Day 36…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac (Upper St. Clair), St. James (Sewickley), PCUC (New Castle) and many faithful volunteers!

Why are all the blog posts about God???

If you are new to this blog, you may have perused the daily reflections and noticed that…for a pro-life blog…we mainly write about GOD. If you are new to the pro-life movement…maybe motivated by the Unplanned movie…you may be wondering why we don’t write more about abortion! After all, our entire mission of 40 Days for Life is to END ABORTION. So, why don’t we talk more about it in our blog? Why don’t we speak more of the horrors and the injustices? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do our best to get our readers all riled up so that they will be motivated to show up on the sidewalk?

There is a good reason for this focus on God…and I will soon tell you what it is. But first, I want to tell you about my reputation within my family. Everyone in my family thinks I am a “religious fanatic”. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the gifts that I have been given in the past few years:

I guess when you think your mom is crazy about the whole Jesus thing…when you have to get her a gift, you go to the Christian store! Actually, one of my most treasured moments with my grand daughter happened while my daughter and her family were visiting last summer. It was the day before they had to return home to Oklahoma, and my (then) 5-year old grand daughter was sitting on my lap. We were sitting on the back porch, enjoying the beautiful summer evening…getting some cuddle time in before she had to leave. Suddenly, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Mamaw…why do you love God so much?” We hadn’t been talking about anything, so this was a totally random question. It must have been on her mind. I had the opportunity to tell her how good our God is and how much he loves her. I tell you, no matter how many mistakes I have made…and will make in the future…I consider this memory one of my SUCCESSES!

So, back to the question of why we tend to focus on God instead of abortion. Well, the reason is that the battle to end abortion is no ordinary battle, and praying in front of an abortion clinic is different than other sorts of pro life activity. It is different than going to the March for Life in DC…different than volunteering for a pregnancy resource center…different than holding or attending pro life fundraisers or lobbying for pro life politicians. Not to scare off our “newbies“…but praying at an abortion facility is serious spiritual warfare. It involves going physically to the devil’s most “holy ground“. Abortion is his most treasured “sacrament” if you will. It is like entering the belly of the beast. There is nothing that makes him angrier (and also nothing that causes him the most harm!) than praying in front of an abortion clinic.

Thinking we can end abortion without God is naive! It would be like jumping off this cliff and expecting to fly!

It would be naive of us to think that we could just simply show up on the sidewalk and be able to change people’s minds and hearts. Only God can do that. Unless we have a strong, solid base…rooted in prayer and self-sacrifice, we will soon give up out of fear and discouragement. Again, I am not saying this to scare away the “newbies”…but to ENCOURAGE them (and all of us!) to bump up our prayer lives!

We have to be fit, spiritually…lean and trim with fasting…ready to return love for hatred at any moment. If we do this, God will be with us always. He will fight the battle for us. Stay in his Word daily. Have a set time for prayer every day. Be strong and courageous! And be the “religious fanatic” of your family! 🙂

…and come join with your fellow pro life prayer warriors THIS SUNDAY at 6 pm in front of Planned Parenthood to close out the final hour of our 40 Days for Life vigil! Closing prayers will be lead by Fr. Thomas More Sikora, followed at 7pm with a pot-luck celebration inside Catholic Charities welcome center (corner of 9th and Liberty). Come join the fun!

Read on for today’s stories from the sidewalk…

Peggy writes from the 7-9 am shift…

It was a quiet morning. The witnesses from St. Louise were there with me all morning, and some were still there when I left, going to be there till noon!

Fr. Jeremiah came from the Forest Hills parishes. The others are from St. Louise
Amy joins the group, she is from St. Boniface in the north side
Faithful witnesses from St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair
Witnesses from St. Louise are joined by a passerby who stopped to pray on his way to work.

Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11 am…

The vigil. was blessed with the prayerful presence of many parishioners from St Louise and one from the Presbyterian Church.
There may have been some from another church besides St Benedict the Abbot and St Joan of Arc who began arriving around 10:30, but not sure. There were so many pray-ers we ran out of log sheets and began writing on the backs. Couldn’t find any more.)

Cathy

Seamus, Matt and Joe, strong men of God from St. Louise!
Great crew of prayer warriors from St. Louise de Marillac!

Hank and Judy had the 11-1 shift…

We have been blessed to have good numbers of prayer warriors for the 11-1 shift throughout the 40 Days and today was no exception.  There was a gang from St.Benedict the Abbott, and St.Louise de Marrillac, a couple of individuals from St.James Sewickley, and several individuals (Chrystal, Elsie, Bill joined us for short times. We prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy and the Stations of the Cross.  Elsie especially distributed a good bit of literature.  We received honks from three different trucks passing by and several thumbs-up, thank you and God bless you from passers-by.  Only a few negative comments or gestures.  Praised be Jesus Christ.  

Hank and Judy
Sandy and Suzanne from St. James in Sewickley
Sandy and Angela
Crystal
Angela from St. Louise
Linda, Diane and Mary from St. Louise
Nina, Joan and Mary from St. Joan of Arc parish, with shift manager Judy
Great gang from St. Benedict of the Abbott

Rosalina and Francis were the shift managers from 1-3 pm…

Faithful volunteers from PCUC (People Concerned for the Unborn Child), New Castle Chapter, and shift manager Francis in the background

Jeannie wrote from the 3-5 shift…

What a fabulous way to sign off on my last shift for this 40 days for life vigil. I was blessed to be with a wonderful folks from PCUC in Newcastle. We had a young woman stop by and engage us in a very spirited conversation. She was respectful but Had been sold all the typical abortion lies. Claudia and Raymonda were amazing and patient and sincere talking to her and she really appreciated a chance to dialogue. I am sure we planted seeds in her searching heart. Next I was joined by not one but two separate first timers who came down to pray because they had seen the movie unplanned. First tim came he is in the process of moving to Philadelphia but is determined to join whatever group is in Philly doing the same pro life work. Then came Ken who had never been on the sidewalk before but felt compelled after seeing unplanned. What a joyful day to be part of the 40 days for LIFE vigil.

Jeannie
Raymonda, Claudia and Tim from PCUC New Castle prayed and witnessed to the truth!
abandoned beauty…

Joe K. closed us out for the day from 5-7…

First, a big THANK YOU and BLESSINGS to all that make this happen – it has been an honor!!!
Shift Buddies are pretty important for the end-of-day shifts so a special shout-out to all of mine, especially Lori throughout the vigil, Ken today, and all the others (I have forgotten in name, but remember warmly in my heart!).
What a beautiful day, as the wonderful 3-5 group retired I was joined by my brother Knight, Mike and Ken.  It was Ken’s first time and he was inspired after seeing Unplanned and saw that no one was scheduled – Much appreciated my brothers – making sure that I would not stand alone.
It was relatively quiet – mostly positive feedback.  One man in Pittsburgh on business from San Francisco stopped briefly to give us support as well as a few passersby.
We shared, talking quite a bit about the Unplanned movie…
The shift concluded with the ever joyful Tom, Diane, and Penney packing
it all up until tomorrow…

Joe

Mike, Raymonda, Claudia, Tim, and Ken

Day 35: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport), St. Alexis, McKeesport/North Versailles/White Oak, Culture Impact Ministry

I came across a poem called My Colors will be Clear….here is a little excerpt that I think describes all of the people who have showed up on the sidewalk for 40 Days for Life! Thank you for coming!

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, proclaim until all know and work until He stops me.

And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – for my colors will be clear!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

55 degrees at 7am. We were taking hats and gloves off…and no hand warmers in sight!! The Lord continued to Bless Dick and I with First Evangelical Free Church arriving in their van.

What great Prayer Warriors…Pastor Kirk, our Dean,Darl,David,Randy,Roy, Bill, and Abigail and Nathaniel…Abigail and Nathaniel  did not think they would be here because their baby was due 3/31 but they felt God wanted them on the sidewalk! The 3 of them made an impactful statement!!! And still FEFC kept coming…bus #2…Norbert, Jill, Patricia,Ed, and Laurie.

And when the Lord said,” Who shall I send”? FEFC said,”Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people (babies) in my hands.” What a great last shift of the campaign! Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

Thanks to Charlene and Dick who always have everything under control when I arrive.  Members of the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport headed by Pastor Kirk were beautiful witnesses for life on a beautiful day.  A few clients, definitely an abortion day.  One woman said she was there to hold her friend’s hand all the way as she aborted her baby.  She was  asked how could she hold her friend’s hand when she was on the sidewalk having a cigarette? It was that kind of day with the great regulars from St. Alexis, Theresa from St. Barbara and as Fran took over, another great group of praying pro-lifers from North Versailles/ White Oak. Ed and Vince prayed a heartfelt rosary, prayers straight to heaven.

And don’t forget, if God has His finger in your back to continue this awesome activity, Sidewalk Advocates will be offering a training session coming up on  Saturday, June 1 from 10:00a through 3:00p at the Knights of Columbus hall in Bellevue.  Spread the word – and contact Charlie (412-716-2789) or me or Sue M for more details. 
We’d like to have RSVPs by May 27

11-1: Fran 

The warmth of the sunshine was a foreshadowing of what I would find when I arrived at PP today.  Everyone offered such a warm welcome ~ accompanied by a lovely smile.  St. Alexis, St. Barbara, St. Sebastian and St. Robert Bellarmine were well represented.  Beth Ann, Diane, Claudia and Therese had been with shift manager Beth, and they remained for a while.  Vince from St. Sebastian joined us for a time and the 11:00 shift, Helen, Mary, Margie and Pat, took no little time entering into prayer.  A gentleman from out of town, on his way to the Convention Center, stopped to engage in supportive conversation.  Before he went on his way he asked how he could make a donation and we offered him a 40DFL pamphlet.  That conversation was good preparation, because a short time later, a pro-abortion woman engaged us (respectfully) to explain her position, but, as often happens, it appears that everyone’s words went the way of the wind.  A little while later, a flock of preschoolers, close to 20 in number, came by holding hands in groups of four.  Everyone of us smiled at the sight ~ how could you not?!?!  After they passed, I imagined seeing them all standing, shoulder-to-shoulder, with their little toes perched on the yellow, semi-circle, boundary-line, with their innocent smiles, and I wondered, how many of the PP patrons would be able to walk past them. Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

One to three shift

It was a beautiful, although windy day on the sidewalk! I was blessed to share it with many faithful Christians! When I arrived, Helen and her group from the McKeesport parishes were there and had been there since 11. Soon, the rest of her crew arrived who were going to be there until three. There were also a couple there who had never been there before but  had been inspired by the movie unplanned and decided to come. They were from Steubenville and were not able to come yesterday so they came today. Halfway through my shift, I was pleasantly surprised to see Bernadette and Pat show up with the beautiful statue of Mary. It is Pats birthday today, what a wonderful thing to do on your birthday, witness that these babies may also have birthdays!

It was an abortion day and when I got there at 1 o’clock, there was an abortion    bound couple  headed in the door. They did take the information, but went in anyway. I had opportunities to pass out information to people going in and also post abortion information to at least one person when they left. It is a sad place to be, even on a bright and sunny day. If I had been standing anywhere else and such beautiful weather it would have been a pleasure.  Before I left the wonderful people from cultural impact ministries were arriving for the 3 to 5 shift, along with shift manager Michael. I passed the baton to him. Thanks to everyone for coming! 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It is a beautiful sunny, breezy afternoon!  As always, wonderful people gathered at PP for 40 DFL. What more could we ask for?  We are so blest during this campaign. The Lord sends the best people to be His prayer warriors and witnesses.  What an honor to be a shift manager here and now.  All I do is show up and reap the benefits of a first class, fined tuned operation. What did I do to deserve such a priviledge and honor?  I am blest beyond words.


Matt, St. Richards; and Janis, St. Kilian

I cannot say enough about Kim and Michael, my husband and wife shift buddies who inspire me with their prayers and praises to the Lord. They are awesome and so inspiring to me and all who witness their dedication to the Lord and this holy cause. I will miss this gathering, but Lord give us the courage and desire to come down to PP to pray at times when there is not a 40 DFL CAMPAIGN going on. We are needed just as much then. I wish all of my fellow pro-lifers a fulfilling and safe Spring and Summer. See you in the Fall. God be with all of you.


Donna, Jim, Pauline, Judy of Cultural Impact Ministry;
Laura of NPC

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

A great group joined me this evening.  Marc brought his mother Marjorie.  Marjorie was a “first timer”.  We all kept busy in prayer and the evening ended on a great positive comment from a passer by.  God Bless Us All.


Foreground: Jim and Marjorie.  Standing: Mary, Mike, Marc, Audrey, and Johanna

Day 34: Thanks to Holy Family, St. Peter’s, and Triumph of the Cross Parishes from Steubenville (all day!)

“While all sorts of setbacks are encountered as difficult by those who do not love: those who do love, on the contrary, find them trivial and easily manageable. There is no suffering, however cruel or violent it may be, which is not made bearable or even reduced to nothing by love.”

He who loves either does not feel the difficulty or he loves the very difficulty  itself… The works of those who love are never distressing.” St Augustine

“Cheerfulness, maintained even in the midst of difficulties, is the clearest sign that the love of God informs all our actions.”  Fr. F. Fernandez

You all inspire me with your sacrifices, dedication and LOVE. Thank you.

If you haven’t yet been able to make it to the vigil, make time this last week of the vigil even if only for a prayer or two. Forward this on to your friends and family and let them experience the joy of true love.

And if you can’t come while this 40 DFL Spring Campaign is underway, know that there are faithful Sidewalk Advocates and prayer warriors outside of pp every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings usually from 7 -11 am. Come join us and Love. Tim B.

Here are today’s stories from street:

Sue and Rose, 7-9 AM

Rose and I were so blessed to have some beautiful people and families from Steubenville join us this morning! Also blessed to have so many passersby thank us for being there! It was a really uplifting shift!

Sue

Laura and her 4 children praying on the sidewalk. Laura organized her church (Holy Family) to cover the entire day,  7am-7pm!

Beth and her husband and another lady from Holy Family…I apologize, I didn’t get her name!

Deacon Dwayne came with his parents, his wife and 2 of his 5 daughters!
We are ALL the Pro-Life Generation!

These girls got up at 5am to be on the sidewalk this morning! Their presence was a wonderful witness!

A cute little origami baby my Mom gave me….I placed a card in one of the folds and gave it away!

Donna and Diane, 9-11 AM

It was a glorious day to pray today.  The sun was shining this morning and we arrived to see Laura and her beautiful children praying on the sidewalk.  Thank you to my friend Marti from church who joined me today.  There were so many faithful prayer warriors from the Steubenville Catholic Churches. We were joined by Lynnette, Dan, Bob, Veronica, Ted, Sophia, Anna, Laura, Richard, Joey, Nancy, Nathaniel, Catherine, Emma, Sara, Anna Mae, Rusty, Ben, Judy, Brooke, Cindy, Kate, Barry and many middle school and home school students.Thank you all for being with us today and for your beautiful singing and witness on the sidewalk and streets of Pittsburgh.  

Donna

Ginny, Bev, and Mark, 11 AM-1 PM

One wonderful group after another came to pray at 40 Days today. They came from various churches in the Steubenville area and from Franciscan University. One lady  brought her five children to pray. Her very good and beautiful baby girl was four months old. Another young woman sang the Divine Mercy with the voice of an angel. We got very many positive comments and no negatives. It was very uplifting for my last vigil for this campaign.

Ginny

Rose, 1-3 PM

Just a thank you to my sister Rose for taking my shift. She reported that all the people from Steubenville and Franciscan U. were wonderful, as was Bishop William Waltersheid who said a rosary with them.

Beth

Marie and Pete, 3-5 PM

Shift was peaceful and prayerful. Stubenville Holy Family parishioners Tracey, Kimberly, and William joined Gloria from St Mary’s Glenshaw and prayer buddy Pete during this shift. Frequent positive reactions from people passing by. 

Marie

George and Bill, 5-7 PM…check back soon!


SO grateful to the Catholic community from Steubenville who covered all 12 hours of today’s vigil with fervent prayer and joyful fellowship!!!

DAY 33, Thank you: Saint Coleman, Turtle Creek; Saint Mary of the Assumption, Butler; Saints John and Paul, Franklin Park; Saint Gregory Roman Catholic Church, Zelienople; Vince P., Ken, Marie P., Mary M.; and all the People who witnessed with us today!

DRAW A SCARY PICTURE

Our grandson got an “A” with his picture. 

My dictionary defines “crisis” as an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life.  Even when life is sympatico, pregnancy feels like both of these. However, in a worst case scenario, when a pregnancy seems to threaten all she holds dear, pregnancy terrorizes a mother.

We ask abortion bound mothers to -b-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  Stop and think.  Abortion makes you the mother of a dead baby.  Abortion hates you and your baby.  It creates a howling darkness in your life.  -B-r-e-a-t-h-e-.  We can help you today with phone numbers and emails and personal introductions. Today you CAN choose life for you and your baby.

We can help you consider the big picture. Perhaps that can help you avoid another terrible crisis like this. In her video, Lead, Kindly Light, Audrey Assad sings about the light that lit her path home.  

Ms. Assad credits John Henry Newman and his poem Lead, Kindly Light with her inspiration for this video. He wrote the poem while he was close to death on an ocean voyage.

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LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT

LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom

Lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home –

Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet;  I do not ask to see

The distant scene – one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou

Shouldst lead me on.

I loved to choose and see my path, but now

Lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will:  remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still

Will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone;

And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

At Sea

June 16, 1833

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“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean I think the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Something Beautiful for God. Malcolm Muggeridge

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN 7-9

The next-to-last Sunday morning of the campaign began with Tom supplying all of our vigil needs.  Then Vince and I were able to pray all the decades of the Scriptural rosary.  God gave us a loving smile by having the sun break over the tops of the buildings just as we started meditating on the Resurrection.  
 
Bill stopped by to request prayers for Jane, a wonderful youth minister with stage IV cancer.  D & E also came to ask for help as they do every Sunday morning, but today D mentioned that she is 18 weeks pregnant.  I let her know of as many resources as I could.  Please keep them in your prayers, too.
 
As Sue, Ken, Bill, and Arlene arrived for the next shift, we all prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together.  

Tom, coKeeper of the Signs and Vince, Shift Buddy

Sue, Shift Manager 9-11, Bill and Arlene and Ken, Shift Buddy 9-11

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SUE 9-11

What a beautiful morning it was on the sidewalk.  Quite the contrast to last Sunday!  Regular 40 Days participants Arlene and Bill joined shift buddy Ken and me.  There were roses on the sidewalk when we arrived, and we added more flowers and also rose petals.  No wind this morning to blow them away. 
We prayed the daily devotional, Rosary, Psalms, and the pro-life intentions that are on the backs of some of our signs.  Jen and Vince from the 7-9 shift had told us of their joy this morning when, just as they began praying the Resurrection decade in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary this morning, the sun appeared between the buildings.  And in between prayers at my shift, our discussion this morning continued to focus on the Resurrection theme and on the virtue of Hope.  We are getting close to the great celebration!! 
It was nice having Sherry, from South Hills Assembly, join us this week again.  Toward the end of the shift, Marge and Cathy arrived from St. Paul in Butler, along with regular Patty, for the next shift.   There were no negative comments this morning that I remember – if there were, they were drowned out by our prayer. 
For Life

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ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1

What a beautiful day, regular prayer warriors, some sunshine and warm weather. What more can one ask for? How about for God to put Planned Parenthood and all those who perform abortions out of business.
God Bless all who came to pray with us today.

Kathy, St. Mary of the Assumption and Rich, Shift Manager

Rich and Jim

Sue on her knees!

Marge and Kathy from Saint Mary of the Assumption

Bill, Faithful Witness

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KRISTY 1-3

There was a great group from Saints John and Paul Church when I arrived.  We prayed a Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and talked about the Unplanned movie and the impact it’s making on people to open their eyes and hearts to what’s really going on in Planned Parenthood.  I read the cast of the movie went through major spiritual warfare while filming, but the effect of the movie seems to be paying off and saving babies!  

Saints John and Paul Pro Life Witnesses!

Saints John and Paul Cloud of Pro Life Witnesses

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ANDY 3-5

Three new prayer warriors.  All retired nurses from Altoona.             Inspired by the movie Unplanned.  They decided to do something about it. So they googled the closest 40 Days campaign and ended up in Pittsburgh praying with us!

Altoona Pro Life nurses inspired by Unplanned.

Saint Gregory’s in Zelienople made a nice showing on this beautiful spring day. 

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JOE 5-7

Always amazing to watch regular folk standing up for life through their prayerful witness, especially when Fathers are sacrificing with their daughters. Fills me with Hope for our future.
God is great!!!
Peace of the Lord be with yinz

Jim, Dave and daughter Deanna, Cathy, Tony and daughter Katelyn, Saint Gregory Parish

Kenneth from Steubenville

And God saw that it was good.

Day 32: Thanks to Knights of Columbus, Sidewalk Advocates, Guardians for Life, Holy Trinity, Bethlehem Lutheran, Stonebridge Church, and individual volunteers

In the past few weeks I have taken advantage of the winter clearance sales for women’s clothing. As I clipped off a tag from a blouse I’d wear to work that day, I stopped to read it.

40 Days for LIFE = People who LIVE 4 TRUTH

And a pair of new corduroy pants were labelled with this idea:

MADE and LOVED- Really?

Like NIKE introducing JUST DO IT, advertisers have progressed from touting the qualities that make their products special, to addressing the very real and needy human spirits of their customers. They forego enumerating the attributes of what they are selling and cleverly shift focus. The advertising is now about US and how we feel about ourselves. Somehow I am supposed to be EMPOWERED by my clothing purchases. It is nearly comical …. Will I be more truthful if I wear my new blouse? Don’t think so. Does the person who made my pants also still LOVE them??? NOPE. We are called to “LIVE 4 TRUTH” in our pro-life efforts and we continue in them because EVERY precious life is MADE and LOVED by our creator.
So, yes, I believe God is speaking to me, even in the labels of my clothing. What’s in YOUR closet?

7-9 am Shift Manager Tim Reports:

The Armour of these Knights is LOVE!

The vigil opened early with a strong presence from year-round regular Sidewalk Advocates Virginia and Joe along with Bill and Chuck (who does a Jericho march every Saturday morning).  They were joined by Beth from North Park Church, Claire from Our Lady of Grace, Tom and Charlie from the Bellevue KOC and Shift Mgr. Pat M.  Two women and a man got out of car in front of PP and accepted information and then engaged in a conversation and all agreed that adoption is a better option.  They then viewed the fetal models while still inside the yellow line and were promptly asked by an escort to step outside of it.  They then walked away.
We were joined by the strong presence and prayer of Fr Tim and the Uniontown Knights of Columbus. What a strong witness we made today.   Tim B.

PORTRAIT of JOY: Guardians for Life unite and PRAY

Sue D. Reports 9-11: We were very happy to arrive to more pray-ers than usual today and, despite the beautiful weather, fewer folks going in to PP for services.  One couple did accept info but entered PP.  Another couple, coming out of PP, also accepted the yellow card.  And another couple hurriedly coming out would not accept information – when I offered, the woman said, “No, just pray for me.”  When I told her we are here every Saturday and invited her to come back and talk to us anytime, she said again, “No, just pray for me.”  I told her I definitely would.  We did not know if she had just had an abortion or had been in there for an initial appointment and had not yet made a decision.  I told the group, who will also be praying for her.  She asked for it – she’s DEFINITELY got it – we prayed then and will continue praying!

Among our many prayer warriors today were the Guardians for Life; folks from Our Lady of the Lake in Edinboro, PA; members of the Most Holy Name Society from the Greensburg area (Ascension and Sacred Heart Parishes); and the beautiful large “S” family from St. Alexis in Wexford.  Many many thanks to all, coming from far and wide!  The prayer was abundant and continuous this morning; so wonderful.  It seemed we had an even proportion of positive and negative reactions from passersby.  In between prayers we talked about the “Unplanned” movie and the major impact it is having.

At one point, Mike from the MHN Society told me he had approached a group of the PP escorts to tell them that he and they have a lot in common, that they are all volunteers, and that he is a volunteer for Christ.  I knew by his quiet and sincere manner that he had spoken these words to them in love.  God bless you and good work, Mike – you perfectly embodied today the spirit of 40 Days for Life!

 

Most Holy Name Society, JeannettePA joins in

1-3 Shift manager Billy reports:Today I was accompanied by Holy Trinity church, Tom, Jenny , Sarah and Tom and Jenny’s children. I was accompanied around 2:30  by Melissa and Jason and Gail  from Bethlehem Lutheran church in Shaler who helped pass out Unplanned flyers. While we were there, there was a couple who walked out of planned parenthood and took one of our flyers and one woman grabbed the information before she went into planned parenthood. I saw a couple people coming out of the planned parenthood. All in all we had a good day. Here are some photos:

11-1 shift manager Dean reports: Thanks to the folks from Holy Trinity for praying with me today. There wasn’t as much traffic at P.P. during my shift.

Sharon, the coordinator from Holy Trinity, with a wonderful group of prayer warriors from her parish
Holy Trinity parish in Robinson came out in force today!


3-
5 Shift Manager Kathy Reports: On one side of the circle was colorful and enthusiastic Stonebridge Church: Charlie and Sarah wore 40 days shirts. Another Sarah brought 3 children. 
Beautiful roses were laid around circle.
Adrienne from Log Church and Kimberly from SHBC completed the group:ALL first timers!!!So blessed to pray with Bethlehem Lutheran Church from Glenshaw. Amazing testimonies of Gods love. Melissa brought flyers for Unplanned that she recieved from Pgh Christian Events group.wow!

What it looks like from the bus stop across the street— You are noticed. You make an impact!

Day 31: Thank you to St. Irenaeus/St. Januarius/St. John the Baptist/St. Joseph/Our Lady of Joy Parishes (OPV Catholic), St. Teresa of Avila Parish, St. Regis Knights of Columbus & Parish, and loving Individual Volunteers

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is so much darkness and hate afflicting the people who enter Planned Parenthood’s doors. 

That kind of darkness gives cover to the lies that are told:  “It’s only a blob of tissue.”  “You can’t handle a child right now.”  “It’s your body, you can do whatever you want with it.” 

That kind of hate gives rise to a host of evil:  Medical professionals ending lives rather than caring for them.  Counselors deceiving women about abortion being the solution to their problem.  The hearts of mothers turning against their own children.

As Christians, we are aware that the people involved are not evil themselves; rather, they have been duped by the evil one. 

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.  —Ephesians 6:12

To end that darkness and hate…to free our brothers and sisters from it…we have to bring light and love to that awful place. 

God Himself is Light and Love, and bringing Him to the people trapped in darkness and hate is what 40 Days For Life is all about. 

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. –1 John 1:5   

Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.  —1 John 4:8

THANK YOU to all who have brought God to 933 Liberty Avenue during this Lenten campaign.

There is still time to join us in this incredibly important mission…come any time between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until Sunday, April 14th. 


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:

Richard, Fran and I arrived at the same time accompanied by a light drizzle.  
With the agility of experience Tom was already there arranging and sorting the bin and supplies. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer before Tom left.
I am ashamed to admit that I have not yet remembered to bring flowers!
Next Friday is my last chance. 
Richard covered the far side of the golden half circle in witness and prayer.
Fran and I caught each other up with Good News.
We shared greetings with passers by. We offered “God bless you” to everyone entering PP.  All offers of prolife help were refused.
One young woman asked about Al and Sally and we noted how they get better every day and plan to reclaim their place with us on the sidewalk. They will always have their place in our hearts!!
It is such a blessing to come to the sidewalk with Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life.

Barbara

Tom and Shift Buddy, Fran

Kathy and Marianne, 9-11 AM:

Thank you to Tim, Joyce, Fran, and Bob from St. Joseph’s Church from Verona.  Also thank you to Fri regulars Terry and Bill H. (not pictured) for coming. We started our time by reading the 40 days devotional and then I focused on reaching out to pp patrons while the others prayed.  We came together again around 10:30 reading some psalms together and praying the intentions on the back of the baby signs.

I passed out my first Spanish translation of the brochure “Watch Me Grow” to a young Spanish speaking couple who were passing by.  They were very appreciative of the literature.  Also gave resources to 3-4 pp patrons as they exited.  They too, were appreciative for the resources.

Several passersby by thanked us for being there and a mother and teenage daughter positively acknowledged the fetal model display.  Some negative comments.

Kathy

Tim, Joyce, Fran, and Bob from St. Joseph’s Church in Verona

Fran and Pastor Bryan, 11 AM-1 PM:

We had a very pleasant lunch-time crowd passing by today and I was happy that quite a few accepted the literature being offered.  I imagine they were thankful that the clouds were withholding their gifts from us.  Nancy from St. John the Baptist in Plum and Eileen from a Presbyterian Church in Penn Hills joined me today as well as our regular sidewalk advocates, Pastor Bryan and Walt.  We joined in prayer and shared some conversation together.  The movie, Unplanned, had been seen by everyone of us, and some more than once.  Unquestionably, it inspired each of us to a deeper commitment and also to hope because, on every occasion, the movie was well attended.  We are all praying that many will seek the truth that is so clearly revealed in this movie.  Late in the shift, a woman of the Muslim faith stopped to talk with Pastor Bryan and she offered a bag of supplies that would be helpful to an individual in need.  Pastor Bryan said he knew of someone who could use the items and that he would be happy to deliver them.  It is interesting to me that every day on the sidewalk is so different. 

Fran
Nancy and Eileen with Pastor Bryan

Elaine, 1-3 PM:

Pat and Joe, 3-5 PM:

Things seemed quieter on the sidewalks and the streets today.  I found it peaceful and conducive to prayer.  While I had signed up my parish, St. Regis, for this two-hour shift, no one came.  (I did have participants from my parish for a 2 hour shift on a Sunday morning earlier in the campaign, however.  So that’s at least some consolation to me.)  Therefore, I was VERY grateful that faithful Joe from St. Bernadette’s answered the call and came to stand with me.  It was also good to see Mark, a former SM (I believe) stop by to pray.  It was nice to be able to catch up with him.

I had no negative comments – plus I had a lot of people stop to read my sign, which was about how over 2,300 people are killed in this building each year.  The one interesting thing that happened was that a couple that seemed to be from another country – perhaps an eastern European country – tried to go into the building, but the door wouldn’t open for them despite the fact that I had seen others enter w/out problem.  I tried to give them a card, but they just walked away.

Pat

David and Bill, 5-7 PM:

It was only me and Bill on the sidewalk. The first hour and a half only produced two positives but lots of indifference. Then, a man stopped as his two sons were interested in the models. They were about 6 and 7. I told them, “You were that size at one time in your Mom’s belly.” They had many questions. I gave them some little babies and information. Their inquisitive minds were open and wanted to learn. Thank God! All the indifference disappeared!

David

Day 30: Thank you to the Manordale Valley Council of the Knights of Columbus (Murrysville), Christian Assembly of God Church, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. John Baptist de la Salle (Delmont) & St. Mary’s (Export) City Center parishes, St. Joseph (Lucinda) and our other volunteers!

Today’s First Reading tells us this familiar sobering tale:

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’

Exodus 32: 7-8

In the Responsorial Psalm of the day, we see a continuation of the same theme:

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

Psalm 106: 19-20

And from all those thousands of years ago, we have not changed. Why do we do this? Why are we children of such disobedience and rebellion? We see human examples of this all the time, often from children who don’t care about what their parents are telling them- especially if it’s something GOOD for them.

Why are we so ready to dismiss that which is GOOD, and exchange it for something FAR LESS GOOD…. or even BAD for us? Choosing our OWN way instead of GOD’S way is never going to end well.

Abortion-minded couples are like this too. Abortion workers as well. And yes, ALL of us can fall into this mindset. Lent is a perfect time to consider what our priorities are. Do we really want GOD? If so, how are we going to choose to live?

Let us step out in faith, and trust that by doing God’s will and living HIS way, we will ultimately live a life of JOY. We cannot have true joy apart from Him. But WITH Him, we can have it all.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki (7-9am):

 It was a good start to Day 30 on the sidewalk today! As always, it was wonderful to see my sidewalk buddy Peggy and faithful Tom setting up the materials.  I brought roses and Peggy brought a beautiful colorful springtime bouquet, which we scattered on the sidewalk as a symbol of the beauty of every life that is tragically discarded behind those doors, in hopes that they will touch some hearts.

The Knights of Columbus, Manordale Council in Murrysville sent four wonderful prayer warriors. It was a blessing to stand with them for my entire shift. Also, Pastor Paul came with three ladies from his church, Bentleyville Assembly of God. He brought his guitar and sang and played,  which was awesome!

After praying silently on my knees for the first 45 minutes, when couples begin entering for their abortions, I got up and began offering help and alternatives. Sadly, nobody that we know of took us up on our offers of help. But, we prayed for those couples and for the babies. They did not die alone and forgotten. 

Beautiful flowers in memory of the beautiful lives lost at Planned Parenthood.
Tom and Shift Buddy, Peggy! Thank you!
Two of the faithful Manordale Knights of Columbus! Thank you!
Thank you, Pastor Paul and lovely ladies from Bentleyville Assembly of God!

More prayer and song from the Bentleyville group and Dave from the Knights of Columbus! Thank you all!

Meredith (9-11am):

I arrived, pleasantly surprised, to a full sidewalk this morning and someone playing a guitar and singing worship songs! Very different from the shift I did earlier in the 40 Days with one other person!!!

My good friends Pastor Debbie from Christ’s Church Ministries and Jessi from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene came with me today. Just leaving was the group from Manordale Valley Council of the Knights of Columbus. The guitar player was Pastor Paul of Christian Assembly from Bentleyville, PA, who brought three ladies from his church, staying from 7:30 – 11am. Their worship was so beautiful and encouraging on the streets of the city. Before long Bill H. stopped by and Chuck and Katie arrived. A newcomer joined us who had seen Unplanned and felt a need to respond. Thank you Al for heeding the call!

Katie and I are accustomed to working together and we took up positions on either side of the door. There was what seemed like an equal amount of traffic both in and out of PP this morning. I tried unsuccessfully to engage couples leaving in conversation, to see if I could determine why they were there. One couple left unwilling to speak to me, but were back in short order. They unfortunately went back inside.

The saddest part of our morning came when a couple went in who I felt were hesitating. The man kept looking at us, and eventually came out and spoke to us. He didn’t want his wife to abort their fourth child, but he couldn’t talk her out of it. He’s a Christian and knows it’s wrong, even though doctors were recommending it to her because of medications she takes. Multiple people contributed to the conversation with him and we prayed for him and encouraged him to go in and try again. We prayed fervently, but he came back out unsuccessful in his efforts. Jess pointed out how good it was that we were there for him. Imagine how much harder it would have been for this young man without our support and encouragement. He said it was so spiritually uncomfortable in the waiting room that he couldn’t stay in there. Pray for M and his wife M and for their family. If she has the chemical abortion, she will struggle with the decision she made for the rest of her life, as she too considers herself to be a Christian. It was time for us to go, so we took turns hugging M and telling him we loved him and were praying for him.

We left the scene in the caring hands of Lisa and a nice sized group of prayers from the eastern suburbs!

Thank you to Pastor Debbie from Christ’s Church Ministries, and
Jessi and Shift Manager Meredith from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene!

Lisa K. (11am-1pm):

To finish the story that Meredith started above, it was very sad for us to learn that M did indeed begin the chemical abortion process, but we were able to tell her husband about the possibility of abortion pill reversal, and that there was still hope.

There were a several angry people…. with ridiculous comments as they passed by, including one woman who Katie awesomely took under her wing. Thank you to all those who had to endure the rough situation with that one woman- especially Tracy and her sweet little ones!

I am so thankful for all of you prayer warriors that came out today. God bless you all.

Part of the large group from Export and Delmont. Thank you!
Another part of the Export/Delmont group. Thank you so much for coming!
Thank you to Tracy and her beautiful children, who were such a delight on the sidewalk!
Thank you to Mike from St. Bernard!

Helen (3-5 pm):

So sad to hear the incident during the earlier shift. Prayers for the man and his lady.

The sign-in sheet was so full, we had to use the margins of the pages. Let’s hope that happy inconvenience will last for the rest of the vigil. 

As Carolyn was leaving, five ladies from Lucinda in Clarion County arrived, along with our Shift Buddy Anita, and Philene, a veteran pro-lifer from the South Hills, stopped on her way home from the office and stayed to pray. 

The ladies from Clarion were Karen, Linda, Ann, Patti and Desiree’. They had a lot of questions about what goes on at PP. Unplanned has not reached their local theater, but it was the big topic between prayers. We prayed the rosary at least five times as well as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

The man with a half-full glass and an unsteady gait gave his attention to one of the Clarion ladies. She ignored him and he went away.

Another man stopped and told us he was embarrassed to ask but he needed $10 for his child. After he repeated it twice, we told him Catholic Charities was just down the street. He said he had been there and they were closed. Anita and I assured him they should still be there. He said they closed in March. We walked with him about halfway to Catholic Charities when he stopped and said, “I don’t want to go there,” and he left to go in the opposite direction. I did tell him that we were not supposed to carry money when we were at the vigil. That IS a good idea. 

The action from PP seemed to be employees leaving at the end of their day. It was good to see Joe K., who traded shifts with Charlie. 

Thank you to Joe, Joe, and Anita!

Anita and Barb in the sunshine! Thank you, ladies, for your prayers!


Joe K. (5-7 pm):

It truly seemed like a “5 O’clock World” today as everyone seemed to hustle home -not much attention paid to the vigil…  Except one young woman who stopped by, wanted to “pray” with us and quickly “prayed” that we wouldn’t be so judgmental – but didn’t stay long enough to become “enlightened” about 40-DFL and particularly our current theme:  L-O-V-E…  Also, humorously absent was the failure to recognize the irony in such a claim…
Joe, my shift buddy from St. Bernadette’s, and I prayed from the “Rolodex of Prayers” and shared…
Another gentleman, Rocky, stopped by a couple of times – he’s in a tough situation and can use prayers.  Rocky shared with us that he had crossed paths previously with Kermit Gosnell…
The shift / vigil ended for the night as faithful Tom, Diane, and Penney packed us up for tomorrow…

Check back later for more reports as they come in.

God bless you all!

Day 29…Thanks to St. Bernard of Clairvaux Knights of Columbus (Indiana, PA), Catholic Men’s Fellowship (Mother of Sorrows, Murrysville) and St. Paul Cathedral!

My creation…I shall call him “Rock-head”

So you may be wondering…”What’s up with the head full of rocks? Don’t worry…I will explain. But first, I want to tell you about my prayer time from this morning. I read a beautiful quote in my daily devotional magazine, “Magnificat” by a man named Jacques Fesch (now named a “servant of God”). He was a murderer who experienced a profound conversion before his execution in 1957. The quote is rather long, but worth reprinting here. he wrote:

…”It will soon be one year since the Lord called me in his mercy. As for the exact date of my conversion, I can’t put my finger on it. It happened progressively, as I moved from atheism to a very marked, sincere faith, but when I look back I can no longer discern the landmarks along the way. I had been completely indifferent, but one day I realized that I had new eyes, and a view of reality which I had never anticipated was given to me.

Before that, the true God was an indifferent tradition as far as I was concerned. Now, he is all that matters. he is at the center of the world, he rises above my being. he invades me totally, and my spirit cannot escape from him. A powerful hand has seized me. Where is it? What has it done to me? I do not know, for his action is not like the action of men, it is unknowable and effective, it constrains me, and I am free. It transforms my being, yet I do not cease to be what I am.

Then comes the struggle-silent, tragic-between what I was and what I have become. For the new creature who has been planted within me calls for a response which I am free to refuse. I have received the principle; I must go on to the consequences…

I am amazed and surprised at the change which grace has effected in me. Claudel once described the ‘state of a man who has been pulled out of his own skin with one yank to be thrust into a strange body in the middle of an unknown world.’ This is the only comparison I can find to describe my state of complete disarray. I have found peace, but at the same time war. It is a perpetual struggle in which I do gain ground, yet the further I advance the more I perceive my misery and the infinite distance ahead which I must cover. To stand still would be to fall back.

Servant of God Jacques Fesch

As I read this beautiful account of a soul transformed by God’s grace, I thought about Abby Johnson’s conversion, and wondered how it is possible for someone to have such a radical conversion. How did she go from being a Planned Parenthood clinic director to someone who helps abortion workers to get out?

This is where “Rock-Head” comes in. You will notice that He is jam-packed full of sinful vices. There is no room in Him for grace or truth. Even if he WANTED to….he would be unable to care about anyone other than himself. He is blinded by his own selfishness. God just needs a tiny little foothold for his grace to take root. Maybe if old Rock-Head here got rid of just one of those rocks…God could plant a seed. Once grace begins to grow in his soul, he will become aware of the other rocks and he will begin to desire their removal as well. And the hard work of conversion begins. I am speaking from experience, as I used to be a rock-head myself…and am still fighting the battle to root out rocks in my own soul. One great tool that helped me in the beginning is the Litany of Humility. You can find it HERE.

The season of Lent is such a wonderful opportunity for us to become more open to God’s grace in our soul…and to make us more fit to be used by him in this important battle to end abortion! We root out the rocks of selfishness when we overcome our fear and desire for comfort, to stand publicly in witness to the sanctity of all human life in front of Planned Parenthood. We are all at different stages of conversion. And we praise God for the work that he is doing in so many souls…especially in Abby’s and the other 185 abortion workers that have left the industry following 40 Days for Life campaigns!

I will close by saying that my husband and I went to see Unplanned for the second time tonight. We first saw it last Thursday at a private showing that I hosted. Since I was in charge of the event and was so overly-busy that day, I really didn’t get to absorb the movie as I wanted to…so I decided to go back and see it again. I was AMAZED to see that the theater was PACKED tonight! Imagine, a TUESDAY night…and a PRO-LIFE film…was FILLED! I really thought we would be sitting in the theater with about 5 other people. After the show, the audience applauded! I am so moved and encouraged to see that our culture is WAKING UP to the reality of abortion! We have spent so many years, praying, fasting and working. The rocks of sin are being removed and the grace of God is beginning to take root! God is on the move and it is wonderful to see! He is answering our prayers! I praise and thank him!

Read on for today’s sidewalk stories…

Charlene and Peg had the 7-9am shift:

Pansies in the daffodils!

“What can I do for You today, Lord?” “Pray, witness, and be counted” And so we were…Beth,Peg, and I. Praying together and individually . Thanking God it was not an abortion day. Thanking God for the sun, warmth, and pansies in with the daffodils! “ Today is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.”
Amen!! Charlene

Charlene
Thanks to Beth from St. John XXIII for answering the call to stand with Peg and Charlene!

Cathy and Elsie managed the 9-11am shift:

Cathy and Elsie had lots of prayer partners this morning! Thanks to Roberto, Irene, Bill and Kevin from St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Thomas More in Indiana, and Marie and Diane from St. John Neumann in Franklin Park

Fairly quiet morning – a few ladies went in.  One, L,  pushing a stroller, came out a little while later and talked to Elsie and Beth.  Turns out she had been here a few years ago when two months pregnant with the little girl in the stroller, who looked about 3.  She had talked to Nikki who got her connected to Fr. Jason in Carnegie.  She said that that church family is “now her family” – they really helped her out.  The child’s father had left early on.  She has since met a good man who loves this little girl and they are getting married in a few weeks.  She had come to PP to get birth control, but for whatever reason did not get it.  Elsie told her about the abortifacient properties of BC  and gave her some info on natural family planning.

Cathy

Hank & Judy were the 11-1 managers:

Once again there were good numbers of prayer warriors for the 11-1 shift, 24 in all.  The group included the ever faithful Guardians of Life,  Indiana Knights of Columbus, St.Bernard of Clairvaux, MaryAnne and her daughter from St.Catherine of Sweden, and a regular Dan from Steubenville. Among the Guardians were Jerome and his son Mark and Sr.James Anne.  As the weather has warmed the traffic appears to have picked up and with that the good and the bad.  The bad….more hecklers/angry people than I’ve experienced.  (I wonder if the movie Unplanned has satan worked up).  The good….lots of prayers and song lifted up to Our Lord and Savior who will ultimately give us victory in this struggle.  More good….lots of thumbs-up, thank you, God bless you comments from passers-by and Terri had a banner day distributing literature and engaging many young people in conversation over the issue.  As the weeks of Spring have passed the sun has progressed closer and closer to PP.  We pray that soon the SON will shine fully on PP and the hearts of the nation will repent for the evil perpetrated on God’s children!

Guardians for Life
Shift buddy Judy, with Sister James Ann OFM with Guardians for Life
Mary Anne and daughter Monica, from St. Catherine of Siena
Dan from Steubenville, with Terri with Guardians for Life
Fr. Tim, a faithful pro-life leader!
Guardians for Life
Jerome with son, Mark

Rosalina & Mary were there for the 1-3 shift:

Mary reported that they had to call an ambulance for a passerby who fell in the street and was not getting up. Mary did what she could to help the man until the paramedics got there. It may have been drug related. Other than that, it was a good shift, with Rosalina, Mary, Dan and John as the prayer warriors on the sidewalk.

Jeannie & Missy were the 3-5 shift managers:

Joe and Janet from Saint Pauls with Missy from the north side. The Holy Spirit was really active today —in the wind. All our beautiful rose petals found their way upward and we can only hope that they take with them the sentiments of our prolife Hearts.
 

Jeannie
Veteran prayer warrior Vince brought  down first timer Judy both from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. How amazing that members of this 40 days for LIFE community respond and show up. I was blessed.  Jeannie
 

Charlie & Amy closed out the day with the 5-7pm shift:

It was a quiet night on the sidewalk and we also got quiet a few positive responses over the negative. Just want to thank all the people that came from St John’s tonight.

Charlie & Amy

Day 28: Thank you Riverside Community Church, St. Alexis, St. Ann (Waynesburg) and individual volunteers!

So we went to see Unplanned on Saturday night. It was sobering but hope-filled! My husband asked the question….do you think that can happen in Pittsburgh? Do you think the Planned Parenthood can close?

I hate to admit that I hesitated, but than I responded YES, yes that can happen! Because I believe God has a plan….

40 Days for Life was started in response to an increasing number of abortions at the Bryan TX Planned Parenthood. I don’t think that when they set out, they expected to eventually be running a Pro-Life center in the very building that housed Planned Parenthood. We have to trust that God is in charge and remain faithful. God initiated this work and He will bring it to completion.
God’s ways are not our ways!

So let’s stick with the plan and be ready for surprises, cause God has a way of doing that!

7am-9am Charlene and Dick

As Dick and I got out of the car and headed to the sidewalk, we said it felt warmer. We say that every Tuesday…but when we get to PP, it never is. It is probably the place as much as the temperature.

We were joined by Ed and Jackie (SA) and later by Julie, Marcia, and Jeannine from Riverside Community Church. They were very interested in what to do…so eager to help. I gave them the yellow cards  with free services to hand out. Meanwhile, Jackie was trying to speak with those going into PP…it seemed like a lot today. One new comment, “Abortion is about economics and women’s healthcare”…hmmm.

Jackie (Sidewalk Advocate) and Charlene…still bundled up on the sidewalk

My “Little Black Lenten Book” last week reminded me that, “I am created by God and put here on earth for a purpose. I may not know, this side of the grave, what my purpose is. But if I do my best, in the circumstances of my own life, to live as Jesus taught me to live, I will accomplish my purpose. In the eyes of the world, what I do may not seem all that important. It probably won’t make me famous. But there is no greater, more important accomplishment than simply doing what God put me here to do”  

This morning God wanted Dick, Ed, Jackie, Julie, Marcia, Jeanine, and I on the sidewalk, praying for the babies. We accomplished God’s purpose for us today.
Charlene

9-11: Elsie and Beth Ann

Upon arriving, I heard from Jackie & Ed that traffic into PP was, sadly, enormous this morning. Jackie thought that a meeting might be in progress and might account for some of the folks going in. During my shift, I failed miserably at engaging PP’s victims in meaningful conversation. However, we did have one ray of hope: one couple exited PP very soon after entering and left, although unfortunately they did not accept lit.
It WAS encouraging to see so many members of the Body of Christ actually show up at Calvary this morning! Riverside Community Church sent three brave, lovely, and kind-hearted ladies: Marcia, Julie, & Jeannine. St. Alexis sent the very prayerful Claudia, Beth Ann, Fred, Diane, & Rachel. Before my shift ended, an impressive group from St. Anne’s in Waynesburg arrived. They included a mom who had brought a darling baby girl & toddler boy, all bundled up against the cold. Talk about “visuals” even more powerful than photos or prenatal models. One  notable sad event during the shift was the arrival of the Cyntox disposal truck. The driver denied that he was picking up babies’ bodies, insisting it was just discarded hypodermic needles. This was hard to believe, given that there were four LARGE boxes. Claudia led us in the Rosary as the boxes were being loaded and discarded. 

11-1: Fran

The ladies from St. Alexis remained until 11:30 and welcomed an amazing group of prayer warriors from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg.  The prayers soared heavenward on each side of the circle.  Kim & Mike, Carol, Kathy, Nicole, Denise, and Athilia came ready to pray and offer literature.  We also enjoyed having with us two beautiful children who accompanied their mom and grandma.  They are living proof of how truly precious are God’s children. 

We were also happy to have with us Phelene and Christopher who each stopped to pray during their lunch time before returning to work.  It was a busy sidewalk today, as were the doors to PP.  We had a moment of hope when a woman backed out the door (I believe it was) to respond to our invitation, but the man who was with her stopped her and redirected her back through the door.  Our eyes closed in sorrow and silent prayer.  Athilia was in a conversation for about 45 minutes with another couple who were just passing by.  Hopefully the seeds that she planted will take root.  The time passed quickly by and I saw Nikki coming down the sidewalk with two beautiful roses.

1-3: Nikki

It was a peaceful shift, and the weather was beautiful! I was blessed to have the wonderful group from Saint Anne’s in Waynesburg with me the entire time. Their leader, Kim, was on her knees the whole time praying, and they all prayed as a group. We passed out information, there were some couples still going in and many couples coming out.  We are planting seeds and will never know how God is using us to make a difference! I left the vigil in the capable hands of shift manager Michael, who had prayer volunteer Regis signed up to be with him for his entire shift. 


Shift manager Michael with prayer volunteer Regis

3-5: Michael and Regis

It was sunny, breezy, quiet and peaceful today. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. Passersby were a mixed bag, mostly positive. I can’t help but feel a little pumped up after seeing Unplanned. It is so obvious how the Lord has been working with and through Abby Johnson and now with Unplanned. I guess we could say Unplanned was and is His Plan all along. Let’s all pray very hard that tons of people that are sitting on the fence regarding abortion or who are pro-choice, see this movie, and are moved to the pro-life side. Our culture of death needs to be shaken to its core and move towards a culture of life. 

Is it MeMe or MiMi?

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

The 5 – 7 shift was peaceful and prayerful.  When we thought we may have prayed enough – along comes Mimi with the command, “Pray a Rosary!” and, of course we did. Thank you to those who came to pray this evening; Johanna, Marc, Audrey and Jim and our pal, city dweller, “Gym Shorts Jim”. Blessings, Lisa

Day 27: Thanks to North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church, St. Patrick, Canonsburg, St. Thomas Anglican Church, Eastbrook and Volant United Methodist Churches

Standing at the foot of the cross

Did you ever Wonder if you would have had the courage to stand at the foot of the cross? I’m guessing the answer is yes. If you have the courage to stand at the vigil downtown in that sometimes hostile environment you would have stood at the foot of the cross.

Hum… Did it ever seem to you that when we are are praying outside pp IT IS as if we are praying at the crucifixion? When I think about the actual crucification I can barely comprehend the love and mercy the HE showed for us. As St. Paul said “he did it for me”. That’s the love and mercy I hope I show and offer to all those we encounter on the street at the vigil and for the unborn, the defenseless.

So I keep telling myself, be like Saint John. Simply show up. Stay a while. Pray, offer love and understanding.

Want to be at the crucifixion? Come back to the vigil. Get your group or a few friends to come back to witness, pray outside pp and perhaps save a live and a few souls. Sign up or just show up. Show your LOVE.

Here’s are the stories and pics from today at the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am. Stop back throughout the day as the blog will updated.

7-9 am: Rose and some members of NH Reformed Presbyterian Church

From Sue 7-9 am: It was a great shift! Shift buddy Rose and I were so happy to have the men from North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church with us! They always pick a Monday morning shift and so we got to reconnect! We were reminiscing how in the fall Charles re-directed a woman to WCN for free pregnancy services and that she is most likely due to have her baby very soon!! A little later Sam’s wife came with their youngest child to witness and we also had Sean from St. Paul’s cathedral come to pray for about an hour before he went to work. There were many people passing by, a lot of regulars that we recognize and some workers entered PP. The sun started shining as we finished our shift and it seemed to get about 10 degrees warmer! Thanks, Sue

Sean and Rose, and Bill and Charles 7-9 am

From Beth 9-11 am: In the theater on Saturday night, 40 Days for Life seemed wonderful and effective, which it is. On this Monday morning, the rest of the reality showed up in the form of a wind chill factor that had us all moving to stay warm and one woman dropping obscenities like snowflakes. Well, Unplanned must be making some people very angry; it shows the truth and for some, that’s not good especially when we know the truth always wins in the end.
How about the little children who spot the fetal models. One little boy walked across Liberty smiling and shouting, “I love those babies.” A mom with her beautiful daughter stopped and showed her that she was once just that small. Now if three year olds can recognize a human baby, don’t you think adults should be able to do the same?
Congratulations to all the wonderful people standing in the cold from the North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church. Bill W.
Kevin K., Sam, Meg and especially brave, Greta S. brought the sunshine with prayers and witnessing. Charles H, pastor stayed for almost four hours and even surprised us later with special guest stars, our best marketing tool: his three beautiful children, Miriam, Michal (sp?) and Esther.
As Ginny assumed the shift manager duties, Rosemary and Letitia from Canonsburg were already taking up the task of praying for all the Unplanned babies that come our way.

From Ginny 11-1 pm: We had only positive comments and good job’s
With the home opener of the Pirates, it was hard to find a place to park.
It was extremely cold. There was a little bit of sunshine towards the end of the shift that we were very grateful to God for.
Fr. Tom did not dress warm enough, but was very brave offering it up for the babies. There was a young man who had just moved to Pittsburgh who stopped by on his lunch hour to pray, with us.

Carol from St Mary’s and ladies from St. Patrick’s, Cannonsberg, with Fr. Tom

From Donna 1-3: It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in Pittsburgh. Thank you to my faithful shift buddy, Diane and my friends from St. Thomas; Kathy, Karen and Diana who joined in prayer today. We handed a few things out today. We heard a few God Bless you’s and keep up the good work ladies and one gentleman said “God Bless you and what you’re doing is working”. There was one particular gentlemen who was not very nice. He told us to find something better to do and to get a life.

A couple by the name of Sam and Sherrie stopped by and placed the beautiful roses that you see.

From Marie 3-5: Very positive day. Several positive comments from individuals. One woman and her daughter had seen “Unplanned” which moved them and they ask about joining with us during 40 days. Sara, Loren and their 2 daughters from Eastbrook and Volant United Methodist church spent time in prayer and witness

Did you hear about Closing Candlelight Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood?

Join your fellow pro-lifers on Sunday April 14, 6-7 pm at PP downtown to end our vigil and pray together for an end to abortion. Did you know PP is the nation’s largest abortion provider, performing 36% of all abortions in our nation—over 330,000 each year. In 2018 they performed 3,019 downtown Pgh at our vigil site.

This vigil will be one of more than 100 taking place across the country during the Nationwide Pro-Life Candlelight Vigil. It will also serve as the closing ceremony for our local 40 DFL campaign. Given the time we may not have candles but instead lighted balloons.

This vigil will be followed by our 40 DFL Closing Celebration at Catholic Charities at 9th and Liberty.  It’s pot luck so bring a treat to share. All are welcome.