Day 41…Photos from our closing rally

Our 40 Days for Life Team gathered together to close the fall campaign with a wonderful time of fellowship!  Thanks to Catholic Charities for allowing us to use their welcome center all these many years!


I have been honored to meet and become friends with the world’s most wonderful people throughout the 8 years that I have led the 40 Days for Life campaign in Pittsburgh!  Although we all work as a team, and each do our little part…we really don’t get to see each other that often.  So when we do, it is a special time!  Thanks to everyone who did their part on our team, and thanks to all those who signed up for a time slot at the vigil, and to those who coordinated times for their churches or groups to take part in our vigil!  Thanks to those who prayed and fasted!  Thanks to those who prayed and fasted from home and to those religious communities who prayed for us!  Thanks to everyone who joined us in our “knock-out punch fast” on the final day of our vigil.  I trust that God is hearing and answering our prayers!

We thank God for the 4 lives that we know about that were saved during these 40 days in Pittsburgh, and for the 2 lives that were saved during previous campaigns that we found out about during this campaign!  I have no doubt there are many more that we may never find out about…but God knows.  What we did was important.  It mattered.  Every sacrifice, no matter how small.  Every fear and timidity that was overcome by holy boldness made a difference.  Our flower memorials and humble prayers on our knees touched hearts and reminded people that life is important.  God is important.  In the middle of people’s busy lives, they were reminded of this.

Thank you for being a part of this important campaign.  The Lenten campaign will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 6th and ends on Palm Sunday, April 16th.  I hope you will join us then.

In the meantime, please continue to pray and fast for the intention of ending abortion in Pittsburgh.  And enjoy these photos from last night’s closing event.

In Christ,

Nikki


Pastor Joe Stump led us in closing prayers and song
Julie and Billy
Faithful Mimi, alongside brand new team member, Donna
John and Chris
Many came to close the vigil in united prayer!
Kathy brought a final bouquet of roses to leave in memorial.
Jen, Jack and Cathy join in song
Barbara, Pastor Bryan, Nikki, Judy and Kathy
Back in the warm and cozy welcome center, the fun begins!
Delicious pot luck food…it all went as we were hungry after our final fast!
Nikki re-capped the campaign and reminded everyone to continue praying and fasting for an end to abortion!
Nikki recognized and thanked each team member for their service. Here are Diane and Tom, who faithfully deliver the vigil materials each and every day!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas!  See you in 2019!

DAY 40: THANK YOU to Saint Joan of Arc Parish, South Park; View Crest Presbyterian Church; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County; Shift Buddies, Vince P., Julie C., Kristy O., and Volunteer Mary S.; Catholic Charities

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DAY 40

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Knock-out Punch FAST

7P SATURDAY TO 7P SUNDAY

CLOSING RALLY TONIGHT

JOIN US for PRAYER and WITNESS

6:30 IN FRONT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD

RECEPTION AT 7 PM

FELLOWSHIP and FOOD

CATHOLIC CHARITIES WELCOME CENTER

Joe was a pilot during WWII.  He almost crashed on one of his missions.  Asking Mary to intervene to save his life, he promised her that he would work to get a statue of her placed on Mount Washington where everyone would see it.  He gave it his best shot, but the project did not work out.

Joe’s son is one of the men who regularly come to pray downtown with Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life.

Years later, Mondays year round, we cross from the north to south hills to babysit Joe and Mimi.  When the sky is still dark, Saint Mary of the Mount church shines brightly from Mount Washington heartening all of us whose hearts stand tall as Catholics.  Perhaps Joe’s project happened without his realizing it.

I photographed the church one afternoon as we approached the Fort Pitt Bridge.  My definitely amateur picture showed majestic sky sharing space with the sturdy church anchored in the far right lower corner.

Joe worked hard to accomplish his plan.  He remained optimistic. A loving husband and father he remained faithful to the daily duties of his vocation.

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

Many Americans become anxious when they learn that the government annually funds the abortion industry with millions of dollars. Many were worried as abortion morphed into Choice and became politically correct.  Worry can be a good thing.  It can ignite you to act.

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A dead thing can go with the stream.

Only a living thing can go against it.

G.K. Chesterton

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Irenaeus, the great second century theologian simply expressed the essence of Christianity.

The glory of God is a human being fully alive!
Irenaeus

What Bishop Barron calls “right praise” brings us face to face, eyelash to eyelash with God.

 Be still and know that I am God!

 In awe, the person stands ready.

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

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 Leading her 17th campaign in the Steel City,

Nikki is as tough as…well…steel!

Shawn Carney, Day 39 Blog

So many people joined us on the sidewalk to witness and pray.  Some could come only once.  Others returned again and again.  Some came from nearby.  Some came from West Virginia or Ohio or traveled more than an hour each way.  Others supported us from home with prayer.

Crossing the Veterans Bridge in early morning, to our shift on the PP sidewalk, we would catch a glimpse of the Church light on Mount Washington.  Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIO #43 CHORUS came to mind.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIl03estVQ4

In this performance, Professor Joshua Law directs City Oratorio and Orchestra.  Music students of City College of San Francisco form the chorus.  The orchestra is composed of students, faculty and guests.

The chorus and orchestra are primarily amateurs.  Bach is the composer.

Those of us standing ready to serve God are amateurs.  God is our composer.

All is right with the world.

THANK YOU, DEE. 

YOUR PRAYER OUTREACH WAS OUTSTANDING

THANK YOU, SISTERS.  

MAY OUR FATHER CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU!

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NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

As we expected, it was not easy to get around town or find a parking space this morning because of the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler race.  But with Liberty Avenue closed to vehicle traffic, it at least gave us a very quiet morning on the sidewalk to pray earnestly for an end to abortion.

Thanks to all who have worked so faithfully this campaign to pray, fast, and witness.  May God bless all of you, and all those we prayed for during this vigil!

VINCE AND JEN
SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER AND WITNESS!
Vince, Shift Buddy
Julie, knees to the ground!

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SUE 9-11

I arrived a few minutes late due to not knowing about the road closures downtown for the EQT 10 Miler today (that’s what I get for not reading the blog yesterday!).  Many thanks to Jen for hanging out and waiting for me in her sweet and patient way!

My lone shift prayer companion, Julie, was such a light today, not only to me but to the sidewalk passersby and those running in the EQT 10 Miler along Liberty Avenue.

Walking toward the vigil after finally parking my car, and in an annoyed mood for having arrived late, I felt like that lone fish in those pictures of a school of fish all swimming one way and the lone fish swimming the other way.

I told her of my feeling and how alone I felt with them all running past us, seemingly concerned with nothing but a worldly race, when we were there for a much more noble cause.  She listened and sympathized.

And then, the Holy Spirit decided to work through her.  She actually started cheering the runners on!  “Go! Go! Go!  You can do it!  Keep going, you’re almost there!”

Talk about humility.  Julie happily, genuinely, and very enthusiastically bolstered THEM in their cause, and in turn elicited lots of smiles, waves, and thumbs up from them to us.  The Lord was working through her not only to create a positive, supportive environment for the runners, which in turn created positivity toward our cause, but also to turn my self-centered and yes, rather holier-than-thou thoughts to thoughts of compassion and inclusion.  Her genuine enthusiasm served effectively to put me to shame in my grumbly, all-these-people-care-about-is-running thoughts that I had not even been fully aware of.

We did pray, too, in between the cheering.  And a few of those runners did not appreciate our signage and saluted accordingly, even as we cheered them on to the finish line.

But all in all, the response was positive.  Because of Julie.  And because of her willingness (conscious or subconscious!) to let the Holy Spirit work through her.  THANK YOU, Julie, and may God bless you.

 

Julie
Spirited Prayer

 

Sue, Shift Manager
Julie, Prayer Companion

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KATHY K.  1-3

Many people came to pray. Grateful to God!

Don and I talked with Cameron who stopped to look at models then stayed to talk. He took 40 days info and wants to come pray in spring. Holy Spirit prompted Don to tell him about informative emails and Cameron signed up.

Two lovely ladies from Saint Bernard Parish were praying the Rosary on the farside of the circle.  A woman stopped with dog and said loudly, “Doggie, poop on these bad people ( foul language).”

I went and stood with teenagers as they petted her dog and diverted her attention. She left. Then she reappeared by the bookstore, screaming foul language.

We prayed for her, guessing she had an abortion.

One of ladies said, “First time I was ever scared down here. I have been down here a lot.” She continued her prayers.

God is with us! And the dog didn’t poop!

Sunday Afternoon
They came to pray!

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JOE 3-5

Meet the spirit filled, energetic members of Viewcrest Presbyterian in 84; Elise, Brice, Heather, Sue, Matt, Holly, and Philene and Mary.

View Crest Presbyterian Church
Faithful servants Jim and Cathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOE 5-7

Ken, Jim, Dave, and Bob from CMF in Armstrong

CLOSING RALLY PRAYER
AT PP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And God saw that it was good.

 

 

 

Day 39: Thanks to Guardians for Life, St. Maria Goretti, St. Ferdinand Church,

OUR MESSAGE IS being HEARD! 

Last week on the sidewalk, I watched an employee of PP walk out and pour water on the musings of my favorite street prophet which read:  “Every Human Life Saved is > any $ Amount “  The chalked message was a response to the pledge-a -picketer message PP has posted.  The PP employee took time and used paper toweling to attempt to scrub the words off the sidewalk .    She was definitely bothered by it what the message said, which means SHE READ AND UNDERSTOOD IT  and she felt she had to remove it — It GOT TO HER!    

 

Another  PP employee addressed me about the baby photo I was wearing.  She said “You know they don’t look like that, don’t you?”  (referring to the innocent ones killed in the clinic) .    I said    “Well, I know you don’t look like you did when you were 2 years old, but you are still you — it is still a child!”   She through up her hands and walked angrily away.

Many of us have experienced similar instances where folks are “acting up” in response to our presence.  It may just be showing us that convenient middle finger, or using the phrase that often accompanies that gesture,  or maybe a shake of the head or an audible “tsk”,  sometimes these poor souls even lose control of their drool  (if you know what I mean).  I  know it is easy to become upset or unsettled when folks approach us with this impolite behavior.   I react viscerally as well….  it is a bit nerve-wracking.

But …..   once things settle down (and they always do) we must realize that this behavior means that

WE ARE CHANGING THINGS ON THE SIDEWALK.  

I think we can safely say that WE Are getting under the skin of the PP employees/supporters.  They read our signs, they see our images, they witness our commitment and ……  THEY REACT.    If our message didn’t hit home, didn’t stir something within them —- if we were insignificant,  or clueless, would any of them bother with us?   I think not.

I pray that we are given the peace to react to these angry acts of PP supporters  by acknowledging them as the beginning of the conversation on abortion people in our country need to have.  

                                                 

 

Perhaps, now that we are under their skin,

we can make it to their HEARTS!   

 

SHIFT REPORTS

Shift Report from Tim, 7-9am

Thanks to Father Tim and the Guardians for Life who made such a powerful witness on the sidewalk with their prayers and presence. Liberty Ave was closed to traffic so we really stood out on the sidewalk.

The Saturday morning “regulars” mentioned they were saddened by the end of 40 DFL.  It gave a sense of being part of something so much bigger than their individual efforts. And they really liked the extra prayer warriors to give witness to life.  Never the less, this dedicated team will be back next Saturday morning and every one thereafter.  God bless them all. Tim B.

Shift Report from Sue:

I arrived this morning to the faithful Guardians for Life finishing out a Rosary, and they stayed and prayed until around 10:00.  Dan from St. Maria Goretti joined us, followed shortly afterward by Rosemary and Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville.  I for one am blessed every vigil by Tom and Rosemary’s lovely sung prayer, and this vigil was no exception.  SA Judy also arrived around 10:00.

PP business today was pretty “average” for a Saturday – “average” of course always being too much.  We offered cards and literature to each person going in, and we also prayed for each person going in.  For the first time in my years of coming to the PP sidewalk, I witnessed a PP escort accompanying a woman OUT of the clinic and down the street.  I am pretty certain I saw this woman go in; thus, she likely did not have an abortion, but all the same, I’ve never seen this happen.  At one point, a passerby said to us “Just adopt!” and I replied “Amen – perfect idea!”, although I believe her intention was to imply that we should do that instead of being on the sidewalk.  Judy, as she regularly does, told each PP escort that their lives are profound and have been since before they were born.  Today, one of the male escorts replied to her that he had talked to God and that He was going to forgive us.  Amen – may God forgive us and the escorts and every person who loves Him, and may he break hardened hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit!

Dan from St. Maria Goretti, with Rosemary & Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville

 

Shift Report from Dean:

Peaceful shift for the first hour and a half, until the last half an hour a man came to pass out tracts.  He was trying to get into an argument about differences in Christian religions.  Happily, we were able to avoid arguing with him.

St. Ferdinand Church Prayer Squad!

Shift Report from Billy:

Today  I was accompanied  by 2 volunteers named Maggie and Tammy. I was visited by a guy named Chuck  and while he was talking to me a lady walked  by with her son. She explained to us that she went with her friend to take her friend to the particular  clinic we were at and explained in detail and even expressed to her son this clinic was an abortion clinic.  Then we had Mimi come visit. Out of all the people who I had recognized going  6 went in and 4 came out. Out of the four the one woman definitely seemed to not be comfortable there  and seemed to work else where. All in all it was pretty quiet today.  Billy

 

Shift Report from Kathy:

Joan, Mike, Mimi, John, Bridgette:Beautiful People

Mimi arrived just as I arrived.   She commanded:  “Say Rosary.”
God provided Joan, John,and Mike from Bentleyville at just the right moment.

Mike led the Rosary and Bridgette joined us. Afterward, Mimi shared all she would do tonight and we watched as she crossed the street and zoomed down Liberty. 

Praying on her knees Bridgette was observed by many as the concert preparations were underway, touching hearts  —- including mine.
Jim joined us, too.   

Prayers continued until we were delighted to see Diane and Tom. 

Day 38:  Thank you to St. Regis (Trafford), Shift Buddies, and Individual Volunteers!!!

PLEASE NOTE:

Liberty Avenue is closed to traffic from
3 AM Saturday until 12:30 PM Sunday

Saturday Vigil:  7 AM to 5 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue
(closing early due to concert on street)

Final fast:  7 PM Saturday until 7 PM Sunday

Sunday Vigil:  7 AM to 7 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue

Closing rally:  6:30 PM at 933 Liberty Avenue,

followed by food and fellowship at nearby Catholic Charities

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Friends, we’ve made it to Day 38 despite so many challenges…physical, mental, and spiritual.  We can easily see that we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without God.  What a beautiful, grace-filled way to learn humility!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

 

There are still two days left and we want to finish strong.  Nothing would give satan more relief than to have us throw up our hands and say, “Close enough…I’m done.”

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

 

It’s not going to be easy.  The race and concert on Liberty Avenue this weekend will mean more trouble finding a parking space and a potentially greater number of antagonistic passers-by.  And Nikki has asked each of us to join her in a final 24-hour fast from 7 PM Saturday until we gather for the closing at 7 PM Sunday.  We will have to rely on God for the strength to meet these challenges.  But we know from the last 38 days of experience that He will not disappoint!

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6

~Jen


Here are reports and pictures from today’s vigil!

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

The city felt warm, dark and damp.
Always an original, Diane was warm, sunny and bright.
She arranged the shift manager supplies swiftly, chatted for a moment and, tickety boo, zoomed away.
Her creativity is mind boggling.
Our shift buddies Al and Sally took up their post and our shift officially started.
Already people were going to work, taking the kids to day care, going to school and catching the bus home after night shift.
Sean, Cathedral Parish, had almost missed coming this fall..
Their new baby has kept the family awake and busy.  Baby has big brothers, Peter and John.
One woman told me that her going to PP was none of my business.
“You are my business,” I answered.  “You are my sister!”
God plants the seed.  We till the soil.

It feels like a blessing to have been a part of Pittsburgh 40 Days this fall.

Richard, Sean, Sally, Al
Sidewalk morning prayer, Sean, Sally and Al

Kathy, 9-11 AM:

I spent time praying and passing out literature until Theresa from Heidelberg arrived.  Thank you for coming, Theresa.

Bookstore owner, Eric, sends the 40 Days family his appreciation for the card sent to him from the group.  He and his family are not members of The Tree of Life but still were affected by the shooting as were the rest of us.  Daniel Lager, Barb’s friend and also Eric’s, who was wounded in the shooting is improving thank God.
Two passersby stopped. The first, a man from SC, attending the chemical engineering convention inquired about the vigil.  He was very interested and accepted a 40 Days brochure and thanked me for being there.  The second, a woman named Della, stopped at the fetal baby display as Ginny and her grandkids arrived,  to tell us that 18 years ago she asked God to give her a baby.  God did and Della’s second request to Him was that the baby would love Him.  Della shared that her daughter, now in college, has a heart for God.  Touching!
Some negative comments, but most were positive.
Ginny with grandchildren Cayesen and Brooklynne
Bookstore owner
A lonely rose blown in the circle by the wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marie, 11 AM-1 PM:

We said lots of prayers with Megan , Bill, Barbara and her husband, Brooklynne and Cayesen, Marie, Ginny, and a tall guy.
We also witnessed lots of people making the movie, actors, extras, and crew members.
Brooklynne said we had a few haters , but lots of good people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave and Noreen, 1-3 PM:

It was a nice day today.  We had more positive comments, hand shakes and fist bumps than ever. Dave and I were joined by Jerry from Beaver County and Kaitlin from Turtle Creek.  Barbara was also from Beaver County, and Ann from Clairon. We had some long distance travelers come to pray with us today.
Dave, Jerry, and Kaitlin
Barbara
Noreen and Ann

Pat, 3-5 PM:

While I only had two individuals from my parish show for this, our second 2-hour shift of the vigil, I was glad to have brother Knight of Columbus, Gene and his faithful wife, Louise, with me for the first hour.  Also with me for the first hour were Rich and Diane.  Mary Jane joined a little after 3 PM and we all prayed together the Rosary for the unborn given to us by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Of course, I also had Fran, my very faithful Shift Buddy there with me until the end of my shift.  At that point, SB Bill showed-up and I handed the badge over to him since Mary Jane was going to stay until about 5:30, by which time I expected the next SM, Marshall, to have arrived.

Mary Jane, St. Bernard’s
Louise and Gene (St. Regis), SB Fran, Rich and Diane (St. Louise de Marillac)

 

Marshall, 5-7 PM:

Note from Jen:  A huge thanks to Shift Buddy Bill for filling in when the Shift Manager was unexpectedly detained at work and couldn’t get to the vigil by 5:00.  A huge thanks to Shift Manager Marshall (who was kindly substituting for a teammate) for still coming after a long day of work at a site over an hour from the vigil.  And a huge thanks to young volunteer Benson, whose faithful presence means so much to all of us.  This 40 Days for Life team–family, really–is so blessed!

Marshall, Bill, and Benson

Day 37: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, our Shift buddies, and all other volunteers!!

40 Days for Life

 

 

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

~Revelation 7: 9-10, 13-14

 

 

I had the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles Cathedral in 2005.  It was a memory that has stayed with my husband and me for all these years, and probably always will.  The reason was the artwork of the saints…. unlike any we had ever seen before.

All of the tapestries showed multiple saints– some canonized and some “regular” people like you and me– all facing in the direction of the altar.  Such a beautiful sight during Mass, making it easy to remember the reality of those in heaven being right there with us.

If you can enlarge the images below, you might be able to make out the names above or below the saints.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the “time of great distress” that St. John talks about in this passage?  I can only speculate that he is referring to our time on earth– our time in this vale of tears.  It is a time of spiritual battle.  And this battle we fight EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Whether we are considering whether to commit adultery or tell a lie, whether to slander a co-worker or have an abortion….. these moments, these decisions, large and small, are battles we fight every day.

But the SAINTS are the ones who fight the battle…. lose…. then win…. then falter…. then win….. then forget about striving for holiness….. then fall…. then win.  Ultimately, the Lord wants us to WIN.  To overcome our sin.  To desire Him MORE than we desire sin.

May the saints in heaven pray that we can “survive the time of great distress.”  That we, too, can wash our robes and make them WHITE in the Blood of the Lamb.

 

Translation: “Purify my soul, O Adorable Blood.”

 

The Lord has shed His precious Blood for us.  Let us not forget that our sins— even the ones related to abortion— can be FORGIVEN, and lives can be changed and healed.

 

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:

My shift from 7 to 9 started out peacefully as usual. Peggy and I had the first hour to pray, and although it was wet and rainy, it was nice and warm. We prayed in the dark and in the rain. I prayed on my knees in front of the door as usual. As I meditated on the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, I thought about Jesus being immersed in the water of baptism, as I was being immersed in a puddle of water. I thought about his first miracle, changing the water into wine, as water was all around me. I thought about his preaching of the kingdom of God and his call to repentance, as I kneeled in repentance before the place that kills so many innocent babies. I thought about his transfiguration on the mountain, and imagined that day when this place of death will be transfigured into a place of life. And, I meditated on his self-giving, the giving of his very own flesh to us at the Last Supper, and I thought about how profound are the words “this is my Body, given for you,” and I thought about how the enemy has twisted those words into meaning something totally different. “This is my body” now means that I have a right to kill somebody else because they are dependent on my body for life.
 We were in the middle of praying the Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel, when the first couple arrived for an abortion. They allowed me to speak to them for a few minutes, and took the information that I offered. The girl seemed very passive; the man did all the talking. He explained that they already knew about their options, and understood that this was a human life, but had decided that this was what they were going to do.  I had the feeling that this young woman felt that she had to go along with what he said. Sadly, he will most likely end up leaving her, after she has also lost her child. They sat in the waiting room right next to the sidewalk for about half an hour. That gave me the opportunity to pray a second rosary on my knees literally a few feet away from them. I sent my prayers to that little child, and I know that child will know that people were praying for him. Peggy and I also asked our guardian angels to go in and assist the guardian angels of that woman and man, and of that child.
Unfortunately, many other couples began entering those doors. It was a very busy abortion morning. Quite a few of them took the information. They were all polite. One woman who was bringing a friend in for an abortion even agreed that she believes abortion is wrong, but she still brought her friend there. A very sad day, but our trust is in the Lord! These babies did not die alone, we were there to show that their lives matter!
Thank you, Nikki and Peggy!!

 

Thank you to Chuck, Judy, Bill, and Meredith who came to begin another prayer shift after Nikki!!

 

Judy:

Today we had Meredith and Chuck from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. Later we were joined by Mary Jane from St. Bernard and Dave from St. Philip. It was a nice day with mild temps and the rain stopped shortly after we arrived for our shift. There were a few people coming and going out of Planned Parenthood, but not as many as usual. I encountered the young man that I had prayed with two weeks ago who had lost his girlfriend to an overdose. He was doing better. There were two different couples going in (at separate times) and I offered them our resource card but they declined. There were a couple of ladies going in and I was able to have a conversation with them. I told them about the abortions that were performed at PP, and one of the women said she didn’t want to go in, but the other one was the one with the appointment and she said she wanted to go ahead and “take care of herself.” She came out later with a bag of pills. They took the resource card, and I encouraged them to get services other places that did not kill babies. There was another lady who was going in and I was able to connect with her and tell her about other resources and she willingly took the card and went on in.

On a side note, there was a lady I have seen every week crossing the street in front of Planned Parenthood. I have tried to get her attention every week but she completely ignores me. She carries a “Literacy Pittsburgh” satchel/bag. So this morning I spoke and she ignored me and she had to stop to wait for the light. So I approached her and asked if she worked for Literacy Pittsburgh. She gave me her attention, and said she did. I was able to open a conversation with her because our church has a partnership with Literacy Pittsburgh and we do a lot of work with ESL and GED classes for refugees. I was also able to fill her in on other things we were doing with refugees. (They have a heart for refugees). She just melted right in front of me and was so appreciative and grateful…she could hardly thank me enough. I hope this softens her heart to what is going on in front of PP now, rather than possibly thinking we are a bunch of protestors who should just be ignored. I hope she will also begin thinking we are doing very valuable work at PP which is also a very necessary thing.

Thank you to Meredith and Mary Jane!!

 

David arrives for the next shift and gets a photo with Chuck. Thanks, gentlemen!!

 

Lisa:

I am so very thankful to David, who came to pray with me from 11-1.  We had a relatively quiet shift, with each of us on either side of the circle.  Some people did enter PP, and only one woman seemed genuinely interested and thankful to receive the information we gave.

I was feeling a little bit emboldened because of Shawn Carney’s visit on the 22nd, and also because of the Catholic Women’s Fellowship conference that I attended last weekend, where I heard a powerful speaker who encouraged us to not be afraid to speak the truth to people.  Some things they said have really stayed with me.  So I found myself saying things on the sidewalk I normally don’t say…. but things that are good and true nonetheless.  Maybe that was the Holy Spirit kicking me a little more into gear.

Also, I had the experience twice today of groups of people not knowing what the flowers and stuffed animals were for on the sidewalk, and in both cases, they were so saddened to hear that it was a memorial for those babies who had lost their lives at Planned Parenthood.  I think it really struck them.  I thank God that it did.

I also had a really amazing experience on the sidewalk today.  Since David and I were praying on opposite sides of the circle, I had MUCH opportunity for MUCH prayer.  I had a good time of prayer, almost all the way through the shift, and then this happened.  A woman going into PP had ignored me as I tried to talk to her.  I stood in front of the doors, watching her, and just praying for her like crazy.  I began repeating, “Come, Lord Jesus… Come, Lord Jesus….”  And then, this crazy thought struck me out of nowhere– something like, “Where ARE YOU?”  “Why aren’t You COMING???”  And it startled me that I was suddenly so frustrated, as if to say, “Where is God????”  I realized right away that this was probably satan trying to get me to despair, so I began to pray…. without words…. just waiting.  And suddenly, one by one, several people walked by me and said, “Thank you,” or “Thank you for being here,” one right after the other!!!  I was amazed!  I realized that it IS important that I was there today!!  It DOES matter!!  And the Lord IS with us in the battle!!!   I felt a strong wave of the Lord’s presence wash over me.  I stood still and reveled in Him for several moments, just thanking Him.  And THEN– as I was praying my thanksgivings with my eyes closed, I felt a hand on my arm.  I opened my eyes, and a lovely young woman smiled at me and said, “THANK YOU SO MUCH for being here.”  I was SHOCKED.  I said, “Would you BELIEVE…..” and I told her about what I had just been praying about…. and she smiled and thanked me for my witness.  After that– I had this strange feeling that everyone was “looking” at me…. like it was “different” somehow.  I was about to leave the vigil, so I walked over to Carolyn and David and asked, “Do I look any different to you than I did a minute ago?”  They said no…. but I sure FELT different.  And I told them the whole story, and how I thought that maybe my encounter with the Lord had changed my appearance (like Moses after conversing with God or something!!).  But even if not outwardly, the Lord CHANGED ME INWARDLY…. to know that YES— HE IS THERE with us at that awful place.  He is THERE.  And it MATTERS that WE are there too.  I thank and praise the Lord!!!!!

 

Helen:

Thank you to the G. couple from St. Philip in Crafton!!

 

Thank you to Kim and Mike from St. Ann in Waynesburg!!

 

Thank you to Anita, Barb, and Connie from St. Paul in Butler!!

 

I did not realize that Mimi (in photo above) comes to pray every day. She said she prays at St Paul and she comes to PP and then she goes back to St Paul.

As we prayed, it started to sprinkle.

Counting Jeff, who came to help Carolyn, there were 12 of us at PP for the 3-4:00 hour.

-Helen

 

 

Let us especially ask for the prayers of the Blessed Mother, Mary, who is known as Queen of All Saints. 

We need all the help from heaven we can get.  Why not ask the Lord’s Mother?  He wasn’t afraid to ask for help from her.  Let’s imitate that.

 

Day 36…Thanks to St. Juan Diego (Sharpsburg), St. John de la Salle & St. Mary (Delmont/Export), Bridge City Church (New Brighton), CIM-PA (Cultural Impact Ministries) & many faithful individuals!

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” 

Jesus of Nazareth (Luke:13)


Jesus said we must STRIVE…but what does striving look like?

After 35 days of holding a prayer vigil on a sidewalk outside of an abortion facility…I doubt I am alone in feeling a kinship to the strain on this woman’s face.  She (and we) are obviously STRIVING when we put ourselves out there to be a prayerful witness to the value of every person’s life, but why do we do it?  What exactly are we striving for???  We know that Jesus paid the price of our salvation on the cross, and therefore there is nothing we can do to “earn” eternal life…so why do we strive?  Why does our Lord tell us that we must???

God knows that it is in our human nature to strive for SOMETHING.  If left to our own devices, we will strive for things we think are good for us.  We will strive for money, success, power, acceptance, praise, comfort, pleasure and ease.

God, in his wonderful goodness, knows that all those things are dead-ends.  If we spend our lives in pursuit of such things, we will end up being weak, selfish, vain little creatures that will never have the STRENGTH to enter through the NARROW DOOR that leads to eternal life!

So God commands us to strive for HOLINESS!  That simply means striving to live by his teachings and to obey his commandments the best that we can. When I strive to obey His will by standing up for the sanctity of unborn human life, it requires effort.  I have to go against my selfish desire for comfort and easeas I stand or kneel at the vigilI have to give up my desire for acceptance and esteem when passersby insult me and tell me to get a real job (or worse!).  I give up my desire for power and control, as I humbly accept the fact that I cannot save the lives of those precious babies that are being carried through those doors to their deaths…even as they are still safely tucked away in their mother’s wombs.

There is nothing more important than human life.  We can see that by watching the news. The massive flower memorials on the sidewalk in front of Tree of Life synagogue speak loudly to the value of the 11 lives that were taken so tragically on Saturday.

Those lives were important enough that the president of our country made the trip from DC to Pittsburgh, along with his family, to pay his respects to those who are grieving and to encourage those who were wounded.  Even with the hard-hearted and arrogant snubbing from our local and state politicians, and crowds of protesters with cruel messages…he stood strong in his decision to affirm the human dignity of those who were killed. 

Just as our president took time from his schedule to show his respect for eleven precious lives lost…we do the same as we pray at the site where approximately sixty precious lives are tragically and unjustly ended each and every week.  The world is rightly grieving right now…as it should!  Let’s pray that one day the world will also grieve for those who are killed by abortion and forgotten.  Those millions of little ones that have no one to grieve for them.

Strive with me until this day arrives…will you?


Scroll down for today’s vigil reports:

Cathy did a double shift today, from 7-11 am!  Thank you Cathy for your sacrifice this morning! 

Here is her report…

A peaceful morning with the company of a number of fellow pray-ers.  My fellow St. Juan Diego parishioner Mary joined me for the whole morning even though our official parish time was only 9-11.  Peg was there for 7-9, and David, Priscilla, Beth and Dan prayed at various times throughout the morning.  We got the “You should be ashamed of yourselves”  comment, and a worker from the clinic  came out and picked up flowers that were in the circle, saying that we can’t put them there.  I’m guessing they got dragged there by the foot traffic.  Also received thank yous and”God bless you”s.

Dedicated shift manager Cathy, with friend from St. Juan Diego parish and volunteer David, who came to make sure Cathy didn’t stand alone!

Hank managed the vigil from 11-1 and stood with Anna Marie and her husband Bob, from St. Mary & St. John parish in Export/Delmont.  He wrote:

It was a sunny and relatively quiet shift and little traffic into PP.  There were many passers-by from the International Convention of Chemical Engineers some of whom gave us a warm greeting and a thumbs-up.  Bob and Anna Marie from St.John and St.Mary Export were present for the entire shift and we prayed the rosary and other prayers and greeted many people. Nikki stopped by to kneel and pray the rosary and  Lisa from River City Church joined us toward the end of the shift.  Most passers-by seemed positive and only a few flashed dirty looks or made negative comments.  Praise be to Jesus, Lord and Savior.

Lisa from Bridge City Church

Chris managed the vigil from 1-3 and wrote:

I was joined by three prayer warriors from Bridge City Church- Pastor Gary, Mona Lisa, and Vicky, along with Marie from my parish, St. John Neumann.   Such joyful people to be with! 

Vicky and her faithful crew from Bridge City Church!

We received more than several “Thank you for being here” and Thank you for what you do” comments from passersby.  A man stopped by with a full bouquet of flowers, saying that his wife asked him to bring them to us!  One lady, Michelle came by to offer us snacks- she works nearby and prays at PP when she can.  Like several shift managers have mentioned over the weeks, I, too, had been hesitant to put my “Knees on the Ground”.  But today was the day, my last shift of the campaign, to trust God, kneel, and pray.  I prayed the Rosary using my special Rosary of the Unborn (pictured below) that displays an image of an unborn child in each bead.  

Rosary for the unborn…a tiny baby inside every bead!

 

Jeannie was the shift manager from 3-5.  She sent in these pictures of the faithful group from CIM-PA:

Judy, David, Linda, Jim and Donna from CIM-PA witnessed for life today!
Pat with the hat joins CIM in prayer!

Jeannie wrote:

We had a rainy but lovely time on the sidewalk with folks from   Cultural Impact Ministry- CIM. They are dedicated to bringing to light issues in the culture that Christians should be active on. What a delightful group. Since it was raining I decided to stand in front of Planned Parenthood and sing in the rain. Don’t worry, I didn’t cause any kind of scene lol.  One of my better numbers was actually a song that my son used to sing in grade school— Rain down rain down rain down your love on your people. Rain down rain down rain down your love Lord of all!!!  

Joe K. managed the vigil for the final hour:

It was a extremely quiet / peaceful, but soppy last Wednesday evening shift of the campaign.
I was joined by another large group of folk for the evening.  Led by my faithful Shift Buddies Benson (St. Anne’s) and Jim (Holy Child) as well as a wonderful couple from Cultural Impact Ministries – Linda and Dave.  The group was rounded-out with Lynda from Central Highlands United Methodist.
We shared, we prayed and before we knew it, the shift was over…

 

Day 35: THANK YOU St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville OH); St. Joseph Catholic Church (Cabot); and Shift Buddies!

FAQ at our 40 Days for Life Vigil

This 40 Days I have been approached several times on the sidewalk and told that Planned Parenthood does

“a lot of good”

The Planned Parenthood on Liberty Avenue reports that they do about 3000 abortions every year in Pittsburgh.

How can someone defend that statistic alone? but what is the best way to answer a “FAQ” or statement if given the opportunity?

I went to the 40 Days for Life APP…it is a really good tool to have on the sidewalk! You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play, and there is a section that has Pro-Life answers to FAQ’s. This is the response to “But Planned Parenthood does a lot of good”

Planned Parenthood does provide services beyond abortion, but no amount of cancer screenings can erase the horror of killing even one innocent baby. The taking of innocent life simply cannot be offset by any other perceived good. Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services are meant to distract clients, community members and voters from the barbarity of abortion. Some of these other services don’t even exist. For example, while Planned Parenthood has clamored for taxpayer funding in order to provide women with mammograms, not a single Planned Parenthood facility was certified as a mammography facility [1][2]. Planned Parenthood provides fewer than two percent of manual breast exams and less than one percent of pap tests in the United States [3]. Meanwhile, the abortion giant provides nearly one third of America’s abortions [4].

[1] https://www.liveaction.org/what-we-do/investigations/mammogram-falsehoods/
[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/10/12/02/the-repeated-misleading-claim-that-planned-parenthood-provides-mammograms/?utm_term=.545b6f642a59
[3] http://protestpp.com/docs/DefundPPTalkingPoints.pdf
[3] https://www.liveaction.org/news/new-video-debunks-planned-parenthoods-3-percent-abortion-myth/

 

In addition to the above response, Planned Parenthood charges quite a bit for their services.  Follow this link to read an article that shows the price list for services provided by a Planned Parenthood.

https://40daysforlife.com/2018/10/27/day-32-planned-parenthoods-price-list/ 

 

Hopefully we are ready on the sidewalk with some answers to this FAQ and the phone number for FREE services at a Pregnancy Help Center  1-800-712 HELP or alternative clinics in the area that do not do abortions (getyourcare.org)

Continue reading for the updates from the sidewalk for today:

7-9: Joe

Joe sent in these photos from his shift:

Thanks to Joe B. for subbing as 7-9 shift manager and to those who stood with him!
humility
Prayer volunteer and sidewalk advocate Jackie
The bedrock of Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for Life, Al and Sally

9-11: Beth

How wonderful to see Tracy and Ashley from Steubenville along with Al, Sally, and Jackie when I arrived. Shift manager, Joe had everything under control. Ed joined us soon thereafter. Ed never met a dog he didn’t like and has become our Ambassador on Liberty Avenue, changing peoples opinion of pro-lifers from meanies, to people who even like pets. Beth Ann brought her friend from St. Alexis, Diane and Jaime. Thanks so very much for braving the chilly weather and standing as witness for the babies. Cecilia brought new pray-ers with her and another day at PP added more prayers to the “shut this place down” request line headed upward.

11-1: Nancy

St Joseph group

Regulars on way to work or lunch break

 

 

 

 

Powerful witnesses – Mom is 39 weeks pregnant! Sara from Eastbrook UMC

 

 

Powerful prayer warriors from St Raymond, St Florian and Our Lady of Grace.

 

1-3: Donna

It was a beautiful day to pray today. Thank you to my friends Karen and Sue from our church, St. Thomas Anglican Church in Gibsonia.

We handed out a lot of cards and 40 Days For Life pamphlets and had many positive comments and quite a few said “God Bless You”. One negative comment where someone said “Get away from me”. One passerby thanked us and walked up to PP and placed her hand on the building and prayed. A PP worker came out and told us to move a flower that was inside the yellow line. It wasn’t ours but we moved it and made sure our roses were outside the line. There was a lot of activity at PP today. One girl walked past PP and we gave her a pamphlet and card and she realized she passed it up and went in with our information. As she walked in she looked at the information and us and said huh. Someone came by and handed us the booklet that says Love The Jewish People and another man came by and handed us the card that says GOSPEL on it. On the other side is a business advertisement for a Flag Specialty Shop.

                                                                                   Earlier today I was in the Dollar Store and a women behind me asked to see the back of my God Loves You t shirt. She asked me where I got it and I told her I had them made and that I had them in my trunk if she wanted one. I explained to her why I had them made and why I was wearing it. Her name was Patti and she said she prays everyday for an end to abortion. Thank you Father for all your faithful prayer warriors.

 

3-5: Pat

Well, things were a bit eventful today.  We had Fr. Jason from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie stop by for a few minutes to pray.  He said it was his first chance this campaign because he’s been so busy and he feels terrible about it.  We had a woman carefully study our fetal models for a few minutes and then say that she was very pleased to see that the people who are trying to spread God’s word finally have fetal models that accurately depict God’s biology.  We had an older couple tell us that they had just gone into PP to make a pledge to PP for us being there.  The woman then asked each of us individually if we had ever adopted a baby.  We had President Trump’s motorcade pass by only a block from us.  And we had the resulting back-up of traffic on the streets and people on the sidewalks (who were waiting for buses that couldn’t move).

But I think the highlight of it all was having a young traveler named Matthew stop and pray with us.  He’s from Minnesota and he’s worked with a pro-life group called Red Rose Rescue in the Detroit area.  He is traveling the tri-state area on bike and found us by looking for a Planned Parenthood.  He didn’t know if there would actually be a 40DFL vigil going on, but was pleased to find us.  What a nice surprise both for him and for us.

Picture of Matthew’s bike – note the 40DFL sticker.
Matthew from Minnesota has been traveling the tri-state area on his bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I want to thank fellow SM Jeff for coming out to make sure that I wasn’t flying solo, and faithful Benson, who I was happy to be able to pray with once again.

Jeff B. made sure I was not alone on my shift. (I think the rays mean that God was smiling upon his sacrifice.)

5-7: Lisa

An evening with an international flavor.

Tonight as we spend our last Tuesday evening 5 – 7 shift for this 40 Days campaign the streets were busy!  This evening Johanna and I had more people stand with us and several very positive interactions with those passing by.  Johanna and I are very proud to be members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.  My court is Court Westinghouse #759 out of the Turtle Creek valley and Johanna is with Court Allegheny #664 with members from the North Side.  We were joined by the organization’s State Regent, Peg, who is a member of Ct. St. Rene #1868 comprised of ladies in the Monroeville area.  Judi joined us again for a prayer filled evening.  Jim did his usual quick stop as he is leaving the city for the evening.  Peg knows Jim as a fellow parishioner of St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville.  Next, Peg saw a life time friend Lisa who also works downtown.
When we arrived this evening, Matthew from Minnesota was on his knees.  He was very interesting to speak with.  He advocates for Life as he free spirits along on his bicycle.  Another lady joined us for a while but I apologize that I do not remember her name.  The street was filled with a lot of people from the convention center.  Notably a young woman from Jordan and a young gentleman from Venezuela spent time with us discussing their conviction to Life in their home countries.
We had a conversation with a hurting homeless couple who recently had a baby that they were encouraged to abort because their baby boy would be born very ill.  They loving carried their child to almost term as he was born premature and lived on this earth only 8 hours.  She was able to hold him, love him and have pictures taken to have with her always.  The baby was cremated and she has kept his ashes with her.  Prayers for this sad situation.
Judi, Johanna, Peg and Lisa
One of our beautiful baby pictures reflected onto the front door of Planned Parenthood
Why we are on the sidewalk

Day 34: Weirton Catholic Churches St., Margaret Mary (Moon Twp) and Presbyterians Pro Life

“Lord, if it is thyself, bid me come to thee over the water” said St Peter. “Come” was the response.

St Peter didn’t see the violent waves and howling wind threatening him. He only saw Jesus. He didn’t cling to the boat, he jumped right in.

Isn’t this similar to what we have going on around us. The pro abortion industry, the media and so many other segments of our society all seem to be threatening us. We want to cling to our comfortable lives. Yet we jumped in. We have stood up to the world. We heard the words “Be not afraid” and we came to witness to life, despite the “world’s” opposition, the big waves and at times even in harsh weather.

WE WALK ON WATER!

“Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid”. If you haven’t yet been able to make it to the vigil, there is still time this last week of the vigil. Come even if only for a prayer or two. You might just save a life and a soul. Forward this on to your friends and family and let them experience the joy of walking on water.

And if you can’t come while this 40 DFL Fall Campaign is underway, know that there are faithful Sidewalk Advocates and prayer warriors outside of pp every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (and Katie is often alone), Friday and Saturday mornings usually from 7 -11 am and join us.

“O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?” Come walk on water. Tim B.

Thanks to the faithful from Weirton Catholic Churches,  St. Margaret Mary (Moon Twp) and
Presbyterians Pro Life

HERE ARE STORIES FROM TODAY AT THE VIGIL: (this will updated throughout day)

7-9 am: While there was no church group, thank you to Rose S. who was with me for the bulk of my shift. Things were nice and quiet on the sidewalk this early morning which made praying a lot easier than it is on the Friday afternoons where I have my usual shift.

We did have one young man, “J”, who approached Rose with some questions. We found out that his girlfriend (also “J”) is pregnant and her family is pressuring her to have an abortion. This young man clearly does not want his girlfriend – and future wife, he tells us – to do this. It was unclear where the girlfriend herself was on the issue, but how about if we all try to say a short prayer today for the both of them. Pat M.

9-11 am: When I arrived for my 9 to 11 shift, I saw the earlier shift manager, faithful Pat, alone on his knees in silent prayer. That was a beautiful witness to his trust in God! His shift buddy, Rose, had to leave to prepare for Mass, but she had been with him for most of his shift. Carolina had signed up to be with me for my shift so I would not be alone. Thank you Carolina! The two of us had a very peaceful and prayerful time on the sidewalk. We got no negative comments and a couple positive ones. There were only employees going into the clinic, so we were able to focus on prayer. Carolina is from Mexico, and although she speaks very good English, when we prayed the rosary, she prayed her responses in Spanish, which was beautiful for me to hear! We truly are one body in Christ, no matter what language we speak! She was asking me what happens after the 40 days are over, and if we still have a witness on the sidewalk. I explained to her that we do not have the signs or the baby models, but there are a few individuals who do come throughout the year. We always need more though! It is so important to keep our presence there on the sidewalk! Many hearts and minds are changed because of it. I encourage everyone to keep the prayers going after the 40 days are over, and pray and ask God if he is calling you to come to the sidewalk on a regular basis even after the 40 days are over!  Nikki 

11-1 pm: Sheila and Collin from Weirton Catholic Churches prayed and passed out a lot of literature with me today.
Ginny

1-3 pm: A million thanks to the people of St. Mary, St. Catherine and St. Joseph combined parish for praying with Rose and me on a cold, cloudy afternoon. Denise and Stephen, Jackie, Robert, Dominic, Lou, Dorothy and Ralph and Maureen were joined by Fr. Frank their fearless leader as we sent our prayers heavenward from 933 Liberty Avenue. PP had few visitors, looks like it’s “get out the vote” time for them to insure they continue to receive federal and state money every day.
Big convention of chemical engineers in town; we received smiles and stares. Again, thanks, to all who came to the cold outside praying to end an even colder inside at PP. Beth S.

3-5 pm: I stood with Marie from Presbyterians for Life. We both had literature that we were handing out, but we were both aware that we are there to pray. It was the usual after work crowd queing up for the buses. In the second hour, a highschool aged boy and girl approached us and said that they support Planned Parenthood, but will give us 2 minutes to change their minds. We were right in from of the fetal models, so we discussed the scientific fact that a pregnancy is a human being. They asked us a series of questions after that like “what would we say to a pregnant woman in a very difficult situation”….to which we responded “How can we help you? What are your needs?” and showed them the resource card. They also asked us about abortion in a case where the mother’s life is in danger and our thoughts on abortion vs adoption. I told them about the documentary “I Lived on Parker” so hopefully they remember to look it up, since it is from the perspective of someone who lived the adoption experience. Here is a link if you have not seen it. https://www.ilivedonparkerave.com/ Andy came to finish the last shift of the day and when I left, Marie was praying with a man who had approached us earlier. Thanks to everyone who came today, Sue

DAY 33: THANK YOU to the People of God Covenant Community; Saints John and Paul Catholic Church, Franklin Park; Shift Buddies Bill D., Jim and Cathy S., Joe B., Marie P., Rose, Vince P; Carmelite nuns, Elysburg, PA; Catholic Charities

LET US PRAY TODAY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO WERE  VICTIMS OF THE SHOOTING AT THE TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE.

LET US PRAY FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES.

MAY THOSE RECOVERING  RETURN QUICKLY TO HEALTH.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

For Love is strong as Death,

longing is fierce as Sheol.

Its arrows are arrows of fire,

flames of the divine.

 Deep waters cannot quench love,

nor rivers sweep it away.

Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love,

he would be utterly despised.

SONG OF SONGS 8:6-7

40 Days for Life people are accustomed to praying together.  Shawn Carney came to Pittsburgh and  prayed with Nikki and many of us this Monday in front of PP in downtown Pittsburgh.  In their generosity, Catholic Charities let us use their resources for our reception.

In 2004, with 3 other prolife witnesses, Shawn Carney launched what became the worldwide 40 DAYS FOR LIFE.  Today he is the President/CEO of 40 Days for Life.

Shawn had parents just like the rest of us.  When you are with him you notice that he looks, walks and talks just like us.  You also notice that he talks about God.

Behind and before

you beseige me,

your hand ever laid upon me.

Too wonderful for me, this knowledge,

too high, beyond my reach. 

PSALM 139

Shawn is a walking talking example of what people are like when they let God in.

My topic today is sainthood.

What makes us holy?

Christianity from the earliest days was described

not as a religion,

not as a doctrinal program.

It was described as a way,

a path.

The walking of three basic paths;

finding the center,

knowing that you are a sinner, and

realizing that your life is not about you.

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Barron gave a keynote address at the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress, 2018, in Liverpool, reflecting on sainthood, sanctity and what makes us holy.

___________________________________

Check out this clip from BLUES BROTHERS 2000.  Hollywood imagines how a person who lets God in might react to His presence.    Those assembled in God’s name in this Revival tent certainly achieve the joy factor.

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

The choir is singing “John the Revelator.” This is a traditional blues song that more or less originated with Blind Willie Johnson in 1930 and is based on the Bible.  Check here for the lyrics.

http://whiskeyclone.net/ghost/songinfo.php?songID=159

The Book of Revelation describes seven seals. 

http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=315342

___________________________________

Now and then he actually succeeds,

like dynamite,

in blasting a soul into the air,

and far and wide

the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake.

Father Hans Urs von Balthasar

MAGNIFICAT October 2018

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

For as quiet as the Sunday morning vigil hours have been to this point in the campaign, today was anything but.  Diane and Tom were providing for all the day’s needs at 7 AM when we were stopped by a man who was upset over the horror that took place in Squirrel Hill yesterday and a number of other things.

Before they had even finished setting up, a second man from Texas shared several stories with us, including his past involvement in the pro-life cause.  Many other people in pain and in need stopped to ask for prayers and money throughout the morning.

Faithful Bill passed by to say a prayer.

My “shift buddy,” Vince, and I managed to keep praying between all the distractions.  I’m very grateful to him for his continued presence and strong spiritual leadership.

The vigil rolled on in a powerful way at 9:00 as Shift Manager Sue and Shift Buddy Ken were joined by a wonderful group from the People of God Covenant Community.

Vince, Shift Buddy  
Jen, Shift Manager                       Early Sunday witnesses for Life

__________________________________

SUE 9-11

How wonderful it was this morning to be greeted by the spirit-filled members of the People of God Covenant Community!  They always bring such sincere and heartfelt prayer and song to the sidewalk, and today was no exception.  My faithful shift buddy, Ken, rounded out our group.

Our prayer included prayers for the Tree of Life synagogue victims and their families.

A quiet, friendly man who introduced himself as “J,” who had been walking along the sidewalk, joined us silently for much of the first hour.

I believe it was the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit that drew him in!  He said he can see both sides of the abortion argument but leans toward being pro-life.  He said he knows that the life-of-the-mother argument, due to modern medical advancements, has lost ground over the years.  I told him that I had just been talking about that subject yesterday at the vigil with Mary Pat, a nurse, who actually had brought it up.  She said that in her work she has never seen it necessary – contrarily, she said, in fact, she has personally seen babies taken very young from their mothers’ wombs for reasons concerning the health of the mother, and both the babies and the mothers survive and do well.  We encouraged J in his faith and beliefs regarding life, and Julie even invited him to the afternoon People of God prayer meeting.

I left the vigil for a few minutes in the care of Ken as I walked “D,” a homeless lady, down the street to get a coffee.  When I returned, I found out that the man who regularly walks by on Sundays pushing his clattering cart had been by.  He had told Ken that before the vigil, he had been on the fence regarding abortion but that the vigil’s presence and participants had won him over to the pro-life side.  Praise God!!

Rosanne and Rich arrived early, as always, for their shift.

Nikki, bearing flowers and a little stuffed baby doll, showed up shortly thereafter to kneel and pray.

Just after those three arrived, a young girl in a car that was stopped at the traffic light opened her sunroof and stood up.  She stated loudly that she had had an abortion and was just fine and that we had better stop standing in judgment and teaching our children that it’s wrong.  We could see she was hurting and angry.  We told her we would pray for her, and we did, then and there.  May she allow our Loving and Merciful God to heal her.

Shift Manager Sue 
Ken and People of God Community            Lighting up the sidewalk with song

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

What a great group of people witnessed and prayed with us today. Sundays are usually quiet and peaceful for the most part but today it would not be so.

Earlier the drive-by who yelled to us from the car would show up on the sidewalk to confront us. Without getting into all the details of the conversation, we quickly learned that no matter what we said about our pro-life views would change her mind. All she wanted to do was justify her own abortion and to have everyone else agree with her even though she professed to be open minded.

So we began to pray and refuse to engage any longer. She is in desperate need of our prayers.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.

Joe, Volunteer
Pat and Rich
Saints John and Paul, Catholic Church
Joy and Rachel
Saints Peter and Paul, Franklin Park
Panorama view
Fran
Faithful Witness for life
Jim
Sunday witness

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Kathy K. 1-3

Many prayer warriors lined both sides of the circle when I arrived.

Joy and Rachel had a confrontation before I arrived. The aftermath provided good conversation . They followed by a Rosary on one side.
Jim and I prayed on other side.
Homeless woman, Gabby, shared her abortion story with Jim and me. She was forced to have abortion in the early 70s by her mom. She forgives her mom.
Busy sidewalk.

Welcomed more prayer warriors for next shift.

Judy, Rachel and Joy

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Stay tuned for more Notes

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PRAYER OUTREACH

DEE

Carmelite nuns

Elysburg, PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!  May Jesus be in your soul and make you very holy.

And may He reward you for all the beautiful work you do for the Pro Life movement, saving the lives of the innocent unborn babies.

Know that we are praying very much for you and this intention, confiding everything to our Blessed Mother’s love.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

Your Carmelite nuns

 

 

And God saw that it was good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 32: Thanks to BELLEVUE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS all day and Individual Volunteers

 

LOOK OUT – THE ABORTION FREIGHT TRAIN IS COMING!

After a trying week on the sidewalk, I think we all need to understand that those of us in the 40 Days for Life movement are attempting to rescue lives —– from in front of a moving freight train!   

That Freight Train is the well funded, Madison Avenue Scripted, Hollywood Star -Studded, Millionaire Financed BIG BUSINESS of Abortion … It is lethal , and it moves FAST.

So… IMAGINE  you are in your car and you approach a railroad crossing gate which has descended, signalling a train is imminent.

Suddenly, you notice child playing innocently on a train track unaware of the imminent danger.

WHAT do you do?

YOU shift your car into park, unbuckle your seatbelt, open your door, and  run, yelling, to help.   You search for anyone who might be able to lend a hand, you wave your arms furiously, you call out to the child….. you do whatever you possibly can to change the the course that life appears to be on for that child.   You do your best…

Unfortunately, the odds of all ending well are against us in these situations: 

MOST TIMES we are simply not able to safely make the rescue ….  We watch as the pregnant mom enters the abortion clinic.  We are too late, too unconvincing, too outnumbered …. to succeed.

SOMETIMES we ourselves will be “injured” attempting to help.   We are mimicked, ridiculed, scorned, verbally abused  —- even as we use our powerful and peaceful commitment of PRAYER!

but…

EVERY ONCE in a great WHILE, through the Grace of God & often with the help of others,  we are successful :  We can push that child off the track — and work to embrace him and (re)unite him with those who love him.  We are able to offer REAL CHOICES to women who are abortion-minded —-natural choices that do not involve violence or death.

THIS IS a pretty MIRACULOUS outcome—  we call them SAVES!

Heaven knows it is difficult, but please continue to answer God’s call to be pro-life, and to answer His call to put yourselves in the physical path of the Abortion Freight train.   We know our work results in MIRACLES called SAVES.   I am honored to stand, and kneel with the pro-life community in Pittsburgh.

 


  WITH DEEP SYMPATHY for the FAMILIES and COMMUNITY Grieving Today … 

Before I share today’s reports, Let us all take a moment to pray for the victims of today’s violence in Squirrel Hill.  With heavy hearts we have learned of the hateful acts of a man who randomly, callously and purposefully took the lives of gentle souls united in prayer at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.  

I was within one mile of the Tree of Life Synagogue this morning.  As I pulled over in my car in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood to offer a rosary, an Orthodox Jewish man and his son walked unknowingly and peacefully past my car on the sidewalk.   

It brought the heinous reality of the massacre up close-  Every living human person is beloved by God.  May God have mercy on the souls of the departed and provide aid to the injured.  May His peace flow like a river in this city of rivers….. 


Shift Manager Reports:

Sunrise Crew welcomes God into the day

 

7-9 am Shift Manager Tim reports:    

We were blessed to have Jill and Betsy in the Choices mobile sonogram, the year round Saturday morning Sidewalk Advocates and the Bellevue Knights of Columbus. Sadly it was a busy morning at PP. Yet we prayed and God heard our prayers.   Tim B

 

Good Morning Jill and Betsy!

 

9-11 am Prayer Warriors between raindrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9-11 Shift Manager Sue Reports:

Charlie and his Knights of Columbus, along with Mary Pat, were holding down the fort when I arrived.  Shortly afterwards, as Joe K. was still there after his 7-9 shift as a Sidewalk Advocate, we noticed a couple standing in the circle in front of PP, shuffling their backpacks and bags and not particularly looking as if they were preparing to go in.  Joe, however, thought he would approach them anyway to offer them information.  Before I knew it, he was leading them across the street to the mobile ultrasound unit!!!  They entered, and all indications were that they received services there, as we did not see them exit before the mobile unit left quite some time later (although we’re certain they must have left the unit at some point due to the fact that the mobile would not drive off with them inside).  Praise God for this bright spot on an otherwise very sad morning in Pittsburgh.

Shortly after Joe led the couple to the mobile, Joan showed up to pray along with Tish, Lisa, and Bo, all from St. Patrick in Canonsburg.  Mary and Arlene from St. Maurice arrived soon afterwards, along with Rose from St. John XXIII.  They did a lot of praying.  Several couples and singles entered the clinic, unfortunately not responding to our offers of help and literature.  We prayed for each one.  At 11:07, which at that point was officially Dean’s shift, I received a text from a friend who was lunching in Squirrel Hill, telling of the horrible news and asking us to pray.  We all prayed together.   Dear Lord, please send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of this city, this country, and this earth!

Tish, Lisa, Bo, and Joan from St. Patrick in Canonsburg, with Bill H.

 

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:

Our prayers go out to all of those people effected by the killings at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill today. I saw many of the first responders en route as I passed through that area on my bus trip to 40DFL this morning. All killing effects all of us.

Knights of Columbus Bellevue and Verona

 

 

1-3 Shift Manager Billy Reports:

 

Tom and Jenny

I was shift lead today with 2 knights  of Columbus AJ and then Kurt, along with Tom  and Jenny.  Tom began reading  the passion of Jesus. I also noticed  there was  a rainbow flag around the tree with our choose life sign and what came to my mind was Noah finding mercy from God. I was thinking  we are being the merciful choice for the babies. We were accompanied by a sidewalk ad vocate. We also got visits from Mimi  and Rick who prayed the rosary for us.

I noticed  we had seen people accidentally mistake planned parenthood for another place, and also a few women were having issues with the door.   Our  side walk advocate gave a  would -be client information and that person  went on !!  Other than that we did not have any issues

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3-5 Shift Manager Kathy Reports:  

Quiet rainy prayerful shift: grateful to Ken, Jim, Rick, sidewalk advocate Marian .

Prayer Warriors