“Then Peter stopped looking at Jesus and began to notice the difficulties around him. Seeing that the wind was so strong, he became fearful. He forgot for a moment that the strength holding him up on the water did not depend on the circumstances, but on the Will of the Lord… Peter began to sink, not because of the waves but because his confidence in him who can do all things wavered. He cried out to Jesus: Lord Save me!” (From ‘In Conversations with God’ Vol. 4 p. 335)
Sure it’s easy at the vigil when people walk by and say “thank you being there” or “God bless you” but how about when someone drives by and gives you the finger? Is that a big wave for you?
Does your confidence wane at times? Do you really believe we can end abortion? Do you find it hard sometimes to go to vigil to pray? Do you find it hard to talk about your pro-life views? The waves around you are sometimes big but you are not alone.
This past Saturday three mature women arrived at the vigil and were signing in and one of them stepped back inside the buffer zone and was quickly rebuked by a pp escort. I reminded them of the line and told them they are just trying to intimidate us and asked if they were upset by it. The three of looked at me all with the same look that said “Really? You think that upset me? Really? We’re a lot stronger than that!” What a great demonstration of Trust and being in the loving hands of Jesus! They didn’t see that incident as a wave. Barely a ripple in the water.
The underlying foundation of 40 DFL isn’t that we will end abortion with our efforts, which are showing great results, rather we are praying for God to intervene. It is by accessing HIS power that we will end abortion.
St. Augustine said “God does not demand the impossible. Instead, when HE makes a request, HE asks that we do what we can do, that we ask for what we cannot do and for His help to carry it out.”
We are in the back half of the campaign and the waves can big and the wind seems strong at times. But we can walk on water. WE ARE NOT AFRAID. We are having a big impact. If you have been to vigil consider coming again. If for any reason you haven’t been able to make it, there is still time.
Be bold. Share the joy. Bring a friend and family member. Help them to do something really important and meaningful. Wouldn’t it be something to say after you are asked “what did you do today?” and you can say “I saved someone’s life”.
If you haven’t yet brought your church group or want to come again, click SCHEDULE above to see the times when we need you most. Or come when it is best for you. Just come to the vigil. Ideally we would like you to sign but if you don’t that’s OK just show up. Stay along as you want.
Come Walk on Water. I know you can do it.
Today at the vigil we had prayer warriors from from several churches from Weirton and St. Alexis in Wexford plus lots of individuals.
Stop back to this site throughout the day as we will be posting pictures and stories from the vigil.
Peace and joy. Tim B.
The weather didn’t dampen the courage of these ladies from the Weirton Catholic Churches who stood vigil from 9-11 am.
From Nikki 11- 1 pm:
“I had a very quiet and peaceful shift today. When I arrived at 11 shift manager Jenni was there with this wonderful young mom and her precious children. They had come from Northhills Reformed Presbyterian Church of the North Hills and understood in the rain with Ginny.
What a beautiful witness for life they are!
After they left it was just me and a woman named Theresa from Saint Barbara‘s in Bridgeville. It was her first time there and she had been there for two hours. She left and soon afterwards Beth and came from Saint Alexis in Wexford. It was her and I during most of the shift. We prayed together and separately, received mostly positive remarks. It seemed like the clinic was not Busy. I don’t remember anyone going in except for a delivery of some sort.
Bethann was a great prayer partner today! At 11 the next shift managers sister team arrived, Beth and Rose. And also faithful Bill.
As I was leaving the next group from Saint Alexis came to witness. Thank you everyone for your perseverance in this battle!”
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Francis Thompson 1859-1907
To clone a person, you would have to clone their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, first grade teacher, next door neighbors and so on until you have included all their people.
Lewis Thomas 1913-1993
In our audacity, we witness in prayer to change hearts. We know that heart changes are difficult and painful and take a lifetime.
History gives us a glimpse of the heart of the person who wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Reading it, you can’t stop thinking about Jesus holding his arms wide open on the Cross.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was baptized as an infant in the local Church of Ireland (Anglican).
Wilde’s mother was a lifelong Irish nationalist. She wrote poetry for the revolutionary “Young Irelanders” and read their poetry to Oscar.
The movement of the “Young Irelanders” may be said to date from the founding of the Nation newspaper, 1842. “Educate that you may be free” was the keynote of the new journal, which was destined to find its way within a year into nearly every household in Ireland. It preached temperance, patience, energy, and resolution. It held up the spirit of the people while it taught them tolerance and union.
Jane Wilde attended Mass with her sons in a chapel where Father Prideaux Fox, a Catholic priest, was the celebrant. Father Fox said, “I am not sure if she ever became a Catholic herself, but it was not long before she asked me to instruct two of her children, one of them being the future erratic genius, Oscar Wilde. After a few weeks I baptized these two children, Lady Wilde herself being present on the occasion.”
Wilde’s father, Sir William Wilde, was a well-known surgeon. Anti-Catholic, he bitterly opposed Oscar’s interest in the Church. “I am sure that if I had become a Catholic at that time he would have cast me off altogether.”
In his student days at Oxford, Wilde met fellow student, Sir David Hunter Blair. Blair became a Catholic, joined the Benedictines, and eventually became Abbot at Dunfermline Abbey.
In his book, Victorian Days, Blair wrote that Wilde asked him many questions which revealed “how genuine were his own sympathies with Catholicism.”
Hunter-Blair’s evangelizing efforts had no immediate effect, and the two men parted, Hunter-Blair taking Holy Orders and Wilde turning to the literary world of London. Wilde was forthright about his motives. “To go over to Rome would be to sacrifice and give up my two great Gods: Money and Ambition.”
“I suffer a great deal from my Romish leanings, in pocket and mind. And now my best friend turns out to be a Papist!” One of his first friends was Robert Ross, a Catholic. Ross was with him at the end.
In October, 1900, Wilde sent a telegram to Ross. “Terribly weak. Please come.”
Ross went and later told how, after he arrived, “he rushed to the Passionist Church in Paris and brought back Father Cuthbert Dunne to attend spiritually” to Wilde. Father Dunne recorded following.
Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional Baptism, and afterwards, answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man (Wilde) was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition , Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.
The next day Oscar Wilde died.
After he was laid out, Father Dunne “placed a rosary in his hand and put palm branches over him.” Father Dunne said the Requiem Mass at Saint Germain-des-Prés.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat – and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet –
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!
THE HOUND OF HEAVEN
Lewis Thomas, 1913- 1993. The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher.
Francis Thompson, 1859-1907. The Hound of Heaven. YOUNG IRELAND AND THE FENIANS, Taken fromA History of Irelandby Eleanor Hull
Holy Wisdom, Saint John XXIII and Saints John and Paul (Wexford) parishes filled the sidewalk with their beauty during these two shifts. Joining us were also people from Saint Michael Parish (Wheeling) and Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Enjoy the photos. These are just some of the people.
Jeannie, Shift Manager Injured reserve
The most important task of EMTs when they reach a head or spine injury victim is to secure the victim’s head, neck and body to prevent further injury. When this happened to me, — when my neck was braced and my cut, bruised, broken body was strapped to a hard board for transport to the trauma center, I could not believe the pain. It felt like there were nails on the board, particularly behind my head.
Just then, I had a glimpse of Jesus on the cross—his beaten, whipped, scourged body would suffer the further insult of being lashed to a hard, unyielding splintered piece of wood. During my 40 minute bumpy ride to the emergency room, every Pittsburgh pothole drew tears. Tears of pain, yes, but of grateful joy for what our Lord endured for me, his precious child. I was able to offer my suffering up because I know His Story! It changed everything.
That is what we are doing on the sidewalk—telling HIS STORY; bringing the redemptive, powerful love of Jesus to each of his beloved children, whether they are vulnerable mothers, scared friends, lonely fathers or misled abortion workers, our knowledge of the vast and enduring love of Jesus is the answer!
I pray we continue to keep telling HIS story!
NOTES FROM THE SUNDAY SIDEWALK
JEN 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER
Diane and Tom beat the sun to the sidewalk this morning, supplying and setting up all our vigil’s needs before dawn. The Bellevue Knights of Columbus were well-represented by Charlie, who also blesses the pro-life effort as a sidewalk advocate.
Devoted despite feeling under the weather, Vince arrived with his beautiful Scripture readings for each mystery of the Rosary, which we all prayed together. Jim, Charlie’s fellow Knight, joined us later and stayed on as Sue came to lead the next shift. She mentioned a woman who appeared nervous and defensive as she protested the vigil the day before. Sue astutely pointed out that the woman’s agitated demeanor may have been a sign that she was troubled by what she was doing, and that her heart may soon be ready to accept the truth. Sue graciously lead us in prayer for the woman’s conversion.
SUE 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER
Yet another beautiful day to be outside. The sidewalk was very quiet this morning, likely due to the later Steeler game today. I was joined by Jim from the Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Regina from St. Clare of Assisi, Mary Jane from St. Francis of Assisi, Kelly from St. John Capistran, and Patty from St. Bernadette.
Patty pointed out that today in the Catholic Church is the Feast of St. John Paul II. We asked his intercession and prayed the Rosary, for saved lives, changed hearts, the closing of PP and Allegheny Reproductive, and the ceasing of abortions at Magee.
At one point a man walked by and said, “You’re here on a Sunday morning? Now that’s persistence!”
YES sir, persistence is what we are all about! We will persist in our vigil until abortion comes to an end in our great city — indeed, in God’s world!!
MAGGIE 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER
Quiet. Peaceful. Prayerful.
Even though we had many travelers passing on their way to the Steelers game I felt calm. I had great people to pray with!
A man from West Africa commented to a fellow prayer that he doesn’t understand how abortion exists in our country when there are so many resources to help women.
A young man yelled to us from his car, “Thank you! Thank you! My mom chose to keep me!” And then, he started to cry.
It was beautiful!!! And, finally, Ann uttered to us “Blessings, blessings, blessings”.
Thank you Jesus for a great shift!
KEN 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER
This is my first shift manager assignment, and I was a little nervous going in. I sent a group text to immediate family for prayer. God is good. It truly was a peaceful, prayerful vigil.
I arrived to a warm greeting from the previous shift manager Maggie.
Father John from Saint John Fisher (Richmond OH), and Megan, from Mother of Sorrows (Murrysville), were my first prayer partners.
JOE W. 5-7 SHIFT MANAGER
I was warmly greeted by our new SM Ken, Fr. Jack, and the women from Catholic Family Land. They were prayerfully singing. It was so
beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing.
The Starr family, from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 5-6 hour, prayed fervently and ended in song.
The men from Catholic Family Land, arrived for the 6-7 hour ready to
serve our Holy Family. They prayed joyfully, sang joyfully and
amazingly( I’m jealous), and after my shift was over, prayed over me
joyfully. I’m grateful.
Catholic Family Land participants traveled from Brookdale, Ohio (a
long way). They came armed with the spirit ready to do battle for the
lives of our brothers and sisters. It was as authentic a witness as I’ve
experienced in my journey with 40 Days for Life.
Soooo, I would like to give yinz a Howard Dean campaign shout out,
“YaaaaaaaaaaHHaaaaaawwoooo awesomely well done.”
Thank you Jesus.
Since the first 40 Days for Life began back in 2004 in College Station, Texas, the prayer, fasting, and peaceful witness by about ¾ of a million people have yielded incredible results. Where our vigils have been held we’ve seen…
13,569 lives saved (that we know of)
156 abortion workers quitting their jobs (that we know of)
90 abortion centers closed
Now here’s a strange question for you. If you had to pick a favorite among the three above, the one that stirred your heart the most, which would you choose?
For me, it’s the middle one.
There’s not just one reason for that, but the first is purely personal. Nothing else moves my heart like a good conversion story. Abby Johnson’s UNPLANNED, is a great example. If you haven’t read it, you’re really missing one incredible story of God’s grace at work.
But beyond that, I think it’s the most surprising number of the three. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t even on the radar for David Bereit and Shawn Carney when they launched 40 DFL nationally back in 2007. Saving lives from abortion? This was something that was fully expected. Abortion centers closing? I’m sure it was a reasonable hope. But abortion workers quitting? Who saw that fruit coming?
And finally, there’s this. When an abortion worker quits – like Abby, or Ramona Trevino, or Sue Thayer – and then runs, like the Prodigal Son, back into the merciful arms of the Father, I don’t think it’s too presumptuous for me to say that, together, we’ve played a role in the saving of a soul.
So with that thought on your heart, please take a few moments right now to pray for that one soul who works for Planned Parenthood Pittsburgh who is most in need of our prayers. Pray that this brother or sister of ours is graced with the courage to leave the world of abortion behind and run to the Father’s open arms. Perhaps we could begin by praying the following on behalf of that person:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
And do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge Him;
And He will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
– Proverbs 3:5-7
AND NOW, ON TO OUR REPORTS FROM THE SIDEWALK…
Tim B., 7-9
Wow did we have a great turn out for the sunrise shift. From the beginning we had prayer warriors on both sides of the entrance from several of the North Hills Churches and then, like in the old Western movies, “the cavalry arrived.” Fr. Tim and the faithful Guardians for Life pulled up in two vans and the faithful poured out. Prayer echoed on Liberty Ave. Plus, we were blessed today to have two priests at the vigil.
Three young men walking by stopped to stare at the fetal models and were very interested. We offered, and they accepted, a variety of literature to give out to their friends and agreed to consider participating in 40 DFL. What a blessed morning.
Sue D. and Sue M., 9-11
Sue and Sue share SM duties for Saturdays 9am-11am. We arrived at the sidewalk with Fr. Tim and his Guardians covering it with prayer! Dear Barbara and Holy Wisdom parish were also there. Holy Wisdom and St. John the 23rd adopted the full day as theirs to pray and offer sacrifice! Many people from Sts. John and Paul came also, as well as men from a church in Weirton! The sidewalk was full!
There were many women who entered the doors of PP today. Some took our cards offering Free Pro-Life help, despite the escorts being out in full force. Maria from Sion Iglesia commented how the Holy Spirit can cut to the heart and many, many prayers and rosaries were said today! SA Judy and Sue stood at the far ends to reach as many people as possible! God Bless everyone who came today and Sue on her Birthday!! TOS (The Other Sue)
Billy subbed as shift manager from 1-3 and wrote:
I was with Barbara who has been there since 7 am, she is such a trooper and is still there. I was with St. John and Holy wisdom churches and we were in such a movement of prayer, I felt God was there for the entire prayer. Nadine who had been with me last week was also there, and Sally, and I believe her husband too. There was one pro choice protester there, but we tried not to engage and debate. We did have a lot of people pass by and say they supported us. It was such a joy to fellowship and pray there.
I do apologize I didn’t have any pictures for this time. Thanks again for allowing me to lead,
God bless all of those who came..
I had thought about Deuteronomy 30:19 as we came today. Where God says choose life so that you and your children may live.
Jeff B. 5-7 (report by Pat M.)
During the early part of Jeff’s shift we were joined by four young people from Steubenville, OH, – three of whom are students (graduate and undergraduate) at Franciscan University. Even though dressed up from having come from a talk by Franciscan University professor Scott Hahn in Sharpsburg, this didn’t stop them from praying on their knees.
For the bulk of the shift, however, it was just the two of us. The weather couldn’t have been better and the streets were on the quite side given that no major events had been scheduled. I only heard one negative passing comment and witnessed a lot of people walking by who would not have otherwise known they were passing an abortion clinic had we not had a presence on the sidewalk. One guy who gave me a fist bump of support was very likely a member of the visiting Cincinnati Bengals given his size and the size of the guy he was with.
MORE PICTURES AND STORIES WILL BE ADDED ON SUNDAY.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.
I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the LORD more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Sometimes we feel like this… like we are crying to God “out of the depths.”
In what circumstances might we find ourselves when we are crying out to God like this? Perhaps depression, disease, financial distress, job loss, death… and perhaps abortion. Perhaps the agony of the decision as a couple discerns whether or not to bring their baby to term. Perhaps the abortion worker who struggles with her conscience.
There are many reasons for us ALL.
That next verse in the above psalm says that God has mercy upon us for our iniquities. How does that even make sense? How is that fair? If I have sinned, I deserve punishment. But according to God, I also deserve mercy… part of which MAY BE a punishment. But if so, it is all for the good of our transformation. According to one dictionary, “mercy” is kindness that goes beyond what is fair.
The last verse above speaks of our TRUST in the Lord. Yes, our theme for this fall’s campaign. TRUST. It also says that “[our] soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.” Why does someone in darkness wait for the dawn with such longing? Because they will finally be able to see clearly. To SEE what the newness of the day has in store. To bring HOPE.
40 Days for Life exists to bring HOPE. By praying each day for an end to abortion, what does that do but bring people’s awareness to the POSSIBILITY that something BETTER than abortion exists?? May we continue to help one another (especially those on the sidewalk) OUT of the darkness and into the HOPE of TRUSTING in what our God has in store for us.
Shift Manager Reports
Here are two photos from the 7 to 9 shift. It was great to see Tom and Diane and Peg when I arrived at seven. Joe came with me today. We had a peaceful, prayerful shift. It did appear that Planned Parenthood was open for business; two single girls and one couple entered while I was there. Chuck and Judy arrived for the 9 to 11 shift.
We had a good day at our vigil today. Chuck and I held down the fort with a couple special visitors (Randy & Bill). During our shift, there were 2 couples who went into PP, and we tried to offer them information about free services, but they just ignored us and went inside. They did not come out of PP during our shift. There was another lady who came out and was waiting for someone. I approached her and gave her the card with the contact information for free services. I asked her if she was in PP for an abortion. She seemed shocked and laughed and said that she was not, in fact she had 5 children.
We had a couple passersby who made quiet negative remarks or rolled their eyes about our presence there; otherwise, all of our acquaintances were very positive. One gentleman walked by us, stopped and turned around and came back, took out his phone and showed us a picture of his beautiful daughter who was just born yesterday. He allowed us to pray a blessing over his new daughter and family, and to thank God for a beautiful little life. Another young man came by and looked at the baby models, and we were able to talk to him. He had no idea that PP did abortions. He took out his phone and showed us pics of his 8 month old nephew and said there was another nephew due to be born soon. We had the opportunity to pray with him as well and prayed a blessing upon his little nephews and their family. Another gentleman stopped by, seemed to be a little troubled, but commented that he would like to get involved in 40 Days for Life once he got his life settled. So we gave him the 40 Days brochure and had the opportunity to pray over him and ask God’s blessing to work out all situations in his life.
We had a lovely surprise that Randy K. stopped by during our shift to encourage us…and it was very encouraging and uplifting to us. Bill also stopped by and joined us and encouraged us as well with a testimony of healing. We are praying that God changes the atmosphere on that section of sidewalk. Today, we noticed so many more positive responses to our greetings to people as they passed by…and the 2 negative comments and 1 eye roll were not aggressive at all, but one was somewhat polite. Thanking God for His presence and praising Him for changing the atmosphere!
Thank you so much to all of the beautiful people who came to pray today during the 11-1 shift. Thank you, Judy and Chuck, who had the shift before me and got to meet my husband. Thank you for being the prayerful, Spirit-filled people you are!! Beth Ann, our faithful “non Shift Manager” (but she kinda is) was there, filled with charity and peace as usual. Thank you!! And the group from Holy Spirit and St. Nicholas was a joy to meet and pray with. Thank you to all!!
One scene struck me as I was preparing to leave. A man was talking to me and so I didn’t feel that I could call out to the couple entering the doors to PP at that moment. It made me so sad, for two reasons: first, when anyone enters those doors, my heart is saddened. We all know the dangers, the pressures, and the influences (demonic as well) that are present in that place. I wish to see NO ONE use their “services.” So that was sad to begin with.
But then what made it more profoundly sad to me was this. As the couple walked in, the man had his hand over the woman’s back, as though her were “helping” or “ushering” her in the door. It made me ill to see how a MAN- who should be protecting women- would do such a thing… leading her and their child right into the literal jaws of death. It made me angry- maybe for the first time in a long time on the sidewalk. Our men need to be standing up for women!! Please, any men who are reading this- please continue to be the wonderful witnesses for life that the Lord has called you to be…. and that includes protecting the women in your life.
One of the sad and terrible realities of some abortion days:
Please keep the woman in prayer who was taken by the ambulance. Thank you.
The Thursday 5-7 PM shift was prayerful and somewhat different. When I arrived at 5:00 PM, there was a lady taken out of Planned Parenthood on a stretcher and put into an ambulance. Please pray that all goes well with her while she is in the hospital. Please also pray for a man who was crying because his wife had an abortion years ago.
I would like to especially thank Dave from Oil City, Billy from Plum, Jim from St. Maurice, and Jane, Peggy, Sam, and the other faithful parishioners from St. Bernadette in Monroeville for their prayers and witness on behalf of unborn children and pregnant mothers in need. Let’s keep the prayers up while at the vigil, and not let any distractions keep us from praying the rosary and other prayers.
May God bless you and your families always!
We began this post with the Scripture passage that reads, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord….”
Pittsburgh may not be the largest city around, but there are lots of things going on here every day. For most people who were in our city today, they did not know that preborn babies were killed. And they did not know that a woman was taken away from an abortion facility in an ambulance.
But we cry to God “out of the depths.” We cry to Him for mercy. May we entrust our city and its families, its women, its children… to HIM.
Here we are on day 22…more than halfway there. The weather has been beautiful and our witness for life and for Christ on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood has been going strong! Our numbers are sometimes small, but as Sue wrote so beautifully in her post from yesterday…we are to “dream small“! I LOVED that reflection! However, today, with the faithful prayer warriors from St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair, Guardians for Life and many dedicated individuals…our numbers were anything but small! AND A BABY WAS HOPEFULLY SAVED TODAY! (Read about it in shift manager Hank’s report at the bottom of this post.)
Last week I watched a video of Abby Johnson, pouring out her heart and her frustration over the fact that 40 Days for Life leaders all around the world are having a hard time filling the vigil hours. In the video, she says, through tear filled eyes, “I just don’t understand why it is so hard for CHRISTIANS to PRAY for an hour!” It was the 8 year anniversary of her conversion…8 years from the day that she was asked to assist in an ultra-sound guided abortion…and she watched with her own eyes, a tiny 13 week baby boy struggle to move away from the abortionist’s device…and ultimately lose his struggle. As you probably know, she had a conversion and is now a pro-life advocate…assisting other abortion workers to leave the industry. You can watch the video yourself by clicking HERE.
But, after I watched the video…I have to admit that it had the effect of making me feel sorry for myself! And I felt a slight bitterness creeping in. Especially when I don’t get response from my emails asking for help when we have empty hours at the vigil. It is then that my little interior pity party begins…and I start thinking, “Why doesn’t anyone else care?” Now, don’t get me wrong. I KNOW that there are MANY people who DO care…and who are praying, fasting and coming to the vigil if and when they can. And I KNOW that we are making a difference through these 40 day campaigns! I stand there and see the expression of folks walking by, especially when they look at the fetal models. I see many young people looking…and I BELIEVE that we are planting seeds that will reap a harvest some day. But still…I wonder whey there aren’t MORE of us???
I read something last week that has really stayed with me…Fr. Richard Heilman posted on his blog:
Satan’s most powerful force; his “Elite Fighting Force” are the indifferent, the dispassionate, the halfhearted … it is the lukewarm. These are Satan’s “Special Forces” because they are the most effective in winning over a multitude of souls for the devil. Why? Because many are easily swayed by their “version of lukewarm religion.” One that sets every other thing, noble or not, ahead of participating in building the kingdom of God. And, lukewarm church-goers are the elite among the elite in Satan’s fighting force, because they “set a powerful trend” of this empty religiosity, with no urgency to go much beyond church attendance. This is VERY contagious!!
I always thought it was interesting that God speaks so harshly about the lukewarm…saying He will spit them out! I mean, being lukewarm is better than being cold…isn’t it? Isn’t a little of something better than none at all? But, after reading this refection above, I can begin to see why being lukewarm is so dangerous. Because it is like thinking we can have our cake and eat it too. We can be Christians and still be comfortable. We can live like the world, as long as our “mouths” say the right words. That reminds me of a joke that I heard a priest tell a few weeks ago. He said,
“There was a woman who wanted St. Peter to give her a tour of Heaven, so she could check it out. St. Peter agreed, and as he was showing her around, she noticed a large hole…it was full of tongues. She asked St. Peter what that was all about. St. Peter answered, ‘Oh, that is for those whom only their tongues made it to Heaven.'”
If there was no suffering in the world…if no one was hungry or homeless…if helpless babies weren’t being killed by abortion…then maybe we could get away with being lukewarm. But we are in a battle here. Satan is fighting hard for souls. So we have to fight hard also. And we know that our side wins in the end, so we can be encouraged to persevere! And speaking of encouragement…I want to share with you a couple updates on babies that were saved from abortion at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood. We believe that many lives are saved from abortion through our prayers and witness…but it doesn’t happen very often that we actually get to find out, or to follow up on those lives. Here are two that I do keep in touch with:
I met Carita at Planned Parenthood when she came to have an abortion. Confused and fearful, she thought she had to do it. God used our pro-life family in Pittsburgh to help her choose life. We had a baby shower for her and also collected money to help her to buy a car. Her little girl, Adrial, is the light of her life, and her relationship with God is stronger than ever! I asked Carita to write a little message to our 40 Days for Life family for this blog. She wrote:
I just want to say God is good all the time and I just want to give him thanks for everything that he is doing for me and for everything that he did for my daughter. I want to specially thank the 40 day for life team for being there for me throughout my pregnancy. Thanks a lot to you too Nikki. Word of encouragement… life is preciously given from God, so we should preserve it.
Carita is also asking for prayers. She is living in a neighborhood that is not safe for her kids, and is going to look at another house to buy this Saturday. Please remember to pray for this intention for her.
These two little cuties were also scheduled to be aborted at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood…but because of our caring pro-life community, we were able to help their mom choose life. A baby shower was held and money was raised to help their family.
So, I hope you are now encouraged to continue these next 18 days! We have some empty vigil hours coming up that I hope we can fill! This Sunday from 1-3, shift manager Maggie will be all alone if no one signs up! Monday morning, from 7-9am shift manager Jeff will be alone. Monday from 5-7pm shift manager Sue will be alone. I hope I will get some responses to help fill these hours!
The final thought I want to share with you is this; Yesterday I got to talk to a woman who has been coming to our vigil regularly to “support Planned Parenthood“. She is upset that we want to “take away women’s healthcare” by closing down Planned Parenthood. When I answered her by saying that I am just one person and that I don’t have the power to close Planned Parenthood, I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke through her when she said in reply: “Yes, you do have the power to close Planned Parenthood! One person is powerful!“
So there you have it…straight from an opponent’s mouth…we DO have the power! It is not OUR power, of course. It is the power of GOD working IN us! Thanks be to God!!!
Now for today’s reports from the sidewalk…
Kathy L. 7-9am:
Thank you to St. Louise de Marillac Church members who came today and prayed. Dennis and Chris arrived first. We read today’s devotional together and then took our posts. Dennis greeted many passersby and most responded back with a friendly greeting. Chris left at 8 but then Brad joined us. He and Dennis prayed the rosary and then Maryann, Karen, and SM Cathy arrived to cover the next prayer shift.
St. Louise de Marillac pray-ers continued on….Karen and Denny were there when I arrived and stayed til around 10, when Seamus, Mary, Diane and Jason came – great group! The clinic was not very busy, we got some smiles and positive comments from passers-by. Just before 11 the faithful Guardians of Life began to arrive.
Hank 9-11am (Reports of a possible baby saved!!!)
What a beautiful day the Lord gave us today. We had a lot of prayer warriors out for the 11-1 shift and pray we did. I was expecting the building to shake from the power of the prayers. The Guardians for Life with Fr.Tim and the K of C were out in force and St.Louise DeMarillac was very well represented along with Bill from 1st Presbyterian and Ken from Greenburg. Among the group were two side walk counselors. Terri, one of the counselors, encountered a young woman who was on here way to PP. She is in her second month of pregnancy and her boy friend wanted her to have an abortion. Terri was able to direct her to another facility for a sonogram and the young lady was grateful and asked for Terri to be in contact with her. Please pray for A. We were warmly greeted by many people….so encouraging!! We distributed a good number of Precious Feet pins.
When I arrived for my shift, I was told the great news that there had been 23 prayer warriors on the sidewalk during the previous shift. Wow! I was joined by John, George, Ginny, and Andy during most of the time. Later, Claire and Jim joined us. Jim, a visitor from New Jersey, spent part of his birthday praying with us. What a blessing! There was very little foot traffic in and out of PP. One angry young man, who I’d seen walk by during previous shifts, spewed profanities and tried to engage us in an argument for about 10 minutes. He believed we were harassing women just by being there and that the developing baby was just a single cell. Andy calmly tried to reason with him and told him, yes, we all started out as a single cell, with unique DNA, DNA that is different from the mother, a unique individual. The man continued to rant and it was clear that trying to reason with him was futile. Thankfully, he went on his way. We received several “God Bless Yous” from passersby and we prayed multiple Rosaries in the beautiful weather.
Barbara & Richard 3-5pm
Sunny and warm described the sidewalk today. It also described the people walking by on the way to the bus, on the way home. After all this time, we recognize familiar faces. One woman, Mary, stopped to congratulate Ginny for coming to pray noting that she took extra effort due to her wheel chair.
Another woman noted, “I have all my kids!” How many? She raised 4 fingers, smiling happily.
One man looked quizzically at my 40 Days for Life sign. “They do abortions here,” I said. He looked away.
It is never a waste of time to stand downtown in front of PP to call attention to the outrage perpetrated behind these glass, usually locked, doors. They say the doors are locked and a fob is needed for access to keep us violent people outside.
Babies are methodically torn to shreds by appointment in there. How do you define “violent?”
Joe K. 5-7
A special thanks to Barbara and Richard for holding down the fort as I was a few minutes late today…
Beautiful evening and eerily quite… Didn’t seem to be that much vehicle / foot traffic… and no long lines of folks waiting for their bus…
I was surprisingly joined for the entire shift by my fellow Knight of Columbus, Mike, who shared his strong pro-life story – adoption and teen pregnancy…
Minimal reactions from passerby’s, other than one young man stopped briefly to indicate his support for us and how terrible it is for Planned Parenthood to sell baby parts…
The fetal models got many looks-n-glances today…
The shift did end with a woman questioning the “truth” of what we do and how we do it… which did jog my memory of an article I read earlier in the day that essentially stated – “…a minority of truth will prevail as long as it is heard…”
My brothers and sisters, let us continue to be “heard” through our truthful witness…
These are the words of Tim B. at tonight’s closing celebration at Catholic Charities downtown, when he spoke of our wonderful 40 Days leader, describing Nikki and her dedicated, comprehensive, committed, warm, and loving leadership of 40 Days for Life. After leading two vigils per year at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood since 2010, she is passing the baton for vigil leadership (although she emphasizes she will definitely continue as a shift manager and blog writer).
Since I started as a shift manager with 40 Days “almost” that long ago, I have been consistently blessed by and impressed with Nikki’s attention to detail and personal touch. Every single time I have ever had an issue or a question – and this has been often — Nikki has addressed it immediately, thoroughly, and very personally, whether by text, e-mail, phone, or even in person. One time a few years ago it was horribly cold during my shift – Nikki knew I was on a long shift and she came downtown, unannounced, and said, “Sue, it’s too cold; you go home and I’ll stand for you for the rest of your shift.” Just this past fall I was having issues with the technicalities of my blog writing. Nikki met with me personally over at Brueggers after her shift and we hacked it out together on my laptop. The longest it ever took for me to receive a return call from Nikki about an issue with my shift was about a half hour – and it was because she was at Mass when I called! Now consider that we have at least three dozen shift managers serving for 40 Days! Yes — she treats us ALL like this!!! And I’m sure every shift manager has similar stories.
Am I not correct when I say this kind of thing just doesn’t happen in today’s world?! I’ve worked in lots of organizations, both professional and volunteer, and I know at least that I’ve never seen it. Until I started with 40 Days. Nikki B. is a truly and thoroughly outstanding Christian woman and leader, and I just wanted to shout this from the rooftops of the blogosphere and make sure all our readers realize this! We all THANK YOU, Nikki, for every single tiny, little, medium-sized, big, and gigantic thing you have done to bring 40 Days to life and help it to grow through these past years. May God bless Nikki and Joe and their family a hundred-thousandfold for their service to Life!!!!
Before I get to the stories and photos from today’s vigil as well as the closing rally …….. please consider coming downtown to pray this Friday (Good Friday) at 10:00 a.m., when People Concerned for the Unborn Child will host Stations of the Cross in front of Planned Parenthood.
Jen covered the early-morning 7:00-9:00 a.m. shift. She shares:
I know we’ve entered Holy Week in preparation for Easter, but there is so much to be grateful for that today feels a little like Thanksgiving. Thanks to Diane and Tom for being the first smiling faces at the vigil each morning and for making the job of shift manager much easier by providing everything we could possibly need on the sidewalk. Thanks to Vince and Dan for their warm fellowship on the last cold morning of our so-called “spring” vigil.
Thanks to shift manager Sue and faithful pray-er Pat for arriving right on time to keep the vigil rolling through the next shift. And THANKS to all the members of our 40 Days for Life family for your incredibly loving, generous, selfless witness that brought the light of Christ to a terribly dark place and helped to keep us all going through forty long days of this important campaign. May God bless you all!
I (Sue M.) served for 9:00-11:00 a.m. The shift was very quiet and peaceful. And SNOWY! (Mother Nature had a sense of humor on this First Day of Spring!) Although we were cold, we could tell spring was succeeding in breaking through due to the fact that the snow wasn’t laying and our toes weren’t cold — the ground must be warming up! Pat, Dan, and I prayed the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, and we enjoyed some lively conversation about Life issues. A gentleman stopped to thank us for doing what we were doing. At one point while we were praying, a lady passed by and commented, “It’s Palm Sunday — you folks should be in church!” We considered how odd it was that someone would think we would skip church to pray at Planned Parenthood. Or maybe her church doesn’t offer many service or Mass times ……….. Anyway, before I realized it, Rich and Roseann had arrived for their 11-1 shift.
We had a very good presence on the sidewalk today and a lot of prayer warriors. Fr. Gruber led us in prayer. It was nice to have a priest present with us. Margie donated a new pen for the clipboard. Thanks to all who came today.
Trish shared these photos from the 1:00-3:00 p.m. shift:
Photos and stories from the 3:00-5:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. will be added here when they come in.
Finally, we gathered at 6:30 outside Planned Parenthood to commence our closing vigil for the 2016 Lenten 40 Days for Life campaign for prayer and song:
…….. and then made our way back over to Catholic Charities to gather for a potluck meal and some informative and inspirational speakers:
Meredith P. began the program by inviting everyone to participate with her in another upcoming pro-life prayer vigil to begin soon. If you are interested, please contact Nikki.
Katie announced plans for her upcoming diaper drive outside Planned Parenthood to be held on May 7, from 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. to benefit the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills. Please stop down, enjoy coffee and donuts, and bring diapers (all sizes), wipes, Similac formula, new or gently used baby clothes in sizes up to 24 months and other new or gently used baby items such as bibs, bassinets, cribs, crib sheets, blankets, monitors, high chairs, etc., and/or cash gifts.
Kathy L., leader of the Pittsburgh “chapter” of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, explained a prayer partnership project and invited all to join. Sue M. invited all to attend a Sidewalk Advocates training session on Saturday, April 23 from 9:00 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. at St. Sebastian Parish in Ross Township.
Finally, Jenifer gave a very moving testimony about her acceptance of Jesus and conversion to Christianity after having been involved in anarchist and Buddhist groups for years and espousing a militantly pro-choice worldview. She explained how she met Nikki after apologizing to her for her participation in a black-hooded group pro-abortion protest at Nikki’s home after the opening rally of Nikki’s first 40 Days campaign back in 2010.
And thus it ends! But it will never really end until abortion ends in this city, in this state, and in this nation. In this WORLD, indeed. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep praying, witnessing, educating, and speaking out. We believe, trust, and know that our awesome God will do the rest.
A very HAPPY and BLESSED EASTER to all of you! Jesus — The Way, The Truth, and the LIFE — Is Risen Indeed!!!
When I was asked to do the blog for Saturday, I told my daughter I was going to dedicate it to men… because abortion affects men as well as women. When I looked at the date……..today is the Feast day of St. Joseph!
Check in this blog for:Save the date for May 7 and also the reflections from two seminarians, Aaron and Jacob!
Blessed Feast Day of St. Joseph- world famous father.
St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Church, unborn children, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, and of a happy death. May it be a feast day for all fathers and their children.
St. Joseph, who had an angel on his side, had to be persuaded to stay with Mary.. and not put her to shame. Matthew 1: 18-25
(Special prayers today for all fathers living and deceased… May God bless them!)
40 Days for Life has representation of men who attend on a regular basis. They stand for life as strong examples to other men to do the same. They also show women that they care. Just to name a few of the good men: Al, the husband of Sally, and father of 11; Joe– Nikki’s husband; George who adopted a child and pleads with the women to choose life; Pat M. (blogwriter)Jeff F, JoeK, Tim B (blog writer too), Nick, Dave, Pastor Bryan, andBill H. who advocate for life year round in front of PP; Bob N. and John who help people face the truth; Tom (husband of Diane) who makes the early drive many days to downtown Pittsburgh; Bob who stops to pray everyday (Mon-Sat); Richard (husband of Barbara) who works so hard for 40 Days for Life and helps with the grandkid’s appointments; Dean, Johnny,Rick, Chris, Mark, Marshall, David, Jeff B., Joe W., Seamus, all the Jims, Adam, John and Hank and so many more representing their families, churches and communities. (Names can be put in replies!) Thank you on behalf of all of us who stand for life!
Sadly, some miss out on the opportunity to be a real father and hero to women and children: Below is a link and a short excerpt from an article about the attitude of support or abandonment in pregnancy.
“Olivia Gans, director of American Victims of Abortion, summarized the situation this way: “According to a growing body of research, one of the most important, most powerful factor in determining whether a woman has an abortion is the attitude of the baby’s father.” Gans added, “It would be difficult to overstate how important the father’s reaction is to this life and death decision.”
A wonderful brochure, which we hand out during the vigil and during the Sidewalk for Advocates shifts, titled Myths-Men and Abortion briefly, but clearly explains the pain abortion causes men.
But there is hope (as the men named above demonstrate). The movies listed below are great movies with positive male role models:
The movie, Courageous (2011) is an “action packed” movie about the impact of the men and fathers in their own families and in the lives of a community. Also, Bella is a movie that covers so many aspects of the abortion issue from the unplanned pregnancy, male support, family heritage, and adoption. Both of these movies would be wonderful examples to watch to show present day examples of St. Joseph. (Well worth seeing over and over again!)
7 am to 9 am shift report from Tim… welcome back from Florida to the cold weather! Tim is a regular on the Saturday morning sidewalk for life!!!
“I was blessed to have the faithful from St Joseph’s and St Michael’s show up well before dawn (even before the vigil began) on this brisk almost spring day. The blessings showered down for the next two hours as two priests, Fr Ed and Fr Tim came and lead in prayers. By the end of my shift there were nearly two dozen prayer warriors witnessing to life, including Nikki, 40 DFL Campaign Director, a member of St Joe’s. The Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram with Betsy and Millie onboard came down offering an immediate alternative to the clinic. Year round regulars Bill and Bill, Meredith, Nick and Virginia were present along with sidewalk advocate Terry.
Few women entered the clinic early this morning hopefully due to our presence. Marian, my shift manager replacement, and I engaged in a delightful conversation with a young woman who stopped to view the fetal models. We discussed the different stages of development and offered a wide variety of information and materials that she willingly accepted and promised to share along with information on Rachel’s Vineyard for struggling friend. I was truly blessed to be surrounded by so many faithful witnesses.” Tim
Look for Tim’s email about the abortion doctor who now testifies for life:“When I became pregnant, I continued to do abortions without any reservations but when I returned to the clinic after my delivery I was confronted with 3 situations that changed my mind about doing them.” excerpt of testimony-U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Oral Testimony of Kathi A. Aultman, MD March 15th 2016
St. Joseph Church Verona- selfie!! (Nikki and friends)
A beauty among knights. Terri, a Sidewalk Advocate for Life, flanked by a few good men from the Knights of Columbus of Bellvue.
My report for the 9 am to 11am: The street was busy…. PP got busier…
Saturday is an abortion day at PP. This week for the 9 am to 11 am shift, only Terri was there as a SA. She and I were doing double duty. It is hard to reach out when the streets are crowded but the crowd was full of prayer!! Jamal stopped by to talk about impact of gun violence and abortion specifically on the black community. As a young, black male he knows the facts. He took information and we encouraged him to become a witness for life.
M and J came out to get something to eat but as I engaged them in conversation, appetites were suppressed. They were both there with the same friend still trying to convince the woman (already a mother of two) to not abort offering help and support. Their friend was stubborn. M was in tears after we prayed. They are heartbroken too. Our wonderful Katie handed them beautiful bags with information and they took Project Rachel information. M is a mother of 6 children and J is a mother of 2 children.
Save the date: Katie is organizing a diaper drive in front of PP scheduled for Saturday, May 7th– the day before Mother’s Day between 7 am and 6 pm. Please look for more information to come in your email. All donations will benefit local pregnancy resource centers. Many times we hear that women are aborting a child after having multiple children…. (no one should have a problem with helping in this drive. Even pro-choice people could get on board.) Once pregnant…always a mother regardless of how the pregnancy ends.
Aaron, a seminarian at St. Paul’s Seminary, wrote this reflection on St. Joseph acknowledging the Feast Day of St. Joseph:
My reflection in prayer outside of PP today was focused on the virtue that St. Joseph demonstrated in his life. He had the troubles of an unexpected pregnancy with Mary, his betrothed. Even though the law allowed him to call for the death of mother and child by stoning, Joseph planned on divorcing Mary quietly, exhibiting both justice and mercy.
I thought about what kind of man Joseph would be in today’s world. He would be a blue collar working man, but his faith would still be of high importance. I could see him making sacrifices like getting up early on a Saturday morning, even after a long week of working, to stand as a witness of mercy outside of Planned Parenthood.
It was great to be able to see the groups of men – it seems like most of them were Knights of Columbus – standing in witness this morning. I do think St. Joseph would have stood primarily in a silent, prayerful presence against that of abortion. He also would have been one to celebrate the lives of those who pass by on the sidewalk, particularly the children whose parents most recently decided to acknowledge the sanctity of life. May we strive to imitate the sacrificial, merciful witness of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus!
Jacob, also a seminarian at St. Paul’s Seminary, reflects:
Henri de Lubac, a 20th century French Theologian, has said in his book, Catholicism, “Wherever a Christian’s meditations may have led him; he is always brought back, as by a natural bias, to the contemplation of the Cross.” As Aaron and I came to Planned Parenthood this morning, we were prayerfully entering into this mindset.
The abortion and contraception services offered at Planned Parenthood certainly serve to bring us to the Cross. This is a Calvary in our own backyards, and all the participants in the evil there suffer in one way or another. As we begin to enter Holy Week, we reflect on Jesus’ suffering that we see today in the suffering of others.
The call to defend the lives of the unborn and support the women who face pressure to make harmful decisions in their lives is a sobering reminder of this suffering. Thank you to all who faithfully persevere in this mission. What a consolation to see such commitment by so many this morning!
In Jesu et Maria, Jacob
Lindsay took pictures from the 11 am to 1 pm: shift when the parishioners from Word of God parish were led in soft, peaceful prayer by Deacon Ron.
Julie covered the 1pm to 3pm shift:
Julie spent a week in Nicaragua recently interpreting for doctors who were helping mothers and their children. Julie also took the time to manage the shift even though family members are sick.Mary came again this week after her first time to the sidewalk in Pittsburgh last week! Welcome to the sidewalk for life.
Julie took a picture of our baby models.
The signs give these voice-less models, representing the stages of fetal development, a voice as the signs and babies are placed strategically for that purpose. Thomas didn’t believe until he saw the wounds of Jesus. I heard the testimony of a WWII Holocaust survivor from Hungary state: “We didn’t believe they were ripping babies apart.” I (blog writer)wrote my first pro-life editorial based on that statement.
Thanks to Pat M., we had new signs this campaign that help tell the story of the destruction of life….. helping others to understand the truth about abortion.
Jeannie covered the 3 pm to 5 pm shift:
Jeannie is doing double duty these days too…. honing her skills as an advocate for life. Holy Trinity parishioners took shifts covering the sidewalk.
Joe W. covered the Saturday evening shift from 5 pm to 7 pm:
I arrived at my shift and quickly signed in Kathy, Barb, Helen, Patrice, and Renee from Holy Trinity parish in Robinson twp. (pictured R to L- see below) These beautiful daughters of the Blessed Virgin Mary were prepared, excited, and immensely capable to do battle, and how magnificently they fought. With their own materials, they prayed a prolife Rosary (all 20 mysteries), psalms, and various other prayers nonstop for the full 2 hour shift. I mean to tell you these sisters were on a mission from God to stand up for the weakest amongst us. They prayed and prayed and then prayed some more. (I would not want to run into them in a dark alley) Tom from St. Fidelis showed up around the six mystery and humbly joined right in with fervent prayer for the duration of the shift. Adam also stopped by and dutifully handed out brochures to those who would receive them. It is always uplifting to see the younger gents getting involved. What blessings ya”ll are to me, to our movement, to the innocents, to the world!!! All Glory and Praise be to God, Joe W.
Stevie Wonder sings about “isn’t it amazing what God has done”!
How do you thank the many people who come out and witness their love for neighbor??? God will bless them, of that we can be sure. Jesus promised!
I feel so blessed from this 40 days…You all are such beautiful people!! It has been a pleasure to see your willingness to come the sidewalk to pray and to offer help! Your sacrifice to be there is truly an inspiration and God has noticed!! I also think the abortion workers have noticed, the women and couples entering PP have noticed and the people just passing by have noticed! We know God will use our willingness to make this sacrifice, right? Jesus, I trust in YOU!
Give me a high-five:
As we wind down this spring campaign, remember that there are people who go year round to the sidewalk in front of PP. If you go, you will not be alone. There is a team of Sidewalk Advocates as well as Individuals who go on abortion days to pray and to offer help to vulnerable women. Abortion days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. About 50 abortions a week are done just at Liberty Ave in Pittsburgh.
If you cannot go in person and you are “tech savvy”, onlineforlife.org has an APP that allows you to pray in real time for women in Pittsburgh who are considering an abortion…here is information from their website:
The Online for Life Prayer App underscores the importance of prayer in the battle to end abortion, while involving the pro-life community in such a way that keeps them actively engaged in rescuing unborn children and families from abortion.
This innovative app engages committed and praying people in the fight to end abortion. Through this real-time Prayer App, users are notified when abortion-determined individuals are in need of prayer at each stage of their life-decision process.
We finally got our act together and made the early bus. So we arrived in time to see Diane unloading her car with Marian helping. Not long after 7 a.m. people began arriving from Living Word Church in Penn Hills: Charles, Crystal, Jake and Pastor Shawn. Marian took pictures of them, with us, before she left for work.
Shift Manager Al and Pastor Shawn from Living Word Church
Crystal and Charles from Living Word Church with Shift managers…dynamic duo Sally and Al
PP was not very busy during this shift. Only one girl took literature and when she came out, and then went back in, she still had it in her hand unopened. At least it had not been confiscated, so hopefully she looked at it before her turn came to be seen.
More people than usual seemed friendly & occasionally God Blessed us. Three ladies from St. Ferdinand Parish arrived early for their 9 a.m. prayer time. ~Sally
We were blessed to have prayerful participants from St. Ferdinand in Cranberry and St Paul’s Seminary. There was a lot of traffic into Planned Parenthood, including small groups of young women. We were thinking that perhaps there was some sort of class or inservice this morning. Several couples entered for abortion and declined our resource sheet.
Pam, Shalini and Kay from St Ferdinand’s in Cranberry
It was wonderful to be joined by so many beautiful pro-life family from Holy Sepluchar in Butler today! What a faithful Parish! Debbie lent her beautiful voice in song for rosary reflections and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, while Peggy joined Pastor Bryan in handing out literature. Much literature was offered and accepted on the busy sidewalk today.
Autumn, a lovely young woman who chose life for her precious 6 month old daughter, Layla is in need of affordable housing preferably on the East side of the city. If anyone knows of any please let me know and I will pass it on.
Holy Sepluchar maintained a steady presence throughout the day, coming out in full force for Marie’s shift. She is pictured below with her friend Gloria from St. Mary of the Assumption, Ginny our faithful friend from Mt. Lebanon, and the group from H.S including; Gretchen, Robert, Ron, Deb and Rick.
Thank you all for your faithful witness! See you all again in the Fall!
Much love, Regina💜
I had a beautiful final shift today. The sidewalk was bright and sunny, many people came to pray, and we received very few negative comments and quite a few positive! I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there with me for the 3pm hour. What a surprise to find Bernadette and her friend Pat, with the beautiful statue of Mary, Ark of the new covenant along with her image of Jesus!
Ginny from St. Bernard was also there, in her wheelchair. What dedication! From reading the earlier reports, it appears she had been there for many hours! She was there for most of my shift, until Access picked her up.
Bernadette, Pat, Thomas and Nikki
There were three people from Holy Sepulcher, whose shift was supposed to have ended at 3, but they stayed and prayed with us until about 3:30.
Gretchen and Hubby from Holy Sepulcher
Thomas who is from Denver, but attending school at CMU came, as well as a young woman named Natalie, who goes to St. Paul Cathedral.
Natalie from St. Paul Cathedral joined us!
Mimi was also there. At 4pm, Lisa with her two sons came, representing SS. Peter and Paul in Beaver. We had a very prayerful time on the sidewalk today. It was nice to see so many young people who care about this cause! It was a good shift. Thanks to everyone who came!
Thanks to lisa and sons for staying and praying with me. I passed out several womens resource tri folds to young women passing by and even to some whom I thought wouldnt accept but did. A homeless man named Will stopped by for a subway card but received a prayer and a buck instead- sub cards gone! A few people stopped to study fetal models. One man gave us his handout on “hugs”. An old college friend stopped to talk as she was on her way to the gallery crawl tonight. We had both some positive and negative comments.
Shift manager Kathy with Cahill family and Bill
Renee received a pacemaker yesterday and joins us, praying for ‘Life’ from her hospital room.
Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
Psalm 105: 5-6
As we approach the end of our spring campaign, we really see the signs and wonders that God has done and continues to do. Thanks be to God for His miracles!
We celebrate and recognize St. Patrick today, a man whose love for God compelled him to preach the Lord Jesus Christ to a people who did not know Him. Does this sound familiar? Not that we are “holier than thou”… after all, we need the Lord Jesus as much as anyone else. We are all sinners. But God can use some sinners who lean towards Him… to bring others closer to Him as well. Consider these words of St. Patrick, and think of them in light of our current culture of death:
These are St. Patrick’s words, written in response to a massacre and enslavement of newly baptized Christians, as translated from the Latin by John Skinner in The Confession of St. Patrick. [I have placed ellipses when necessary to indicate a break in his words, or a change I have made in the ordering of the words for editorial purposes.]
I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. I am certain in my heart that “all that I am,” I have received from God. So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God. […] I am driven by the zeal of God; Christ’s truth has aroused me. […] If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.
I am not addressing my own people, […] but those who are now become citizens of demons by reason of their evil works. They have chosen, by their hostile deeds, to live in death; comrades of […] all who behave like apostates, bloody men who have steeped themselves in the blood of innocent Christians.
Because of all this, I am at a loss to know whether to weep more for those they killed [read ‘aborted children’] or those that are captured [read ‘abortion-minded parents’ or ‘post-abortive parents’].
I do not overreach myself, for I too have my part to play with “those whom he has called to himself and predestined” to teach the gospel in the midst of considerable persecutions “as far as the ends of the earth.”
Can it be out of the kindness of my heart that I carry out such a labor of mercy? […] How bitterly they despise me! […] Let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, [He] who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.
The Lord took pity on me thousands upon thousands of times, because He saw within me that I was prepared, but that I was ignorant of what to do in view of my situation; because many were trying to prevent this mission. They were talking among themselves behind my back, and saying: ‘Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who know not God?’
I grieve for you, how I mourn for you, who are so very dear to me, but again I can rejoice within my heart, not for nothing “have I labored,” neither has my exile been “in vain.” May God inspire these men sometime to come to their senses in regard to God again, so that they may repent, however latter day, of their grave crimes, namely homicide against the brothers of the Lord, and that they free these […] women whom they have taken, so that then they may deserve to live to God and be made whole once more, here, now and for eternity.
Wow. St. Patrick was truly a man of both conviction AND compassion… just the qualities that WE ought to espouse as well, during each and every encounter with someone in need of help and healing from abortion.
Shift Manager Reports
During the 7-9 shift, we had a group from St. John the Baptist church. For the 9-11 shift, we had two lovely prayer warriors from Lutherans for Life. There were people who went by who were very supportive, and then there were others that went by with some choice words for us. We prayed for all.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Today I was grateful that many individuals accepted baggies with green Andes candies, green resource sheet and holy card. One vehicle pulled up and the passenger wound down her window and took the baggie and additional pamphlets. I pray some seeds were planted today.
There were several folks who were not happy that we were present and let us know it. Oh well, at least they had someone pray for them today. While this Lenten campaign is coming to a close, not so for PP, not so.
Pray to see if God wants you to sign up for the upcoming sidewalk counseling class in April. I know I am going to pray about that. So many wounded souls. What was on my heart a lot this campaign was the post-abortive women who pass by every day, and how they must feel to have a constant reminder by our presence. I pray they are able to be healed by the loving Mercy of our heavenly Father.
Thank you to George and Eileen who stayed for a four hour shift. And, many thanks to Beth Ann, whose dedication keeps me going as a shift manager.
Hope to see lots of people on Palm Sunday at 6:30pm to close the vigil.
God bless everyone.
From Lisa K. (me):
It was a bit of a crazy shift. Marilyn and Beth Ann had warned me that people had been “nastier” than usual today. Thankfully, I don’t know if I found that to be the case, but there were a few angry and nasty souls just waiting for the chance to strike at us with harsh and insulting words. But- it’s part of the package when we come to pray here. I think of what St. Patrick said above… “Why [are we] throwing [ourselves] into danger among enemies who know not God?” Well, the answer is what he says after that… and what Marilyn said above. It’s because we care. We have compassion. And our hearts hurt for those who are hurting… especially when they don’t even realize that they’re hurting. And of course, Our Lord Jesus aches for them in their sorrow and hurt as well…
Interestingly, a friend called me when I got home from my shift, and was looking for resources for her post-abortive friend. I was able to offer her lots of suggestions. I realized then that we don’t do this ONLY for those passing by on Liberty Avenue… we would like to be of help to ANY abortion-minded or post-abortive person that we can. Thank God for those opportunities when someone is open and hungry for information and help.
Thank you to Rosalina who came to the rescue to fill in for Dean, who was sick. God bless you for your generous spirit!!
And thank you to Lulu, Fr. Tony from Weirton, Pastor Matt, Kristen (and baby Angus), Susan, Arlene, Frank, Marian, Francesca, George, and Eileen. What an awesome bunch of people. Thank you!
Praise God for His countless blessings. The 5-7 PM shift on Thursday was filled with many blessings. I would like to especially thank Noreen, Dave, Jack and Randy from St. John the Baptist church in Plum and Steve, Elissa, and Melody (8 months old) from the Rock of Ages Messianic Jewish Congregation in North Hills, for their faithful witness and their prayers for the lives of unborn children, and for bringing hope to pregnant mothers in need. What a wonderful witness it was to see Melody outside of Planned Parenthood this evening. Nothing is more beautiful than the innocence and joy of a child. I would like to thank Elissa and Randy for the love and care they showed to “Z,” a young girl who stopped by and who is struggling greatly. Thanks, Elissa, for such beautiful prayers for Z. I would like to ask everyone to keep Z in your prayers and to help her to realize that she is a child of God, and that God loves her very much. Thanks also to Diane and Tom for their faithfulness in taking care of the equipment and supplies, and to Nikki for all her hard work again this year. May God bless you and keep you!