Day 9 Thursday October 3rd – St. Bernadette in Monroeville

I wanna welcome our sign volunteer Diane back from nursing her daughter back to health in New York City.  She is always smiling and it never fails to make my day.  Course on the 5-7 shift, it also signals the end of my shift. Hmm…no, it is definitely the smile.

Rev. John Patterson managed the early morning shift from 7am-9am.  He wrote:

My shift was quiet. I was there from 7-8 alone and then Marie M. from Our Lady of Grace came at 8 and prayed on her knees for one hour straight as I prayed and kept observant. Christ bless her.

I prayed a lot also, using the prayers on the back of one sign ( mine, I guess – ha, ha). I seemed to zero in on God arresting the souls of those who work at PP, that he would cause them to end their work there, and that the place would ultimately close down.

An intoxicated man (yes at 8 in the morning) wandered up to Marie as she was praying. He seemed fascinated by it. But I was concerned and put myself between he and her.

  I mentioned that he needed to be careful about where he stood or the police could possibly make him move. A minute or two later he walked (staggered) away. But as he did, he approvingly tapped lightly on Marie’s shoulder and respectfully nodded. Interesting.          Rev. John

Marilyn was on vigil from 11-1pm:

The Thursday 11am shift had folks stopping in on their lunch hour along with several church prayers.  It was so nice to have two first time prayers at the clinic!  Welcome to Joannie and Christine.  It is such a blessing to pray with such faith filled folks!  We were questioning whether or not it could have been an abortion day.  Glad we were there to pray all the more if it was one.   A passerby also stopped, not knowing what we were doing there, and joined us for a few minutes in prayer.   Praise the Lord that more people are becoming aware of what PP does in our city.  

Christine from St. Gabriel’s, Joannie, Peggy, and Meg from St. Elizabeth, and Beth Ann, St. Alexis.

Lisa managed the vigil from 1-3pm and wrote the following reflection:

My shift today really made me so grateful for all of the amazing, holy people that I know through 40 Days for Life.  Whether they were regulars or first-timers, it was such a joy for me to be with these other people today who were focused on prayer and ministry.  THANK YOU to all of them- Christine, Pam, Rose Marie, Bill, and Sue.  You are all such blessings to me.  

It’s a good thing the Lord surrounded me with such goodness, because the evil in front of us (at PP) was looming.  As Marilyn (from the previous shift) mentioned to me, it may have been an abortion day.  It’s hard to say.  But there did seem to be greater numbers today.  Maybe it’s just coincidence.  Many prayers are always needed. 

One brief moment that was special to me was when “A” walked by, a young woman who I spoke to last week.  We remembered each other, and it was good to reinforce the “re-connection.”  I think this is always a good thing.  The same happened with “A,” a man who I see during every shift of mine.  He is very pro-life and supportive, and it was good to re-connect with him as well.  This kind of informal “networking” is such a good way to spread the word about 40 Days for Life. 

And one more word for all those who pray for me and the other shift managers….  THANK YOU so much.  We really need it.  God bless you all.    -Lisa

Dee Gallagher had the  3-5 shift today.  Her church, St. Bernadette in Monroeville adopted the 3-7pm shift.  Here are some photos from her group:

Jeff, Fr. Tony, prayer volunteer from St. Bernadette and Dee

Dee wrote:

Our time at the clinic today was peaceful.  One woman passed Fr. Tony and said “You are disgusting“.   She has been around in the past. 

Another young girl passed by and said loudly, “I understand what you are saying, but, I have a 3 year old daughter, and people can choose.” She was very adamant in her statement.   

Others passed by and said positive things, such as, “Thank you“, and “I do not believe in abortion“, etc.    Dee

Bill and Peg from St Bernadette’s in Monroeville

Jeff Burgman had the 5-7 shift

I had a lot of company tonite as Dee stayed for her 2 hrs and my two hours because her home Parish of St Bernadette was the church scheduled for 3-7 today.  Jim Flaherty was with us also from St Bernadette.

I was blessed with two “shoutouts”, one from a moving car “Get on with your life, dumb—“, the other from a passerby not fit to print.  Nothing like standing on a city street witnessing for the unborn to get a very mild sense of what persecution must be like.  I had never been the subject of derision for my faith before my sidewalk witness, probably because the witness of my faith never ventured far from my church.  933 Liberty Ave is as good a place as any to flex the ole faith muscle.

Shift managers Jeff and Jim

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“It is very simple to pray without ceasing. It means living in the Present Moment. That’s all it takes, you can do that wherever you are. Sometimes that union with God and that unceasing prayer is a prayer of anguish, a prayer of tears, or a prayer of joy.”

Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality, Doubleday

Today I would like to pass along a few suggestions to consider to those of you who will be standing vigil sometime it the next 31 days.

If someone thanks you on the sidewalk for your witness, hand that person a flyer or a handout giving them more information regarding 40 Days for Life. Use your witness to help recruit more 40 Days participants. Your shift manager will have flyers and brochures.

Buy some $10 gift cards to downtown establishments and keep them in your wallet should someone ask you for money and you are inclined to give. Please do not give money while standing vigil (I should have did this on Sunday when approached, but I was not prepared – no cards).

Spend as much of your time praying as possible. Yes, time goes faster talking amongst ourselves, but aren’t we just preaching to the choir most times? (This, too, I have done numerous times.)

Consider signing up for the Vigil Fast at Questions? Contact Megan Merante at

Spend some time with your sign visible to the street. It is hard for people driving by to know what we are doing when we are huddled in a circle.


Day 2 – St Richard Church scheduled and a beautiful day to witness

I couldn’t help but think of the weather comparison of the second day of the 2013 Lenten Vigil  with today. What a difference!

Sue wrote of the first shift:

I covered the first half of the first shift  and Marie  was kind enough to agree to take 9-11am.   Pat  delivered the sandwich boards, as well as the bucket of beautiful live flowers!  I was joined by Susan D and Mary Pat S shortly thereafter.  Mary Pat was becoming a grandma for the second time today!  How wonderful a thought to know that even before midday today, this dear lady was TWICE a wonderful witness to Life!  We prayed for the clinic workers, according to the 40 Days daily devotional) and had several positive-commenting passersby. Hoped that Shawn Carney might stop by the vigil, but we realized he needs his sleep, with his crazy travel schedule!

Dave, Emily, Patty S., Beth Ann, Emily B

We noticed the bar next door to the clinic displaying fanciful outdoor string lights featuring all sorts of rubber ducky designs, surely in celebration of the Big Ducky art display arriving on our three rivers tomorrow.  How ironic that such a business celebrates such a baby/childlike concept.  I mean, shouldn’t that be us pro-lifers celebrating the ducky?!  One gentleman passerby did even bring that up, suggesting that we incorporate the ducky concept into our vigil this fall!

Shift mgr Marie & 2 prayer volunteers

Marilyn writes:

Representatives from Church’s all over came to pray today!  From St. Alexis in Wexford, Assumption in Bellevue,  St. Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon, Christ Church Ministries and St. Paul and St. Joseph the Worker in Weirton WV!  What a great turnout for the 2nd day of the vigil!  Praise the Lord. We had such a beautiful day.  The spirit was alive in the darkness of 933 Liberty Avenue!  We were blessed to minister to a man who stopped to pray with us.  He told us that he had a daughter who against his wishes had an abortion.  There are so many hurting souls out there.  A young couple coming out of PP was receptive and took a free resources sheet.  So many passersby’s affirmed our being there today.  What a blessing.

Beth Ann, Rick, Megan, Rev. Bryan, Cindy, Paulette

Lisa had the 1-3.shift, and writes:

The 1-3 PM shift was peaceful, for the most part.  We had the typical few–very few– who had negative comments to say.  But there were also a few beautiful and surprising moments.  I will mention four of them here:
1.  A man and his wife stopped by to ask for prayer.  We happened to have THREE clergyman there this afternoon!!  And two of them were able to pray over this man and his wife.  It was a beautiful thing to witness.
2.  We had two beautiful babies join us- Lauren (3 mos.) and Wyatt (6 mos.).  Their presence added an extra blessing to our time at the vigil, just by their being there.  Thank you to their parents for bringing them!
3.  A woman stopped and talked with me for a short time.  In my opinion, her appearance was calling out for attention.  And when she got some kindness and conversation from a few of us at the vigil, I believe that she left there with a different frame of mind than when she arrived.  She was NOT abortion-minded, but just seemed sad.  Perhaps our tiny efforts to show love had a positive effect on her heart.
4.  A woman stopped by who wants to get involved with 40 Days for Life!  She said she’s been wanting to for a long time.  She raised her children as a single mom, and is now a grandmother, and cannot imagine her life without her children.  She would like to show people that single moms in difficult financial situations can MAKE IT, as she did.
I thank God for all these people and situations.  May the Lord bless them all.

Dee Gallagher had the 3-5 shift and sent the following pictures:

Our shift was very peaceful. One passerby shouted at us about “freedom of choice”, but just continued walking. Pastor Bryan spent a couple of hours there and engaged a number of passersby, including the movie people. They were unloading and were a bit noisy. Bernie S stopped by for an hour and we prayed the rosary. All in all, everything went well.
Bernie and Rev. Bryan

Rev. Bryan passed along an interesting point:

I had a revelation today while down here by PP.   During the day the PP staff are going in and out of the building.  This is an opportunity to pray for those specific people as they pass between our positions on the two sides of their painted circle.  Praying for their eyes and minds to be opened.

Normally we do pray for them as a whole, but prayers directed at individuals can be powerful.

Julie had the last shift today:

It was a busy 2 hours! Ironically enough there was a filming crew setting up stuff all around us to film a TV show called “those that kill” In prayer we focused on imploring the Mercy of God. It was a peaceful prayerful evening. Below is a photo of a father/daughter duo.. The Steighners and Peg who graciously stayed till 7 with me.

In Christ,       Julie

Jeff wrote in the email today: My mantra for the past few months has been - We are here to serve - a nice comfortable little pontification to use on others. But lately I have been repeating a similar but more personal form of that phrase - I am here to serve! Big difference, and something I am now reminding myself constantly as I get pulled 27 different ways to Sunday (no pun intended). And not just to serve Christ and the church, but to serve others, even our enemies. I must server others! This harder than loving them, cause I can at least love them in my thoughts and be done with it. But people are constantly making demands of me, and I must discern how I am to serve them. Through prayer and faith, I hope that I am serving them well.


And not just to serve Christ and the church, but to serve others, even our enemies. I must server others! This harder than loving them, cause I can at least love them in my thoughts and be done with it. But people are constantly making demands of me, and I must discern how I am to serve them. Through prayer and faith, I hope that I am serving them well.