The Lazy River of God…

The Texas-shaped lazy river that we enjoyed during our time in Houston…read on to find out how this compares to participating in 40 Days for Life!

I wish to write about my experience of attending this past weekend’s 40 Days for Life symposium in Houston, so that all of our 40 Days for Life family in Pittsburgh can, in a small way, share some of the blessings that we received by attending this wonderful symposium.

This symposium was special because of two amazing trips that we were taken on…read on to hear about them:

First, when we arrived in Houston on Friday, the very first thing we did was load all 200+ leaders into four large buses and drove to the mega-Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Houston, which is the largest freestanding abortion clinic in the world.

I had seen pictures of it many times before, but I was surprised at the emotional reaction that I experienced when I actually saw it in person. I took a picture of my face, and as a remedy to my own vanity and pride, I will post it to show you my initial reaction to this monstrosity of evil:

Here is a photo of the people sitting behind me on the bus, you will see in many faces the same look of sadness and horror:

The temperature outdoors was about 3 degrees cooler than hell, as one leader aptly put it. I tried to offer my suffering in the heat for those whose lives have and are being lost in that building, but it was tough.

Pro-lifers poured from the buses onto the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood
Dr. Noreen (center) is a former abortionist, now pro-life. Pictured with two local 40 Days for Life leaders, Kathy and Jane.

Although the heat was intense…especially for us Yankees…It was the perfect way to begin our symposium. Standing in front of the largest abortion facility in the world was the stark reminder that I needed to remember why I was at the symposium in the first place.

Members of the national and international team spoke during the rally in front of Planned Parenthood

I want to share one thought that I had, as our bus stopped in front of this terrible building: While I was still in my seat, feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged…I looked out the window to see many men who are leaders in this movement. They were all busy organizing and directing the gathering crowd. These men included; Shawn Carney, Matt Britain, Steve Karlen, Robert Colquhoun, Brian Wilson and Rev. Brian Walker (among others). As I sat there, wanting to find a hole to crawl into…looking at these strong male leaders, I sensed that they were our warriors. I had the feeling that I was on the front lines of a very dangerous battle and I did not have the strength to fight, but I was so thankful for the leadership of these godly men. I had the thought that fighting abortion is like being in a war, and men are the ones that God equipped to really fight the hard battle on the front line. Me, as a woman, can fight behind the scenes, Through prayer and fasting and organizing people to show up on the sidewalk… which I know, is also on the front lines… and we women also do battle. But still, I really have a sense of gratitude for these spiritually strong men who have answered the call to lead us! I just wanted to say this. I realize that it may sound old-fashioned and not politically correct these days.

After our time at Planned Parenthood we had a gala event with a wonderful dinner and many great speakers which motivated and inspired us, including Ante, whom we met here in Pittsburgh.

40 Days for Life leaders and team members gathered at the Houston Marriott Marquis for a wonderful evening Gala on Friday

The following day, on Saturday, was an all day symposium with many speakers, including testimonies of those who chose Life and also those who suffered from abortion. One of the most powerful speaker panels included two former abortionists, one former abortion clinic manager, and a post abortive women. As they role played a scene from how an abortion would take place, they were unexpectedly brought to tears as they reenacted the scene.

In the above photo, two former abortion doctors, along with a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager, re-enact an actual abortion appointment with a post-abortive participant. It was more emotional than they expected.
This woman gave a powerfully inspiring testimony of being pressured by her doctor to abort her daughter (the young woman seated beside her), who is a beautiful young woman who loves the Lord and who also shares her story with people all around the country.

Saturday night was such a fun time, as we were fed a Texas style barbecue and had the opportunity to learn how to country line dance, which I enjoyed!

Judy and Nikki, having a blast line dancing to country music! I discovered that flip flops are not the ideal footwear for country dancing…next time I will bring my boots!
Pittsburgh team: Beth, Judy, Nikki and Lisa

On Sunday those of us who are Catholic went to Mass together at a beautiful 150-year-old city parish called “Church of the Annunciation”. The church was PACKED and we heard a wonderful sermon about the importance of praying in front of abortion clinics!

Historic 150-year old Church of the Annunciation in Houston was packed with pro-lifers on Sunday!

After Mass, all of us had the life-changing and profound experience of taking a two hour bus trip (four buses packed full of 40 days for life leaders), to Brian/College Station, to visit the former Planned Parenthood building, which is now the site of the International 40 Days for Life headquarters!!! This was truly the icing on the cake of a magnificent weekend!

Group photo of everyone in front of 40 Days for Life headquarters
Dr. Haywood Robinson spoke in front of the former Planned Parenthood where he used to do abortions. Now he works there providing medical care to women who are being assisted in choosing LIFE for their babies! Only God could write a story like this one!

Dr. Haywood Robinson stood in front of that building and told us that he used to do abortions in that same Planned Parenthood…before he met Jesus Christ and was transformed by grace. I was moved to tears to see God‘s power and His Hand in this movement! To see that man standing there speaking to us… to see the transformation in his life and in the lives of so many other former abortionists and workers who were there… brought me to tears. This time they were tears of joy.

Haywood made the analogy of 40 Days for Life being like a lazy river of God. When you stand there, looking at that former abortion clinic, which now serves as the headquarters of 40 Days for Life …and all those former abortion-workers who are now on the side of LIFE… you can’t help but see how 40 days for life is a movement completely of God! With that knowledge, we can feel safe and comfortable (as in the lazy river), because we know that we are in the center of God’s will… as we float along in this movement. It is a wonderful analogy, although I must admit that sometimes I don’t feel like I am floating. I feel more like I am paddling upstream, but that is just because I have the continual fight against my own weak human nature and my own laziness and selfishness! But really, we are in the lazy river of God when we participate in 40 days for life!

Shawn Carney, President of 40 Days for Life, welcomed us to their headquarters in College Station
Pittsburgh girls…Judy, Nikki, Beth and Lisa
Kruno and Ante join us for a team photo…we will miss these guys!

Dr. Robinson made the analogy of 40 days for life being like a lazy river of God.

He probably came up with this analogy because we had a really cool lazy river at the Marriott Marquis, where our 40 days conference was held. This lazy river is in the shape of Texas! (Texans are mighty proud of their state!)

Ante, along with many 40 Days for Life leaders enjoy a Texas barbecue in front of the 40 Days for Life headquarters.

The 40 Days for Life national team had a delicious Texas-style barbecue lunch for us. They truly treated us like kings and queens all weekend! I am so grateful to all of their generous donors who made this weekend possible!

It was amazing to walk through those same doors that Abby Johnson walked through every day to work at Planned Parenthood.

We were given a tour of the building, including one of the rooms in which abortions were performed. Unlike the experience of being in front of the mega-Planned Parenthood in Houston…which was so dark and unsettling…inside of this former abortion facility…which has since been exorcised and blessed…I felt nothing but gratitude and joy.

This is the reception desk, where thousands of women paid for their abortions. This desk has now been redeemed. Notice the iconic photo on the wall behind the glass…the now famous photo of the Planned Parenthood sign being torn down!
We were told that before the interior of the building was painted, but after the exorcism, church congregations were invited to come in and pray…and the entire wall area was COVERED with scripture verses, which members of those churches wrote on the walls. So this space is now LITERALLY covered with the Word of God! This photo was taken of the inside of a closet, which still has a verse of scripture visible.

We went into the very room where the abortions took place, which still contained the table that the women would lay on, (now covered with roses)…but the darkness was not there. Only redemption.

Dr. Haywood Robinson, standing in the very room in which he used to do abortions.
Former bed of pain, now redeemed.

They also showed us the plans for a memorial which they are going to build in the backyard, which will be a large granite wall with 6,400 gold crosses… to memorialize the lives that were lost there.

Plans for the memorial…
This plaque and angel statues will be part of the memorial.
Dr. Haywood and Dr. Noreen…two former abortion doctors, now working to save lives from abortion!
The very hallway where Abby Johnson walked, and so many poor women and babies were destroyed.
I just had to take a picture of the sky as we were standing on that holy ground…God is with us!!!
Photos hanging in the reception area…

This beautiful figurine of Mary, pregnant with Jesus is displayed in the board room

So what are you waiting for? The lazy river of God is waiting for you to JUMP IN!!! Sign up here for the fall campaign:

https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/

Inspiring events this week! Croatia Pro-Life Leaders in Pittsburgh!

This has been a whirlwind week with the funny, energetic and passionately pro-life 40 Days for Life leaders from Croatia! From the minute I picked Kruno and Ante up at the Pittsburgh airport (last Friday), through today, I have enjoyed these two wonderful young leaders as they speak and show their inspiring new documentary, “40 Days…”. They stayed with Joe and I for their first three nights and it was like having two new sons in my home. They even started calling me “Mom”. Their film has inspired many people and will undoubtedly save many lives! You can watch it for free on You Tube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAzm0ftoqsg&t=115s

Here are some photos from this week’s events:

SATURDAY

On Saturday, Ante and Kruno spoke and screened their film after 5pm Mass at St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale. During the event in the church hall, Bishop William Waltersheid blessed our event and added his inspiring thoughts on the importance of the pro life movement by Christians. We are grateful to St. Nicholas parish and Bishop Waltersheid for a heart-changing evening! Bishop Waltersheid was presented with a DVD copy of the film in gratitude for his attendance.
Saturday night showing at Saint Nicholas
Lisa and her daughters brought Kruno and Ante to see our Vigil site
Saturday in front of Planned Parenthood

Ante
Kruno and Bill
Our protection and our hope

SUNDAY

Fr. Jason Charron, from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie hosted Kruno and Ante at his church on Sunday with a showing of the film following the 11am Divine Liturgy. It was a beautiful afternoon of pro-life fellowship and many were inspired by Ante and Kruno’s enthusiasm and their love for the Lord!
Many people came to watch the film, from Holy Trinity Church and elsewhere.
At Fr. Jason‘s church, everyone watching the film attentively
A nice showing at Fr. Jason‘s church
Lisa, Kruno, Ante, Nikki
After we left Fr. Jason’s Church, I took Kruno and Ante to meet two of my heroes, who also happen to be my mentors in the pro-life movement and in my walk with God…Sally and Al Brunn. Although they are in a nursing home now, since Al had a stroke in December, their minds are sharp as pins and they are full of peace and joy. Kruno and Ante were very inspired by their visit with Sally and Al.

MONDAY

Pizza-Man Joe…making his homemade pizza at Monday’s cook-out at the Bruni’s!
It was a fun time of food and fellowship at our home. Everyone enjoyed Joe’s pizza and other goodies on the backyard pavilion.
Everyone’s attention was focused on the film. Even the children did not take their eyes off of this moving and inspiring documentary!

TUESDAY

Many pro lifers gathered inside of Catholic Charities Welcome Center on Tuesday to see the screening of “40 Days” and to hear Ante and Kruno’s inspiring message of 40 Days for Life in Croatia!
Ante’s enthusiasm for saving lives is contagious!
Kruno and Ante meet another Pittsburgh pro-life legend, Helen Cindrich, Executive Director of People Concerned for the Unborn Child…PCUC, the OLDEST pro-life organization in the USA!
Lisa took them to the Croatian Federation in Monroeville

WEDNESDAY

Pastor Joe Stump and the wonderful worship team at Lincoln Place Nazarene led us in a beautiful time of song.
Kruno with hands raised to the Lord.
Kruno opened the event with a short presentation on Croatia…its natural beauty, history and people.
Ante inspired many with his passion for saving lives through 40 Days for Life in Croatia!
Joe and Ante say goodbye…Joe was full of emotion…these young men really got into his heart during our time together. He will miss them.
Saying goodbye to daddy Joe
Saying goodbye…
This pro-life mom will miss her “sons”. This old German lady is taken by surprise by these Europeans ready display of affection…but in a good way!
Ante loves to clown around…and he loved his American “Coke”
After staying at the Bruni’s house for their first three nights in Pittsburgh…Ante and Kruno left for the Koslosky’s for the following two nights. Here they are, clowning around at Lisa’s house. It looks like they are having fun…yes?

THURSDAY

Pastor Joe and Judy Stump hosted Kruno and Ante for their final two nights in Pittsburgh. Here are some photos of their sight-seeing!

The dynamic duo with Pastor Joe and Judy Stump
At the Carnegie Museum with the Stumps
With the dinosaurs
Ante-saurus
Ante and Kruno had a great day with Pastor Joe and Judy

On Friday, we will all fly out to Houston for the International 40 Days for Life Symposium. Check back next week for a blog post about that event.

Croatian film director and producer to screen “40 Days…” film in Pittsburgh four times.

The film “40 Days for Life…” which documents the significant growth and impact of the pro-life movement resulting from the participation and witness in the 40 Days for Life Campaigns will be shown 4 times in Pittsburgh. The producer and director, ANTE ČALJKUŠIĆ, also President of 40 Days for Life – Croatia along with KRUNOSLAV PUŠKAR Regional Coordinator of 40 Days for Life – Croatia will be present at all of the screening.
The film includes Pope Francis who appears in the film met with Ante and was given a copy.
The film powerfully shows the pain and sorrow of abortion and along with the joy and triumph of the Croatian 40 DFL community. 40 DFL is the same organization shown in recently released film “Unplanned”
The film team truly believes 40 DFL worldwide will bring about the end to abortion.

There will be four free screenings in Pittsburgh:  CLICK HERE for a downloadable flyer with all the details of the screenings!


First Screening

Saturday, July 27 after 5:00 PM Mass

St. Nicholas Croatian Church

24 Maryland Ave; Pittsburgh, PA 15209

412-821-3438


Second Screening

Sunday, July 28 at 1:00 PM

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Parish Hall (basement of church)

730 Washington Ave; Carnegie, PA 15106
412-279-4652

Reservation required–please call or email holytrinitycarnegie@gmail.com.
Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (all English) is at 11 AM followed by refreshments and a screening of “40 Days…” in the parish hall. All are welcome!


Third Screening

Tuesday, July 30 from 6:00-8:00 PM

Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh

212 Ninth St; Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-456-6999

 Seminar includes showing of the film.


Fourth Screening

Wednesday, July 31 at 7:00 PM

Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene

5604 Interboro Ave; Pittsburgh, PA 15207

412-977-4091 (ask for Judy)

Join us for a potluck at 6 PM (please bring food to share) before the screening at 7 PM, followed by a question & answer session.

Open Letter to Rep. Brian Sims

Dear Rep. Brian Sims,

Although I have not fed or clothed any poor children yet today...I am responding to the video you recently posted that shows you harassing the “old white woman” in front of Planned Parenthood. As a grandmother of four, and one who prays weekly in front of Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh, I think I am qualified to write this letter.

You may think that, as a young, affluent, influential person, you can intimidate us “old white ladies” to just go away. I mean, how difficult can it be to scare us old ladies? How can we possibly endure pressure from politicians who give us a hard time? We will certainly succumb in fear and trepidation and slink back to our kitchens where we belong…to bake cookies or something.

NOT!!!

The mistake you are making is your assumption that we so-called “pseudo-Christians” will be deterred by humiliation and intimidation from other people, even from those who are supposedly in a position of human authority. You see, as TRUE Christians…we have already humbled ourselves to the authority of GOD…as He has given us to know Truth in the Person of Jesus Christ! HE is our example, and HE is our authority. As he willingly suffered from the “authorities” in his day, so we also count it a privilege to suffer for him…if he asks us to.

Actually, It is understandable that you would make such a mistake. After all, people tend to assume that others are just like they are. If somebody is a liar, they never trust anything that anyone says to them. A husband who cheats on his wife is always suspicious of her, thinking she is doing the same. The same thing goes for a person who is proud and arrogant…one who desires the respect and esteem of other people. A person such as that assumes that others can be manipulated in a way that they themselves could be.

It always amazes me how two people can sometimes look at the same thing, yet see two totally different realities. For example, surely you have seen photos of abortion. When I first saw the torn, mutilated corpses of abortion victims…it broke my heart! I cried and sobbed after viewing those photos. But what do you see? A woman’s choice? When I hold a newborn baby…such a tiny, fragile life…I am moved to compassion and the desire to tenderly care for that child. I am amazed and in awe of the miracle of new life! But what do you see? A burden to be eliminated?

You stated in your video how important it is for you to be involved in this great “civil rights” movement…which is very ironic that you would say that, because it IS in fact a civil rights movement…just in the OPPOSITE way that you think! The unborn human is the one being killed and oppressed here…NOT the pregnant moms!

Did you see the faces of the parents in Colorado, as they frantically searched for their children, following this week’s tragic school shooting? The expressions of anxiety and grief in their faces brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that there is truly no greater bond (humanly speaking), than that of a parent for their child! In fact, I would bet that if you randomly polled 100 people on the streets, and asked them what the worst possible thing they could imagine happening to them would be…I would bet that most of them would say experiencing the death of a child. Yet, you think it is a good thing for women to walk into Planned Parenthood and pay money to bring about that same result! The ONE thing that everyone fears most…in your eyes is somehow good, and should be applauded. In fact, you think it is SUCH a good thing that you are willing to rant and rave and try to intimidate those who are trying to save parents who are in danger of experiencing that grief.

Just look at the faces of those parents in Colorado.

Sadly, maybe you will never personally experience the joy that comes from having a child, created by God, through a loving union of man and woman. But those of us who have been blessed with children understand what a treasure our children are! They are a gift from God! Even now, although my children are grown and have children of their own…if any sort of physical injury befalls them, when I learn about it, I experience an actual physical pain…like a twinge…in the innermost part of my body. There is still a connection. You cannot separate a child from the mother. There is an eternal bond. God it made it that way in order to show us the same bond that exists between Him and all of his children.

So, Rep. Sims…I ask you…just who are you trying to intimidate? Those of us who are already bowed down as low as we can be? We are already face down on the ground (spiritually speaking)…and you want to trample on us? We count it an honor to be trampled on for our Lord. So, if you thought that you could intimidate us by your call for increased persecution….you have made a fatal mistake..

You see, you may think you are only fighting against “old white women“…when in fact, you are actually fighting against GOD.

Good luck with that!

Nikki Bruni


Thanks for a great response on the sidewalk last weekend! Diaper Drive and “Stand with Abby”!

Last week, in response to the harassment of an elderly pro-life woman by PA State Rep. Brian Simms, (CLICK HERE to read my open letter to him)…thousands of pro-lifers showed up in Philadelphia to make the statement that we will not be bullied! Thanks to the many people who showed up here in Pittsburgh, in solidarity to those in Philadelphia! Here are some pictures from last Friday:

Faithful early morning prayer warriors Rose, Mary and Fran
Woman from Steubenville made a powerful witness praying on her knees.
Nancy, me and Fran
Walt, Charlie and Ken pray for vulnerable human life to be protected.
Rain didn’t keep the pro life witness away!
Many prayers said for the babies
Great witness for life!

Charlene reports that the Diaper Drive was a success! Thank you for all who donated! She wrote:


Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Diaper Drive! We had the car almost full of diapers, wipes, toys and baby items. We also had cash donations which I am sure Catholic Charities will find good use for!  And this does not include the Friday contributions.  Some passers by commented on the contrast between a diaper Drive and an abortion clinic. I hope that sunk into many heads!!! Thank you again!!! Charlene

Charlene

Although the 40 Days for Life is over for the summer, year-round sidewalk advocates continue to reach out to abortion-bound couples to offer life-saving alternatives! Sue McGrath will be holding a sidewalk advocate training on Saturday, June 1st at the Bellvue Knights of Columbus Hall. It is not too late to register! If you are interested in attending this one-time, four-hour DVD training, contact Sue at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net

It is true that for many of us Sidewalk Advocates, we often are discouraged by our seemingly fruitless efforts in front of Planned Parenthood. We lovingly reach out to couples who are walking in to Planned Parenthood in those final moments while their child is still alive, to offer them life and hope…but it is rare that we see someone actually change their mind.

I just have to share this photo with you. It is an ultrasound photo of a baby that was saved a few weeks ago, when his or her mom came to PP for an abortion. The family member who accompanied this young woman told us that she had prayed to God for a sign if they weren’t supposed to do this. She told me that she believed that we were that sign. I had the privilege of going in with them to see the ultrasound at Women’s Choice Network, after we left Planned Parenthood. I watched this precious 13 week old baby moving around, waving little arms and legs…which would have been mercilessly torn off by Planned Parenthood’s abortionist, if not for our presence on the sidewalk.

Why does God choose to save some, while he seemingly allows others to be killed by abortion? I don’t know. That is why he is God and I am not. All I know is that WHEN he decides to save a child, it is through US that he does it! And what an amazing privilege it is to be used by him in this way!

As Fr. Thomas More Sikora said, at a Mass that he had for our 40 Days for Life team last fall…he said:

I believe that the babies saved from abortion will be the future saints of the Church!

Fr. Thomas More Sikora

I wonder what plans he has for this child? I thank him and praise him for all that he is doing through our pro-life prayers and witness!

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 31st!

You may remember that two years ago I was invited by the 40 Days for Life leaders in Croatia to come and visit during their national conference, which I did…accompanied by our dear Lisa K.! It was a life-changing experience, to be able to see first-hand how God is using 40 Days for Life in Croatia, and to meet such wonderful people who have suffered so much from communism, but who are now using their new freedoms to fight for unborn life! 40 Days for Life is exploding in Croatia, with 26 cities taking part in that small country! Ante, who is Croatia’s “Shawn Carney”, along with our dear friend Krunoslav, will be visiting Pittsburgh on July 31st! Pastor Joe and Judy Stump will be hosting a screening of the Croatian 40 Days for Life film that they have produced, along with a reception for Ante and Kruno, at their church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.

I hope you will come and give a warm Pittsburgh pro-life welcome to these two courageous pro-life warriors who are travelling all the way here to meet us! Here are the details:

WHAT: 40 Days for Life in Croatia Film screening and reception for Croatian 40 Days for Life leaders, Ante and Kruno!

WHEN: Wednesday, July 31st at 6:30 pm

WHERE: Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, 5604 Interboro Ave., Pittsburgh PA

Thanks to all of you for keeping our pro-life community vibrant and alive here in Pittsburgh! May God bless you this summer! Hope to see you soon!

In Christ,

Nikki

Day 41: Thanks be to God for another amazing campaign!!

We are so thankful for the wonderful 40 days you have shared with us on the sidewalk! We have prayed together, and shared many moments together that have been difficult, powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful…. all of these and more. A sincere THANK YOU to all who participated in any way. It is YOU who make our time on the sidewalk bearable, and YOU who make it a HOLY time as well. Thank you.

The First Reading from our Palm Sunday liturgy began with these words:

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.

-Isaiah 50:4a,b


I recently heard Bishop Zubik offer a reflection on this verse from Isaiah. He mentioned how his first grade teacher had taught him and his classmates how to put letters together to become words, and how they could use those words to say important things. He later compared that education to this passage, saying that the Lord, also, has taught us, His followers, how to speak the words God needs us to speak.

There are times in our culture and society– like now– when many things go awry and when many hearts go astray. Bishop Zubik reminded us that WE are to be those ones who have a “well-trained tongue.” And WE are the ones who can “know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

I connect this to the LIFE issue in this way. So many of those people who pass by our prayer vigil are pro-abortion. Many of our family members and friends are as well. The abortion workers and the clients going inside might think that abortion is helpful or caring (in some irrational way). And there are many things we cannot do to change their minds or hearts. But there are other things we CAN do to make a difference in their lives. We can use our “well-trained tongue” to speak words of love and life to them. We can speak truth and hope. And as we speak, perhaps they will be “roused” out of their hopelessness… or their confusion… or their pain.

And to support one another in this “training our tongues” and “speaking rousing words to the weary,” we held a prayer service to close our vigil last evening (Sunday). We followed up with a potluck, fellowship, and sharing about the vigil. It was quite well attended; one of our team members estimated about 60 people joined us! Thank you to all who came and shared that special time with us.

Photos from the Closing Events:

Fr. Thomas More leading us in prayer on the sidewalk
Shift Manager Tim
Many wonderful people gathered in prayer
Thank you, Fr. Thomas More, for your inspirational words!
Later at Catholic Charities.
Thank you to Jeannie for our amazing dessert table!!

Nikki setting up drinks
Sweet baby colors for our napkins
Joe greets Kevin
Dee bringing in her lovely sweet potato casserole!
Shift Buddy Pastor Bryan greeting some of our wonderful volunteers
Thank you to everyone who came!
Many pro-life heroes at these tables!
Melissa shared her amazing testimony of choosing life for her son!
Thank you, Melissa, and God bless you!!
It was really a full house! Thank God!!
Shift Manager and Sidewalk Advocate Sue gives information about
the next Sidewalk Advocate training on Sat., June 1.
Shift Manager and Knight of Columbus Charlie is forming a plan
to have Prayer Buddies for the Sidewalk Advocates!! WONDERFUL idea!!!

Contact Sue for more information at susanmcgrath526@comcast.net.
Our local 40 Days for Life director, Nikki, testifies to the power of prayer!
Dedicated souls!!
Shift Manager Donna encouraging us and asking for prayers for
a young couple whose unborn child may have a difficult diagnosis.
Nikki giving a gift to the team– a photo collage of all the Shift Managers and Shift Buddies!
Meredith explains about the Magee Project: Praying for an end to abortion at Magee Hospital. For more information, contact Meredith at meredith@rescuepittsburgh.org.
Nikki and Shift Manager Donna
Thank you, Joe– what would these events be without you as M.C.??
Pastor Bryan, sending us forth with words of encouragement and a blessing! Thank you!!

Several years ago, my family and I began cheering for the Pittsburgh Marathon runners. We loved doing it so much that we have done it every year since…. But our involvement has evolved such that my husband’s band has been an official marathon band for the past three or four years. It is an amazing experience, mostly because of how we see the power of the music elevate and motivate the runners when they might be otherwise in a potential slump.

My husband has directed the band members on which motivational songs will work well for those “slump” moments. Our best-received, by far, is…. the theme from “Rocky.” One moment, some of the runners are starting to lose their stamina….

But then, they hear my nephews begin with this awesome trumpet riff below….. and WOW!! It changes the world.

At least, it changes the world for those runners at that moment.

And so, I encourage all of you, those of you with “well-trained tongues….”

Speak words to the weary that will ROUSE them… and bring them life and freedom and joy!!! We have the good news; we might want to show it– and SHARE it!!

God bless you all during this sacred time of Holy Week. And hope to see you all soon!!

DAY 40: THANK YOU, Saint Katharine Drexel Parish; Transfiguration and Saint Victor Parishes; The Acts Men; Living Hope Church; Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Armstrong County; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken, Kristy; all People who witnessed with us today!

He calls me forth into freedom.

He saves me because he loves me.

Psalm 18:20

___________________________________

Listen.

I bring you news of great joy,

a joy to be shared by all people.

Luke 2:10

___________________________________

Although we sometimes felt cold, wet, tired and maybe intimidated, I’ll bet JOY describes us best today.  With our beloved Nikki leading, we took LOVE to the sidewalk downtown 12 hours a day for 40 Days.  Off stage, an enormous crowd of people stood ready to share comprehensive, confidential help with abortion bound people and people wounded by abortion.  Prolife is always on duty. 

A “flashmob” video filmed on a sidewalk square in front of Saint Felix Cathedral, in Sabadell, Spain, shows a crowd of people who look rather a lot like we do today…singing and happy.

The Som Sabadell (We are Sabadell) flashmob performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy was conducted by Rubén Gimeno with 100 performers and a jubilant crowd of children, parents, sons and daughters.   Look closely.  Doesn’t that person remind you of someone you saw witnessing with us these past 40 Days?  How about the little kid dressed in orange, climbing the pole? 

Let us rejoice! 

THANK YOU!

Responding to a request from DEE, these brothers and sisters in Consecrated Life helped sustain us these 40 Days.

Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Jolenta Sredinski

School Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Frances Marie 

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Loretto, PA,  Monastery of St. Therese of Lisieux

Sisters of Charity, Seton Hill

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, North Hills: Saint Louise Convent, Coordinator, Sister Anne Kull, SCN

Carmelite Monastery, Erie, Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden: Congregational Moderator, Sister Sharon Costello, CSJ

Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Rector, Father Robert and Student Representative, Deacon Nathan Adams

The Ark and the Dove,  Administrators, Sisters Bernadette, Mary Gianna and Mary Justin

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN 7-9

We had a wonderful group of prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning, including lovely parishioners of St. Katherine Drexel who had to drive an hour to be with us.  We offered up a Scriptural Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion.  Positive reactions from passersby outnumbered the negative ones.  Vince was able to help a man whose power wheelchair battery died nearby.  And sweet Sue took over just as the skies opened up and let loose a torrent of rain.  Praying that she wasn’t soaked by the end of her shift!
The picture of the yellow line was actually a mistake…I accidentally take photos of the ground just about every time I turn on the camera.  😂  But I smiled when I did it this time because I think God was telling me to share something with you. 

Looking at that newly-painted line on the sidewalk today, I noticed a slight wobble in it.  I think it’s a sign of a slight wobble in the whole PP organization, one that will get bigger with time and eventually cause the whole thing to topple. 

May God use our presence over these last 40 days to bring that about as quickly as possible!!!

Parishioners of Saint Katharine Drexel, Washington County, with Bill and Vince, Shift Buddy.

Even more Saint Katharine Drexel friends with Vince!

There’s a slight wobble in the newly-painted circle…

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SUE Mc. 9-11

Within one minute before I arrived for my shift this morning, it started to pour down rain. I apologized for the unwelcome gift I’d brought!!!

Bob, Pat, Joan, and Judi from Transfiguration were there when I arrived to relieve Jen and Vince. We were joined shortly by Sheila from St. Camillus in the New Castle area. Sherry from South Hills Assembly joined us for the third week in a row. Bill H. (from “everywhere”!) stopped by. Later in the shift, Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration arrived, as well as Kathy & Bill from St. John XXIII. I thank every one of you for your dedication to prayer in very soggy conditions!

Toward the end of the shift, a man came by who was on a break from selling candy at the convention center.  He politely asked why we were praying at this particular location in town and we explained that it’s an abortion clinic and about 40 Days. He hadn’t realized that the building houses an abortion clinic. He told us he is “not a big fan of abortion, but I just kind of keep my head down and don’t say too much.” We invited him to join us at the next vigil. I had the feeling he walked away thinking.
It had struck me right away that the man’s quote is probably the exact thought process and M.O. of most pro-life Americans. Dear Lord, please awaken and encourage the sleeping giant of the pro-life American majority to stand up and speak up for LIFE!!!

For Life  

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ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

The rain did not put a damper on the attendance or on the spirit of prayer today.  What a group of faithful people who show up rain or shine!
Regulars from Transfiguration prayed with us today. 
First time participants at 40 Days was a group from Oakdale Pa. (Crossroads Men’s Ministry) who call themselves The Acts Men came to witness. It was a blessing to meet, speak and pray with them.
I did not get a picture of the R. family who came and said the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with us nor of Bill H. 
As our shift was ending, a group from Madonna Del Costello/ Word of God were arriving.
An awesome day.
 

Faithful prayer warriors from Transfiguration Parish

The Acts Men, Crossroads Men’s Ministry

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Marie P. 3-5

The sidewalk was full when I arrived just before 3:00 p.m. with members from Living Hope Church in Latrobe and The Acts Men from Oakdale.

It was so nice to have such a large presence on the sidewalk today as there was a lot of foot traffic with conventioneers from the Tekko 2019 event at the Convention Center and Penguins fans. We really must pray for our young people – the people coming from the convention are certainly in to a different “reality”- dressed in costumes celebrating Japanese pop culture.

It was evident that they do not understand the reality of abortion but are quick to make passing comments as they walked by us. How sad. I pray that they wake up to what is “reality” – certainly not dressing up in cartoon-character costumes!
Thanks to Living Hope for their strong showing on both sides of Liberty Avenue…and to The Acts Men from Oakdale for their witness on the sidewalk.

I want to thank Suzanne from Living Hope for her witness to John, a young man who engaged us in “debate” today. He was wanting to argue and I assured him we were not there to argue with him.
He was a little hampered in our discussion (by alcohol) so it seemed a futile effort to convince him that we are there not to judge or “hate the women who come there for abortions” (his words).

The Acts Men from Oakdale and Jackie from Living Hope

Suzanne from Living Hope

Living Hope Church ready to depart on their bus!

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MARSHALL 5-7

Preparing for the closing, the sidewalk is becoming crowded with several prayer warriors and faithful people who have responded to God’s call to protect the lives of the innocent.
It was a privilege to fill in today at the closing time for 40 days and Joe White. Prayers for all mothers and fathers who have conceived a child and those who desire but are currently unable. God bless their decisions.
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

Mary, Dawn, Bridget and Gail

Jason, Kevin and Melissa

Jim and Kathy

Praying the Glorious Mysteries at the Closing

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And God saw that it was good.

Day 39: Thank you to St. Anne (Castle Shannon), St. Elizabeth of Hungary RL Group, Madonna del Castello and Word of God, Assumption (Bellevue), Catholic Men’s Fellowship, and Individual Volunteers!

Anyone who knows me has heard me say “IF you want to meet the MOST WONDERFUL people in the City of Pittsburgh, go to the Vigil in Front of Planned Parenthood.” I stand by this statement! My only “complaint” about 40 Days Pittsburgh is that we rarely get to be TOGETHER as a prayer community. BUT Sunday will be different. After our shared 40 Day journey completes its course, we will gather to celebrate and REJOICE as we plan the work ahead. IF YOU HAVE NOT done so before, CONSIDER attending the closing Prayer Service and the gathering which follows.

THE ONLY downside of the work we do at 40 Days for Life is that we shift managers often only get to know the shift managers who we relieve or those we relieve us. In my case I am overly thankful for Chris and Joe who are the “bookends” for my shift. Chris passes the baton to me and Joe shows up like an angel to take over a few hours later.

BUT there are scores of us who make up we at 40 Days for LIFE are SO MUCH MORE.

7-9am Shift Manager Tim Reports:

Gentlemen of St. Anne’s bring Prayer to 933 Liberty Avenue at DAWN!

We made a strong witness this morning starting with the group from St Ann’s who arrived before the vigil even started.  Then the Choices mobile sonogram with Jill and Betsy arrived allowing us to offer an alternative to PP.
The streets were active this morning with hundreds running (in preparation for the upcoming marathon I think). Two separate women, one from Somerset County, stopped by with both saying they had seen the movie “Unplanned” and had to come and pray.  Many of the runners said nice things to us, and some not so much.  Regardless we were very visible to so many.  It was a blessed morning.
  Tim

Jill and Betsy arrive with the Mobile Sonogram Unit Saturday Bright and Early!

Shift Report From Sue, 9-11 AM:

Just wow – what a beautiful day and a shift just PACKED with pray-ers!  We were blessed by:  Father Dan and his faithful squad from Our Lady of the Lake in Edinboro, PA; Bob, Peggy, Kathy, and John from St. Anne; Nathan, Carol, Janet, Anita, Mike, and Kim from St. Michael, along with Kim’s daughter Yvette and her family including adorable baby Baxter; members of the Little Flower Household from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Donna from Holy Family in Steubenville; Jeannette from Blessed Sacrament; Ted from Holy Sepulcher; Therese & Eileen from St. Elizabeth; the “S” family from SS. John & Paul; regulars Bill H. and Charlie; and Sidewalk Advocates Sue D., Judy, Jeff, and Marian.  The prayer was abundant and continuous and included folks kneeling. 

There were not many people going in to Planned Parenthood during the first half hour or so of the shift, but the number unfortunately definitely picked up toward the end.  A young post-abortive woman and her mother accepted a Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortive healing flyer after hesitating.  We were able to give out some literature to folks going in, but several would not accept any.  We prayed for them all. 

A woman and her husband from Cleveland, who were walking down to the convention center to attend the Steel City Con, stopped by to talk.  She said she had just seen “Unplanned” and hadn’t been aware in advance of our vigil at 933 Liberty.  When she stopped, she exclaimed, “I feel like I just walked right into that movie!”  We had a nice talk, and she said they are going to look up the contact info to attend the Cleveland 40 Days vigil in October.  God is working!!Sue

Shift Report From Dean, 11 AM-1 PM:

Persistent. I hope that is the impression we leave on all the people we have encountered on the sidewalk. I pray for God to change hearts and minds regarding abortion. And He will, in His own time.
Today had such a strange vibe to it. Maybe because of all the folks headed to the Steel City Comic-Con. Most of them didn’t want the information about support groups.
I won’t be at the closing tomorrow but, I would like to wish all of you a blessed Easter. He is Risen Indeed!  
Dean

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parishioners and Pets!

Shift Report From Billy, 1-3 PM:

I met with Beth a sidewalk advocate today and it started out with a discussion with a gentleman named Bob (I have known this man before I came to 40 days.) Bob brought friends and began talking theology with us and thankfully the priest had asked me to assist with a person who was one of the fellow convention partakers.  After this we had prayers. A woman walked by and said I agree with you pray to end abortion! A gentleman came over and said thank you for being here. I was praying with the  Word of God Parish/Madonna Del Castello Church.  We had a lot of comments today and I witnessed about four people entering Planned parenthood and a moment later a few more. Then while we were praying I noticed a young girl recording the prayer on her phone but she then stopped when convention passersby came to us. Around 2:30 I walked over with one of our volunteers so one side wasn’t empty because people had left and i didn’t want anything to be stolen. A man by the name of Tom stopped by to pray with us and then before my shift ended a man came up to me and he asked me about everything in Planned Parenthood and what goes on in there. He said that God is on our side and they have power but not God. I had an eventful day. I wasn’t expecting it at all.  Billy


Here are the Word of God church!

Shift Report From Rick and Mary, 3-5 PM:

The 3-5 PM Shift was peaceful, prayerful and was very well attended.  Special thanks to Amy and Vince from Warrendale, who came to the prayer vigil for the first time after seeing the Unplanned movie. Their faithful prayers and witness were a true blessing.  It was obvious that Amy wants to be more involved in the 40 Days for Life Campaign. 

Special thanks also to Dan, Luisa, Anna, Jim and Kolbe from  Assumption Church in Bellevue, Tom from St. Fidelis, Sue from St. Mary of the Assumption, Bennett from St. Alexis, Donna from St. Kilian, Jane from St. Alphonsus and Carol from Aquinas Academy for their prayers (Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc.) and witness on behalf of unborn children and pregnant mothers in need.  Thanks also to Nikki Bruni and so many others for organizing such a successful 40 Days for Life Campaign which saved the lives of unborn children and provided assistance and love to pregnant mothers in need.  Mary

Day 38: Thanks to St. John’s (Burry’s) Church, North American Martyrs and St. Michael Parishes, Weirton Catholic Churches, and loving individual Volunteers

The sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue has been bursting with life and love over the last six weeks! Just scroll back through the blog posts from this campaign and see how many beautiful pictures and reports there are.

You have sacrificed your time and comfort to bring the love of Christ to those in need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of this vital mission. 

You have undoubtedly touched lives with your presence and your prayers, though you may never hear the details until you are welcomed home to Heaven. 

We should certainly celebrate the accomplishments of the last 40 days. But we also know there is more to be done.

Planned Parenthood has not yet closed its doors. Unborn children continue to lose their lives there; mothers and fathers continue to suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually because of it.

Throughout the year, Sidewalk Advocates for Life reach out to women who are entering PP on abortion days.  Please consider joining them to offer prayer support Tuesday through Saturday mornings from 7-11 AM. Or become a Sidewalk Advocate yourself!  The next training session is soon:

Saturday, June 1 from 10 AM – 3 PM
Knights of Columbus Hall in Bellevue
Please RSVP by May 27th

Contact info:
Sue M. (susanmcgrath526@comcast.net)
Sue D. (smfreedy@aol.com)
Charlie (412-716-2789)
Tim (timbarr5480@gmail.com)

May God work through us to end the horror of abortion,
and may He bless us all with His love and peace!

“Love never says: I have done enough!”
–Saint Marie-Eugenie de Jesus



SIDEWALK REPORTS

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Tom, Pastor Win and Dave, Richard and I, all arrived to a sun almost already out and breezy warm Friday.
Who would believe that Pittsburgh has a building dedicated to the unthinkable depravity of legalized abortion?
As she was going in, she stopped.  The beautiful executive type young woman came over to me and told me to get that off her building.  
This is not your building, I noted.  However, I did remove the red roses because heaven only knew what she would have done to them otherwise.
Richard, Dave and I asked Pastor Win to lead us in prayer.  Moments later, Pastor Win knelt on his prayer rug and remained in silent prayer for quite a while.
Pastor Win and Dave belong to St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church in Beaver.  It is called Burry’s Church because the land was purchased from the Burry family in 1836.
Dave accepted one of Jeanne’s baby pictures that has an entire side dedicated to prayers.  He was grateful for her good sense in providing this for us.
At one point a truck pulled up and the driver and helper entered pp.  The truck side mentioned something about building excellence.  I was reminded of the Psalm: If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.  God pours blessings on those faithful to him while they sleep.
Passers by heaped blessings on us.  I’m pretty sure I saw Al and Sally…can’t be sure.  People came to repaint the golden arch.  The supervisor asked if we knew Al and Sally.  He was in school with their son Frank.
Pittsburgh is a small city…a good thing.

Barbara
Sally and Al with their daughter…although this picture is from earlier in this campaign, they are always present in spirit on that sidewalk!

9-11 AM, Kathy and Marianne:

Thank you to all who came today.  Ten in all over the 2 hour shift.  David and Pastor Win from St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church, regulars Terry and Bill H.
Sidewalk Advocate Kim stopped by and helped diffuse a heated conversation from a passerby by offering her resources.  Thanks Kim.
Most pp patrons didn’t want resources but many passersby accepted them.  A pp vendor accepted the yellow card.  Hopefully it will be a seed that bears fruit.
Mary Ann and Chris from St. Catherine’s, Megan M, and Mary and Gary M who were passing through, thank you for coming.

Kathy

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Pastor Bryan:

1-3 PM, Elaine:

…coming soon!

3-5 PM, Fran:

I admit to being a little apprehensive about the potential for storms today, but I am thankful to say that it only rained lightly for about a half hour into the shift.  But that did not dampen the spirits of the faithful from Weirton.  John, Mary, Bridget, Daniel and Lori arrived on time, in spite of having just driven through torrential rains, and they were ready for prayer.  Umbrellas in hand, we started with the petitions followed by the Sorrowful Mysteries then we used our cell phones to find other prayers and reflections.  From the picture you can see that the young man of the group participated confidently and devoutly, taking his turn reading the petitions and also leading a decade of the Rosary – sincerely, he is a prayer warrior in every way – his young age was not an obstacle.  I believe PP closes early (this is not my normal shift) because I saw only a few women leave and later, only employees.  Not long after we finished the rosary, a man looking to be in his very early 20s approached our group, thanked us, and said that he supports what we are doing.  Then he extended his hand and offered a donation of $10.00.  We thanked him and asked if he would like to join us but he apologetically said he could not at this time.  Later in the shift we were approached by one man and, a short time later, another.  Both were requesting money and I explained our policy to each.  The first man did not accept my answer and proceeded to address each person in the group, individually, before going on his way somewhat loudly.  Dave, the 5-7pm shift manager arrived early.  He talked to each person in our group then pulled a bag from his pocket and offered 40 Days for Life pins and bracelets to the everyone – and they were very appreciative of his kindness.  

5-7 PM, David and Bill:

What a beautiful evening it turned to be. From the pictures you can see the smiling faces of some powerful prayer warriors. Some responded to the request on the blog. While some felt motivated from seeing the movie Unplanned. I thank God and ask Him to Bless all of them and their families.
As usual, we had some disparaging remarks but, they were overwhelmed by those who said, “God Bless you”! 
When the evening was over, I think we all felt like we were just getting started. We were ready for more than 40daysforlife !
Peace be with you !

David

Carissa, Justin, Michelle, Ursula, Tom, Diane, Bill

Bill and his wife Ursula

Carissa, Alex, Jim, Justin

Day 37: Thank you to Bridge City Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburgh Region Byzantine Catholics, City Center Parishes, The Sower’s Chapel, and all of our other volunteers!

Some of us Christians are celebrating today (April 11) the optional memorial of St. Stanislaus the Martyr —not Stanislaus Kostka, for whom the church in the Strip District is named. This particular Stanislaus was an 11th century bishop from Poland who was martyred. I found his story to be an interesting parallel of our own, as we fight for what is right and holy on the sidewalk during our 40 Days for Life vigils.

St. Stanislaus was noted for his preaching, and many sought after him as a spiritual advisor. He was eventually named bishop of Krakow. The Polish king at the time, King Boleslaus, was called out by St. Stanislaus because of the king’s cruelties and injustices, and especially his involvement in a kidnapping. Stanislaus excommunicated the king because of these atrocities. And, in turn, the king himself killed Stanislaus while the bishop was saying Mass in a chapel outside the city on April 11, 1079.

The parallel that I see is that like Stanislaus, we, too, do spiritual “advising” on the sidewalk, we, too, “call out” Planned Parenthood because of their cruelties and injustices, and…… well, HOPEFULLY none of us will ever get killed because of our attempts to change our culture, or give help to the men and women in need on the sidewalk. And yet– any time we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, it IS a kind of small, or “white” martyrdom (as opposed to a “red” martyrdom, which involves the shedding of blood).

Jesus tells us in the Gospel for today’s optional memorial, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the Evil One.” (John 17:15) Interesting, isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t tell us that we should be leaving Earth, because we shouldn’t be around all the bad things happening. No, just the opposite. He prays that we would NOT be taken out of the world… but He ALSO prays that we would be kept safe from the evil one.

We are MEANT to be a force for good, aligning ourselves with our God, and striving always to bring Christ to our broken world…. even in the midst of our OWN brokenness. Let us not be afraid– ever– to stand up for what is right. To stand up for Jesus Christ. To stand up for LIFE.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9am):

Peggy and I were joined by Vicki from Bridge City Church, and then Katie came with lots of  resources to offer to abortion-bound couples.  It was a quiet morning, not much traffic going into Planned Parenthood. I only saw one abortion-bound couple, but quite a few single women.  We received some positive comments, maybe one negative. A large group of prayer warriors arrived for the 9 to 11 shift. Shift manager Judy showed up with a broken foot! How is that for dedication! Meredith and Chuck were also there to represent Lincoln Place Nazarene Church, along with Karen and her friend from Christ Church in Penn Hills, and some others. I left the sidewalk for my last shift in many good hands. I pray that we will touch hearts and save a life today!

Thank you, Vicki and Shift Buddy Peg!!

Thank you to the many prayer warriors on the sidewalk this morning!!

Judy (9-11am):

As you know from Nikki’s report above, Judy came with a broken foot…. so she gets the “hero of the day” award!! Thank you, Judy!! And thank you to Pastor Joe, Chuck, and Meredith!!

And now, for Judy’s actual report. 🙂

It was a beautiful sunny morning on Liberty Avenue. When we arrived, Katie was already on the scene handing out materials. Lincoln Place Naz: Pastor Joe, Judy, Meredith, Chuck. Jeannie was also there. From Christ Church Ministries: Deb, Karen. We were later joined by Mary Sue from St. Mary of the Assumption, Libby from St. Sebastian, and Alan from Butler.

We were able to hand out materials to a number of people. We were able to intercept one young lady going in for an abortion. She listened to us for quite some time and allowed us to pray for her. She was very open to listening and we pleaded with her to not kill her baby. She already has a 5 month old and she said she could not raise another baby. We offered her so much help…she stood there and listened to us for a long time, but she chose to go in anyway. We continued to pray that she would change her mind before it was too late.

What a wonderful group from 9-11! Thank you all so much!!

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

My shift was kind of chaotic (at least from my perspective). I am SO, so thankful for the beautiful Byzantine clergy who were there. Not only is it wonderful to have priests and deacons praying with us, but they were also more than capable of keeping things sane and prayerful on their side of the circle. Thank you!!

I was on the other side of the circle, where things got intense and sad. Wonderful volunteer Alan and I talked to a man for quite a while, and tried to help him to make the decision for life for his unborn child. It didn’t happen. The baby was aborted. That experience saddened me, mostly because it DIDN’T have to end the way it did. Such an absolute tragedy.

A very angry woman came yelling at us out of nowhere… and then when one of our volunteers tried to calmly talk to her, she yelled back, “Don’t talk to me!!” Interesting, considering that SHE started the “talking” to begin with. Sad.

I am also thankful for the beautiful S. family who joined us today. They were bright points of sunshine on that sidewalk! God bless you all!

Thanks also to Daria and Bill, who came all the way from Oil City and joined us for the first time! So did Raquela, who traveled from Aliquippa for the first time as well! All of these first-timers came today because of the impact that the movie Unplanned had on them. God bless you all!

Thank you to John, Bob, and of course, my “protector,” Shift Buddy Fran, and my “go-to” woman, Sidewalk Advocate Katie!!! God bless you all!!!!!

Thank you to the beautiful S. family!! You all did a fabulous job!!
Thank you to first-timer Raquela!!
Thank you to the beautiful Byzantine group,
who travel so far each campaign to pray with us!!
The BEAUTIFUL chanted Byzantine Catholic prayer service….
SO wonderful to hear on the sidewalk.
Thank you to my Shift Buddy Fran, and to faithful prayer warrior John!!
Thank you to lovely Debbie and her lovely sister, Judy!! God bless you, ladies!!
Shift Manager Lisa K. (me) with sweet Raquela!! Thank you for being there today!!

Helen (3-5pm):

Even our light jackets seemed too warm for the afternoon sun. Most popular signs were the beautiful babies with the litany of prayers for moms and babies, dads, even abortionists on the back.

When someone stops to look at our models, it’s always an opportunity to start a conversation and offer one of the tiny models for the person to keep and/or show to others.

Derrick is pastor of a church with several branches across Pennsylvania. He has lived in Pittsburgh for a while, but now he plans to move to the other side of the state to be near his wife’s family.

Maureen and Mackenna brought pro-life information from Genesis.

Kevin was part of the Latin Mass Community at Holy Wisdom parish. 

Bill comes every day to pray, and he joined us today.

We know the faces of those who will smile. Today a young man raised his hand to me for a “high five.” As I touched his raised palm, he said, “HaHa! I love abortion.” 

We’re looking forward to prayer and celebration on Sunday evening.

Helen

Thank you, Dan, for joining us today!
Thank you to Bill and Phil!! God bless you both!

Charlie (5-7pm):

Quiet night on the sidewalk for prayer and witness for life. We had a few young people ask us some questions. It was a nice conversation. Thanks to my prayer buddy Amy, Kevin from Holy Wisdom, and all that came from Bridge City Church.

Thank you all for praying with us today!

Next week is Holy Week, friends. Let’s enter into it with a deep sense of companionship with Jesus. Let us remain with Him as we remember His Passion and Death. And let us not be afraid of the evil one’s temptations. Above is an artistic depiction of the devil tempting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before He died. Like Jesus in the garden, we, too, can trust in God when the enemy presses in. God is absolutely trustworthy. Let us end our 40-day vigil and enter into Holy Week with that trust in our hearts. EVEN trusting God that He WILL end abortion at 933 Liberty Avenue.