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

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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!

figure-257426_960_720

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beth  9am-11am

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

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


Cecilia 11am-1pm

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

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

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

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

Nancy 1pm-3pm

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

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

Michael 3pm-5pm

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

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

Lisa 5pm-7pm

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

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Day 20: St. Mary of the Assumption (Glenshaw) and Holy Apostles Parish (South Hills)

Do your friends know?

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?”. Tim and PS1Would 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…”IMG_2447

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.

Tim B. 

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

Day 20 Ginny and SonFrom 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.”Day 20 Ginny 2

“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:

Day 20 Beth S and one“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:
Day 20 Nikki Lisa Bill“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 Day 20 Nikki 1watched 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 Day 20 Joe and Hankfilling 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 very angry young man made sure (multiple times) to express his “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…”

DAY 19 THANK YOU, People of God Covenant Community; Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon; CMU Catholic Newman Club; Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church, Zelienople; Carmelite Nuns of Erie; Carmelite Nuns of Loretto; Passionist Nuns of Pittsburgh; Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Let’s listen to what some great minds have said about the mystery of BEAUTY   

To me, team work is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.  You become selfless.

Mike Krzyzewski 1947

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir 1838 – 1914

I am among those who think that science has great beauty.

Marie Curie 1867 – 1934

O, thou art fairer than the evening air clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.

Christopher Marlowe 1564-1593

A great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.

Pablo Neruda 1904 – 1973

By plucking her flowers you do not gather the beauty of the flower.

Tagore 1861-1941

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1794 – 1822

___________________________________

This is the beauty of the soul

  • the splendor of the light of human reason,
  • of divine reason and wisdom,

breaking forth from the soul to give life and beauty to the actions of man.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

___________________________________

fall blog 3 woman

The soul has a double principle of order;

  • the reason of man
  • the reason and wisdom of God

Both of these carry with them the notion of light, of clarity, of splendid illumination.

  • The one is the light in the hands of a wayfarer, guiding each of his steps, sweeping about the dark world around him in a constant revelation of truth, of goodness, of
  • The other is the powerful creative beacon that calls into being the path followed by the pilgrim man, that creates the beauty he sees, and that calls him home to the source of all beauty.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

Sin is the enemy of beauty, for sin is the enemy of virtue.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

We can picture venial sin graphically as the ropes that securely bind the hands and feet of a man; they do no intrinsic injury to man’s ability to act, but certainly they hinder his activities.

There is, then, a grave danger in venial sin, the grave danger of slipping bit by bit into mortal sin and so into the eternity of hell’s punishment.

Walter Farrell, O.P.

___________________________________

These statements are based on the SUMMA THEOLOGICA by Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (1225 – 1274).  They are not easy reading.  Chesterton can explain why this complexity is inevitable.

When once one believes in a creed, one is proud of its complexity, as scientists are proud of the complexity of science.  It shows how rich it is in discoveries.  If it is right at all, it is a compliment to say that it’s elaborately right.  A stick might fit in a hole or a stone a hollow by accident.  But a key and a lock are both complex.  And if a key fits a lock, you know it is the right key.

G. K. Chesterton  ORTHODOXY

___________________________________

One early Friday morning this fall I was witnessing at PP.  I noticed a young woman standing alone nearby, finishing a cigarette.  I removed my prolife sign and walked over.  As we talked, I offered her our little yellow and black card that outlines Pittsburgh area free help for crisis pregnancy.  Although she accepted the card, she walked into PP telling me that she “was just going in for a checkup.”

Was it was outrageous of me to bother this young woman whom I did not know?  But I do know her.  And, what I offered her was just a pin point of light.

I offered her our quite small, two sided, 2 x 3 ½ inch black and yellow card.

fall blog 3 side 1 card IMG_5391

fall blog 3 card side 2

The light of hope offered on this tiny card is available due to the beauty of the love of too-numerous-to-count volunteers who stand ready to help her and her baby in their crisis.

She and I had just begun to talk about beauty.  She deserves that as much as I do.  It is what her Father created her for.

fall blog 3 mom dad babyIMG_5382

___________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEANNIE Shift Manager/ Injured Reserve

A month ago I was cycling and was hit by a car.  Lying on the pavement immediately after the accident I was acutely aware of my surroundings—noises of traffic and pedestrians (a few had stopped to assist me), horns and radios…  I also heard the hysterical voice of the driver who hit me screaming that she had just “killed someone on a bike”…. I tried to do my best to let her know I was alive, but all I could utter was “I’m OK.  I’m OK.”  It was a truly chaotic situation.

As I lay waiting for help, and aware that I was unable to move,  I purposefully envisioned handing God my broken body.  I entrusted Him (again as always), to care for me in that very moment and all that would follow.   I suddenly felt a wave of peace.  I had no idea how hurt I was, or what lay ahead for me.  All that mattered was that God was in charge, and I trusted Him. Everything was going to be OK!

The EMTs soon arrived and the severity of my injuries became clear as I described my pain to them.  Trust in the Lord prevailed and allowed me to calmly explain who I was, what had happened, and who the police should be in contact with.   I’ve always believed I’ve trusted in God, but that evening, as I lay broken on the pavement, trust in Him brought me holy peace in body and soul.

As my fellow shift managers witness for life on the sidewalk, I pray that you can each feel the true peace that comes from turning this effort for LIFE over to God.  Place into God’s hands all those who the devil has conscripted – He alone can bear the burden of this holy battle; TRUST HIM alone!

With gratitude for the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I unite my daily prayers to yours as we labor to build the Kingdom of God on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood.  Trust brings Peace!

In Life

___________________________________

DEE sends us GOOD NEWS.

The Carmelite Nuns of Erie PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!!

We are remembering the 40 days of Prayer in our prayers this month, grateful for all the prayers, efforts and sacrifices made by the participants on behalf of God’s little ones under attack in what should be the safest place for them — their mother’s womb.

Yes, our battle is not with earthly powers, but with the principalities of darkness, the kind that Jesus said could only be cast out by prayer and fasting.  God grant success to your work of love and may Our Lord ever be your strength and Our Lady your comfort in this struggle for life. The fast of our Order is September 14, until Easter, so we are with you.!!!”

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Carmelite Nuns of Loretto PA 

40 Days for Life is being remembered in the prayers and sacrifices of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Be assured of our prayerful support during Pittsburgh’s 40 “Days for Life Campaign September 27 – November 5.  May St. Therese obtain choice graces to assist mothers, save babies and end abortion!

God bless you!

Mother John of the Cross, OCD, and Community

Passionist Nuns of Pittsburgh

We join with 40 Days for Life in praying that pregnant mothers will love and cherish these babies ande there will be an end to abortion.

May God bless your work and save many babies and keep all of you safe during your vigils.

While we pray for this intention throughout the day, we pray especially during Holy Mass at 8:00 and from 5 – 6:30 PM during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every day.

Sincerely in Christ,

Sister Mary Ann, C. P.

Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

We will be praying the daily Rosary in community for your intentions. The Sisters will do penance privately.

___________________________________

fall blog 3 baby

 

NOTES FROM THE OTHER SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

After learning several days ago that the People of God Covenant Community had adopted this morning’s vigil hours, I found myself really looking forward to my shift on the sidewalk.  It’s so uplifting to spend time with men and women who truly love the Lord and strive to live in a way that pleases Him.  Thank you to Pat, Ben, Bill, Patty, and Tom for the prayers, songs, witness, and fellowship.  And thank you to Sunday regulars Vince and Dan who have become like family…it’s always wonderful to share the vigil with you.  Lots of passers-by were happy to accept the yellow resource cards, the dear woman who always asks about Sally stopped to chat, and Bill came by to pray on his way to church.

FALL BLOG 3 JENMCD

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

Thanks to the wonderful people from St. Bernard’s who came today.

Marilyn and Thomas
Marilyn and Thomas
Phil and Rich
Phil and Rich

___________________________________

SUE 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

I arrived to the sight of the large, very faithful “P” family who hail both from my home parish and from People of God Covenant Community. I’ve been blessed to share vigil hours with this family and Community in the past, so I knew they have a very effective way of bringing the Holy Spirit to the vigil. This time was no exception! More members of the Community joined us as the shift went on, and we sang and prayed the whole time. The light breeze blowing this morning was not the only wind blowing at the vigil today – the Holy Spirit made His presence known!

About halfway through our shift, a very nice couple respectfully approached us and asked if I could please move my van, which I had parked on Liberty in front of PP on the west side. The Acro Cats bus was back in town! I moved the van, and the couple pulled the bus up and parked it, leaving its motor running for the rest of the shift. As it did recently during the vigil, the phrase on the bus “foster and rescue” (meaning cats) struck one of our participants as ironic. We prayed that it might strike passersby the same way – specifically, how much more important fostering and adopting humans is than doing the same for cats.

A woman came by asking for literature regarding rape and domestic violence. She noted the card I gave her that listed contact info for women’s shelters and said she would try calling them, and I assured her they would have the information she needs. I did not get her name. Please pray for her.

People of God Covenant Community Faithful Prayer Warriors
People of God Covenant Community Faithful
Prayer Warriors

___________________________________

DAVE 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

These three prayer warriors prayed the rosary with great fervency. It was like a shower of grace that people walked through as they went to the cat circus. The cat bus was pouring out some fumes but, luckily there was a nice breeze.

Saint Gregory Parish
Gary, David, Barb, St. Gregory Parish

___________________________________

JOE 5-7 SHIFT MANAGER

Regulars Jim and Cathy from St. Gregory’s in Zelienople joined me for my shift. Beautiful people, beautiful souls, pleasant shift. How delightful to witness for our Jesus.

All glory and praise is his.

___________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

 

 

 

 

Day 18: STRETCHING EXERCISES

Kettlebell, Stretching, Fitness

STRETCHING EXERCISES

Thankfully, I don’t get anxious about many things.  But last week I was having a minor case of “high anxiety.”  I had taken a leap of faith and made a commitment to my parish to take on something that was completely new to me – and which would require a great deal of preparation.  And then, the very next day, something unexpectedly happened which all of a sudden ate-up a large chunk of the precious little free-time I have in my life which I had set aside to make those preparations.

How did I react?  Not well.  And not with a whole lot of trust in God.  In fact, the one scripture verse which kept coming to my head was this one:  You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped. (Jer 20:7)

But as I shared my frustration with some trusted friends – and tried to pray about it – things began to unfold in such a way that I got to the point where I could see that things were going to be alright.  And just as I was beginning to see this I read Jen’s post from Friday which began with the following scripture quote:

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7

Ah, yeah.  I needed to hear that.

So what’s my take-away from this?  No one involved with 40 Days for Life is without some level of trust in God.  In fact, I would say that by the very fact that we regularly stand on a public sidewalk and very publicly pray for an end to a practice that many see as a “sacred” right, have a level of trust which is significantly higher level than that of average Christian.

But here’s the thing.  Remember the expression:  “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to let you stay that way?”  You see where I’m going with this?  God uses our trust in him to do great things.  But eventually, he asks us to grow in that trust.  And when we let Him stretch us, we can do even greater things in Him.

Pat M.  

AND NOW, ON TO OUR REPORTS…

Choices mobile sonogram
Choices mobile sonogram
Saturday 7-9 prayer warriors
Saturday 7-9 prayer warriors

Saturday mornings always start peacefully.  It’s dark and there are few on the streets.  Today we were extra blessed as the streets did not have the pink vested pp escorts which are the norm for Saturday morning.  We took this to mean they were not performing abortions. Praise God as many babies were spared today. We were also blessed to have the Choices Pregnancy Services’ mobile sonogram today at the vigil.  A woman was entering the clinic and we offered her the services of the mobile unit.  She said she had to go into the clinic for something but would consider the mobile.  About a half hour later she came back out and we escorted her to the mobile.  The prayers of those from St Maria Goretti, Living Hope Church and the Saturday regulars were heard today.

Tim B., 7-9

 

Dan and Pat from St. Maria Goretti
Dan and Pat from St. Maria Goretti

I shared shift-managing duties today with Sue D. — always a wonderful pleasure.  We were thrilled to see NO ESCORTS on duty this morning!!!!  This can only mean there were few or no abortions scheduled this morning.  Indeed, although PP was open, it did not appear that anyone going in today was abortion bound.

We were blessed to have Dan and Pat with us from St. Maria Goretti.  Eloisa, from a Spanish church, sang beautiful hymns in Spanish.  I was blessed by her singing and her vibrant faith as I stood with her.  She challenged me to learn some Spanish.  Funny that I’ve been toying with that idea myself.  We’ll see!

“M,” a young man who works at the library downtown, stopped by on his way to work.  He told me about his girlfriend who adopted her nephew due to the birth mother having drug problems.  He said the little two-year-old, obsessed with cars and trains, is the light of his life and that to his surprise, he has found himself wanting more children.  He told me he himself is pro-life but he sees reasons to keep abortion legal for people for whom children would be too much of a problem.  Please pray for a complete pro-life change of heart for him and also for marriage and more children for him and his girlfriend.

Later, “L” came by with his girlfriend, “S,” who is in the very early stages of pregnancy.  They are both homeless.  L was very sad and was encouraging S to have an abortion.  We talked to her and she does not seem to be abortion minded,  although she is still deciding.  She told us she has six children in the foster care system whom she wants to get back.  Please pray that L and S will choose life for their child and seek help via the abundance of information we gave them.  We do see L on a semi-regular basis, so I believe they will be back around and will be in touch.

Keep praying,  and, as Beth S. always says, “just keep going!”

For Life,

Sue M., 9-11

Pictures from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Robinson who was there from 11-3.

Image-1 - Copy

 

Image

We had quite a bit of negativity but a few encouraging people as well. It was a new experience for me to pass out the cards and precious feet. One young man was impressed with the fetal models. I gave him one and he asked if he could please have another. He also wanted 2 pins and 2 cards. Dean and I were able to enlighten him on what PP does and doesn’t do and their blob of tissue lie. I think he probably wanted the things to give to other people.
There were a few different occasions where people who looked middle class, educated, and possibly pro-life turned out to be BRUTAL. There is evil out there. A nice young man stopped and asked if we were a pro-life group. He had never heard of 40 Days but thanked us and shook our hands and told us his mother is director of a pro-life pregnancy center in California.
Sharon G. (substitute SM), 11-1
Holy Trinity in Robinson
Holy Trinity in Robinson

First up, thanks Bill for allowing God to use you in the way that He sees fit. Second, thanks to the group from Holy Trinity that showed up in big numbers and prayed strong today. One passerby took issue with the group using the name of Mary in prayer. One of Trinity’s women engaged him in conversation for a while. I prayed for a peaceful outcome and for wisdom if the situation deteriorated. Thankfully it didn’t and thank God for giving me the sense to know when to act and when not to act.
Lastly, thanks Billy who came to relieve me as shift manager. While he had participated before, this was his first time as a shift manager. Next time he will be a seasoned pro.

Dean D., 1-3

Nadine
Nadine
This was my first time ever being a shift manager and I didn’t exactly know what to do, so I pretty much was pretty laid back.
I was standing today with a wonderful lady named Nadine from Edgewood and a lovely Pastor from Mt. Zion Baptist Church from the Butler area named Ben, a father of 4.
I came when the previous group was praying I want to say a Litany to End Abortion and the one Psalm that stood out was Psalm 139:13-14.  “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderful made. Wonderful are your works.”

From 3 to 5, there weren’t any incidents, there weren’t many people going into the clinic, a lot of them leaving the clinic. We had a couple conversations with people passing by.  One gentleman came back and asked us “What are we doing here?” My response was “For babies, their right to life.” I think that’s important that people remember why we are here, we are doing this.  Not because we want to be better than people, but because we care about the unborn. Another girl came and read one of the signs as I approached her to give her a card, she said she was pro-choice she walked away, and then another woman came up and started discussing her thoughts and said it was just a fetus in the womb. I walked back and forth talking to both of the volunteers and the time just went quickly.  I got to hear a story from Nadine about I suppose one of the volunteers who was in the military who almost lost his baby from his wife while in the military, and it just made me think this man who couldn’t leave understood what it felt like to be trapped which most of the girls who look for abortions feel like. Just also hearing that it’s good to have guys here standing for babies when most don’t think we should have an opinion really feels good.

Thanks again for allowing me to lead for you all,
Billy L., 3-5

Pastor Ben from Zion Baptist in Prospect (near Butler) stood from 3 to 6:30
Pastor Ben from Zion Baptist in Prospect (near Butler) stood from 3 to 6:30

 

 

 

 

 

Day 17: Thank you to St. Thomas More Church and Individual Volunteers!

king-kong-394442_1920

When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare that made me dread going to sleep at night.  I dreamed repeatedly that an enormous statue of King Kong stood in my backyard and that it came to life every night at sundown.  The only way to prevent King Kong from eating my family was to pull down each window blind in our house so he couldn’t see that we were inside.

In the dream, as soon as it started to get dark, I would run around the house screaming for my parents to close the blinds (since I was too short to reach them myself.)  But everyone in my family was in a trance-like state, moving in slow motion with smiles frozen on their faces, completely oblivious to the danger and my distress.  I think the worst part of the dream was not my impending doom but my powerlessness to make anyone see what was happening.

I know you can relate.

No, not the part about the King Kong statue in your backyard coming to life…but the frustration of knowing that something awful is about to happen and being powerless to convince others of the danger.  We experience it all the time at the vigil–whether it be in a conversation with a passer-by who just can’t acknowledge that abortion hurts women; or worse yet, when we are unable to stop a couple from passing through those dark doors on an abortion day.  It’s agonizing to be aware of the physical and spiritual harm that happens inside Planned Parenthood while so many pass us by in a trance-like state, oblivious to the danger and unable to hear our desperate cries.

Our Heavenly Father speaks to us about feeling powerless through His Scriptures:

“…but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Cor 12:9-10

 I have to admit that I don’t like this passage.  I don’t fully understand yet why God works in this manner.  But… I’ve seen it in action.   I bet you have, too.  So I know we can TRUST God to take our sidewalk offering of sorrow and frustration and use it for marvelous things despite the fact that we can’t always perceive it.  Please go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ and sign up to join us–or just show up when you can!

 

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM

Richard, Al, and Sally
Richard, Al, and Sally 

 

Bob and Rose
Bob and Rose

 

Jenifer, Bill
Jenifer and Bill

 

Bob and Ryan
Bob and Ryan

Rose and Bob arrived even before Diane left early this morning.  Bob belongs to St. Thomas More Parish. He and his fellow parishioners are scheduled to sponsor our prayer vigil in front of PP all day today, 7 – 7.  This being Friday the 13th, Rose shared that she is the 13th of 13 children.  What an awesome gift she is as she brings the fragrance and beauty of her witness to early Friday mornings in downtown Pittsburgh in front of PP.

Al, Sally and Richard shared their happy glow and, in its light, we looked across Liberty Avenue and noticed Bill and Jenifer.  Jenifer prefers to witness over there to give her a chance to share the prolife riches more easily.  “People seem more ready to stop and talk,” she said.

Bob and Ryan shared a masculine vibe as they spoke with a young man who stopped to report that he has no children, but would welcome a steady place to call home.

The women going into PP went in pairs.  Two were accompanied, each by a young man.  Another was a duo that looked like a mother and daughter.  It is awful to be there when a woman opens the door and goes in for an abortion.  She will be hurting when she comes back out of those doors, her baby left behind in the trash.  Some of her hurt can probably be easily remedied – Tylenol and quiet time on the couch.  Her baby’s dying pain can be remedied – rest in the arms of God.  The pain she feels for having chosen abortion will haunt her.  Her heart will suffer at having loved ones choose the “easy way out”.

 

Sue, 11 AM-1 PM

Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen
Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen

I arrived to wonderful St. Thomas More prayers Carolyn, Karen and Chuck! St. Thomas More adopted the entire vigil today! Shortly after Chuck left, Roseanne and Tony came to say the rosary. A little into that, Ginny came from St. Bernard’s…the South Hills was well represented today! The picture shows Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen! It was beautiful weather and we got a lot of positive support and some negative as well. Unfortunately PP was busy enough today…I saw two girls leave and one actually jumped up to click her heels and say how happy she was. Maybe she feels relief right now, but I wonder if she will ever reflect on this day. If so, hopefully she turns to Rachel’s Vineyard or a similar program! We also had a young man knock over the vigil sign and the baby models went flying. I called the police and they were able to track him down and issue a citation!!  Shift manager Lisa came early for her shift with her beautiful daughters. As I was leaving a first time vigil participant (Ken?) arrived. It is so nice to see the new faces as people come to understand the magnitude of this tragedy and take action!

Lisa C. 3-5 PM

day 17 6th shift

Quiet for us on our shift but with abundant prayers in conjunction with the request of Our Lady of the Rosary on the 100th Anniversary of her appearance in Fatima asking for prayers for the entire world!!!
Thank you, Ginny as well as Bill from St Phillip, Gerry from St Thomas, and the youngsters from St Monica. We love and thank you all for sacrificing your time for others and witnessing for our loving, merciful God!

Pat, 5-7 PM

Julie
Julie

 

Mary
Mary

This was one of the quietest and most prayerful evenings I’ve ever had on a Friday night.  Mary was with me for the first hour and we spent most of it in prayer.  She hadn’t even signed-up to come down, but just wanted to pray a rosary or two down here before going to the event at St. Paul’s Seminary this evening.  She was, she said, moved by the Spirit and by the fact that today was the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun which took place at Fatima.  Had she not been there I would have been alone for that first half hour.  

I was praying alone for about 10 minutes when I was surprised by former Shift Manager Julie – also a member of St. Thomas More.  We also prayed together for the bulk of our time as well.  The only strange incident was that, as we were praying, Julie noticed that the pink sandwich sign was on its side.  We hadn’t heard anything so we reasoned that someone decided to put it that way quietly.  Oh well.  

 

Please check back later for more from the sidewalk…

Day 16: Thank you to the K of C Manordale Valley, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard Catholic Church (Gibsonia), SS. Simon and Jude, and Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church!

Our Heavenly Father…

has GREAT plans for YOU.

10-12-17 door opened

 

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

Luke 11:9-13

 

10-12-17 joy in the Holy Spirit 2

 

In the first photo above, we see an open door.  If we knock and the Lord opens up to us, I would really hope that what He opens to us is NEW and BEAUTIFUL.  That is what I see in this photo.  It may seem like a desert wasteland all around us, but just wait and see what happens once the Lord opens a door to us…. WOW.

May He continue to show us, through the power of His Holy Spirit, the GREAT and WONDERFUL plans He has for us as Our Father.  And His plans are for ALL of us…. the abortion-minded, the post-abortive, the abortion worker…. for ALL of us.  May we TRUST in His plans and be OPEN to them.  May we ask… seek… knock.

 

Shift Manager Reports

 

Nikki reports from the 7-9 shift:

It was a quiet and peaceful shift this morning. I was very blessed to share the sidewalk with a wonderful group of knights from the Manordale Council in Murrysville. Thank you to Don and Dennis and the others who came! Thursday morning regular, Peg, was also there, and of course Bill stopped for a while. I don’t recall any comments, either positive or negative. I think most people are still half asleep during the early morning hours, but it was a privilege to be there! I gratefully passed the torch to Judy and Chuck when they arrived for the 9 to 11 shift.  Thank you everyone, for your prayers and witnessing! We are making a difference!

day 16

day 16 manordale

Faithful Judy and Chuck come for the 9-11 shift
Faithful Judy and Chuck come for the 9-11 shift

 

Lisa K. reports from the 11-1 shift:

It was wonderful to have the St. Richard group with me to pray today… thank you, ladies!

One thing that struck me today was… how mean and angry people can be.  It’s sad, really.  We are there to help… to be a refuge, to be humble…. and I know that we don’t always act perfectly or say things perfectly… we might forget something important we wanted to say to someone…. there are all kinds of mistakes and imperfections, but that’s being human.  It certainly shouldn’t elicit meanness or anger.  But it does, continually.

I realize that much of the anger comes from people who are post-abortive, and still hurting.  But I wish they would know that healing and help is available…. even for them, who might think it’s “too late” for them, since they’ve already had abortions.  But God knows their situations perfectly.  He always shows up right on time.  His healing has no expiration date.

I pray for all of the hurting men and women out there who haven’t yet accepted God’s healing.  Perhaps they will have the inspiration to ask, seek, and knock… as we read about in the passage above.

 

Look at the holiness radiating from this crew! Thank you to Jill, Cheryl, Beth Ann, Margie, and Marilyn!!
Look at the holiness radiating from this crew! Thank you to Jill, Cheryl, Beth Ann, Margie, and Marilyn!!

 

 

Carolyn and Terry report from the 1-3 shift:

I told Carolyn today that I was so sorry that I FORGOT to post her report and photos from last Thursday!  So I’ll post them today:

First, Carolyn said about last week’s shift:

It was very rainy, we had a group of prayer warriors from Lutherans for Life.

Then, she added a few photos:

Two lovely prayer warriors with Shift Manager Carolyn (R)
Two lovely prayer warriors with Shift Manager Carolyn (R)

 

Thank you for your presence last week, ladies!!
Thank you for your presence last week, ladies!!

 

Two sweet ladies, Christina and Carolyn!
Two sweet ladies, Christina and Carolyn!

 

And now for THIS week’s photos from Carolyn… 🙂

 

Thank you to all who came to pray with us today!
Thank you to all who came to pray with us today!

 

God's blessings were abundant on the sidewalk today! Thank you all!
God’s blessings were abundant on the sidewalk today! Thank you all!

 

Rick reports from the 5-7 shift:

The Thursday 5-7 PM shift was prayerful and peaceful.  I would like to especially thank Johanna from St. Peters Church, Mike from the Greek Orthodox faith community, Tim from St. Maurice Church, and the faithful parishioners from the Reformed Church in Penn Hills, for their prayers and witness on behalf of unborn children and pregnant mothers in need.  May the peace and love of Christ be with all the vulnerable and defenseless, and may the hearts of all come to cherish God’s precious gift of Life!

God Bless!

Rick

 

 

10-12-17 dad and baby
“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Day 15…St. Raymond of the Mountain (Donegal), Corpus Christi (McKeesport) & Individual Volunteers keep the prayer vigil going today!

fish

So, you may be wondering what is up with the picture of the big fish…

All week long, during the daily readings at Mass, we have been following the story of the prophet Jonah…how he tried to run away from God’s command to preach repentance to the wicked Ninevites…and we read today how it all turned out for him.

This past spring, I was blessed to travel to Lancaster with a friend, to see the Sight & Sound musical production, JONAH.  You wouldn’t think that a musical production of this story would bring tears…and maybe I am more sensitive than most…but I cried my eyes out during the entire second half of the show!  What brought me to tears?  It was seeing the people of Ninevah REPENT!  I found myself wishing that I would see that same scene FOR REAL right here in Pittsburgh and in our nation!  These formerly proud, corrupt, selfish and immoral people were able to SEE their mistakes, when faced with impending disaster!  Instead of getting angry at Jonah…they HUMBLED themselves…dropping to their knees and pouring dirt over their heads…begging God to forgive them!  What a beautiful sight!  Oh, how I wish it would happen here and now!!!

repentance

I had a strange memory pop into my head when I woke up this morning. It was a recollection of a certain sin that I ALMOST committed when I was young.  I had no idea of right or wrong back then…and it was only God’s grace that kept me from it.  It occurred to me how LOST I was then, without God’s light, I was completely in the dark…just being pushed around by whatever wind happened to be blowing at the time.  This random memory made me think of the young people of today…how lost many of them are.  We need to pray for them…that they will open themselves to God’s truth so that his light can shine into their darkness.

The responsorial psalm today was, “Lord, you are merciful and gracious.”  Just as God forgave the people of Ninevah…and just as he forgave me…I believe he will forgive our nation…WHEN we humble ourselves and repent.  But before we can repent, we need to SEE the error of our ways.  That is what our presence in front of Planned Parenthood is doing. It is showing our neighbors the error of abortion.

From a meditation that I read yesterday by Sr. Wendy Beckett, my prayer is that we will, “Ask God to transform us, holding our helplessness up to him constantly”…and that “We will see, open-eyed, our weakness, and turn with constant TRUST to him…”

Here are the reports from the sidewalk today:

PLEASE NOTE: We need prayer volunteers from 5-7pm tomorrow, so that shift manager Rick doesn’t have to stand alone!  Please let me know if you can help!!!

Kathy managed the vigil from 7-9am and writes:

Tom and Diane faithfully deliver the vigil materials each day, pictured with regular participants, Peg and Terri
Tom and Diane faithfully deliver the vigil materials each day, pictured with regular participants, Peg and Terri

Rain didn’t disrupt Dianne’ s faithful delivery of 40 days materials.  Husband Tom accompanied Dianne today.  Thank you both.

Also thank you to Peggy, Terri, and Bill H for coming and praying today.  During the morning rush, we passed out some “precious feet” pins to some young men on their way to school.  Some “hellos” and “good mornings” were given and received.  

Peg, Bill and Terri
Peg, Bill and Terri

Time was spent in silent prayer and group prayer-a litany of the Precious Blood and other scripted prayers.  Terri helped lead us in singing hymns.  S M Cathy arrived to take the next two hours

Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11am and writes:

It was a quiet morning spent with Julie.  There were a few clients going in, as well as staff and others (meeting?).  We had quite a few pleasant greetings, smiles, and “thank you”s, no negatives.  A man stopped to get another “feet” pin and mentioned that his girlfriend had had an abortion, gave him the flyer for men.  While praying I looked up at the semi-circle above the door- from the left side it looks white.  I imagined the “Pieta” picture there.

Sheila was on-duty from 11-1 and was blessed to pray with the faithful group from St. Raymond in Donegal!  Thanks to them for driving such a distance to witness and pray!  Sheila writes:

Great group from St. Raymond of the Mountain in Donegal
Great group from St. Raymond of the Mountain in Donegal

I was joined by four prayerful parishioners from St. Raymond’s, along with Helen and Jeff.  Also, a young lady who was passing by prayed with us briefly as we said the rosary.  Thankfully, the rain stayed away during this very busy Wednesday afternoon.  The PP security guard was very friendly and a police cruiser was parked next to us for a good 15 minutes.  We were blessed by numerous passers by who thanked us for being there.  One man in particular was grateful for what we do, as his daughter was born at 30 weeks.

Chris reports from the 1-3 pm shift:

 

Chris wasn't alone!
Chris wasn’t alone!

Earlier in the week, Nikki posted a request for people to join me on the sidewalk during my second hour, as it looked like  I was going to be alone. As you can see from the picture, seven prayer warriors joined me.  God bless them!  We prayed the Rosary, a Divine Chaplet, and sang hymns.  There was little foot traffic in and out of PP, but two things are stuck in my mind from today’s shift- a nurse came outside in her scrubs with her surgical gloves still on… and while we were praying aloud, a man in his 20’s walked by and said, “Hail Satan!”.  Rachel immediately responded with, “We’ll pray for you.”.  He retorted, “Don’t bother.”  Well, we did bother, saying several prayers that God would touch his soul and come into his life. 

Barbara reports from the 3-5 shift:

As we arrived for our shift, Chris, 1-3 Shift Manager, greeted us. Father Steven, Pastor of Corpus Christie Parish, McKeesport, was already deep in conversation with a man who had stopped by.  Later, he generously led us in the Rosary; Glorious, then Sorrowful Mysteries.

Claire, sister of our recovering beloved Jeannie, had already arrived and planned to stay as we were leaving.

A large Greyhound sized bus was parked in the street in front of us, on the bookstore side of PP, with the motor running for our first hour and a half.

Who would have thought that Liberty Avenue could get even louder!

It was a challenge to keep together as we prayed. We endured.

Life is good.

Peace.

Richard and Barbara

Joe, Mike and Fr. Steve from Corpus Christi, with faithful prayer warrior Ginny
Joe, Mike and Fr. Steve from Corpus Christi, with faithful prayer warrior Ginny
Claire and Linda answer the call for empty hours!
Claire and Linda answer the call for empty hours!

Joe K. wrote about the 5-7 shift:

Started the shift with my brothers and sisters in life from Corpus Christi along with Claire who carried-over from the 3-5 shift.  Jim stopped by (as usual) on his way home from work.

The shift was very calm and positive, though the streets were busy with foot traffic and the Acro Cats (circus cats) Tour Bus parked and continued to run directly in front of us.  It made it difficult to pray together / talk, but not impossible.  In fact, during the end of the prior shift as Fr. Steve began to lead us in prayer the Tour Bus pulled out and left us to finish in quiet – divine intervention 🙂 ?

It’s also worth noting the synergy between Acro Cats and our movement as they encourage and support fostering, rescue, and adoption as we do, though they do it for felines.  I just couldn’t but help thinking of all of the excitement and interest of folks seeing the splashy tour bus and awaiting their show in the nearby theater if some of that could just be shared with our littlest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters???

The fetal models got a bit more looks today and I was able to hand out a few of the “Watch Me Grow” pamphlets to the interested.

The night ended quietly and dry – a beautiful evening vigil – and we had even been spared the rain that we all had been braced for…

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

Surrender = TRUST

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

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

pray-2408038_960_720

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

Charlene (7-9)

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

IMG_3296IMG_3295

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

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

 Beth (9-11)

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

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

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

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

catct

 

 

 

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

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

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

SM

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

Nancy wrote from the 1-1 shift:

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

Lisa wrote from her 5-7 shift:

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

 

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

day 13, 6th shift vince

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

day 13, 6th shift, johanna

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