I am not fearful by nature. It’s possible that I am just naive or too sheltered to know that I SHOULD be afraid. But, being afraid usually doesn’t occur to me.
That said, I must admit that for the last month or so…with the year 2020 looming…I have felt fearful. Maybe it is the coming election and the fear of increasing anger and aggression, but I think it is more than that. This world just seems so foreign to the world that I remember growing up. Hearts seem so cold now. People don’t have large families anymore. No brothers and sisters, cousins and grandparents. Houses are large and lawns manicured, but there are no children to wear out the grass with games of kick ball. Everything seems empty and sterile. Faces are glued to screens, no smiles or greetings for those passing by. Things are very efficient now, but not very human. I could go on, but I won’t. You know what I mean.
I am not afraid for myself, for I have already lived the better part of my life. But I fear for my grand babies. What is in store for them? This feeling of dread was bothering me so much in fact, that on New Year’s Eve, as my husband and I watched the ball drop…I decided to make my new year’s resolution. I decided to give something up. I decided to give up FEAR. To implement this… I resolved to put morning prayer before morning coffee.
God affirmed my resolution this past week; as I was walking towards my car in the darkness, I noticed that some small pebbles were casting incredibly long shadows because of the headlights of the car parked beside mine. Tiny little rocks looked like tall trees in such eerie lighting. When I noticed the long shadows that were cast by those tiny stones in the street, I thought of the comparison to these times that we are living in. They may LOOK frightening, but in reality, compared to the True Light of Jesus Christ, all the evils that are trying to scare us into despair are really just little pebbles. We do not need to fear the shadows. God is allowing these times for a reason. We simply have to love and to trust. We have each other and we have Him. And that is enough.
God has made it very clear that He is using 40 Days for Life to work powerful miracles! A former abortionist and two former clinic managers are now working for 40 Days for Life. The building that used to house Planned Parenthood is now the 40 Days for Life headquarters. 16,742 babies have been saved, 196 workers have converted and 104 clinics have closed. God has given us a faithful team of 40 vigil shift managers here in Pittsburgh and now 40 shift “buddies”…to make sure that we are able to successfully keep the prayer vigil going on the sidewalk during each campaign. He wants us to know that HE is in charge of this movement, so we do not need to fear!
I think He has mighty things in store for us here in Pittsburgh during the Lenten campaign (Feb. 26 – Apr. 5)! In fact, He is using the number 40 to help us to overcome fear of the darkness and to help us to TRUST HIM! For the first time ever, we are seeking 40 PRIESTSto kick off our 40 days with a Mass at Epiphany Church, and to lead a Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Pittsburgh to Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, Feb. 25! See the flyer HERE and spread the word about this exciting event! We will also especially be honoring Jesus’ mother during these 40 days, with a dedication of these 40 days to her Immaculate Heart at the opening Mass. I have a feeling that Jesus will be pleased by this show of love for his dear Mother, and I would’t be surprised if we see some amazing miracles!
Fran is ready and waiting to sign up church groups for the vigil! The vigil is WIDE OPEN and needs MANY CHURCH GROUPS to fill it! Contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org to get signed up.
We made the decision not to print the campaign flyers in bulk this time because many were wasted last time. Churches can print them from the resource page on our website at: http://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/get-involved-2/ Please use the resources on this page to spread the word at your church.
Thank you and may God bless you in this new year as we give up fear and TRUST THE LORD!
We thank God for all of the wonderfully selfless, dedicated people who prayed, fasted and witnessed for life during these past 40 days! We know of 2 lives saved, but believe that God used us to save MANY more that we may never know about. He is faithful and good to those who love Him…and we DO LOVE HIM!!! Our next 40 days begins on February 26th. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas…and I will see you in February!
In your sight the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground. You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life, you whose imperishable spirit is in all. Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend, you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned, so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.
Wisdom 11:23, 27 – 12:1-2
We are an alleluia people!
Pope John Paul II
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Bishop Robert Barron
with age old Biblical truth and beauty, Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life witnesses
showed up on the pavement outside pp daily for 12 hours, for 40 Days. We prayed, sang, encouraged, cooperated,
stumbled, sighed and cried. We stepped
back. We showed up again.
Those of us on
Nikki’s list love each other. Even
wrapped in layers and with faces reddened by the weather, we recognize each
other. It is as if we grew up in the
same neighborhood. We anticipate each
other. We are in step.
Our rhythmic joy bringing to the sidewalk reminds me of a video. These guys share a joyful vibe. They move gracefully, anticipating each other’s moves. Their faces are happy. They know they are doing their best. They know their hearts are in good company. Their editor is almost as good as ours!
Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk
Al and Sally
Sally always made deviled eggs for the Closing.
Beloved ardent witnesses for life
FROM THE SIDEWALK
JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
Early this morning, Diane set up the vigil for the last day of our current campaign. Please say a prayer for Tom, who’s fighting the flu. May God bless them both for their faithful service and incredible ideas to make the vigil more comfortable and fruitful!
My shift buddy, Vince, and I were happy to pray with Thao, who has been such a blessing to us all this fall. We were also glad to have the witness of Michael, whose mom has helped organize the Harrisburg 40DFL vigil in the past. Bill H. stopped to share the joyful news that his daughter is pregnant! And Bill E., Friday shift buddy, came with his wife, Ursula, to pray for a while. Please hold him and his family in your prayer as his sister died unexpectedly two days ago. As we were praying through the 20 decades of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a charter bus with a police escort came down Liberty Avenue. I have no idea who is visiting Pittsburgh that would warrant that kind of production, but I hope they noticed our vigil as they passed by–especially if it is someone in government or running for office. Uplifting little “God-wink” to share: there was a huge gust of wind exactly when we were reading about the “noise like a strong driving wind” heard at the descent of the Holy Spirit! And an encouraging moment to tell you about: a young man stopped to stare at the fetal models and ask questions about abortion. He truly seemed surprised and horrified at the details. We gave him some information about the development of the child in the womb to share with others. Those fetal models are such a witness to truth! Ken arrived at 9 AM to guide the next shift, joined by Pat, Bill, and the People of God Covenant Community. Thank you to all who have prayed and witnessed over the last 40 days…God will use your sacrifice for such good that we can’t even imagine!
Pat and Ken, Shift Manager 9-11
Michael, Thao, Vince (Shift Buddy), Jen (Shift Manager), Bill
RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1
We had a lot of foot traffic today due to the Steelers playing, but it was relatively quiet with a few negative and a few positive remarks. Although no one was signed up for our shift today we had faithful prayer warriors Marg and Nadine to witness and pray with us.
Nadine, Marge and Rich, Shift Manager
LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3
Well it was a great blessing when a bus load from Living Hope Church in Whitney Pa showed up, with Pastor Doug leading his faithful sheep.
Attached is a beautiful sketch of a sleeping baby. This was sent to a friend of mine on All Souls Day, including this prayer. R.I.P. Today on All Souls Day let us remember all babies: born sleeping, or we’ve carried but never met, those we’ve held but couldn’t take home, the ones that came home but didn’t stay. Make this an image on your wall if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. In memory of all babies too perfect for earth 👼☁☀. Dedicated to all our babies. May they rest in peace. Amen.
FAMILY POTLUCK SUNDAY DINNER- All are Welcome! We will gather at 6 PM in front of Planned Parenthood for closing prayers led by Pastor Joe Stump, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. Dinner immediately following at 6:30 PM in Catholic Charities Welcome Center at 9th & Liberty. Food, Fellowship, and Tales from the Pavement. A Perfect end to our Beautiful Vigil.
SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS:
7-9am Shift Manager Tim reports:
Despite Liberty Avenue being closed off along with most of the other roads near pp for the 10 mile race, the year round Saturday morning faithful (Virginia, Joe, Bill and now Thao) still managed to make their way to the clinic as did Diane with all the 40 DFL signs and materials. With no street traffic it was very quiet and it appeared pp had a delayed start. An older man with what appeared to be his grandchild stopped to thank and encourage us. He then showed the child the fetal models and hopefully planted a seed. We also hope we made a powerful witness and planted some seeds with all the runners who came by along with their supporters. Peace and joy, Tim
Shift Manager Barbara Reports 11-3: It was a blessing to witness in the name of Christ Our Savior Parish. Richard and I arrived and Jeff and Judy had everything organized and running ship shape. Zach was standing on the far side handing out scriptural cards. Jeff went home and Judy remained in her role as sidewalk advocate. She was busy as people by twos and threes went in and out of pp almost continually. Zach is a psych student, back home on vacation from school in Harrisburg. He graduated from Vincentian Academy and felt that he should not waste time. He remained for at least 2 hours.
Linda and John arrived and prayed quietly and we shared an “Our Father.” They left soon to return to Grove City with their friends in Life Advocates. Three others had been across the street witnessing at 11. Jeremiah, Rebecca and Landon arrived from Washington PA, coming for the first time. They responded to a call for help on our website. Jeremiah has a positive warmth for life and was ready to share when asked. They are expecting their second child in April. Their son Landon says he is ready to be a big brother.
Chad arrived alone, glad to find us there. He stayed to share the Good Book. He and Jeremiah spoke with a young woman who had serious pro abortion opinions. The three had a worthy conversation. None was won to the other side. They separated peacefully. Chad said he is interested in joining the regular early Saturday morning team year round. He has another friend who might join him. The friend had helped him change over from atheism. Kathy shift manager and Anthony shift buddy arrived at 1. Adam arrived to pray. He is not related with a church at this time. He is interested in a bus to Washington for the March for Life. Patricia and Paul arrived from Butler. They signed in and it was time for us to leave. It was a terrible day. So many people coming and going … keeping the pp door busy. It was a wonderful day. So many people came to witness for life. Barbara
3-5 Shift Manager Billy Reports: Today I was accompanied with Katie and her parents. We were praying with Adam, Paul, and Lisa who came to do the Jericho walk.
It was a pretty quiet afternoon when we arrived at Planned Parenthood. A few people walked into Planned Parenthood, and a few workers left. Around 4:15, it was Katie, Katie’s family, Lisa and myself for the rest of the shift. Then Diane came to take the supplies for the night.
As of tonight, only two days remain in the Fall 2019 campaign of 40 Days for Life. We know, however, that the end of the battle does not mean the end of the war. We won’t stop fighting until every woman facing an unexpected pregnancy recognizes the child growing within her as a gift, and is able to receive as much practical, emotional, and spiritual support as she needs.
“Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!”
St. John Paul II
There are many ways to keep going! One fantastic idea is to train as a Sidewalk Advocate or to volunteer as a prayer partner for one. Contact Sue at email@example.com for more information. Some other great suggestions from the Susan B. Anthony List, a nationwide network striving to elect pro-life leaders and advance life-affirming legislation, can be found at this link:
Thank you for all the ways you witness to the sanctity of Life. May God bless our efforts to end abortion!
7-9 AM, Barbara & Richard:
Diane has devised a supply stand that taunts the wind. The wind lost again this morning. Score! Richard and I were blessed with the generous company of Steve, Tao, Joe and Priscilla. They came and the sidewalk bloomed! He stopped to share his story. He had been a soldier, married young and his marriage lasted more than a decade. Unfortunately they are divorced now. He blamed himself. He thanked us for witnessing. “Is there a bank nearby? I’d like to give you money.” We agreed that praying for the families going into PP this morning would be a better idea. “Somebody I used To Know” is a song I chanced upon while driving. It hurts to listen. The man’s voice breaks in bewilderment. Her voice breaks as she tries to explain. Their separation seems irrevocable. Another person was in his late teens. “I am undecided about abortion.” He took a step back. “My name is Barbara. What’s yours?” I told him that asking questions at his age is a good thing. Abortion and God … he is unsure about these gigantic issues … blessed opportunity. He had only a little time to talk today, but I listened. May Our Father continue to send him to God-loving people who will cherish his hungry heart. The pregnant moms trudged into pp, declining the opportunities for life that we offer. Our God is patient!
9-11 AM, Kathy & Marlene:
Thank you to Rose and Marlene (PCUC) and Jim (St. Alexis) for coming today. Not pictured, Friday regulars Priscilla and Joe (St. Alexis), Amy and Claire (Upper St. Clair churches). We prayed together and alone. Aloud and silent. Passed out the yellow pregnancy resource cards to several bypassers. One or two PP clients accepted resources, but many did not. A professional looking gentleman wearing a necktie and business suit stopped to ask if we had a lighter for his cigarette. We didn’t but he took the opportunity to tell us his views on abortion and that we should continue witnessing. A young man in his twenties also stopped at the vigil and asked me if I thought a woman had the right to choose abortion since it’s her body. For the next 15-20 minutes, Amy and I discussed with Dustin God’s creation and humanity of the unborn child, the immorality of abortion, and his experience of being a foster child and then being adopted. During our conversation, the initial tension I sensed from him and within myself seemed to disappear resulting in me inviting him to the 40 Days closing vigil on Sunday which he said that he would attend. May God’s love be with him.
11 AM-1 PM, Sheila:
A lot of couples entered during this time and all of them declined information. One couple that exited when I first arrived said that they were there for only an ultrasound and that they paid $120 for it. They were very interested to hear that ultrasounds are provided for free at the various pregnancy centers and gladly accepted my handouts. A young woman, ‘S,’ came over and spoke with us before she entered PP. She said she was simply there to get a pregnancy test and declined going to Catholic Charities with one of us. She told us that she has a fair amount of support if she finds out she’s pregnant but is still on the fence as to how she would proceed. ‘S’ accepted a resource sheet and my contact information; I let her know that there is a large network of people here to pray for her and provide support. She entered PP for a few moments then came out and stated, “I decided I’ll just buy a pregnancy test and see what happens.” She told me she’d be in touch; let’s keep her in our prayers.
1-3 PM, Elaine & Bernie:
Coming soon, but scroll for more!
3-5 PM, Pat:
Tonight required the heavy coat (and long underwear) to make its first appearance of the campaign. It was good to meet Mary Ann (whose parish I’ve forgotten) and also John and Anna from St. Philip’s merged parish in Crafton. And it was good to see once again ever-faithful Val and Mike from St. Mark’s in Liberty Boro. Thank you so much for coming out for so many hours of prayer. My brother Knight, Mike C., from St. Regis in Trafford was also with me to help me represent our parish and our Knights of Columbus council.
The only incident of note was a woman who stopped and talked to the group while I was on the other side. Apparently she told them that she had considered abortion many years ago, but placed her child for adoption instead.
5-7 PM, Missy & Bill:
Hi everyone! The last friday night shift was pretty quiet…one bad comment…nothing serious.
My shift Buddy, Bill E, suffered a tragic family loss today with the sudden death of his sister. I’m so very sorry, Bill! All of the people who come here are praying for you and your family. Please know we are thinking of you at this time…
Patty, Jim, Thao and Peggy all were there to pray and we were joined by Mary Jane ( sorry I didn’t get your picture beautiful lady 🙂 !
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 It takes a lot of moral courage to stand in the face of evil and defend God’s Law…even when man’s law seems to prevail. We know this is not true, though,because Jesus Christ, Our Savior, overcame the world. The victory has already been won. In the Bible we read that ”…All things work together for good…” ( Romans 8:28) This means that it doesn’t matter what we see, or think, or experience…God is in Control!! We are to pray and be His lights in a dark world. TRUST that our prayers have been heard. We are to have faith in our God who knows the plan. HIS will be done…for HIS glory! Jesus Christ is our intercessor. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus. “ God Bless…
Whenever I get the chance to give a talk about 40 Days for Life (40DFL for short), I get a little excited. Excited, because it means I get to tell our story.
These talks start with me meeting the audience where I’m guessing they are. They’re probably thinking: “Hey, there are a lot of good things I could be doing with my time, why should I consider participating in 40DFL?” So I’ll begin by presenting a few convincing arguments to demonstrate there is no evil in the world today greater than abortion. Then I’ll tell them that, when it comes to concrete and proven results, there has never been a greater solution to this problem than 40 DFL.
And then to explain why…by telling our story…
“In 1998, Planned
Parenthood opened an abortion center in Bryan/College Station. People of faith
rallied against it, but in time the office was built and Planned Parenthood
opened. Each year, the goal of ending
abortion in the Brazos Valley seemed to slip further away. But four members of the Brazos Valley
Coalition for Life realized they needed to ask God how He would have them end
abortion in their community.
So in 2004, they gathered
around an old wooden table for an hour of prayer. During that hour of prayer, they found
themselves drawn to the timeframe of 40 days-a timeframe God consistently uses
throughout salvation history to transform His people. How might God transform
Bryan/College Station in 40 days? As
that hour of prayer progressed, the four individuals felt themselves called to
launch a 40 day campaign of PRAYER AND FASTING, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, AND A
CONSTANT, PEACEFUL VIGIL to end abortion. They also vowed that even if no one
else would join them, together they would cover the entire 40 day, 960 hour,
Finally, they gave
their new project a name: 40 Days for
…In less than six
weeks, more than 1,000 new volunteers helped ensure all 960 hours of the vigil
were covered. A grassroots, door-to-door effort reached more than 25,000
households. The campaign made local, state and national news. And the local
abortion rate dropped by 28 percent.
In 2007, the original
40 Days for Life leaders launched the first ever nationally coordinated 40 Days
for Life campaign, spanning 89 cities in 33 states. Before long, campaigns had
been hosted in all 50 states. And then the world came knocking.
Hundreds of cities in
dozens of countries across all six populated continents have now hosted 40 Days
for Life campaigns.” [NOTE: This is all taken from www.40daysforlife.com.]
I’ll then go on to tell them about the 16,004 LIVES
SAVED, the 191 ABORTION WORKERS WHO QUIT, and the 104 ABORTION
CENTERS CLOSED. And I love to add here
that this includes the site of that first campaign in College Station…which is
now the international headquarters for 40 Days for Life! (Personal note: When I get to this part of the talk my throat
starts to constrict and my eyes start to water.)
So here’s the point of all this, perhaps it might be
worthwhile to have in the back-pocket of your brain the essential point of our
story so that you can, at some unexpected moment, share our gospel.
Always be ready to make a reply to anyone who asks you to explain the hope that is in you.
1 Peter 3:15
7-9 AM, Nikki & Peggy:
The rain held off for my shift, it was warm and dry and I was feeling a little bit of guilt, knowing that all the rest of the people who come today or probably going to get soaked! But, it was a very quiet and peaceful shift. I was with my shift buddy Peggy and faithful volunteer Jon for the entire two hours. Towards the end Mary stopped by to pray. She was on her way to see her new grandbaby who is being born today. That reminds me, Angel is also having her baby today! she was the young girl who came here for an abortion last April and changed her mind! Priscilla also came to pray and at 9 o’clock I handed the torch over to Judy, Chuck and Meredith from Lincoln Place Nazarene Church. Pray for those who went in this morning to kill their babies, pray for lives saved and hearts changed! Pray for a young girl who is being pressured to abort by her friends and has decided that she will have the abortion. Please pray for her today but she will change her mind.
9-11 AM, Judy & Meredith:
It was damp but not wet when LP Nazarene (Chuck, Meredith & Judy) arrived on the scene this morning. Priscilla was already there waiting for us. It has been such a privilege to pray with her on the sidewalk these past four weeks. Midway through our shift we were joined by Mike Maley and then Bill Harrison for a brief period of time. It was not long before we were using our umbrellas and we needed them the rest of the shift.
There was a fair amount of people coming and going from Planned Parenthood. There were a few that were polite and stopped momentarily to acknowledge that we were speaking to them but they did not take any of our handouts. However, there was a young couple who took a card from Meredith. Sadly, we know of no babies that were saved on our shift, however, we know God is answering our prayers to close Planned Parenthood!!!
11 AM-1 PM, Fran:
Those who braved the wet weather came and gave witness to what it means to be a Saint. My God receive their prayers and bless them. It rained pretty much from 11 to 12. But nothing stopped them.
1-3 PM, Carolyn & Cil:
God bless Fran for being there when we arrived and for staying on into the next shift! She said we could leave before the next shift arrived. God bless Fr Jim for coming to the Vigil with us again! We had a brief moment at the beginning when it wasn’t raining. But then it started up again non-stop. Several rosaries were prayed along with other prayers. Carolyn and Fran are great prayer warriors! Had a chance to talk with an abortion bound father on 3 occasions but the mother was determined to go through with it. The young man told us to keep doing what we are doing. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a day. It helped that we had supporters who stopped to talk with us. One beautiful lady explain how she never knew that she was adopted until 5 years ago. Her mother told her before she passed but her father had already passed. She was very surprised to learn that as she had no idea that she was adopted. Her parents were so loving. Many adopted children are raised in loving homes despite what the pro-aborts say. She took our material and plans to share with her coworkers about her story and the help that is available. She is raising her two special needs children. Although they can be a challenge she said that they helped to change her life for the better. She may come by with her daughter sometime to pray.
3-5 PM, Helen & Anita:
Umbrellas were all but useless, and the rain drilled through our layers of coats, socks & sweaters. No matter! Our rosaries, Divine Mercy novenas and happy presence overtook all annoyance with weather.
We were privileged to be there on behalf of God’s precious babies. When this place is closed, we can laugh at the wonderful sense of joy and love that comes with prayer and the reassuring confidence of our angels.
Brethren: See to it that you walk with care: not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5: 15-17
This was the reading from my daily missal this morning, and I thought it was a good verse to reflect on, after seeing the huge sinkhole that opened up just two blocks from our vigil site at Planned Parenthood!
Maybe I am seeing too much with spiritual eyes…but to me, this sink hole speaks volumes about the state of our world right now. I took this photo yesterday when I was downtown for my shift. There was a crowd of other amused people who were also taking photos. I think the reason we are so amazed at this sight is that most of us expect that the solid road underneath our vehicle is just that…SOLID. When something that appears solid and strong… suddenly and without warning, simply gives way…it is very surprising! Who would ever expect something like that to happen? But the false sense of security that we have…to expect what APPEARS to be solid to actually BE solid is because we only see the surface. We cannot see what is going on underneath. No one knew that for years, something was going on underneath that road surface…a water line leaking…or whatever…that destabilized the ground underneath the pavement. It kept washing away, leaving just a thin shell of pavement to support the heavy buses and cars. Until the moment came when it collapsed. I wonder if the same thing is happening with our culture? How long can our civilized society continue to function, while we continue to kill our own children by abortion? I picture our families and our faith as being the bedrock…the SOLID GROUND that supports our civilization. Abortion, the killing of our own, innocent children, whose blood is running underneath the foundation of our nation…is destabilizing our foundation. Surely, we are sitting on top of a sink hole much larger than the one in Pittsburgh. It is just a matter of time…
I heard the testimony of Patricia Sandoval at St. Anne’s Church last night. Patricia had three abortions between the ages of 19 and 21 that completely wrecked her life. To help justify her abortions, she took a job at an abortion clinic. When she saw the gruesome reality of abortion first hand, she had to face the fact that she had not aborted three “sacks of cells”…but had killed three of her very own children…and it sent her into a downward spiral of drug addiction which led to eventual homelessness. She is a very pretty woman, had been popular in high school and was a straight A student…with big dreams of success. How did she go from such high expectations to living on the streets…a gaunt skeletal figure with no hair? The answer? The foundation underneath her life had been washed away by the evil culture which had infiltrated her family and school:
When she was 12 years old, Planned Parenthood came into her school to teach them about sex. Patricia was embarrassed when she was shown how to put a condom on a banana. At 12, she was still playing with dolls…the thought of sex had never even occurred to her! Planned Parenthood also taught them about masturbation…encouraging them to do it! They were told about “safe sex” and were told that if they got pregnant, an abortion would take care of it. Abortion was simply a removal of a “sack of cells“…and it was a woman’s right! This was a classroom of innocent, naive children…the perfect prey for Planned Parenthood. The soil of their souls was soft and tender…all the easier for Planned Parenthood to dig underneath…destabilizing it…making it vulnerable for a future collapse. So, of course, when Patricia practiced “safe sex“, as she had been taught…and got pregnant…she chose abortion. And when “safe sex” failed again…another abortion. And for the third time…again.Planned Parenthood’s mission was accomplished. A ruined life. A ruined soul. A young beautiful woman full of potential…numbing her pain with drugs…pulling all her hair out and sleeping on the streets. The sinkhole had collapsed.
Depressing story, isn’t it? It sure would be…if it ended there. But thanks to God, it didn’t! As Patricia hit rock bottom and was curled up in a fetal position on the sidewalk, a waitress from a restaurant across the street saw her crying and came outside to embrace her and told her that God loves her and would forgive whatever she had done. Patricia remembered the God that she had loved as a child…the God that she had written love letters to and tied them to balloons to send them to Him in Heaven. She went back home…the prodigal daughter. She promised God that she would spend the rest of her life working to undo the damage that she had done. She went through a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, where she received the grace to meet her three children; a girl with curly hair, a little boy and a smaller girl. She knew she had been forgiven by God, but had not been able to forgive herself until she saw her children…ALIVE and JOYFUL! They told her how much they loved her and couldn’t wait to have her join them in Heaven. Once she knew her children had forgiven her, she was finally able to forgive herself and heal.
After hearing her difficult life story, I had the impression of the terrible darkness that fills the abortion clinics. We stand outside of them for so many hours that I think we get callous and forget just how terrible and dark they are inside. We are outside where the light of Christ dwells…in our prayers and in our presence. It truly is where light meets darkness. The place where the light meets the darkness is like a horizon during a sunset…where you can see the outline of every tree branch. Or…another analogy came to mind…
It is like the painting of a master…where the brushstrokes of light highlight the most beautiful part of the image...exactly because of the darkest parts contrasting against them. They become the focal points of the painting.We are that focal point on God’s canvas when we pray outside of abortion clinics.
Let’s let God continue to paint His Masterpiece with our lives as HE wills! Lord, let your will be done!
Help us to close our vigil THIS SUNDAY from 6-6:30 pm in front of Planned Parenthood…closing prayers led by Pastor Joe Stump, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. Pot-luck social fun and fellowship at 6:30 in the Catholic Charities Welcome Center!Please bring something yummy to share! See you there!
Now, on to the shift reports from today!
Peggy & Carissa from 7-9 am
A lady stopped and told us she got pregnant at 14. Kept the baby.now that little girl is now finishing her PHD. The joy of her life! I am only sorry I did not get her picture.
Cathy & Elsie from 9-11 am
Thank you to Win, David, and Ron from St. John-Burry’s Church, evangelist Bill, Priscilla-St John Baptist, Sharon – Sacred Heart, and Debbie – Epiphany for coming to pray today. It was mostly uneventful during the shift – a few not nice comments but more smiles and “thank you”s. However, a young woman walked past three of us women and stopped and engaged the men. They told me after she left she said the sign one was wearing – “Unborn lives matter” was an usurpation of “Black Lives Matter” and disrespectful. (I wonder if she thinks black babies lives matter?) She was proud to be a patient of PP and thinks they’re great. She later returned with a list of things we should/not do to have better success. Said she was a teacher. Her “protest suggestions included: -Prayer groups in your place of worship -Call your senator -Don’t call people you disagree with child murderers PS: Also Christian. Any God who loves all humans would be unhappy.”
Hank & Judy write from the 11 -1 shift
The last Wed of 40 Days was like many of the other Weds, Debbie from Epiphany was with us for the 11-12 hour as she has been throughout the vigil, and Fr.Tim and the Guardians of Life (David, Bill, Tom, Tom, Priscilla, Sharon, Ron, Rudolph, Sr.James Anne, Gail, Mary and Terri) were out in force as they also have been most of the Weds. Helen and Pat from the McKeesport grouping and Melanie, her daughter Anne and granddaughter Amelia came down from Summerset. Anne’s husband is an army surgeon currently deployed to the middle east. He is saving lives as his wife and the rest of the 40 Dayers are praying to do. God bless and protect him and St.Michael the Archangel stand guard over him as you do over us. Almost no PP visitors, but lots of street traffic and a significant amount of literature distributed. Lots of prayers (multiple rosaries, Devine Mercy, Stations of the Cross) and praising God in song. Many positive and encouraging comments, few if any negatives. LaDina, an African American woman, stopped by and gave us a copy of a book she has written (Killing Grace) on the evils of abortion. We look forward to a review of the book in a future issue of the PCUC Newsletter. All in all it was a wonderful way to finish off the Weds of the vigil….we will preserver in our prayer and witness until the Lord brings this scourge to an end!! AMEN AND AMEN!!
Chris, John and Rege “man” the sidewalk from 1-3 pm
The pleasant weather continued today. I was joined in prayer by John, Frank, Joe, Dave, Nancy, Diane, and shift buddy Rege. Upon arrival on the sidewalk, we joined Father Tim and his Guardians for Life praying the Luminous Mysteries and lifting their prayers up in song. Later during the shift, we prayed the Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries, taking turns leading the decades. Rege, on the other side of the half-circle, prayed several Rosaries while on his knees. We heard more than a couple words of encouragement and support from passersby and I didn’t hear one negative comment (a first for me this campaign). Jeannie arrived early for her shift and spread rose petals within the half-circle, to commemorate the lives lost inside the building. She took advantage of the new freedom to lovingly counsel women and couples heading to PP’s door. When her shift started, Jeannie came outside the semi-circle, put a sign around her neck and was replaced by Virginia as a sidewalk counselor.
Jeannie & Virginia write from the 3-5 shift
Great last day on the pavement. Shift buddies Marilyn and Virginia finished strong. Joe Krol and his church pals from McKeesport were there too. John – faithful prayer warrior joined us as well. Since we had multiple shift managers I found it so interesting to be inside the line with resource cards. A few negative comments but TONS of affirmation including a beautifully pregnant lawyer who stopped to say she was so glad to see us inside the line!! I know my shift buddies will continue on after the 40 days- praise be to God!
Addendum: I have been missing my umbrella lately-it was a sentimental one given to me after my aunt passed away. Today I brought a big umbrella in the car but I forgot it. So what happened? Of course it rained. Joe K very kindly reached into the bag to give me an umbrella to use from the spares and guess what? It was my late auntie’s umbrella.!!! I have never been so happy for rain in my life! It’s those small moments when we get a sign from God that he really and truly is smiling down on us. God rest your soul Theresa, and thanks be to God for rain!
Joe and David close out today from 5-7 pm
Last Wednesday shift started softly – similar to the drizzle we were experiencing…
My reliable Shift Buddy Dave answered the call again to make sure that I was not alone – Thanks Dave!
We were shortly joined by Kevin with whom we prayed and shared.
First timers, Redeemer North Boroughs joined in and were immediately showered by a middle aged / slightly-altered state couple armed to the gills with typical pro-life edge cases…
Talk about baptism by fire (or raindrops in today’s case)… These young ladies handled it beautifully, with sincerity and attentiveness – letting the woman state her case / position…
Not shy, they continued to do the Daily Reflection as well as the Pro-Life intentions on the back of the Baby Picture signs… Impressive!
The evening was also sprinkled with a few folks that we haven’t seen in a while… Jim from St. Maurice, and Jim, and Lisa…
For an evening that was supposed to be lightly attended, it was more that can be asked for – Blessed and reminded that He always provides!!!
Tom packed up Wednesday for Thursday as the evening came to soft landing…
In Omaha, Nebraska there is a suburb called “Boys Town” that was founded 100 years ago to care for wayward, homeless boys. Many will remember the film in which the famous actor Spencer Tracy played Father Flanagan, who founded the town.
Father Flanagan’s belief was that “every child deserves a future”.
The most famous scene in the film is a 10 year old boy carrying his little brother on his back as he knocks on the entrance to Boys Town. As Father Flanagan opens the door, sees the exhausted boys and reaches to help them, the older brother says “He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother.” This phrase is the driving force behind the town as it continues it’s mission100 years later, to serve unwanted, neglected children.
40 Days for Life also believes that “every child deserves a future” The work and sacrifices of 40 Days for Life can be exhausting, but may we too continue to be inspired and refreshed as we witness, with a brothers courage: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”
Today was my last day on the sidewalk for this campaign…and what a way to go out!! First Jeannie showed up with lots of roses!!! We made a memorial in front of baby pictures and put some around the circle. Then it happened!!! A couple was trying to get into PP but the door was locked…it was 7:30!! Tracy said, “ Charlene those people are trying to get in!” So I put all of my prayer books down, grabbed some cards and went up to them. I said Hi and I saw you were trying to get into PP…we can give you help. The guy assured me they were looking for a friend who worked there. I said ok, would you like a card in case you or a friend might need it? He said he had plenty of cards. So I said,” ok God Bless” and left them alone…they walked away. The rest of the shift I wore no signs and stood right inside the circle but I kept missing people…I’m not very good at this. I did not think that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be a SA but maybe I wasn’t listening. Today he made sure I heard. I WILL take the training before the next campaign!!! I was joined by Tracy (my buddy) Beth and Shawn, St. Peter’s, Steubenville, Bill (and his son stopped by) and Mark.
Today I learned,”I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you!”(Psalm 32:8) He will make sure we hear loud and clear!! Charlene
Thanks so much to the faithful Tuesday crew, it’s an honor and inspiration to have joined with you praying and witnessing to end the heartbreak that is abortion
Sean, Tracy and Beth drove from Steubenville doing their usual 4 hour shift, 7 to 11.
Karen, from Penn Hills Claudia, Claudia and Beth Ann from the North Hills made sure this shift was well covered. Lots of positive comments including prayers from a pastor and his friend from Canonsburg. On the negative side PP was very very busy this morning. It’s hard to think about the babies that will be missing from our world and such sadness for whole generations. We’ll just keep going, we know abortion will stop even though we may not be able to see the end right now, we’ll just keep going… We’ll keep going and save
When I arrived there was a good number of people keeping prayerful vigil on all sides of the circle. Although some of the group had to leave, Beth Ann, Claudia and Claudia remained to pray for another hour. Passersby were very pleasant but, sadly, there were several young women, accompanied by their support person, who went inside without accepting assistance. A young woman stopped to ask about the models and she was surprised to learn that late term abortions are legal. She said that she and everyone in her family are pro life and she has one child and she is hoping to soon have another one. A short time later a young man came by and proudly stated that he is from Ohio — ‘where they have defunded PP’ — and he hopes we will soon be able to say the same thing. Then a gentleman who looked to be retirement age, but who was still very fit, stopped to talk. We learned that he had served our country as a Marine. One of the ladies said, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” and we all thanked him for the sacrifices he made. We also learned that he was raised by his mother – his father had recommended that she have an abortion – so he is very supportive of our efforts. Around Noon, Sue and Patty from Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg and Tony from St. Thomas More came ready to pray and we were joined by Jim and Cathy who stopped by during their lunch break. Shortly before I left, a Policeman (possibly lieutenant?) went out of his way to thank us for what we are doing. It meant a great deal to all of us to know he is with us along with the many others who offered kind words and smiles of support as they passed by us today. Nikki and Joe came and I was on my way…
It was beautiful weather to stand outside and pray today, but as always, it was a very sad time to be there. At least three abortion bound couples entered and quite a few left during my shift. It was really nice to have a bucket of fresh roses to hand out to people entering and people leaving. Whoever brought those, thank you! My husband Joe accompanied me to my shift because there was nobody signed up for my second hour. He enjoyed handing out roses to passerbys. I was glad to have the company of Suzan and her friend from Greensburg for our first hour. We prayed a rosary and a divine mercy for the babies whose lives were taken today.
One young woman who looked to be accompanied by her mother and a friend, or a sister, did take a rose and the information but went in anyway. I pray that the Rose touched her heart. I trust God that lives are saved when we don’t even know it. There was a little bit of excitement as we saw what appeared to be some sort of crime. A young, very obviously athletic man came running past at TopSpeed with someone who was not nearly as in shape chasing him. The one who was chasing him clearly had no chance of catching him. Soon after that police showed up and there were flashing lights everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but I thought about an analogy of how we are trying to fight abortion. The devil is strong , Sort of like that athletic criminal. He is very fast. If we are going to come against him in this battle to end abortion, if we are out of shape and overweight like the man who was trying to pursue the thief, we won’t stand a chance. We need to be lean and strong from praying and fasting and being uncomfortable and doing things we don’t necessarily want to do. If we are going to stand a chance at winning this battle. Thank you to whoever left the recovery bags for us to hand out! It is so nice to be able to give them to girls as they are leaving after their abortions!
A beautiful evening weather wise for the last Tuesday shift of this campaign. There were only good interactions this evening so we were able to pray uninterrupted for the many lives that were ended today inside the doors of death of our city on Liberty Avenue.I want to thank my faithful team, my CDA sisters, Johanna and Denise as we made sure the last shift of every Tuesday was covered. I also want to nominate Thao as the newcomer extraordinaire of this campaign. This beautiful young woman would not just show up to pray on our weekly shift when she saw a need for more pray-ers but she showed up on a lot of shifts that were “lean” in numbers. Thao, your peaceful, prayful presence was always greatly appreciated.We know we are fighting the good fight. May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us as we finish this Fall campaign strong! Blessings, Lisa