Day 24: Thank you to St. Joseph Parish, St. Thomas More Parish, Round Hill Presbyterian, and Individual Volunteers!

The state of being humble

40 Days for Life is based on a Scripture passage about humility:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

We need to humble ourselves in order to recognize that we don’t have the power to defeat this problem on our own.  We have to turn to God, Who alone can end abortion forever.


From the Latin root humus, meaning ground.

The international headquarters of 40 Days for Life is emphasizing this need for humility with a new slogan:  “Knees on the Ground to End the Local Violence of Abortion”  Kneeling in prayer puts us in an outward posture of our inward state.  Kneeling reminds us–and everyone who sees us–that we are weak and in need of God’s help.


The theme of the Fall 2018 campaign of 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh…straight from the Holy Spirit to Nikki’s heart.

An inward state of humility and an outward posture of kneeling are so important for what we want to accomplish on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.  I love this theme and I’m grateful to Nikki for listening to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Despite all that, I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t kneeled on the street yet.  I guess I’ve been embarrassed by what people might think.  Not even the people passing by so much as the people with whom I’m praying…like I’m trying to show off or something.  I know it’s ridiculous…just proves that the devil will use any little angle he can to keep us from moving closer to God.

With God’s help, I plan to get over myself this week and kneel before Him on the sidewalk to ask for the immediate and permanent closure of Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh as well as an end to abortion everywhere.  Won’t you please come with me?

Here is a link to the schedule…  https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/  You can use it to find a good time to join us, or you can just show up when the Holy Spirit moves you to.  We’ll be at 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh from 7 AM to 7 PM now through November 4th.

~Jen


Scenes from the Sidewalk, Friday 10/19

7-9 AM, Nikki:

We had an awesome presence on the sidewalk for the 7 to 9 shift this morning! There were four of us from Saint Joe’s in Verona: Bob, Joyce, Tim and myself. Faithful Sally and Al were there also for our entire shift. Before my shift was over, a large group of Pittsburgh homeschoolers arrived, there must have been at least 15 of them! And also parishioners from St. Thomas Moore church in Bethel Park arrived for the beginning  of their church’s time slot which goes until three today! It was so inspiring to see the dedication of many people who are willing to come out in the cold morning to witness to the sanctity of every human life! There were couples beginning to enter the abortion clinic around 8 o’clock, some did take the information, others did not. The most inspiring thing that happened, I think, was that a young man named Mark stopped to talk to me to share his personal conversion with me. He was miraculously delivered from drugs, alcohol and homosexuality through direct help from Jesus and Mary! He is going to St. Mary of Mercy Church in town right now and carries a picture of Jesus with him everywhere he goes, which he took out of his bag and  showed to me. I am praising God for His miraculous works! Mark wants to get involved in 40 Days for Life and is planning to come to the sidewalk tomorrow when we have a need in the afternoon.  He told me to look up the testimony of a woman named Mary Catherine Baxter, which I will do. Supposedly she has books published all around the world. She supposedly received visions of heaven which showed her what happens to aborted babies. According to Mark, and according to this book which I will look up, every time a baby is aborted there are two angels on either side of the woman. They take the soul of the baby and put it in a white box. The soul is supposedly something like a gray mist. They carry it to Jesus, he holds the soul in his hand and breathes on it, and it becomes a full-grown nine-month-old baby. The baby is then named “precious”, unless the parents on earth have given the baby a name, and in that case, the baby receives the name given to her by his parents. I thought that was just beautiful, and it rings true to me. It was a blessed time on the sidewalk this morning! Thank you to everyone who came! 

St. Joe’s group
Faithful Sally & Al, celebrating 62 years of marriage tomorrow!
A touching Memorial left by someone on the sidewalk today
Catholic Homeschoolers of Pittsburgh along with Saint Thomas More parishioners

 

Check back later as more reports come in!

9-11 AM, Kathy:

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

3-5 PM, Sue :

5-7 PM, David:

 

Day 23: Thank you to the Manordale Knights of Columbus, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburgh Area Byzantines, St. Bernadette Catholic Church (Monroeville), and all of our Shift Buddies and other prayer volunteers!!

40 Days for Life

I chose you from the world

to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

cf. John 15:16

 

I was thinking about this verse a lot last evening…. and I’d like to share some reflections which hopefully relate to our vigil.

First, the Lord says, “I chose you.”  Do we realize how amazing it is to have been CHOSEN?  To choose someone is not random.  It is quite purposeful.  When I am chosen for anything- even if it is something I’d rather not do!- or something I don’t think I’d be good at- I still feel honored at having been CHOSEN to do it.  How much MORE should we feel honored at having been CHOSEN by Our Lord to be HIS?

The Lord also says, “I chose you from the world.”  Remember the old “duck pond” game at church festivals?  I used to love that game when I was little.  Out of all the little plastic ducks in that plastic swimming pool, I had to choose ONE.  And I’d excitedly turn it over to see what my prize was going to be, as it was written on the bottom of the duck.  It was a moment of suspense for a little child, to search the “pond” with shrewd eyes and decide “Yes, this is the one!!”

A rough and crude analogy, to be sure… because God doesn’t work that way…. exactly.  But He DOES look shrewdly upon His people, and CHOOSES some to do His work.  We see that clearly with people who are universally acknowledged as being chosen to do God’s work: St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), Pope St. John Paul II, Reverend Billy Graham, etc.

But what about us?  Has God CHOSEN us to do His work?  Let me tell you, if we are involved in any kind of pro-life ministry, then I say a resounding YES.  This is not a ministry for the faint of heart.

And finally, the Lord says, “I chose you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last.”  What is this “fruit”?  When the Lord says that He wants us to bear fruit, of course, this could mean lots of things.  And sometimes, the fruit we bear at any given moment depends upon the work in which we are currently involved.  In our pro-life work, then, the fruit we bear might look like some of the following:

 

HELPING WOMEN

 

BRINGING FLOWERS TO THE SIDEWALK TO MEMORIALIZE THE UNBORN WHO WERE KILLED AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD

 

OFFERING POSITIVE MESSAGES TO THE WOMEN, ENCOURAGING THEM TO CHOOSE LIFE

 

SAVING LIVES LIKE THIS LITTLE GIRL’S…. SO SHE CAN BE HELD AND LOVED

 

THROWING OUT A VIRTUAL LIFE PRESERVER WITH OUR WORDS AND PRAYERS, SO LIVES AND FAMILIES CAN BE SAVED

 

BEING PASSIONATE, SHOWING UP, AND PRAYING

 

PRAYING FOR MEN

 

PRAYING FOR WOMEN

 

PULLING SOMEONE OUT OF A DIFFICULT SITUATION

 

SEEKING OUT THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED OF HELP

 

SAVING SOMEONE’S LIFE FROM A PATH OF DESTRUCTION AND REGRET

 

SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER WHEN WE FEEL TIRED

 

ALL of these are ways we can bear fruit in this ministry.  So let us not grow weary in doing good!!

 

 

 

Shift Manager Reports

 

Nikki:

It was a quiet and peaceful shift. We had a nice group From Manordale Knights of Columbus with us for our whole shift. They brought a large bouquet of pink roses, which Peggy distributed around the circle. Peggy and I knelt in the crosswalk facing the doors and prayed. Thank you to everyone who came!

Thank you to the Manordale Knights of Columbus!!

 

Beautiful roses from the Knights, to commemorate those who have been aborted.

 

Thank you to the next group for the next shift– Pastor Joe, Jessie, and Judy!! Tell Chuck we missed him!!

 

Judy:

Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene arrived on the scene for the changing of the guard at 9 AM – so nice to see Nikki and Peggy on this crisp sunny morning. Meredith, Jessie, Judy and Pastor Joe represented LPNaz and we were soon joined by Katie…a very bright spot in our day. A big thanks to Katie for bringing so many resources and “good” things to hand out to people…and her zeal and determination to connect with people.

I started my shift out on my knees in front of the doors, and immediately the Lord impressed upon me to pray for the babies being murdered inside the building … In my mind there was one particular baby and the Lord led me to pray for Jesus to shield her (I think) from the pain of the brutal slaughter and for Jesus to receive her precious life into His everlasting arms. I was so overwhelmed by the prayer and my mind’s picture that I began to cry. After I finished praying, a young man (“B”) came out (he actually came out a couple times to smoke). I tried to approach him a couple of times, and finally he let me talk to him. I found out that his friend “S” was in there having an abortion. I gave him our resource card and told him she might need some support after the abortion. He allowed me to pray with him and he went back in and waited. I realized then that this was that baby I was praying for. He came out again before I left my shift and even though he was talking on his phone he stopped so I could talk to him. He asked me to pray for S. I told him about my experience of praying for the baby and that the baby was safe in the arms of Jesus and assured him that I would be praying for S. So, let’s all be lifting S up in prayer, that God will bring healing to her life.

         Another lady went in and didn’t totally ignore me but didn’t stop. When she came out, I had an opportunity to talk to her because she had to wait to cross the street. She said she brought someone else in who couldn’t get services anywhere else (not sure what she meant by that), but she was very interested in our resource card and took two. She said she didn’t believe in abortion…so I told her the statistics of our PP and urged her to not support them. Even though she was in a hurry, she took the time to hear the information. She went back into PP a little later and then she came back out with her friend and her little baby. Pastor Joe asked the mom if he could bless the baby and she was happy to receive that. We all joined in that joyful prayer.

         There were three very young ladies who went in. Two of them were in the waiting room and the blinds were open. I had offered them the resource card on their way in but they were not interested. As the two were sitting in the waiting room I stood in front of the window and offered them the card again. They were able to see the picture of the pregnant mom on the sign around my neck. One of the girls looked distressed and seemed to be wiping tears. Meredith mouthed that she would drive them somewhere else for services. When the two girls came out and crossed the street Katie was able to engage them and offer them resources. They at least looked at the material but did not accept them.

         A young man came by who needed prayer. His young girlfriend had died of an overdose in September. It was very tragic. He showed me her picture and she was so beautiful. I acknowledged the tragedy and his loss and was able to pray for him. I can’t remember his name, but perhaps all of you can lift him in prayer that God will continue to mend his grieving heart and be a help in his time of need.

         There were a couple of passersby who could also use prayer…one individual said we were wasting our time. One passerby had a choice name for me and told us to stop talking but he didn’t linger or do any other confrontation. So let’s pray that God turns their stony hearts into fleshy hearts and reveals Himself to them.

         There was a young man riding his bicycle past PP and stopped at the models and was talking to our group on that side of the walk. He explained his past life of addiction and hard circumstances. He said that he was now a Christian. Pastor Joe had an opportunity to pray with him.

         Meredith had an encouraging word for today…she has the sense that this PP is crumbling from the inside…the entire inside is crumbling. As she explained it I envisioned that picture in my mind, and I am claiming that as answered prayers and fasting. Perhaps we can all envision that in our minds and claim it to the glory of God. …The end of abortion at 933 Liberty Avenue in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!

 

Faithful ladies, Meredith and Jessie

 

Thank you to Meredith, Jessie, and Katie!!

 

Lisa K.:

Today was a sad day, as it was an abortion day, and many people who passed by didn’t seem to want our information.  But at the same time, those who refused were generally polite, not mean.  At least that was good.

Judy mentioned “B” in her report, and he did come out again during the 11-1 shift, this time with “S,” and Katie had seen that S was crying.  Deacon Paul went over to talk to them, and suddenly a woman– a stranger– came out of nowhere and gave Deacon Paul a hard time for coming over to them!!  It didn’t seem like B had a problem with the deacon, but he just told him that S needed a little space.  So Deacon Paul gave her that.  As Judy said, please pray for them.

I am very thankful for all of those who came to pray with us today, including the Pittsburgh Byzantines, as well as Dan, Bob, John, and Lisa.  The Byzantine prayer service we had was beautiful!  Thank you all!

 

Fr. James led us in prayer.

 

Thank you, Dan, for your faithfulness!

 

Byzantine prayer service

 

Pittsburgh Byzantines: George, Patricia, Fr. James, Deacon Paul, and Gerri. Thank you all!!

 

Helen:

Dee and Mary Frances came from St. Bernadette, Monroeville, to pray. After we prayed the rosary, Dee gave away several rosaries to people who saw the red, white and blue ones in her hands, and liked them. Benson took his usual place beside the pole near the new fetal models. I did not know until today that he comes to PP after school every day.

At Mass this morning, I prayed that NO ONE would go into PP while I was there. The only person who went in while we were there was a UPS man delivering what looked like a load of paper.

The crispy cool in the shade was alleviated somewhat when the sun came over the top of the local skyscrapers.

 

Thank you to Benson, Dee, and Mary Frances!!

 

May the Lord help us

to continue to do His work,

and bear much fruit that will last. 

God have mercy on us all.

 

Day 21: Thank you St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church (McKeesport); St. Joseph (Cabot); Bridge City Church (Brighton Heights)

I had a chance to see the Gosnell movie this weekend. The most striking part of the film for me was the testimony of an expert witness during his trial.  Alexandra DeSanctis from the National Review describes the scene from the movie:

In his effort to get Gosnell off the hook, the defense attorney cross-examines another abortionist, who testifies that she, unlike Gosnell, would never snip a living infant’s spine, never allow unlicensed staff members to administer anesthesia, never let a woman die on a table in her clinic. She’s a good abortionist.

She says she has performed more than 30,000 abortions, many of them in the second trimester. The defense attorney slowly walks her through the procedure used to legally terminate those pregnancies. He shows a sonogram of a 23-week-old fetus, has the abortionist explain just where she’d inject a needle to stop its heartbeat. He has her explain how she evacuates the brains of the fetus in the womb to allow for its removal, how she’d use scissors to aid in the process. And what would she do, he asks, if a fetus happened accidentally to be delivered alive?

The abortionist hesitates only a moment before saying she’d provide “comfort care,” which she describes as keeping the fetus warm and comfortable. “Eventually it will pass,” she adds.

“So basically you’d let it die?” The defense attorney finishes the thought for her. “Seems like it’d be more humane to just take a pair of scissors. …” He trails off and grins; he’s made his point. How can Gosnell be punished for doing what every abortionist does? They all ensure that unwanted fetuses are killed. The means by which they do so is a secondary concern.

The Gosnell movie is pro-life because it unflinchingly exposes the fact that all abortion necessarily involves the death of a human being.

I am reminded  of what Nikki said in her blog a couple of weeks ago: “The Lord is answering our prayers. He has removed the cover of darkness and exposed evil…making it clear. No more deception. People are now free to choose good or evil”

You can still see the movie through Wednesday 10/17 at AMC theaters in Waterfront, Mt Lebanon or Westmoreland.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

This morning we needed layers, gloves, and hats. But Dick and I were joined by vets: Al,Sally, and Helen from St. Robert Bellarmine…all dressed to the 9s in warm gear!
Helen, Sally and Al
I was thinking all week about the discussion at the team meeting (even though I wasn’t able to be there) about the closing of Planned Parenthood…so many others have closed…why not this one? I know God’s time is not our time. I know God will win in the end. But the human part of me wants it NOW!!! What more do we need to do? Matthew Kelly has a thought on that…”Do what is necessary ; then do what is possible; and the impossible will follow”. We are doing the necessary…praying on the sidewalk. Doing what is possible is up to each of us…we each know what one more step after necessary would be for us.Then we can keep moving forward in God’s plan and nothing will be impossible. Thank you Lord for keeping each of us on the road to the closing of Planned Parenthood!  Charlene

9-11: Beth

Fellow pro-lifers, it was cold outside PP today but absolutely soul-chilling inside, judging by those entering this morning. Charlene and Dick waited patiently as my bus took a surprising, longer route.  But I was there in time to see the abortionist and five associates walk past me in stone cold silence as we said that we would be praying for them.  Ed continued to make friends, furry and human, handing out doggie treats and literature to pets and their owners.

And today made up for a slow last Saturday.  Lots of sad-looking clients and workers in more than the usual amounts .  Beth Ann and Theresa arrived to offer warm-hearted prayers, especially for the young woman who had to be in the last trimester and came back out soon after, still mightily pregnant carrying a sheet of paper.  Who knows what that was. And to add to the frigid atmosphere, the biomedical waste truck parked down the street and three huge boxes were taken out by PP employees.

Finally, Cecilia and Joyce and Sandy and Vivian came to the rescue with warmth from friendship and prayer.

11-1: Cecilia

Cecilia and her group from Saint Joe’s in Cabot along with individual volunteers who showed up for 1 to 3 shift

The sidewalk was beautifully adorned with many flowers, thanks to this generous husband of a vigil participant from yesterday.  He brought them today!  What a blessing!  There are many good people in this world!

        

Bob
Joyce, Sandi and Vivien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-3pm Nikki

 It was a gorgeous fall afternoon to pray and witness for life today! It was nice to see Cecilia and Joyce and their group from Saint Joseph in Cabot when I arrived. They are such faithful witnesses and such wonderful sisters in the Lord! I brought my good friend and shift buddy, Carol, with me for my shift. It was a blessing to Pray and chat with her.

Nikki and shift buddy Carole

Also,  it was a nice last minute blessing to see Jeanie‘s two sisters, Claire and (I’m sorry I forget the name of the other one), they brought a beautiful homemade sign that said we love you which they held as they prayed the Psalms during their shift. Maryjane been so faithful to come just about every day, and she was there for my entire shift and was  planning to be there for another hour after I left. It was a very peaceful shift on the sidewalk. No negative comments at all, and quite a few positive ones. I love looking at the fetal models that Diane brings. They make such an impact on so many people notice them! Shift manager Mike showed up for his 3 to 5 shift, along with the pastor from Bridge city Church, Gary, and Vicky arrived to begin their time of prayer.  Others were expected to be arriving shortly, as I left the vigil in the capable hands of Mike, the next shift manager.  God is good!

Faithful Mary Jane

 

3-5: Michael

Pastor Gary, Andy, Inky, Vicky of Bridge City Church in Brighton Heights and Benson from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon
Vickie from Bridge City Church and SM Michael

It is sunny with a chill in the air. There is something different about being at PP this campaign. I cannot put my finger on it. My gut tells me the PP staff is weakening.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but it appears to me they are afraid to make eye contact with us when they walk by. Are they being told to do that or are they afraid if they do look us in the eye,then maybe they will weaken and become vulnerable to admitting to the reality of what they are doing is wrong??? The Lord works in mysterious ways.  If these people have a conscience and we know they do, sooner or later, reality will set in.  If one person gives in and wakes up, then others will follow. We must keep praying for His will to be done. No glory for us, Him alone.

Some devout Christian people blessed our vigil today. They are from Bridge City Church in Brighton Heights (North Side of Pittsburgh). Pastor Gary, Andy, Inky and Vicky prayed so beautifully and fervently, making my shift so very memorable and meaningful. God bless their Church and congregation. These are the kind of people our movement needs and are truly blest to have. Amen for now.

 

5-7: Lisa

A peace filled, knees to the ground, prayerful time this evening.  A blessing to have Lori, Denise and Johanna with me tonight.  We definitely felt a fall chill!

Lori, Denise, and Johanna

 

Day 20: Harvest Baptist Church

Perspective

I gave this humility thing a try while at pp. I got down on my knees to pray. I’ll admit the getting down part was not so easy but once there my focus changed. I was no longer looking up and down the street. I was focused on my conversation with God. I stared at the flower placed on the yellow line. I thought about what was going on just a few feet in front me behind those doors. My knees didn’t hurt. I prayed that God ends abortion here, in our country and in the world and I know God heard me.  You see “Heaven never fails to hear me”. I felt both a sense of peace as well as confidence. We will win sooner or later.

What a great change of perspective. I suggest you try it. I’ll admit the getting up part forced a groan out me but I felt renewed.

As Abe Lincoln said “No man is so tall as when he stoops to help a child…”

Thanks to the faithful from Harvest Baptist Church for coming to the vigil today.  Here are today’s reports from the vigil.

7-9 am From Sue D.:

We brought baby’s breath and a rose to the sidewalk this morning in memory of the babies who lost their lives here. It was a quiet morning. A lot of school children passed by. Many workers went in to pp. Most could not get in the front door, so seemed to go down the alley to go in the back. There was a slight mist as Rose handed out about 40 flyers and we prayed the rosary and divine mercy. It was nice to see Lisa, the next “sub”shift manager since our paths rarely cross on the sidewalk! We had a couple minutes to share our thoughts on the Gosnell movie which we both saw this weekend. Thank you, Sue

From Lisa K. 9-11 am:

This morning, I was warmly greeted by Shift Manager Sue D. and Shift Buddy Rose. God bless you, ladies!!

Today was an amazingly prayerful shift. It was very quiet, not many PP clients at all (if any). I was so thankful to have Shari from Harvest Baptist Church there with me for two hours. She was a first-timer, and a dear soul. Thank you, Shari!!!

A young man walked by with a smile. His t-shirt said, “Of course your opinion matters….. just not to me.” Fine, not a problem. But then at the last second as he passed me, he said nastily, “Get a life.” I didn’t respond, of course, but my first instinct was to laugh! I couldn’t help but think that the sentiment on his t-shirt was exactly what I was thinking about his words to me!! 🙂 I did pray for him, though.

A man out for a run went running by, saying, “Way to go, way to go,” with a thumbs up. That was much appreciated.

A pregnant woman passed by. We smiled at each other. Then as she stopped and waited for the light to change to cross Liberty, she read the sign next to her about the development of the unborn baby. (See Photo)

Then, there was a large group of high school students passing by with their teacher. The teacher seemed to be walking briskly, intentionally not making eye contact with me. One of the students must have expressed some concern about walking past us 40 Days people, because I heard the teacher reply as they shot nervous glances in my direction, “You’ll be okay…” And I thought, seriously? As though anyone has anything to fear from US?? Sigh. What a mixed-up world.

One last thing. There seem to have been so many issues with that Planned Parenthood door sticking this past week….. and today, there seemed to be more issues. A man from Guardian security was there to work on some aspect of the door. So much time spent on that door today!! So much discussion!! Every time anyone came to the door and talked about its problems, it just gave me more opportunity to PRAY about that dang door. I never prayed so hard for those doors to break!! To be stuck!! To be closed and locked permanently!! And I kept praying, “Not for anyone’s harm, Lord, but FOR THEIR GOOD.” May the King of Kings, who holds all power in His hands, close those doors forever!!!

From Ginny 11-1 pm:

We prayed many rosaries, passed out lots of literature today.
We got many positive responses. Also, a few negatives, but more positives.
We had good weather no rain. Praise be to God. Some people passing by stopped to pray with us.

From Beth S. 1-3:

Rose and I had wonderful prayer partners today at PP. Edith, Mary Alice and Sandy came for the entire 11-3 shift. Edith gave out lots of literature. Many people thanked us for being there. Maybe our message and peaceful way of handling things is getting through to the general public.
There wasn’t much activity today except weather-wise. By the time Claudia joined us at 3, the wind and brought a steady downpour. Rosalind and Francis took over and braved the elements as Rose and I left.

Day 19: THANK YOU to Saint Maria Goretti Parish, Bloomfield; Saint Killian Catholic Church, Cranberry; Transfiguration Church, Russelton; Carmelite Nuns of Erie PA; Scheduled Volunteers Deacon Joe D., Patty M., and Jim and Cathy S.

Blessed the man who follows not

the counsel of the wicked

Nor walks in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the company of the insolent,

But delights in the law of the Lord

and meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1

MY CHOICE

One of the saddest scenes I see on the sidewalk is a man accompanying “his woman” to her scheduled abortion.  Americans are free to choose abortion as the solution to their crisis pregnancy.

According to Bishop Robert Barron, our country defines “freedom” quite differently than the Bible does.  Here is a quote from the Supreme Court decision, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, 1992.

It belongs to the very nature of liberty

to determine the meaning of my own life and

my own existence and,

indeed,

the meaning of the universe.

 

Here’s the Biblical understanding of freedom.

Freedom is about the disciplining of desire

to make the achievement of the good first possible;

and then, effortless.

Bishop Robert Barron

 

For freedom Christ set us free;

so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians

When love first beckons a couple, they experience beauty and joy.  Consider this scene from a Christmas classic movie, HOLIDAY INN.  Fred Astaire and Virginia Dale dance in delightful synchronicity with each other and with the music.  Watch and listen as Astaire leads with dazzling masculine confidence and charm.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/1376358/Holiday-Inn-Movie-Clip-You-re-Easy-To-Dance-With.html

I could dance nightly just holding you tightly,
my sweet.
I could keep right on because you’re so light on
your feet.
You’re easy to dance with.

There is no doubt in the way we stand out in
the crowd.
Though it’s called dancing, to me it’s romancing
out loud.
You’re easy to dance with.

Loving you the way I do
makes you easy to dance with.
That is why I’m always right on the beat.
All those charms in one man’s arms
makes you easy to dance with.
I can hardly keep my mind on my feet.

Let’s dance forever.

Come on, say we’ll never
be through.
It’s so easy to dance with you.

Irving Berlin

The joy and finesse Astaire and Dale celebrate are elusive.

Initially couples dance together so easily.

They do not understand the magnitude of their undertaking.

They do not realize that their feelings might bring them to a life or death decision.

They do not realize that choosing abortion will bring death to each of them as well as their child.

 

We are wired for God.

Bishop Robert Barron

Since the beginning, God has shared all the information any couple needs as they share their love welcoming His company.

For this command which I am giving you today

is not too wondrous or remote for you.

No, it is something very near to you,

in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.

Deuteronomy

 

Jesus answered and said to him,

“Whoever loves me will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Gospel of John

PRAY FOR FAMILIES

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

Warm hearts on a cold street this morning…Diane and Tom came to supply all our vigil needs; while Shift Buddy, Vince and Dan from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Bloomfield were there to pray for an end to abortion.

Vince has prepared beautiful booklets with Scriptural reflections on each of the 40 mysteries of the Rosary followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  He uses them each Sunday morning in May and June to hold vigils at PP in honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  We were happy to be able to pray through them today.

Most people passing by seemed indifferent to us today, with the exception of one friendly woman who requested a Precious Feet pin.  And faithful Bill stopped by on his way to Church–always a blessing to speak with him.

We left the vigil in good hands as Sue came to welcome parishioners from St. Kilian in Cranberry, including Lori and “F”.

God bless you all for sacrificing your time and comfort to pray for and reach out to those in danger and pain!

Vince, Jen, Dan
Saint Maria Goretti Parish
Jen, Shift Manager

___________________________________

SUE M. 9-11

The sidewalk was quiet and peaceful today, as it is on many a Sunday morning, and even more so with no big home games happening today.  The kind of quiet peacefulness that could easily lure one into a temptation to believe all is right with the world.  We know, however, that all is not right with our world as long as abortions are being committed in our hometown (really, of course, anywhere).  And so we continue to appear and fast and pray, and await that great day when there will be no more abortions in our city.

This morning was the first time during this vigil that I’ve felt ….chilly.   OK, I’ll be honest and go a little further ……. COLD.  We broke out the hats, gloves, scarves and winter coats, and also stood on the kneeling pads.  Yikes.  80 degrees to this, so quickly!

Yet our group was warm and friendly. The prayer within our group was warm, and so were our heartfelt discussions about faith and issues surrounding abortion.

I was joined for my entire shift by Gerry and Lori from St. Kilian, along with “F”, a first-timer at the vigil who told us he had only decided for sure this morning that he was coming down and was feeling the first-time apprehension about praying on the sidewalk that we’ve all felt.  (He did give me permission to tell that little story about him!)

I hope to have the honor and pleasure of praying with all three of them again soon!

Sue, Shift Manager
Lori, St. Killian Parish

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

We are blessed to have such faithful souls to pray with us at 40 days.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon with no negative feedback. A couple people thanked us for being there which is always encouraging.

One woman stopped to ask for some material on birth control for her daughter and we were happy to oblige. She thanked us and was grateful.

Eric,
Shift Volunteer Deacon Joe,
Bill, Pat, Karen, Mary

 

Rose and Mary Jane

 

Karen and Mary
Knees to the Ground

___________________________________

JEFF 1-3

Parishioners from Transfiguration Parish in Russelton stood with me today from 1 to 3.

Praying with Jeff for Life   
Parishioners of Transfiguration Church
Russelton

___________________________________

JEFF 5-7

Thanks to Joe W for switching 5-7 shifts with me so I could be with my family Saturday night (last night).  Committing to 40 Days as a shift manager has the benefit of a 40 Days family to back you up when you need it.  It makes me want to back them up when they need it.  That is how I ended up covering 1-3 and 5-7 today.

I got to see Judy from Transfiguration along with her crew as well as Cathy and Jim from Saint Gregory’s, all great folk I met through 40 Days for Life on the sidewalk.

Lots of positive comments from passers-by help to bolster my committment to the pro-life cause.  You don’t get that sitting at home watching the news, pettin’ pussycats.  You can see hope on that sidewalk alongside the hopeless, people lifting you up and others tearing you down…..making you stronger in the process.  You hear the arguments against life that you need to be ready to defend at a moment’s notice.  Your confidence rises as no one can present a pro-abort argument that can make you doubt yourself.

You witness what would happen if you weren’t on that sidewalk….people passing by without giving life a second thought….no seed of doubt planted in an angry pro-abort. Children wouldn’t be staring and commenting on the fetal models, seeing what preborn babies look like before someone tells them what to think about it (usually accompanied by an adult uncomfortable with the encounter). Pittsburgh’s 40 Days family never knowing you cared the way they cared.  God not knowing you cared…..the way He cares. For you.

Let God see you…on that sidewalk.  You got family waitin’ there.

Cathy and Jim
Saint Gregory Parish, Zelienople
Harry
Saint Alphonsus in Wexford

___________________________________

DEE

PRAYER OUTREACH

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Your request for prayers and fasting for 40 days for Life Pittsburgh came just as we were beginning the fast

of our Order (September 14  – Easter Sunday).  We are only too glad to add your intentions for Life to our prayers and sacrifices, especially now when it seems the devil is throwing all he has at his disposal to stop pro-lifers from getting a foothold in his domain.

Pope Saint John Paul II once said, “I plead with you – never ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”

Seventeen campaigns to close a clinic/mill on (of all places) Liberty Avenue can seem daunting, but your efforts will not go unrewarded.

May God bless and Mary keep you for all you do for His little ones and their mothers!

Sincerely, in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns,

Carmelite Nuns of Erie, PA

And God saw that it was good.

___________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Day 18: Thanks to St. Elizabeth of Hungary /Pleasant Hills, St Sebastian /Ross. Twp. Mt. Zion Baptist/Butler

“IN THE EVENT OF A CABIN EMERGENCY, SECURE YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST BEFORE TENDING TO YOUR CHILD’s”

I  may be one of the vast MINORITY of  airline passengers who listens to the safety instructions given by the cabin steward/s.  I guess part of me thinks its rude not to look when someone’s speaking.  I always count the number of seats I’d have to pass before my exits, and look around to see others on the flight who made need a bit of help.  It has been years since I travelled with a minor, but one direction I am sure I know is this:  IN THE EVENT OF A CABIN EMERGENCY, SECURE YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST BEFORE TENDING TO YOUR CHILD’s.      I’ll admit to hearing that for the first time and thinking “this is backwards– children are in the most danger in risky situations, they need to be aided first” …  After thinking it through I eventually realized that the direction given by the cabin steward was most certainly correct.  You must stabilize your own well-being IN ORDER to help someone else.

Same with Abortion!   If we want to provide assistance to an unborn child who is threatened by abortion, we must ensure HER MOTHER is OK–

For years the pro-life movement has been relaying the stunning development of a fetus.  We know so much about these innocent little  beings– how truly unique they are, even showing left or right handedness in the first trimester.   We have rallied around the FACT that an individual growing human life exists before birth.  It is important information.

EXCEPT…. This beautiful child lives within her mom.  A Crisis Pregnancy is not a Pregnancy in Crisis— It is a pregnant MOM with a Crisis.   

The baby is NOT the crisis. He or she is naturally, wonderfully, developing within mom without any special assistance from anyone! I’d suggest that the baby is VERY self-sufficient in utero.  Moms don’t even have to feed unborn babies- they help themselves!   The womb is often seen as a symbol of warmth and peace and comfort.  Indeed it is.

It is the outside world that generates the  crisis— A woman  not be capable of providing for a child, the father of the child not supportive or even violent,  the woman’s work environment will not support her pregnancy,  the woman still needs to finish her education……. !

As we move forward in this important mission of LIFE, we must commit every resource possible to ELIMINATE the Crisis from a Pregnant woman’s life instead of eliminating her Child.  As we stand outside the Abortion Center, we must remember that the  VERY BEST WAY to give hope to children threatened by abortion is to GIVE HELP and HOPE and LOVE to their mothers.

Be that person who everyone knows will love and not judge, will be generous to a fault, will listen and understand.

Let’s  “Secure Mom’s Oxygen Mask” so SHE can in turn be able to care for her child.

SHIFT REPORTS:

7-9 Report from Tim

It was a brisk yet very blessed morning. There were no pp escorts which we took to mean no abortions were being performed and lives were saved today. While the group from St Elizabeth’s  was standing vigil a young woman walked by and erupted into the pro abort rhetoric   However, we starting in a lower tone talking with her and she opened up for a back and forth discussion. She voiced her concern with the possible abuse that could occur with adoption and then shared with us that she had an abortion. After several group hugs she apologized for her harsh words and accepted the Rachel’s Vineyard pamphlet.  Please pray for her healing.  Tim

Morning Joy

9-11 Shift report from Sue:

There were no escorts at PP when I arrived this morning! Very few people entered during the first hour, so we are hoping that PP did not do abortions today. Although in the last half hour it seemed to get busier with several couples and women who were alone entering their doors. I was joined by a nice sized group from St. Michaels in Wheeling. It was one of their participants first time on the sidewalk and he led the Rosary and Divine Mercy. Mike prayed on his knees on the sidewalk. Dean and St. Bonaventure’s showed up for the next shift with bouquets of flowers in memorial for the aborted children. Thank you for remembering and thank you to all who came to pray today! Sue

 

11-1 Shift Report from Dean

There was a strong show of support for 40DFL by St. Sebastian of North Hills and St. Michael’s of Wheeling, WVA when I arrived this morning. 
A young woman talking with one of the faithful from St. Michael’s, tried in vain to prove her point that a baby isn’t a person until the baby is outside of the womb.
God has a destination and a purpose for all the lives that He has created.

St. Sebastian prayer Warriors

Praying from St. Michael’s West Virginia

Shift report from Billy

Today, I was accompanied by a man named Tom and his family and Libby and Vince from St. Sebastian . We ended up having a conversation about the catholic teachings of life and we ended by seeing two adorable children walk by. I was also accompanied by Mary Jane. Tom was reciting Psalm 51 by memory and it was word for word because I was following along with my Bible ! A gentleman stopped and told us it was beautiful.

Another gentleman stopped to talk about an abortion. Mary Jane and he had quite a conversation. The next group arrived early from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and Tom repeated Psalm 51 I read Isaiah 53 l

I forgot to mention this last week planned parenthood‘s door was not working properly , and it still today so praise God for that.

Shift manager Marshall 3 to 5:

The weather has turned but we strive to grow in the grace of our Lord. Today from 3 to 5, it was so wonderful to see men at the clinic.

Generally, it is mostly ladies which is a good motherly witness and presence, but we do need men to stand for life as well. Thanks to the men of Zion Baptist whom stood with me and others. Also, we met a mother of a Franciscan University student. She stopped by from her hotel to pray. She sat a the closed door of PP as an independent silent witness. It was beautiful. God bless!

In the photo. Larry, Tim from Zion Baptist in with Marshall (SM) and Bill is hiding in the back.

Day 17: Thank You to St. Bonaventure, Holy Sepulcher, West Hills Baptist, Harvest Baptist, and Individual Volunteers!

As we near the halfway point of the campaign, we may be feeling a little worn out.  After all, it’s not easy to sacrifice our time and our comfort for 40 straight days.  But there’s no better way to recharge than to remember why we undertake this difficult task.  If your strength needs a boost, listen to these words of encouragement from people who have devoted their lives to ending the pain and suffering that abortion causes.

“I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task. My former abortion clinic is closed because of their sacrifice. Babies are alive because of them. Women are no longer being hurt by abortion in their community. You can do this. You can save a life. I now stand alongside you in this 40 Days for Life movement.”

ABBY JOHNSON, FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD DIRECTOR

“40 Days for Life is a testimony to the power of prayer and what can happen when we’re consumed by a magnificent obsession, namely that life is sacred and every baby at every stage of development deserves to be protected under law. God is on the move amidst the darkness.”

JIM DALY, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY

“40 Days for Life helps us to be spiritually aware of the need to pray for our unborn brothers and sisters, empowering us to be on the front-lines, reaching out to mothers and fathers with a message of hope. There is no movement more important, and 40 Days for Life is leading the fight, spiritually, and practically, in the trenches every day.”

LILA ROSE, LIVE ACTION

“Fasting and praying with 40 Days for Life unifies pro-life energies and illuminates us with grace in our efforts to conquer the culture of death. I strongly encourage every person and organization that believes in the dignity of life to join the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion, restore families, and renew communities for life.”

PEGGY HARTSHORN, PH.D., HEARTBEAT INTERNATIONAL

“Historians will write about the crucial role that 40 Days for Life played in the end of legal abortion. We encourage each young activist that we train to become involved or lead a 40 Days for Life campaign in their community because we believe it is one of the most effective ways for our movement to abolish abortion.”

KRISTAN HAWKINS, STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA

These encouraging quotes are from https://40daysforlife.com/, where you can find lots of other uplifting news and stories.  One small way to fast today is to give up some time spent watching TV or checking out social media and instead, head to the 40 Days for Life site to feed your soul.  Then, with renewed strength and passion, go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ to tell us when you’ll be joining us on the sidewalk as we stand for Life.  Or just show up at 933 Liberty Avenue any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.

Thanks, and God bless you!

~Jen M.


NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Pro-life witness takes to the street.
Tony, David, David, Theresa accompanied by two little boys; St. Bonaventure parish
Letting the world know why we’re in front of Planned Parenthood.
Friday morning arrived downtown as we helped Diane sort her sidewalk supplies.
Diane drove away and St. Bonaventure witnesses filled the sidewalk.
Tony, Theresa and David were joined by Saint John XXIII parishioners, Al and Sally.
David arrived with his two sons. Terry came and completed our sidewalk pro-life team.
Two young women declined help and went into PP.  One of the women came out soon after for a cigarette break.
She said that her friend already had two little children.  The dad was not helping.  Her friend felt she could not have another baby.
She then went on to say that she was alive because her mother had aborted a baby just before she became pregnant with her.
“I am alive because my mother had an abortion.”
We offered our hearts and our information.  That was not enough today.
We pray that some day the hearts of the people who had an abortion this morning will choose life and repent.

 

9-11 AM, Kathy:

Thank you to St. Bonaventure’s church members and Fr. John.
Thank you to SA Pastor Bryan, Fr. John, and a youngster from St. Bonaventure Church. The woman in the yellow jacket is Camille.
Before entering PP, Camille asked Theresa for a yellow card.  After 20 or so minutes, she exited PP and told me, with tears in her eyes, that 6 years ago, the sidewalk people (40 Days) helped her choose life for her daughter Serenity, now 6 years, old and that she also became a Christian that year. Camille accepted resources for a doctor and Pastor Bryan prayed for her before leaving us.  Please keep Camille and family in your prayers.
A few negative comments but more affirmations.

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

The 11-1 shift was without incident.  Holy Sepulcher had two representatives on my shift and several more came at 1PM.  Please see the pictures in Noreen’s report below!

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

Juanita, Debbie, Rich, Bob, Gretchen, Walt, George and Dave from Holy Sepulcher Church in Butler
Fran, Mystery Man Bill, Bonnie and Mike. Bonnie and Mike are from St. Bernard Parish.
A woman shared her story with Mary Jane about how 30 years ago she chose life and placed her daughter for adoption.
They prayed together and shared a hug.
A good day on the sidewalk today.  Several people stopped to talk to us with words of encouragement.  One man shared that his ex-girlfriend had an abortion at about 20 weeks.  That’s what broke them up but she recently contacted him and said she was sorry she did it.  We assured them we would pray for peace and healing for both of them.
Bernadette came by today with her beautiful picture of the Blessed

3-5 PM, Michael:

Two married couples (Larry & Karen seen here; David & Sara not pictured) from West Hills Baptist Church in Moon Twp along with Fran from St. Joseph in Verona and Michael, Shift Manager, from St. George.
 Delightful people who prayed fervently together. Much colder outside, but very warm volunteers with warm hearts and abundant love for the Lord. It was a peaceful and quiet vigil without incident.

5-7 PM, Sheila:

Sabrina, Debi, Joyce and Sam from Harvest Baptist Church in Natrona Heights; faithful Benson.
Benson of St. Ann Castle Shannon with Shelia, Shift Manager from Weirton, WV.

Day 16: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Elk County Right to Life (St. Mary’s PA), Christian Assembly of God (Bentleyville), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, and our Shift Buddies and other prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life

 

 

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Luke 11:9-10

 

Asking for help.  It is something so basic, and yet, something that is hard for some of us to do.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it has to do with our sense of independence, or not wanting to “bother” anybody, or not wanting to feel weak or helpless.

But in my opinion, asking for help is one of the MOST PRODUCTIVE things we can ever do.  It shows willingness, humanness, and HUMILITY.  It makes us vulnerable before another person, and that vulnerability shows that we are willing to trust.

In the image above, the sweet baby looks so tiny, so helpless.  And he is.  But his father is right there, with his strong hand, to show that he is there, and to help him to feel secure.

The Scripture passage above follows with reminders from Our Lord that “if [we] then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to [our] children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)

Our God wants to help us.  He wants it so much that He is even willing to offer His help THROUGH other people.  When we stand as witnesses on the sidewalk, and offer help to passersby, we are the ones through whom the Lord is working.  And yet, so many who are in need….. pass right by, or even respond with anger to offers of help.

Sometimes, I wish we had this sign over our heads on Liberty Avenue:

It might show that we are genuinely there to help.

At the same time, we ourselves are in need of help as well.  We, too, need to ask the Lord for help in our prayer, or our speaking to those on the sidewalk.  Let us make ourselves vulnerable to the Lord and TRUST Him.  In doing so, we can be a good example for those who also need help.  We pray that we can all grow in HUMILITY in this way, and not be afraid to ask for what we need.

 

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:

It was a peaceful shift this morning. It was wonderful to see Diane as she was bringing the materials and to spend my two hour shift with my buddy Peggy! We prayed together on our knees in front of the door to Planned Parenthood and then prayed individually and also had some conversation. There was not much activity  going on at Planned Parenthood yet, but a couple people took our yellow cards that were going in. It was a blessing as always to see Judy, Pastor Joe, and dear Chuck from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene as they arrived for the 9 to 11 shift.
Thank you to Diane and Peggy!!

 

Ongoing 40-day memorial for the babies who have been killed.

 

Nikki kneeling in prayer.

 

Nikki wearing one of our new signs. Thank you, Nikki, for not being afraid to get your knees on the ground in prayer.

 

Judy, Pastor Joe, and Chuck from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. Thank you for your faithfulness and prayer!!

 

Judy:

Lincoln Place Nazarene arrived at 9 AM with Pastor Joe and Judy, Meredith, and Chuck. It was great to see Nikki and Peg before they left their shift. Later we were joined at 10 AM by Elk County Right to Life from St. Mary’s PA: Janet, Mary R., Mary B., and Laurey. Shortly after that, Therese joined us from Carnegie. (Sorry I didn’t get her pic). It was encouraging to have enough people to pretty much fill the outside of the bubble.

It seemed to be a busy day at Planned Parenthood. Many were going in throughout our shift. We offered most of them the resource card and other information.  Several ignored us completely, but some of them were polite and said, “No thank you” – some said they were going in for other things. One lady said that she had insurance (and basically wasn’t interested in free services) and regrettably shook her head yes when I asked her if she knew they did abortions there. One lady came out with her pills in hand and stopped to let me explain about the services on our resource card. I suggested she use the resources on the card instead of supporting the abortion giant. She seemed to be very appreciative of the information and thanked me for giving it to her.

A gentleman approached Chuck and was rather gruff and loud, saying we were all liars because we didn’t care about mothers after they decided to keep the baby. Chuck tried to respond but the man got in his face, so Chuck had to walk away from him … as the man called him the nastiest name in the book and huffed off. One man in a pickup truck stopped at the light in front of PP, opened his window and repeatedly yelled, “Kill the babies, kill the babies, kill the babies…” until his light turned green and he drove off. Pastor Joe said another person stopped at the light and was yelling as well.  Our hearts and prayers go out to these individuals, and we pray that they somehow saw Jesus in us today and that He will eventually change their hearts.

On a side note we had a gentleman come by who needed $2 to get a bus back to the airport. Between three of us, we were able to scrape together $2 LOL. He allowed us to have prayer with him before leaving and we found out that he was a born again Christian. He was very thankful for the $2 and the prayers. “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered.” We thank God for the opportunity to stand against abortion.

Thank you to Janet, Mary R., Mary B., and Laurie from Elk County Right to Life!!

Donna:

As I made my way into town today the garage was full.  I rode around the block a couple of times and ended up in a different garage, where the Lord wanted me.  As I entered the elevator, there was a young couple in there and they just kind of gave me a smirk and a look when I got in.  The thought struck me that they were going to PP and they, of course, were. 

It was a very busy day today with many people in and out of PP.  Thanks to all the prayer warriors who came from near and far and prayed today: Mary, Mary B., Janet & Laurie from Elk County Right to Life, Bill from FPCP, Therese from Heidelberg, Bob from St. Paul’s, John from St. James (West End), Bill from St. Bernard’s, and Bob from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie. 

We had many people pass by, some good and some not-so-good comments and gestures.  We had a woman by the name of “A” stop by and said her little girl, Madison, was saved 2 years ago because of 40 Days For Life.  She said keep doing what we’re doing.  Praise God!  I noticed another gentleman that went by twice, and both times he was praying the rosary.  Also PP was having trouble with their door again today.  Praying that is a sign of things to come.

 

The sidewalk memorial flowers in the rain.

 

A close-up of the heart of the pro-life message. Thank you, Donna!

 

Thank you to John, Mary, and Jim who joined us in prayer this afternoon!

 

Helen:

Shift Manager Carolyn (back row) and beautiful prayer volunteers!

 

God bless the participants from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!

 

Benson joins the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton folks!

 

Wonderful witnesses for life!!

 

Charlie:

Amy and I were joined tonight by Ben and three guys from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Walt, Vince, and Al.  Nice time, got to pray a rosary. We were later joined by Kathy and a family from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. The family was an inspiration as they knelt and prayed the rosary with their small children. Towards the end of the shift, we had a small confirmation by two men, but it only lasted for a minute. They seemed to be part of the bar club next door. All in all, a very good night.

 

Thank you all for joining us in prayer!! God bless you all!!

 

Thank you to the dear people from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Benson too!!

 

Thank you for bringing your beautiful family to pray with us!!

 

 

May the Lord continue to inspire us

to ask, to seek, to knock. 

May we always ask Him for the gift of continued HUMILITY. 

May the Lord bless us all!!

 

Day 14: Thanks St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville); St. Bernadette Catholic Church (Monroeville); St. Catherine of Sweden (Alison Park)

 The mighty activity of the Holy Angels is always dependent on what God wills.  Most importantly, the angels accept the Kingship of Jesus in a nature (Human Nature) that is lower than their own nature. Satan in his pride would not accept God’s will to take on human nature. 

But the Angels who did not rebel against the exaltation of human nature by Christ Jesus, are considered as having triumphed in a great spiritual war. Let us call on these spiritual warriors to defend us as we stand on the front lines of the battlefield of abortion.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Today was an interesting day on the sidewalk. I arrived with Beth and Tracy from St. Peter Catholic Church in Steubenville.

Tracy from Steubenville
Al, Sally and Beth from Steubenville

I went to bless the building with Holy Water…a practice I learned from Bill. Since it is before 7 and I had no sign on, I Blessed the front door, for all who enter there. A young man, who I later found out was an employee, said that he objected to my doing that..he said it several times. I will say it’s so quiet that time of the morning, he startled me a little. During the morning, he kept coming out…like he was checking on us…or looking for someone. Another ironic thing, another employee entered with flowers and a Congratulations balloon. Hmmm..Sad. Sally and Al, Bill and then Beth joined us for her shift. Thanks Pat for the portable supplies and thanks Diane for the kneelers. Charlene

9-11: Beth

Nikki was so right. At the kick-off for 40 Days, she said that she would have never met so many nice people, so willing to work for a greater good, if it hadn’t been for pro-life and all it’s activities.

Ed and I met were privileged to spend time, well spent time, with two faithful ladies from St. Peter in Steubenville, Tracy and Beth.  Beth Ann from St. Alexis arrived and began praying and witnessing to those passing by.  Finally Jerry, from St. Bernadette came ready with her chair and by that time, Nancy, the next shift manager was on the scene.  I want to publically thank the ever-thoughtful Nancy who noticed me running to catch my once-an-hour bus last week.  She came early, saying she wanted to make sure I made the bus in time. See what I mean about meeting so many nice people.

11-1: Nancy

Thank you  St. Bernadette’s for standing for life today!

1-3: Nikki

When I arrived for my 1 to 3 shift I was greeted by the 11 to 1 shift manager, Nancy, who told me the wonderful news that a baby was saved during her shift! Praise God! While she was there two women came outside from Planned Parenthood and told them they changed their mind and were going to have the baby! They even had the ultrasound picture and showed it to them! They told Nancy that the young mother had felt like the Lord was giving her signs all week that she shouldn’t abort her baby! I wonder if seeing us on the sidewalk was further confirmation!
 It was nice to spend my two hour shift with Dee, who is  part of our 40 days team and is the coordinator for Saint Bernadette Church. She was spending the entire four hours on the sidewalk and had a great group of people with her. I prayed the rosary and the St. Michael’s chaplet on my knees facing the door. They were working on the door and so the doors were propped wide open, which was nice as I felt like my prayers were able to  freely enter, although I know that our prayers penetrate walls, but still it was good. The sense that I had as I was praying was one of sadness and abandonment. Many couples were leaving the clinic, I am assuming after having had abortions. It seemed to me that they were leaving their child behind, totally abandoning the very person who needed and love them the most. It occurred to me that perhaps their children’s tiny bodies were still warm, even as they casually walked away, to get on with the rest of their lives, seemingly not even giving their child another thought. I know that is not how many women feel after their abortions,  but that is how it seemed today. And, I just felt the abandonment that these children share with Jesus, as he was abandoned in his greatest time of need as well. Keep on praying and fasting everyone! This is important!
Memorial on the Sidewalk

3-5: Michael

Beautiful Indian Summer day!  Woman stopped and said she wanted to speak to just Benson, our dedicated high school junior from Mt. Lebanon H.S. and St. Anne’s Parish. She asked him what help is there for women who have had abortions and what are we doing to help women who decide to have their babies, but don’t have the resources to care for them. Some of us chimed in and told her what the pro-life movement does to help pregnant women and to continue helping them after their babies are born. This women was very angry and may have had an abortion or was close to someone who had one. She told Benson and I we should not be there talking to women because we have penises and have no idea what it is like to be pregnant. I responded by saying we don’t really need to talk to women, we are there to pray and keep vigil. Life can be interesting and challenging when we are confronted by the other side. It reminds us to stay grounded and be steadfast in our commitment to this holy and precious cause. I thought if the pro-choice people really care about women, then why do they promote killing baby girls who will become women someday. Lord have mercy on all of us.
Ladies from Saint Catherine of Sweden with 3 to 5 shift manager Mike

 

 

 

 

5-7: Lisa

Tuesday evening 5 – 7 shift was pleasant.  Benson was fortunate enough to hitch a ride home with Shift Mgr. Mike as he left at 5 pm.  Judi was a most welcome addition to the Tuesday evening team of Johanna and Lisa.  Judi came to us from Russellton and is a member of Transfiguration parish.

Judi, Lisa, Benson, Johanna

The 40 Days for Life Daily Devotion inspired all of us and we prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Fabulous weather!

Day 13:Madonna del Castello & Word of God,St. Mary of the Assumption and Geiger Church of the Brethren

If it were easy… He wouldn’t need you.

Going down to the abortion center is not easy for me. It was a lot harder years go but it is still not easy. I am the shift manager for the Saturday 7-9 am shift and there are a lot of things I’d rather be doing at that time and I’m sure you can guess which one is at the top of the list.

However, I get that tug on my heart and that nudge in the wee hours to get up and go do something important. A young man who just recently came to pray outside pp for the first time, returned to witness a second time a few weeks later and said he got that same tug and nudge. There were several of us listening and we all chuckled knowing exactly what he meant.

We know it is not easy. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. It takes a special person to respond to the call. So if the ears of your heart are hearing the call, pick up your cross, come on down and bring a friend. I can assure you will be happy that you did and you’ll experience true peace and joy.

Thanks to the prayer warriors from Madonna del Castello & Word of God, St. Mary of the Assumption and Geiger Church of the Brethren who signed up to be at today’s vigil.

Here are today highlights:

7-9 am:

Faithful from Word of God

It was a quiet morning, traffic wise. I didn’t get a chance to bring a flower this morning, but my shift buddy “Rose” was there, so that pretty much counts! Rose handed out a lot of 40 Days brochures as we prayed. We had an angry lady confront us and we tried to have some dialogue with her, but she was not open to a discussion. We also had a man stop to get our viewpoints on abortion…particularly in the case of rape, and even though we didn’t agree on everything, we were able to talk. Bill showed up just as Rose left to catch her bus. I was happy to meet the next shift manager Donna and the pray-ers from Word of God as I was finishing. They had a nice size group and even a 1st timer to the sidewalk, thanks for coming!

From Donna 9-11 am:

There was a lot of activity at Planned Parenthood today. The front door was being repaired and it seemed people were hesitant to go in. They had a lot of traffic in and out. One couple was standing out front for a while and went in and then came back out a while later. From my understanding today was not to be an abortion day but somehow I had the sense that it was different. A lot of brochures were handed out and cards and the baby feet pins. Most were receptive, some thanked us, some mocked us.

God has been working through this and I have to share this story with you. Last week I told you about meeting Bill. Well I don’t believe in coincidences I believe in God winks. Well this weekend our neighborhood had a garage sale. The last lady to come to our house was looking for items for the kids at her church in downtown Pittsburgh. We chatted a little and in talking discovered that she knew Bill and that he goes to her church. What are the chances??? God works in mysterious ways.

Needless to say I was anxious to see what today would bring. We had about 11 people praying with us. Thank you to all who came from Madonna & Word of God. We had another gentleman show up by the name of Jim. He prayed quietly as others were praying the rosary and stations of the cross. I went to talk to Jim and learned that he had the day off from BNY Mellon and said he comes by there to pray sometimes. As we were talking a man by the name of Von came by and we talked to him. He said he was homeless and was trying to get help and food and had been to many different places in the city that people suggested. Jim, Von & I prayed together and Jim left with Von to help him and get him some food. Look for the angels who show up at your shifts. What a blessing this has been in my life to see people put their faith into action. God bless you all for what you do! God is at work and can do the impossible! Praise God! Blessings, Donna

Elaine, Samantha, Ginny, Vince, and Bernie

From Ginny 11-1:

St. Mary’s Pro-Life group prayed in front of Planned Parenthood today. We said lots of prayers and passed out lots of literature.

From Beth S. 1-3:

A million thanks to all the wonderful prayer warriors at PP today. Beautiful weather and beautiful people were in Pittsburgh today, giving their time to be a voice for the preborn and the families that need help to see them to birth. When Rose and I arrived Ginny and her friends from St. Mary’s were manning the operation admirably with help from our two great pro-lifers from the Church of the Brethren in Somerset, PA, pastors John and Linda. Although they hope that they won’t have to come again (if and when PP closes) they promised to see us for the next campaign. We keep praying for the same thing, the end of PP and all abortion providers .
Five fabulous adults and seven students from Aquinas Academy in Gibsonia gave up their day off from school, Columbus Day, to pray with us. Some came wearing their pro-life tee shirts and all of them were a real asset to our cause. Congrats to Aquinas Academy.
And joining the occasion, our friend, Benson, a regular witness at PP, met with our other young “pro-life ambassadors.” Last spring, when high schools across America staged walk-outs against gun violence, Benson organized a walk-out against abortion violence. Gutsy move, but one of which to be truly proud. Mimi also arrived just as we were leaving.
Before we knew it, Rosalind was there to take over and prayer-buddy, Bill, from St. Philip in Crafton came to pray along. So thanks to all.

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