Day 41- Our Closing Rally: Thank you all!

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And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

-Luke 17:5-6

 

 

 

 

Do we believe that we can trust God?  Can we trust Him that He will close down 933 Liberty Avenue permanently?  Can we EVEN trust Him to eventually do what we pray for during every 40 Days for Life campaign– to end abortion?

There’s only one answer.  Let’s NOT get it wrong.  If He is Who He says He is, then we must believe Him.  He is the only One Who is COMPLETELY TRUSTWORTHY.  Let us continue to put our trust and faith in HIM.

 

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We held our closing rally this past Sunday, November 6.  And a beautiful evening it was.  THANK YOU to all who joined us on Sunday, and all who participated in this fall campaign in any way.  We love and appreciate you all.

Some photos from Sunday evening’s closing event:

 

Fr. Jason leads us in prayer
Fr. Jason leads us in prayer

 

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This group brings light to the darkening sidewalk!

 

Lovely prayerful warriors. Thank you for your prayers!
Lovely prayerful warriors. Thank you for your prayers!

 

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We are so blessed to gather together in prayer!

 

Thank you to all of the young people who are involved! God bless you!
Thank you to all of the young people who are involved! God bless you!

 

Thank you also to the beautiful veterans of the pro-life movement. God bless you!
Thank you also to the beautiful veterans of the pro-life movement. God bless you!

 

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Participants join in prayer and song.

 

Fr. Jason's beautiful family joined us. Thank you!
Fr. Jason’s beautiful family joined us. Thank you!

 

Richard and Pastor Bryan officially close the vigil with their shofars
Richard and Pastor Bryan officially close the vigil with their shofars

 

 

 

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Thank You, Lord, for another 40 Days for Life.

 

Some photos from the potluck and fellowship:

 

Nikki addresses the participants
Nikki addresses the participants. What a Godly leader we have in Nikki!

 

 

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Sue and Kathy speak to us about Sidewalk Advocates. Training sessions are coming up! Contact Sue at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net, or Kathy at kathlaslow@yahoo.com for more information.
Sue and Kathy speak to us about Sidewalk Advocates. Training sessions are coming up! Contact Sue at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net, or Kathy at kathlaslow@yahoo.com for more information.

 

Meredith speaks about the Magee Project. To learn more, please contact her at themageeproject@comcast.net.
Meredith speaks about the Magee Project. To learn more, please contact her at themageeproject@comcast.net.

 

Fr. Jason speaks at Catholic Charities
Fr. Jason speaks at Catholic Charities

 

Fr. Jason and his SWEET eight-yr. old daughter, Martha. Martha was very ill, near death, and she and her family thank all who prayed for Martha's healing and recovery! Thank You, Lord, for restoring Martha to health!
Fr. Jason and his SWEET eight-yr. old daughter, Martha. Martha was very ill and possibly near death, and she and her family thank all who prayed for Martha’s healing and recovery! Thank You, Lord, for restoring Martha to health!

 

Nikki gives gifts to Shift Managers, and is then presented with a gift from the 40 Days team. Thank you, Nikki! We love you!
Nikki gives gifts to Shift Managers, and is then presented with a gift from the 40 Days team.

 

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Thank you, Nikki! We love you!

 

Pastor Bryan ends with a blessing over us! Thank you, Pastor Bryan!
Pastor Bryan ends with a blessing over us! Thank you, Pastor Bryan!

 

It was a wonderful campaign with SIX confirmed saves, and three turn-aways!!  Thank You, Lord!  At least six lives who will change the world, each in their own unique way.

Speaking of lives who were saved, we want to share a recent photo of Carrieta and her beautiful baby girl, Adriel.  Carrietta and Adriel are pictured with the new car that our 40 days family helped to buy in Jamaica!  Nikki thought it would encourage you all to see that Carrieta was able to get the car thanks to your generosity. Thank you and God bless you!

 

God is at work in their lives! He moves in many mighty ways!
God is at work in their lives! He moves in many mighty ways!

 

One last thing for you to check out: Pittsburgh was mentioned in the national 40 Days blog today (Day 41)!  Check it out here:

https://40daysforlife.com/2016/11/07/pittsburgh-pennsylvania-5/?inf_contact_key=03ce833ac285ca9bbefa37cef07a0cce30e9a8e2255a71945d017e6a5394baf7

 

 

God bless you all!  Remember to trust the Lord.  Until next time, dear friends. 

Have a blessed few months!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 40: St. Regis (Trafford), Oakland Prayer Group, Catholic Men’s Fellowship (Armstrong County)

I will miss you, 40 Days for Life!

 

Today on Liberty Avenue in front of PP we watched the end of the EQT Pittsburgh 10-Miler, the finish line of which was a couple of blocks down, so our “audience” today was mainly runners.  Lots of them.  So it turned out that Pat, who subbed in as shift manager this morning for Jen for the 7-9a shift, ironically ended up stealing his own thunder by blogging yesterday about finishing up a race!!!

So we are all done.  For now.  I consider that every single 40 Days for Life campaign we participate in is invaluable to our cause.  God sees every one of us and hears every single prayer uttered on that sidewalk.  In His own time, He will see to it that our prayers for the closing of Planned Parenthood and conversions of all involved are answered.  We know this.  We just keep participating, witnessing, praying, and reaching out until that great and glorious day.

 

 

 

Back to my comment regarding missing 40 Days for Life.  I acknowledge that normally, praying in front of Planned Parenthood is not something that a person “misses.”  It’s not like it’s a coveted mode of entertainment, diversion, or relaxation in any sense at all.  I just wanted to say that I, as a year-round weekly volunteer with Sidewalk Advocates for Life at PP, will miss the wonderful company and support of my fellow 40 Days for Life participants.  It feels so much more secure to witness on the sidewalk and to reach out to abortion-minded folks when I am surrounded by my family of faithful, praying pro-life people.  It gives me so much more confidence.  Yes, until our next 40 Days vigil during Lent – if necessary (if PP is not closed before then) – I will miss you all.

To that end, here comes a commercial!  Kathy L. will be conducting a local training session for Sidewalk Advocates for Life on Sunday afternoon, November 20, from 1:00-5:30.  It is a video-based training consisting of four parts, with breaks in between for questions, conversation, and refreshments.  The cost per person is $20, payable to PCUC, who sponsors us as a member of the Sidewalk Advocates for Life national organization; the cost covers your workbook and also contributes to the cost of national membership.  I will have — or “HAD,” depending on when you are reading this — a sign-up sheet at the closing rally tonight for those interested in attending.  If you did not sign that sheet, please let Kathy or me, or Nikki (if you don’t have our contact info), know if you are interested in attending.  And if you are on the fence or unable to commit at this time, still contact us – we will be having more training sessions in the new year, so you will have further opportunities to join us.

That said, before we get to the stories and photos, I would like to thank Nikki, Patty, Diane and Tom, Marian, and the ENTIRE 40 Days planning/organizing team for yet another job extremely well done.  You folks simply amaze me – year after year, vigil after vigil, you put together a seamless campaign.  If there have ever been any quirks or issues, I sure haven’t seen them, and I’m sure I can speak for most everyone else in that regard.  May GOD BLESS YOU ALL and provide you with wonderful, blessed, relaxing, enjoyable holidays with your families!!!

 

Pat M. covered 7-9a today, and he shared this photo and these thoughts:

Vince (St. Sebastian) with Yolanda & Albert (St. Regis)
Vince (St. Sebastian) with Yolanda & Albert (St. Regis)

Today was my day to stand with my fellow parishioners and brother Knights of Columbus from St. Regis Parish in Trafford.  But as I arrived, I realized that we had been thrown a bit of a curveball.  As I came into town via Liberty (due to the closure of the Parkway East), I learned that our dear city was holding the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler this morning.  Oh joy.  So, after I moved my car from its nice (and free) spot right in front of the vigil and into a parking garage, I realized that my fellow parishioners would have trouble getting down there — which I’ve since learned was the case.  But Albert and Yolanda made it once again.  [I think they’ve been to the vigil each time our parish has signed up.]  And so was Vince from St. Sebastian in the North Hills.  It’s always a pleasure to pray with him.  

Once again, I experienced no negative comments and we did have some people who expressed their support and thanks.  

 

Mary L., Sue M., and Patty M.
Mary L., Sue M., and Patty M.

I (Sue M.) managed the 9-11a shift today, arriving to the strains of loud hip-hop dance music, which was blasting a few blocks down at the race’s finish line.  At first I was concerned that the music would be a deterrent to our focusing on prayer, but Vince P. and I, and then Mary L. and I, prayed aloud, which thankfully enabled us to concentrate.  Despite our small numbers this morning, a huge percentage of the runners looked over at our signs.  We had a few negative reactions, but mostly positive.  The foot traffic on the sidewalk seemed to consist mostly of folks who were watching the race and cheering on their friends and relatives.  No negative comments from the sidewalk traffic. 

 

Trish M. covered 11a-1p today.  She writes:

Today was much nicer than last Sunday – last Sunday it rained my entire shift and the couple with me sat in my car for half hour.

Alicia from St. Paul has been ministering to a woman who was robbed and a homeless man. The weather was nice. Liberty Avenue is closed for a race and a Houdini exhibition.

  

More stories and photos will be added as they come in.

 

May God bless ALL of you and keep you in His tender care!

For Life,

Sue M.

As the Gnome Goes

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JOIN US

CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION

40 DAYS FOR LIFE PITTSBURGH FALL 2016

This Sunday, November 6, 6:30 – 9

Meet on the Sidewalk at

Planned Parenthood at 6:30 for PRAYER AND SONG

and immediately following

POTLUCK SUPPER

Catholic Charities 212 9th Street, 15222 Downtown Pittsburgh

_____________________________________________________________

THANK YOU

Saturday Coming to Pray

Saints John and Paul 7-8, 10-11

Guardians for Life 8-10

Saints John and Paul

Saint Alexis Catholic Church, Wexford 11-3

Saint John Neuman Knights of Columbus, Steubenville 3-7

_____________________________________________________________

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Our gnome stood on the porch this morning, silent, bathed in sun, crowned with flowers, nestled in leaves and looking good!    He looked like he is supposed to.

We look like we are supposed to when we stand witness and pray in front of downtown’s abortion site.

We bundle up for the weather.  We women surrender concern for our makeup and hairdo as we return time after time to the sidewalk.  We are ready to share useful information, even though some people, only a few, hurl invectives, rush past and don’t care.

Powerful and admired people seem to control the national abortion conversation.  It could be easy to feel discouraged.

But I am sure that just as our gnome looks good, so do we…to the only One whose opinion matters…the One who is not fragile… Who listens as we speak from our heart.

What are human beings, that you make much of them, or pay them any heed?

You observe them every morning and try them at every moment!

How long before you look away from me, and let me alone till I swallow my spit?

If I sin, what do I do to you, O watcher of mortals?

Why have you made me your target? Why should I be a burden for you?”

Job 7:17-20

In time, in conversation He brings us in full circle to love.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! … You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Augustine of Hippo, (386)

Read the excerpts from Book One and Book Two.  

It is always a blessing to learn how our Father is busy melting hearts and dazzling minds.

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BOOK ONE Though I’d been with Planned Parenthood for eight years, I had never been called into the exam room to help the medical team during an abortion.  Cheryl poked her head into my office. “Abby, they need you.”   “Sure.”

I took the ultrasound probe.  “Okay,” the doctor said. “Just hold the probe in place so I can see.” Just like that, I was assisting in an abortion.

The cannula was inserted into the uterus.  At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of it.

Next the tiny foot started kicking. As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling. The cannula was being rotated by the doctor, and the tiny body was violently twisting with it.  The little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube. The uterus was empty.

I froze. From deep within me I knew, “Never again!”

I had invested myself, my heart, my career in Planned Parenthood because I cared about women in crisis.  From my first days, I’d told myself I was there to decrease abortions.  Not only had I been a leader in abortion efforts here in Texas, lobbying at the capitol, repeating clever talking points to the media, and running an abortion clinic, I’d even aborted two of my own children.  My sins were calling out to me.

I looked out my office window and saw two volunteers for Life standing on the other side of the fence. “We are here to help.  Let us help you.”  I’d heard them say that a thousand times.

In that moment, I saw with clarity. I am on the wrong side of the fence. Tears were pouring and my heart was hammering.  I grabbed my purse. I pulled out of the Planned Parenthood parking lot, then into the Coalition for Life parking lot as close to the back door as I could.  “I’ll call them and ask if I can come in.”

“I’d like to come in and talk to you guys.  I’m out here in your parking lot.  Can I come in your back door?  I don’t want anyone to see me.”  Sobs shook my whole body. When she came back on the line, her voice had gone really steady, like she was talking somebody off a ledge. “Abby, I’m opening this back door now.  Come in.”

They looked dumbfounded at seeing the director of the clinic their organization had been protesting for twelve years, sobbing, undone.

“Abby, how about if we pray for you.”  And before I knew it their heads were bowed and Shawn Carney was pouring out his heart to God, thanking Him for the work He’d been doing in my heart.

I felt the presence of Almighty God, the connection I’d been longing for over the past few years.  Once again the tears flowed – more deep cleansing tears. A dam deep inside of me had broken, and a torrent of guilt, grief, pain, remorse, shame, secrets and fear was bursting out.  It was a horrible, wonderful, frightening, cleansing gush of raw emotion.

Abby JohnsonunPLANNED, 2010, abridged

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BOOK TWO

“In this book I will demonstrate the following:

Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.

The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.

Darwin’s theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.

There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.

It is reasonable to have faith.

Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.

Atheism is motivated not by reason, but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.”

Dinesh D’Souza.  What’s So Great About Christianity, 2007

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THE PEOPLE

GOD

CALLS TO HELP

PEOPLE VULNERABLE TO ABORTION

ARE ALMOST

TOO NUMEROUS TO COUNT

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Tim, Shift Manager 7-9

Dozens came for the last Saturday morning vigil.

The team from Saints John and Paul arrived early in the dark and were joined by the Saturday morning regular prayers and sidewalk advocates.

Father Tim came along with a few dozen of the Guardians for Life from Indiana, Greensburg and the Knights from Uniontown. Fr. Tim lead in song and prayer.

Marian coming for the next shift said she could hear the prayers and song echoing down Smithfield street long before she got near to Liberty Avenue. What a beautiful witness.

We are also blessed by only a few women going into pp despite an abundance of escorts on both sides of the facility. Let’s hope and pray we turned a few hearts away today.

Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team Christine, Virginia, Bill, Joe
Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team
Christine, Virginia,
Bill, Joe
Prayer Witnesses Holy Family Parish
Prayer Witnesses
Holy Family Parish
SAints John and Paul Witnesses for Life
SAints John and Paul
Witnesses for Life
Knights of Colunbus Uniontown
Knights of Colunbus
Uniontown
Father Tim Prayer and Song Guardians for Life
Father Tim
Prayer and Song
Guardians for Life
Bill and Bill Saturday Regulars
Bill and Bill
Saturday Regulars

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Marian, Shift Manager 9-11

The Saturday morning shift is always bustling with activity.  The usual suspects were there as I arrived. If there is life to be defended Father Tim, the Guardians of Life and the Sidewalk Advocates show up.

Joining them on the 9 – 11 shift today were the faithful witnesses of Saints John and Paul!  Deacon Tom, Joseph, Gene, Carol and Barb took positions of prayer!

Robert L. from St. Mary’s in Moon Township came down on his own as he has been doing for many, many years.  He is a veteran of the street so to speak.  He explained the meaning of his last name. Depending on whether one is German or Chinese, his last name could mean “one who is left handed” or “forest”.  That conversation was a reality check once again about abortion…there is no handing down legacy when babies are aborted.

Ken made the trip in from Kittanning again… he is a “usual suspect” too.  It was heartwarming

to see Amy (with her three children and husband with the Guardians) and Ken smile as they greeted each other.  Home school families have a special bond.

We offered the baby models to those passing by.  One Gentleman (capital G) took two, then turned around and joined hands with me enclosing the two baby models in our hands. He offered loving words of prayer for the babies and those impacted by abortion.  Another older man also shared his concern for the unborn…and questioned how anyone could be a PP escort.

Once again…so many positives.

Judy, a Sidewalk Advocate had a brief conversation with a woman who took information then walked back to talk more.

The woman’s message was to keep the message of HOPE…for the women.  This woman also took Project Rachel and Silent No More information from me.

The escorts are also present on Saturday mornings.  Two left early…something must have been bothering them.

Diane is always searching to improve getting the message out.  She shared this link today.  Must view… we should have thought of that….

A feminist pro-life group of hundreds or more in Chile marched to Santiago government buildings but without signs or banners.  They instead amplified the pregnant marchers unborn children’s heatbeats and let that chorus of heartbeats be the only sound of the march.

Terri Marian, Shift Manager
Terri
Marian, Shift Manager

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Dean, Shift Manager 1-3

Thanks so much to the folks from St. Alexis and Saints John & Paul who prayed with me today.
A young man asked one of our prayer warriors if she thought she could end abortion by praying about it. YES. That’s why all of us are part of the 40 DFL family. We come together and lift our prayers to God, who will end abortion in His time.
As this campaign ends, let’s not be disappointed or discouraged that it hasn’t happened yet. It will.

St. Alexis Family Witness
St. Alexis
Family Witness
ProLife Witness Mary from St. Stephens
ProLife Witness
Mary from St. Stephens
Matthew and Julia Saint Alexis
Matthew and Julia
Saint Alexis

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Marshall, Shift Manager 3-5

The 3 to 5 shift had a small turnout yet we prayed to God through Rosaries and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Bev and Adam helped to pray and pass out flyers.
May God bless our work.  Have mercy on us.

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Joe, Shift Manager 5-7

Marshall Shift Manager Knight of Columbus
Marshall
Shift Manager
Knight of Columbus
Denise and Steve St. Joseph's, Coraopolis
Denise and Steve
St. Joseph’s, Coraopolis

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AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD

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Day 38: Lifting people Up in prayer: Ave Maria (Bentleyville) / Weirton Catholic Churches; Christ Church Ministries, Penn Hills 11-3; SS Peter & Paul 3-5 / Weirton Catholic Churches 5-7

 

 

 

Each day we meet so many people from the faith congregations, pedestrians, and those utilizing PP.  PP has an advertisement that states 89,000 Pennsylvanians depend on the healthcare that PP offers.  Those 89,000 people can do better than that.  The strategy of PP is deception.  There is no health nor care in an abortion facility  There is only physical and spiritual death.

As the 40 Days for Life campaign for Fall/Autumn 2016 comes to an end, abortion will not end.   Let us continue to lift our brothers and sisters up in prayer to the loving hands of God in order to end the abomination.

 

Chronicals 7:14 NIV     “14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Today’s post, dedicated to people… and their health and well-being, because 40 Days for Life witnesses know the truth that “there would be a lot less people to worry about if a lot more people would care”.  We know that people who walk by us feel the same way.

Flash back  Friday remembers: link  Up with People

 

 

Please join us:

We will gather at PP this Sunday 11/6 at 6:30 pm for our closing rally in front of PP,  followed by a scrumptious potluck at Catholic Charities, all are welcome!  Bring something to share.   People bond over food!!!  ( I liked Sue’s picture!)  You have been called!!

 

To bring people to the light and out of the darkness.   Little Baby-Pro life song

Psalm 24:  Lord, this is the people who long to see your face.

We the People are responsible.   We can put our trust in God.  Jesus is the only answer.

 

People report from the sidewalk!

Barb likes to talk to people!  7 am to 9 am

Daylight crept onto Liberty Avenue unannounced and unnoticed but definitely accompanied this morning.  As it arrived, we greeted Joan and Mike who represented Ave Maria Parish, Washington County, from 7 to 9 this morning.  “It was only an hour drive,” Mike said.  “We have come every spring and fall for years now.”  Joan is President of Washington County Pennsylvanians for Human Life.  “Among our other activities,” Joan noted, “we take the baby fetal models, 7 to 30 weeks gestation, to display at the Washington County Fair to educate people about life development at the early stages.  We also show them at Community Days at the Mall in the Fall and Spring. People are surprised that abortion is legal so late in pregnancy.”  At almost the same time, Al and Sally arrived.
Together we celebrated by sharing the Rosary, Sorrowful and Joyful mysteries.  Praying the Rosary on the sidewalk in front of PP is a different experience from praying in Church or your room at home.  Buses, people, winds and sun and rain and snow and darkness compete for your attention. 
Nonetheless, it feels just right.
Barbara, Shift Manager 7-9

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Sheila responds to people on the sidewalk! 9 am to 11 am

from-sheilakathy

Sheila reports some good news with the help of Sidewalk Advocate, Peggy!

During our shift, a mom and her young daughter agreed to speak with me before heading into PP.  The mom said they wanted to confirm if the daughter was pregnant.  Their comments led me to believe they were NOT abortion minded.  I recommended that they go to  Catholic Charities instead,  and they gladly agreed!  Wonderful Sidewalk Advocate PEG walked them down.  (Latest news from Sheila and Peggy- a baby is on the way!  Prayers for all for support and affirmation for the young woman and her mother.)

Also, a group of  middle school children walked past and marveled at the fetal model display.  One of the chaperones told them to “look straight ahead,” but the kids couldn’t help but look want to know more!  Sheila

People who stood with Regina… and Regina!  1:30 pm to 3 pm

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Wonderful Regina and Pastor Brian were there when I arrived for my 3 to 5 shift. They had done the earlier shift together and joyfully greeted me. It was great to see them! Nikki
bill
Bill makes a daily visit to pray and bless the area with Holy Water every day- not just during the campaign. We are thankful that when the great cloud of witnesses can’t be there, a few representatives show up!

Nikki took the 3 pm  to 5 pm shift this campaign.

 Without the love of God and people, Nikki would not have been able to do the things she does!

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Lisa, Esther and Nati stood and prayed with me during my shift.

My final  shift was a good one! The sky was bright blue, the sun was shining on us, as I prayed with Lisa and her two daughters from Saints Peter and Paul and Beaver. We had no negative comments and lots of positive comments. One thing I would note, before Lisa and her girls arrived I had about 10 minutes alone so I knelt on the sidewalk and prayed for a while. There must have been at least four people who stopped  when they saw me praying and did a double take. They looked at me then they looked at the building then they turned and looked at me again, reading my sign. I could tell they were just figuring out for the first time that this building is an abortion clinic. It made me realize how important our witness is!

Many young girls stopped to ask for fetal models. One teenage girl was walking by as we were praying and she just smiled and held out her hand showing us the two fetal models that she must have gotten from us at another time. I am thinking about all these seeds planted in these young hearts and minds because of our witness.
At the end of my shift a man about my age stopped to ask questions about abortion methods and fetal development. He had stopped briefly to look at the fetal model display earlier, but had walked away. He came back about five minutes later and told us that he was haunted by a video he saw of an abortion, and he wanted to know if it was real or not. From his description, it sounded like he was talking about the movie, The Silent Scream. It turned out that his girlfriend had aborted his baby when he was just 15 years old. At the time he didn’t even know what abortion was, but when he saw the video it really haunted him and he has not been able to get that out of his mind. We had a nice long conversation, I told him he has a child in heaven and that he could name his child.  I gave him a Silent No More brochure and a Rachel’s Vineyard brochure.

Soon after this Rick showed up to take my place and I left the sidewalk on my final 40 Days for Life shift. Thanks to everyone who has helped us to keep this important witness and ministry going!  Nikki   

(Please see the resource page under About on this website for the help Nikki mentioned in her post. The link to The Silent Scream is narrated by Dr. Bernard Nathanson-  an example of a repentant sinner as a former abortionist.)

Rick is praying with God’s people on the 5 pm to 7 pm shift!

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This dedicated group, led by Father Tony, came all the way from Weirton for the 5 to 7 shift with Rick

The Friday 5-7 PM Shift was prayerful and peaceful (other than a young man who walked by) and tossed one of the large pro-life billboards to the ground. Especially like to  thank Cindy and Mark from St. Paul, Mary Fr. Tony and Lori from Sacred Heart of Mary and Bridget from St. Joseph the Worker and Jim from St. Maurice for their prayers and witness for the unborn. 

God bless,

Rick

Thank you team!  Marian

Day 37: Thank you to Clarks Mills United Methodist Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburgh Promise, and our other prayer volunteers!

Dear friends, we are in need for someone to come and pray with
Shift Manager Sue on
Sunday, Nov. 6 from 10-11 AM.  Can you please join us?  If so, please sign up at www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh
Thank you!! 
united
But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
 
Philippians 3:7-8a
I was praying with this passage today, and it struck me that ANYTHING we do must be done BECAUSE we have a relationship with Our Lord FIRST.  Not in spite of that relationship, but BECAUSE of it.  We, representatives of 40 Days for Life, have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and THEREFORE can perform the humble ministry of standing on the sidewalk to pray for an end to abortion.  Once again, I go back to Pastor Stump’s words from our kickoff rally.  The battle is the Lord’s… we just have to show up.
 
Let us be not afraid to “show up,” because we know the Rock on Which we stand is Jesus Our Lord.
11-3-16-rock

Shift Manager Reports

 

Katie shared:
The only noteworthy thing to happen during my shift was a little girl stopping to ask for a fetal model.  Other than that, it was just rainy with only workers going in. (And the woman with the little girl who always goes in for about half an hour; I’m not sure if she’s a worker or what.) Jean from St. Bonaventure, Pastor Adam and Joe, whose church I can’t remember, were there, along with Marian and Pat on their way to work.
Thank you, Pastor Adam (center) for joining us this morning!
Thank you, Jean, Pastor Adam, and Joe for joining us this morning!

 

Marilyn shared:

Hooray, my last shift for this 40 Days for Life campaign, but the reality is that PP does not stop when 40 Days is over. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, women knowingly or unknowingly exterminate the wee precious lives growing in their wombs.  Pray for them.  That is what we have been doing all these 40 days, praying for the women, the men, the workers, the pedestrians.  Don’t stop praying just because this campaign is coming to a close.    
 
Mary Beth and Gemma, first timers, came to pray for a whole four hour shift today!  They represent The Promise “Pittsburgh’s Perinatal Palliative Care Initiative, a prolife program of Catholic Palliative Services committed to walking alongside families, who even with a poor prognosis for their unborn and newly born infants have embraced their journey with hope and optimism.”  http://www.catholichospicepgh.org/the_promise/ Regulars, Walt and Bob, stopped to pray as well.  Thank you all for coming out to pray on this rainy day.
 
I was fortunate that people were receptive to receiving information today.  Two young girls who went into PP and then came out were willing to stop and take information.  One of them was 10 weeks pregnant, so I gave her a fetal model and development stages literature.  She didn’t say much but was very receptive to taking it.  Her friend was happy to receive information against birth control.  A  mom with her young daughter wanted to go into PP for birth control so I explained to her that they perform abortions inside. I gave her the resource card and information on the dangers of birth control.  Her daughter was happy to receive a fetal model and lollipops.  
Another woman stopped by to share the good news that she was recently pregnant and was glad we were there. A man passing by stopped to talk and took resources with him to put out at his church.  Another woman who works in town stopped to see what we were all about. She took information too. I am very hopeful for the future. People do care.  God has a plan, and we all just need to do our little part to make this world a better place.  Be bold, speak out!  Life is what it’s all about!  Hope to see you at the closing rally this Sunday, 6:30pm at the vigil then on to Catholic Charities for fellowship.
 
God bless you,
Marilyn
 
Thank you for coming today, Mary Beth, Walt, and Gemma!
Thank you for coming today, Mary Beth, Walt, and Gemma!
Lisa shared:
 
Despite the rain for part of the shift, today was a time of JOY.  I am continually thankful for the wonderful people who we have the PRIVILEGE to pray with.  A big thank you to Barb and Joan, who have been my faithful prayer partners from 1-2 each Thursday!  And thank you also to our newcomers from The Promise, Gemma and Mary Ann.  You are beautiful women doing beautiful work (see Marilyn’s report above for info on their work)! 
And one more thank you to the good folks from Bentleyville, Pastor Paul, and the dear newlyweds, Shannon and Samuel!  Wonderful to meet you all, and pray with you!  You all bring me much joy.  God bless you all!
Seamus shared these great photos:
Pastor Paul, Shannon and Samuel from Christian Assembly of God in Bentleyville
Pastor Paul, Shannon and Samuel from Christian Assembly of God in Bentleyville
Kevin and Sundiana from CAPA join us singing and playing Amazing Grace!
Kevin and Sundiana from CAPA join us singing and playing Amazing Grace!
Pat shared:
Because substitute SM Jim W was there – along with his cousin Ron from St. Benedict the Abbot in Peter’s Twp. – I let him take the SM duties, giving me a chance to have a lot of silent prayer time.  One of the things that I reflected on today was how those fetal models, both the ones on display and the many we seem to be giving away recently, is how what we are doing now will change the future of the people who see and receive those models years from now.  A girl of 10 or 12 who takes one of those models home with her is going to remember that experience of feeling like she was holding a little baby in her palm.  And that’s going to change the way she thinks when she becomes older and has a friend who faces an unexpected pregnancy – or when she has one herself.  Those are the seeds of “a save” that we’re planting right now.  
While I was there praying off to the side, one of the employees came out who I had seen many times before.  She’s tall with brown hair, in her mid-30’s, and she smokes.  In all of the times I’ve seen her I can’t remember ever seeing her smile.  My thoughts turned to her and I felt great compassion towards her.  I actually envisioned being able to embrace her one day in a “welcome home” hug after she had finally made the decision to leave the abortion industry for good and return to God.  And then my imagination even allowed me to think about how what we are doing now – by our prayers, fasting, and public witness – may one day bring a former abortion worker to make a deathbed confession and beg God for his mercy.  What a beautiful vision of “a save.”
Pat M., 5-7
 
Thank you to off-duty Shift Manager Jim W, and his cousin Ron
Thank you to off-duty Shift Manager Jim W, and his cousin Ron
Thank you to a member of my parish, Jon (from St. John the Baptist in Plum), who wrote a brief reflection on the Right to Life that he asked me to share with you all:
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In today’s society, the word abortion has lost the horror and injustice that should be attached to it. The media and society has numbed our senses and reaction to the evil that is abortion.
 
The “right to life.” Have you ever really thought about this statement and what it entails? It is easy for us to dismiss it because we are all alive and no one has the right to kill us. But walk with me for few moments if you would. Imagine a world where someone has the right to show up at your house, cut your head off, rip your limbs apart and throw your remains into the trash, and simply go on with his/her day with no repercussions for what they have just done. And in some cases that person gets paid a hefty fee for killing you. This is a reality today and the murdering of unborn babies are in the millions.
 
Think about it, if you did not have the right to be alive would the issues of health care, gun control, foreign trade, or anything else in the world be important to you? Wouldn’t the right to be alive be your primary concern?
 
Every human being alive today was once a fetus in a woman’s womb, and the only reason you and I are alive today reading this letter is because no one interfered with the process of us growing into who we are today. Who is standing up for the unborn? As Christians, I believe it is our duty to do so.
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Day 36…A life is saved today as St. Joseph in Cabot and dedicated individuals bring Christ to the sidewalk!

For this is the will of my Father, says the Lord, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life.  John 6:40

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Seeing Christ.  

I thought about this today.  How does one SEE Christ?  Most days on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood I am struck by the hopelessness that I see in the faces of so many passersby.  And so I thought this morning about this passage and wondered to myself…how are the lost going to see Christ here in the city of Pittsburgh?

Are they going to see him in a powdered, pressed, puffed-up TV evangelist who is telling them that if they just give their lives to Christ (and send a few bucks while they’re at it),  their lives will be problem-free?

Maybe they will see him in the gangs that deal drugs in their schools…or their friends who are prostituting themselves for drugs.  Or will they see him in their parents who have lost all hope and are desperately clinging to whatever fragile comforts they can eke out of the world?

Where is Jesus, that He may be seen by those who live in darkness?

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He is in the Church, for sure!

So…maybe one of these lost souls, who has never been inside a church building before, will on a whim, decide to show up one Sunday morning and walk right up to the pastor and say, “I would like to see Jesus“.

Not likely.

How will they see Jesus and believe, and so receive eternal life?

 

How about if WE…who have Christ inside of us, GO to where the lost are?  What if we simply stand and be available if one of them decides to ask where we get our hope?

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

What if we have the opportunity to tell them that God is their Father who loves them, and that He wants the best for them, in this life and the next…and that He gave us an instruction manual so that we would know how to succeed?

We DO have that opportunity…every time we witness on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.

Maybe…if YOU come…someone will see Jesus and believe.

We need you to come tomorrow (Thursday) from from 3-5 pm (Seamus will be alone)!

(Please let me know if you can come during these hours…email me at nbruni@4odaysforlifepgh.com )

And we hope you also come to help us celebrate the closing of this 40 Days for Life!  Join us at Planned Parenthood this Sunday at 6:30 as we end the vigil with prayer and song…then walk to Catholic Charities for a pot-luck meal and social gathering.  Hope to see you there!

Now for the stories from the vigil today:

7-9 am Shift Manager Sue reports

We were soo blessed by the weather today! Last week required hats and gloves and this week, not even a coat. Diane was there when I arrived and had everything set up! Marian stopped on her way to work….and then there were 2, Katie and i with our 2 edged “sword” of prayer and printed handouts of facts/help! ….and then there were 3, Sue M stopped and helped us finish off the rosary! A lot of workers entered pp, but not as many clients as last wednesday. We think about 3, but only  one accepted information.  Sue M left for work and 2 more prayer-s came…..bringing our total to 4! Close to 9am, the grade school had a fire drill and about 100 middle school aged kids lined the sidewalk, stretching in front of pp and beyond. A lot of them were clamoring for baby models and Katie gave out some whose teacher would allow them! It was an upbeat and energetic way to end the shift!

Sidewalk Advocate Katie stands with shift manager Cathy
Sidewalk Advocate Katie stands with shift manager Cathy

9-11 am Shift manager Cathy

There were some people going in and out  of the clinic, but few who wanted to talk.  The most memorable thing was the fire drill.  Soon after I arrived we noticed a group of school kids down the street.  Just thought it was a school trip.  Then they started moving up towards us and there were more groups.  They stopped in front of PP, then moved up some more, being  replaced by another group.  A teacher said it was a fire drill.  The middle school students were very interested in our signs and some wanted baby models.  Katie gave some of them info cards.  Even a teacher asked us for 4 babies to give to some of the students who had requested them. What a teaching moment – and we didn’t even have to say anything!  The pictures and signs said it for us.

11 – 1 Cil

Thanks to Joyce for driving us down for our church vigil today and staying with me almost 4 hours.  Joyce is a great prayer warrior and brought candy to hand out today.

Upon our arrival, we met Benjamin from Mt. Zion in Prospect who brought with him an Evangelist, Joshua.  Joshua was visiting all the way from Illinois!  They appreciated the prayer resource book that we had and immediately went to work praying.

It is always nice to have Katie hang with us a while into my shift as well as Elise!  They actively try to reach out to those passing by.

Dan also came to pray and stayed focused on his mission.

My college friend, Lisa, took time on her lunch break to come to be with us as well.  It is always so nice to have her there!  It is great that people take time on their lunch breaks to stand up for life!

Unfortunately I did not think to take pictures until Chris arrived for his shift.

Many people were coming and going from PP.  Some workers, some for abortions, some for other services.  We tried to reach out to all of them.  One lady stopped and said that she didn’t want to support PP but came to get birth control and asked us for another place she could go.  That was so nice that she asked!  We did give her the new resource card that should help her find a real Health Center.  But it gave me a chance to also talk a little about the problems with contraception and I gave her resources about that and about Natural Family Planning since she said she was married.

It was a blessing to be there to witness the “save” today on Chris’s shift.  She said that PP told her she could come back if she changed her mind.  But she told us there is no way she’s going back to that evil place.

Joyce, Hazel, Marie and Chris
Joyce, Hazel, Marie and Chris

 

1 – 3 pm Chris gives the great news of a LIFE SAVED TODAY!!!

Sometimes when we’re praying on the sidewalk in front of PP we might wonder whether we’re having any effect.  Well…we had a save today!  Praise God that during my last shift of this campaign, He showed in a real way what that effect is, through His love and grace.  Cil, Marie, and I were praying on the sidewalk about an hour into my shift when a young woman emerged from PP, alone, holding an ultrasound picture.  She walked up to us and said, “I went in for an abortion today, but decided not to.  The people in there are not of God.”  She went on to say that she already had a little one at home.  She was crying while saying this, and we were crying, too, and giving her heartfelt hugs.  Wow!  When we dried our tears of joy, we asked what immediate help she might need and offered to walk her down to Catholic Charities.  She politely declined but did take a Resource Card.

One of our other prayer warriors, Hazel, had a woman passerby tell her that, “Because of you being here, I learned the truth.”  Our presence does make a difference, even if we can’t see it all the time.

One encounter I forgot to tell you last week- a native of Algeria, now living in the Pittsburgh area, stopped and asked us what we were doing.  We explained our presence and he said that abortion was killing a baby and that in Algeria abortion is illegal.  He went on to say that his religion, Islam, teaches that abortion is wrong.  We had a good talk and gave him some literature.

Barb and Beth
Barb and Beth
Shift manager trinity...Cil, Chris and Barbara
Shift manager trinity…Cil, Chris and Barbara

3 – 5 pm Barbara

For a short time today, I was alone in front of Planned Parenthood.

It was a good thing. I prayed and watched everyone go about their day.  Peaceful, prayerful witness.

Out of the building walked Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, per my google search.  She was accompanied by a young man.

It surprised me that I recognized her…no question about that.

With my “Silent No More, We Regret Our Abortion” sign and solitary soldierly stance just outside the golden semicircle, I was obvious.

I know 40 Days for Life makes an impression on PP.

She looked at me.  We smiled.

A car had been idling in front of me at the curb.  She got in and away went the car.

No drama.

Did I waste an opportunity?  Absolutely not.

After she left, Bill H. stopped by with his son, John.  Then Hank and Judy came to pray. The sidewalk was crowded.

Hank and I devoted an entire Rosary, Glorious Mysteries, for the good of her soul.

5 – 7 pm Joe K

Last shift of the campaign – another stellar fall evening.  Wednesday’s have been blessed with great weather, folks, and support.  Wednesday regular, Hank, and his wife Judy joined me and stayed throughout most of the shift to make sure that I was not alone – not the first time this campaign – What a joy to be around them – God Bless “yinz”!!! Judy became engaged in conversation with a young woman Ruth, who is here from Argentina and only spoke Spanish.  This presented a HUGE challenge as I speak primarily Pittsburgh-ese along with a few words of Polish, but Google Translate saved us…

From what I can tell she is 15 days into a 3-month stay and was seeking medical help for fertility issues and was seeking financial assistance.  After making sure that she didn’t need help with food or shelter. I suggested we try Catholic Charities to better determine her specific needs / issues.   Judy walked her down to Catholic Charities and though they were closed, was able to communicate enough with her to get her to return tomorrow (Judy will follow-up with a call to CC tomorrow to give them a heads-up).  Please put Ruth in your prayers that she gets the help she needs.

The rest of the early evening was uncharacteristically edgy (to be polite) – it started with mostly kind smiles and support, but regressed as Hank noticed that a young woman had just tore down the signs that Diane has been placing across the street (facing 933 Liberty Ave.).  A few women passing by made crude comments as well as signing the “old familiar suggestion”.  One young lady even blurted-out “Satan” before entering those noisy / ominous doors at 933 Liberty Ave.  The aftermath of Cecile Richards???  Regardless, the “good”, the “bad”, and the “ugly” makes-up the “experiential” (thanks again Judy) learning that often goes on during a 40-DFL Campaign.

The latter part of the evening settled-down as a woman, Carol stopped by to lend her support.  Her mother who is 100 yrs. young has led 100 people to Christ using the ABC method (Admit, Believe, Confess).

The mother and her 4 children that typically walk past on their way to the bus late in the shift, strolled by and of course, the kids, ever so curious, smiling, and giggling, stopped to play with the fetal models (as they always do) and mom herded them to the bus stop and then they were gone…

David, a young veteran, who’s going through a tough time, stopped by, and shared his story with Judy. He’s been sleeping in the park for about a month…  We were able to get some resource info to him, but please remember him in your prayers…

Diane picked-up all the gear and now all was gone as I made the usual walk up Liberty Ave… During the walk I reflected on this campaign and a conversation that Hank and I had about faith and sports.  I realized that someone would win the World Series tonight that wore a “C” on their cap, but we will win in life if we wear the “C” of Christ on our hearts.

Day 35: Sidewalk Advocates, Byzantine Catholics and Catholic Daughter of America!

OK everyone, we are in the home stretch!! Only 1 hour is empty on Wednesday from 6-7pm!

We have shifts open on Thursday  from 11-1pm and 3-5pm! Let’s finish strong!!!

We will gather at PP this Sunday 11/6 at 6:30pm for our closing rally followed by a scrumptious potluck at Catholic Charities, all are welcome!

To become saints means to fulfill completely what we already are….God’s adopted children in Christ Jesus! Whenever I go to the sidewalk, I always feel that I am surrounded by saints! The first verse of the Methodist hymn sums it up perfectly…we are singing the resurrection song by offering HOPE on the sidewalk. Death and Sorrow are EARTH’s dark story, we will awake to EVERLASTING peace!

Sing with All the Saints in Glory

  Sing with all the saints in glory,
sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story,
to the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking,
soon the storms of time shall cease;
in God’s likeness we, awaking,
know the everlasting peace.

Today, I heard that the word Martyr actually means WITNESS…maybe everyone who has witnessed during this 40 days are not the kind of martyrs who die physically, but martyrs who have died to self, to emotions and to comforts. Thank you for the  sacrifices you have made, Rejoice and be GLad, for your reward will be great in heaven!

Charlene 7am-9am

Despite students walking around in shorts and tee- shirts, it was not summer on the sidewalk. We continued our layers. Al, Sally, Dick and I were not joined by any churches. It is not a problem for those of us praying but I do wonder the impression it makes on PP and those passing. How really into the “battle” are we? We pray in church every week for an end to abortion… is it that hard to stand and be counted in public? Maybe it is…I guess that is for each one and God to know. For Ann Marie it made perfect sense. Heading to NYC to visit family, she had an hour to wait for her bus and decided the best way to wait was “just show up” on the sidewalk and pray. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more just “showed up” and prayed on their way thru? Charlene

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Ann Marie and Al

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Dick and Sally


Beth 9am-11am

Welcome first-time 40 Days-er, Linda who joined a great group of regulars: Lisa, Georgette, and John on the sidewalk today.  A few couples, but it seemed a little slower than the usual Tuesday.  More friendly faces than otherwise, so thank you God for fine weather and wonderful friends!

Beth

 Nikki 11am-1pm

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Beth and friend from her church, St. Elizabeth in Mt. Pleasant

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John, Lisa and friend

I had plenty of company on the sidewalk today!  It was wonderful to see so many faithful people taking time out to witness for the sanctity of life!  Two ladies from St. Catherine came  on their own, even though their church hadn’t signed up.  They handed out literature and did a great job of it!

photo

 St. Catherine ladies from Beechview who came on their own

Deacon Paul, of the Byzantine Catholics handed out candy from the bin to children who passed by.  Some of us greeted passersby, distributed literature and prayed.  It was a blessing for all of us to be used by God today to be a sign that all lives created by God are precious.

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Deacon Paul and Fr. Jay lead their group of Byzantine Catholics

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there through these 35 days!  We are almost there!

Nikki

Nancy 1pm-3pm

 In addition to the deacon and priest and parishioners from the Byzantine Catholic Church from Dubois (who were there praying and singing prolife prayers),  the prolife club from Aquinas Academy arrived, brought by their leader Joe Austin.  They sang and prayed.

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Then Sue and Sandy arrived to pray as well as Bill before the shift ended.   Jeannie arrived for the 3-5 shift with her two sisters.  It was a very joyful and prayerful time for all.  Nancy G

Jeanne 3pm-5pm

At mass today, I heard that we are all called to be saints.
On this blessed feast of all Saints, I reflect on the reality that the Saints came marching in to the sidewalk today.

I was prepared to be alone, and was comfortable with that situation. My two lovely sisters decided they would come and pray with me.

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Sisters Jeannie, Annie and Claire!

img_3578Even John M. joined the crowd. What a great turnout for a shift that was supposed to be super quiet.

 We arrive to the sidewalk to find Fr. James from Punxsutawney, and Sandy from Steubenville and Sue who answered the call to be there for the afternoon. And then Came even more Saints – – the Gallaghers from Saint Philip in Crafton joined us for the duration of my shift, and were a welcome addition to the prayer team.

img_3580St phillips in crafton gang

Don from moon had a meeting cancelled and decided to be with me s as well. I’ve had far fewer folks when we had a full schedule! Never doubt the power or Our God! We had several people thank us for being there, and very little opposition to our peace filled and prayerful message. A few kids from Kappa stopped by and we were happy to give them some of the 12 week models of the precious one.In all, it was an absolutely lovely all Saints Day with all the Pittsburgh Saints on the Sidewalk! Blessings to all, Jeannie

img_3575Annie, Sue, Don , Fr James, Claire

Lisa 5pm-7pm

It was such a lovely evening tonight.  We received so many life affirming comments that it definitely made up for the unpleasant ones.  We were especially filled with joy with the woman who pulled up along side of us in her vehicle with words of encouragement and she was able to stay while we prayed an Our Father with her.

I was surprised by the little old man that goes in and out of the bar next door on a daily (evening) basis.  He has never  made any comments to me before.  I always see him leave and then he returns within the hour.  On his return trip tonight, he went into Planned Parenthood.  We thought he was confused about the door he was going into and upon his exit a few minutes later we offered him assistance finding “his” door.  To our surprise he said he meant to go into PP because he wanted to give them a donation and that we needed to “Just Stop”.  We were taken aback to say the least! but then we just included him in our prayers.

Another busy evening of people (employees) going into PP this and then they had a pizza delivery.  It is hard for me sometimes to fathom how life as usual continues with the workers.  It appears they need to continue training new employees so maybe we have changed some hearts of some employees and they are finding other – any other -employment.

I thank all the people that came and stood with me tonight.  We had a few “extras” that I was not counting on.  Praise the Lord for all of you.

Pictured is a few fellow members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas that I know I can always count on to stand witness with me when nobody else had signed up.

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Pictured are John and his wife Donna.  Donna is a member of Ct. St. Rene out of Monroeville, faithful Johanna from Ct. Allegheny, North Side who has stood with me every week and Donna who is a fellow member of my Court, Ct. Westinghouse, Turtle Creek.

Blessings, Lisa

Day 34: North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church and St. Ann

10 Lepers Cured

The passage of the 10 lepers always makes me wonder, would I have been one of the nine who didn’t come back to thank our Lord for their healing or maybe, just maybe, would I be the one who came back.

Maybe this situation is similar to what happens and the vigil site. Are there 10 couples who change their minds as they drive by when they see us outside and don’t come back to thank us? Maybe. But we do know for certain, many do change their mind because of our presence. A few have told us.

Let me also not be like one of the nine and be remiss in thanking YOU. Thank you for your dedication and effort. For making the sacrifices to put your own wants and desires aside to come to the vigil to witness and pray. You all inspire me. Sincerely so many people have touched my soul in so many ways with your faith, your courage to reach out and your commitment to ending abortion. Thank you.

We all have our busy lives, so diverse but the same. We all love the comforts of life and some of us more than others care about what people think of us. But we put the “me” aside and made the effort. Like those at the foot of the cross, You came, you stayed. It wasn’t easy. You might have been uncomfortable. You may think you didn’t make a difference but you did. Our efforts in the Lord’s vineyard will not be in vain. You’ll never know until heaven just how big an impact you had. But trust me on this. You made a difference. For that I am grateful. Thank you.

See you in the spring or if you ever hear that voice calling in the night and want to join the few who come year-round on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday mornings know you are welcome. God bless you all and may HIS angels surround you. Peace and joy.

Tim B.

Today at the vigil we have North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church 7 – 11a ; St. Ann Catholic Church, Waynesburg 11a-3p; HOURS ARE EMPTY FROM 5-7!

Here is from Kathy 7-9 am:

“A chilly morning but it was warmed quickly by the presence of Faithful Diane, Bill Weir (Reformed Presbyterian Church of NH and old friend of mine), and Faithful Rose (St. Mary’s of Glenshaw). Bill was joined by Sam and Charles, also of RPC. We spent some of our time in silent prayer. Charles and I passed out a few bookmarks with tootsie pops to passersby while Rose handed out 40 Days brochures. A couple going into PP acknowledged us but did not want any info. PP workers also entered.

Sam and Charles
Sam and Charles

Toward the end of the second hour, Bill H. stopped by and stood with us. Please pray for Bill’s family. Another Bill, but goes by William, stopped by and asked for a coat which I gave to him. Rose left to catch her bus. The men from RPC and I devoted time to singing the Psalms from the psalter that they brought. Strong voices singing God’s strong words of victory! Thank you RPC for your witness.” Kathy L.

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From Ginny 9-11 am:

“The good folks from Presbyterian reformed church were praying with people today. Charles did an excellent job of getting people to stop and pray with him also Sam and his family and his two children were there. They were just darling and they caught everybody’s eye and they sang together was so beautifully”

From Beth 1-3:

“Welcome first-timer, the beautiful Carly from her church in Tarentum, who joined Rose, Billy, the wonderful folks from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg and myself on a semi-chilly day outside PP. Executive director, Kim Evert and her second in command came out around 1 and smiling and continued down Liberty. Maybe she was smiling because we said that we were praying for her.
Anyway, whoever has the 1-3 shift tomorrow, be ready with prayer for a woman who said she’d be back to prove to me abortion isn’t killing an innocent human being, that life only begins at birth. She questioned my every move so I asked her if she would believe an abortionist. She agreed so I gave her Anthony Levantino’s website, abortionprocedures.com for a doctor’s version of the debate. Ask her if she watched all four parts. Since Dr. Levantino performed 1200 abortions, he should know more than most. So just be ready.
As we said good-bye to the St. Ann’s group who prayed and prayed, and said hello to Francis, Carly said her very first hour at PP went quickly. Welcome, you’re joining a great group of pro-life people
See you on Sunday,”
beth
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img_4632We have a few gaps in this weeks schedule. We need prayers for the following hours:

TUESDAY –  2-4

THURSDAY 11-11:30 and 12:30-5

SUNDAY 9-11 (Don’t forget the closing rally at 6:30 at the vigil then the party at 7 PM at Catholic Charities)

Pictures and stories from today’s vigil will be posted throughout the day, so stop back.

Bill helped out during empty hours during Rosalina and Francis’ shiftimg_4633

 

 

Day 33: People of God Covenant Community, St. Mary of the Assumption (Herman, PA), and St. John Fisher & St. Joseph Parishes (Richmond, OH)

Day 33:  Stepping Into the Beatitudes

 

A few months back, friend and fellow 40 Days-er and Sidewalk Advocate for Life, Jeff F., said, “Coming down here to witness at Planned Parenthood is stepping into the Beatitudes.”  Boom!  What a DOOZY of an e-mail title for a 40 Days blog entry!!  I knew I had to ask him if I could “steal” it.  Thankfully, he happily consented – and sent me a reflection he had written on it himself!

 

THE BEATITUDES

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Here’s what Jeff wrote:

[40 Days for Life] offers peaceful, life-affirming support in both words and actions, and [its participants have seen] turn-aways over the months. If I may speak for the other [participants], the Beatitudes are integral to this experience since many times we have … [experienced] persecution from passersby, escorts, and women entering the clinic. In addition, every effort involves mourning in our hearts in the face of this senseless destruction of the unborn, and the wounding of the mother, father, family, and the heart of God.  Meekness (humility and dependence on God) is the approach we have taken in the midst of this tragedy, as we rest in the arms of Christ. We display mercy to all including words of encouragement and assistance as we counsel women in crisis to choose life. Finally, our hunger and thirst for righteousness continues to drive many of us to the sidewalk throughout the year.

Well said, Jeff!  Jeff wrote this piece to describe specifically his participation in Sidewalk Advocates for Life, but since the content applies to 40 Days for Life as well, I replaced some of his words with my own, i.e., the words in brackets.  (The underlined words are his.)  I would like to add the following thoughts.  None of us go down to pray and witness at Planned Parenthood to BE blessed.  We do it because we see it as necessary spiritual combat against the horrendously evil scourge of abortion on our city.  We know and trust that we will be blessed in Heaven by God, as Jesus promises.  But if there are any of you 40 Days participants out there reading this who have NOT experienced some unexpected blessing each and every time you pray on the sidewalk, let me know!  God never holds back His blessings from us when we do His will, and 40 Days is no exception.  He graciously allows us a little glimpse of His much bigger future blessings.  Praise Him!!!

Jeff also wanted to share this link, a testimony by a woman named Meg Perez regarding her abortion and the forgiveness she later found in Jesus.  http://www.cmfpitt.org/#!Abortion-A-Powerful-Testimony/c1qf5/56a2487d0cf2bfd5cced8dad.

 

Jen, our earlybird Sunday shift manager, shares:

But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

These lines of Scripture, taken from the book of Wisdom to nourish us today, make us aware of how blessed we are to have such a merciful God; and how He is using us on the sidewalk as *gentle* reminders to one another of the grave offense of abortion while we still have time to repent.

I was further blessed this morning by the fellowship of the People of God Covenant Community, represented by Steve & Michelle and four of their sons, Ruth, and Pat. We were also joined by Vince and Bill for a powerful morning of prayer and praise.  It was very uplifting, and I thank you all for sacrificing your time and comfort to be there on the sidewalk.  God is at work among His people!

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Jeff shared this photo of enthusiastic prayer warriors from his 5-7 shift:

The "D" and "M" families from Steubenville, OH
The “D” and “M” families from Steubenville, OH

More stories and photos will be added as they come in.

 

For the first half of this week at the vigil, we are in great need of prayer warriors for the following times:

Tuesday 11/1, 2:00 pm (Shift Manager Nancy does not have a partner)

Wednesday 11/2, 3:00-5:00 pm (Shift Manager Jeannie will be alone)

Wednesday 11/2, 5:00-7:00 pm (Shift Manager Joe K. will be alone)

Please help out our wonderful shift managers, sign up, and come down to keep them company!

 

For Life,

Sue M.

Peter is Still Speaking

 

Our shift managers will be witnessing alone on Monday from 3-7

Tuesday 8-11 and 2-5

COME. PRAY WITH US!

Sunday is covered. Come anyway.

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40 Days for Life is a pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vision to end abortion. The mission is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity.

As a Catholic, it is my pleasure to share our riches with my sisters and brothers from other denominations.

Caravaggio brings us to Peter’s side as he tries to assist his captors while they attach him to his Cross.  He was killed that day, about 2,000 years ago.

St. Peter is Still Speaking airs on WAOB (We Are One Body) 106.7 FM, at 9, 12:30, 5 M-F and 8 & 12 on Saturdays.  This source of beauty and wisdom does not broadcast lies. How, then, is this “speaking Peter” related to the crucified Peter?

Let’s look at this set of facts with three other fact sets.

FACT SET ONE

George Weigel, THE END AND THE BEGINNING, reports,  “Among the enemies of Soviet communism…none was more feared by the KGB and its predecessors than the Catholic Church, which was regarded as a prime ideological enemy even before the Bolsheviks seized power in a crumbling Russia in 1917.  …from the Communist point of view, the difficult business of fitting the Polish cow with the saddle of Marxism-Leninism was made far more difficult by Poland’s intense Catholic faith and Catholicism’s links to Polish national identity and Polish patriotism.”

“It was in these years – 1945, 1946, 1947, that a young churchman named Karol Josef Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) first came to the attention of the Polish communist secret police.”

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Edmund Burke: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

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FACT SET TWO

In THE HAND OF GOD, Bernard Nathanson writes, “At dinner I was seated next to a cadaverous appearing man….  He introduced himself as Lawrence Lader.”  “We began to talk, and the conversation lasted eight years; in that time, every abortion law in the United States was struck down, the lines between pro- and anti-abortionists were drawn and the battle joined.”  “Lader…knew…that  it was the perfect historical moment in which to strike against senescent rheumy-eyed Authority.”

“He also sensed that the Authority had to have a familiar form, a discernible shape….”  “What better than the Roman Catholic Church.  And so we set to work, and it was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

“…we attacked at every opportunity.  Our favorite tack was to blame the church for the death of every woman from a botched abortion. There were perhaps three hundred or so deaths from criminal abortions annually in the United States in the sixties, but NARAL in its press releases claimed to have data that supported a figure of five thousand.  Fortunately, the respected biostatistician Dr. Christopher Tietze was our ally.  …he never denied the authenticity of these claims.”

FACT SET THREE

When the authorities thought they solved their Christian “problem” by crucifying Peter; when the Soviets eviscerated Poland after WWII; when NARAL set its sights on the Catholic Church to undermine our historic legal protection of unborn babies…when authorities chose killing people as a solution to a problem, they made the historically wrong choice.  This choice has been wrong since the beginning.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.”

Thou shalt not kill.

“Stalin would later say, memorably, that trying to make Poland a communist country was like fitting a saddle to a cow,” Weigel notes.  Pro-life advocates in the United States of America stand firm in our belief that our USA heart will not remain fitted with a law that makes abortion legal.

With the psalmist we sing, “Our soul clings to Him.  His right hand holds us fast.”

Peter is still speaking.

 

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Here are the churches who came downtown Saturday to share and pray with us at Planned Parenthood.

THANK YOU!

Clarks Mills United Methodist Church

Church of the Assumption, Bellevue

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Brighton

Living Hope Church, Whitney PA

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Tim B., Shift Manager, Saturday 7-9

Saturday mornings are usually peaceful to start. First of all, it’s still dark and usually a little chilly. But like a symphony orchestra it all comes together beautifully.

First Diane arrives and so efficiently unloads and sets up all the displays and signs. Sidewalk advocates Virginia, David and Joe arrive from different directions and, of course, there is Bill H. and Jimmy and Nick, Saturday regulars. We were blessed to have Pastor Adam gather us all and lead us in inspirational prayer.

The facility escorts usually come out at 7:30 but today none came out and we believe God heard our prayers and we were blessed with a closed facility so no babies died here today. Praise God.
We were joined by the ladies from several of the North Pittsburgh Churches and later Shift Manager Rick T. and his group from Assumption Church in Bellevue joined in the prayer. As I was leaving, a large group of college students were arriving, I’m guessing from Grove City as one had this sweatshirt on.
The day was warming up and sun was shining. It was the beginning of great and blessed day.

Sunday Sunrise Team
Sunrise Team
Marianne, Donna, Bill with Marie and Mary
Marianne, Donna, Bill with Marie and Mary
Assumption Church parishioners with shift manager Rick Thimons
Assumption Church parishioners with shift manager Rick T.
Jerico Marchers
Jerico Marchers

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Rick T., Shift Manager, Saturday 9-11

The 9-11 AM shift on Saturday was prayerful and peaceful.  Praise God as it appeared that no abortions were being performed at Planned Parenthood today.

I would like to especially thank the many faithful Christians who prayed and witnessed on behalf of unborn children and women in need including Sam, Hannah, Ian, Christopher, Johnathan, Owen, Alex, Johanna and Vincent from Grove City College; Catherine, Francine, Joe, Sara and Mary from Assumption Church in Bellevue; Ken, Margaret and Jacob from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kittanning; Benton, Mike & Mike (A deacon and seminarians from St. Vincent College); Marjory, Tamara and Linda from Trinity Lutheran in New Brighton, Charles and Marianne from Mary Mother of Hope in New Castle and sidewalk advocates Sue, Jeff and Judith.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you in His care and may the lives of the unborn and born always be cherished and protected!

Grove City students witness for LIfe
Grove City students witness for Life
Deacon and Seminarians Saint Vincent College Marianne, Charles Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kittanning
Deacon and Seminarians, Saint Vincent College
Marianne, Charles, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kittanning
Ken, Margaret, Jacob Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Kittanning Sue, Sidewalk Counselor
Ken, Margaret, Jacob
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Kittanning
Sue, Sidewalk Counselor

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Sue Mc., Shift Manager Saturday 10/29, 11-1

 

I covered the 11-1 shift today.  I’d actually arrived at PP earlier, at 9:00a, as a Sidewalk Advocate — we all rejoiced that there were no escorts present and PP appeared to be closed for business!!!  We did notice some folks going in, but they did not appear to be going in for services — a meeting, perhaps?

But later, after 11, during my actual 40 Days shift, a young couple entered and came out with a small brown paper bag, so it looks like the “health clinic” part of PP was actually open.

The weather was gorgeous and there was a lot of foot traffic.

We were blessed by some seminarians and a brother from St. Vincent’s; one seminarian from New Jersey; a group of Grove City College students; Linda, Tammy, and Margie from Trinity Lutheran Church; Chuck and Marianne from St. Mary Mother of Hope in New Castle; Rosemary and Tom from St. George Orthodox Church, and; Dave arriving on his motorcycle.

Bill H. and his young look-a-like son stopped by as well.

It was a prayerful shift, and I was able to hand out many of the yellow cards to passersby.

A gentleman who had lost his brother to drug addiction stopped by and was telling me about the huge opiate abuse problem in our area; my heart went out to him…so many brutal attacks on human life in our society.

We continue to pray.  I departed to the beautiful sound of Rosemary and Tom singing their prayers.

Linda, Tammy, Margie Trinity Lutheran Church
Linda, Tammy, Margie
Trinity Lutheran Church
Marianne, Mary Mother of Hope Mike, Seminarian
Marianne, Mary Mother of Hope
Mike, Seminarian
Rosemary and Tom St. George Orthodox
Rosemary and Tom
St. George Orthodox

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Dean D., Shift Manager, Saturday 1-3

Thanks to the folks from Trinity Lutheran who prayed with me today.

Again great news as P.P. was not open for business today. Many people accepted our yellow cards that are so full of useful information. Thanks again, Diane.

Look, I know that all of you will be turning out to vote but, if you know anyone who is on the fence about staying home, try to convince them of the urgency to vote. There is so much at stake!

Members of Living Hope Church
Members of Living Hope Church
Ron and Kevin Living Hope Church Latrobe
Ron and Kevin
Living Hope Church, Latrobe

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Kathy K. , Shift Manager, Saturday 3-5

Delightful time of prayer, witnessing and fellowship!
Adam from Life Church handed out many flyers.
About 20 people from Living Hope lined the sidewalk, holding signs, offering Hope to those passing by.
Dean had delighted us at beginning of shift when he said, “No abortions were done today.”
A circle of us prayed with a teen girl and her brother.  “Their mom is taking care of their baby brother who has a trach, and was ill since birth.”
Pastor Bryan came with box of donuts which added a special touch to our shift.
Gratefully His, Kathy

Lovely Family Living Hope Church
Lovely Family
Living Hope Church
Sarah loves this sign. She chooses it every campaign.
Sarah loves this sign.
She chooses it every campaign.
Sarah and Marta Happy Birthday Marta Marta is Sarah's Mom
Sarah and Marta
Happy Birthday Marta
Marta is Sarah’s Mom

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Joe, Kathy W.,  Shift Managers, Saturday 5-7

Shout out to Living Hope Church, way to represent Christian soldiers.
What Joy filled, peaceful, beautiful souls that lined the sidewalk imitating Christ, as they witnessed for life. What a blessing for me to serve with yinz.

Your brother in Christ,
Joe W.

 

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Members of Living Hope Church, Whitney PA
Left to right, Rod, Mike, Owen, Andrea, Sarah, Jackie, Marsha, Marta, Pastor Brian, Kevin, Abby, Casey, Wanda, Kathy (shift manager) Tom, Brenda.

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And God saw that it was good.

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