Day 37: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Patrick Catholic Church (McKeesport), St. Joseph (Verona), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (Carnegie), and all of our other prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life



When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him.

Genesis 17: 3


Today’s First Reading is a long passage from Genesis.  But each week, I look at these readings, and see where the Holy Spirit stops me.  And He stopped me here, at this first line.  This line from Genesis 3 makes me remember that we cannot hear God when we are focused on self.

This holds true for those of us on EITHER side of the abortion issue.  For those of us who are pro-life, we must be outward-looking…. focused on the woman or man before us who is in need of our help.  For those who are pro-abortion, there also must be the outward focus: What is good for my child?  What is good for the rest of my family?  What is good for the father/mother of my child?  If the focus is on self, then the chances for abortion are certainly higher.

May the Lord enlighten the eyes of our hearts so that we can be HUMBLE enough to prostrate ourselves before Him, and listen to what He wants to tell us.





Shift Manager Reports




It was a cold and icy morning, but it was a good shift. My faithful partner Peggy was there the whole time. Vicki came to pray for a while and Bill stopped by briefly. Katie also came to reach out to the abortion bound clients of Planned Parenthood with alternatives to abortion. The sidewalk was very icy and many people were slipping. I was warning people to be careful, but one woman did go down onto her back. We helped her up and she was OK, thankfully. I asked the security guard if he could throw some salt out, but he told me that it was not Planned Parenthood’s problem. He said the ice was in front of the bar and that we should ask them. I told him they were not open but he simply said it wasn’t his problem.
We didn’t get much interaction with passersby; some eye rolls, that is about all. One woman, however, stopped in the middle of the circle and proclaimed the blood of Jesus over that place and prayed and proclaimed that that place would be closed and that the evil would be defeated. She told us that she had had abortions and now realizes that abortion is murder. It was awesome to watch her pray so boldly.  I actually got chills listening to her pray, it seemed prophetic. Of course, it may have just been the cold, but I hope it was the Holy Spirit! Thanks, everyone, for your sacrifice this morning!
Peggy and Vicki praying, in the early morning cold. Thank you, ladies!






It was the quietest Thursday of these 40 days as far as clients going in this morning. We only saw one couple go in during our two hours there.
We were a bit distracted by the icy sidewalks as two people fell and lots of others did “ice dances!”
Thank you everyone for coming out to pray during these 40 Days for Life! I hope you’ll come out and bring a friend a time or two before our next 40 days. Your prayers are always needed outside of 933 Liberty Ave.
I hope, too, that you’ll plan to come over to pray at Magee-Womens Hospital, where 500-700 abortions are committed every year. Over half of those abortions are committed in the second trimester. If you’d like to know more about that opportunity, drop me a line at
Hope to see you at the closing Sunday evening!
Thank you to these two amazing women, Shift Manager Meredith and Sidewalk Advocate Katie!



Lisa K.:

The 11-1 shift today was relatively quiet.  I had wonderful companions, including Denise, a Thursday regular, who is not pictured here.  I am so grateful for their presence and prayers… especially to Fr. Tom from St. Patrick parish, who came prepared with holy water and blessed salt, which he prayerfully sprinkled around the sidewalk.  Thank you, Father, for all of these special blessings!!

We had several words of blessing and thanks from passersby today.  Maybe it was the sunshine?  But my favorite line came from a black man who, as he passed us, said casually, “God’s got y’alls back.”  I loved it.  


Ted, Fr. Tom, and Rita from St. Patrick’s in McKeesport, along with Linda from Holy Spirit parish in West Mifflin. Thank you all!



What a wonderful day! We enjoyed the beauty of two families from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie.  Both families brought five children, all of them prayerful, pleasant, polite and patient. An added bonus is that we also had one more baby in utero and lovely Isabel was celebrating her 12th Birthday.

With the families was a fine blond lady who would make a super Shift Manager.
(I’m sorry I’ve forgotten many names, so I won’t try to guess.)

We all sang “Happy Birthday” to Isabel, and then we prayed the rosary. No fidgeting, fussing, or fighting, and the children took turns leading the decades. We also prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the families walked into the sunlight.

After they left, we still had two Knights from the parish, and another young lady who came from her office at the other end of the Golden Triangle.

The sidewalk was busy with not just the students and bus lines; we also had the company of many members of the American Society of Black Engineers, who are having gatherings in Pittsburgh.


Thank you, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners!!


This Knight of Columbus brought new meditations on the mysteries of the rosary. Thank you!


The Knights of Columbus brought signs for everyone who arrived. Thank you!


Isabel (R) celebrated her 12th birthday! Happy Birthday, Isabel, and thank you for spending it with 40 Days for Life!!


There’s a baby we can’t yet see in this photo! But he or she is in utero, fully alive, and waiting to be born!


The children in prayer. Thank you all!


Beautiful smiles on this sunny day.


Thank you to these beautiful families and the other members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton who joined us today!!

And let us recall the outward focus of our love. 

May our humility allow us to hear the call of the Lord for our lives and our families.


“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.”

-Pope St. John Paul II


Day 36…Patience


I made a mess of my life in my younger years, and did a lot of damage to my children’s lives as well.  I did not know the Lord as a young person.  I bought the culture’s lie of easy love…hook, line and sinker.  I have been trying my best to follow Jesus for about 13 years now.  I didn’t create my “mess” overnight…so how can I expect healing and restoration to happen instantly?  I have been forgiven for my sins.  I know this and am very grateful.  But there are consequences that still have to be lived with, and many family members that I battle in prayer for on my knees each day.

God has changed me (especially through my work in this pro-life ministry and through the influence of so many wonderful pro-life friends), and I see His blessings beginning to flower in my family as well.  But, still I get impatient when dealing with some of the difficult situations with many of our children.  How long, O Lord?  Patience is difficult for me.

This past Sunday, the Gospel was from John 12.  In it, Jesus says that, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”  Jesus continues with one of my favorite verses of the Bible, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”  

In his homily, my pastor spoke about the need for the seeds of selfishness to die within us.  When I thought about those words afterwards, an image began to form in my mind.  It was a image of a place…very dark, damp and cold.  I imagined a seed, buried in the ground. I thought about the TIME and ENVIRONMENT necessary for that hard shell to soften and break down before it can grow and multiply.  It doesn’t happen instantly, and from our perspective, looking at the bare, empty dirt, it doesn’t seem like anything is happening.  We see no life, just barrenness, bleakness and abandonment.  Neither can the seed see the changes that is happening within it, as it suffers in the damp darkness.  But as it feels the slight warmth of the sun above, without it even knowing what is happening… it begins to break down, the hard shell dissolving and dying…as a tender green shoot sprouts forth from its center.

TIME and ENVIRONMENT are necessary for growth and change.

TIME That is all up to God…we can’t rush him.  God works in his time, which is perfect.  That is where we need patience.  (Continue these 40 day prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood!)

As for the ENVIRONMENT…now that is where we can help. Just as a seed will not break down and dissolve if it is left sitting in a nice dry, comfortable environment…neither will the selfish seeds of our individual souls (or the collective soul of our culture) break down and die if we stay in our nice warm houses, sitting on our nice comfortable couches.  We need to have patience, yes…but we also need to provide the necessary environment for change.  That environment includes a life of love and obedience to God, regular practice of prayer, faith and good works.  If we PERSEVERE in these things, God will…IN HIS TIME…bring forth a bountiful harvest!  In my life, in yours…and in our culture!

I believe that our prayers, fasting and presence on the sidewalk has planted more seeds than we know.  Lives are saved, hearts are changed, and souls turn back to the Lord…but we…in our darkness…cannot see what is happening.

I watched a beautiful documentary today, that my friend (and Tuesday blog writer), Sue, forwarded to me.  I encourage you to watch it too!  It is a true documentary of a young man meeting his birth mother and father for the first time.  He was raised in a loving adoptive home, but decided when he was 19 that he would like to meet his biological parents.  In 1993, they were teenagers who thought abortion was the only answer.  As they were being escorted into the clinic, surrounded by abortion clinic escorts, and covered with a blanket…they heard the voice of one woman shout out, “Your baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes…and you’re going to kill it?”  The young woman went  into the clinic, and was actually on the table when she changed her mind!  She said as she left the abortion clinic, those who were outside protesting thought she had done it.  They never knew she changed her mind.  To watch this inspiring and worthwhile short film (30 minutes), go to:

Even without seeing all the lives saved and hearts converted that probably happen without our knowledge, we have already seen many beautiful buds beginning to open.  Here are some that I see:

  • The buds of seeing timid individuals struggle, but finally get up their courage to come to the vigil.
  • The blossoms of those who gave up selfishness in order to fast, and to suffer in the cold weather.
  • The future flowers of families and children who walked by and saw our witness.
  • Seeing the discouraged faithful being bolstered and strengthened by the unity among believers in our 40 Days for Life family!

So, thank you to all of you who have participated during these 36 days! We still have 4 days to go!  Please keep praying for more lives saved!  And join us as we officially close the vigil at Planned Parenthood at 6:30 pm this Sunday, followed with a social gathering (pot-luck food) inside Catholic Charities Welcome Center (corner of 9th and Liberty) from 7-8:30.

There are not the usual shift reports today, since the vigil was closed because of the snow…however, one shift manager husband/wife duo DID go for an hour today!  Here is what Hank wrote:

Hank and Judy braved the snow today!

We spent about an hour at PP today and although it was snowy it was not too cold.  As we expected there was very little street traffic, but we greeted all those passing by and a few people responded with a “thank you” and /or “God bless you.” It was interesting to see the reaction on the faces of those who read the sign that we carried which read “Inside this building, more than 40 children are put to death every week.”   People read the sign, look at the building and look back to you in surprise.  I think this sign is effective in getting the message out as to exactly what takes place at this location. A young man named David read the sign and stopped to talk. He was unaware of 40 Days For Life and it’s mission and did not know that abortions were being done here. He said that he was a Christian and was against abortion and before he left he asked to pray with me, which we did.  Praise be to God for the snow, each flake uniquely made by his hand, just as each one of us is from our conception.

If anyone else happened to go to pray today, feel free to send in your reports and I will post them.

God bless you!

In Christ,


Day 35: Thank you St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville, OH); St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Moon Twp); K of C (St. Margaret of Scotland & SS. Simon and Jude – Greentree)

God is detailed oriented…Sounds like something that should be on your resume, right?! But when you think about the detail of our fingerprints and the palms of our hands…or the detail in nature.

You can’t deny God shows attention to detail!

We are frequently challenged to “think globally” and look at the big picture. But maybe God has a plan for us to just be concerned with the detail of the task He has set right in front of us…Not to go out and save the world, not to stand at every abortion center in Pittsburgh or in the State of PA. But the detail of being called to witness to life right here locally…Focusing on the detail of one person (or 2!) entering PP at Liberty Avenue and how you may be able to help her.

I think you are imitating God when you stand on the sidewalk, showing how much you care about the detail of a person’s life. We will trust the big picture to God and wait for the glorious unfolding of His plans by being faithful to the details!



7-9: Charlene

The last week of the campaign and we are tired. The cold weather during this campaign has something to do with it. It’s times like this when we need to remember to “Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (psalm62) We don’t want to be glum and God doesn’t want that either. So
just like that, he puts a smile on our face and warmth in our heart.
1) Al was back on the sidewalk today! Sally is home and told him to join us. She is still taking it easy! Thank you Lord.
2) We had a very spirited group from St. Paul Catholic in Steubenville. They prayed together, greeted everyone, and David had a very nice way of reaching out to those entering PP. The Spirit was with them for sure!
3) I was reminded of what Fr. Kevin from St. Alphonse and Fr. John from St. Bonaventure said,”Abortion WILL end!”



God is our refuge!! And knows when and how to lift us up!!! Charlene






9-11: Beth

Our dear friends Tracy, Sandy, Beth and Dave from Steubenville were back for a repeat appearance at PP today along with regulars Edith and Ed from St. James.  What a wonderful group, praying, listening and handing out literature on a very busy morning.  Later, Fr. Jeremy Mohler from St. Katherine Drexel of Washington PA joined us in praying for a sad line of clients going into 933 Liberty Avenue. 

The weather went from bad (cold, windy, wet) to worse (cold, windy, wet, and snow) as we turned the duties over to Ceil and her friends from St. Joseph.  First day of Spring…..?

See you in the fall or if you can, please join us any Tuesday morning because the abortions continue all the time.

11-1: Cecilia

With my friends Joyce, Patti and JoAnn from       St Joes/St Marys
The girls praying a rosary…


It’s seemed like a Fall campaign where each week got colder.  We were well dressed for it this week!  Good thing because we had it all…drizzle, sleet, snow all within 2 hours.

The nice guard came out to salt the sidewalk in front of PP.  He said he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.  I told him it’s too bad that so many are getting hurt inside that building and again said that he could find a better place to work.  He said he was OK with working there.  But smiled.

It was so nice to close out my shift with my “girls” from St Joe’s/St Mary’s….Joyce, Patti and JoAnn!  We stopped by Catholic Charities on the way to drop off 2 large boxes of donations from our church beforehand.

The girls prayed and sang songs and jumped in on some conversations.  A few to note:

A beautiful young lady stopped to engage in a very thoughtful conversation.  She said that we were making girls feel bad about an already difficult decision and said that some girls who have been raped come for an abortion.  We informed her that that was a low number; that the trauma of abortion doesn’t make the raped women feel better; that abortion is often used as a way to cover up a rape situation…  And then we were quite saddened to learn that she was a rape victim who chose abortion.  She was glad that we were more peaceful and not yelling at the girls.  She thought that we were telling them they would “go to hell”, which we said was not our call to make.  She did say that we should, instead, encourage contraception esp the condom.  But I told her about the problems (health…) with contraception and the false sense of “protection” that they think they have which results in STD’s and unwanted pregnancies.  So I stressed that abstinence was the best option and what we promote.  Although she refused to take most of the literature that I offered and questioned the facts that I told her, she did, in the end, take a Rachel’s Vineyard flyer that JoAnn kept offering her and gave her a hug before leaving.

Another girl headed for PP stopped and willingly took several of the flyers that we had.  She said she was not there for an abortion and was shocked when I said they were performing them today.  So we suggested that she look for her care elsewhere.  She seemed interested but still wanted to keep her appointment.  While Joyce and I spoke with her, a man stopped and asked her to come talk with him a little.  Joyce told him we would gladly address any of his concerns as well.  But she did walk down the street with him for a very short while.  We were hoping that she would not come back, but she did.  However, we are hopeful that she may not return in the future.  She seemed disturbed with the abortion idea and seemed interested in the other resources.

A man stopped to say that, while respects our being there and that we have the right, he doesn’t agree with us.  He also said that if the California case comes to PA, he would not agree that they have the right to force CPC to promote abortion.  He thinks people should have a right to “choose”.  It’s the whole notion of “relativism” that is alive in our culture today.  We need a backbone to stick up for what is truly right and against what is truly wrong.  There are absolutes.  And abortion is absolutely wrong.  He didn’t want to stay to talk about the rights of the child, etc.  He just wanted to state his point and move on.  At least he “respects” us I guess.

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed 2 Rosaries

Prayed 1 Divine Mercy

Offered up Songs

Provided pregnancy resources to someone to share

Patiently deal with an Abortion Adovocate

Offered Abortion Healing for someone in need

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Conversation with a worker

Endured the Cold and Snow and Rain

Patti’s daughter stopped to say hi. Here they are in their matching jackets.

1-3: Nikki

I had the honor of praying with the wonderfully dedicated group from Saint Margaret Mary Parish in moon township. What a selfless and dedicated group they are! They signed up to be there for four hours and are staying the entire time! The weather was terrible, I don’t know why I thought it might be fun to stand in the snow, it definitely was not. The snow was icy and wet and the wind was whipping it in our faces. It was a losing battle to try to keep the baby model set visible, it would be covered again two minutes after cleaning it off. Trying to pray the prayer intentions on the back of the baby signs was even a challenge as the words kept getting covered up from the snow. But, we made a profound witness to those who saw us although not many stopped to comment or engage us. One young man, however, did stop to talk. He asked us, “why do you care so much?“ We had the opportunity to explain to him how much God loves everyone, and since we love God, we love all of his creation, and explained that when those who are weak and unable to defend themselves are being harmed, that we need to come to their aid. I think we gave him something to think about, he was really just curious and seemed to be intrigued as to why we would stand out there in such awful weather. That is why it is so important that we do this, I believe. I was very happy to see the next shift manager, Mike when he arrived at 3 o’clock to relieve me. Here he is in the picture, along with the wonderful prayer warriors from Saint Margaret Mary Parish.

Thank you to everyone for your sacrifice in this difficult weather! I believe that God sees our sacrifices and is holding us in his heart.

3-5: Michael

Day 35  Tuesday  3 – 5

   It was cold, windy, snowy and wet today, but the thoughts of babies warmed our hearts. The ladies and gents from St. Margaret of Moon Township were six strong and wonderful to brave the nasty weather and keep the vigil for four hours. This movement and cause is all about God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ, coming together to pray, chant, sing, fast, cry, laugh and witness to His unending and unconditional love for us imperfect humans who are created by Him and in His image and likeness. What is more important than for us to JOIN TOGETHER AND bring Glory, Honor and Worship to the Perfect Creator of ALL!!!  NOTHING!!!   

5-7: Lisa

What fun weather for our last Tuesday shift of this 40 Days campaign, the first day of spring. We knew well enough to dress in several layers and the big heavy boots. It never got too sloppy for us tonight but just as we were beginning to feel the cold Diane and her two faithful companions came a little early so all of us could get home before the predicted heavier snow.

Johanna, Fran, Diane, Penny the Pro Life puppy   and Lisa

What a great prayer partner I have had in Johanna joining me this whole campaign, my CDA sister (Catholic Daughters of the Americas.) A another big thank you to Fran a Knights of Columbus member from Greentree. Knights and Daughters two great organizations. If Fran had not joined us three of our five Tuesday nights, Johanna and I would have been praying and witnessing alone. Thank you again Fran!


Day 34: Weirton Catholic Churches and St. James Catholic Church (Sewickley) 

Could you have stood at the foot of the cross?

I wonder if I could have stood there. Would I have wondered, “what’s going to happen to me?” Would I have said “I’m just not comfortable being there”. And perhaps I ran and hid instead?

I often thought standing outside pp is similar to being at the crucifixion.

Deathscorts prodding distressed women along like the cruel centurions. People on the streets hurling insults. And then there are the violent deaths of the innocent.

Back then some of the believers were afraid or too confused to come forward. But some did come and stood at the foot of the cross. You too do the same when you come to pp. You are there standing up for our Lord. You are saying, “This is wrong killing an innocent child”. You are showing your love for our Lord and the innocent unborn.

This Lenten season you made the additional sacrifice and came to the vigil. The time of crucifixion has never been a time for restraint but a time of courage. You were bold. You were not afraid. You made a difference. You did something important.

Who knows you might hear with the ears of your heart “today you will be with Me in paradise”.

Tim B.

Thanks to the faithful from Weirton Catholic Churches and
St. James Catholic Church (Sewickley)  for their witness today.

Below are stories and pics from today on the sidewalk.  Stop back as this will be updated throughout the day.

Vicky praying for a couple minutes before she left for work.

From Sue D. 7-9 am:

“It was a relatively warm morning. It was great to see joyful Vicky stop and pray before she left for work. Rose and I enjoyed talking as well as praying the rosary and the divine mercy, particularly for the young workers we see entering PP. The regulars passed by and Rose handed out all of her 40 days brochures. She told me about a pro-life program at her church… they are wrapping up their program by throwing a baby shower for one of the women that was saved from abortion during our past fall campaign, how beautiful, Praise God!!”  Sue

From Marshall 9-11:

“Greetings from Ohio to all, the Monday 9 to 11 shift was another good

Paul, Sheila and Mary (Sheila and Mary are from St. Joseph the Worker in Weirton WV)

experience and it draws our campaign closer to Palm Sunday and the end of this particular time. I was blessed with several prayer warriors and guests on Liberty Avenue today. Sheila and Mary joined in from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Weirton, WV and Paul joined us a little later. We also had a very special guest, Joe B., who stopped by in honor of St. Joseph, and that was a good blessing during the shift. Please pray for two men whom visited us a separate times, Israel and Paul. Both men were recently released from prison. Israel especially asked us to

Marshall and Mary

pray with him. Another memorable occurrence was the PP guard who poked him head out to check on us. I think that must have been because Sheila was asking ladies who walked into the facility if she could provide them with alternate resources. I hope our efforts changed a heart or two, and I personally appreciate the new display in the glass of the children sizes in the womb. It really adds to the experience of all whom see it. God bless you all.” Marshall

From Ginny D. 11-1:

Sandy from St James in Sewickley PA and Paul from Baldwin

“We had well wishers and said many prayers
Edith was also there passing out much literature
We were grateful it was quite as cold as last week .” Ginny

From Beth S. 1-3 pm:

“Thanks to Beth Ann from St. Alexis, Sandy from St. James, and Edith also from St. James, for keeping my sister Rose and I in prayer today during one of the prettiest afternoons of the 40 Days. PP had very few visitors, just lots of people walking by, giving mostly positive comments. The new fetal models really bring the humanity of the baby to the focus of the debate. So many people just take a glimpse out of the corner of the eye to see what PP has lied about: it’s a child and therefore a family involved in an abortion. “An abortion chops down a family tree.” True. Angela from St. Louise and new Beth from John XXIII arrived at three just as Rosalinda was taking over the 3-5 shift. Blessings to everyone from the Monday 1-3 shift. Hope to see everyone on Sunday.” Beth


DAY 33: THANK YOU! People of God Covenant Community; Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton; Holy Child Catholic Church, Bridgeville; Saint Gregory Catholic Church, Zelienople

The Great St. Bernard Pass is a 49-mile route in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The pass is only snow free for a couple of months during the summer.  It has been a treacherous route for travelers throughout history.

An Augustine monk founded Great St. Bernard Hospice and monastery. The monks acquired their first St. Bernard dog.

Workers were assigned to accompany travelers between the hospice and Bourg-Saint-Pierre, a municipality on the Swiss side.

Travelers were accompanied by the dogs, whose broad chests helped to clear paths. The dogs had a tremendous sense of smell and were able to discover people buried in the snow.

The canines made rescue excursions on the St. Bernard Pass for 150 years. Often the dogs would find buried travelers, dig through the snow and lie on top of the injured to provide warmth. The system became so organized that when Napoleon and his 250,000 soldiers crossed through the pass between 1790 and 1810, not one soldier lost his life.

About 2,000 people, from lost children to Napoleon’s soldiers, were rescued because of the heroic dogs’ uncanny sense of direction and resistance to cold. The last documented recovery was in 1897 when a 12-year-old boy was found nearly frozen in a crevice and awakened by a dog.


Accidents of nature

threaten treachery on snow covered passes in the Alps.


The treachery that threatens the pregnant mother and her baby

is neither natural nor an accident.



Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood staff puts to death

more than 40 children every week,

year round,

in downtown Pittsburgh.

The torn bodies of the killed babies are collected and

discarded as medical waste.





Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life, Spring 2018, is underway. Volunteers are praying, fasting and witnessing downtown.

Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in Texas in 2007, through the end of 2017, local campaign leaders have reported these blessings, God’s answers to their prayers:

5,251 total campaigns

741 cities

47 countries

750,000 individual participants

19,000 churches

13,998 lives saved from abortion

170 abortion workers quit their jobs

90 abortion facilities closed.




Come  downtown!

Witness with us in Pittsburgh.





Cold as it was this morning, I was happy to head for the sidewalk knowing that People of God Covenant Community would be there.  The powerful prayers, inspiring hymns, and warm fellowship they bring make this day a highlight of each campaign.  Thank you to Pat, Tom, Patty, and Todd for bringing light to that dark corridor.

Continued thanks to Diane and Tom for providing everything the vigil could need; and to Vince, Bill, and Patty who regularly answer God’s call to witness for life on Sunday mornings.  You make such a difference by being there.  God bless you all!

Pat, Bill, Vince
Early Sunday Witnesses
Pat, Tom, Patty, Vince
People of God
Covenant Community



Wow — WHAT A CONTRAST today was with yesterday and its happenings and mood on the sidewalk!  It was so nice to be joined by so many prayer warriors, and we prayed in intercessions and also via the Rosary.  When I arrived, Patty was just getting out of her car simultaneously with me.  Todd, Patti, and Tom of People of God Covenant Community were in prayer along with Vince and Shift Manager Jen.  The Special Guest Star of the morning actually was a star — the sun!!!  It felt SO good.  Paul, Pattie, Joe, Mary, Jim, and Sandy arrived shortly afterwards, also from People of God.  Later, Daniel and Pam arrived, also from People of God.  Then toward the end of the shift came Rich and John from Holy Martyrs Parish, Joan from Holy Family, and Ken & Mary Ellen from Transfiguration, followed by two more couples from Transfiguration just as Rich and Roseanne arrived to take over for me.  It was a way bigger crowd than usual for a Sunday morning!

The sidewalk itself in general was very quiet.  We had several passersby but no negative comments.  At one point a man who’d just gotten off a bus came by seeking help; we prayed for him and with him.  A loudly laughing group of older teenage boys came by on their way to the nearby organization that helps to clean up the city.  When I see those volunteering groups of young people, I can’t help but ponder, and pray, that despite their apparent clannish-ness within their peer group, they are taking significant notice of us and our message.  This group today seemed to notice our signs and made some positive comments.

May the sun continue to come out and the Son continue to come in!!

For Life

Todd, Tom, Patti
People of God Community
Sue M, shift manager and Patty, in the middle
Jim, Sandy, Pam, Daniel, Patty, Paul, Pattie, Mary, Joe



Nearing the end of this 40 days campaign, I pray that we have changed some hearts and minds and abortion would be nothing more than a bad memory. Sunday’s are usually calm and quiet and this Sunday was no different. We were pleased to see some friends and acquaintances from previous 40 days.

Joan, Holy Family
John and Rich,
Holy Martyrs
Bob, Pat, Ken, Mary Ellen, Amy, Cole
Transfiguration Catholic Church, Russelton



I arrived at 1pm to find a parking spot waiting for me right in front of PP.  The sidewalk was in shadow and cold, but by 1:30 pm the sun was warming us and I thought of all the cold mornings and rain that greeted us at the beginning of this vigil. My friend Tim surprised me by stopping down and standing with me for two hours, as did Stacey from Saint John XXIII.

A second shift of folk from Transfiguration showed up as well, Joan, Judy, and Arlene.  Near the end of my shift three cars pulled up and let off a dozen people from St Barbara’s and Holy Child from Bridgeville, including Jim M., a fellow shift manager.  I asked if any of them wanted my primo parking spot and Jim asked if I could stick around till their pastor got there so he could take it. Lo and behold, who pulls up but Fr Joe Freedy.  As I pulled a u-ie onto Liberty to give him my space, I shouted out to him to remember me in his prayers, as we  ask all of you to pray for us down here on the sidewalk.

Stacey, Saint John XXIII, Latin Mass Community
Tim, Saint Joseph, Verona
Joan, Judy, Arlene,



Decades ago (yes, DECADES ago) I was a “victim” of public Witness. I was reminded of this today when a woman walked right past a priest and a large group of Christ’s witnesses and proudly and loudly proclaimed how “great” Planned Parenthood was. Always quick to judge (a terrible vice of mine) I thought, “the audacity!” to be so brazen about such a heartless thing as abortion, right in front of a priest!

Immediately, God humbled me and my face burned red with shame when I suddenly remembered walking off-campus one Sunday afternoon (likely hungover) past a Baptist church and right through the midst of a large group of well dressed women exiting Sunday worship. I was wearing a t-shirt that said “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” that I got from a fraternity party the night before. Talk about audacious! Those WONDERFUL women admonished me up one side and down the other, as I thoroughly deserved. Let’s just say that was the beginning of a long road of reversion back to the Catholic Church from which I’d become lost.

This memory made me realize how VERY IMPORTANT Public Witness in Jesus’ Name is. How important it is to admonish each other when we stray. How important it is to pray for the “lost sheep.” I am sure those Baptist women took me to fervent prayer, and while I’m certainly no Saint, I’ve come a very long way to become a pro-life Catholic in full alignment with the Church.

I was strongly reminded today of those heroic Baptist Christians through the humbling and strong Public Witness provided by Father Joe and his amazing combined flock from St. Barbara and Holy Child Parishes in Bridgeville.

Pro-life friends, let us never forget how important public witness is. I am living proof that conversion through the intercessory prayer of others is possible, because as we all know, “Nothing is Impossible with God!”

Holy Child Catholic Church
prayer witnesses fill the street.



I was surrounded by such beautiful witnesses today.
Lindsay hung out for the beginning of my shift and offered up her
aching feet to let me settle in. (Thank you Lindsay)

Then Cathy and Jim came and prayed. They were followed by the amazing R. family.
Beth stopped by at the end of my shift and offered up such kind
insights and support. I was truly treated to soul nourishing authentic
Christian witnesses today. It was much needed.

You can’t out give God, so cliché, but so true!!!

All glory and praise be to Jesus.

Cathy and Jim
My 40 Days Muses
and Bill
The R. Family



And God saw that it was good.


Day 32: Thanks to Bellevue Knights of Columbus, Church of the Assumption, Guardians for LIFE

Keep Ireland Safe for Babies like Me!

Like more than a few of you, I am of Irish lineage.  My father’s ancestors traveled to the “new country” to avoid starvation and make their way in the melting pot of American society, settling first in Boston, then here in Pittsburgh.  Ireland has long been a source of pride for our family,  most especially since the majority of Irish law has supported Biblical Law- up to and including a a ban on abortion except in very exceptional circumstances.      GO IRISH!


to quote from a Friends of Ireland email :

‘The Catholic faith which Patrick imparted to the Irish people has defended, consistently for two millennia, the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life in all of its stages and conditions.’   

It was the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution which has long protected our irish brothers and sisters before birth.  Now, the people of Ireland are voting on a referendum that would strip protection from their tiniest citizens in the womb– those defenseless children —guilty of no crime, innocent, pure,  and certainly loved from afar.

The 8th amendment, signed into law in 1983 was groundbreaking in its recognition of AN EQUAL RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE MOTHER AND THE UNBORN CHILD.  What a beautiful message of peaceful co-existence

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TODAY TO PRAY that Ireland retains the beauty and simplicity of the 8th Amendment, drafted in the spirit of a people that knows suffering and prejudice; drafted with the love of the Irish people- even the tiny ones!

Hang a Shamrock, Have an Irish Draught, Eat a piece of Soda Bread, but above all else, PRAY for a continued PRO-LIFE IRELAND !

Today’s Shift Reports from the Irish Streets of Pittsburgh:


7am- 9am Tim Reports:

Bellevue Knights of Columbus hold vigil this morning– THANK YOU KNIGHTS- you are a Blessing!

Kilts and prayers. 

There was a lot of  activity on sidewalk early this morning.  The Bellevue Knights of Columbus arrived early and were planning to pray the entire day of the vigil.  These knights were joined by the Guardians of Life and their KOC team as well.  Prayers rang out and were heard by all the early people coming for the parade, some in kilts. What a powerful witness and presence we had today.

Tim B.

Saturday Morning Prayer Warriors with Guardians for Life take up the vigil to Pray to End Abortion


Knights of Columbus Signs of Encouragement on the Cold Sidewalk this morning
Baby Models work in ANY WEATHER! Praise God
Gaurdians for Life brave the weather with SA Terri

Bellevue K of C and other witnesses for life filled the sidewalk this morning!

9am- 11am Sue & Sue Report:

The sidewalk was busy with a lot of people going to the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! We tried to use the opportunity to increase awareness about PP and offer alternatives to abortion and PP.  When we were just about finished with the shift, the police came and asked us to clear the sidewalk for safety due to a threat that they received. We were so grateful to have the knights with us…and for Diane’s amazing engineering skills which enabled us to take all the the vigil materials with us!!

Guardians for Life with SA Terri
Guardians for Life in active prayer
A Guardian and a Knight — a strong combo!

Editor’s Note:

At about 11:00 today, we were informed by the Pittsburgh Police that the area was to be cleared of all persons due to a suspicious material placed in a nearby trash container.  Someone called into the police worried that we might be in danger….. As of this publishing, no harm came to anyone on the sidewalk, as all were cooperative in leaving the area.

FINISH STRONG for the Little Ones Relying on us- Stop in at the Vigil this Week

THE VIGIL RESUMES AT 7am TOMORROW–  This is your very last week to be a part of this important, effective project— Please join us on the sidewalk!!


Day 31: Thank you to Manordale Valley K of C, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Holy Sepulcher Catholic Church, Clarks Mills United Methodist Church, and Aquinas Academy!

Please note:  Our vigil will end at 3 PM on Saturday 3/17 and resume at 7 AM on Sunday 3/18.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.


From “The Servant Song”

by Richard Gilliard & David Haas


We know that suffering is a part of this earthly life.  We know that we are often powerless to prevent or relieve it.  But I think we sometimes forget how much good we do simply by being there with the one who is suffering.

My family is going through a difficult time.  No one can instantly solve our troubles except God; and I know that, in His divine wisdom, He may have reason to allow it to continue for a while.  In the meantime, it gives me so much comfort and peace to know that we’re being held in prayer by so many people, especially those in our 40 Days for Life family.

When we stand on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, we hope to reach out and save everyone there from suffering.  Sadly, we are not always able to.  But we are truly doing so much good just by being there for those in their darkest hour—or in the case of the unborn children, at the hour of their death.

Thank you to all who have stood on that sidewalk offering your presence and prayers for those in trouble.  You may not always see the results of your sacrifice, but they are real and they are precious.  For those of you who have not been to the vigil yet, we prayerfully ask you to join us in this important ministry!


Here are the pictures and reports from today’s vigil!


Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

As soon as the clock turned to 7am, Manordale Valley Council Knights of Columbus began to arrive.  Joining us in prayer were Tim, Dennis, Vito, Bob, Anna Marie, David, Sally and Don.

The weather felt frigid, but the company warmed everything else.  Beth arrived and took up her position of honor as sidewalk advocate.  Together we did our best to let everyone crossing our path know that abortion is not the choice for a crisis pregnancy.  We were ready to help in any circumstance they offered.

Tim, Dennis, Bob and Anna Marie from Knights of Columbus, Manordale Valley Council

Regina, 9-11 AM:

What a happy surprise to be greeted by lovely Shift Manager, Beth who had traded shifts with Kathy,  to stand in as our Sidewalk Advocate today! Her sincere and caring offer of help to each of the many women entering Planned Parenthood today warmed and inspired my heart on this bitter cold morning! Beth, you are SO good at this!

A lovely couple finished a rosary with Pam, Shalini and Kay, the beautiful, smiling woman of Saint Ferdinand’s in Cranberry, before hopping in their car to warm up. Shortly thereafter, we continued our 5 decades with Dan and Al from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville. We noted the blessing participation in The 40 Days Vigil provides, uniting us with brothers and sisters from different parishes, dioceses, and denominations! Love always unifies!

Before leaving, Dan and Al led us in an appropriate Lenten Stations of The Cross reflection and Divine Mercy Chaplet, as we huddled together to pray and block the freezing wind.

The elements didn’t stop Terry from Saint Bonaventure, or David from Holy Sepulcher from showing up! They jumped right in to join us on our final Decade of the shift!

These folks were all such inspiring examples of Holy, selfless generosity and love today! Thank you! We are all truly one in the Lord, and Jesus, whose love is ALWAYS victorious!

Thank you for your presence!
Thank you for your prayers!
You are making a difference!


Marie, 11 AM-1 PM:

The shift was cold but quiet.  Even in the cold members of Holy Sepulcher and Girard Alliance churches faithfully prayed as witnesses to life.

Members of Holy Sepulcher and Girard Alliance churches
Faithful witnesses to life–despite the cold!

Noreen, 1-3 PM:

It was a good day on the sidewalk.  We had some parishioners for Holy Sepulcher in Butler, Bob, Rick, Gretchen and Michael.  A couple from Erie prayed with us, Sue and Jeff.  And Roseann from St. Thomas More came by on her lunch hour. We had some words of encouragement from a few people which is always uplifting.

Sue, Jeff, Bob and Rick
George, David, Roseann, Gretchen and Michael


Pat, 5-7 PM:

Tonight the streets were crowded.  And I think that may have contributed to the slight increase in hostility I felt tonight.  There were a few comments and eye rolls, and we had one of our signs knocked over into the street by two young women.

But then there was Aquinas Academy who brought down about half a dozen or more young women – along with three adult chaperones – to pray.  [Hey Aquinas, why no guys???]  This wonderful scene on the sidewalk more than made up for the increased negativity.

And once again I had my faithful sidekick, Bill from St. Philip’s in Crafton.  What a great partner for prayer and good conversation.  Although I joked with him that I could simply recycle a picture of him from past weeks for the blog, the picture you see is a fresh one.

Wonderful witnesses from Aquinas Academy!
Friday faithful–Bill from St. Philip’s


Check back later for more!


Day 30: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Plum), and all of our other prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life


The verses from today’s Responsorial Psalm:

Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.

They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.

Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.

Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23



This really seems to be a theme in my life this week… the fact that we can so easily FORGET what the Lord has done for us.  Why do we do this??  I think it is mainly because we focus too much on OURSELVES.  Any one of us can fall into this selfishness, putting ourselves before others and God.



During each 40 Days for Life campaign, we MUST remember what the Lord has done for us… and what He continues to do.  He continues to change people’s minds and hearts about human life.  Especially as we enter into the last ten days of this campaign, we must not forget the God who has done great deeds for us.  Prayer can help us to remember, because it keeps us connected to Him:



Let us TRUST that He continues to work in us, through us, and with us.  He is alongside the abortion-bound couple… alongside the abortion worker… alongside each of us as we pray.  Let us trust that He will lead us in ways that are right.



Shift Manager Reports



It was a worthwhile time on the sidewalk this morning. I was very bundled up and stayed fairly warm.  There was no wind, which made it nice. I feel so badly for those who had to suffer yesterday in that bitter cold wind.
When I first arrived, Diane was already loading up the materials. Please pray that she gets well soon as she is trying to get over strep throat. We have such dedicated and faithful people on our team, I am so grateful to God for sending so many wonderful people to this movement!
As usual, the first hour was relatively quiet and I was able to pray. Faithful Peggy was my partner and we stayed on opposite sides of the circle. Vickie came and prayed for a while before heading to work; it was good to have her there. A young man named Sean came and stayed for at least an hour before going to work.  He belongs to Saint Paul Cathedral but was unable to come with them last night. It was a blessing to have his smiling face added to our little prayer presence. At about 10 minutes before eight customers begin entering. It was clearly an abortion day. I was able to hand out quite a few of the resource cards, and almost everyone who entered heard that there were other options available and that we were happy to help.
One young woman left  planned Parenthood and came up to talk to me. I had given her the card when she entered, and she said she still had it, but she was curious to know why we were there. She did not know if we were promoting another abortion clinic or if we were against abortion. She already has four children, and she is 25. She is planning on having an abortion. She said she is 12 weeks pregnant, as she looked at the baby model display. She asked me if that was really the size of a 12 week baby, which I confirmed that it was. She seemed surprised, said she wasn’t sure if that was really correct. I told her to look it up online for herself, that those sizes are accurate.
When she said she had four children, I said, “So, this is your fifth?” She said yes.  In my mind, I was encouraged that she was acknowledging that this new life within her was indeed her fifth child. She said that she did not want to keep this child because the child is from a different father, and he is not her boyfriend. I told her in a matter of fact way that none of that will matter in 20 years. When all her children are grown and she is a grandmother, she will simply be grateful for all of them, and will not care about the circumstances that she is worried about now. I told her how she would never regret having this child, but on the other hand, in 20 years she could very well regret having an abortion, always wondering what this child could have been. She seemed open; I think there is a chance she could choose life. She said she was leaving and needed to make another appointment. She said that by the time she has her next appointment she will be 16 weeks pregnant. So, please pray for this young woman, that the Holy Spirit waters the seeds that were planted and that this child will be brought to birth.
It was wonderful to see Judy and Chuck as they arrived to take over. Thank you to everyone for enduring this cold weather for this very important cause! Oh, one last thing, another blessing from this morning.  We had many people stop to thank us for being there, and we also had many people scream words of condemnation. But, it was a blessing that I was able to affirm to a young woman who, as she walked by, shouted at me that I was a “f-ing worthless piece of s—-,”  that she was loved by God and was very important in his eyes. It is a blessing to get to turn curses into words of love and affirmation. It is a gift to be able to participate in 40 Days for Life, and I am very grateful to God!
Thank you, Peggy and Diane, for all you do!!


Thank you, Sean, for stopping by! You are welcome any time!


Judy looks so cute in her super warm coat!! Thank you for your prayers, Judy!!


Lisa K.:

The shift from 11-1 was fine, other than the parking problems we had.  What a headache for my fellow parishioners, whose day at the vigil was today!  I thank all of them who were so faithful in the midst of that difficulty.

There were several good and bad reactions that we received… just like normal.  But one group of three young men passed by, and I assumed that they were going to goof off and joke about us or our signs/display, etc.  But it was the baby model display that caught their eye.  One of them looked at me and said that he was expecting a baby.  Another said that he had three kids, and he does NOT believe in abortion.  And then the first man said, “I felt my baby kick the other day.”  and the second man introduced himself to me, and offered a “God bless you.”  It was a BEAUTIFUL moment.  So unexpected.  It reminded me that we CANNOT presume to know what people are thinking, and who is in agreement with us or not as they simply pass by.

I also really wanted to share about TWO amazing things that happened Tuesday and yesterday because of my little pro-life witness.  Tuesday afternoon, I stopped by a grocery store, catching a glimpse of myself in the glass doors as I went in, and realizing that I was wearing my 40 Days for Life button on my coat that says, “Pray for an End to Abortion.”  There was a TINY part of me that was mildly bugged by that.  I was thinking that other shoppers who saw it would think things like, “Who does she think she is?” or “What makes her think she can tell everyone what to do?” etc.

I went to the checkout line, and the cashier looked at my button and said very solemnly, “Pray to End Abortion….. oh, YES.”  I couldn’t believe it.  I smiled and thanked her, and she told me about a prayer group at her church she was a part of… and then, after she bagged my items, she came around the counter and HUGGED me.  Whaaaat?  That was amazing, and DEFINITELY not in my usual realm of experience.

Then yesterday, I was sending several emails to some moms whose kids go to my daughter’s school.  These were emails about the school musical.  These women and I don’t know each other.  Well, I have a “signature line” that appears automatically at the bottom of each of my emails- and it is overtly pro-life and Catholic.  One part of it says, “Pray for an end to abortion.”  Once again, there was a TINY part of me… maybe even a little bigger than the day before… that made me think, “Maybe I should delete my signature line.  After all, do I need to “put it out there” right off the bat that I am pro-life?”  and “These women don’t need to feel like I’m this ‘controversial’ person in these otherwise innocuous emails.”

To my surprise, after corresponding with one of the moms several times, I saw this sentence at the end of her final email: “Praying for your request.”  I was so touched- and amazed again.

All of this makes me think of the above Scripture passage from the psalm above.  How EASY it is to (almost instantly) forget what the Lord has done for us!!  I didn’t even last 24 hours without forgetting!!  I was having that uncomfortableness get in the way of my pro-life convictions so SOON after my witness had just been beautifully affirmed.

We must NOT be afraid or ashamed.  Our pro-life witness will anger some; we all know that.  But it will INSPIRE and UNITE others in ways we never imagined.  Let us not forget.



I was determined to be early today. I knew Carol would be chilled to the bone. Little did I know that I’d be turned away from four garages and three parking lots, all with signs that read, “Full. No Parking. Leases Only.”  When I finally got to PP, Carol and Jack were immediately understanding and sympathetic. They had to park far down on Liberty Avenue, and Jack (from St. John the Baptist) found a space only on 31st Street. The NCAA is in town, and there are only so many places to park.  There is also an art exhibit at the gallery just down the street, so there was a lot of sidewalk traffic, too.

A young woman came along and snapped, “Don’t you have anything else to do?” Jack was quick on the draw when he said, “We are doing the most important work in the world.”

I was grateful for the hand warmers, and Nicolas, who is a fourth grader, found room for them in his shoes. I’m sure he was glad his dad told him to wear gloves and a hat that looked like a penguin and had a black scarf attached. Nicholas had good questions for his dad. He won’t soon forget the women who went into Planned Parenthood. The fetal models were a good visual for this wise young man.

Almost out of nowhere, four uniformed Pittsburgh Police officers stopped at the doors of Planned Parenthood and rang the bell. They went inside, and very shortly six or seven individuals whom we presumed are employees, came out and scattered in several directions.  About five minutes later, the police officers emerged and gave each other some “questioning” looks.  One of them asked those of us standing there, “Did anyone come around here and give you a hard time?” We answered, “No.” They smiled, shrugged and disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

About 4:40, the next shift manager arrived. He was a pleasant fellow from Our Lady of Fatima Church. He was soon joined by three faithful regulars who undertook their shift with smiles and high spirits. I overheard a man (who is a deacon) tell Chris, who just finished his vigil, that he should be a deacon.

Judging from the brief, special time I spent on the sidewalk with Chris and Nicolas, I happily agreed.


Thank you, Jack- especially for doing TWO hours in the cold!!


Thank you to Chris and Nicolas!! Two wonderful guys!!


Thanks for braving the cold, Nicolas!!


The fetal models are always an attention-grabber.



In today’s Gospel, our Lord called John the Baptist a burning and shining lamp. My prayer today was for our people to be that visible light of truth. I was blessed to stand in that light tonight with some faithful members of the parish, in Plum, named after that great saint. The first hour I was joined by Lisa and Tim, and the second hour with Peg. St. John the Baptist,  pray for us.
Thank you to Lisa and Deacon Tim!! A beautiful photo, too!


Thank you to Peg, for taking that last hour!! God bless you!!







The Lord is at work in the midst of this campaign. 

He is at work at every moment! 

Let us consider these beautiful forget-me-nots as a REMINDER of all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do. 

May WE work alongside Him to contribute toward bringing an END to abortion.


Day 29…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac Respect Life Group, St. Paul Cathedral and Individual volunteers!

Hang in there…

I have to be honest…this is the time when I begin to feel weary and uninspired.  Usually I have an idea of what the Lord wants me to write about in my Wednesday blog post, but today…nothing.  There seems to be a heaviness…a grayness and a dryness that is hanging all around. Maybe it is because it is day 29, and this is when I realize just how very long 40 days can be.  We have been at this prayer/fasting/vigil thing for a long time already.  February 14th seems so long ago.  And we still have 10 days to go…the finish line is not quite in our sight yet.  This is when I get weary. I feel kind of like this guy…

I got an email from a dear friend this morning who was honest about expressing her sense of depression about the election results yesterday.  She is very faithful and has a strong love for God in her heart…so she sought out the sacrament of reconciliation this morning to help her to deal with the discouragement of seeing so many “Christians” who have no problem in their consciences with voting for pro-abortion candidates.  She actually had an encounter with an older man that goes to her Church every day…who “got in her face” when she questioned why he was voting a certain way, defending his vote because of his fear of losing his medicare coverage if the pro life candidate won.

It is depressing. 

It is discouraging.

After reading her heartfelt plea this morning, I knew what God wants me to write about.  

Last Tuesday’s blog contained a shift report from Lisa, the 5-7 shift manager.  She had a very discouraging shift, with many passersby giving her a hard time.  One, in particular, she humorously dubbed “Professor Blueberry”, because he was incensed that we would defend the right to life for something as small as a blueberry.  Although he seemed professional, carrying a briefcase…and at first seemed to be trying to sound articulate and intelligent in his arguments…he soon degenerated into hateful, filthy, vile spewing of words.  Rather than try to argue with the good professor, Lisa decided to pray.  He left soon after that.  I read her shift report from last night and was so encouraged to hear her saying that she remembered to pray for this man all week…and last night she had a peaceful shift on the sidewalk.

Yesterday morning it was bitter cold, and I saw the photos of Fr. Brennan and Helen from St. Robert Bellarmine as they braved the freezing weather in order to pray and witness.  I had the pleasure of standing on the cold sidewalk later that afternoon with at least 11 individuals who had sacrificed their time and comfort to come out to make sure I wouldn’t be alone.

I spoke to my dear friend Mary Lou after Mass this morning, and witnessed the weariness in her face, and the discouragement about the election results.  I also saw the loving way in which she faithfully and obediently cares for her family each day, and serves the Lord in the pro life cause.

The common thread in all of these instances is the BEAUTY that I see coming out of sacrifice and suffering.  None of us wants to have to endure suffering.  God knows that we are weak.  If we were left to choose our own circumstances, we would choose comfort and ease.  I know from experience that the more comfortable I am, the weaker and lazier I become.  The more I have to struggle, the more progress I make…spiritually and physically.  So, I guess what I want to say is that we just need to PERSEVERE.  (Duh…why didn’t I think of that before…after all, I am the one who chose that as the theme for this campaign!)

Spring is coming….Easter is coming!  A time of new birth and beauty will follow this time of ugliness and struggle.  God is in control!  He is absolutely perfect and has everything accounted for!  Not a single prayer or sacrifice from us goes unnoticed by him! He takes note of it all, and holds it in his heart.  He even has all the hairs on our head numbered…and he knows when a sparrow falls from the sky…so what do we have to worry about?

Did you see the encouraging shift report from Jeannie on Monday?  During her 5-7 shift, a woman came up to her and told her that she had decided to get an abortion 2 years ago…but when she walked past our vigil, someone handed her information about fetal development, and she changed her mind.  There is a little 2-year old boy running around out there because folks were willing to sacrifice their time and come to the vigil.  We never knew about it, and would have never known about it…if the woman didn’t come back to tell us.  These are the encouragements that God gives us to keep us going.

Beauty in the ashes.  Darkest before the dawn.  Don’t give up!

Also, mark your calendar to attend our closing event on Sunday, March 25th!  At 6:30pm, we will gather for a closing prayer service in front of Planned Parenthood (933 Liberty), led by Pastor Joe Stump of the Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.  At 7pm, we will officially close the vigil, and walk to Catholic Charities Welcome Center (corner of (9th and Liberty) for a fun time of pot-luck food and fellowship.  Hope to see you there!

Here are the shift reports from today:

Charlene reports from the 7-9 shift:

“The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me in right paths for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk in the dark valley

I fear no evil; for You are at my side

With Your rod and Your staff that give me courage”

We all have heard Psalm 23 and this part of it certainly rings true in front PP…the “dark valley”. I’m sure we all remember our first time on the sidewalk…a little (or a lot) fearful, not knowing what to expect….but knowing we are called to do this, knowing God is at our side with his “rod and staff to give us courage”.

Today we had a first timer from St. Louise de Marillac, Matt, and he quickly found his rhythm praying on the sidewalk. Also from St. Louise de Marillac were Denny, Chris, Janet, and our regular, Peggy. A cold but prayerful day. Charlene

Early morning volunteers from St. Louise braved the bitter cold this morning

Cathy did the 9-11 shift and writes:

Three men from St. Louise, Denny, Seamus, and Tom, spent all, or part of the shift with me today.  It was a quiet time, a few people went into the clinic, but no one wanted any lit.  I’ve been offering the resource card tucked into the “Everyone’s Bio” leaflet.  A man waiting in his car for his girlfriend did gladly take the flyers I offered him.

We heard, though did not see, the chanting from the CAPA students walkout for gun control.  While I agree that something needs to be done about this kind of violence, and not to minimize the value of each student who has been killed, but each abortion day more children are killed at this PP than were killed at any of the schools.  Where is the outrage?  Each child’s life is sacred!

Hank managed the vigil from 11-1 and writes:

It was a cold and windy day, but it didn’t dampen the turn out or the spirits of the St. Louise de Marillac prolife group.  St.Louise de Marillac was signed up to cover from 7 AM to 3 PM and I was with a enthusiastic, joyful, prayerful group from 11-1.  Mary, Diane, Seamus, Joe, and Tom were there when I arrived and Randy joined us shortly afterwards and we prayed the rosary.  Maryjane from Our Lady of Grace had business in town and joined us around noon as did Bob (works in town) from SLD and we prayed another rosary.  Debbie and Rick from SLD arrived early for their 1:00 PM shift so we had good numbers from 11-1. There was not much PP traffic or street traffic, but we received a good number of thumbs up and only a few cold looks.  We did engage a young woman who was pro abortion and hopefully gave her some things to think about.  Mary gave me her hand warmers when she left which made the last hour more comfortable.  Praise be to God who grants man the wisdom to make hand warmers, may He also open minds closed to the sacredness of all life.

Joe, Mary, Seamus, Diane and Tom show they have warm hearts by braving the cold temps!
Mary Jane from Our Lady of Grace joins the St. Louise prayer warriors Debbie, Bob and Rick
Mary Jane and Randy from St. Louise

Chris was the 1-3 shift manager and writes:

To say it was cold on the street today would be an understatement.  The wind blowing down the street was constant.  But my heart was warmed by 10 prayer warriors braving the cold to stand witness and pray in front of PP.  I was joined, as I have been during most of my Wednesday shifts, by street preacher Bill, along with Mary Jane, Liz, Marie from St. John Neumann, Debbie, Rich, Dianne, Denise, Sister Faith, and Dan.  We prayed the Rosary and a Divine Chaplet, saying prayers for the abortion clinic workers and the parents of the unborn children entering PP.  We had several “God Bless Yous” from passersby and one man praising abortion.  We said we’d pray for him.   Thank you again to the half-frozen pray-ers who stood with me today on the street.

Bill, Debbie, Mary Jane, Liz, Marie, and Rich from St. Louise de Marillac parish
Dianne, Denise, Sister Faith and Dan, part of the faithful witness of St. Louise parish
Beautiful new sign!

Barbara & Richard kept the sidewalk warm from 3-5…even though Barbara is recovering from the flu!  She writes:

Chris, surrounded by praying witnesses, greeted us. Everyone was in a good mood.
Saint Paul Cathedral parishioners Regis and Bridget joined us in praying a Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary. Joe arrived and we felt blessed to return to a warm place.

Joe K. is recovering from being sick, but still kept his shift from 5-7.  Here is his report:

Blustery – that best seem to describe this evening…

I was greeted by Regis of St. Paul’s who had been there already for about 2 1/2 hrs.  After Regis left the beginning of the shift was extremely quiet / prayerful and contemplative – not sure anyone was coming, but just kept saying “God Provides”… and also reflected on some words that I’ve heard actor Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) say multiple times:

“You weren’t made to ‘fit in,’ my brothers and sisters. You were born to stand out”

St. Paul’s came strong for the last half of the shift – we had four prayerful warriors stationed around the “Arc de Death” – One of the biggest, if not the biggest groups that I have had on the late shift…And they were “standout” at standing out!!!

Lots of foot traffic, and folks passing by with musical instrument cases, but zero (0) comments this evening other than one gentleman that asked me to contemplate on “Pro-Life” vs. “Pro-Birth” with a quiz to follow – though he did not return by the end of the shift…

The night ended with Tom flying solo (Diane get better!!!) and the St. Paul’s pit-crew sprung into action to get the 40 DFL mobile packed and ready for tomorrow’s vigil…

Kim, Chris, Michelle and Mark from St. Paul Cathedral warmed Shift manager Joe’s heart tonight


Day 28: Thank you St. Robert Bellarmine (McKeesport), St. Joseph Church (Cabot); St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg)

I recently heard about an amazing teenager, Rachel Scott…she was the first victim in the Columbine tragedy. Her life and story are beautiful as you can tell from a theory that she wrote down for a school assignment:

She says I have this theory, that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, that it will start a chain reaction of the same”

People will never know how far a little kindness can go…You may start your own chain reaction of compassion.

That’s what the many facets of the Pro-Life movement all come down to…COMPASSION. Everyone who is participating in 40 Days for Life is certainly going out of their way to show compassion. Maybe your little kindness of witnessing on the sidewalk has unknowingly directed a woman on to the next link in the chain reaction of compassion…to a Pregnancy Resource Center and into their system of Compassionate Care.  The resources on our yellow cards for material needs and housing….these are all links in the chain reaction of compassion. There is compassion for abortion workers. The Pro-Life movement is a really, really long chain reaction of compassion!!

The FALSE compassion of abortion is destructive and a BREAK in the chain reaction of compassion. But the Pro-Life movement also has  links of compassion for Post-abortive women and men.

Help can be found at  1-800-5WE-CARE


7-9: Charlene 

Today, I was lucky to be on the sidewalk with Fr. Brennan and Helen from St. Robert Bellamine…and of course, my other half Dick. Fr. Brennan and I have been on the sidewalk together many times and it always lifts my spirits, his warm conversation and gentle way. Today, some of my witnessing took the form of spiritual conversation with Helen and Fr. Brennan and I began to think, as a shift manager, the different ways people witness on the sidewalk…quiet prayer alone, group prayers together, signs-yes and no, walking, talking together, handing out literature…but each one is a presence. Does God have a preference? I don’t think so. God made us each different. “His love for us is impartial, but His pursuit of us is personal” (Proverbs 31 Ministries) He knows we will each approach the sidewalk differently…but He is glad we are there. Charlene

Helen (St Robert Bellermine), Charlene (SM & St Bonaventure), Fr Brennan (St Robert Bellermine)

9-11: Kathy 

A loving group from St. Robert Bellarmine parish endured the cold as they joined me on the sidewalk, along with Ed, sidewalk counselor, who comes every Tuesday. Much of our time was spent praying and offering resources to pp patrons and passersby. Some accepted. The St. Robert B group wore the provided signs. Also, passerby Robert, who stops by occassionally did so today.

Ed, sidewalk counselor; Fr. Brennan and ladies from St. Robert Bellarmine parish in Washington, PA.

11-1: Cecilia

It was probably my coldest shift this campaign.  One layer of socks was not enough.  I needed toe warmers and we did break out hand warmers.  Some of us took a quick break to thaw out at Catholic Charities.

I was concerned that I would be traveling alone with Jodi, a first timer from our church, St Joes.  But then Patti and Denny said they could come and drive us down.  And Sandi’s family was healthy enough so she could join with us too.  On the way down, we stopped at the Catholic Charities Welcome Center to drop off food donations collected from St. Joes as an almsgiving opportunity.

Denny & Patti from St Joes and Suzanne from Bellefield Presby.


Regulars Beth & Bill with Sandi from Holy Sep and Rick from OL of Guadeloupe.
Catholic Charities Welcome Center donations from St Joes that we dropped off prior to the shift.

Kathy filled in today for Beth who is fighting for Life in Harrisburg.  We were blessed that she took time to pray a Psalm with us before leaving.  Sandi led us in praying the litany on the back of the beautiful baby sign.  Many other prayers including Rosaries and the Divine Mercy were prayed today.  Beth came again today to pray before and after attending Mass.  It was good to see her and Suzanne on my shift again!  Lovely ladies and great prayer warriors!

Regulars Bill and Bob stopped by.  Ken from OL of Guadelupe came by as well and got to work praying the Rosary.  He is from our neck of the woods.  Several others heard the call and came to stand with Nikki so that she would not be alone from 1-2.

Before my shift was over, a man stopped asking for assistance.  Sandi took him to Tony’s for food.  Soon afterwards a couple came out of PP.  They didn’t have money for anything apparently.  She is pregnant.  They took resources that we offered but said they “had it all”.  They took my offer to pay for their lunch at Tony’s.  Please pray for them to find jobs, good housing, to stay off of drugs,….so that they can have a stable life and raise this baby.  Their other children have been taken from them.  Please pray that they do not abort this child.

Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:

Prayed at least 4 Rosaries

Prayed 1 Divine Mercy

Offered up Scripture Prayers

Offered up other Prayers

Conversation with someone leaving PP

Provided pregnancy resources to someone in need

Listened to those who stopped by to share their story

Directed someone to other places to go besides PP

Directed the poor/needy to a location for help

Endured the Cold and Snow

  1-3: Nikki 

 Seven people responded to Tim’s email  saying that I needed company for the first hour of my shift today from 1 to 2! I feel loved! Thanks to everyone who came out to pray with me!

Selfie with Vince and Joe

Faithful Joe, lovely Gwen and  Colleen from Saint Winifred, Vince from Saint Sebastian, Beth from the Latin mass at Saint Boniface, And Margorie from Saint Richard’s.   There was a lot of prayer happening on the sidewalk today, and as many prayers were prayed we had as many varieties of weather to go along with them! I think it was the strangest weather that I have ever stood in. It went from almost a blizzard and strong wind one minute to blue skies and sunshine and total calm the next!  It was beautiful actually seeing the snow falling.  At the end of my first hour, just as the sun was coming out, Kim and her lovely crew from Saint Ann in Waynesburg arrived. They prayed with me For the last hour of my shift.


Snow covered prayer warriors
Saint Ann’s crew from Waynesburg

Beth, Gwen, Colleen, Margorie and Anna Marie

 It was such a joy to be surrounded by so many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ! 40 days for life is truly God’s gift to us during these dark times! It is like a hug from him! We had quite a few positive comments and no negative ones that I can remember.  Shift manager Mike arrived right on time for his 3 to 5 shift  and I handed the torch over to him. Thank you everyone who came out today!

3-5: Michael 

The weather was very interesting today. The sun would come out and the wind would die down for awhile

and then the sun would disappear and it would snow and the wind would blow like crazy.  It would keep fluctuating

like that every half hour or so. I truly appreciated the fine ladies from Waynesburg, I think they from St. Ann’s parish.

They were there from 1:00 to 5:00pm and prayed continuously. What an inspiration to me and anyone who witnessed their love and devotion to the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!  I went in the bookstore where Governor Wolfe reportedly ventured into on Monday and the owner told me he did not recognize the Governor as being in his store that day.  Perhaps the Governor entered the store when the owner was in the back room and left before the owner came out of the back room. Or perhaps the owner just does not have a good idea of what Wolfe looks like. Who knows!?!

5-7: Lisa 

Manning the 5-7 shift this evening was quiet and peaceful and Johanna and I took advantage of this and  prayed a lot.  There were several “suits” going in after 5.  It must have been a meeting night.

Tonight was quite different than last week when I did experience several confrontations and I have prayed a lot this past week for those people who are confrontational with us.

Why didn’t I say this……do this…

Confrontation – I do not like it and often I do not handle it well.  Sure, after the fact I think “Why didn’t I say this…do this.  When I am on the sidewalk I smile and say hello and the majority of people do smile back, say hello.

So I spent a lot of time this past week praying for them knowing that God does not love them any more or any less than me.  I prayed that they come to the realization of why they are so angry.  Is it their own participation in an abortion?  I prayed that they realize as in Isiah 65:17 “The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind” by our Lord.  I prayed that if their memories are filled with past hurts and they are struggling to forgive themselves God will heal the memories of the wrongs we have done when we have a humble and contrite heart.

God does not hold our failures in his mind.  He sees everything through the lens of mercy.