I like the part of HALLOWEEN when the neighborhood kids come up to the door with their costumes, trying hard to take on the traits of the superheros they are dressed to be. You can always see a little “breech” in the costume — their own tennis shoes, or a shock of blond hair poking out the side of a dark wig – – – the eyeglasses without lenses, or a drooping crown or slipping pair of fairy wings. At this very moment I believe we get a little glimpse of how GOD sees each one of us.
I was downtown for the President’s visit and I saw a lot of folks taking on images of protest— there was some vulgarity and some unusually dramatic dress, and lots of eagerness to communicate in lots of ways…. One young man had a full length cape on adorned with white lettering. The language on the garment was quite colorful. He seemed agitated by our presence but said he was too busy to stop and straighten us out. I didn’t want to annoy or threaten him by taking his picture. This is how I think God saw him:
GOD knows us at our purest best. He sees beyond the vagaries of the world. He LOVES each and every one of us as a mom loves a baby. He loves that guy in the nasty black cloak!
I HOPE that during these next several months of turmoil in the movement for life, we will all be able to look beyond the Escort Vests, Pink PP T-Shirts, Surgical Scrubs of the Abortionists and Nurses, and see the beautiful, unique, lovable persons God has created for this world.
Shift Manager Tim Reports 7-9 am
It was a very quiet morning downtown so the prayers of the Oakmont/Plum/Verona churches rang out on the streets. We prayed aloud the prayers on the back on the “baby” signs for moms, families, politicians and abortion workers. Great prayers. We had a nice group on both sides of the arc and made a nice witness with our praying and holding our signs. Tim
Shift Manager Dean Reports 9-11am
STAY TUNED FOR THESE UPDATES
Shift Manager Reports 11am-1pm
Shift Manager Anthony Reports 1-3 This afternoon we had some rain but nothing more than a drizzle and a light breeze at times. We had 6 great men from the Jeans & A T-Shirt group come and pray with us as well as pass out information cards and brochures. This Saturday seemed busier than usual, with a lot of individuals and couples going in and out of Planned Parenthood. Although this isn’t what we like to see, it gave us more opportunity to talk to those who may be in need and just show by our presence that there are resources and people out there who care and can provide support in order to avoid abortion. Overall we had a good shift with nothing too negative to support. Also, a kind man dropped off a tray of cookies which we were able to hand out to a lot of children and some adults(who we made sure took a pamphlet or card as well.)
Shift Manager Billy Reports 3-5pm Joe B and I covered the 3 to 5 pm shift today and Joe took pictures. We were with volunteers of Harvest Baptist church of Natrona Heights. We had a couple of individual volunteers and ended with St. Patrick’s church. One of the more impactful parts of my shift was a young woman came and looked at the baby models and one of the women from Harvest Baptist church named Sabrina went over and talked to the woman. The woman confirmed she had an abortion and said he did have a child afterwords. It was really touching to see the love of God through one of our volunteering church members who came to our vigil. We also welcomed Jim who comes frequently around the later shift on Saturdays because he lives close. We also encountered by two people who asked what we were doing. We ended with rosary prayers.
Each week, I ask God what the topic of this reflection should be, and He never fails to provide one. This week, He’s been persistently guiding my attention to PERSISTENCE!
“Then he told them a parable about
the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” Luke
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. 2 Tim 4:1-2
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house
from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence. Luke
Those are just a few examples from recent Scripture readings for Mass, though “persistence” kept coming up in other ways, too (like the last line of Pat’s reflection yesterday!) And when I did an internet search for “persistence in Scripture,” there were pages and pages of results! God has made it pretty obvious that I’m supposed to be persistent in prayer.
I have to admit that, here on Day 31, I wish it were already Day 41…I’m tired. But God is allowing me the privilege of participating in an incredibly important mission, and I need to lean on Him for the strength to see it through. Let’s hold one another in prayer, asking God for the grace to be PERSISTENT!
7-9 AM, Barbara & Richard:
Early morning light bathed the street in a quiet glow. Rose and Amy joined Diane, Tom, Richard and me and we had the supplies set up to “ransom the captives” in no time! I do not mean to be glib with the Bible quote. Captives is what abortion vulnerable people are. Rose is helping Amy practice as a Sidewalk Advocate. Amy had several conversations with passersby and shared her warmth, information and handouts. Rose prayed, standing and kneeling. Our Beloved Bill came by and shared his wisdom and gracious presence. There were at least 10 people who stopped to talk this morning…good talks. And, plenty of smiles and favorable high signs. A young couple passed into PP after the young man said, “You don’t have to worry about us!” Our standing downtown early on a Friday morning rather than lounging on the couch with hot coffee in pajamas… what does that tell you? “Please tell us what you need us to do to help you walk away from PP. Read our little card chock full of better choices! Please!!!” Kathy came early and we headed home, so glad to witness this morning in the strength of our Father.
9-11 AM, Kathy & Mary
Thank you to all who came today. Several people stopped to thank us for being there. One young African American man, approx 20 years old, hugged me and with tears welling up in his eyes said how his mother didn’t want him and considered aborting him. He also stated how young women don’t realize the evil of abortion and the destructive agenda Planned Parenthood pursues towards African Americans.
A young woman passed by and didn’t accept literature but raised her voice to say that she’s pro choice. I replied, “may one of those choices be for choosing life.” The woman stopped and commended me for my passion and advocacy but said the issue is complicated. We conversed a bit more before she went her way. I gave the yellow resource cards to a few women before they entered pp, but sadly no turnaways today.
11 AM-1 PM, Carolyn & Rose:
Check back soon but scroll for more!
1-3 PM, Elaine & Bernie:
Check back soon but scroll for more!
3-5 PM, Pat:
It was wonderful to arrive and see Debbie holding the 26 week baby model just like a baby. And she did that all the way until she left at about 4:30. As we were settling in a man stopped by named Rick and told us that he he was in town from Maine and wanted to pray at the vigil. He takes an hour shift each week at the 40DFL vigil in Portland, Maine. (Personal note: I had to tell him that on my only visit to his city I saw my favorite all-time billboard ad which read: IF YOU’RE NOT HAVING A GOOD TIME IN PORTLAND…YOU MUST BE IN OREGON.”) Then ever-faithful Val and Mike came and we started praying a scriptural rosary from the ring of prayers Diane created for us (Thanks, Diane!) I found it so much easier to concentrate on mysteries by praying this way. I have to remember that. Later in the shift – which was blessedly uneventful – Kevin from the Latin Mass community, and our most faithful prayer of this campaign, Thao, arrived and we prayed a Divine Mercy chaplet together. I should mention that Kevin, Debbie, and I had about a 10 minute conversation with a man who stopped by and asked some honest and intelligent questions of us. Hopefully our responses represented 40DFL well.
5-7 PM, Missy & Bill:
Isaiah 40:11 “He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Super quiet evening for the most part. The usual looks and comments we experience… Thank you Jesus for all who come to pray to end abortion. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
remember what Nikki wrote just a few days before this campaign got
underway? I know I do:
Please pray, fast and sacrifice as
much…no….MORE than you think you can during these 40 days! The
roots of evil go very deep under that abortion clinic…and we need to give as
much of ourselves as possible to loosen the soil so that God will pull them
So now that we’re about ¾ of the way to the finish of this campaign, if someone hasn’t begun a fast as yet, or has started one and given up, is it too late now to bother?
40 Days for Life rests
on three pillars: prayer, fasting, and
peaceful outreach. And I’d be willing to
bet that if a poll were taken, well over half of us would say that fasting is
the one aspect of 40DFL that we
struggle with the most.
While I have my own struggles with fasting, I’m going to
share with you what’s worked for me for the last several campaigns. My hope is that it might help someone reading
this to be inspired to not waste the opportunity we have to fast well in these
last 10 or so days. Because as you know,
it might make all the difference.
1) Our Father knows best: Don’t decide on what you’ll fast from without
a good prayer consult with God. Let Him
shine the light for you on what form your fast will take. [Personal note: Last campaign God challenged me to fast from
criticism and negativity. I never would
have even considered that without
prayer and discernment.]
2) Know your limitations: Think in terms of stretching yourself a bit,
but don’t pick something which will require a truly heroic effort on your part. For example, consider fasting from sports or sit-coms
on TV as opposed to fasting from TV all together.
3) Consider a “building-block” fast: Because know my weakness, I always start with
something small which I know I is
doable for the full 40 days. But then on
the second Sunday of the campaign, when fasting from that particular type of
food or entertainment has become a little easier – because it’s become imbedded
into my routine – I ask God what other small thing can fast from. And each Sunday after that I give some
thought and prayer to whether or not I can handle adding another small thing to
my little fasting list.
4) Never “white-knuckle” it: If you’re trying to give up something with your own strength, a) you’re much less likely to be successful, and b) the inevitable pride in your own accomplishment will likely suck all of the spiritual benefits anyway. So, constantly talk to God as you fast. Tell him how weak you are and how much you need His help in the fast He has asked you to do.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12
7-9 AM, Nikki & Peg:
9-11 AM, Judy & Meredith:
Thank you, Father, for such a beautiful day. As Meredith and Chuck (my Lincoln Place Nazarene compadres) and I arrived on the scene, Katie was already on the sidewalk greeting and intercepting. Thank you, Katie, for taking the time, effort and resources to pack such lovely handout/goody bags for the individuals headed in and out of PP. Priscilla was also there with her smiling face offering her prayers and reading scriptures over PP, before she headed out to her busy day. We have been blessed to have Priscilla with us these past two weeks. We also really appreciated having the Recovery Care bags handy to offer to wounded women coming out. One haunting thing I noticed today was that nearly all the individuals going into PP were going in as nonchalantly as to get a flu shot. But it was devastating to see them coming out. There did not seem to be anything nonchalant about what happened to them in there. There were 2 or 3 who came out with bags which we assumed were the abortion pill. One individual looked confused or bewildered. I remember one looking distressed, one was dazed with tears in her eyes. One individual came out with a man older than her, she seemed quite distressed and possibly in pain. I offered the Recovery Care bag but she refused and kept on walking. “Heartbreaking” hardly describes those situations. So I just kept praying for those sweet little babies as they lost their lives today and found themselves whole and in the arms of Jesus. We all tried to engage everyone who went through the doors but were unable to get anyone to listen. There were a couple not-so-nice passersby, but there were more passersby who were positive. There was a man in a wheelchair who stopped, thanked us for what we were doing and prayed with us. We just continue to cry out, “Lord, save these babies and these moms and dads.” We pray for those who had abortions today that the Lord will lovingly minister to their broken hearts and bodies. Thank You, Jesus.
11 AM-1 PM, Marilyn & Fran:
Today I was blessed to sub for Lisa as shift manager. Parishioners from St. Catherine’s and St. Richards, Tony & Elaine, Margie, Erin, Val and Mike joined in praying along with Dave from Most Precious Blood and Cathy from Monroville Assembly of God. Thankfully sidewalk counselor Katie was present too. Unfortunately today was an abortion day at PP. While we could see it was a pretty, sunny day, the sun did not shine in front of 933 Liberty Avenue. It never does. Two toddlers were enthralled with the pictures of the babies on the signs. A three year old kissed one of them! So precious. A woman stopped and shared that when she was 18 she had an abortion. Thirty one years later she still thinks about and regrets it. She was glad we were there. Katie gave her information about Rachel’s Vineyard. A woman suffering with drug addiction stopped and we prayed with her. Several people did not agree with us being there and were not shy about letting us know. One woman said there is no God. We have a hurting world out there. So much to pray for.
1-3 PM, Carolyn & Cecilia:
Beautiful afternoon for prayer. Horse patrols fun to watch. Good number of people accepted flyers. So lovely to have family with little ones. Nikki’s call for shift buddies was heard by several good people.
3-5 PM, Helen & Anita:
Check back soon but scroll for more!
5-7 PM, Mary & Jim:
We started at 5 with Anita, Cecilia and others from the 3-5 shift, who stayed on to pray a while and hand out information. I was joined for a short while by Jim F, then by super prayer warriors from Bridge City Church, Linda, Beth and Michelle, and faithful Jim M from Bridgeville. We didn’t have many stopping by, but did give out information, and the three ladies from Bridge City Church engaged a friend of someone who is pregnant and considering abortion. They spoke with her and gave her all the information her friend will need, and later we all prayed for her friend. After the display was picked up we were joined by Beth of St. Mary Church, and we all prayed together in front of PP. We were approached by someone asking for either food or money, and Beth was able to direct him to a church providing dinner a short walk away. She joined us at just the right time!
When we heard the news that President Trump would be holding a rally today at the convention center here in Pittsburgh, a discussion was had as to whether or not we should cancel the sidewalk vigil. In addition to the logistical problems of parking and road closures, we were worried that our close proximity to the rally could put us in danger of being targeted by anti-Trump protesters. I have always preferred to err on the side of caution, mainly because it is OTHER people’s safety that I am concerned with, and somehow that is more of a burden than simply worrying about my own. However, I have been trying something new lately. And that something new is “TRUST“.
I was praying at the vigil with Dolores a couple weeks ago, and in between prayers she told me a story that has influenced the way in which I pray. She said that she knows one of the Sisters of Divine Providence, whose congregation has recently moved to Pittsburgh. This Sister was telling her that when you pray and ask God for something, you had BETTER trust that He will answer! She said that she always asks the Blessed Mother to pray for her to be able to find a parking space when she comes into town. One morning, after praying that prayer, and seeing that all the garages had “filled” signs on them, she pulled up to the entrance and told the attendant that she had reserved a parking space in advance. He shrugged and let her in…and sure enough…there was a space for her! She didn’t lie or deceive…she TRULY TRUSTED that the Lord would provide! Dolores and I both giggled about this story…but seriously…it has affected the way in which I pray.
So…when I prayed about whether or not we should cancel the vigil today…I remembered that Sister’s simple, child-like trust...(which Jesus said we must have!) And so, I decided to ask our team to pray and fast, that God would protect us today. Many of us did that yesterday. So today, with the trust of a child,we simply pulled into that parking space!
Before we get to the sidewalk reports from today, I want to let you know of an exciting pro-life event coming up! Abby Johnson will be speaking at SS. John & Paul Church in Franklin Park on Thursday, December 5th at 7 pm! Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased at this link: https://greatgrouping.org/johnson If you have never heard her story, I highly recommend it! There are still lots of tickets available! Get yours today and I will see you there!!!
Here are the stories from all of those who TRUSTED God Today….
Peggy & Carissa 7-9
All is calm. Traffic very light. Working people must have stayed home.
Joined by shift buddy Billy, Kevin, Debbie, and Fran. There was not a lot of activity, either on the street or in/out of the clinic, likely because of the road closures for the President’s visit. Praying for PP workers and clients as well as for the safety of all in town today.
Hank & Judy 11-1
Be still and know that I am God! It was a quiet day, very little street traffic and much less foot traffic than usual so more time to quietly pray with the realization that the Lord’s voice is not in the strong wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire but in the tiny whispering sound which is best heard when we are still. When I arrived for the shift Nikki was there praying quietly on her knees and Debbie, on the opposite side of the circle, was quietly praying the rosary. We were joined shortly afterwards by Lynda from 4th Presbyterian and Fran from St John the Baptist. We received a number of negative responses to our presence including a young woman who pulled over the stand with the models, but we also received a good many positive comments. Blessed be the Lord our God who is our strength and or shield!! To Him be glory and praise for ever and ever!!
Chris, Rege & John 1-3
Another afternoon of gorgeous weather praying on the sidewalk. Probably because of the President’s visit three blocks away, there seemed to be less foot-traffic on Liberty Avenue and, according to their website, PP was closed today, although the doors were open. The only women I saw enter the facility were workers. I was joined in multiple Rosaries by Bob, John, Nikki, Beverly, and Sarah, as Kevin prayed in the street, outside the semi-circle. Nikki prayed on her knees and also led a Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
A man stopped and prayed with us, we prayed Melissa’s prayer that she sent to the team, it is an awesome prayer! We need to get it laminated and keep it at the vigil! Another man stopped and wanted to know what the circle was for and when we told him that those who are opposed to abortion cannot go in it he said that he would have to walk around it also, so he did, in solidarity with us.
In the early hours, many people were supportive and thanked us for being there, but as it got later, there was more hostility. One young woman walked past and very quickly sent our fetal model display flying across the sidewalk. No harm done, I blessed her and then picked up the materials.
Jeannie & Virginia 3-5
What a beautiful afternoon on the sidewalk. It was a bit chilly but sunny and Pro lifers showed up today! It seems everyone came early for their shifts and extra people stopped by. We had a handful of cranky folks opposing the president but none of them really seemed up for a reasonable conversation about why we were there. Conversely, a gentleman from oil city and his son who is in the Air Force stopped to thank us for being there, and a gentleman who was part of the airportConvoy parked his car along the side and came out to tell us his life was wonderful because his daughter had a baby girl in May and she was not married and the baby was unexpected. He said the little girl is the joy of his life. It was funny how the two sides of the political side were demonstrated today. My favorite comment was a young couple in their late teens early 20s walked by and took a look at the fetal models. As they were walking by the girl turned to the young man and said, “wow they look just like little people in there!” He said, “well they’re not.” And she said “yeah look at them.” What a beautiful confirmation that the truth will prevail.
Joe K & David 5-7
Arrived early and the drive in was spooky light with traffic on a golden fall weekday afternoon. Caught-up with Shift Manager’s Jeannie and Virginia as well as Nikki who had been there practically all day – Bless you all! Lots-o-lots of foot traffic… Prayed and shared… Early on in the shift seemed to contain more negative comments – the fetal models certainly do seem to hit a “nerve” (aka conscience)… Amazing to watch Jeannie and Nikki respond beautifully to the drive-by-ers… A few folks seemed to want to engage politically, but were politely and brilliantly invited by Jeannie to pray with us…
As the afternoon faded to evening the faces seemed to get more friendlier and supportive… The good folks from the Monroeville/Penn Hills Parishes: Ed, Lisa, Jean and Ken joined Dave and myself in prayer and sharing.
The shift ended as calm as it started. Thanks and blessings to all those that came down today and to those praying and fasting for a safe day!!!
It is my habit to walk and trace the thin yellow line that marks the buffer zone at the PP building as I pray and witness during 40 Days for Life. As I was doing so during my shift, the guard appeared at the door and cautioned me about stepping over-the -line. I acknowledged him and moved a step back while continuing my path of prayer.
As I walked, I thought about this line that separates us and creates the “buffer zone.” A yellow line…which is ordinarily meant to caution, warn and protect from harm, here is ignored by those who cross it to enter a building where 50+ human babies are killed every week.
How ironic it is, I think, as I continue my path, to be cautioned to stay on the safe side of the line; while a pregnant Mother is allowed to step over-the-line to place herself and her unborn baby in danger as she ignores the yellow caution line.
Let us continue to pray, witness and walk-the-line in the sure hope that by our Faith and with God’s help, we may caution, warn and protect from harm, those that come with the intention to step over-the-line.
Today was a confusing weather day on the sidewalk…warmer than it has been for my shift this entire campaign. But with rain…warm rain. Maybe it wasn’t the weather but our attitude as we celebrated the court ruling!!! Dick and I and Greg (SA)…arrived first and discussed it…than Jackie(SA)…then Claire (a pray-Er who still has the same rules). Jackie and Greg were carefully testing the waters but then Jackie walked with a young woman to the door. Even though the woman still entered PP, Jackie felt the woman heard her! It was a very uplifting day!!
My meditation this morning said, “Remind yourself that God’s grace is so much more—so much more abundant, so much more powerful, so much more effective—than the sin you see. And then choose to immerse yourself in the grace that God pours out, which he does always and without fail.” He will stand with us against the evil of Abortion today AND tomorrow. Praying for safety tomorrow and enjoying a little celebration today!!Charlene
Discouragement is the devil’s strongest weapon but God sends encouragement when we need it! When I arrived Dick and Charlene were properly drenched as were Claire, Jackie and Greg (whose supplies are in the red fios bag underneath the fetal models).
There was an enormous flatbed trailer with excavator on the back. Big burly guy goes up to Claire and tells her to move because he is pulling out, but then he says that he really respects us standing in the downpour trying to help. He said what we do is right and what abortion does is wrong! Encouragement And Jackie took a young lady to Catholic Charities, they are closed tomorrow, and although the young lady wasn’t pregnant she took the literature and was glad that Jackie spoke with her. Dean,Claudia, friend Claudia and Lisa prayed as it poured, a couple walked to the alley and when approached the father smiled and said it was too late although they later went back into PP, laughing, I guess because they fooled me. Discouragement So I can either think about encouragement or discouragement. If I pick discouragement, the devil wins. If I concentrate on encouragement maybe a baby will win. It seems that the most important thing about being prolife is Showing Up! We don’t always know what to say or do, doing nothing is worse. Nine out of ten times we’re not successful but if you don’t show up that tenth time the baby may be lost.
And Claire had placed a rose by the picture of a baby. Two women asked if that was a memorial for someone who had died. Claire said it was, people do die in PP every week, babies
We followed the court’s guideline, peaceful, one-on-one conversation, and we did walk through the yellow circle and no one said anything as far as PP is concerned. Don’t know if this is their policy or no one wanted to come out in the rain.
As always happens on rainy days, fewer people were on the sidewalk, and the ones who were there, passed by quickly. But, even in the rain, many people were willing to pause for Elsie to accept the literature she offered. Also, I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for the rush of joy I felt when, for the first time, I saw the results of the new law that was passed on October 18th: A Sidewalk Counselor walked inside the half-circle (censorship zone) and spoke face-to-face with a couple entering the facility. Being able to approach the couple made a difference in the quality and length of the conversation. We were all praying that they will consider what was spoken to them. Quoting an article from the Alliance Defending Freedom: “Every American has the right to speak on public sidewalks — including pro-life sidewalk counselors.” Thank you to everyone who made that happen! We have new reason to hope that soon, every American will once again be assured of their inalienable right to life – the central prayer of our campaign. Our mission continues….. The rain in no way dampened the prayerful spirits of Claudia, Claudia, Elsie, Maggie and Karen. Thank you so much for the silent prayers, rosaries and intentions that were all offered on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves.
Use the link below to read the Alliance Defending Freedom blog about the buffer zone!
It was a prayerful shift with the wonderful and dedicated Christians who came all the way from Greene County today!
The rain stopped soon into my shift, we prayed for pretty much the entire time, although I did have opportunity to talk with one abortion bound woman. She accepted my information and let me talk to her, she was polite, but she did not want to accept any help and her and her boyfriend went in anyway and never came back out. It was very sad to see how busy it was today, with many abortion bound couples entering and many obviously post abortive couples leaving. That’s why I stayed on my knees for most of my shift, that somehow makes it better. I felt the Lord’s comfort and presence with us on the sidewalk today. He is with us and he loves us and even though this breaks his heart, we are close to him when we do this.
The rain stopped prior to our shift and the sun came out to crown us with a little warmth for awhile. Shift buddies, Kim and Michael, were there since 1 pm, along with three ladies from their church in Greene County. A lady stopped to ask me if we get paid to do this and I said no. I should have said we get paid “big dividends” when a pregnant woman decides to keep her baby and not abort. Four young teen girls stopped to chat and criticized us for being there. They said we harassed women and we should not be there to make women feel worse than they already feel. They said it is not a baby until it is born. We listened and tried to instill the truth, but they were closed minded and did not want to really listen openly to what we had to say. They were sarcastic and did not think we had a right to be there. Another passerby stopped and sounded a little like the four teens, but she was a better listener and was more open minded. She said she was transgender and thought we would hate her for being that way. I told her we don’t hate her and we love her and everyone. She appreciated and thanked us for accepting her the way she was. I thank God I was there today to be a defender of life in the womb.
Do Not Be Afraid! Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure. Pope Saint John Paul !! Feast Day October 22. Thank you to my buddies Johanna and Denise once again for their prayerful presence. Elizabeth also was welcomed again this evening.
Inspired by the words of our dear Pope St. John Paul, I believe he was watching over us this evening. We were Not Afraid, but, I can say I was irritated! One bar patron in particular came outside frequently and hassled me each time. I prayed to the Holy Spirit to give me words of rebuttal but they appeared to fall on deaf (inebriated) ears. I felt very unsuccessful in handling the situation(s). I prayed for help and here comes my angel, Johanna over to the side of the circle I was on and showered this woman with so much of God’s love and positive affirmation that I’m sure that seeds of hope and love were planted this day by Johanna. Johanna ended up giving this grieving soul a big reciprocated hug. Johanna, you are so loved by me and by God. You are a great role model to imitate!
Did you ever wonder what is going on just beneath the surface of all the people around the vigil site?
Oh BTW, the picture is a “thermal feature” at Yellowstone National Park. The water in this pictures is lethal hot since this is an outlet for the heated water just beneath the surface caused by an underlying volcano.
Speaking of beneath the surface: What is beneath the surface of the people passing by the vigil? What are they thinking and feeling when they see us praying, holding signs and offering help? Some are oblivious to us, some see us and are ambivalent, some are feeling anger and resentment and some see our evangelization and share our joy and hope. ·
What are we and the vigil prayer warriors feeling beneath our surface: Hope, love, frustration and an eagerness to share our compassion and real help.
What are the women going to pp feeling: fear, confusion, pressure, hopelessness, no options, extreme stress? But, do they also feel our love and compassion?
I believe most people when they see us with the eyes of their hearts see our love and compassion… whether they admit it or not. We are life preservers, we offer hope and options, we are the last chance for those who really don’t want to go into the clinic.
So as we go forward let’s not be shy in sharing what we have under our surface with those most in need of those virtues. You are a life preserver. All we need to is just show up. And share our love. See you on the streets. Peace and joy. Tim
Here are reports from today at the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am:
Rose and I were joined by faithful, cheerful Thao who prayed on the opposite side of the circle for the first hour so that both sides were covered. It was great to see Charles again who I know from many previous campaigns! We were talking about how he took someone to Women’s Choice Network last spring and how beautiful their facility is and how much time they spent with her! We said many prayers, Rose handed out lots of pamphlets and Charles engaged everyone who entered PP. The fog was lifting by the end of our shift. Hoping and praying that abortion will follow suit! Thanks, Sue
From Ginny 9-11 am: We had a very busy morning. Charles and Christopher from North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church were there at 9. Then Charles wife Phoebe and their 3 kids arrived. They all sang the most beautiful inspiring hymns in the most angelic voices. Later their were 2 different women who were not sure but thought they might be pregnant. Both of them accepted information for help from Phoebe. Please pray for them to make the right decision. Another lady was there from St Paul’s quietly praying the rosary the entire time
Here’s from Donna 11-1 pm: It was an interesting day today. I thank God for providing wonderful prayer warriors today to join Diane & I. Ken, from St. Germaine, Arlene from St. Maurice, Steve from St. Thomas More and Joan joined us on her lunch hour. We had an interesting day. Two gentlemen wanted Ken’s rosary and he offered them one from the box and they refused. They spoke to Diane and said we should be handing out condoms. Don’t think so. Then someone came by and told me we weren’t helping anyone just judging them and that abortion is not in the Bible. It may not be said in the Bible but one of the commandments is “Thou shall not kill”. That pretty much covers it. We had another gentleman thank us and had a thumbs up. A man by the name of Chris came by and thanked us and said a beautiful prayer. Another gentleman pulled up in a car and thanked us and said “God bless you” and gave a donation for 40 Days For Life. As Joan said to me that was the Holy Spirit sending them to us to reaffirm why we do this. God is working hard behind the scenes to right the wrongs of abortion and He will not be mocked! Thank you to whoever put the 26 week old baby model at the vigil. 40 Days For Life is truly the depiction of what the body of Christ should look like. Blessings For Life, Donna
Here’s from Beth 1-3 pm: It could have been a lonely place but instead I had wonderful prayer partners on the sidewalk today Joan and Joe were there when I arrived. Katie and Arleen also showed up to hand out literature and pray. And as Joan returned to work Roseann stopped to pray just on her lunchtime.
Not many entering pp but lots of people passing and the fetal models really caught some attention Finally near the end of my shift, Linda,Ann and Desiree from St. Joseph and St. Michael’s church in Lucinda and Freyboug Pa appearedAnn explained that they just picked the time at random not knowing that they were here just when they were really needed. The ladies from Clarion County ask for prayers for miracles for Karen and Donna their friends. God hears our prayers so we will ask. Beth
When an afternoon talk show on KDKA in 1972 presented the views of a woman from Pittsburgh who was bragging about her abortion in Colorado, I called the Diocese and asked what they were doing to stop abortion. The person who answered said, “a lady in the South Hills, Mary Winter,” had been speaking out since 1969. She formed a group called “Women concerned for the Unborn Child.”
Program notes, Pro-Life Directory And Resource Guide, PCUC 2019
A soldier is a citizen trained for battle. His/her assignments may be as tough as hand-to-hand combat or as gentle as caring for the children of refugees fleeing the battle. My son recently completed a 12-year stint with the U.S. Army. During that time he worked every day to be the fastest, strongest, fittest member of his brigade. His reports inspired me to strive to do my best in the Army of Life where I fight for the babies.
Helen Cindrich, Executive Director, People Concerned for the Unborn Child (PCUC): Editor of the PCUC Newsletter
For me it’s someone who fights the good fight to the end, a person who wears out while others rust out.
Beth Svirbel, PCUC President
Elizabeth Svirbel, PCUC President
WHAT DOES A SOLDIER DO?
Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life in America was the banquet speaker. Hawkins was recruited in 2006 to launch Students for Life of America’s full-time operation. Since then, she has built up a small organization made up of a few dozen student groups scattered around the country to a coordinated national team serving more than 1200 Students for Life chapters in all fifty states.
BULLET POINTS for prolife soldiers from her talk!
There’s nothing I can do. It is in God’s hands. NO! You are God’s hands. You are kidding yourself if you think a billion dollar industry will go quietly in the night. They are going to do everything they can to stop us. We believe in a God who spoke our world into existence. He can abolish abortion through us. Act like you believe this! What are you going to do?
Pope Benedict XV’s Maximum Illud, 100 years old next month, reminds soldiers that God is a winner! Benedict begins:
Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation Mark 16:15 Even in the first three centuries, when persecution after persecution, inspired by Hell, fell upon the infant Church in a raging attempt to crush her, even when the whole of civilization was deluged with Christian blood, out on the far frontiers of the Roman empire the heralds of the Gospel journeyed, announcing their tidings.
WHAT DOES A SOLDIER LOOK LIKE?
Out of uniform a soldier looks like anyone. Looking closer, you see that a soldier’s heart gives him away.
They are rich only in the faith and prayer that keeps them rooted in the personal relationship of love with Jesus, the master who sends them.
Pontifical Mission Societies, “The Church On Mission,” Magnificat 21, no.8 (2019) 300.
Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, sung by Angelina, (EWTN).
Thank you for sending us the
information about “40 Days for Life”. The flier is hanging on
our prayer board and we pray throughout the day that the abortion mill will
soon be closed and the evil of abortion and the taking of life will be
This is our special intention
during Vespers and the Holy Hour every day from 5 am until 6:30 pm.
We also ask the Angels to keep all
the participants in the Prayer Vigils safe from all harm. Thank you for your
witness to the sanctity of life.
Sister Mary Ann, CP, Passionist Nuns
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
JEN M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
The sidewalk was incredibly peaceful and prayerful this morning from 7-9 AM. Thank you to my shift buddy, Vince, and the wonderful company we had from our 40DFL community and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish. We offered all the mysteries of the Rosary as well as a Divine Mercy Chaplet for an end to the misery and sorrow caused by abortion.
Vince, Bill, Suki, Drew, Tom, Jen, Thao…early Sunday morning Witnesses for Life!
I had forgotten how much I enjoy praying on the sidewalk on Sunday mornings! It is so different from weekdays! So quiet and peaceful and even Sacred! There was a wonderful showing from my own parish, Most Precious Blood Of Jesus Parish. It was great to pray with so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ! Roseann and Rich were the shift managers after me, and they’re becoming members of our parish also! The third picture was of them with a few people from our parish. Thanks to everyone who came out for most precious blood parish!
Latin Mass Community Sunday Morning Prayer Witnesses with Joe on the far end!
Outstanding Parishioner Outcome for Sunday Witnessing
Outstanding Prayer Witnesses including Roseann and Rick, 11-1 Shift Managers
RICH AND ROSEANN SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1
God bless all of those who came to pray and witness with us today. Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish was signed up to witness and during our shift Chris, Dan and Rose came to stand with us. The faithful R. family from Elizabeth Ann Seton and Bridget from Our Lady of Grace also came. Jim who lives in downtown stopped by. For the most part everything was calm today. An older lady passing by made it known that she supported abortion. A family from Portland, Oregon who were pregnant with their third child thanked us for our presence there.
Dan, Rose, Chris Parishioners of the Latin Mass Community, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish
Faithful Flourishing Sunday Worshipers R. Family
Bridget on her knees in prayer
LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3
Today God blessed the 40 Days for Life vigil in a special way. We actually had so many people praying the rosary we had two rosaries going at once! Me and my shift buddy Marie were honored to have the opportunity to pray with Pittsburgh’s Latin Mass Community of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish with many “on fire” devout families and young adults, and their priest Rev. Canon William Avis.
As I was settling into the vigil, a woman walked quickly past and yelled: “What you people are doing is wrong, and I hope your God forgives you!” I really can’t even comment on that, because it’s such a perplexing thing that she said! But it just shows how upside down and twisted Satan has made the issue of the RIGHT to LIFE.
Later, as I was reading Luke, I was still contemplating the woman’s convoluted comments. A portion of Zechariah’s Prophecy stood out to me: “For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God the dawn from on high will break up on us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace”. I pray God sheds light upon those who are spiritually blind and think protecting the unborn is wrong.
I also pray that the “extra five steps” given the sidewalk counselors to continue speaking to abortion bound women bears much fruit (see link to attached article).
Most Precious Blood of Jesus blessed downtown PP with their prayerful witness
ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5
The campaign is past the half way point and gaining momentum. The shift starts with gratitude to God for the near perfect weather. Then Catholic guilt tries to sneak in. Who am I to get such great weather? But that is fended off with humility and the shift goes on. And prayers were offered to our dearly departed Sally and Al made a surprise visit after the PCUC Banquet. It would be his 62nd anniversary today and this is where Al wanted to remember his wife. Truly, I think she was there before Al got there, and will be there after he left. Let us turn to her to intercede to close that murder mill. Al says they put in 28 years of faithful prayer. Imagine the faith it takes to do that. Beyond me, I will tell you. Death does not separate us. Hebrews 12:1 applies. It just makes the departed prayers more powerful as she is closer to Jesus!
STRONG HER: adjective:/strôNG/ɡər what a woman becomes when she becomes a mother!
I recently had the opportunity to attend a multi-day family wedding. Actually it was the most FAMILY wedding I have ever attended. Children of all ages were welcomed and accommodated — there were 27 kids meals at the reception !!
With all these babies, I happily took the opportunity throughout the days to “borrow” as many little ones as I could to hold and cuddle. In so many pictures, my arms are filled with chubby legs and cherubic faces. I was thrilled to once again hold each one close to me as my “little one” was now the groom!
A day after I returned, I noticed that my arms were aching and sore, as though I had pulled muscles in them doing some strenuous work. It then occurred to me that I was not used to MOM ARMS! Holding those adorable little ones takes strength — muscles that I do not use regularly. You have to secure their body weight and ensure their comfort. A baby is not a sack of potatoes or grocery tote you can simply set down if you get fatigued!
We get those tiny newborns as we begin the journey of active parenting. And as the babies grow, so especially do the arm and back muscles of their parents—-Moms in particular!
I think the physical strengthening of mothers is a wonderful reminder of what is happening within that woman who has accepted the call to become a mom.
I have been blessed to be a part of watching 2 unprepared women learn they would be mothers. These 2 grew in ways I could never have imagined as their babies developed and as they made plans for the future. In both cases, for the first time, these young ladies had to consider someone besides themselves; they had to step up for someone else!
SO when we call for the natural process of motherhood to be respected and supported even when a mom is in crisis, we have a twofold gain: A precious innocent life can continue to be a part of our world, and a woman who likely never imagined that motherhood would change her becomes STRONG. STRONG HER !
TODAY ON THE SIDEWALK
7-9am Shift Manager Tim Reports
The brisk weather did not prevent the faithful from the Washington Churches grouping and Fr. Tim and the Guardians for Life from coming and making a powerful witness on the street. We were also blessed to have the mobile sonogram unit from Choices Pregnancy Services offering free alternative services. Several people stopped and said encouraging words and even prayed aloud for God to encourage, defend and support us. Peace and joy. Tim
9-11 Shift Manager Sue Reports:
A chilly, first-frost (at least in my area), winter-coat morning! But no wind or rain, so it was very bearable. I arrived to find the faithful Guardians for Life praying. Charlie and Amy, my loyal shift buddies, were also there, along with Patty M., Sidewalk Advocates Sue and Terri, and the amazingly ever-present Thao. Pauline from Pennsylvanians for Human Life Allegheny County chapter joined us too, with Dotty from New Life Fellowship. Thank you to all of you!
It seemed there were more escorts than usual on duty this morning. More people than usual entering PP, too. The Choices mobile unit was there, parked across the street, but unfortunately no one chose to use their services despite our recommendations. At one point a steady stream of folks were going into PP and it seemed like perhaps there was a meeting going on there. Judy offered a PP-bound couple information and was able to talk to them for several minutes; they walked away and it looked to us like they’d completely left, but several minutes later they returned and entered PP. We prayed for every single person entering and exiting.
At one point mid-shift, a feather fell from above onto the sidewalk, reminding me of the blog comment earlier this week about a falling feather being a sign from Sally. I like to think it is. Today is “Sweetest Day” — admittedly, a holiday probably made up by Hallmark — but it fits that Sweet Sally would send us that today. I know she is praying for the babies and for us.
11-1 Shift Manager Dean:
Hi there. Thanks first of all to the folks from Holy Trinity in Robinson who came to pray at P.P. Many of the women and couples who were exiting P.P. refused the yellow cards and support information that was offered. We talked with a young man who was unaware that this location was a Planned Parenthood center and that abortion regularly happens there. His grandfather who is still alive at 96, was a survivor of a Nazi forced labor camp during World War Two.
1-3pmShift Manager Sharon Reports: Some wonderful prayer warriors were present during the 1:00–3:00 shift. Maggie from St. Peter’s stayed for awhile after being at the previous shift. Mary and Renee from Holy Trinity in Robinson led 2 hours of constant prayer. Chuck and Carol from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene came to do a Jericho Walk around Planned Parenthood and gave us all encouragement. Volunteers Tom and Jenny came with their lovely children Elijah and Esther.. A very nice young man named Frank stopped on his bicycle and prayed for several minutes. Laura, from Holy Family in Steubenville, joined us the last half hour. I didn’t think to get her picture because a few others from her church were supposed to come for the next shift. She brought “Recovery Care” packages that she had put together for post abortive women.We thank God for the good weather today and for the opportunity for conversations and to pass out printed information. The work of 40 Days is so very important. In addition to babies and mothers being saved from abortion, people are being educated one person at a time.
3-5pm Shift Manager Katie B reports: When I arrived, I met Tom and Laura, and Laura had “free hugs” on her sweatshirt which I loved! Tom was passing out materials and a surprising number of men were receptive to taking them. Lisa then came, and me and Laura spent some time finding pro-life prayers on our phones. We had ranging comments from “God bless you” to “Hail Satan” and “Jesus isn’t real.” We were joined by a group of other wonderful individuals and Billy came down early to join us! We had a man stop to look at the fetal models, asked if he could take a picture, and then proceeded to tell us that his baby was due in December and that “if you lie down with someone, you need to take responsibility for your child” (YES!). Other than those few negative comments, it was a fairly pleasant day on the sidewalk!
5-7pm Shift Manager Joe reports: Beautiful weather coupled with prayerful, kind Christians, life doesn’t get any better than that.
God has plans for Ashley Bratcher’s life. Those plans included starring in a movie that would touch hearts and open minds to the humanity of the unborn. Ashley’s mom said “yes” to those plans when she walked out of that abortion clinic. Doing so not only saved Ashley’s life, but the lives of countless other children who were spared by the impact of Unplanned.
God has plans for your life, too. He knows how far the ripples of your “yes” will reach. Ashley Bratcher’s story is great encouragement for us to listen to God and go where He’s directing us. Is he directing you to come and pray on the sidewalk?
7-9 AM, Barbara & Richard:
Early morning light looks beautiful downtown in front of PP. Night shift is going home. Daylight shift hurries to work. Parents with little kids on their back or hip or in a stroller, or by the hand or circling around their knees… their little voices soft, their eyes attentive. We remember to bring red roses so we can scatter the red petals on the sidewalk. They speak for the killed babies whose voices will not be heard. They speak for the mothers whose bodies will be bloody. They speak for the hearts that break in the carnage. The people going into PP declined our help. I knelt down. Somehow I felt better.
9-11 AM, Kathy & Mary:
Thank you to all who came to pray today. May the God of heaven hear our plea to end abortion. A few people passing by accepted literature. Those entering pp, except for one or two patrons, did not. Some hostile comments spoken to us by passersby were countered by positive statements from other passersby.
11 AM-1 PM, Sheila & Lori:
Thanks to all the wonderful 40 Days for Life participants who filled in at the last minute. There were quite a few couples who entered during our shift but none of them accepted any information. Not long before I left, a woman (“E”) stepped outside to smoke. Joan approached her and “E” said that her friend “A” was there for an abortion and was about to speak to one of the counselors. “E” stated that “A” is a single mom who is living with her mother with a toddler, a 10 month old and two jobs, and doesn’t want another baby. “E” and “A’s” mother have encouraged “E” to keep the baby and are supportive. “E” even offered to adopt the baby. Joan encouraged “E” to get “A” to come down so we could offer help/walk her down to Catholic Charities. “E” said that she would try. I had to leave at 1pm and asked Elaine to keep an eye out for them. How wonderful it would be to learn that “A” had a change of heart.
1-3 PM, Elaine & Bernie:
Check back soon! Scroll for more…
3-5 PM, Pat:
It was a fairly quiet and peaceful late afternoon for us. I had Fran and Dan from St. Joseph’s in Verona and the always faithful Mike and Val from St. Mark’s in Liberty Boro. Bill H. also joined us for most of the shift – and this after standing with Elaine when she was alone for her 1-3 shift! Many thanks from all of us for that, Bill. Later on I was joined by David R., who came early for the evening shift and faithful Thao. Shortly after SM/SB Bill E. came, I left to catch my bus.
5-7 PM, Missy & Bill:
Thank you to our prayer warriors from 5-7on Friday… It was a quiet night for the most part. I am so inspired by the people who come to pray! Thank you dear Jesus for them. .. and Thank you for hearing all of our prayers to end abortion.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Taste and see how good the LORD is; blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
This passage made me think of all of the women and men who might feel that they have no other alternative than abortion. The passage seems to call ALL of us to TRUST in God and in the refuge that He is. If we look to the world for our solutions, we will never find fulfillment. But when we look to HIM… and we taste and see how good HE is… we are “radiant with joy.” May all abortion-vulnerable couples KNOW THIS TRUTH as well.
Shift Manager Reports
It was a dark, slightly rainy and windy time on the sidewalk, but the gloom was very much brightened by the cheerful faces of Diane and Peggy! Diane is simply amazing at the way she problem-solves with the vigil materials! She has everything arranged so it stays organized and protected, and she even added a 26-week fetal model that people can hold if they want to, but is still chained down so it cannot be stolen. Thank you for all that you do, Diane!
We had a great showing from the Manordale Knights of Columbus! They stood in witness for life for our entire shift. Also, Dolores from City Center Parishes came. We did see two obviously abortion-bound couples enter. One was a young woman with her boyfriend and father, another was a young man and woman. We prayed for them and their babies. May God bring an end to this in his time!
Lincoln Place Naz was represented by Chuck, Meredith, and Judy. We were prepared for whatever weather came our way. I felt premature wearing soooo much outerwear, but when the shift was over I had not suffered any weather damage LOL.
There were a number of abortion-bound people today. A very few of them gave us the opportunity to talk with them. I was able to speak to one young lady and tell her about the number of babies PP kills every year. She said they provide other services too. I said “Very few…abortion is what they are about.” She seemed to be interested and “take in” everything I was talking about and took the card with women’s services, but it did not change her mind…at least while she was on the street. We prayed that all the women/men who went in would have their minds changed by the Holy Spirit’s prompting. It is so devastating to know that those preborn little ones are being killed as we stand on the street. I prayed all morning for them, shedding many tears. My husband reminds me that we are called to be obedient: to pray, fast and do the vigils. The battle is still the Lord’s.
Let me tell you, today was coooold. Wow, toward the end I was having a hard time- but I was trying to not let my crazy weaknesses get the best of me! Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for this little “reminder of winter!”
Although some people had gone in prior to my shift, traffic entering PP was rather light between 1-3. But the tragedies inside were happening nonetheless. The gloomy weather actually matched the mood of what goes on inside an abortion facility. Even if a woman is not there for an abortion, we know that the overall mindset of Planned Parenthood is NOT to have true concern for the woman’s life…. emotions…. fears. It is NOT a place that cares for women in the WHOLE of their womanhood. That’s what I love about Pregnancy Care Centers…. they are all about helping the woman in many overlapping aspects of her life and concerns. THANK YOU to all who assist women and men in Pregnancy Care Centers!!
One interesting thing happened. Probably a divinely orchestrated meeting. A beautiful young woman stood near us on the sidewalk, and was confused about where to go, because she had gotten off her bus at the wrong stop. She was then waiting for a ride, and was on her way to a job interview. She asked Fran and me what we were doing, and we told her. She was generally in pleasant agreement about our mission– to pray for an end to abortion. And she told us about her three young children. We had a lovely and friendly conversation. Fran and I discussed later that perhaps the Holy Spirit brought her there for some reason we know nothing about. God is so cool like that.
Edith (filling in for Carolyn):
Our parish grouping (St. Mary/St. James) was represented today by Maureen, Mary Alice, and myself, joined by Crystal, a highly dedicated pro-lifer from West Virginia who attends Christ Church at Grove Farm. Transportation glitches made us late, so when we arrived Shift Manager Carolyn was already praying for the mothers and babies with Jim from Assumption. Soon we were joined by Cil and her parish priest from Butler County, who had helped a man in need (and been encouraged by his faith) on their walk through Downtown from their parking spot.
It is sad and discouraging standing on the Coldest Patch of Sidewalk in Pittsburgh, and always I know I could have done much better, could have tried much harder to offer life-saving help and information to the suffering moms and dads walking in and out of the death mill. But we know God hears every prayer, and it truly seemed that some of the folks accepting literature from us VERY MUCH WANTED THE INFORMATION, perhaps to pass on to a friend in a crisis pregnancy.
By 3:00, Helen, Fran, and Anita had arrived, along with Mary Kay and at least one other prayer warrior. As my dear, sainted father used to remark, “EVERYBODY you meet in the pro-life movement is such a nice person!!” It is a humbling privilege for me to know you all.
Everyone was glad they wore a coat. Gust blew our display, including our baby. Passersby left generous donations. Lots of good prayer time. 😉
Thao (filling in for Mary):
It was yet another quiet evening on the sidewalk with people busy getting home. Some stopped to express their support. Some spared us a passing thought that we should feel ashamed of ourselves. I don’t think standing for what we believe in should be something to be ashamed of.