DAY 33: THANK YOU to the People of God Covenant Community; Saints John and Paul Catholic Church, Franklin Park; Shift Buddies Bill D., Jim and Cathy S., Joe B., Marie P., Rose, Vince P; Carmelite nuns, Elysburg, PA; Catholic Charities

LET US PRAY TODAY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO WERE  VICTIMS OF THE SHOOTING AT THE TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE.

LET US PRAY FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES.

MAY THOSE RECOVERING  RETURN QUICKLY TO HEALTH.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

For Love is strong as Death,

longing is fierce as Sheol.

Its arrows are arrows of fire,

flames of the divine.

 Deep waters cannot quench love,

nor rivers sweep it away.

Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love,

he would be utterly despised.

SONG OF SONGS 8:6-7

40 Days for Life people are accustomed to praying together.  Shawn Carney came to Pittsburgh and  prayed with Nikki and many of us this Monday in front of PP in downtown Pittsburgh.  In their generosity, Catholic Charities let us use their resources for our reception.

In 2004, with 3 other prolife witnesses, Shawn Carney launched what became the worldwide 40 DAYS FOR LIFE.  Today he is the President/CEO of 40 Days for Life.

Shawn had parents just like the rest of us.  When you are with him you notice that he looks, walks and talks just like us.  You also notice that he talks about God.

Behind and before

you beseige me,

your hand ever laid upon me.

Too wonderful for me, this knowledge,

too high, beyond my reach. 

PSALM 139

Shawn is a walking talking example of what people are like when they let God in.

My topic today is sainthood.

What makes us holy?

Christianity from the earliest days was described

not as a religion,

not as a doctrinal program.

It was described as a way,

a path.

The walking of three basic paths;

finding the center,

knowing that you are a sinner, and

realizing that your life is not about you.

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Barron gave a keynote address at the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress, 2018, in Liverpool, reflecting on sainthood, sanctity and what makes us holy.

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Check out this clip from BLUES BROTHERS 2000.  Hollywood imagines how a person who lets God in might react to His presence.    Those assembled in God’s name in this Revival tent certainly achieve the joy factor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLvyZJZMYpw

The choir is singing “John the Revelator.” This is a traditional blues song that more or less originated with Blind Willie Johnson in 1930 and is based on the Bible.  Check here for the lyrics.

http://whiskeyclone.net/ghost/songinfo.php?songID=159

The Book of Revelation describes seven seals. 

http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=315342

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Now and then he actually succeeds,

like dynamite,

in blasting a soul into the air,

and far and wide

the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake.

Father Hans Urs von Balthasar

MAGNIFICAT October 2018

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

For as quiet as the Sunday morning vigil hours have been to this point in the campaign, today was anything but.  Diane and Tom were providing for all the day’s needs at 7 AM when we were stopped by a man who was upset over the horror that took place in Squirrel Hill yesterday and a number of other things.

Before they had even finished setting up, a second man from Texas shared several stories with us, including his past involvement in the pro-life cause.  Many other people in pain and in need stopped to ask for prayers and money throughout the morning.

Faithful Bill passed by to say a prayer.

My “shift buddy,” Vince, and I managed to keep praying between all the distractions.  I’m very grateful to him for his continued presence and strong spiritual leadership.

The vigil rolled on in a powerful way at 9:00 as Shift Manager Sue and Shift Buddy Ken were joined by a wonderful group from the People of God Covenant Community.

Vince, Shift Buddy  
Jen, Shift Manager                       Early Sunday witnesses for Life

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SUE 9-11

How wonderful it was this morning to be greeted by the spirit-filled members of the People of God Covenant Community!  They always bring such sincere and heartfelt prayer and song to the sidewalk, and today was no exception.  My faithful shift buddy, Ken, rounded out our group.

Our prayer included prayers for the Tree of Life synagogue victims and their families.

A quiet, friendly man who introduced himself as “J,” who had been walking along the sidewalk, joined us silently for much of the first hour.

I believe it was the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit that drew him in!  He said he can see both sides of the abortion argument but leans toward being pro-life.  He said he knows that the life-of-the-mother argument, due to modern medical advancements, has lost ground over the years.  I told him that I had just been talking about that subject yesterday at the vigil with Mary Pat, a nurse, who actually had brought it up.  She said that in her work she has never seen it necessary – contrarily, she said, in fact, she has personally seen babies taken very young from their mothers’ wombs for reasons concerning the health of the mother, and both the babies and the mothers survive and do well.  We encouraged J in his faith and beliefs regarding life, and Julie even invited him to the afternoon People of God prayer meeting.

I left the vigil for a few minutes in the care of Ken as I walked “D,” a homeless lady, down the street to get a coffee.  When I returned, I found out that the man who regularly walks by on Sundays pushing his clattering cart had been by.  He had told Ken that before the vigil, he had been on the fence regarding abortion but that the vigil’s presence and participants had won him over to the pro-life side.  Praise God!!

Rosanne and Rich arrived early, as always, for their shift.

Nikki, bearing flowers and a little stuffed baby doll, showed up shortly thereafter to kneel and pray.

Just after those three arrived, a young girl in a car that was stopped at the traffic light opened her sunroof and stood up.  She stated loudly that she had had an abortion and was just fine and that we had better stop standing in judgment and teaching our children that it’s wrong.  We could see she was hurting and angry.  We told her we would pray for her, and we did, then and there.  May she allow our Loving and Merciful God to heal her.

Shift Manager Sue 
Ken and People of God Community            Lighting up the sidewalk with song

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ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

What a great group of people witnessed and prayed with us today. Sundays are usually quiet and peaceful for the most part but today it would not be so.

Earlier the drive-by who yelled to us from the car would show up on the sidewalk to confront us. Without getting into all the details of the conversation, we quickly learned that no matter what we said about our pro-life views would change her mind. All she wanted to do was justify her own abortion and to have everyone else agree with her even though she professed to be open minded.

So we began to pray and refuse to engage any longer. She is in desperate need of our prayers.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.

Joe, Volunteer
Pat and Rich
Saints John and Paul, Catholic Church
Joy and Rachel
Saints Peter and Paul, Franklin Park
Panorama view
Fran
Faithful Witness for life
Jim
Sunday witness

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Kathy K. 1-3

Many prayer warriors lined both sides of the circle when I arrived.

Joy and Rachel had a confrontation before I arrived. The aftermath provided good conversation . They followed by a Rosary on one side.
Jim and I prayed on other side.
Homeless woman, Gabby, shared her abortion story with Jim and me. She was forced to have abortion in the early 70s by her mom. She forgives her mom.
Busy sidewalk.

Welcomed more prayer warriors for next shift.

Judy, Rachel and Joy

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Stay tuned for more Notes

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PRAYER OUTREACH

DEE

Carmelite nuns

Elysburg, PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!  May Jesus be in your soul and make you very holy.

And may He reward you for all the beautiful work you do for the Pro Life movement, saving the lives of the innocent unborn babies.

Know that we are praying very much for you and this intention, confiding everything to our Blessed Mother’s love.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

Your Carmelite nuns

 

 

And God saw that it was good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 32: Thanks to BELLEVUE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS all day and Individual Volunteers

 

LOOK OUT – THE ABORTION FREIGHT TRAIN IS COMING!

After a trying week on the sidewalk, I think we all need to understand that those of us in the 40 Days for Life movement are attempting to rescue lives —– from in front of a moving freight train!   

That Freight Train is the well funded, Madison Avenue Scripted, Hollywood Star -Studded, Millionaire Financed BIG BUSINESS of Abortion … It is lethal , and it moves FAST.

So… IMAGINE  you are in your car and you approach a railroad crossing gate which has descended, signalling a train is imminent.

Suddenly, you notice child playing innocently on a train track unaware of the imminent danger.

WHAT do you do?

YOU shift your car into park, unbuckle your seatbelt, open your door, and  run, yelling, to help.   You search for anyone who might be able to lend a hand, you wave your arms furiously, you call out to the child….. you do whatever you possibly can to change the the course that life appears to be on for that child.   You do your best…

Unfortunately, the odds of all ending well are against us in these situations: 

MOST TIMES we are simply not able to safely make the rescue ….  We watch as the pregnant mom enters the abortion clinic.  We are too late, too unconvincing, too outnumbered …. to succeed.

SOMETIMES we ourselves will be “injured” attempting to help.   We are mimicked, ridiculed, scorned, verbally abused  —- even as we use our powerful and peaceful commitment of PRAYER!

but…

EVERY ONCE in a great WHILE, through the Grace of God & often with the help of others,  we are successful :  We can push that child off the track — and work to embrace him and (re)unite him with those who love him.  We are able to offer REAL CHOICES to women who are abortion-minded —-natural choices that do not involve violence or death.

THIS IS a pretty MIRACULOUS outcome—  we call them SAVES!

Heaven knows it is difficult, but please continue to answer God’s call to be pro-life, and to answer His call to put yourselves in the physical path of the Abortion Freight train.   We know our work results in MIRACLES called SAVES.   I am honored to stand, and kneel with the pro-life community in Pittsburgh.

 


  WITH DEEP SYMPATHY for the FAMILIES and COMMUNITY Grieving Today … 

Before I share today’s reports, Let us all take a moment to pray for the victims of today’s violence in Squirrel Hill.  With heavy hearts we have learned of the hateful acts of a man who randomly, callously and purposefully took the lives of gentle souls united in prayer at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.  

I was within one mile of the Tree of Life Synagogue this morning.  As I pulled over in my car in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood to offer a rosary, an Orthodox Jewish man and his son walked unknowingly and peacefully past my car on the sidewalk.   

It brought the heinous reality of the massacre up close-  Every living human person is beloved by God.  May God have mercy on the souls of the departed and provide aid to the injured.  May His peace flow like a river in this city of rivers….. 


Shift Manager Reports:

Sunrise Crew welcomes God into the day

 

7-9 am Shift Manager Tim reports:    

We were blessed to have Jill and Betsy in the Choices mobile sonogram, the year round Saturday morning Sidewalk Advocates and the Bellevue Knights of Columbus. Sadly it was a busy morning at PP. Yet we prayed and God heard our prayers.   Tim B

 

Good Morning Jill and Betsy!

 

9-11 am Prayer Warriors between raindrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9-11 Shift Manager Sue Reports:

Charlie and his Knights of Columbus, along with Mary Pat, were holding down the fort when I arrived.  Shortly afterwards, as Joe K. was still there after his 7-9 shift as a Sidewalk Advocate, we noticed a couple standing in the circle in front of PP, shuffling their backpacks and bags and not particularly looking as if they were preparing to go in.  Joe, however, thought he would approach them anyway to offer them information.  Before I knew it, he was leading them across the street to the mobile ultrasound unit!!!  They entered, and all indications were that they received services there, as we did not see them exit before the mobile unit left quite some time later (although we’re certain they must have left the unit at some point due to the fact that the mobile would not drive off with them inside).  Praise God for this bright spot on an otherwise very sad morning in Pittsburgh.

Shortly after Joe led the couple to the mobile, Joan showed up to pray along with Tish, Lisa, and Bo, all from St. Patrick in Canonsburg.  Mary and Arlene from St. Maurice arrived soon afterwards, along with Rose from St. John XXIII.  They did a lot of praying.  Several couples and singles entered the clinic, unfortunately not responding to our offers of help and literature.  We prayed for each one.  At 11:07, which at that point was officially Dean’s shift, I received a text from a friend who was lunching in Squirrel Hill, telling of the horrible news and asking us to pray.  We all prayed together.   Dear Lord, please send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of this city, this country, and this earth!

Tish, Lisa, Bo, and Joan from St. Patrick in Canonsburg, with Bill H.

 

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:

Our prayers go out to all of those people effected by the killings at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill today. I saw many of the first responders en route as I passed through that area on my bus trip to 40DFL this morning. All killing effects all of us.

Knights of Columbus Bellevue and Verona

 

 

1-3 Shift Manager Billy Reports:

 

Tom and Jenny

I was shift lead today with 2 knights  of Columbus AJ and then Kurt, along with Tom  and Jenny.  Tom began reading  the passion of Jesus. I also noticed  there was  a rainbow flag around the tree with our choose life sign and what came to my mind was Noah finding mercy from God. I was thinking  we are being the merciful choice for the babies. We were accompanied by a sidewalk ad vocate. We also got visits from Mimi  and Rick who prayed the rosary for us.

I noticed  we had seen people accidentally mistake planned parenthood for another place, and also a few women were having issues with the door.   Our  side walk advocate gave a  would -be client information and that person  went on !!  Other than that we did not have any issues

.

 

3-5 Shift Manager Kathy Reports:  

Quiet rainy prayerful shift: grateful to Ken, Jim, Rick, sidewalk advocate Marian .

Prayer Warriors

Day 31:  Thank you to ECC Students for Life, St. John the Baptist Parish, Living Hope Church, Shift Buddies, and Individual Volunteers!

Lately, we’ve been acknowledging some weariness in praying for the closure of PP and wondering when God will answer.  It seems to hit us at this point in the campaign.

Shawn Carney spoke to this issue on Monday, reminding us to put all our trust in God and His plan even though we don’t know its details.  Many of the good things that have come from 40 Days for Life campaigns have taken the participants by surprise, at least in terms of timing.

By the grace of God, the Gospel readings for daily Mass this week have been very appropriate to the situation.  Taken from Chapter 12 of the book of Luke,  they contain many important lessons, including the importance of staying ready since we cannot know when things will happen.

  • Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who built enormous new barns to hold his bountiful harvest so that he could take it easy for the rest of his life, not knowing that his life would end that very night. (Lk 12: 16-21)
  • Jesus exhorts His followers to be like vigilant servants awaiting their master’s return from a wedding even though they didn’t know when he would arrive. (Lk 12: 35-38)
  • Jesus points out that a man was unable to prevent a break-in because he was unaware of the hour when a thief was coming. (Lk 12: 39-40)
  • Jesus explains what happens to a prudent steward who faithfully continues in his task even when his master is delayed, and what happens to a foolish servant who turns away from the job at hand and is then caught off guard when his master returns at an unexpected time. (Lk 12:42-48)
  • Jesus chides His listeners for figuring out when the weather will change but not realizing that their lives would soon change, too. (Lk 12: 54-56)

God knows what He is about.  He knows when PP will close.  I need humility to accept that I am not in charge of the details.  I just have to stay vigilant and keep praying until He takes me by surprise—because He will.

Come and join us on the sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh as we pray for an end to the violence of abortion and reach out to our hurting brothers and sisters.  Use this link https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/to choose a time or simply show up between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th.  (Please note that we will end the vigil at 5 PM tomorrow, Saturday 10/27.)

~Jen


Here are the reports from today’s vigil!

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Crossing the Veterans Bridge on our way into town, again we noticed the Church on Mt. Washington and the moon…both brightly beaming.  God is in His heavens.  All is right with the world.  Diane supervised and we helped arrange supplies.  Pat came to pick up the mobile supply unit.  I think that’s what he and Diane call it!  Sally and Al, our shift buddies, give us street cred.  These guys have been showing up, outside, all seasons, all over the county, for pro-life events for decades.  “I love to stand outside wearing cold wet shoes,” Al declares as his reason for their fortitude and perseverance.  Sally has reasons, but her smile says it best.  About 4 sets of young women went in looking dressed for a really bad decision.  It always feels bad.  When they repent, God will be ready.  A young woman stopped and asked me to pray with her.  Today she will quit her job.  She was not interested in advice.  Prayer is what she wanted.  People passed, nodded, thumbs up, smiles and accepted “God bless you,” with a return blessing.  Kathy came and accepted the lanyard.  Being part of 40 Days for Life challenges me to be my best self.  What a blessing.

Al, Sally, Richard praying on the not-yet daylit avenue.
Fetal models, 40 Days for Life info, Just the Facts: Pro-life praying points
Yesterday’s rose petals. On the pavement they mix with cigarette butts and tiny bits of refuse. The aborted babies’ bodies are treated as carelessly.

 

9-11 AM, Kathy:

Spent time in prayer.  Passed out “Your Biography” and yellow cards.  Many passersby accepted lit.  One man stopped and asked what I was doing.  I explained while he looked through the handout “My Biography.” He replied that he doesn’t agree with my viewpoint but will read the material.  A few negative comments but nothing unusual.  A large student life group from St Mary’s, PA arrived and filled and lit up the sidewalk.  Thank you for traveling such a distance to witness for life!

St Mary’s student life group
No water spilled on this sign 😉

 

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

Had a great group from St. Mary’s, PA and Elk County Catholic High School.  One of the mothers told me that today is 17 years to the day that Magee Women’s Hospital tried to convince her to abort her baby.  She resisted – even though they were very persistent.  During the story she was looking at her beautiful 17-year-old daughter who is alive today because of her parents’ courage.

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

Dave and I were at PP from 1 – 3 today and St. John the Baptist had people there.  It was nice because that’s our parish so we had some familiar folks with us.  In the picture is Dave with Frank.  Our friend Mary was there earlier but I completely forgot to take her picture!!  AAAHHH!

Dave and Frank

 

3-5 PM, Pat:

A few weeks ago I talked about how it was frustrating it is – but also a lesson in humility – that one can’t really pray and pass out literature at the same time.  We need to choose.  But this time, as I was trying to spend as much time on my knees praying as I reasonably could, a new thought occurred to me.  When you pray on your knees people who pass by look at you in a different way than they do when you are standing and praying.  So as I watched the people passing by look at me I realized that a powerful message was getting across to them while I was engaged in prayer.  And I think that message is as simple as this:  “Wow, those people really are serious about stopping abortion.”  And that vision won’t soon leave them either.  It becomes a seed in their mind which God can work with.  Perhaps the next time they are confronted in some way with the topic of abortion, their reaction to it will be a little different than it would have been.  Perhaps it will be a little less abstract to them.

As for my shift, I was glad to be with the good people of Living Hope Church in Whitney.  They’ve been here before and come a long way (about a 1.5 hour drive).  So thank you.  Thank you also to Walt, from St. John’s in Plum who was with me for the first hour.

And finally, a note to self and to my fellow shift managers.  While I’m betting all of us regulars have become a lot better over the years at being disciplined about not reacting to those who hurl negative remarks at us, I think it would be good for me/us to get into the habit of mentally preparing those who come to pray with us – right after we introduce ourselves – for these situations and instruct them that we do not want to engage in any way with these passersby, but simply ignore them.

 

5-6 PM, Kathy:

Thanks to mother and son, Marlane and John, from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum.
Faithful Benson also stopped by briefly to join us in a prayer.  A few folks accepted lit.  A light rain started and soon Nikki came to SM the last hour.

Marlane and John

 

6-7 PM, Nikki:

I filled in for the last hour of the vigil and was blessed to pray with Peggy from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum. It was sad to see so many women  leaving the clinic, most likely post-abortive. I couldn’t help thinking about their poor little babies being left behind. I hope that my witness  on my knees and my prayers helped show that each one of those little ones was worthy of someone’s prayers and sufferings.

Nikki and Peggy from Saint John the Baptist Parish

 

 

 

Day 30: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard (Gibsonia), and all of our Shift Buddies and prayer volunteers!!

 

40 Days for Life

 

Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
by the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 

Ephesians 3:20-21 (emphasis added)

 

The part of this passage that stands out to me today is the part with added emphasis in verse 20.  God is able to do…. anything.  What a tremendous concept.

When I look at 933 Liberty Avenue these days, I BELIEVE that God can and will close it down.

He can.  And He will.  Do we trust Him?

 

 

Shift Manager Reports

 

Nikki:

 My shift buddy Peggy and I had a very prayerful time on the sidewalk this morning! I like the early morning shift best because it is much calmer than the afternoon hours. Passersby are still half asleep, and since there is little opportunity for outreach or interaction, it lends itself perfectly to prayer. And it works out well, since I miss my normal morning prayer when I have to be on the sidewalk so early.
Peggy and I prayed on our knees facing the doors for the rosary. Then we also prayed the Saint Michael chaplet and I had the idea, which someone from Elk County had suggested to me, to live stream from a perpetual adoration chapel. So, Peggy and I prayed on our knees the Divine Mercy chaplet and the St. Michael Chaplet while looking at Jesus exposed in the monstrance. It was just like being in an adoration chapel! Looking at Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was so comforting and calming, I could sense his presence there on the sidewalk with us. I am going to have to remember to do this more often when I am there!
It was wonderful to see the saints from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene arrive for the 9 to 11 shift. I am so grateful for all of them! God bless everyone who is praying and fasting and being a witness to life!
Shift Buddy Peggy and Shift Manager Nikki– THANK YOU!!

 

Nikki and Peggy’s makeshift “adoration chapel.”

 

The “prayer posse” from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, along with Sidewalk Advocate Katie (left)

 

Judy:

Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene was represented by Pastor Joe and Judy, Meredith, Jessie and Chuck. Katie joined us…and provided colorful chalk messages on the sidewalks.

Before we arrived for our shift, a number of the staff from PP came out carrying things for some sort of event. There were still some more staff leaving the building and heading in the same direction as we arrived. There were no abortions…or any other services at PP today. So there was much praying going on.

One staff member came out to cross the street and had to wait beside Katie and me before crossing. Katie approached her and offered material, and I told her that I was praying for God to find her a job that doesn’t kill babies…but she just ignored us.

Here’s my funny story. About the middle of my shift, I was kneeling in front of PP praying for a while. As I finished praying and looked up a young man was coming out of PP, I got his attention and he came over to me and I was offering him the resource card (which he took) and explaining the abortion business going on at PP. He seemed very interested in everything I was saying, and then he said, “I’m just reading the meters.” He was the meter reader!!!!! (haha, that’s what happens when your eyes are shut…I didn’t see him reading all the meters before he went in to PP). But then he told me the story of his cousin who had had two devastating miscarriages and she just found out that she is pregnant again. He was clearly very excited about it. So I was able to rejoice with him and pray a blessing over his cousin. He definitely valued life and it turned out to be a positive experience.

Toward the end of our shift, two staff came out of the building with glasses of water and put it on Katie’s chalk words in front of the building and erased as much of the words as they could with their feet. I told them “God bless you and God loves you.” Katie and Jessie quickly grabbed the chalk and put the words right back!

I praise God that no babies lost their lives here today!!!

Thank you, Meredith and Pastor Joe!!

 

Thank you, Katie, for your sidewalk chalk creations! They are meaningful and helpful.

 

 

Thank you to Katie and Jessie for re-writing this message of truth and inspiration!!

 

Lisa K:

I am so thankful for the lovely group of people who prayed with me today.  A former Shift Manager, Marilyn, came with a group from St. Richard’s, and it was wonderful to see her again!  And thank you to Cheryl and Margie who joined her.  Thank you also to Bob, who comes so regularly, as well as Mike and his wife, who happened to be downtown for another reason, but wanted to stop by and join us for a time of prayer.

I am especially thankful for the blessings of these dear people, and those who came for the shift following mine, because today there seemed to be a lot of negativity from passersby.  I would never respond with negativity in return, but it does make me sincerely wonder WHY people have to be so mean.  Why can’t they simply disagree with us, and move on with their lives?  I suppose too many of them have been hurt by abortion themselves.  God help them.

 

One of the negative things that occurred before I arrived: PP workers grinding the memorial roses into the ground with their feet. These rose petals made me think of drops of blood that are shed by the millions in that building.

 

Bonnie and Mike, thank you so much for stopping by!!! It was beautiful to pray the rosary with you!!

 

Helen:

Shift Buddy Anita came with Barbara and Connie from St. Paul in Butler and Cathy from St. Mary. Our ever-faithful Benson took his place near the fetal models for a sunny but chilly afternoon. This group never stopped praying for the two hours of the downtown “going home” shift.

A group of about six young women went into PP. We don’t know why. We can hope they were curious enough about our presence to ask a lot of questions.

Dear M. braved the traffic at this crossing, and she made a cushion of the kneeling pads while she prayed.

As we got close to the end of our final rosary, a young couple stopped to look at the fetal models. I walked over and said, “You’re looking at a version of your former self.” The lady smiled. The young man smiled, too, and said, “It’s good these are here. I survived an abortion.” As I gasped and told him how wonderful it was to hear that news, he said, “Yes. That’s why it’s good that you are here to pray.”

As we blessed ourselves, everyone wanted to know what the young man said to me.

And that beautiful news from him is what makes every person, every prayer, every moment of 40 Days for Life the most precious time we can spend in downtown Pittsburgh.

A few minutes before 5:00, Bill arrived in response to the call for a Shift Buddy. Charlie and his bride came at that time, too. Thanks be to God.

 

Thank you to this wonderful group of prayer warriors, including Shift Buddy Anita (in the 40 Days for Life shirt)!!

 

The 3-5pm group praying the rosary. Thank you all!!

Charlie:

 

Quiet night.  My wife, Any, was with me, along with Bill.  A few people were a bit negative but all and all good night.  Just stood and witnessed.  Thanks to all from St. Bernadette’s.
Any and Bill

 

 

I look forward to seeing how God will work. 

And I can’t wait to see this sign on that door:

 

 

 

Day 29…Thanks to Guardians for Life, St. Paul Cathedral and many dedicated individuals!

Tomorrow is day 30.  We are now three-fourths through our 40 Days for Life vigil.  Ten days ago, when we hit the half-way mark, I said to my husband, “Wow, I can’t believe it is already half over…it has gone so fast!”  Now, on day 29, I have changed my mind.  September 26th seems like an eternity ago, and another 10 days seems like it may as well be a year.

This is when the exhaustion sets in.

I shouldn’t feel discouraged.  God has blessed our efforts during these 29 days. There has been good participation at the vigil, and our team has been united and joyful!  We have seen three women choose life at the last minute, after seeing our prayerful witness at Planned Parenthood, and we have found out about another two babies that are alive today because their mothers saw our witness during past campaigns!  So, why am I struggling?  I think it is a spiritual struggle that is going on.  Discouragement is Satan’s most effective weapon and he uses it well against us.

If you are feeling tired as well, if you are wanting to retreat from the battle to end abortion…I would simply like to use this blog post to exhort you to pray more.  We really need to increase our reliance on the supernatural power of God if we are going to be able to persevere.  God knew what He was doing when He came up with 40 Days for Life. By putting prayer first…by relying TOTALLY on GOD to end abortion…and by limiting the campaigns to a 40 day time frame, (thereby giving us periods to rest in between)…we are able to continue this fight without burning out or giving up.

Getting into the disciplined routine of daily prayer is VITAL to our spiritual strength.  We simply MUST have a daily prayer life if we are going to be able to endure and continue to be effective in this battle. 

Good intentions only go so far.  Loving God and hating abortion is not enough.  If we try to rush into the battle unprepared…

We will be crushed.

God wants to use us to save lives and draw lost souls back to Himself.  But we need to be strong in HIM in order for him to use us!  We need to be GOD STRONG!  Daily prayer, fasting and offering our sufferings for his purpose will make us fit instruments in his hands.  

When we are spiritually strong, God will use us to save the weak.

I intended to write this blog to exhort those of you who are feeling tired…but I think I wrote it mainly to encourage myself.

If you have not already committed to a regular prayer time each day, please begin now.  If you are not fasting on a regular basis, please try to incorporate some sort of sacrifice into your eating habits if possible.  If you have avoided coming to the vigil at Planned Parenthood to pray, please ask God to give you the courage and the selflessness to come.  

We need you.  The babies need you, and their families need you.

Now for today’s sidewalk stories…


Charlene wrote from the 7-9 am shift:

Today was such a peaceful, prayerful day. Oh, we had some negatives and it was chilly, but that did not break our mood. Peg and I started with today’s devotional, blessing PP (that everyone who enters leaves), rosaries (Peg on her knees). We were joined by Bill who does a great job greeting people and handing out literature. I noticed that Katie’s chalk message gets more attention than the sign in PP’s window. I brought chalk to freshen up the message and left some in the trunk and some in the traveling case if you are so inclined to do the same! Prayers that your shift is as peaceful and prayerful as today.

Knees on the ground…Peg in prayer this morning

Cathy had the 9-11 am shift and wrote:

It was a quiet shift.  It was a privilege to pray with Barbara, Molly and Colleen from Sts. Anne, Bernard and Winifred parishes.  I was able to share a few “Everyone’s Biography” with a resource card inside.  (These are good for leaving on the bus and in public bathrooms, etc.)

Barbara and Richard filled in for the 11-1 shift and wrote:

The sidewalk was already full as Cathy handed over the shift manager lanyard. Three women from Mount Lebanon Rosary Group were just about to leave.  Guardians for Life arrived one by one, and then more from their group, and then Father Tim.

For almost two hours, they filled the sidewalk with prayer and hymns.  We had a dozen red roses. People were invited to take one and lay it on the sidewalk in front of PP.   The roses represent the babies whose lives are taken by abortion at Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood.  

The chilly air warmed and I think the sun came out.   A Clean Water Group marched down our sidewalk, about 150 people. 

“This was organized by native Americans who came from many states,” said Carol.”I am against abortion, capital punishment and for all life issues.”  Drums accompanied the marchers.  Most of them smiled as they passed. “Clean water is a prolife issue,” they said.

Bob from St. Mary in Kittanning arrived just as we were about to leave.  “I come down when I can,” he said.  “My friends and I are scheduled for the last day of the Fall 40 Days.”

Chris came and Richard and I bade him farewell.

Changing of the guard, shift managers Barbara and Richard, with shift manager Chris and prayer volunteers Bob and Eileen

Chris wrote from the 1-3 pm shift:

When I arrived to relieve Barbara and Richard, I joined two prayer warriors, Eileen and Bob.   Eileen told me she ran a San Diego pregnancy center in the 1980s.  Toward the end of my shift, Geri, a born-again Christian, stopped by and said she’d like to volunteer at a pregnancy center.  Eileen wrote down the address for the Women’s Choice Network location on the Northside.  A man stopped by to thank us for being there, saying he had been adopted in 1961and my friend, Alex, stopped to say a prayer with us.  There was very little traffic in and out of PP, maybe six people over the two hours.  On this cold and blustery day I didn’t hear any negative comments. 

Eileen

Jeannie was the birthday-girl shift manager from 3-5 pm:

It’s my birthday and I’m here praying for others to have their birthdays too
Rose petals on the sidewalk…

It was not an uneventful day down at Planned Parenthood this afternoon. I would definitely say that our presence , including the flowers and the chalking on the street, is definitely “getting to “ those who oppose us. We had three incidents of  Pro PP people lashing out at us. Many many more were supportive of what we were doing, and when one guy acted out a couple of others said “you’re doing the right thing”.  One young woman personified every mistaken pro abortion argument: “don’t you want women to be safe ?” she asked us. We explained that women weren’t safe in abortion. “What if the baby is not going to live? “ We explain that babies who are dying do not have to be killed. “ it’s just a clump of cells” she said, But when we pointed out the 12 week  model as typical for a surgical abortion she said “no abortions are done at that time”. Her final argument was that some unborn children are actually killing their mothers and need to be aborted.  !!!!  I explained that we do not need to help a dying child die.  An employee of Planned Parenthood came out after her shift and actually poured water on to Katie’s  chalked sidewalk and message and took paper towels and tried to rub it off.  I took the opportunity while she was cleaning to talk about how I knew she was doing what she thought was right but there were other ways to help women…. Another young man purposefully stepped on one of our roses  And Wal-la when the rose became a collection of petals they filled the bumper zone. The Planned Parenthood workers had to come out walking over a bed of rose petals. How ironic as it is the symbol of the pro-life movement!  I was joined by Regis and Mary and Sarah from Saint Paul’s Cathedral and my lovely sister Claire from Saint Bernards. We were a hearty prayerful group, and it was good to be there witnessing for the unborn.

Claire, Mary, Regis and Sara

 

 

 

 

Regis and Claire, beautiful witness to life!

Joe K. wrote from the 5-7…

Wooo,…, Sooie!!!  What a ride for today’s shift – should’ve known that it was a full-moon tonight (the Hunter’s Moon)…

Started the shift greeting / serenading the birthday girl – Jeannie and was informed that it was an “interesting” afternoon.  But, little did I know that I would see it first hand…

Jeannie tried to educate a young woman with the truth who had been past the vigil a couple of times, but this time finally stopped to “talk”…  but the Kung-Fu in this young woman lept out as she sprang into action to show off her “skills”… … …

It was beautiful how Jeannie tried to reason with this person, but ugliness within in this young woman tried to rule the day – though we know the light always wins!!! 

Interesting how the roses that Jeannie had spread around that got kicked and stomped on through the day ended-up beautifully showering the entire area with rose petals – remember, the light always triumphs…

Also spread out through the area were the signs that had the baby pictures on them – Claire, Jeannie’s sister, explained that a lot of people walk past the vigil and just look down – brilliant!!!

Blessed and honored to have a full-shift of vigil attendee’s – Trusty Benson and Audrey joined Mary Jane, Regis, and Lynda for all / portions of the shift – Thanks all of “yinz”!!!

Saw a former co-worker, Bill, that stopped by to say hello / offer support.

A weekend escort of 933 Liberty walked into the building with her significant other and child…but not before tramping on a rose and looking back at me in delight – I just smiled…  The Bert Sommer (Woodstock) song Smile comes to mind:…

Smile and the world smiles with you
Smile all the love is in your hand…

Yes, my brothers and sisters it is in all in our hands how we handle the good, the bad, and even unfortunately, the ugly…The significant other, came through later and stepped on one of the baby pictures.

Please pray EXTRA for this family…

Faithful Tom packed us up for the night, but we shall persevere / return!!!

Day 28: Thank you: Clarks Mills United Methodist Church; St. Joseph (Cabot); St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg)

Thank you Shawn Carney, founder, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life for visiting our vigil last night!

Pastor Joe led us in prayer during the last hour of Mondays vigil, from 6pm-7pm and said that Grace will end abortion.

We had a reception at Catholic Charities where Shawn inspired us with excerpts from his book which included stories of babies saved, abortion facilities closed and conversion of abortionists! The stories show the Power of Prayer and that we must trust in the love, truth and mercy of Christ. Our true enemy is evil and sin…and we get to go out there and offer Hope!

Shawn talked about how the location being downtown  gives our time more power because people are walking by and accessible. Abortion survives on busyness and distractions, but we are a reminder of what is going on and they will remember that impact. Although it is harder to see results from a downtown vigil, we are standing for our Lord and we are not alone. One guarantee is we have solidarity with the babies who are losing their lives.

Nikki mentioned how this is the 17th campaign that has occured at Planned Parenthood and is requesting for all of us to fast however you can on the last day, beginning at 7pm on Saturday, 11/3 and ending at our closing rally at 7pm on 11/4!

Let’s finish strong!!!

Pastor Joe and team members prayed over Shawn and then Nikki and Jeanne presented him with a Pittsburgh gift! It was a blessed night, God is good!

 

7-9: Charlene and Dick

Dick and I were met on the sidewalk by Pat and two distinct signs…the signs seemed to me to represent the clash we witness everyday on the sidewalk…light and darkness…thank you Katie for providing the light!
A Tale of Two Cultures
We were joined by Pastor Adam, Sally and Al…3 other bright lights. We were speaking about the closing of Planned Parenthood and Pastor Adam said that he believes the devil has a tight hold on PP and he works on us thru the “3Ds”…”Doubt, Deception,Discouragement”…that sounded pretty true for me. Pastor Adam also reminded us that God is more powerful and when the Lord is ready, the Holy Spirit will prevail and down will fall PP. When in doubt…think of that!    Thank you, Pastor Adam.        Charlene

9-11: Beth

Today it was “Good Morning” to most, “good mourning.” to some. Ed, Adam, Mary Ann, Beth Ann, Teresa and I followed Shawn Carney’s advice, we stood in solidarity with the babies that lost their lives today at Planned Parenthood. Busy day, but we were there praying for miracles to happen. Please pray for a family, whose father brought his daughter to PP. He argued his case for the abortion, but Adam said he noticed the woman before and she looked like she was not running to somewhere but running from somewhere. Would abortion un-rape her or would an abortion seem like a second rape? Horrible situation, beautiful baby lost. We’ll keep praying; it’s our first resort.

11-1: Nancy

Cecelia and her group from St. Joe’s in Cabot

Patti and Joyce with Nancy in the background

1-3: Nikki

When I arrived on the sidewalk at 1 o’clock, I found Cecilia, Joyce and and a third faithful member from Saint Joe’s in Cabot who I am sorry I do not remember her name, all three were fervently praying on their knees facing the doors of Planned Parenthood. There was a fierce a spiritual battle going on today at Planned Parenthood. A young man was trying to talk his sister out of having the abortion. He said she was distressed and was crying and was not sure of what to do. He took all of the information they gave him and gave it to her. We all prayed that she would come out, but sadly she never did. As I was praying on my knees in the crosswalk, I was holding some of the roses that Barbara brought to our event for Shawn Carney last night. A young man was headed in the doors and I offered him a rose to give to his girlfriend, who was in there already. He took the rose and must have given it to her because when he left later on he did not have it. A third battle was being fought as a grandfather stood outside for a long time, as his daughter was inside for an abortion. She had received the information from Cecilia, but chose to go ahead with the abortion anyway. We do not know if any lives were saved today, but we do know that those who lost their lives, did not lose them alone. We were there as a witness to the amazing value of their lives, and we were praying for them and for their families.

Much prayer on the sidewalk during the one to 3 shift
Kim and her faithful group from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg

I was joined with the very faithful and dedicated group of prayer warriors from St. Ann in Waynesburg, led by the very dedicated Kim. She prayed on her knees for much of their shift, and their prayers were unceasing. At one point while Cecilia and her group were still there, a man stopped to pray for us. I really felt the Holy Spirit with us as he prayed for our protection and for help for us and for abortion to end. When he finished praying, we asked if we could also pray for him, which we did. One young woman stopped because of the baby model set and debated in a reasonable tone with me. It was a hard shift, but that is what it is to be God‘s instrument in this difficult and discouraging battle. Thank you to everyone who came and prayed today!

3-5: Michael

Sunny and cool today. I appreciated being with an outstanding group of folks from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg. See their picture on Nikki’s 1-3 shift. They travel to Pittsburgh every 40 DFL Campaign to give their time to pray and witness for the Lord and His babies. We were all once His babies and now we are His children and servants. It was very peaceful today and I could feel and sense onlookers’ support and wonder at our presence. People don’t have to say a word, but their body language speaks volumes. This is my last day at PP for this campaign as we are leaving to visit our son and grandchildren in
Florida. I will keep 40 DFL in my thoughts and prayers.

5-7: Lisa

Very grateful to Mike for staying a little longer tonight as the traffic getting into downtown delayed my arrival.  Thanks also to Mike for having his phone to take our photo for the evening.  Benson stayed on a little longer than usual this evening.  I know that young man is really making God happy with his conviction to this campaign and so many are in awe of his very rare dedication for a young person.  Benson you are an inspiration!
We had a couple walk by slowly and then walk back to us inquiring about what we were doing.
Ron and Marie were in town visiting Pittsburgh before going to a wedding in central PA.  They are celebrating their own wedding anniversary and we helped them with directions to some points of interest.   They live in Detroit, Michigan.  Marie took pleasure in and pictures of the fetal models.  They were happy to join us as we completed our recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  A Blessed Evening with my prayer partners, Johanna and Denise.
Lisa

 

Day 27: North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church and Holy Apostles Parish

Predicting Success

We will succeed for two reasons…

I recently heard a psychologist speak on “Predicting Success”. She studied West Point Cadets and spelling bee contestants among other groups. She ruled out education, test scores and family income as predictors of success. Rather she said the single biggest factor for success is having the quality of “GRIT”.

Yep, she said GRIT and defined it as having a passion for something and the perseverance to overcome setbacks and failures to achieve that passion.

Hum I thought, We have GRIT. We have the passion and perseverance to end abortion with our prayers, fasting and witness in good weather and bad. I have seen it in the faces of prayers warriors and the actions of those humble enough to kneel in prayer outside the abortion center.

Plus we God on our side. So sooner or later, we will win the battle to change hearts and minds and end abortion. Not by our efforts but by the power of God. Our prayers, fasting and peaceful vigil will access God’s power to change hearts and minds and change this culture of death to a culture of life thus bringing and end to abortion.  Our GRIT + God’s power = We Succeed!

God bless you and fill you with GRIT. Tim B.

Thanks today for the faithful from North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church and Holy Apostles Parish. Below are stories from today at the vigil including the visit by Shawn Carney, Worldwide President and CEO of 40 Days For Life.  Check back throughout the day as stories and pictures come in.

7-9 am:

I was greeted again this morning by Diane and my shift buddy Rose…we took a selfie since I won’t be here next Monday and this is our last shift together. Pictured are some members of North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church: Bill, Sam, Charles, Jerry and Kevin who showed up promptly. They put on their signs and stood in front of the door and on the opposite side of the circle to witness. Rose and I prayed on the other side, so it was nice to have the place surrounded with prayers this morning! There was the usual traffic and regulars passing by. We kind of have a routine down with praying and Rose handing out literature! She is super joyful and talked about St John Paul the II feast day today and how he always said “Be not afraid” and that we are called to be hopeful! A handful of workers went into the building. NH Reformed Presbyterian Church pastor Derrick came towards the end of my shift as some other members had to go. It was a good morning! Thanks, Sue

9-11 am:

Thank you to Charles, Derryck, Matthew & Katrina from Reformed Presbyterian Church of the North Hills that came and prayed today. We prayed quietly and handed out quite a few cards. Derryck and Charles sang one of the Psalms and it was beautiful!

God was clearly working today when he sent “K”. “K” came up and started talking to Charles and Derrick and was asking if PP was closed today which she said she saw on their website but she came by anyway. She is pregnant and wanted to get an ultrasound to see how far along she was. She is having a lot of pressure from her mom and boyfriend to abort. Charles and Derryck ministered to her and then we all prayed for her before Charles drove her to Women’s Choice Network in Oakland. Please continue to pray for “K”.

After Charles left we had an interesting situation, a woman walked up to us and asked if we wanted to see her mark of the beast??? We were caught off guard by it but prayed for her afterwards. Thank you to Karen from St. Phillips who joined us and prayed the rosary quietly and Rosemary from Holy Apostles with her beautiful sign. Thank you Lord for your faithful servants who pray to save the most vulnerable among us! Donna G.

From Ginny 11-1 pm:

Rose was with me all morning praying. 

Jeff stopped by on his lunch hour to pray
One man stopped at the light kept yelling out the window for us to get a job. He also gave us a nasty gesture. We just remained quiet and prayed for him. But there were many others who thank us for being there.

From Beth S. 1-3 pm:

Please pray for the woman who has a friend that had an abortion. When the woman was told, she was so deeply saddened that she stopped on her lunch hour to talk with us at 40 Days. Abortion affects so many people. The woman now knows about Project Rachel and she’ll pass the information on to her friend.
Rose, Donna, and Mary Ann from Holy Apostles kept the prayer going. And after speaking with such a heart-broken woman, one can see why prayer is so necessary for what we do.

DAY 26: THANK YOU; CMU Newman Club, Pittsburgh Oratory; Assumption Church, Bellevue; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him,

upon those who count on his mercy,

to deliver their soul from death,

and to keep them alive through famine.

Psalm 33

___________________________________

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God

who is sending a love letter to the world.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.

What we need is to love without getting tired.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

ADOPTION

THE CHOICE THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN LIVE WITH

They were orphaned, lost, and alone.

Yet a generation of World War II Polish child refugees

found a new life and happiness in distant New Zealand.

Three septuagenarians smiled and told me of the tragedy they had lived through as children.  All three were born in eastern Poland, and were arrested and deported, along with hundreds of thousands of other Poles, after the Soviet invasion in 1939. Soviet soldiers and police packed their families into boxcars and exiled them to Siberia or central Asia, where many died of illness or starvation. Only in 1942, after Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, were survivors released.  But some of their children were already orphans, having lost their parents to hunger or disease. An international appeal went out.

A number of countries offered shelter. Thanks to the efforts of Countess Maria Wodzicka, the wife of the Polish Consul in Wellington, and the New Zealand Prime Minister and his wife, New Zealand invited 800 Poles for the duration of the war. Because of the political situation in Poland after 1945, they were accepted for permanent settlement in New Zealand.

The refugee orphans made a harrowing journey from Poland through Russia and Iran, to reach New Zealand on October 31, 1944. Of this group, 734 were orphaned children. The remainder were their caregivers.

Mrs. Krystyna Skwarko was a schoolteacher in Poland. First her husband, and then she and their two children were arrested and deported to Siberia when the Russians overran Poland.   Later, Mrs. Skwarko helped to care for the children on the voyage in an American troopship. She was one of the people who nurtured the refugees and guided their education at the Polish Children’s Camp at Pahiatua.  After her death, Mrs. Skwarko was buried in Canberra, next to her husband.

Like all the other Polish refugee children, I was very excited. 

Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who had invited us to New Zealand,

came aboard the ship.

There were speeches and we were given sweets by kind ladies,

and then we were taken in the train to our camp at Pahīatua.

Hundreds of New Zealanders met them at the port.  More people lined the roads and waved as the train carried the orphans through the countryside to a refugee camp created for them in Pahiatua.

In Pahīatua we got into a routine where we knew

we were going to get three square meals a day

and anything we wanted.

Then we then started really recuperating.

 In my opinion the most interesting chapters are the final ones, where we learn that the social work in the Polish community was gradually taken over by the capable young hands of the former children of the Pahiatua Camp. Many of them achieved high educational qualifications and are now holding responsible positions. But whether they’re in professions, working as tradesmen, office workers or mothers dedicated to the task of bringing up the new generation, all of them are contributing to the development of New Zealand’s economy and culture.

Marian Szczepanowski
Chairman of the Polish Historical Society in Australia

___________________________________

Watch the children.  They tell you their story in this 18 minute film. “New Zealand National Film Unit presents Story of 700 Polish Children,” (1966).      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NO3FC2NB0o

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_hive/2013/05/pahiatua_s_polish_world_war_ii_refugees_a_group_of_young_poles_made_a_new.html

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/video/pahiatuas-little-poland-roadside-stories

http://www.polishheritage.co.nz/theinvited/publishersnote.html

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

 JEN M. 7-9

A very quiet and cold morning on the sidewalk gave my “shift buddy” Vince, and I the opportunity to pray and reflect on Scripture.  So grateful to him for being there and for his spiritual leadership!

We were blessed to see Bill when he stopped to pray, and left the vigil in good hands when Sue and Ken came to take over.  I’m sorry that I forgot to take any pictures.

I’d also like to thank all who encouraged me to try kneeling in prayer…we did so as we meditated on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary.  It’s amazing how powerful the experience becomes when body and mind are united.  Being down on the sidewalk added a sense of urgency, a stronger awareness of how desperately the horror that happens inside that building needs to stop.

May God have mercy on us all, and may He use us to end abortion NOW.

___________________________________

SUE Mc 9-11

For the second year in a row I’ve been honored to have one of my 40 Days shifts fall on my birthday.  What better way to spend a birthday than praying for LIFE?!  Yesterday morning on my shift I met a lovely sister, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who said her own birthday had been a few days before and that was one of the reasons she was there praying.  She inspired me to make this become my own new tradition.

With all the Pittsburgh sports teams on bye this week, it was a very quiet morning on the sidewalk.  Ken, my shift buddy, was with me and we prayed a lot.  With his deep faith and devotion, he has been such an inspiring shift buddy to me during this campaign.  He pointed out that the markings that the bar next door to PP has on their door for Halloween look like something satanic.  I agreed, but whether their intent is just seasonal or something deeper, we both agreed that they have no power over any of us.

The lovely “R” family showed up for a bit to pray.  “R” stands for Real and Refreshing, and indeed, they are!

The passersby this morning were mostly quiet, but as I was leaving, to be succeeded by Roseann & Rich, a woman walked by and said “I am a [insert certain Christian denomination], and you are all #*%! insane!”  We held our tongues, and we prayed for the woman after she passed, that her heart would be softened and that she would realize and accept her own church’s true teachings and the beauty of human life.

Lovely “R” Family
Real and Refreshing !!

 

___________________________________

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

Today was the day to get out those winter coats, hats and gloves and if you did not, you would soon regret it.

It was nice to have Pat (a faithful participant at 40 days), Victoria and Nora from CMU Newman Club to witness and pray with us.

We had a young man, Jim, who lives in the neighborhood stop by and offer some prayers to end abortion. He stops by occasionally but today was the first time we had the pleasure of meeting him.

A young woman, obviously disturbed we were there, kicked our flowers and little stuffed animal because she said they were not to be over the yellow line.

Another woman professed her Christianity and then had a few choice words for us and told us we were crazy.

There is always someone who does not like our message. Hopefully someday it will not be so.
Jesus and Mary, I love you.  Save souls.

Pat, faithful participant and
Victoria and Nora from CMU Newman Club

___________________________________

RICK 1-3

The 1-3 PM Shift on Sunday, Oct. 21st was prayerful and peaceful.  Special thanks to Dan, Luisa, Anna and Mary from Assumption Church in Bellevue for their prayers and witness for Life during the entire 2 hour shift.

 A man passing by requested and was given information to give to his niece, “A”, who was considering having an abortion.  Please pray for “A” that she chooses life for her unborn child.

Thanks and God Bless!

___________________________________

JOE W. 5-7

Big thanks to Marge, Cathy, Jim and especially Nadine for keeping me company during my shift.

We are blessed to have the opportunity to participate in this grace filled movement.

God is so good!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And God saw that it was good.

___________________________________

Day 25: Thanks to Guardians for Life, Holy Child (Bridgeville), St. John & Good Samaritan in Ambridge, and others

“KIDS TODAY!” — SHEESH

It is true that  pro-life activism and in particular, 40 Days for Life does not lend itself easily into the lives of young adults.  They are busy with school and  school activities, sports, arts, jobs and job pursuits.  BUT just because we do not see scores of young people at the 40 Days for Life Vigil, make NO MISTAKE about their ability to carry the pro-life message forward.  They are the FUTURE of this critical movement.  And… “KIDS TODAY” are actually doing some really great things:

For those of you who don’t know it yet, Pittsburgh is home to the very vibrant and effective  REHUMANIZE INTERNATIONAL organization, founded by our very own CMU-educated Aimee B. Murphy, who has long joined us on the sidewalk.   From their mission statement:    …. We work to ensure that each and every human being’s life is respected, valued, and protected.  As such, we oppose all forms of aggressive violence, including but not limited to:   abortion, unjust war, capital

… from the ReHumanize International Website. Lots more edgy graphics are available for download

punishment, euthanasia, torture, embryonic stem cell research, assis

PRO -LIFE Duquesne University Students

ted suicide, abuse, human trafficking, police brutality, etc…  

I recently attended the annual REHUMANIZE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE held at Duquesne University and hosted by  the Duquesne University CEL- Consistent Ethic of Life  Club.

I heard there that EVERYONE matters – every human being– yes, the guy with mental issues, the senior with Alzheimer’s , the baby conceived in date rape, the prisoner being mistreated by guards or cellmates, the wheelchair bound young woman who relies on intermittent oxygen for life….EVERYBODY matters!

 

One of the most moving parts of the conference was the ARTS component– several young people entered visual art entries on the theme of respeoct for human life.. it was

So whenever you worry that the next generation is not “getting it” over abortion, YOU are getting it WRONG!!!

 

Shift Reports from today:

Irene and Terri– Guardians for Life!

Shift notes from Tim 7-9 am:

Guardians for Life takes it to the street!

Thanks to the Guardians for Life, including long time prayer warrior Irene, who made a strong presence with a witness, prayers and songs. Several couples went into pp but thankfully, a few of them accepted literature .   Thank you so much Pat M. and Kathy L. for giving up part of your Saturday to stand and pray with me today.

When I arrived there were lot of young women going in and out of P.P. I couldn’t tell if they were conducting some sort of training session…One young woman waited until she was ready to cross the street and hurriedly kicked at our 40DFL sign, knocking it on it’s side. (down,  but not out)  —-dedicated Sidewalk Advocates Virginia, Joe, David and Terri. Let’s hope we planted a few seeds. 

 

 

Shift Notes from Susan, 9-11:

 

Knights of Columbus continues an AWESOME commitment to the unborn!

This morning presented yet more evidence that the 40 Days folks are truly family.  This morning, I slept in for the first time in I cannot remember how long.  Something went wrong with my alarm, and for some reason my body didn’t wake itself up like it usually does despite the alarm working or not working.  I woke up less than 10 minutes before the start time of my shift!  Appalled at myself and embarrassed, I called Tim, and he just chuckled and said not to worry.  I arrived to find Joe K. covering for me.  God bless these men!!!  

When I finally arrived, the Guardians for Life were just packing it in for the morning, and I was joined by Tina and Brigitte, two lovely prayer warriors who had made the trip all the way from St. Clairsville, Ohio.  There were a lot of people entering PP today, both for services and for what we could tell was some kind of training session, making for a heart-rending morning.  We reached out to all of them, with very little response.  One passerby, a pretty, statuesque young woman, made it a point to pose right next to the window bearing the Planned Parenthood logo to have her companion take her photo while saying what a good organization PP is.  Most of the folks we were able to hand literature to were passersby, not even going to PP.  Judy, my SA partner, was able to get several brochures, including one for Rachel’s Vineyard, into the hands of a grandmother who had come out to the sidewalk to have a smoke while her daughter was inside having an abortion.  She said she herself has six children.  We prayed for her.  We got a lot of prayer in this morning, thanks to Tina and Brigitte, who knelt to pray for a good portion of the time.  There was a lot to pray about.

Notes from Dean, 11-1 shift :

Thank you so much Pat M. and Kathy L. for giving up part of your Saturday to stand and pray with me today.
When I arrived there were a lot of young women going in and out of P.P.    I couldn’t tell if they were conducting some sort of training session, or what was going on. One young woman waited until she was ready to cross the street and hurriedly kicked at our 40DFL sign, knocking it on it’s side.   (down,  but not out   😉 )  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from Kathy, 3-5 shift :

Prayer Warriors Christine, Beverly, Mindy and Joe

Beverly and Minda from Good Samaritan in Ambridge prayed on one side of circle as I prayed on other side. We prayed together as we were joined by first timer Christine from Zion Christian in Carrick. 
Christine brought a poem she had written:”When you were born!”
We were grateful that she shared it and prayed with us. Gave her 40 Days brochure to share at her church. 
Shared diaper info with 2 moms-to-be:  First one greeted us by pulling up her coat and rubbing her belly. “I am having my baby ,” she beamed.  She is due in February. 
Second one.:   “I am due any day,”she glowed. Penelope will be her name.
Both were glad we were there. Many positive comments. 

 

 

Notes from Billy:

Good afternoon I was with Holy Child – St. Barbara Parrish in Bridgeville today. 
We had a huge turn out today of pro-lifers which was incredible, I got to meet some lovely people.
There was a Terese, there was a Nancy and Bill, Audrey, Vince, and Shelly just to name a few, and we prayed, we discussed  about the Gosnell movie —– if you haven’t seen it you have to!  It  will be playing until Tuesday now to my knowledge. It was humbling, and reinforced to me why I am down here with you all ——  we are here to fight for babies and their right to be born!  We are fighting for babies not blobs, but  actual babies.  We had a passerby watch us as we were reading from stations of the cross, and two pro-life girls walking by us that encouraged us as well.  A couple people went in and out of Planned Parenthood, and this week the door was open but we didn’t have a lot of issues today! It was a good day!

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

Humility: 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.


Humility: 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.


Humility: 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.  When discerning whether or not to bring children with you, please be aware that there are passers-by who engage in varying degrees of aggressive behavior.

~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

 

9-11 AM, Kathy:

When I arrived, Nikki and the group from St. Thomas Moore and a family of homeschoolers were receiving the rant from a woman stating her opinion as to why they shouldn’t be there on the sidewalk. As she left, she yelled, “…and Kavanaugh is going to overturn Roe vs Wade!”  We hope he and the other justices do soon, but remember this woman, and others like her, in your prayers.

Another homeschooling family came and prayed together on the other side of the circle.  Thank you, family.  The others and I read today’s devotional and sang the hymn, “All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name”.  It was the first time they heard this hymn.
Many folks passing by accepted literature.  One woman entering PP took a picture of both sandwich boards.  When she exited the building, I asked if she would like a pamphlet on fetal development which she declined.  She said that PP does other things than abortion that are good but appreciated my concern.
Dan and Bob from St Thomas More Church
Many roses brought today

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

St. Thomas More stood witness for the entire day.  Several of their parishioners were present during my shift.  They took pictures they planned to send to Nikki.  The shift was uneventful except for some disgusting and perverted art work being taken into Planned Parenthood.  They must have been planning to have a function because they were also taking in service ware.

1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:

We had a pretty quiet day today during the 1 – 3 shift.  We had some great people from St. Thomas More parish, as well as a couple other prayer warriors.

David, Mary Jane, Rose Ann and Leslie

David, Toni and Adriana
Carolyn and her daughter Karen

3-5 PM, Sue:

When I got there for the shift, Mary Jane was still there and Julius and Bob from Round Hill Church were already set up! It was busy on the sidewalk. Lots of people passing by. We handed out as much information as we could. We got some negative looks as well as positive comments. It always strikes me as odd when people glance at the baby models and than give you a negative look…they are biologically correct fetal models…! A woman who I recognized and recognized me, passed by and showed her displeasure that we were there. She was quite a ways down the sidewalk when she returned to have a discussion with us. We came to no agreement on our views, but Bob was really attentive and a good listener. She thanked us for that as she left, which I thought was a big step forward! I also want to relay a story from Cathy, who came to bring a flower after work. On her way down the sidewalk, she stopped to say a kind word to a woman with a disability. As they were chatting, the woman asked Cathy where she was going. When Cathy told her, the woman said that she knows ayoung lady who is in PP recovering from an abortion today. Cathy laid her flower on the sidewalk for that baby and will pray for the Mom. She took some post-abortion information in case she could pass it on to the woman on her way back. Lori, her daughter and daughter’s friend from Round Hill Church came to stand with us just as next SM David showed up as well Claire to pray the psalms and Jim on his way home from work.

Julius and Bob from Round Hill Church
Lori, her daughter and daughter’s friend from Round Hill Church
Cathy who dropped by after work to bring a flower to the vigil

5-7 PM, David:

We had a nice evening to pray and witness. An artist, Chiaka Howze, came by and wowed us with his gift of artistry evident in the picture he drew of Matt and Mayim. I wish I would have taken his picture. He was quite a character. It was the typical passersby. We had a few negatives and a few positives but it was good that we were there!  God Bless!

Round Hill Presbyterian minister Matt and his daughter Mayim
Chiaka Howze’s impressive sketch!
Memorial for precious lives lost at Planned Parenthood
Kaylee, Rayli, Benson, and Lori. The ladies are from Round Hill Presbyterian.
Rayli, James and Claire from St. Bernard’s, Lori, and Kaylee