Day 11: Thanks to Bellvue Knights of Columbus, Ascension Holy Name Society (Jeanette), Guardians for Life, St. Paul of the Cross Parish, Assumption, Our Lady of Grace and Our Lady of the Lake

WHO BROKE THE DOORKNOB? WHO SAVED THE BABY?

WHO BROKE THE PARISH CHAPEL DOOR KNOB?

I have the privilege of using a chapel at a neighborhood church for a few hours each week. Last week, as I was leaving the chapel, the doorknob fell off in my hand. I examined the parts and could not see where the problem was — the parts all seemed sound and the screws holding the knob in place were not missing. As I pondered the situation, additional chapel visitors came in. Luckily, one was a skilled craftsman who took a look at the parts I held. After examining the situation, he explained that the door knob was not fixable! He showed me how the steel bar which runs through the door had sheared in two, and suggested that the only solution was a replacement. It turns out that the explanation was an astonishing, yet simple one. Visitors to the chapel WORE THE DOOR KNOB OUT !!!! . None of us did it independently, and no one realized what we were capable of, but day after day, visitor after visitor the quarter turn on the chapel doorknob ultimately broke down the steel of the mechanism. TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF PRAYER! Each turn of that doorknob meant someone was coming to pray with Jesus, someone was taking time out of a busy schedule to be a part of the worship of the Savior of the World. So– in reality although the doorknob finally failed as I was using the chapel, every one of us who have entered the chapel is guilty of breaking the doorknob! Our prayer cut through STEEL.

WHO SAVED THE BABY?

Today on the sidewalk, you will hear the remarkable, fantastic, glorious SAVE of a baby. This miracle was accomplished this morning, as one of our Sidewalk Advocates greeted a woman headed to the PP clinic. This morning, one woman chose LIFE for her child. This morning, the heart of our pro-life effort was full. But, like the doorknob, it was not just our sidewalk advocate Sue who is responsible for this wonderful event. It is the culmination of the prayers, sacrifices, fasting, teamwork, and advocacy of EVERY ONE OF THE Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life Team. This SAVE IS YOUR SAVE——- You DID IT!!! Certainly, Sue was in the right place at the right time. But we know that is not the whole story — prayer warriors were on the sidewalk with her, others were in homes or cars praying, others in convents and rectories. Some people involved had a 40 Days for Life yard sign displayed, or were simply wearing a 40 Days T-Shirt or a PRAY TO END ABORTION button on their jackets. Some responsible people can be found because they have a pro-life bumper sticker on their car! You see, just as every one of the prayer warriors entering my church chapel BROKE the doorknob, IF YOU ARE READING THIS BLOG, you SAVED A BABY TODAY! with love and HOPE- Jeannie

Guardians for Life and St. Anne’s prayer warriors start the day

7-9am Shift Manager Tim Reports: It was a brisk & blessed morning as we had prayer warriors on both sides of the PP entrance. Father Tim and the Guardians for Life and the Bellevue Knights of Columbus led the prayers.

9-11am Sidewalk Advocate Sue Reports:

God saved a precious baby today from abortion!!!!!  PRAISE HIM!!!  And I am so very thankful He allowed me and all praying today to be on the sidewalk today to witness to it!  A lady changed her mind.  A huge THANK YOU to the many prayer warriors from the Guardians for Life, Assumption, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of the Lake in Edinboro, PA, Ascension and other Jeannette parishes, St. Paul of the Cross, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, and also including a young family of four with two adorable children.  A steady flow of folks did enter PP today, and we prayed for each one entering and exiting.  I can remember only one negative reaction today from a passerby, who spit on the sidewalk in front of some folks.  But because of the saved baby, joy prevailed among the praying folks.

The witness to the decision today for Life was astounding; I’m finding it difficult to put into words the joy I’m feeling about this.  Please pray for the lady who chose life today and her baby, and for everyone who entered PP today:  clients and workers.  And please NEVER EVER think that your prayer and witness is ever in vain!!

11am-1pm Shift Manager Dean Reports: Not much happened during the time I was down there.  I handed out some cards.  There seemed to be a larger than usual amount of traffic going into PP.  Basically, it was a pretty quiet afternoon.  

1-3pm Shift Manager Kathy Reports: 2 hours went by quickly! Shift buddy Anthony, went behind PP and verified there is a back door. A passerby stopped to talk, “ Its murder pure and simple” he reflected sadly. First timer, Stacy, engaged with Kevin as he stopped , ”The embryonic state is our first encounter with heaven and creation.” 3 girls came out of PP at intervals, & 2 took information. We passed out many cards and Anthony observed: “We will never know how many babies are saved by these because they have resources!”

Anthony, Bill and Knight Ted Join the Vigil
(Not pictured: Stacy from Peters Creek Baptist)

3-5pm Shift Manager Katie Reports: When I first arrived, Kathy stayed with me for a while until Jim from the Knights of Columbus showed up, as well as another individual named Jim who I’m told lives around there and comes down often. We witnessed Kathy be a wonderful advocate for life by explaining fetal development and birth control to two young girls who were curious about the display model. Charlie from the Knights of Columbus then came, as well as Bill, Jeff, and later Billy. We received a few negative comments, such as an individual telling us that abortion is “already a settled law” (as if that makes it moral), and two younger girls telling us that what we were doing is “messed up,” and then walked back the other direction and recorded us. Other than a few negative encounters, the evening was fairly calm without many comments, positive or negative, from anyone. 

5-7 Shift by Jeff and Billy…Billy writes:

I was the last shift with Jeff, today Katie stayed later because I was running a little late. Charlie also was with me this evening. There was a lot of traffic and people passing us by. During the shift we mostly got a lot of looks by passersby, but not a lot of conversations were engaged with us. We all prayed for a short bit and then Tom came to grab the gear!

Katie, Billy and Charlie, along with Jeff closed out the vigil today.

Day 10: Thank you to Weirton Catholic Churches, City Center Parishes, and Individual Volunteers!

You’re probably familiar with the prayer above, composed by St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day many of us celebrate today. It’s such a perfect fit for what we do on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.

There is so much need of that peace at 933 Liberty Avenue.

So much hatred: of patient, of partner, of self…

So much injury: physical, mental, and spiritual…

So much error: thinking that abortion is the only way out, that providing it is showing compassion…

So much doubt: about the planned abortion, or about whether forgiveness and love can happen after an abortion…

So much despair: enough to drive a woman to seek the death of her child, or from trying in vain to talk her out of it, or from living with the guilt afterward…

So much darkness: used by the Evil One to hide his treachery against God’s children, to deceive us into thinking that abortion is a necessary part of messy modern life…

So much sadness: over the loss of a child, the loss of self-esteem, the lies and betrayal involved in abortion…

What a blessing to be used as a channel of God’s peace in a place where it is so desperately needed! He longs to pour out His charity, pardon, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy on His wounded children. When we stand vigil at PP, God can use us to grant comfort and relief to our sisters and brothers in anguish.

As we know from the next portion of the prayer, it will require sacrifice on our part. We will have to put the needs of others before our own. But as the final portion reminds us, that’s actually the best way to fulfill our own needs as well!

Won’t you please join us on the sidewalk?

-Jen


Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

As we crossed the Veterans Bridge toward Pittsburgh I searched and found St. Mary’s Church lighting up the town on Mount Washington.  Easier to find were the pink topped buildings in town.  There must be an occasion that many Pittsburgh area feel strongly about.  The event Richard and I feel strongly about is the 40 Days for Life opportunity we share with hundreds of prolife people in our area.We began with Diane and Tom, arranging supplies on the sidewalk.  Every season Diane has improved and more finely tuned the supplies we have at hand to bring more people to take a stand for life.  Go Diane!!
Amy arrived almost immediately. She is a sidewalk counselor.  Last spring she tried to help a young lady choose life, but the young person went into PP.  Amy, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish, took the Sidewalk Counselor Course and feels better equipped to help a young abortion vulnerable person when opportunity knocks.
Kraig, Saints John and Paul Parish, also arrived early.  He has been coming to witness for about 10 years.  Very recently a friend contacted him and tearfully reported that her doctor told her she would be unable to get pregnant.  Almost immediately, a young woman told us that she was going for abortion today because her doctor told her having a baby would kill her.
The pleasantly cool weather and many comfortable looking passersby gave no evidence to an uninformed person that babies were scheduled to be killed in that building today.
Priscilla arrived to pray the Rosary.  She comes year round.  She reported that she feels great reluctance about coming…so much reluctance that for a while she stopped coming.  Powerful Woman!!
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Pray for Us.

Barb
Richard, Amy, and Kraig

Kathy and Mary, 9-11 AM:

Thanks to Sidewalk Advocate Kim, newcomer Sonya, shift buddy Mary, and vigiler Kraig.  Bill H stopped by too.
Cooler temp this morning which was pleasant.  Many coming to pp today.  Some accepted lit and one woman engaged conversation and appreciated the info on low income medical help for future need but still kept today’s appt for wellness exam.  It seems that as more negative comments occurred that some passerby thanked us for being there or other kind word.  

Kathy
Kim, Sonya, Mary, Kraig

Sheila and Lori, 11 AM-1 PM:

I had the pleasure of keeping vigil with Lori, Mary (St. Joseph’s church in Weirton) and Nadine. Meghan was there as well but didn’t want included in the picture.  The sidewalk was bustling and several couples entered PP during our shift – none of them accepted our resources.  At least five passersby stopped during our shift to thank us for being there and offered their prayers.  

Sheila

Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

Coming soon! Keep scrolling for more.

Pat, 3-5 PM:

Well, it was a rough crowd tonight.  I had more negative comments/yells than I’ve ever had before.  People were just plain nasty this afternoon.  In fact, while I was on the opposite side and other members of my group had their backs turned, a young woman got so furious at the fetal model display that she tried to tip it over into the street along with the sandwich board…and she was partially successful.  I, however, was too slow to react and didn’t even get a picture and she quickly walked past me in a rant.   One shining light, however, happened early in my shift.  A older and very thin woman (R), who told me she was 76, came up to me and told me that she had had an abortion long ago and regretted it and still suffers because of it.  She said, more than once, that while she already had five she could have handled one more, she could have handled six.  I happened to have a Rachael’s Vineyard brochure in my back pocket and gave it to her.  I also suggested that she may want to come out and join us and pray with us and that that might help the healing.  She said she would think about it.  Let’s all pray for her today.

Pat
Frank, Lori, Mary, and Chuck (from St. Joseph and Sacred Heart parishes in Weirton)
Mike and Val
In memory of the precious lives lost here
Thao and Mary
Bill H. and Bill E.

Missy and Bill, 5-7 PM:

It was relatively quiet from 5-7 tonight…and cooler! Many negative comments from people walking by…you know, the usual statements like “Women should have a choice!”, “These are not babies!”, and “Why do you have to be so judgemental?”

When we hear comments like this we need to be strengthened in our resolve and KNOW with all of our souls that we are absolutely doing the right thing by standing and praying to end abortion! The prince of darkness is not going to send his fiery darts against those who do his will, right? So stand… and pray knowing you are doing the will of Our Father in Heaven! Give thanks for the opportunity to serve Him!!! Oh…almost forgot…two teen girls walked by and were commenting on the model. We gave them the tiny baby models and information to show their friends. They both were Pro Life and wanted information to counter their teacher that was telling them they should be Pro Choice!!! God is good…ALL the time! God Bless!

Val and Mary
Bill
Thao, Mike, Elaine, Samantha

Day 9: Thank you to City Center Parishes, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, The Catholic parishes of Oakmont, Plum, and Verona (OPV), St. Paul Seminary, and the parish grouping of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland, and SS. Simon and Jude… and all of our other volunteers!

40 Days for Life

Do you think people want FREEDOM? How about JOY? I tend to think that most, if not all, people, desire these good things. And actually, the Lord Jesus Christ desires these things FOR us:

Galatians 5:1a tells us, “For freedom Christ set us free.”

In John 15:11, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

These are just a couple examples.  But here’s an interesting thing about the freedom and joy God wants for us.  These mean something very DIFFERENT from the meanings of freedom and joy that the “world” gives us.

Today’s First Reading (Oct. 3) is from Nehemiah 8, roughly vv. 1-12.  Here I offer you an edited version of that passage:

The whole people gathered as one…
and they called upon Ezra the scribe
to bring forth the book of the law of Moses
which the LORD prescribed for Israel... and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law.

Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God,
interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.
Then Nehemiah… said to all the people:
“Today is holy to the LORD your God.
Do not be sad, and do not weep”–
for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.
He said further:  “…Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”
And the Levites quieted all the people, saying,
“Hush, for today is holy, and you must not be saddened.”
Then all the people went to eat and drink… and to celebrate with great joy,
for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.

Why were the people crying when they heard the words of God’s Law?  Because they were saddened that they had not been living it out.  They wanted to live according to the plan of God.

And what does Nehemiah tell the people?  “Go and be miserable, because now you have a whole bunch of boring, restrictive laws to follow, and your life is going to be a drag.”  UH, NO.  He tells them (in a manner of speaking), “Rejoice and don’t be sad!”  He tells them that this is GOOD NEWS, because now they know what to do– and how to live!!  

Imagine a home in which the parents never gave the children any rules to live by,  We all know that chaos, and ultimately, despair, would ensue.  We see it all the time.  Good parents teach their children how to live, not to restrict them- but precisely for their genuine FREEDOM and their lasting JOY.

One more thing (sorry for the length).  In the passages I cited above from Galatians and John, guess what the adjoining passages say?

 The whole verse of Galatians 5:1 actually says, “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”  

In other words, this tells us to not go back to the way we were living before, because THAT was SLAVERY.  We become slaves to our temptations, passions, addictions, and sins ALL TOO EASILY; it happens to us ALL.  So this is a great reminder to us to embrace the true FREEDOM that Christ has for us.

And as for that passage in John, the verse I cited is found within this context:

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

So according to the Lord Jesus, JOY is COMPLETE when we follow His commandments- particularly His commandment to love.  

But AGAIN– we can fall into a “worldly” definition of love.  Love has often been defined as “To desire the ultimate good for another person.”  If that is the case, then we can find true and complete joy in giving of ourselves in love.

Now.  What about 40 Days for Life?  How are we experiencing true freedom and joy in our own lives?  If we’re not, it might be because we are following those worldly definitions.  And if we want the women and men who enter Planned Parenthood to ALSO know this true freedom and joy, we have to be living it ourselves.  We can’t give what we don’t have.  

Let’s LIVE it so that we can then GIVE it.  May the abortion-vulnerable people entering Planned Parenthood be touched by our true desire for their ultimate good.  May the workers know this love as well.  Many of them may not know that this kind of freedom and joy are possible.  But I can guarantee that NO ONE who lets their baby live will EVER regret it.  Abortion, on the other hand, will lead to a lifetime of regret, often in ways that might not even be conscious.  Many of us have seen, heard, and known post-abortive people who tell us this.  And it is a sad reality that DOES NOT HAVE TO BE.

Let us continue to PRAY and FAST, that all might know the life-giving love, freedom, and joy that comes from following the will of our great life-affirming God.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:

It was a warm, muggy morning. Not much rain, and by the end of my shift the skies were blue and the sun was shining. I was blessed to have my husband, Joe, accompany me. And, it was great to see my sidewalk buddy Peg, who I haven’t seen since last campaign! I got to meet Larry, who is a fairly new participant. Diane had our materials all set up and stayed to pray a little while with us.

It was a very quiet morning, with only one potentially abortion-bound couple who entered. They would not take any information.  Dolores, representing the City Center Parishes, arrived for the second half of my shift. All was peaceful until the very end.

As I was getting ready to leave, after greeting the next shift, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Judy, Chuck and Meredith, a hurting young man stopped and was visibly upset with us. He was upset about the fetal models.  He was trying to control himself, but he was visibly shaking and almost looked like he was trying to hold back tears. He was telling us that we give Christians a bad name, that we are there to shame people who are going in, and that Planned Parenthood does all sorts of good things for women. As I suspected, he told us that he had been there three times himself to abort his own children.  

I tried to have a reasonable conversation with him. I honestly felt only love and compassion in my heart for this poor young man, whom Satan obviously has bound through his own participation in abortion. Unfortunately, he would not let anyone else get a word in. I tried to talk, and ended up raising my voice, just in an effort to be heard, but it probably sounded like I was arguing. Please pray for this poor young man. Obviously, the fact that he is so bothered by us means that his conscience is still alive and there is hope! Abortion is so terrible, it is Satan‘s best tool to enslave God’s children. Please remember to pray for him. 

Thank you to Bill, Larry, Peg, and Joe!!
Thank you to Shift Manager Nikki and Dolores!!
Second shift arrives. Thank you to Meredith, Shift Manager Judy and Chuck!!

Lisa K.:

I have just told many stories from today to my husband… so I hope I can adequately convey them the same way here. Perhaps I will share only a couple things. First, THANK YOU to my wonderful OPV family (the grouping from Oakmont, Plum, and Verona parishes)!! It was a delight to pray with my parish family! It struck me more than a few times while we prayed… these people I was praying with were the real deal. Our time today was spent in so much prayer, many times of silence, and with many sacramentals!! So beautiful! So again, I thank this group of wonderful, prayerful people.

There were a few angry people, but that’s to be expected. But– one of our participants (Marilyn) commented on how many people said “God bless you” as they passed her. She was so encouraged and touched by that!

One very powerful story I wanted to share: A woman approached me saying, “Can I ask you a question?” I said, “Sure.” She asked whether any of us have ever adopted or fostered children. I said that yes, I have. She was happy to hear that. She seemed quiet and thoughtful. I thanked her for having a heart that cared about the children. A few moments later, she came back. She said, “I had this done a long time ago (she motioned toward Planned Parenthood), and I’m not over it.” I said, “I’m so sorry…. that’s a big wound in your heart that takes so much time to heal.” She said, “So much TIME? That wound is for the REST of your LIFE. This happened 30 years ago, and it NEVER goes away.” It was so sad to hear her. I happened to have a brochure in my hand for Rachel’s Vineyard (and I almost NEVER have one of those on me…. even though I should). But I briefly told her about it and offered her the brochure and also the yellow card, which also offers help with post-abortion healing. She was so touched and thankful. It was an amazing moment. God bless her and help her to heal.

Thank you to Frank, Fran, Marilyn, Marlane, Jon, Dan, and June (not pictured)!
It was a blessing to pray with all of you!!
Had to include Nancy in this one– thanks, everyone!! 🙂
And I love this sweet photo of Fran!! Thank you for your work for LIFE!!

Carolyn:

Helen:

These gentlemen from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Council were at 40 Days for Life for part of the 1-3, all of 3-5 and some of them stayed for 5-7. They all prayed a beautiful rosary.

Liberty Avenue was busy with school students, commuters and early Pens fans.

A young woman, maybe junior high, disagreed with our effort. We explained to her that there are many people who would want a baby unwanted by his/her mother or father. She said she was unwanted. We told her that there are people who want any baby, even a baby with disabilities. She just listened.

Another woman looked at our models, turned to us and said, “What about rape?” We explained that rape is a crime, and someone should go to jail for rape, but a baby should not have to die because he came into the world via a crime.  As she left, she said, “The Lord bless you.”

It’s always tough when someone needs, not a meal, but money. I offered to take the young man to Catholic Charities, but one of the Knights gave him $1 and another gave him $5. He offered to return the $1 because it was more than he needed.

I believe our prayer touches everyone who passes us on the street. No one truly ignores us.

It was a holy day at PP today.

Helen

Thank you to the holy men of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!!
More prayer warriors. Thank you so much!!
Thank you to Sue and her beautiful family!!

Mary M.

The 5-7 shift was a great shift to work because I was surrounded by a wonderful group of people from the grouping of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Sts. Simon and Jude, and St. Margaret of Scotland, including some Knights of Columbus.  Some of the group were there from a previous shift and stayed on to pray with all of us.  Very uneventful, some positive comments and a few, but very few, negative ones.  Many prayers were sent up from this marvelous group of people. 

I was told by someone coming out of the gallery next door that I could not stand in front of the gallery (I stood alongside the door, not in front of it) and I let him know that we are free to assemble anywhere outside of the yellow line.  I’ve been told that before by people associated with the gallery, so I’m putting out a plea that while it is perfectly okay to stand alongside the gallery door, please always be careful not to block the door or anyone coming or going from the gallery.

Thank you to the group from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, SS. Simon and Jude, and
St. Margaret of Scotland, and the men of the K of C!!
Names from both photos (NOT in order):
Vince, Bob, Bob, Donna, Karen, Jim, Nancy, Pasquale, Laura, Dave, and Al.
Thank you ALL!!

Day 8…Thank you St. Bernard of Clairvaux Knights of Columbus, St. Paul Cathedral, Guardians for Life, and many individuals!

“Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such little child for My sake, receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Matt. 18: 1-6

See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, their Angels in heaven always behold the face of My Father in heaven.”

Matt. 18:10

I will never forget the very first time I gathered up my courage to come to Planned Parenthood to witness and pray. It was probably the most frightening thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. I wrote about that experience in “My Story”, posted HERE, if you are interested in reading it.

What surprised me the most was that the “witnessing” part did not make me feel nearly as uncomfortable as the PRAYING part did! In fact, standing there, holding a sign, was kind of “emboldening” to me…it gave me a sense that I was finally DOING SOMETHING…you know…standing up for what I believed in! That part was good! But, the first time I closed my eyes to pray…while standing on that sidewalk, I immediately began to feel self-conscious! I was not expecting to feel embarrassed to pray in public because at the time I belonged to an awesome Assembly of God church, that had an amazingly talented worship band.

Every Sunday, with my hands raised high, my eyes squeezed closed…sometimes with tears streaming…I PRAYED IN PUBLIC! So, why was I suddenly ashamed to pray in public in front of Planned Parenthood?

As I reflected on today’s Gospel reading, quoted above, I tried to meditate on what the traits are that little children have, that Jesus asks us to imitate. Of course, I thought of child-like traits such as: innocence, purity, humility, obedience and trust. And I know that God wants us all to strive to grow in these virtues. But as I thought about it, another, less obvious trait came to my mind. How about the trait of “lacking in self-consciousness”? You know what I mean, don’t you? I’m thinking of my little one-year old grand babies. If I even mention “The Wiggles” or “Baby Shark” to my grandson, his chubby little legs start pumping! he loves to dance and I can tell that he already has music in his soul! He will dance anywhere, no matter who is watching! I love to dance also…but I am too embarrassed to do it, say in the grocery store. If a song that I enjoy begins to play while I am shopping, I have to restrain myself from bopping down the aisle…because I am self-conscious of what others may think. I don’t want to embarrass myself by dancing in public…which is a good thing! I am not advocating for dancing in the grocery store, unless you are under the age of seven.

But, I DO think that when we feel self-conscious or embarrassed about praying in public, on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, that we need to think of being childlike in our innocence of what others may think of us.

Childlike trust and innocence is what God asks of us!

I guess when I think about it, the reason that I could pray so boldly “in public” while at church, was because I was in a large group of fellow believers who were doing the same thing. But when I got to the sidewalk for the first time, I was the only one praying among a crowd of busy people going about their lives…and I felt like I was totally out of place.

Lord, please help me to be like a child in my trust and love for you, and in my innocent lack of self-consciousness when it comes to giving you honor and glory in public!

Before I go on to today’s shift reports…I wanted to share a couple photos from a baby shower for a young girl who chose life, which Fran and I attended two weeks ago:

Angel sits among mountains of gifts donated by our loving 40 Days for Life team, including a hand-made baby blanket!
Angel’s mom was overcome with emotion when she saw the gifts of cash and gift cards that were donated by our team!

Angel’s mom gave me permission to share these photos. You may remember her story from a blog post last spring. They had come to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, allowed us to talk to them about all the help that was available. Her aunt eventually told us that she had prayed that morning, asking God to send her a sign if they weren’t supposed to do this. She told us that she believed that WE WERE THAT SIGN! We were blessed to take them to Women’s Choice Network in the north side, where we got to go into the ultrasound room and saw her 15 week baby girl moving around on the ultrasound screen! When Angel saw her baby, she courageously chose life for her daughter. Thanks to the generosity of many members of our team, she has been given a good start and has been provided with all the items she needs to welcome this little girl into the world later this month! Thanks to everyone who donated to help her, and thanks to all of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone to be a sign of God’s love and mercy on the sidewalk!

One last thing…before today’s reports from the sidewalk…if you are Catholic and you haven’t yet signed up for an hour of adoration at St. Stanislaus for the 7-day, 24-hour prayer vigil…they are BEGGING for help! Many hours still are not filled! Go HERE to sign up for as many hours as you can! I know that God will send much grace to our city by this prayer vigil of love!

Now…on to the shift reports from today!

Peggy & Carissa, 7-9 am

Off-duty shift manager Charlene joins Shift manager Peg and shift buddy Carissa for the 7-9 shift this morning!
Mark stops by to pray

Cathy & Fran, 9-11 am

It was a pretty quiet morning as far as clients, only a couple or so going in plus some workers.  A couple who were stranded here trying to get back to NY were in need of some breakfast.  They had been to CC, as suggested by the first shift, but were not able to get anything there and did not know where else to try.  She is 6mos pregnant.  I gave them 2 Subway cards.  They later came back to thank us. They have an appointment with Traveler’s Aid.  Those with Fran and me were Beverly, Priscilla, Bill H, Bill, the evangelist, and Debbie.  Also St Bernard KoC and the Guardians for Life, from 10 or 11 on.

Cathy, 9-11
The Guardians for Life and Knights of Columbus filled the sidewalk with peaceful prayer
Bill and Bev answered the call to stand with Fran and Cathy!

Hank & Judy, 11 am – 1 pm

WOW!!! What a time on the street!   The Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels and 21 Guardians for Life praying for the end of abortion.  Wondering how many angels were present with us besides our own personal guarding angel.  Is it possible that the guarding angels of all those who lost their life at this abortion mill were there with us?  The Guardians for Life most from St. Bernard in Indiana PA included Irene, Rudy, Joe, Lisa, Brian, Tom, Dan, Dave, Bob, Dennis, Ray, Bill, Sr.James Ann, Tom, Theresa, Cheynne, Elsie, Michele, Keith, and Beverly.  Fran from St Joseph Verona and Debbie Ephiphany  Raudolph St Louise also joined us.  Prayer was a constant..rosary, Staions of the Cross, Divine Mercy, litany of the Blessed Mother and joyful noise to the Lord which was called singing!  No abortions today…little PP traffic but lots of people passing by.  Some nasty looks, but again many ” thanks, God bless you, I’m with you  Some good encounters.  Judy spoke with two women and hopefully their heart was opened to allow the grace of God to enter in.   We pray with St.Bernard of Clairvaux in giving thanks that “heaven denies us nothing that assists us, these celestial spirits (Holy Guardian Angels) have been placed at our sides to protect us, instruct us, and to guide us”.
To God be glory for ever and ever!!  Amen

Hank, 11-1
Shift manager Judy
Two faithful Knights of Columbus from Indiana PA
Fran with Debbie from Epiphany
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, K of C and Guardians for Life filled the sidewalk with prayer today!
Fr. Tim with the Guardians for Life
Judy, engaging a young woman in discussion of the issue of life in the womb
More Guardians…

Chris & John 1-3 pm

The nice warm weather continued today.  God is turning the heat up on PP.  I was joined by Joan, John, Carole, Louise, and Jerry.  We prayed several Rosaries, the Sorrowful Mysteries.  Given where we’re standing, I feel that’s the appropriate Mystery to pray. 
About halfway through my shift, Jeannie, the next shift manager, stopped by to give us daisies from her yard, both to hand out to passersby and to adorn the “half-circle” on the sidewalk.  There was very little traffic going in and out of PP, more than a few friendly comments, and two angry people shouting at us, one from across the street and one from a passing car.  On the positive side, it always makes me smile inside when I notice passersby glancing at and reading the fetal development sandwich board and looking at the fetal model display. 

Chris, 1-3
Carole, Louise and Jerry came from Kitanning to pray!

Jeannie & Virginia, 3-5 pm

I’ve ventured to the sidewalk to stay knowing I might well be by myself but I am a Catholic and today is the feast of guardian angels and they did not disappoint! John was here when I came and Marilyn and Rose came as well. And before my shift ended Pat and Celeste came to join forces. It was very active and inspiring day on the sidewalk. Many people stopped and thanked us for being there, and for the first time in a while the school kids were interested in having a little bit of a conversation.  We even had support from a person in wheelchair who stopped right in front of the door pointed to us and clapped. Astonishing! Taking a cue from my sister who did the same I put a few of our baby pictures against the Planned Parenthood outer wall with some flowers in front as you would for victims of crime. It is very very effective, as three people stopped to ask what happened to the baby. I explained that children are killed in that clinic every week and we are memorializing those lost lives. What an afternoon! No nasty comments whatsoever and tons of inklings of changing hearts and minds. The angels certainly were Watching over us!

Jeannie 3-5
Guardian Angels must have prompted John and Rose to stop by to pray during a needed time today!
Pat and Celeste joined in prayer also!

Joe K. 5-7 pm

St. Paul’s Church Grouping came strong this evening from beginning to end…

Initially, I was joined initially by Jackie and Joe from St. Paul’s, then Mary from St. Stephen’s, then Diane and Mark from St. Paul’s, and finally my brother Knight Mike from St.Patrick’s in McKeesport.  Oops, forgot that Jim from St. Maurice’s stopped by on his way home from work too…

A lot of sirens, buses, and foot traffic filled the muggy evening, but there ended up being very little interaction with passersby…  Most of the evening consisted of sharing and prayer – It was great to pray the rosary as one big group – witnessing to all the passersby…

Joe, 5-7
Mike, Mary, Mark, Jackie, Joe, and Diane

Day 7: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church, St. James/St. Mary (Sewickley) and Individuals

Years ago, when I was young and shopping downtown with friends, someone on the street approached me for money. Startled, I initially hesitated but then I dug into my pocket for the few coins that I had left. I gave them to that soul and wished her well. Once home, my Mother told me she was happy that I gave the person something and said she may have been an “angel unaware”!

These many years later, I still see “angels unaware” in all sorts of situations and I know others do too! Whenever I’ve mentioned angels to anyone, there’s almost always a story or incident about their own angel encounter.

When the angel Gabriel announced Mary’s chosen role as Mother to our Saviour, her acceptance changed everything! As we stand on the sidewalk, with the support of the angels…we, like Mary, say “YES to Life”! Be aware of our angelic company and you’ll never feel alone. Guardians, protectors, messengers and ministering angels are just a thought away!

In Billy Graham’s book “Angels, God’s Secret Agents”, he says that “angels are a very real and powerful force in our world today. They are not sent as weaklings but to do battle and are on our side in the fight as we pray…”

Besides the reality of true angels….are each of YOU; who are “Angels Unaware” to those you witness to and encounter on the sidewalk! Keep reading for more angel stories!

7-9: Tracy

After she finished putting out the materials, Diane gave me a crash course in Shift Manager-ing. (Thanks, Diane!) I’ll look forward to Charlene’s return next week. 🙂 Thank you to early morning vigil attendees, Pastor Kirk from First Evangelical Free Church and Sidewalk Counselor, Stephen. SC’s Greg and Jackie showed up as well and everyone was delighted to welcome Ed back! He’d been absent from his ‘post’ for some time. The morning wasn’t complete without Bill making an appearance. Having run out of Holy Water, he came supplied with Holy Oil! God blessed us with fair weather and mostly friendly faces – not too much negativity out there. PP was mildly busy. Only a few couples and several girls went in. I’m not sure, but most folks entering seemed to work there. We weren’t successful deterring anyone, but the fight (PRAYING!!) continues even after anyone walks through those doors!

A couple representing First Evangelical Free Church, Jim, Charlene and Dean

9-11: Beth and Ed

It is always an honor to be at Planned Parenthood, fighting the good fight with the members of the First Evangelical Free Church of Mckeesport.  With Pastor Kirk at the lead, Dan, Rick, Patty, Barry,  Dean, Dave, Janet, and others filled in the 9-11 a.m. shift with prayer and fellowship.  Tracy from Steubenville was shift manager as Sidewalk Advocates, Jackie, Greg, Steve, and Ed offered help to the four or five couples entering PP for the early shift while the second round of clients met Beth Ann, Charlene and Jim trying to avert the disaster we know as abortion. Overall, it was a rather quiet day with prayer and lots of literature being distributed.  Tuesday is a surgical abortion day.  Our hope in God’s promise, to overcome evil, is stronger than the absolute betrayal each mother and child must eventually feel. We’re here; we’re not quitting.  We can do this.

11-1: Elsie

11AM-1PM: My parish (St. Mary’s/St. James’) was supposed to be providing prayer coverage today from 11-3, but I didn’t know for sure whether I would have companions. How pleased I was to find Charlene already there when I arrived, as well as Jim (parishioner at Assumption but a frequent communicant at St. James’)! Beth Ann from St. Alexis managed to pray and offer help and info simultaneously! Ken from a new South Hills parish soon joined us, and several kind, prayerful folks from McKeesport stayed beyond their shift. A young man came up to us just for “conversation,” he said. He recognized that abortion is wrong, but seemed to have given up hope on life, telling us that he smoked because his life didn’t matter and planned never to marry or have children because women couldn’t be trusted not to kill your babies and/or leave you. He said he is part of a movement of men who have just given up. Beth Ann and the good folks from McKeesport tried to convince him that he is indeed a beloved child of God and CAN have a meaningful life in Christ. By Noon we had been joined by two more of my fellow-parishioners, Christian and Jen, who jumped right in, sweetly offering help and info to anyone walking by or in or out of the death mill. And before 1:00 Nikki arrived!  

1-3: Nikki

 Thanks to Elsie and her wonderful crew from Saint James and Sewickley! Elsie was the hands and feet of Christ on the sidewalk for four hours today! Since she had it well covered with reaching out to abortion bound couples, I decided to take advantage of that and just spend the time on my knees in prayer. It was a blessing just to see how she interacted with  these couples with such love and concern. One teenage girl with her friend were going in and Elsie educated them on the dangers of contraception, which  this young girl had implanted in her arm. She is so knowledgeable, I learned a lot from listening to her myself! Another very young couple, a teenage boy and his girlfriend were going in to the clinic. They seemed open and receptive to hear what Elsie was telling them, and Bernadette  offered them a homemade rosary, which she had made herself. The young girl crossed over to the edge of the circle to take it from her hands and Bernadette told her that she had been praying for her and gave her a  pre-born Jesus brochure that includes a prayer for pregnant women to trust the Lord with their child. It was a beautiful prayer, and we prayed for that young couple as they were inside that God would touch their hearts. We never did see them come out, unfortunately. 

A passerby gave us this card. This couple are good friends of his and they are desperate to adopt a baby, they cannot have one on their own. Let’s spread the word!  Wouldn’t it be great if we had more couples who are waiting to adopt a baby make business cards like this that we could have to offer couples who are coming to Planned Parenthood to abort their children! 
Kim and Mike at prayer

  Another interaction reagrding the baby models happened during my shift. Elsie was admiring the baby models and was saying how glad she is that we have them on the sidewalk, and she wanted to know if we could count on them being medically accurate. I had my phone out and was looking up photos and information on a seven week fetus,  to try to determine if they were in fact accurate,  just as a young woman who, trying to act calm, but it was obvious that she was upset, she stopped at the models and was complaining to Bernadette that they are not accurate. She said, “you are not showing God’s truth by having these lies on display.“ I heard what she said, and I was actually in the process of looking up on my phone what a seven week unborn baby looks like! So, I walked over to her and I told her that.  I told her what a coincidence it was because Elsie and I were just discussing this very thing, if we could trust these models to be medically accurate! I was pulling up the information on my phone, and I had a picture of a seven week unborn baby on my phone, which actually did not look quite like the seven week model. However, she did not want to look at it or engage with us in any sort of reasonable conversation. She just kept telling us that those models were lies, and it was quite obvious that she could use prayer because she must have  a wound in her soul. Anyway, I realized that when I looked up a nine week unborn child on my phone, it was exactly the same as the seven week model. So, what we should keep in mind when we talk to people about the models, is the age of the model is from the time of conception, not the last menstrual period. So, the seven week model would actually be nine weeks LMP, which is another way to calculate it.  But, they are accurate! Pray for those who have blinders on because of something they do not want to face, for those blinders to be removed. 

3-5: Michael and Kim

Shift manager Mike, with buddies Kim and Mike have the 3-5

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

WOW     #1 The beautiful weather and  #2 The beautiful people who joined Johanna and me on the sidewalk.  Truthfully, I usually find myself somewhat jealous of shift managers that have large groups joining them.  The shift I have covered for several years, Tuesdays 5 – 7 PM, typically does not draw too many additional prayer warriors.  Tonight was not the case.  A record (for us) number of people saw the plea for prayers and joined us this evening.  Upon arriving at 5 pm, Johanna is already there enjoying seeing Mike again, We relieve him from his 3 – 5 shift.  Mike gave me one of the most beautiful prayer cards I have ever seen – Prayer to End Abortion.  Thank you Mike!Joe, a Knight of Columbus and  member of St. Bernadette parish in Monroeville and Thao, the beautiful young woman who also volunteers at Catholic Charities were also there already.  Shortly there after two additional women arrived separately but coincidentally both named Elizabeth both with rosary in hand.  Then, the greatest surprise and delight of the evening, a dear mother, Laura and her beautiful family of 6 children all veterans to the sidewalk.  Faith, Hope, Charity, Aletheia, George and little Leo.  Those dear children grabbed signs and pamphlets and made the sidewalk come to joyful life!  It utterly amazed me how many pamphlets those young children gave out and how many wonderful comments were received from passerby’s.  Amazingly, this family traveled all the way from Steubenville and are members of St. Peter parish, (two older brothers are away at college).  Finally, to round out the night after experiencing extreme traffic woes but still persevering to attend Eileen, member of St. Phillips in Crafton arrived.If not for the sobering reason we are all there, tonight was one of the most wonderful evenings I have had in a long time.  Love of Jesus and all people – no matter how small – was the overwhelming theme tonight!

Lisa between two Elizabeths
S. Family from Steubenville
Eileen with George caressing the baby models
Faith, Hope and Johanna
George entertaining Joe.  George wore the 3 baby signs.  What a joy!
The very prayerful Denise
Denise, Johanna, Thao and Joe

Day 6: Thanks to St. Alexis, St. Sebastian, St. Bernard, St. Ann and St. Alphonsus parishes and all individuals

Did you ever wonder why you get the call inside your heart to protect the unborn from abortion? Why you are drawn to go down to the abortion mill to help save lives through you prayer and presence?

It’s not for everyone. And it’s not easy. As the expression goes “if it were easy God wouldn’t need you”.

We all have our unique talents and calling. I’m guessing that since you are reading this, you were chosen to be a witness for life and to stand up for the unborn. You were called to be an evangelist. This is God’s will for you. And the bonus for you (us) is that when we answer the call and do his will, we find true peace and joy. Real happiness.

As St Paul said “ He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists…”

So if you are being called to be an evangelist, it’s time to do HIS will for you. Come back to the vigil if you haven’t already signed up, consider coming down more than once if you can and perhaps reach out to a friend or family member who might also be hearing the call but doesn’t know how to answer it. Share the joy.

Sign up or just show up and revel in true peace and joy.

Tim B.

Here are reports from today’s Vigil:

From Sue 7-9 am:

7am-9am shift was a downpour. 1st time I have had a shift with pouring down rain, Rose made reference to each rain drop being a baptism! Myself, Rose, Larry and first time vigil participant Brendan said all 4 mysteries of the rosary as well as a Divine Mercy. Thao stood on the other side and prayed. We really didn’t engage any people passing by becuase of the weather. It was nice to kind of draw into my poncho and concentrate on praying without interruption! It slowed down after about an hour as Diane said it would and pretty much stopped when the 9am shift came! Thanks, Sue

Here is from Ginny 9-11 am:

The rush-hour traffic with all the rain slowed me down and I felt bad I was 10 minutes late but Maryanne was there taking care of things thank God

There were over a dozen people from Saint Alexis and Saint Alphonsus Church 
What a blessing to have so many people praying with us today

Brandon had moved to the Pittsburgh area just a month ago he belongs to Saint Paul Parish and he came over to join our 40 days
Another blessing God has sent us

From Donna 11-1 pm:

Diane and I got there for our first shift this campaign and thankfully the rain had stopped. Thank you to all the prayer warriors that came from St. Sebastian, St. Alexis, St. Alphonsus, St. Anne’s and St. Bernard’s; Vince, Dick, Claudia, Beth Ann, Keith, Bob, Carol & Dave. And I apologize for any names I may have missed and for not taking more pictures! The good comments outweighed the bad today. Thanks be to God! We had a few “thank you’s, thank you for your service, God bless you” and a bus driver stopped, beeped and gave us a thumbs up! We had two homeless veterans stop by and we tried to direct them where they could get help, the VA hospital, Shepherds Heart, Catholic Charities. The one gentlemen was wanting to complain. I told him we would pray for him, so Vince, Diane and I did. Things seemed to quiet down and Ingrid joined us from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon. She prayed the rosary. Sheila from St Bernard’s came early for her shift and joined Ingrid. There were two women that came out of PP and I offered them a card and they handed me a brochure on Stigma-free affordable Therapy. Interesting!
One of our prayers today was, “God help us to be faithful”. It’s not easy to stand, pray and witness but God will use our obedience for His good and His glory.
May all who walk by us at Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh be blessed and may they come to know the love of our Heavenly Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Blessings For Life, Donna

From Beth S. 1-3 pm

Three amigos, Shelia, my sister Rose and I kept the vigil going today amid warm breezes and, for the most part, friendly Steeler fans. PP had people going in and coming out but we didn’t discern many abortion-minded women or couples. Not much in the way of conversations or questioning, just lots of football fans crowding the sidewalk. May all our vigil shifts be as peaceful.

From Marie 3-5 pm:

This was a quiet shift so Pete and had a lot if time to pray. At the end someone from Catholic Charities joined us. 

DAY 5: THANK YOU, Saint Regis Parish, Trafford; Saints John and Paul Parish, Franklin Park; Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Bellevue; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Pat R. and Family, Bridget S.; and all the people who witnessed with us at the Vigil today!

Virgin and Child (called the Pazzi Madonna),
Donatello (c. 1386-1466), Louvre Museum, Paris, France.  
©  Dist. RMN-GP / Pierre Philibert.
https://us.magnificat.net

My soul clings to you.

Your right hand holds me fast.

PSALM 63:9

We pray on that rough orange brick sidewalk in front of the downtown abortion site. We pray that nobody crosses the sidewalk and goes in to do abortion business. We pray for a change of heart for people involved in abortion…that they turn to God, ask for forgiveness and open their heart to Him again.     

People involved in abortion are prey of the ancient evil one.  Our creator hears our prayer. 

Abortion business is fiercely bloody.  When people take the life of the baby growing in the mother’s womb, they howl a grotesque “NO!” to the plan our Father has for them and for this baby.

God’s plan is love.

In his patient generosity, in one of the more endearing conversations in the Bible, God spoke with Job.

Then from the heart of the tempest Yahweh gave Job his answer.  He said:

Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words?

Brace yourself like a fighter;

now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me.

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?

Tell me, since you are so well informed!

Who decided the dimensions of it, do you know?

Or, who stretched the measuring line across it?

What supports its pillars at their bases?

Who laid its cornerstone

when all the stars of the morning were singing with joy….

JOB 38:1-7

God’s plan is beautiful.

Eric Metaxas, in MIRACLES, details some facts science has discovered about the earth’s foundations.  He credits Hugh Ross PhD, astrophysicist, as one of his sources.

“Big Bang” is a term unintentionally coined by physicist Sir Fred Hoyle in a 1949 BBC interview.

The scientific consensus is that about fourteen billion years ago the whole universe arose – or actually exploded – out of nothing and has continued to explode, or expand, ever since.

The Big Bang that created the hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars and planets – was an extremely and precisely controlled explosion.

It is only because it was as precisely controlled as it was that the universe exists.

The details of the precision give us some idea of the wild miracle of our existence.  Here is just one example of the fine-tuning, among many that are available.

Consider the four fundamental forces physicists know – gravity, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force.

Each force has a value that is so heart stoppingly precisely calibrated that we can hardly take it in.

If any of these forces were ever so slightly different, our universe would not exist.

But how were the values of these four fundamental forces determined? 

How is it that they just happened to be precisely right for our universe to come into being?

Perhaps more impressive – each of these crucially precise values was established once and for all – within one millionth of a second after the Big Bang.

None of these forces has deviated in the slightest in the fourteen billion years since.

It seems impossible to avoid logically concluding that the existence of our universe is a miracle, one of impossible proportions.

MIRACLES. Eric Metaxas. pp 48-55

SING ALONG!

What a Wonderful World | Playing For Change | Song Around The World

All human nature vigorously resists grace because

grace changes us and the change is painful.

Flannery O’Connor

******

Lord, send out your Spirit

and renew the face of the earth!

Psalm 104:30

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

This year I was smart.  I always sign-up my parish for one 7-9 Sunday morning shift, but last year was, I believe, the second year in a row that I made the BIG mistake of picking the Sunday of the EQT Mile, which causes our group all kinds of transportation and parking headaches.  Well, this year I planned ahead and made sure not to do that again.  (Pause here to imagine the big pat on my back I gave myself.) 
However, while on my normal 3-5 shift this Friday one of the vigil prayers happened to mention that he would be running in the Great Race this Sunday.  (Pause here to imagine the one or two curse words I might have spoken to myself in that moment.)  Ah, life.
The upside was that I did have three of my fellow parishioners (and two brother Knights of Columbus) join me:  Yolanda, Albert, and Lud.  And we were all blessed to have Vince from St. Sebastian’s lead us in the full Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Thank you once again Vince.  

Vince, Lud, Albert, Yolanda

Pat’s fellow Saint Regis, Trafford, parishioners and brother Knights of Columbus

___________________________________

SUE MC. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Although the Great Race was going on downtown this morning, the actual race did not come by PP, so it was quite the peaceful Sunday morning on the sidewalk.  (Not that we don’t welcome their presence; quite the contrary.)  The shift consisted mainly of my shift buddy Ken and myself.  THANK YOU, dear Ken, for coming all that distance to pray — today, and all the days that you do so!  We prayed and reflected. 
Bill stopped by on his way to church and shared his belief that abortion will end when the divisions among the Body of Christ finally cease and we all come together.   
At one point a man came by and shouted “Get a job!”; we prayed for him.  About halfway through the shift, we were blessed to meet Vonda, a woman from out of town who was visiting the city.  Very spiritual, she had a lot of insight, and we shared prayer and great conversation. 
I am so thankful to personally have been so blessed through this vigil to meet the most wonderful people.  Come, Lord Jesus; end the scourge of abortion on our city, our whole country, and our world!

___________________________________

RICH AND ROSEANN SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

We got to our shift early because we feared we would be late due to the Great Race in town today. We were greeted by Sue and Ken. It was nice to see those who we know from previous 40 days and meet new pro-lifers who want to end the scourge of abortion. It is a blessing and honor to stand with so many dedicated to defending life. 
Thanks to Mark, Ann, Amy and Vince (who didn’t want his picture taken), and the “R” family who prayed with us. We prayed Rosaries, the Divine Mercy and did some singing. A very good 40 days shift.

Ann, Mark and Amy

Pat R. and Family

___________________________________

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

It was a peaceful, prayerful, sunny and warm prayer time with the wonderful folks at Saints John and Paul.

??

Outstanding prayerful presence by Saints John and Paul Parishioners

___________________________________

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

After prayers, including a pro-life Rosary, we were blessed to have a priest stop by. That is when the Holy Spirit really started working. We had a wonderful conversation with Nyja, a young woman around 18 who asked us to explain what we were doing and was not pro life.
We spoke of the science of DNA of unborn babies being different from that of her mother from the instant of conception … and that DNA remains the same for that person all the way until their death 100 years later.
Melissa the shift helper shared her personal story with her, and told her about the movie Unplanned and the movie on YouTube called the Silent Scream. She wrote the names down and said she would look at them and do Google research on the subject. It was a very pleasant and respectful conversation, and she seemed very open to the ideas of life!

Parishioners, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Bellevue

Spirited Witnesses

___________________________________

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Pictured, faith filled Bridget and Jim, Cathy and friend. Not pictured Mary Jane from St. Thomas More joined me during my shift today.
 
I’m so grateful for their witness. They truly inspire me to strive for a more authentic life. Also, a big THANKS to all who do the extra work and make it so easy for me to throw my crumbs into the glorious 40 days for life pot. 
 
What a blessing this ministry has been for me!!!
 
Peace of the Lord be with everyone.

Jim, Friend and Cathy

Faith Filled Bridget

And God saw that it was good.

Day 4: Thanks to Choices Mobile Sonogram Unit, St. Sebastian, St. Peter, Log Church, St. Elizabeth, and Individual Volunteers

YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE MISSING

I often think of this line when I see a young woman pregnant for the first time, headed for Planned Parenthood. So much of American advertising uses this philosophy– We don’t want to be left out, to be the only ones that don’t know about something, to be “that guy” who is out of the loop. I always wonder if a woman who is headed for abortion could get a little glimpse of what her own motherhood would be like …… would she be able to have an idea of WHAT SHE MIGHT BE MISSING? What if we could let her know the incredible feeling of holding an infant close to you and snuggling with that baby-soft newborn bald head? What if we could explain the feeling you get when your kindergartner scribbles out a Valentine to Mom in that crumbly crayon printing? What if we could explain that motherhood is the TOUGHEST and BEST job in the world, and that the bond with your child only gets deeper over time? What if we could tell her WHAT SHE IS MISSING? Those of us who have been blessed to be mothers know that it is truly a struggle at times — it is sometimes heart-wrenching and even painful. Still, since the beginning of time and until today the bond between and mother and child is irrefutably the STRONGEST ON EARTH. Truly, if a woman headed for abortion knew WHAT SHE WAS MISSING, she would certainly not want to miss it. Our presence on the sidewalk insures that at least a few women each year get to imagine what they might be missing and CHOOSE LIFE!!

Shift Manager Reports from today:

Jill and Betsy with the Mobile Sonogram Unit

7-9 am Shift Manager Virginia reports:

The 7-9 AM shift 9/28 found no PP escorts and very light foot traffic and street traffic as well. PRAISE GOD! The Mobile Sonogram unit arrived at about 7:20 am, and almost immediately a young couple entered the unit which was sitting on the side of the August Wilson Center. They were in the unit for about an hour, which is great news. They exited and were still outside when I left. Shortly after they came out, Joe escorted another patient, a young gal that was headed to PP into the mobile unit. She was still in the unit when our shift ended. Thanks be to God for the mobile unit.
A loyal group from St Elizabeth’s joined in the praying and Sidewalk Advocate Sue came to do the next shift.

Shift Manager Sue with Linda & Vince from St. Sebastian and Mary Grace and her mom Suzy from St. Peter joined in prayer.

9-11 am Shift Manager Sue reports:

My heart always leaps up when I arrive at 933 Liberty and I see … NO ESCORTS!  Today was one of those days.  the no-escorts scenario often (but not always) indicates NO ABORTIONS being performed that day — and from what we could gather, that did indeed seem to be the case today!  Very few people entered PP during my shift.  And even better:  the Choices mobile ultrasound unit was there today, and not one, but TWO women entered for services!  The first was during the shift before mine (7-9), but the second was shortly after 9:00.  Joe K. had the honor of walking the second young woman over to the van, during which time he said she talked happily about the baby and about God.  PRAISE GOD!!!!!

We were joined by many gracious prayer warriors, including folks from St. Michael’s in Wheeling, students from Grove City College, and a few other locations that I apologize I did not write down.  Many thanks to Charlie and Amy H. for helping me out today with SM duties!  At one point, two young women entered PP.  I reached out to them to offer them information and told them about the free pregnancy tests & ultrasounds offered by the mobile.  The one woman looked like she wanted to talk, but continued in.  Joined by vigil participant Sue, I stood within view of the women as they were inside, and we prayed.  They stood at the entry window area for a long time, at times hugging and touching each other supportingly.  They disappeared over into the waiting room area, but came out shortly again and walked down the street.  I offered info again, but again they declined.  They then came back to PP and entered again.  It was awhile this time that they were in there, but when they came out, one held a paper and they looked stressed and walked hurriedly.  We told them we were there for them and invited them to come back and talk.  Please pray for these women, that whichever one is pregnant will choose life.

A young man came by at one point after the girls had entered for the first time and just stood in the circle for a bit, staring into PP.  He asked what we were doing and we explained, and he seemed interested.  He then entered PP and talked to the person at the window for a bit.  When he came out, I asked if he would mind sharing what he had been talking about with the person (who was the guard).  He said he’d asked the guard “how much it costs to kill a baby.”  The guard didn’t know but gave him a generic business card just listing local PP locations.  He remarked as he walked away that the Planned Parenthood name is ironic as “there’s no parenthood involved!”

As I was getting ready to leave to go get lunch, Sidewalk Advocate Judy finished out my shift by telling me a great story of something that had just happened.  A man had come along the sidewalk and gave her a thumbs-down.  However, he accepted some literature from her and then wanted to talk.  They talked for awhile, Judy listening while he presented his views and beliefs (pro-choice), after which Judy presented hers, which included citing some information to him about modern in-utero surgery.  The man listened, then left — but as he was passing Judy by a little later, he gave her a thumbs-up!!!  Great work, Judy — great work, Holy Spirit; thank You!!!

Grove City College students witnessing for life!

11am-1pm Shift Manager Dean reports:

Overall, things were fairly quiet at P.P. this afternoon. Sidewalk Advocate, Sue, told me that P.P. didn’t use  escort services Saturday morning and that usually means that were no scheduled abortions that day. 

1-3pm Shift Manager Kathy reports:

Beautiful roses were delivered by Linda’s husband during a prior shift. After decorating the circle and displays, Sue passed them to us to share with passersby. Many were delighted with this gesture of goodwill.
Prayer was offered for moms , babies, & clinic workers . Jim who lives downtown joined us. He prayed specifically for William, a clinic worker, hoping that he will come to realize how horrible his job is. We talked about the “ And Then There Were None” ministry. 2 hours went by quickly.

St. Sebastian Prayer Warriors

3 -5 Shift Manager Billy Reports:

Today I substituted for Katie B who could use get well prayers, please! I started with Bill and a young woman named Kathy who brought her two daughters Kylie and Julianna to pray with us. We had a few interesting encounters including one young man asking us if we would be interested in doing something with”shock value”. Bill peacefully told him no & gently asked him to leave.  Two young ladies  thanked us and prayed a Hail Mary for us. A little later, a lady named Lisa came to pray and and walk around the clinic. Patty and Steve also came along with Kevin and his cousin Erin. AMAZING! When I saw the email it was only going to be me and Kathy during these hours. Instead, the turn out has been what I’ve been praying for more workers in the harvest ! At the end of the shift a lady named Sandy came to pray and she said this cause was “near and dear to her heart” and she did not want shift manager Jeff to be all alone. It was so nice to see all the support. We had a few negative comments, but the amount of peace and love we had was great. 

St. Sebastian Church members joined Sue and Dean today.

Day 3: Thank you to Riverside Community Church, Holy Sepulcher Parish, and Individual Volunteers

God has given me a vehicle…the gift of my life.

He has filled the tank with gas…His abundant Grace.

He’s provided something far more reliable than GPS to get me where I want to go…it’s HS (the Holy Spirit!)

All I need to do is put my foot on the gas pedal and not let up…in other words, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

I have a tendency to run off the road when all the cares and concerns of everyday life distract me. But none of my problems can be fixed by standing beside the car and staring at them.

Happily, God offers lifetime roadside assistance with this vehicle. Dear Lord, when I’m standing on the side of the road, perplexed and despairing, please help me to get back in the car and to drive straight toward You!!!

–Jen


Wherever we go and whatever we do during these 40 Days, may our unceasing prayer be focused on asking God to end abortion. And please join us on the sidewalk whenever possible, gathering in Christ to offer His hope and healing to all our brothers and sisters!

Here are the reports from today’s vigil. Thanks to all who prayed with us!

(By the way, did you catch the Pittsburgh shout-out in Shawn Carney’s email today?)

Nikki, 7-9 AM:

Amy, Tom, and Diane
Mary Pat was signed up to be with me from 7-9
First-timer John with Nikki and Amy
The fetal models looked so beautiful in the sunshine!

I arrived right at seven to see the beautiful faces of Diane, Tom and Amy. Diane and Tom had already set up the amazing sidewalk display, and Amy is from my own parish  and is a new sidewalk advocate, and comes year round when she can.  Mary Pat arrived soon after, she had signed up to be there from 7 to 9 AM. I was  happily surprised  when John arrived. He only recently heard about 40 days for life, and had decided to come and check it out. He stayed for my entire shift and was a wonderful witness to the love of Jesus. We had another man join us, who rides in on his bicycle, I had seen him many times during the last campaign. He holds a pro-life sign and walks back-and-forth in front of the circle. Sadly, while he was there, somebody stole  his bicycle. He had it locked up and changed around a tree, so somebody must have had bolt cutters. I think it was an act of retaliation against us, because he had his pro life sign hanging on his bike.  It was a busy abortion morning, with lots of abortion bound couples entering. We did our best. We prayed and we witnessed. Please pray for us. 

Nikki

Kathy and Mary, 9-11 AM:

Riverside Community Church Ladies with Shift Manager Kathy
Jane, Mark, Julie, Mary, and Lynn

Thank you to the three devoted women who came to pray today from the Riverside Community Church.  In addition, we were in company with shift buddy Mary, SA Kim, and Mark and Jim.
We opened in prayer and then took our positions, some wearing signs standing on sidewalk and in the street* near yellow line.  I passed out literature.  “A” stopped by to talk.  She is pregnant and due in February.  She was appreciative of resources and took a yellow card with her.  A mixture of reactions today–some positive and others mildly negative.  A young man in barefeet walked by named”BJ.” He accepted help from us after our shift.  Please keep this young man in your prayers.
*Also, please stand on the sidewalk and not in the street.  A vehicle almost hit one of the vigilers this morning who was standing on the street outside the yellow line.  I called the police and filed a report.  

Kathy

11 AM-1 PM shift was graciously covered by SM Kathy and Volunteers from Holy Sepulcher Parish. Thanks and God bless you all!!!

Thank you to parishioners of Holy Sepulcher Church: Sandra, Ted, Gretchen, Bob, Debbie, and Rick; and to Jim, who is not pictured.

Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

Please check back soon for an update!

Pat, 3-5 PM:

Debbie and Judy
Joe from Sts. John & Paul in Wexford with Judy
Mike, Val, and Mary
Thao and Val

I’d forgotten about the second-hand smoke, and I’d forgotten about the people from the bar next door and how sad their behavior makes me feel, and I’d even forgotten about all of the noise (all sorts of noise).  But I’d also forgotten how good it feels to be united in prayer and spirit with my brothers and sisters in Christ who see so clearly how horrible what happens inside PP really is and feel that same urge to do something about it.  
Being that the weather was agreeable, I decided to mix prayer with passing out literature.  Here’s hoping seeds were planted.  Thanks go out to sisters Debbie (St. Winifred’s) and Judy (St. Joan of Arc) who were there for the first hour and beyond.  Thanks also to Joe (Sts. John and Paul in Butler) who stopped by for a while during that first hour.  During the second hour I had Mary (St. Sylvester’s) and was able to pray a rosary with her.  I was also glad to see a couple I got to know last year, Mike and Val (St. Mark’s) who are always great to talk with.  And finally, I was honored to be able to meet Thao and get to know her a little better.  She’s from the Dallas, TX, area, but is doing a year of lay-mission work in Pittsburgh.  Bill H. also stopped by at the end.

Pat

Missy and Bill, 5-7 PM:

Bill, Mary, Mike, Valerie, Missy, and Bill E.
Bill, Mike, Thao, Valerie, Mary, Bill E.
And we can’t exclude Steve!

Busy Friday night on the sidewalk…Alot of foot traffic but no one going in to Planned Parenthood. Thank you to Mike, Valerie, Mary, Bill E., Steve and of course Thao for being there to pray. The atmosphere can be very heavy as you try to pray…I know we have all felt the heaviness. Put on the full armor of God every time you go… The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, shoes made ready with the gospel of peace, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God! ( From Ephesians 6:13-17)
Remember that we are Warriors for Jesus Christ…prayer warriors! When it’s hard to pray…pray harder! God Bless All!

Missy

Day 2: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Joseph/St. Mary/St. John parishes, and all of our other prayer volunteers!

Today’s Responsorial Psalm tells us:

The Lord takes delight in His people.
Psalm 149:4a

So, IN WHOM does He take delight?

The Lord takes delight in ALL of His people. Not only the born, not only the “privileged.” He takes delight in those with psychological difficulties, those who struggle with their weight, those who are poor, those who are post-abortive, those who are abortion workers…..

Does He always take delight in what we DO? Of course not. Like any good parent (and He is the quintessential Parent), He wants the BEST for us. and sometimes the choices we make are NOT what is best for us. But is it possible for our Heavenly Father to still delight in us nonetheless? Yep. Mostly, He simply delights in our EXISTENCE. What joy, what freedom, what glorious relief that should be for our weary souls. He loves us and delights in us because WE ARE.

Let us pray that all whom we encounter on that sidewalk may know that they are loved, simply because they exist. And may those abortion-bound couples recognize the worth and value of their children…. simply because they exist.

God help us. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, we trust in YOU.

Shift Manager Reports

Barbara:

Warm and dark morning greeted us as Diane, Peg and Eileen S. arranged our sidewalk supplies.   Lovely soft drizzle sprinkled the neighborhood for just five minutes. Together we read the Devotional for Day 2.   Busloads of commuters walked quickly by and answered our “God bless you!” with their “God bless you!” Blessings all around. Katie arrived, lovely and stocked with power bars and literature to share.  She got busy right away.   She spoke with a young woman who took her literature and shared a conversation, but then went into PP.  Sadly, young women declined our help and went into PP.  We prayed for them and their baby. Right on time, Chuck and a friend arrived.  Chuck’s friend gave me her blessing that lifted my feet above the pavement! Showing up to pray in front of PP downtown sounds like a chore if you have not done it.  Try it.  It is a blessing. Peace. -Barbara

Thank you to our wonderful team members who set up every day!!

Meredith:

It was Mary Ann’s first experience at the vigil. Katie did a good job getting literature into a lot of hands, but we didn’t get much opportunity to speak to anyone. We got help taking the photo from a student out on the sidewalk for a fire drill! Some of the kids looked at the models, but it was mostly mass confusion! It would have been difficult to get to the doors of PP while the students were there. A person from the gallery next door set their sign in the middle of the sidewalk and complained that our presence was keeping people from coming into the gallery. Beautiful morning to praise and worship God at the gates of hell!

SM Meredith, Chuck and Mary Ann from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, with Katie and Helen.

Lisa K.:

This shift started out peacefully, and ended up being a little hectic. But it was for a good reason: we were trying to save someone’s life. We don’t know the end result of the story, but Sidewalk Advocate Katie was awesome. And thank you to all of those who prayed an assisted in any way throughout that situation! May the Lord bless and guide that couple.

Thank you especially to Mike and Mary Pat from St. Vincent, who came for the first time! And Ken, who came for the second time…. and his first time, last campaign, was inspired by his seeing “Unplanned.” Thank you, Lord!!

Oh, by the way, I was also threatened with physical harm from a woman I was merely offering help to. Wow. So this issue leads people to threaten?? This is some of the awful fruit of the abortion culture? So sad. Her last words to me were, “Leave me alone.” That would have been sufficient. The threat was unnecessary.

Thank you to my Shift Buddy Fran, and to dear Helen!
Shift Manager Lisa K. and Ken. Thanks, Ken, for coming back to pray with us!
Thank you to Claire and Colleen!!
Thank you to Beth Ann, and first-timers Mary Pat and Mike!!

Cecilia (contributing on behalf of Carolyn):

What a beautiful day to share with Shift Manager, Carolyn, and members of my parish family from St Joseph and St Mary churches.  Carolyn is such a lovely lady and is from a very active church it would seem.  We were so thankful that our Priest, Father Jim, could be with us today!  He has been to other clinics before to pray, but it is his first time with us.  Father Jim, Margie and the two other couples who came for our vigil, Pam & John, and Patti & Denny, kept both sides of the sidewalk filled with prayer.  At least 4 rosaries were said, and they prayed the prayers on the back of the signs. 

We had several helpful encounters…

One young lady came out for a smoke and was willing to speak with me.  Her sister was inside.  She was glad to take the resources that we had, and wanted to talk her into keeping her baby.  Her sister has other children but is married to a not-so-nice guy.  I said that adoption would be a better option if she does not want to keep the child.  They are from New Castle so I told her about Alpha Omega Center up there.  Praying she changed her mind.

A guy stopped and said that he and his wife had a child care place but that he wanted to do something more for fathers…start a non-profit.  I told him about the National Fatherhood Initiative that TriLife Center is involved with and gave him our 40 Days resources in case he wants to hook up with some other group near him…Brentwood I think?

A young lady stopped.  She attended our rally on Tuesday and was very moved.  She is involved with the MAYA Organization in Swissvale and told me of the good work they do.  She was interested in learning more about Angel’s Place and the Guiding Star Project that we spoke about.  They are expanding / growing out of their facility and may benefit from teaming up with other organizations in the area.

We also had a man, Matthew, from the Red Rose Rescue stop by on his bicycle.  He travels the country.  How ironic it was for him to come on a day that others brought red roses to scatter and I remembered to bring my large red rose that was given to me by Elk County RTL several years back.  Unfortunately I left my rose behind but pray that it will be used for good this campaign. 

Thank you for stopping by to pray, Matthew! God bless you in your travels!
Thank you to Patti and Denny!
Shift Manager Carolyn, Fr. Jim, and Margie. Thank you all!
Thank you to Pam and first-timer John!!

Helen:

What a beautiful day! 

Matthew was the young man on his bicycle who was with the 1:00-3:00 shift and then on his knees for about an hour while the 3:00-5:00 group prayed.

The 3:00-5:00 vigil had three beautiful testimonies from women who stayed for at least ten minutes to tell their stories. First, a mother who accompanied her daughter to the abortion mill 13 years ago, and when there was a slight complication about blood work, the daughter decided against the abortion, and now there is a 13-year-old grandson keeping things lively. She’s so glad he’s around.

Second was a beautiful lady who wanted to share her dismay over the state of our land on abortion. She talked about a book she’s reading and spiritual support from Scripture.

The third lady disagreed with much of what we believe from the Bible and Catholic Church teaching, but she also talked about her past life with drugs and other lifestyles. 

Shift Buddy Anita does a beautiful job of witnessing for Christ. She talked to a lady who is trying to decide if she wants to keep her part-time job. We parted with promises of prayer and hope for God’s guidance in her life. 

It was a pleasant change of pace to see three beautiful steeds guided by Pittsburgh Police Officers. 

Our prayer time was also quitting time for many employees of PP. It was good to see they were closing the place for the day. 

-Helen

Mary M.:

This evening I was joined by Joe, Larry and Red Rose Rescue member Matthew, who had also joined the previous shift and I believe had been in front of Planned Parenthood on his knees most of the time in prayer. It was a joy and a privilege to speak with this courageous young man, who has done two stints in jail for his rescue work.

One young woman came by, curiously checking out our display, and I learned she was two months pregnant. I gave her some pregnancy help info and we enjoyed looking at the Watch Me Grow brochure. Two young men stopped by to ask us why we were there, and I was happy for the opportunity to explain our position. One of them said his girlfriend had aborted their baby years ago, and I assured him his baby is safe in Heaven. We had a good, respectful exchange.

Thank you to this group who came to pray for our last shift of the day!!
Thank you to Larry and Joe!
And thank you again to Matthew, for your prayerful presence.