Day 25 – Saturday: Holy Wisdom/John XXlll all day

Tomorrow’s 9-11 shift (Sunday March 6th) has no one signed up to stand on the sidewalk.  Please consider joining shift manager Sue McGrath and spend some time witnessing to the Babies Sacrificed on Liberty.

God’s angel came to Joseph, and he came to understand that his life

would be defined not by his fears but by God’s dreams. And in the end,

everything that Joseph feared was changed by God’s plan.

Bishop David Zubik – Pittsburgh Catholic , 1/15/16

What is God’s plan for you? No, not your dream – God’s Dream for You!

 

  1. Don’t know God’s Dream for You ?          Express in prayer a desire to know.
  2. Indifferent to God’s Dream for You?       Express in prayer a desire to care.
  3. Disappointed in God’s Dream for You?   See #1.
  4. Afraid of God’s Dream for You?                  Pray for Courage
  5. Afraid of failing God’s Dream for You?    Pray for the humility to try & fail for Him.

                            (sin of pride, by the way)

  1. Glad you pursued God’s Dream?                Pray praise and thanksgiving.

In the midst of all that praying, may I humbly ask that you consider the pro-life movement as part of God’s plan for you. A respect for life doesn’t have to mean standing on a sidewalk ( well, not right away) but could include volunteering with People Concerned for the Unborn child (PCUC.org) or at one of the many pregnancy resource centers in our area.

Maybe God’s plan is that your witness will inspire someone you love to be discerning, caring, courageous, and humble enough to bear witness themselves. Someone who is struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, addiction, hunger, or illness, can witness everything they fear changed by God’s plan.

 

Virginia covered the first shift of the day for regular shift manager Tim and had this to report:

The 7-9 AM shift on Saturday March 5 was very active and well attended. Members of the Trafford Catholic Church (not sure of the name), Fr Tim and his group and some of the wonderful students from Steubenville were present. Unfortunately, there were customers for Planned Parenthood that were offered literature and services, a few pieces of literature were accepted. The mobile unit came around 8 AM.

Marian reports in from her 9-11 shift:
 When I arrived today, the sidewalk was full of people.  The PP escorts were there in full force as well as so many Sidewalk Advocates and prayer warriors.  Sidewalk Advocates try to stand near the doors (if not standing at the corners) so that the women and men entering the clinic can hear them.

The PP escorts led people to shield them from the truth.  It is so sad to see young people escorting the women into the death grips of PP.  But even more sad is seeing the older men and women escorting the women into PP.  It makes one wonder if they would protect their own families from danger.  Now on a more joyful note:

There are many ages standing vigil for life. I asked a few of the younger people why they witness for life- especially early on a Saturday morning. They each wrote down a few words for me:

 Theresa, 20, wrote: “My parents were part of Operation Rescue and went to jail standing up for life.  So, it’sbeen a huge part of my life since- even before I was born.”
Madeline, 21, states: “I was inspired by my parents and all the others involved in Operation Rescue so this is how I can follow in their footsteps and make a difference.”
Molly, 19, wrote: “As a young person in our country I want to do Our Lord’s will and protect His little ones, the tiniest citizens of the USA.”
Ben, 16,  and Eli, 15, come to the vigil with the Guardians of Life.  No one forced these young men to come.  As friends, Eli encouraged Ben to witness.  They wrote: ” We are here because we  believe in protecting the innocent.”
Nick, a Sidewalk Advocate, was also standing with two young men who have the courage to witness for life.  One said to me that is an emotional experience being on the sidewalk.  That is so true… when one’s heart is open!
Margaret, 19, came with her dad.  She was a student on one of the buses that was stranded on the Pa Turnpike coming back from the March for Life.  She writes: “After spending 32 hours on the Pa Turnpike, I have realized one of the greatest witnesses to life is being a witness of joy. Those of us on the bus stayed very positive through it all. That optimism is really what strikes people.  It is not only important for young people to be involved in this fight for life, it is also important to be a joyful witness to life.”
dominic marion
Dominic

Dominic, young in face and in heart, but having 7 decades under his belt has these words of wisdom.  I asked him to write what he said to me.  “Our job is not to judge.  But to point out that  they are on the wrong path (those heading into the abortion clinic).  If I see a person going in a direction where a bridge is out, it is my duty and right to point out to them that the bridge is out.  If they still choose to follow that path then so be it.”

 

 

It was a pleasure to stand with Judy, Beth, Sue, Nick, Jeff, Rose, Terry, Cecily, Meredith, Bill, Marilyn, Barbara and so many wonderful people who care enough to want something better for the stranger.

Kathy K sends us this report from the 3-5 shift:

God’s presence was evident when I arrived to see the joyful faces of Julie, Kathy, and Barbara. Francesca arrived and said ,”She feels called to be here.” Holy Spirit calling A woman smiled, gave a thumbs up and said,”I am with you in this.” I recognized a pro bono lawyer of prc and introduced Rebekah and said she really is with us in this! I received a hug. A man stopped, his story was too familiar: when he was in his 20s , a girlfriend told him she aborted his baby. He was unsure if she was lying but it haunts him. He has asked Gods forgiveness but he keeps wondering about his child. We talked about forgiveness and gave him Rachels Vineyard number for more help. He also wanted the Steps to Peace with God pamphlet. Never know what God will do on the sidewalk.

barbara from kathy k
Barbara from Holy Wisdom

This rose was given to Barbara by a lovely passerby. I know it was from God in honor of 12 hours she gave Him today. Just as beautiful was to watch her give it to a small girl passing by.


Editors Note:  Barbara and her husband Richard stand on Wednesdays 3-5 as shift managers, but spent the whole day today on the sidewalk with their church.

 

5-7
Barbara’s husband Richard on left w David from K of C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear about the day from Barbara herself:

I felt reluctance about covering the 12 hours for our parishes, Holy Wisdom and Saint John XXIII. Shame on me. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst. Whoa! The entire 12 hours felt orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. All day, every minute except for about ten minutes where I was alone and had a chance to catch my breath, the sidewalk resounded. Each person reflects the gifts of the Holy Spirit uniquely. Possibly 50 people came to pray over the 12 hours. Imagine the beauty of that! Yes, we gathered to pray for people vulnerable to abortion, and to try to intervene at any possible moment today. Nonetheless, love ruled the sidewalk. At the closing 45 minutes this Saturday, Richard and I were were joined in prayer by Claire, Lisa, David, Marshall, Joe. A resounding “Alleluia.”

Jeff ss Liz Rose Marilyn
Jeff, daughter & father, Liz, Rose, and Marilyn
rose and judy
Rose and Judy
richard clair
Richard and Claire

 

Virginia, Susie, David Anna Pat
Virginia, Susie, David, Anna, Pat
suzie anna David Bob Chris of xx111
Susie, Anna, David, Bob, Chris
francesca kathy
Francesca and Kathy
Cathy julie Kathy
Cathy, Julie, Kathy K.
FR Jack St Pat's Canonsburg
Fr Jack from St Pat’s Canonsburg
al sally
Al and Sally, Iconic pro-life couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 20 Monday – Thanks to K of C St John Neumann Council

Thanks to Knights of Columbus St John Neumann Council for standing with us today. Vigil needs this week are  Thursday 5-7 .

Please take a moment to read the beautiful witness of some of our shift managers who stood for  3 hours  and took the time to write about it the same day. Thanks to Kathy, Rose and Beth for your contribution.

Kathy L writes:

Another cold morning in Pittsburgh but warmed by God’s love through sunshine and fellowship.  Julie C. came to pray with me during the nine o’clock hour and shortly after she left, four women from St. Francis Xavier in Moundsville, WV arrived to pray during the ten o’clock hour.  Thank you ladies.

 During our time on the sidewalk, we received many glances from passersby toward our signs and fetal models.  One young man named Cam, who was on his was to the bus station, stopped to take my and Julie’s picture with the fetal models.  Whatever his motivation, may God use it for His good.  Another young man coming out of PP accepted our list of Local Resources for Women to pass on.  Another young man, drove his car to the front of PP and carried in eight to ten duffle bags which looked filled with something.  A few women entered the building.

day 20, third shift, knights from st. john neuman
Knights from St. John Neumann council

 

 

Rose W writes:

Although it was chilly today I was dressed warmly!  After shift manager Kathy and the nice West Virginia ladies left, I was privileged to be alone and pray for an hour.  Then Joe from Holy Trinity, who works downtown, came and we prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross  during his lunchtime.  Also, a good friend, Rick T.,  joined us for  the Stations while he was on his lunch hour. There were workers entering and exiting PP today, but it was mostly a quiet time, and a few gave passersby us the “thumbs up.”

Mary Jane
Mary Jane

 

Rose, Joe and Rick T.
Rose, Joe and Rick T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I wanted to mention something that happened to me last week.  While returning home from my husband’s aunt’s funeral in Erie, we were listening to an oldies radio station and the song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies came on and brought back some good memories of the sixties.  Does anyone remember that beautiful song?  I think the lyrics fit our situation.  “. . .and the load doesn’t weigh me down at all, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”  This song keeps ringing in my head and that’s what I was singing today when I had to walk the few blocks from the parking lot to PP with my chair and heavy bag of stuff.  When we think of the unborn and what we do for them – it ‘s a privilege, not a burden, for they are our brothers and sisters.  If you would like to hear this beautiful and inspirational song, go to YouTube or just google the song title.

Beth S. writes:

David v. Goliath with the Knights of Columbus, St. Norbert, St. Elizabeth and St. Pius

Last week my husband brought home Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath.  although the Bible version has more going for it, like graces bestowed, the book did venture an explanation why David, little, young and poor, defeated Goliath, gigantic, armed and fearsome.  Basically, David didn’t play by Goliath’s rules.  He played by God’s rules:  have faith, do your best, trust Me to do the “miraculous if you do the ridiculous” (Mother Angelica’s motto).

At the start, just myself and my sweet sister Rosemary praying in the cold in “one corner” as the boxers would say.  Facing us was the dismal storefront branch office  of the biggest abortion provider in the world, Planned Parenthood , a “giant” in the field of eliminating our future through abortion.  Then, Mary Jane D. came with her wonderful enthusiasm, and then the heroic Marshall M. from the Steubenville Knights of Columbus.

So yes, we are going to win this one.  We won’t play by the giant, PP’s rules:  gigantic amounts of  money, gigantic amounts of political power, gigantic support from the media.  We’ll win by playing by God’s rules: prayer, fasting, peaceful witness. As David said when Goliath was dead and everyone was amazed:  “…..All those gathered here will know that it is not by the sword or by the spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
And when they’re in our hands…we’ll accept all the pro-abortion world as our brothers and sisters and show them a more victorious way to live, by being forgiven and pro-life.

Rosalina is the shift manager from three to five.  Reportedly, the back of her sign says:

Pray for Winter to End! 

day 20, third shift, rosalina
Rosalina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some more photos from Rosalina’s and Francis’ shift:

day 20, third shift, rosalina and mimi
Shift Manager Rosalina with daily prayer volunteer, Mimi
day 20, third shift
Rossaly, shift manager Francis and Knights from St. John Neuman
day 20, second shift, mary jane, rose and beth
Mary Jane with Shift manager sisters Rose and Beth

 

See you on the sidewalk!

jeffsigrough2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 37 Thursday the 31st – St Alphonsus, Wexford and Memorial Park Church, Allison Park

Traffic advisory for Sunday: Their will be rolling closures on Liberty Avenue from 8-10:30am for the Equitable 10k Race.  5000 runners expected, so I am guessing no parking on Liberty either.  But what a way to close out the Vigil; if you can stop down one more time, Sunday morning would be that time.

Dear 40 Days family:

It would seem that all of our shift managers are all on fire as we near the end of our vigil, and as each report came in, I was amazed by their stories.  So spend some time curled up with your tablet or phone or desktop computer and savor God’s glory.  Or you could print it.  It’s a keeper.

Marie writes:

God provides in the most wonderful ways and today it came in the form of a wonderful group of prayer warriors from my parish, St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford along with some wonderful friends to participate in the vigil. I was joined at the start of this morning’s vigil by Donna P. and Donna L. It was a dry and pleasant start to the day. The rain held off during the four-hour shift.

Donna P, Donna L, Emilie B, Michele M & Barb W

In addition to the large signs, Kathy dropped off the fetal models this morning. This is the first time I had the opportunity to stand vigil with the models being present. Nikki has always said that the models have a tendency to draw people’s attention and sometimes will stop and ask about them. I did notice many passersby looking down at them. One young man stood by the models. I went over and asked him if I could help him. He asked me how big the largest model is and how heavy it would be. I told him I thought it was probably about 30 weeks and maybe 5-6 pounds. I was guessing because I wasn’t sure (fortunately I think I was pretty close on my guess!). He then went on to say he just had a son a month ago and he weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. at birth and now weighs 10 lbs.! He was very thoughtful as he looked at the model and we talked for a short while about his baby boy, named Isaac. I could tell it really struck him to look at the model and then think about his son. His name is “D” and we told him we would pray for him, his son and the mother. He seemed grateful and thanked us before he walked away.

Beth P, Lucine P Rev. Matt, Nancy and Paul T – St Alphonsus

Other members of St. Alphonsus included Barb W. , Michele M, David S. and Cathy A. God is so good. I was hoping for 4 participants from St. Alphonsus and 8 came! It was a blessing to have such a wonderful turnout of faithful, pro-life people!

Cathy A. with picture of Mary & Preborn Jesus

As our shift was coming to an end Emil came down to harass the gathering as he always does. I had not seen him in  several weeks and with my back turned toward the direction from which he came I was unprepared for his visit. Today was different though.  After he said his unkind words to us as he turned to leave he kicked the stand that the fetal models were on and knocked them over and into the street!  I was totally unprepared to him to do this and felt that his reaction was so unnecessary.  After we collected the models and put them back into place I was upset for not being prepared for this.  In hindsight his reaction shouldn’t have surprised me because he was very foul in his language to the 3 of us women who were standing there and the look on his face was more disgusting than usual.  I will admit it took me a while to regain my internal composure after that and resolved not to let the incident ruin the otherwise wonderful witness given today.

Lisa sent in the following:

Rosemarie, Liz, Mimi, Kathy, Jamie, Tony

 This last shift of mine was, again, such a time of thankfulness and joy. I am constantly overwhelmed by God’s generosity to us all, in giving us the gift of one another. That is something that just continually amazes me when we spend time at that vigil together, united in Christ and in prayer.

My favorite moment of the afternoon was seeing how little Mimi (one of our regulars) authoritatively told our group– with her preciously thick Italian accent– that we were going to begin the rosary. What she didn’t know was that half of us were not Catholic. Does something like that minor detail bother someone like Mimi? Of course not! And the funny thing was…. all of the non-Catholics were praying the rosary right along with her anyway! What a joy! They surely did it out of respect for her. And what FUN the Holy Spirit was having with all of this. It tickles me (and I’m sure it tickles the Lord) to see things like that. So thank you to all of you sweet, faithful pray-ers this afternoon. God bless you!

Mimi, Jamie, Rosemarie, and Liz
Group from Memorial Park Church
Beth Ann from St Alexis and Marilyn

Read what Marilyn has to say about her last shift:

Confessions of a shift manager. When I realized one of my shifts fell on Halloween, I must admit I was a bit unsettled.

Inspiration sometimes waits until the last minute, as it did for me yesterday. Twenty minutes before I was to leave to attend Mass before going to the vigil, an idea popped into my head to hand out Halloween treat bags on the sidewalk. All I had was a box of 32 fruit gummy snacks in fun Halloween shapes, kid stuff — you see selfishly I purposely did not buy any chocolate to pass out to trick-or-treaters as I gave up chocolate for these 40 Days. I’m telling you this not to brag, but to be totally honest – it was selfish — I have this nasty addiction to chocolate that I am trying to master. Halloween has always been my downfall. But, with 40 Days falling during Halloween, I figured what better way to offer it up. But, I digress. So, here’s me racing through the house gathering up supplies (never thinking last year when I bought the treat bags on clearance after Halloween that I would be using them outside PP!) As part of our mission is outreach, I figured what better way to educate the public by inserting the great new 40 Days brochure into the treat bag. Then my mind started racing, should I have two different kinds of bags, one for general passerbys, one for people going into/out of the clinic – what else could I put in the bag – on and on and I was running out of time. I assembled a few of the bags, then gathered the supplies and figured my friend Beth Ann could finish them in the car on the way down.

Several campaigns ago I honestly was thinking it is time to stop being a shift manager. I did not want to go down there alone anymore – even though we are never really alone. I had a little scare with a kooky lady and I’ll admit our tattooed friend from past campaigns rattled me. I figured if God wanted me to continue doing this he was going to have to let me know. And, that he did. Without asking, my friend Beth Ann told me she wanted to accompany sometime. Well, that sometime has turned into a faithful companion on the journey. She came with me for every single shift for this campaign! What a blessing she has been to me. God knows what we need, we only have to ask. We are not in this alone. And when we don’t see God with skin on, we have the multitude of heavenly hosts, all the saints & angels surrounding us – our guardian angel awaits our call.

Back to Halloween, so we’re down at the clinic and so blessed to have the presence of Memorial Park on my shift. The first person I met from MP was Jim, a ‘newbie’ to 40 Days (though you would never know it!) and the music director at Memorial Park. He jumped right in, lead us in song and prayer and helped pass out treat bags! His fellow parishoners Kathy, Terri, Rosemarie and Jamie joined in beautiful song. When we ran out of treat bags, Jamie ran to CVS to buy more treats! So, here we are on the sidewalk assembling more goodie bags, folding brochures and getting the word out. It’s amazing how friendly people are when there is candy involved! Even the neighboring bar owner, who was making so many trips back and forth with supplies for what I guess he was anticipating a busy evening, seemed friendlier than usual. The mailman’s eyes perked up – people generally were in a jovial mood. Folks in costume stopped and talked. We did pass out a lot of treat bags and hopefully not all of the brochures ended up in the garbage — I walked over to throw away some wrappers and right on top of the trash were two perfectly good flyers which I rescued and we re-used! Several people thanked us for our presence. I did not encounter any negativity, and later found out that Beth Ann had specifically asked friends to pray for us on this Halloween!

I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend Cathy when I arrived. She brought the beautiful framed Preborn Jesus artwork  at http://prebornjesus.catholicweb.com . Megan from Mother of Sorrows helped pass out treats. I met Liz from St. Louise who told me she was going to be a shift manager for the next campaign! I was so excited. She is hoping someone else steps up and she could share a shift with them. When you are on the sidewalk for two hours it goes fast. Four hours can be a very long time, especially in bad weather and it is a big time commitment when you factor in parking and travel time. Wouldn’t it be great if next vigil we had enough shift mgrs for everyone to have a 2 hr shift!

With each campaign I have participated in I have grown more confident on the sidewalk. I really think that very soon we will no longer have to witness at 933 Liberty Avenue. Our presence is making a difference. More people are being educated; hearts are changing, women are given options. Take a risk, if you feel God is calling you to become a shift manager, you will be so blessed! You will meet the most amazingly nice people who have a heart for our Lord. Love one another, what better way to show our love than to pray for the least among us. God is not deaf to our prayers. He cares and just needs more of his hands and feet on the sidewalk! Even if you have never prayed at an abortion clinic before, come to our closing rally this Sunday 6:30pm which begins at PP and then concludes at Catholic Charities:

Dee G, the 3-5 shift manager was sick for the past week and could not make her last shift. Not to worry, Pat M picked up 3-4 and Barb L. picked up 4-5.  Vigil intact.  Marilyn sent the following pic in:

Tom, Marilyn and Joe from St Bernard’s

 Jeff was on the 5-7 shift and writes:

When I arrived for my shift, Bill H. was on vigil with Joe White.  Bill stayed till 6 and Joe till 6:40.  Diane picked up the signs at 6 and I stayed till 7.  It was my most quiet 2 hours yet.  A steady rain kept us company and warded off the evil spirits of the night.  And Emil, too.

I took my grandkids to the zoo this past summer, and as we were leaving to go home, the 7-year-old raced ahead with his 4-year-old sister right behind.  I was following with the empty stroller, and took off after them, calling to the 2-year-old, Meredith, to hurry up. She was 20 feet behind, and staring intently at something out of my view.  Then I heard it – a waterfall – and Mer enthralled before it.  I scrambled for my phone to take a picture, when I stopped and thought (or He said, I don’t know which) forget the phone and enjoy the moment

After 20 seconds or so passed, she looked around and saw me in the distance, took two steps toward me, and stops.  She turns to the waterfall and waves, as if to say goodbye for now, but I’ll be back.  She chases after me, and together we chased the other 2.

So as I left my last shift tonight, I practiced the lesson my granddaughter taught me.  I turned and looked with the eyes of a child to see the face of God on that shiny wet sidewalk, and in the faces of all who witnessed with me.  And I whispered…bring me back, Lord.

Bring us all back.

Day 34 Monday – Catholic Men’s Fellowship and Ascension Holy Name Society

As we enter the last week of our 40 day vigil here in downtown Pittsburgh, my thoughts (and sidewalk discussions)  are looking down the road to the 41st annual March for Life in January and , of course, our Lenten  40 days Vigil in March.  We would love to hear some comments about what your group’s plans are for January 22nd.  You are sure to see a lot our 40 Days Pittsburgh family down in DC for what has annually been the media’s most ignored event of hundreds of thousands of people standing up for life.  Let us know!

Cil reports in from the 11-1 shift:

A cold but sunny Monday in Pittsburgh this afternoon. I was so thankful to have 3 of my St Joes church friends join me on my final Monday shift, Provie, Patti & Joyce. When we arrived, SM Bill greeted us along with Dan, from Mother of Sorrows representing Catholic Men’s Fellowship. We were so blessed to have Dan stay with us through my shift and into the following.

Dan from Mother of Sorrows with SM Bill.

We were surprised when, halfway through my shift, our own Fr Mark from St Joes showed up to stand with us for an hour. He found he could squeeze in a short amount of time prior to a meeting and wanted to be with us. We were so thankful for his witness to life and the blessing he gave us before leaving!

Here is a picture of us all, from St Joes, holding the pro-life signs that our MS Edge kids made Sunday night. The Edge kids also helped us by filling in the “contact” info on the 40 Days bookmarks that I was able to hand out to those passing by today.

Maria, from Assumption, came later in the shift to help brighten the city sidewalk.

Maria and Diane

We were blessed to have Diane, from Good Samaritan, make a visit with us. She had not planned to stay long but then did end up staying into the next shift. Diane is active in witnessing at the East Liberty clinic. She came by hoping to speak with Nikki. I gave her a bookmark with the contact info and she will be in touch. She was glad to learn about Abby Johnson’s ATTWN ministry. We thank Diane and all who witness at the East Liberty abortion clinic too!

During my shift we had several who stopped to talk. I will mention a few…
Just after arriving, I saw a girl walk out PP doors and stand there looking around. I asked if we could help her. She came over and I told her about the material that we had. She said that she could use “abortion healing’. So I gave her the packet I had on that and spoke with her some about Rachel’s Vineyard. Tears came to her eyes and we offered her a flower. We also said that we would pray for her. She gave us her name but we will call her “B”. She then asked if she could make a call on my phone. Soon after dialing the number, she saw her boyfriend (?) coming down the street. Unfortunately the two of them went back inside the doors of PP, talked there a short while, then she used his phone to apparently call her mother. He then came out and left, she came back out and said that she was waiting for her mother. She stayed in the circle and didn’t seem to want to talk any more. She no longer had the flower and we’re not sure what happened to the material she took from me. Please keep “B” in prayer as I believe she is in need of healing (physical, emotional, spiritual) from a recent abortion.

We had two other beautiful ladies stop to speak with us after receiving the pro-life handouts.

Lori says she has a long story to share and did, in fact, share it at a pro-life event one time. She found herself pregnant when she was young and was directed to a crisis pregnancy center I think in Monroeville. The man she was to marry “heard in a dream” that he was not to marry her and that her child was not his. So he fought 4 paternity tests only to find that the child was indeed his. Lori is willing to share more of her story with us and gave us her phone number and email address. She said that her daughter, Shanna (sp?) is 18 and she “needs something to do”. She really likes babies and so she wants to encourage her to come and join with us.

Ashley stopped by later and told us the story of her sister’s son, Joshua, who was born prematurely (at 26 weeks I think?) because her sister later found she has an “incompetent cervix”. Joshua was only 1# 9 oz and 13 ½“ long and his future was not so bright. She showed us pictures of him. But we also saw a picture of him now, as a 9 year old boy who is just as health as anyone. She said that she is so much for life esp seeing how he was born so early yet, legally, could have been aborted. She said that they could not even touch him at first because his skin was so sensitive with the nerve endings so close to the skin surface. That made us think of those poor babies who suffer so much in the womb at the hands of the abortionists. Her sister, Amy, is again pregnant and is at 29 weeks. Please keep her & the baby in prayer that she can carry this one longer in the womb.

Between these conversations and others, our prayer warriors were able to work in a rosary, divine mercy chaplet and sing songs of praise. Thanks to all for your prayers and witness to life!

Beth reports in from the sidewalk with this story:

Maria, Dan and Diane stayed a while after the one o’clock shift,  keeping my sister Rose and I company until almost two o’clock. We had some time for prayer and soon after, D. stopped to talk. I offered her some literature after she indicated that she supported our cause. And then the story came out.
D. said that when she was younger she went to Women’s Health Center where the abortionist perforated her uterus causing severe hemorrhaging and an emergency trip to Magee where, 17 pints of blood later, she found herself, sterile, incontinent and with gastrointestinal and heart problems that still plague her today. It was especially painful because she couldn’t tell her parents or her church the cause. Later, she tracked down the abortionist who was then working for Planned Parenthood, filed a per se lawsuit because she couldn’t find any lawyer who would take the case. The court awarded her…..nothing.
Stunned, I told her that there were pro-life lawyers practicing at that time. And she said that she just didn’t know.
D. reluctantly took the blue sheet with post abortion information. Pray that she is given the courage to tell her story to help others who need to know.
Later, when Ann, Mary Catherine and Evelyn came to pray the 3-4 p.m. time, Evelyn said her husband, a lawyer, would have taken the case. And Mary Catherine summed it up: “we have to get the word out.” Amen to that.

Francis had the 5-7 shift and writes:

This is the Motte family. Mrs. Motte works at Hillcrest Christian Academy. They are a very lovely family. We even prayed the rosary together when Minnie came at about 6:55. It was a fast rosary, but we got it done. Lindsay Hayes also came. She’s new, although her mother has come before.  She belongs to St. Bernard Parish in Mt. Lebanon.

Jeff wrote in the email for today:

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And, while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.”

–John Steinbeck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author

(Concomitant – adjective; naturally accompanying or associated.)

“…are the concomitants of failure in our system.” Failure in whose system? God’s world or our egocentric secular world? And what is success in God’s world? Achievements, accomplishments, an end to abortion at all costs?

Jesus said to be child-like if we want to see the Kingdom of God. Be kind, generous, open, honest, understanding, feeling, and let’s throw obedient in, too.

Let God be the judge of our success!

Day 30 Thursday – St John the Baptist, Plum Boro – All Day!

Thanks to St John the Baptist parish for covering the vigil all day, and thanks to Lisa Koslosky for organizing and standing for the innocent babies of 933 Liberty!

Barb had the first shift and writes:

7am Thursday morning was crispy and dark in front of PP this morning.  We set up and were vigil ready at 6:58 am.  Saint John the Baptist (Plum) parishioners arrived on the stroke of 7.  Peg and Joe were warmly dressed and ready to pray.
Diane arrived in her white van & unloaded the 40 Days for Life Vigil signs and an abundance of flowers.  Dazzling purple and white and green cast ripples of life to the early morning grey and brightened it immediately.  Many mothers, taking children to child care, accepted flowers for their children.  Day 30 of our Vigil begins with fortitude, flowers and prayer.  God is with us.  All is right with the world.

Marie P. managed the shift from 9-11am and took this photo of her prayer participants:

Lisa had the 1-3 shift and writes:

I should just tell one short story about the 1-3 shift. As we were praying the rosary, a rather “scraggly” man came walking down the street with confidence, and a purpose! He seemed angry, and I heard him muttering things about priests, etc., and I thought, “Oh boy, here comes someone to persecute the Church….” Then he stopped in front of us and shouted, “I agree with you!! I think abortion is wrong!” (Something like that.) Then he shouted, “I’m gonna pray one Hail Mary!” And he shouted– yes, shouted– the first half of the Hail Mary. The volunteers and I prayed the second half of the prayer, then the man yelled, “God bless you!” and briskly walked away. I think we were all so stunned, we just kind of laughed and said, “It was hard to tell how that was going to go!” It was such a funny moment for the group and I to share.

There was such a sense of joy and unity in the group who come to pray with me today, that I almost feel guilty for having enjoyed the time with them! But wow… a solid, pleasant, and prayerful group. It was just beautiful to be with them. So I send a special thank you to Johnny, George, George, Michael, Audrey, Jim and Liz. May God bless you all! And I am SO very thankful to all those who came from my parish, St. John the Baptist in Plum. May the Lord bless you all as well.

back row, L-R: George, Michael, Jim, Audrey
front row, L-R: Johnny, Liz

Dee managed the 3-5pm shift and wrote:

Today’s shift was much drier than last week.  A bit chilly, but, beautiful, none the less.   

Pat stopped by to see how things were coming along. There were 2 people with me at 3, so, 

he did not have to stay. Liz and Mary Morgan were with me. Then Mimi came by and Philene Reilly. We prayed the rosary and Mimi told us stories about her prayer experiences.  

A young man named Frank stopped by. He said he told his story to another shift manager, maybe last week. When Frank’s mother was pregnant with him, her doctor said she had a tumor and she had to get rid of it. It would kill her. His mom had strong faith in St. Joseph and she knew she was pregnant. When Frank was born, she took him to the doctor and said “Have you met my tumor yet”?

Miracles do happen–usually silently.   

Mary Whitaker prayed with me and Philene from 4 to 5.  It was a peaceful, prayerful day.

Julie had 5-7 and writes:

Hi all,

I was on for shift manager from 5 to 7pm today after work. The wonderful folks from St. John the Baptist in Plum came to pray. First there were 2 people sacrificing their time with their families (each had a spouse and 3 children at home). I believe DEE took a photo of them. Then two couples came (Mario and Mary; John and Kim-some of them I actually had met about 4 years ago at a young adult retreat!). We stood in a circle and prayed the scriptural rosary. Mario ventured out of our circle to offer flowers and God’s love to passersby! We prayed for the women who anticipate tonight going to the PP on Saturday for an appointment for an abortion, asking God’s mercy on them to touch them with his love. We prayed for the PP workers and offered the Lord’s prayer for God’s will to be done in their lives.

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”

Albert Einstein

Abortion is a problem created by our secular society. Those of us who live with one foot in the secular world and one foot in God’s world may feel that abortion can never be stopped. And even if we do stand vigil to witness the innocents slaughtered in our city, we can sometimes grow weary of the struggle. I was certainly one of those people, not wanting to commit to Christ because I feared leaving the secular world behind, that I might miss it. That is, till I stood vigil with the 40Days family here in Pittsburgh, and everything changed. Their joy, their resolve, their faith, their fellowship, their commitment to “dreaming the impossible dream” made me want to be around them, to be more like them, and to witness the faith like them. So I take that leap of faith and attempt daily to put both feet in God’s world, and He has not disappointed. I am more aware of a solution to abortion because I can now see the problem from a different level. I have a path set before me that will lead me closer to God’s truth, and for me, that path is prayer. Prayer on the sidewalk, prayer in the morning, prayer in the evening, prayer at lunch, prayer while your driving (we could all use a little more of that). Prayer asking God what it is I am supposed to do now that I practice putting both feet in His world.

And prayer that I may never grow weary of showing the world His love, because nothing is impossible when it comes to God’s world, when you are “all in”.

Thanks to Helene Paharik for the quote and her loving instruction, the 40Days family for the inspiration, and thanks to God for showing me the path.

Day 27-Monday Mt Zion Baptist Church – Prospect Pa

Dean Dittmar started the day off and writes:

First of all, let me thank Mary Elizabeth for coming out early, while it was still dark, to stand with me. Kudos to Bill for co-managing with me for the first 2 hrs. Johnny Adams came from Cranberry at 8am and stayed 2 hrs. When he left, Sharon and Elizabeth Graham came, so I wasn’t alone for one minute. And of course God’s Holy Spirit was there the whole time! It was a fairly quiet morning with only PP workers going in and out. As I was finishing my shift, the police began to block off sections of Liberty Ave. for the environmental parade that was happening. I wish we could get that many people focused on the tragedy taking place at PP. Again, thanks Nikki for effectively rallying the troops in my behalf. And I thank God for all of yinz.

Sharon and daughter Elizabeth

Cecilia sent the following:

“You’re talking to God”….we were told by an enthusiastic black man shortly after arriving for my vigil shift from 11-1.  This pleasant homeless man, named James, “found God” I believe he said 3 weeks ago and you can see how fired up he was for the Lord.  So, yes, I could see God working in and through him.  And it did have me wonder how much people see Him working through me with what I say and do.  I know I fail so many times and prayed that, at least for my time there inPittsburgh, I could shine His light to those passing by.  It was a good way to start off our vigil time… “talking to God”!

There was some concern that I might be alone for an hour during my shift.  I am so thankful for Nikki and all the leaders for sending out “pleas” for volunteers to come and keep me company.  I have come to know my 40 Days for Life family well enough that I had no fear going down today.  I was hopeful that someone would step up to join me and, if not, I knew that the Lord would be there.  As it turned out, we had many “concerned” volunteers come to keep me company!  And I thank each and every one of you for being there!!  What a blessing!

My friend, Provie, made time in her busy day to ride down with me.  Dean greeted us and we found that Sharon and her young adult daughter, Elizabeth, were there and planned to stay until noon.  It was Elizabeth’s first time.  It was so nice to have their company and all the prayers that first hour!

John, from St Kilian’s showed up with a beautiful handmade poster depicting various stages of fetal development.  He took a quick break to run over to Breuggers and was so kind to bring back a yummy bagel for me!

Also hearing the “call” were Maureen and Heidi from St Bernard’s.  They were so faithful in keeping up with the prayers while I was often distract with my shift “duties”.

Speaking about lovely… we also were blessed to have Helene, from the Diocese, come with a new coworker, Ann, to our vigil.  They were also concerned that I might be alone and came to pray.  It was so nice to have them join with Provie and me as we sang some hymns.  It is always nice to know that we have those in the Diocese on our “team” and praying with us!  Helene blessed us with a prayer as we finished up our shift.

Ann Rodgers and Helene Paharik

We had a dear mother, Jen, from St Philip’s who also answered the plea to come.  But she did not come alone.  She blessed us by bringing her beautiful baby, Lauren.  They brought much “light” to this dark place.

Jen and baby Lauren

I appreciate the concern by many about the parade and environmental group that would be about town.  But the parade did not pass us by.  They came down 9th and turned right instead of left towards us.  So we did hear and see them from a distance.  A few people passed us by with signs but I did not have problems with any from the group.  I pray the other shifts went well too.

Thanks to all who felt the call, on this beautiful sunny Monday, to come and spend time at the vigil with me.  I was never alone and God truly was working through each and every one of you.  May he bless you abundantly and bless our combined efforts to save lives and end abortion!

John from St Kilians and Rick Timons (Assumption),
Maureen and Heidi from St Bernard’s

Beth Svirbel writes:

Prepare for the worst, expect the best.  That’s what we did today.  Nikki had called me to remind me about the big demonstration by the environmentalist convention that was happening this afternoon.  And the chilling reports from the weather forecasters, well, let’s say we were ready for all disasters.
But no disasters appeared.  Jennifer stayed with me and my sister, Rosie, for quite some time and her daughter, three-month-old Lauren, found it so peaceful that she slept through most of the afternoon.  The weather was windy but with a beautiful blue sky.  And as for the environmentalists, most just walked past looking at our signs, but one young girl did stop and held her hand up, the palm right in my face.  Then she pointed to my sign that said “Pro-life saving the world’s greatest resource:  people,”  and she gave me a high-five and a thumbs -up!   Practically no one going into PP except the employees, the only glum people we saw.
I know it can’t always be like this right now, but someday when Planned Parenthood closes its doors due to lack of business, that blue sky will be seen every day in the hearts of all who stood and prayed.

Rosemary and Beth

Rosalina and Francis Colaiazza close out every Monday and writes:

Pastor Ben from Mt. Zion Baptist Church came at three o’clock and stayed until seven. The theme of their church is ‘grow in grace’, taken from 2 Peter 3:18. As you will see from the log, five other people came with him. Mt. Zion is on Prospect Road, Prospect, PA. I believe I was at their church years ago. It’s really amazing to see how the 40 days campaign has reached into the hearts of so many people, not only in Allegheny, but in the surrounding counties. As I was praying the rosary tonight at about 6 o’clock, a young girl in pig tails, about 4 years old, walked by holding her mother’s hand. She stopped, looked up at me and said, “You’re going to heaven.” What a wonderful feeling shot through me!

Pastor Ben from Mt Zion Baptist
Family from Mt Zion Baptist

 

Day 23 Thursday 1st Trinity Evangelical Lutheran – Oakland, St Colman – Turtle Creek, and Washington Alliance Church

“Today as you suffer life’s small indiginities, don’t allow them to become a source of continual frustration; instead let them remind you of your longing for something more.”

Ann Spangler – Praying the Name of Jesus, Zondervan

Barbara had the 7 to 9 shift and writes:

7am is dark in Pittsburgh but parking opportunities are great.  Cindy came to pray and planned to stay until 11.  She is president of Lutherans for Life of Oakland.  Cindy has been active in prolife for many years, working with PCUC and Life Chain.  Among her other grandchildren, she has a 7 year old granddaughter who was born deaf.  Since the birth of this little girl, Cindy has become accredited as a translator for the deaf.  Accessing the plentiful number of interfaith prayers we have with the prolife theme, Cindy and I were busy.  Although we had never met before, after sharing these two hours I feel as if I have a new person I’ll meet in heaven someday, God willing.  Our conversation covered the facts of our being married women and mothers, retired, American voters and Pittsburgh natives who live in the North Hills. I remembered the Pharisee conversation gambit with Jesus. “When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.”  Luke 11:53-54 In the olden days we learned that conversation is meant for three things; to share information, to share feelings, and, to share your self.  The Pharisees wanted none of this.  Too bad for them.  Their plot succeeded.  They killed Jesus.  What if they had listened, their hearts had opened and they had let Him in?

Marilyn writes:

It was so wonderful to be joined by so many faith filled Christians this afternoon. We were blessed with a very peaceful time together. Praise the Lord! God bless you.

St. Coleman’s – Turtlecreek prayers joining with Carol from Incarnation praying the rosary.
Deacon Herb with parishoners Arlene and Bill from St. Coleman’s and George from Our Lady of Grace

Lisa writes:

This afternoon had a beautiful sense of peace about it. Marilyn had told me the same thing- that her shift had been very peaceful as well, right before I got there. But we had such a nice group that it could not help but be peaceful. A big thank you to the St. Coleman’s Catholic Daughters of America! I was blessed to pray with Jennifer and her mother Joyce, and Lisa and her mother Betty. It was so awesome for them to be there as two mother-daughter teams! I loved that. One of those ladies, Lisa, was so informed about 40 Days for Life, and other pro-life things, and it was great to see how much she had to share with the others with us. Near the end of the shift, she was also able to minister to a young couple who had come out of PP. The couple really seemed engaged in the conversation. We never know how our participants will be able to serve, when given the opportunity. As for the other three ladies, I believe it was their first time at the vigil. Jennifer said it was so different from what she had thought. She talked about how one can get a certain idea from the media (usually negative) of how this type of event will be… but she and the others seemed genuinely glad that they had come. And I was certainly glad for them to be there!

Lisa, Joyce, Jennifer, and Betty – Catholic Daughters of America – St. Coleman – Turtle Creek
Jenn from Women’s Choice Network and her children, Reggie and Malarie
Dee’s report was received on the back of a duck along with the following pics:

Jessica from Washington Alliance Church
 Hello, all!
 
Noah’s Ark was not available to us today–already in use.
It was spotted on 79 bringing Jeff to his 5:00 shift.

So, we stood in the deluge, prayed, and prayed again
for the women and men planning an abortion for tomorrow.
We prayed for the abortionists that they would have doubts
about what they were doing and hopefully their hearts and 
minds would be open to receiving God’s Word.
 
I was not alone from 3 to 5. Thanks to Jenn, from Women’s Choice
Network, who arrived at the end of the previous shift, with her
two children, Reggie, and Malarie. Bill Harrison and Tim Barr
showed up and prayed for an hour or so; Liz Beckencourt stayed
 until 5:00. Kathy Lasor also arrived and stayed until 5. I had 
lots of prayer partners and was definitely not alone or lonely.
 
We praise and thank God for the Work He is doing at 933 Liberty
Avenue. A consistent prayer of mine is to have an adoration chapel
built in place of Planned Parenthood. This is easy for God to do.
His Will be done.

Jeff sent in this pic:

Tom with Amy & Travis Crouse from Washington Alliance Church

Dee was pleasantly surprised when I showed up only 10 minutes late to relieve her at 5.  Jessica from Washington Alliance Church kept vigil with me till 6 when Amy showed up.  It was Jessica’s first time on the sidewalk.  I sometimes forget the courage and faith in God it takes to stand vigil the first time.  I will remember her example the next time God calls me to do something for the first time.

Amy stood from 6 to 7 with me, while her husband Travis and Tom drove in from Washington PA to stand from 6-7 as well. Their efforts were rewarded with a parking spot right in front of PP.  This was Washington Alliance Church’s second vigil stand this fall, thanks to all their members who witnessed for the deceased babies of 933 Liberty.

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

Here I am, Lord!

Our 40 day vigil would not be a reality here in Pittsburgh these last 4 years if it wasn’t for the hard work, dedication, prayer and glad hearts of our shift managers who stand for 2-4 hours a week for 6 weeks (some more) to guide groups and individuals who show up to witness for the children who die every day at 933 Liberty Ave.  Just like them, many of you have expressed an interest in doing more.

We are looking for more people to to be shift managers for our semi-annual 40 Days vigils, once in the fall and another beginning with Lent. Your responsibilities include: providing signs and literature to vigil participants, signing them in as they arrive, and to insure that the sidewalk is kept clear, that we stay out of the street, and outside of the circle. We can legally be there if we follow those three guidelines.

As my pastor says every time he asks for help, what you give in time, talent and treasure is always rewarded, and that was certainly true for me. By becoming a shift manager I also got to know the 40 Days For Life family here in Pittsburgh, and I have never met a more loving, caring, compassionate and giving group of people in all my life, and I look forward to being with them both on the sidewalk and in promoting the pro-life movement and the Body of Christ. They are a shining example to me everyday of how I can do better, and to share and celebrate with them the things that I did manage to get right. And to know that there are hundreds of cities across America with 40 Days for Life groups full of those same loving, selfless people gives me hope for the future and a longing to be Christ’s witness with them in ending abortion.

We also have need of people to help plan/execute events, distribute printed material to churches and shift managers, as well as assist Nikki in the myriad of tasks she does every day to “guide the flock”. Every time we find her a personal assistant, they end up wanting to be on the sidewalk with us!

Ask God today what more you can do to end abortion in our community. Email us at 40daysforlifepgh@gmail.com.

 

Day 20 – Monday October 14th – St Joseph Parish, Cabot

933 Liberty Avenue – the violent end for so many babies but the site of a great crusade for life here in Pittsburgh and 300 other cities around the world. Visit the national site at http://40daysforlife.com/ for stories of saves from around the country.

seen at March for Life Washington DC 2013

Bill Harrison started off as the first of today’s shift managers

Shift Manager Bill Harrison

 

Beth was shift manager from 1 to 3 p.m. and writes:
Talk about gloomy!  The gray skies were a realistic expression of an abortion clinic.  Gloomy and deadly.  We had very little traffic on the sidewalk today with my sister Rosie, Provie, Joyce and later, Mimi praying for a brighter day, a day without abortion.  Very few going in or out of PP, mostly just the usual workers.  We had John stop and ask Joyce and I if we had any adopted children in our families because he believed we had no right to tell people what to do if we didn’t take care of children ourselves.  We’ve heard this soooo many times.  Yet, when given a list of all the pregnancy help locations, John switched to gay marriage in Florida, just about anything to change the subject.  John, sweetheart, we’ve heard that argument about a million times.  So if we don’t personally adopt, we should stand by and let others have their preborn children killed through abortion?  Well………   Just another gray rationalization for abortion which doesn’t make sense.  Absolute mental gymnastics.  Three o’clock brought Rosalina and Roseann and Rich to join Mimi praying to fight the gloom of abortion. Lucky for us, the Son/Sun of God is always shining.

Cecelia managed the 11am-1pm shift today and sent in the following report:

 

It was nice that my boys were off of school for Columbus Day and able to join me for my 11-1 shift.  Also joining us were my friends, Karen(Sts Peter & Paul Byz Catholic) and Sandi (Holy Sepulcher).  Here is a picture of them:

 

When we arrived at the vigil, Pat Malley warmly greeted us along with Shift Manager, Bill.  It has been a blessing to get to know Bill the past few years.  So I was glad to see his smiling face despite the rain that they had to endure in the morning.  Bill said that he would pray for it to stop for us and we had other “prayer warriors” from our church, St Joseph, praying for us as they were on a previously scheduled day-hike @ Cooks Forest with Fr Mark.  The prayers were heard and the rain stopped shortly after our arrival.  Praise God! 

We said a prayer to OLPH using rosary beads and sang songs.  I was able to hand out several flyers and was able to speak with and offer resources to a few others.  I remember one young African American girl took pregnancy and abortion info.  And shortly after our arrival, an AA man accepted a flyer.  He walked away slowly reading it, looked back at us a few times, then stopped outside Tony & Mike’s diner.  Leaning against the building, he looked backed at us again.  So I walked down to him to see if he needed more info from us like pregnancy help, abortion, or abortion healing.  He said ‘no’.  He was married with a 12 year old daughter and 2 younger boys.  So I offered him chastity info to share with his daughter when she is older.  And I invited him to pray with us either at the vigil or on his own.  He said he would pray. 

But this and other encounters during the day had me think more about the need to have more African American men and women join our cause.  Bill is one of the few but their presence there can make such a difference!  Perhaps we can pray more for that and can invite and even collect names and phone numbers for those who sound interested in our “cause”.  They can “rally the troops”.  This is a battle that we ALL need to join hands to support.  The killing must stop and the “wounded” need healing. 

Joyce and Provie arrived for the 2nd half of our St Joseph church vigil time.  Here is a picture of them with Shift Manager Beth and her sister, Rosemary.  (They made me get in the picture too):

Thanks to St Joseph parish in Cabot, Pa for standing witness with us today.

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“Have courage, for you have only just begun.”

St. Francis de Sales

Thy Will Be Done!, Sophia Institute Press

I have been consumed all day by the thought that we are halfway through our Fall 2013 vigil campaign, until I read the quote above that makes me ask – halfway to what; our goal of an end to legalized abortion in America, an end to all abortion everywhere, an end to extreme Individualism that leads us away from the Body of Christ and into this quagmire of sin? Only God knows how far along we really are, and He knows what got us here in the first place. All we have to do is put our faith and trust in Him to lead us back to where we belong, His loving arms (nothing halfway about that!).

 

Thursday Day 16 – Living Word Church, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

“We must not become so preoccupied looking for ‘major’ miracles that we miss all the daily ones.”

Mark Hart –  Tweet Inspiration, Servant Books

Make sure you check out the picture of baby Zeus in today’s blog.  His mother attended a 40 days for Life kickoff event in downtown Pittsburgh the spring of 2012 with the pastor of Living Word Church and unbeknownst to her mother in attendance or the pastor, she was pregnant.  After hearing the speaker at at the kickoff event, she told her mother and her pastor that she wanted to keep the baby.  Little Zeus was that baby.

 

Sue McGrath writes:

This morning I served as shift manager from 7-9.  I was blessed to be accompanied by members of Living Word Church during these two hours — Charles, Phillis, Crystal, and adorable baby Zeus.  Zeus was all smiles & sweet chatter the entire time!  What a fantastic witness to Life he was!

Early in the shift, a young man from Philadelphia named Horacio, a missionary with the pro-life organization GenerationLife (www.generationlife.org), stopped by. He explained that he was passing through Pittsburgh and on his way to the bus station to travel to another city to make presentations to high schoolers on chastity and purity.  It was great to meet him and find out about this organization!  Check out the link.

Then, about a half hour into my shift, a sixtysomething woman walked by and said directly, and quite disparagingly, to me, “You should be ashamed of yourself!”  She did not stop, so I was not able to engage her in conversation.  My only response was a smile but with sad eyes.  (At any rate, that is what I was hoping to convey.)  Also, two people with whom I work walked by on their way to work for the day.  I know them fairly well, but as far as I know, it’s the first time they’ve seen me there.  Each of them smiled and said “hi,” but they didn’t stop, and I didn’t have any opportunities to talk with them during my work day.  Working downtown, I’d always known that the day would come when someone from work would walk by during one of my shifts and see me there, and I’ve always wondered how I’d feel when it happened.  I was surprised to discover that I was not nearly as conspicuous as I’d always thought.  I am sure that this was God pouring out His grace, and I am so thankful for it!  Neither of the two whom I saw today are in authority over me at work in any way, but I feel almost certain that day will come too.  But by God’s continued grace, I can never be deterred from this vital witness!

May God bless you all in YOUR vital witness!

 

Rev. Shawn and Jacque from Living Word Church
Little Zeus, a 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh “save”!

 

Phylis and Charles from Living Word Church

Marie Pfau send in the following pics from the 9-11 shift

Marie with group from St Alphonsus

 

Marilyn sent these photos from her 11am-1pm shift:

Lisa Koslosky reported in with the following:

My shift today was rather “normal.”  This was a bit of a surprising relief, considering that I had been expecting a ton of spiritual warfare.  I am not dismissing that possibility for any future shift, though.  I know that we must always be spiritually prepared to be facing such evil as goes on behind those PP doors.
But I will mention one interesting thing (at least, to me).  Near the end of my shift, although others were with me, I began praying alone, and began to contemplate the horror of the killing that goes on in that place.  As I meditated on that reality, I felt at the same time an extreme sense of the peacefulness of God’s presence.  It was as though the Lord was assuring me of His presence even in the midst of all of the evil.
It strikes me now as I put this into words that of course, Our Lord is not oblivious or stupid; He knows very well what goes on behind those doors.  Perhaps He does not want us to think for a moment that He is any less present- even there- than He is everywhere else.  And may our prayers continue to move the hearts of the PP workers, that they may become more open to His presence.

Dee Gallagher sent the following pic from the 3-5 shift and writes:

Today’s 3rd shift from 3 to 5 was very peaceful.
Father Carmen brought 5 of his parishoners from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in the Meadowlands. We prayed a couple of rosaries.  Deacon Tony Mobley showed up when the regulars left.  A few people, not scheduled, also showed up for about an hour.  All in all, the vigil was prayerful.
Fr. Carmen lead his group from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Meadowlands

Jeff Burgman had the 5-7 shift and sent in this pic.

Deacon Tony M. from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal near Canonsburg, and Mary Jane

Jeff wrote in todays’ email:

“A majority, perhaps as many as 75 percent, of abortion clinics are in areas with high minority populations. Abortion apologists will say this is because they want to serve the poor. You don’t serve the poor, however, by taking their money to terminate their children.”

Alveda King – niece of Marin Luther King Jr.

I am often confronted with the statement that people don’t understand the pro-life point of view. I tell them that it may be because they are looking at it from their point of view as opposed to God’s point of view. ” But I don’t understand God’s point of view” and I say ” That’s what prayer is for, to help you come to understand.” I can see why a secular person cannot see God’s point of view on abortion, but that will be of no consolation on Judgement Day. We must strive to see God’s will in everything, everyday, whether we totally understand it or not. That being said, there is no lack of things to pray about; the things we do not understand should never be decided by our self-serving ignorance, our human condition.

 

Day 13: Monday – St Catherine of Siena, St Bernadette, Riverview Baptist Church

Thanks to substitute Shift Manager, Dean, for filling in this morning from 7am-11am!  He stood for four hours in the pouring rain to make sure our 40 day prayer vigil continues in front of Planned Parenthood!  What a wonderful witness he is!  Here are some photos of this morning that he took:

Valiant prayer warriors from St. Catherine of Siena brave the rain for four hours!
Prayer volunteers came from St. Theresa of Avila
Prayer volunteers on a rainy Monday morning

Cecelia Love was the 11-1 shift manager today, and she writes:

We are FAMILY!!!

I can’t help but get a bit “nostalgic” as I await the start of the 4th Pirate game of the series with St. Louis today.

But today was truly a “family” day at the vigil.  I was blessed to be accompanied by my St. Joe’s church “sister” and friend, Provie.  Her deep love for the Lord and her beautiful voice makes me just want to join in singing; which we did at the vigil today.  Here is a picture of Provie with my shift manager “sister”, Beth, who arrived with her blood-sister, Rosemary, as I finished up my shift:

Though I missed not seeing our “sister”, Nikki, when I arrived for my shift, I was so glad to meet a new “brother” shift manager, Dean, who greeted us with smiles as if we’ve known each other forever.  “Family members” from St Catherine were there when I arrived and stayed well into my shift.  Here is a picture of Mary Anne, Mary and Rich:

Today was much like a “reunion” to me as I have been blessed, in the last several campaigns, to be joined by many familiar faces from St. Bernadette’s in Monroeville.  Joining us today were: Angela, Winnie, Jerry, Nancy, Jean, Ed, Lisa and Dee.  I thank Dee for always rounding up a nice group of prayer warriors.  Many rosaries were lifted up to our Mother Mary on this feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Here are pictures of the members from St. Bernadettes;

Also joining us today and in the picture above is our “sister”, Mary Jane, who is always bubbling over with “joy”.

We were thankful to have the rain clear up just in time for my shift.  Many people were out and about on the sidewalk.  Some were heading to the ballgame, some to lunch….  We were able to hand out many of the 40 Days for Life flyers and we had several women take pregnancy help/abortion info.  A couple different ones took material for those they knew who might need the help.  But we had 2 ladies who entered PP with babies in tow.  At first they ignored our call out to help them.  But, as they were leaving, they overheard me speaking with another young lady who was looking for help from pro-life pregnancy centers and so they stopped.  All three ladies were single Moms and were struggling financially (needing diapers…).  In addition to directing them to the pregnancy centers, I was able to give them chastity material, which I pray will help them down the road…

 It was a blessing to be able to be there praying for and serving our brothers and sisters on the streets of Pittsburgh.  I do look forward to the day when our “40 Days family” no longer needs to meet on the streets of the city.  But, until then…

Rosalina Caiazza was the 3-5 shift manager today.  Riverview Baptist Church adopted the 3-7pm shift.  It was their first time participating in our 40 Days for Life vigil.  Their pastor sent in the following report and photos:

Our crew from Riverview Baptist actually had a relatively uneventful four hours- really only one unpleasant fellow who snarled, “Don’t block the sidewalk;” which, of course we were not doing.  We did have, by my count, five men who stopped to thank us for what we were doing and one very interested young man who stopped and asked many questions. He said he walks by the building nearly every day and never realized that it was an abortion clinic. He gladly accepted some 40 Days literature and a Gospel tract. We had a very encouraging experience and I’m hopeful that we can help out in the next vigil.

Blessings,  Pastor Alan Gross

Riverview Baptist are first-timer vigil participants!

Thanks to everyone who stood for life today!

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“The important thing is not how much we accomplish, but how much love we put into our deeds every day. That is the measure of our love for God.” -Blessed Mother Teresa

I was at 933 Liberty Ave for 4 hours yesterday, and it seemed as though nothing was going right. We had a particularly belligerant passerby who was loud and in our face (apparently a regular contributor), Emil came by twice with his pithy comments regarding our presence, and to add to it all, I was in the crosshairs of someone attempting a sidewalk conversion to their faith for 20 minutes. I was not feeling the love, radiating the love, or sharing the love. I did manage to keep these feeling to myself for the most part, but “the measure of my love” was abysmal.

I ask for your prayers for all who stand vigil during this campaign, that God grant them the grace to witness for the unborn child “with love”.