrey and jim, Father Joe and faithful witnesses
Shift managers Audrey and jim, Father Joe and Holy Child Parishioners

 

Zion Church in Brookline came to pray out loud in downtown Pittsburgh.
Zion Church in Brookline came to pray out loud in downtown Pittsburgh.

 

Everybody praying for Life
Everybody praying for Life

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JIM AND AUDREY 3-5 SHIFT MANAGERS

Despite the chill and dampness in the air, what a blessed day!  During the earlier shift, a large congregation from the Zion Church in Brookline was a lively, energized Hispanic group.  They circled seven times to replicate the march at Jericho – praying to let the walls fall.  Their song, dance, and prayers spoke loud and clear of their faith in the Lord.

Holy Child, Jim’s and my home parish in Bridgeville, took the 1 to 3 p.m. shift.  Father Joe inspired us as he lead us in prayer joined by Thomas from Holy Child and Colleen and Dick from St. Winifred.  Regulars Margie and Larry from St. Mary’s faithfully prayed and kept us warm with their love.  As I was standing there praying today and looking on at the facade of Planned Parenthood, I saw the bricks were in the form of crosses, many crosses – representing the many tiny souls that are lost there every week….

Another best of the day was an unplanned visit from alumni and students from Franciscan University.  The young men just happened to be walking down the street and saw our vigil and became part of our witness.  The young women were inspired by their Mom – a regular 40 Days vigilant.  We prayerfully said the Rosary over and over again….  The response from the few passersby was that of support and thankfulness.  God is good.  Sometimes the most inspiration comes from the heartfelt discussions on the sidewalk.  We pray, we share, and we witness!

Jerico March
Jerico March

 

Shift Manager Jim Holy Child parishioners
Shift Manager Jim
Holy Child parishioners

 

Shift Manager, Audrey with Holy Child parishioners
Shift Manager, Audrey
with Holy Child parishioners

 

Franciscan University Alumni and Students
Franciscan University
Alumni and Students

 

Bricks, form of crosses representing many tiny souls lost there to abortion.
Bricks form crosses representing many tiny souls lost there to abortion.

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Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.

By those who love her she is readily seen,

and found by those who look for her.
Quick to anticipate those who desire her,

she makes herself known to them.

Watch for her early and you will have no trouble.

You will find her sitting at your gates.

Of her the most sure beginning is the desire for discipline.

Care for discipline means loving her.

Loving her means keeping her laws.

Obeying her laws guarantees incorruptibility.

Incorruptibility brings near to God.

Wisdom 6: 17-19, 12-14

And God saw that it was good.

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Check back for more NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK!

Day 31: Thank you to St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, St. Mary of the Assumption R.L. Group, CMU Catholic Newman Club, and Individual Volunteers!

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“…Amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.   For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:19-20

In this 40 Days for Life campaign, far more than two of us agree on what to pray for.  We are fervently asking for an end to abortion.  Our Pittsburgh group is praying, in particular, for the closing of the Liberty Avenue Planned Parenthood so that no more children will be killed there, no more women will be harmed there.  Jesus has PROMISED us that our heavenly Father will grant our request!  In my weakness, I often get stuck on my four-year-old daughter’s favorite question…“But WHEN???”  Over and over again, I need to go back to Scripture to quiet my childish grumbling.

“(Jesus) answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.”  Acts 1:7

My question of when is not going to be answered in advance.  In reality, it’s irrelevant.  No matter what time is ordained for our longing to be satisfied, I just need to keep praying and trusting that God has this all worked out.  As the beautiful saying goes, “Faith in God includes faith in His timing.”   It seems silly that I still struggle with it even though God has shown Himself to be trustworthy countless times in my own life, let alone in the history of humanity.  He knows what He is about…every detail is intricately planned for our good, even when I can see no reason for delay.

“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  2Peter 3:8-9

 Thank you, Lord, for Your patience with us, and for Your perfect timing.  Please grant us TRUST in that timing and the courage to persevere in prayer until the joyful day when your promise is fulfilled and no more women or children are destroyed by the evil of abortion!  

 

7-9 AM, Charlene: 

7AM at PP. Deceivingly peaceful looking.
7AM at PP. Deceivingly peaceful looking.
Matt and Jean and Sally and Al
Matt and Jean and Sally and Al
Wonderful St. Bonaventure
Wonderful St. Bonaventure

Today was cold on the sidewalk at 7. Someone earlier in the week said they had gotten out their “long Johns “ and I followed their lead. But there was warmth coming from all of the prayer warriors! It warms my heart to pray with my friends from my parish, St. Bonaventure. They always bring joy to the sidewalk. Fr. John ( with no hat) brought MaryAnn, Frank, Theresa, Mario, Jean, and Matt. We were also praying with Sally and Al, Rose from St. Mary’s Glenshaw,and BethAnn from At. Alexis. 

PP was steady business and I believe they are starting earlier…like by 7:30. It is hard to stand and see the steady flow going in. But I read something in one of those catalogs that you get every other day(sweatshirts, posters, etc.) and it said,”You’ve got 3 choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got” God has called us to“Give it all we’ve got”…and so we will.  

 

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

Brooklynne & Cayesen
Brooklynne & Cayesen
Brooklynne, Cayesen, Ginny,  and Roz from St. Mary’s in Glenshaw.
Brooklynne, Cayesen, Ginny, and Roz from
St. Mary’s in Glenshaw

Brooklynne & Cayesen are students at Blessed Trinity Academy.  They are from St. Mary in Glenshaw.  Both prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Brooklynne led several decades.  She had participated in her first 40 Days inside her mother’s belly and has been part of many more since, in the last 10 years.

 

1-3 PM, Barbara and Richard:

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barb 2

Our shift was sunny and warm as we prayed with witnesses from Sts. John and Paul, Jim from St. Philip and our guardian angel, Ginny.  

It is always a blessing to pray publicly.  It is a blessing to stand up and witness to the fact that abortion kills babies.  
Lisa arrived smiling and carrying two large bags of “penny candy” and two lovely young ladies.
Thank you, Dear Father, for giving us this chance to love you out loud.
3-5 PM, Lisa:

Beautiful day in Pittsburgh- bright, sunny, and warm for the 3 to 5 shift. Quiet which allowed us to pray consistently while handing out candy. Thank you, Ginny, Esther, and Nati as you all warmed the sidewalk with your smiles and candy! John (from St Killian’s) joined us for a while to pray as well – thank you!

 

5-7 PM, Pat:

Matteo, former SM Jim, and Thomas
Matteo, former SM Jim, and Thomas

I had a nice night out there with both good weather and, for a Friday night, it was relatively peaceful and quiet.  Bill stopped by for a quick visit early on.  Matteo and Thomas are students at CMU and signed up through the Newman Center which serves the Catholic students of Pitt, CMU, and other colleges and universities in Pittsburgh.  Matteo, Thomas, Jim and I began the evening with the rosary with pro-life meditations.  Jim had to catch his bus after that.  The rest of the evening Matteo, Thomas and I engaged in both group prayer and individual silent prayer – with some breaks for good conversation, of course.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Charlene 7am-9am

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

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

Beth 9am-11am

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

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

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

Cecilia 11am-1pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audrey and Jim 1pm-3pm

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

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

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

Mike 3-5pm

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

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

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

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

Lisa 5pm-7pm

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

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St. Ann prayers

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

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

DAY 26: THANK YOU, Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Saint John Fisher Parish, Richmond OH

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde 1854-1900

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I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Francis Thompson 1859-1907

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To clone a person, you would have to clone their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, first grade teacher, next door neighbors and so on until you have included all their people.

Lewis Thomas 1913-1993

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In our audacity, we witness in prayer to change hearts.  We know that heart changes are difficult and painful and take a lifetime.

History gives us a glimpse of the heart of the person who wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  Reading it, you can’t stop thinking about Jesus holding his arms wide open on the Cross.

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Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was baptized as an infant in the local Church of Ireland (Anglican).

Wilde’s mother was a lifelong Irish nationalist.  She wrote poetry for the revolutionary “Young Irelanders” and read their poetry to Oscar.

The movement of the “Young Irelanders” may be said to date from the founding of the Nation newspaper, 1842.  “Educate that you may be free” was the keynote of the new journal, which was destined to find its way within a year into nearly every household in Ireland. It preached temperance, patience, energy, and resolution. It held up the spirit of the people while it taught them tolerance and union.

Jane Wilde attended Mass with her sons in a chapel where Father Prideaux Fox, a Catholic priest, was the celebrant. Father Fox said, “I am not sure if she ever became a Catholic herself, but it was not long before she asked me to instruct two of her children, one of them being the future erratic genius, Oscar Wilde. After a few weeks I baptized these two children, Lady Wilde herself being present on the occasion.”

Wilde’s father, Sir William Wilde, was a well-known surgeon. Anti-Catholic, he bitterly opposed Oscar’s interest in the Church. “I am sure that if I had become a Catholic at that time he would have cast me off altogether.”

In his student days at Oxford, Wilde met fellow student, Sir David Hunter Blair.  Blair became a Catholic, joined the Benedictines, and eventually became Abbot at Dunfermline Abbey.

In his book, Victorian Days, Blair wrote that Wilde asked him many questions which revealed “how genuine were his own sympathies with Catholicism.”

Hunter-Blair’s evangelizing efforts had no immediate effect, and the two men parted, Hunter-Blair taking Holy Orders and Wilde turning to the literary world of London. Wilde was forthright about his motives. “To go over to Rome would be to sacrifice and give up my two great Gods: Money and Ambition.”

“I suffer a great deal from my Romish leanings, in pocket and mind. And now my best friend turns out to be a Papist!” One of his first friends was Robert Ross, a Catholic.  Ross was with him at the end.

In October, 1900, Wilde sent a telegram to Ross. “Terribly weak. Please come.”

Ross went and later told how, after he arrived, “he rushed to the Passionist Church in Paris and brought back Father Cuthbert Dunne to attend spiritually” to Wilde.  Father Dunne recorded following.

Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional Baptism, and afterwards, answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man (Wilde) was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition , Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.

The next day Oscar Wilde died.

After he was laid out, Father Dunne “placed a rosary in his hand and put palm branches over him.” Father Dunne said the Requiem Mass at Saint Germain-des-Prés.

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I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,

And unperturbed pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat – and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet –

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,

Save Me, save only Me?

Rise, clasp My hand, and come!

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN

Francis Thompson

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Lewis Thomas, 1913- 1993.  The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher.

Francis Thompson, 1859-1907.  The Hound of Heaven.  YOUNG IRELAND AND THE FENIANS, Taken from A History of Ireland by Eleanor Hull

https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/art/the-long-conversion-of-oscar-wilde.html

http://www.libraryireland.com/HullHistory/Fenians1.php http://www.pioneerassociation.ie/pioneer-magazine/151-oscarwilde-nov2010 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

http://www.bartleby.com/236/239.html

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NOTES FROM THE SATURDAY SIDEWALK

Barbara 11-1, 3-5 (Saturday) Shift Manager

Holy Wisdom, Saint John XXIII and Saints John and Paul (Wexford) parishes filled the sidewalk with their beauty during these two shifts.  Joining us were also people from Saint Michael Parish (Wheeling) and Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Enjoy the photos.  These are just some of the people.

Chris, Bill
Chris, Bill and friend

 

Chrisline, Kathy, Craig, William Saint John XXIII Parish
Chrisline, Kathy, Craig, William
Saint John XXIII Parish

 

Craig, Doug, Tom, Bob, Jim Sts. John & Paul, Wexford
Craig, Doug, Tom, Bob, Jim
Sts. John & Paul, Wexford

 

Saint John XXIII Beautiful Families
Saint John XXIII
Beautiful Families

 

Jonathan, Killian Brady and Christine Franciscan University Steubenville
Jonathan, Killian
Brady and Christine
Franciscan University
Steubenville

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Jeannie, Shift Manager Injured reserve

The most important task of EMTs when they reach a head or spine injury victim is to secure the victim’s head, neck and body to prevent further injury.    When this happened to me, — when my neck was braced and my cut, bruised, broken body was strapped to a hard board for transport to the trauma center, I could not believe the pain.  It felt like there were nails on the board, particularly behind my head.

Just then, I had a glimpse of Jesus on the cross—his beaten, whipped, scourged body would suffer the further insult of being lashed to a hard, unyielding splintered piece of wood. During my 40 minute bumpy ride to the emergency room, every Pittsburgh pothole drew tears.  Tears of pain, yes, but of grateful joy for what our Lord endured for me, his precious child.  I was able to offer my suffering up because I know His Story! It changed everything.

That is what we are doing on the sidewalk—telling HIS STORY; bringing the redemptive, powerful love of Jesus to each of his beloved children, whether they are vulnerable mothers, scared friends, lonely fathers or misled abortion workers, our knowledge of the vast and enduring love of Jesus is the answer!

I pray we continue to keep telling HIS story!

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NOTES FROM THE SUNDAY SIDEWALK

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JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

Diane and Tom beat the sun to the sidewalk this morning, supplying and setting up all our vigil’s needs before dawn. The Bellevue Knights of Columbus were well-represented by Charlie, who also blesses the pro-life effort as a sidewalk advocate.

Devoted despite feeling under the weather, Vince arrived with his beautiful Scripture readings for each mystery of the Rosary, which we all prayed together.  Jim, Charlie’s fellow Knight, joined us later and stayed on as Sue came to lead the next shift. She mentioned a woman who appeared nervous and defensive as she protested the vigil the day before. Sue astutely pointed out that the woman’s agitated demeanor may have been a sign that she was troubled by what she was doing, and that her heart may soon be ready to accept the truth. Sue graciously lead us in prayer for the woman’s conversion.

Charlie and Vince
Charlie and Vince

 

Jim and Vince
Jim and Vince

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SUE 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

Yet another beautiful day to be outside.  The sidewalk was very quiet this morning, likely due to the later Steeler game today.  I was joined by Jim from the Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Regina from St. Clare of Assisi, Mary Jane from St. Francis of Assisi, Kelly from St. John Capistran, and Patty from St. Bernadette.

Patty pointed out that today in the Catholic Church is the Feast of St. John Paul II.  We asked his intercession and prayed the Rosary, for saved lives, changed hearts, the closing of PP and Allegheny Reproductive, and the ceasing of abortions at Magee.

At one point a man walked by and said, “You’re here on a Sunday morning?  Now that’s persistence!”

YES sir, persistence is what we are all about!  We will persist in our vigil until abortion comes to an end in our great city — indeed, in God’s world!!

Regina, Patty and Jim
Regina, Patty and Jim

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MAGGIE 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

Quiet. Peaceful. Prayerful.

Even though we had many travelers passing on their way to the Steelers game I felt calm. I had great people to pray with!

A man from West Africa commented to a fellow prayer that he doesn’t understand how abortion exists in our country when there are so many resources to help women.

A young man yelled to us from his car, “Thank you! Thank you! My mom chose to keep me!” And then, he started to cry.

It was beautiful!!! And, finally, Ann uttered to us “Blessings, blessings, blessings”.

Thank you Jesus for a great shift!

fall blog 4 1better

fall blog 4 1-3, 2nd

fall blog 4 john maggie20171022_130757 (1)

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KEN 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

This is my first shift manager assignment, and I was a little nervous going in. I sent a group text to immediate family for prayer. God is good. It truly was a peaceful, prayerful vigil.

I arrived to a warm greeting from the previous shift manager Maggie.

Father John from Saint John Fisher (Richmond OH), and Megan, from Mother of Sorrows (Murrysville), were my first prayer partners.

Prayer Partners for Sunday
Prayer Partners for Sunday

 

Father John and Megan
Father John and Megan

fall blog 4 ken with bill

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JOE W. 5-7 SHIFT MANAGER

I was warmly greeted by our new SM Ken, Fr. Jack, and the women from Catholic Family Land. They were prayerfully singing.  It was so
beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.  What a blessing.

The Starr family, from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 5-6 hour, prayed fervently and ended in song.
The men from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 6-7 hour ready to
serve our Holy Family.  They prayed joyfully, sang joyfully and
amazingly( I’m jealous), and after my shift was over, prayed over me
joyfully. I’m grateful.
Catholic Family Land participants traveled from Brookdale, Ohio (a
long way). They came armed with the spirit ready to do battle for the
lives of our brothers and sisters. It was as authentic a witness as I’ve
experienced in my journey with 40 Days for Life.
Soooo, I would like to give yinz a Howard Dean campaign shout out,
“YaaaaaaaaaaHHaaaaaawwoooo awesomely well done.”
Thank you Jesus.

Rock, Jack, Gary Catholic Family Land
Rock, Jack, Gary
Catholic Family Land

 

Jack Starr Family Catholic Family Land
Jack
Starr Family
Catholic Family Land

 

Catholic Family Land
Catholic Family Land

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And God saw that it was good.

fall blog 3 baby

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Day 24:  Thank you to Sidewalk Advocates, St. Teresa of Avila Right to Life Group, North American Martyrs Catholic Church, West Hills Baptist Church, and Individual Volunteers!

Please come to the vigil on Sunday from 12-1:30 so that our shift managers will not pray alone!  Sign up at https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ or just show up!  Thank you!

coffee

Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time

we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

We passed the halfway point in our fall vigil this week…and I’m ashamed to admit that I found myself losing steam.  I was having a hard time getting up off the spiritual “couch.”  The hectic pace of everyday life kept pushing me along and I just didn’t feel like pushing myself on top of that.  I was longing to do something mindless and treat myself to the few little things from which I’m fasting.

I think Jesus understands.  Fully human and fully divine, He may have even felt the same at times.  But I’m sure He doesn’t want me to give in or give up.  He certainly never did.  So I looked around for some spiritual “caffeine” to get me up and moving.  God provided just what I need through our beautiful 40 Days for Life family.

I was struck by the quote Pat used in his reflection the other day:  “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to let you stay that way.”  God gets that I’m tired, and mercifully, He won’t abandon me in my weakness…but with His help I can do better.

Sue offered comfort with her suggestion to “dream small.”  I don’t have to make it through 16 more days of the campaign all at once…just one day at a time.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Please, Lord, help me to give it all I’ve got TODAY.

Nikki’s passionate warning about the danger of being lukewarm was perfectly timed, while her updates on darling Adrial, Rowan, and Wyatt were just what I needed to get some fire back.  How can I ever get tired of fighting when this is who we’re fighting for?

Let’s pray for one another with TRUST that God will grant us the focus and energy to fight as hard as we can for the most vulnerable today.  And then let’s do it again tomorrow.  😊

 

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Richard, Al, Sally, Rose
Richard, Al, Sally, Rose

 

John and Bill, son and father
John and Bill, son and father

 

Pink plaid sunrise
Pink plaid sunrise

Sunrise treated us to a pink plaid glow.  Richard and I were joined early by Diane and Rose.  

We decorated the sidewalk with prolife items, trying to set a scene that could welcome mothers to choose life.

 Bill, John, Beverly and Kim joined us.  Cathy stopped by on her way to the airport.  She is going to NC for a wedding. 

 Al and Sally are celebrating their 51 YEARS WEDDING ANNIVERSARY today.  Caesar Emmanuel dropped by, chose a blue Rosary because it is on this week’s Pittsburgh Catholic front page, and asked us to give a shout out to Bishop Zubik.  Life is good.

 Today is an abortion day.  We are trying to change hearts, one at a time.  

1-3 PM, Regina:

My daughter Angela, faithful witness for life, Ginny and I had the great grace of being led by the pastor of North American Martyrs Parish, Fr. Joe Luisi, in all four Mysteries of The most Holy Rosary. The power of this prayer effort was tangible as we lifted up our hearts, minds and souls to God on behalf of the unborn, and in honor of the dignity of all human Life. Heavy foot traffic on Liberty Ave. ensured the opportunity to witness to the supportive, the offended and the indifferent alike. Thank you Fr. Joe! The witness of clergy speaks volumes on so many crucial levels. Hearts were clearly touched by Fr.’s prayerful presence! Some crossed themselves as they passed, while others stopped to engage and seek counsel. People are hungry for God, and need to believe in the geniune goodness of God’s people! That was quite evident today in front of the Gates of Hell. Thanks be to God, the victory is HIS!

Faithful group from North American Martyrs Church, led by Fr. Joe Luisi
Faithful group from North American Martyrs Church, led by Fr. Joe Luisi

3-5 PM, Lisa:

Faithful friends came to pray this afternoon.
Faithful friends came to pray this afternoon.

Quiet shift but loads of intercessory prayer covered the streets thanks to Ginny, Karen and Larry from West Hills Baptist, and the youth from St Monica’s!!!

Thank you for your witness, sacrifice, and love for women and children in difficult circumstances!!!

 

5-7 PM, Barbara and Richard (again, God bless them!):

Slowly the sun faded and a blue grey light washed the streets.  Quietly, quietly, day faded into evening and then dark.  Workers left PP, and the door locked behind each of them, one by one.  Finally the building was empty, dark and hollow.

Richard and I were joined by Karen and Larry, members of West Hills Baptist.  They were here 3 – 7 and appeared tireless.  As people passed, so many stopped to talk with them.

And then, Diane and Tom came, gathered up the items, and drove away.  Another 12 hour shift completed, as we promised.  We witnessed outside, in full view of Pittsburghers, in honor of the tiny invisible babies whose lives were quietly, relentlessly taken here today.

 

A prayer request from Joan, vigil participant:

I was down there today and a young girl came out of Planned Parenthood very upset.  I spoke with her for a few minutes and gave her info and then her friend grabbed her hand and whisked her away.  I hope she makes the right choice!  I could tell that she did not want to go through with the abortion.

 

Please check back later as more reports come in!

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

DREAM SMALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beth  9am-11am

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

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


Cecilia 11am-1pm

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

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

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

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

Nancy 1pm-3pm

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

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

Michael 3pm-5pm

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

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

Lisa 5pm-7pm

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

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