“Peace in the Womb” Christmas Caroling Saturday, December 19th at 9 AM Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh
It’s almost time for one of the most cherished pro-life events of the year: the “Peace in the Womb” Christmas Caroling Day. From now through Christmas Eve, pro-lifers all over America will be heading out to their local abortion facilities to share the hope of Christmas in song. Some mothers have even walked out on abortion appointments because they heard pro-lifers caroling outside!
But we’re not just there for the mothers. We’re there for the babies, too, who will never see their first Christmas. We sing for them, offering the only gift they’ll receive this side of eternity.
Will you come out and sing carols with your fellow pro-lifers? In fact, why not invite a friend to join you? Click below for a downloadable flyer and bulletin announcement to spread the news. I can promise that you will be blessed by the experience of coming out to illuminate one of the darkest places in our land with the light of Christmas hope!
If you can’t attend the Christmas Caroling and you still want to come and pray, join us at other dates/times. The trained advocates and other prayer warriors who serve year-round could use your prayers and presence. You can join us on the abortion days when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP. No one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone. Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with the sidewalk advocates already there:
I realize that the 40 Days for Life fall campaign is over, and now is the time we should be taking a break from our blog…but I just thought I would write a quick post to encourage anyone who has been tempted to despair, as I have been during the past 24 hours.
Yesterday, I am sure many of us were sleep deprived and confused…not knowing what the results of the election would be. Hoping against hope that the states that had stopped counting votes would quickly complete the process and we would be assured of a pro-life victory. But as the day dragged on, and we went about our necessary chores…the sadness began to set in. Last night, in the shower, I was surprised at the sudden torrent of tears that came out of nowhere. I found myself crying to God like a disappointed child. “Lord, we came SO CLOSE!!!” How cruel it seemed to me, that He allowed us to climb to the very top, almost within reach of overturning Roe…and as we stretched out our hands to grasp that apple at the very top of the tree, the branch beneath us crashed the the ground…and us along with it.
After my bout with tears, the bitterness began to creep into my heart.As I lay in bed, I began to think about giving up the fight. I remembered that there was a bottle of brandy hidden away in a drawer that I could break my fast from alcohol with. I almost got up to have a drink to drown my sorrows. I am glad that I didn’t. In my mind, I knew that it was too early to give up…that we need to continue to pray and fast…but I just needed a voice to encourage me.I received that encouragement this morning on my way to Mass as I listened to two podcasts, which I want to share with you. The first is from Arch Bishop Vigano, who is pleading with us not to give up the prayers and fasting for the election. Instead of trying to paraphrase his words, I will link the letter, read by John Henry Weston at Lifesite News:
The other encouragement I received was a video by Michael Matt encouraging us to not lose hope:
We are the family of God. He is our Father. Our sorrow pierces His Heart, because our sorrow is not selfish. We are not sad because of a loss of any worldly concerns…personal or financial. Our sorrow is from a concern for the weak and defenseless babies in the womb. It is a completely selfless sorrow…so I don’t think our sorrow offends Him. As long as we don’t despair, we do not sin. So go ahead and cry on His shoulder. He will comfort us. He doesn’t want us to give up though! Think of how despondent Jesus’ disciples must have been after Jesus was crucified. Now, think of how overjoyed they were when He appeared to them after the resurrection! Let’s keep that in mind, and keep our hope in Him! Keep the prayers and fasting going!
It’s not over!
Your grateful sister in Christ,
P.S. Sue McGrath, who is in charge of our year-round Sidewalk Advocates here in Pittsburgh is looking for some new recruits to attend this Saturday’s training session. If you are feeling called to take the training, please contact her at: Sue McGrath firstname.lastname@example.org No matter what happens, those little ones being led to the slaughter at Planned Parenthood still need loving people to advocate on their behalf, and for their mothers! Thank you for considering this!
Thank you to all who made our fall 40 Days for Life possible! Thanks to all the team members, shift managers and buddies. Thanks to all the church coordinators and volunteers, individual volunteers who gave of their time and comfort to come to the sidewalk! Thanks to our blog manager, Jen…and our schedulers, Lisa, Donna and Fran! Thanks to Diane and Tom for delivering the vigil materials every day! Thank you Bishop William Waltersheid for bringing Jesus to the sidewalk yesterday to help us close our vigil with Christ! Thanks to all the other clergy who came…Fr. Tim Kruthaupt, Fr. Jason Charron, Fr. Thomas More, Fr. Nathaniel and Fr. Ed Bryce and thanks to Fr. Chris Donley for hosting us! Thanks to the sisters of Divine Mercy for being there! Thanks to the many faithful souls who braved the cold wind to walk with Jesus to Epiphany Church for our closing Mass!
Here are some photos from the closing event, along with my reflections:
The weather was not cooperative for our procession last night, however, I believe that there are many insights and analogies that we can draw from our little “pilgrimage” from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church.
First of all, it was inspiring to see the faith of so many people! Before Bishop arrived, carrying the monstrance…we were all scattered on the sidewalk, engaging in conversation. It was almost instantaneous that as soon as we saw him walking towards us, everyone who was able dropped to their knees on that cold, hard sidewalk. A peace overcame the noise of the wind…and for a few moments, we all just adored and soaked in our Loving Savior…present with us in that place that needs Him so badly. It was truly beautiful. Bishop Waltersheid blessed all of us and blessed those terrible doors that have swallowed so many precious lives. I imagine the demons of that place were cowering in fear.
As we crossed the street and began our procession to Epiphany Church, the wonderful Pittsburgh Police officers helped to keep us safe. Take a look at this photo of us crossing Liberty Avenue…doesn’t it look like Jesus is actually GLOWING in the monstrance?
The wind was relentless as we walked, at times the gusts were actually frightening…feeling like they could literally knock us over! God must have given Bishop the strength to hold that heavy monstrance up as he walked! Thanks to all the saints in Heaven who walked with us, helping us!
So I thought it was fitting that God gave us such challenging weather conditions for our procession. Why? Well, look at the times we are currently living in! Would you say that today is an easy time to be a faithful follower of Christ? But, do we give up? No! We persevere! Just as we persevered through the wind, rain and even some snow…we eventually arrived at our Father’s House. Our HOME! It was warm and welcoming inside of the beautiful Epiphany Church, as the family of God gathered in thanksgiving for the many blessings that we have received during these 40 days.
So, the main analogy that I drew from our procession from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church is one that Bishop Waltersheid pointed out in his homily last night. He said that as we began our journey at a place of darkness and death…we ended in a place of light and life. And isn’t that what our journey of life is all about? We begin our lives in original sin…and Hell is our destination if left there. Fortunately, God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay our sin debt and to die on the cross so that we can make the long journey of salvation. It is a difficult and sometimes treacherous journey. Sometimes the wind screams and howls and the cold rain pelts our faces. But as long as we stay close to Christ, and persevere…we will eventually enter our Father’s Beautiful Home! Our destination is Heaven, and no amount of hardship can stop us on this earthly pilgrimage. Especially when we have each other to encourage and lift one another when we fall. We certainly were an encouragement to many last night! I saw quite a few people on the streets stop as we passed, bowed their heads or made the sign of the cross in respect. The world may seem dark right now, but there still are many people who believe! Many people have faith! Last night gave evidence of that!
Eucharistic Procession from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church
Mass, Bishop William Waltersheid presiding, at Epiphany Church
Divine Mercy Parish, Reverend Christopher Donley, Pastor
We close our 40 Days for Life fall campaign, and thank God
for His protection and provision, and for all the lives saved from abortion
Let us pray for our children as we contemplate the chubby-cheeked face of this Child, with his strong yet tender gaze, and the endearing pout through which Zurbaran displays all the love God feels for his brothers and sisters in the human race. Pierre Marie Dumont. “The Eucharistic Child”. Magnificat November 2017
I will carry my Lord with me today with life-affirming trust. TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER: The 40-Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life. Shawn D. Carney
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. G.K. Chesterton. ORTHODOXY
“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned … through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” God grounds me. He leaves me no illusions. This is good! In Him, I share a privileged place in life’s bounty. Offering more bounty, life invites me to open my heart, open my arms. This invitation feels scary, like a dare. Every time I try, stumbling and stupid, things work out. Teaching me to know what to look for, life never disappoints me … and it shows me how my heart and arms are still so closed and so clenched … and how my clenching keeps so much bounty out of my reach … and how much my having that bounty to share would make me so much better at loving … and loving is where life loves me.
Michael Schachle was diagnosed in utero with both Down syndrome and a life threatening buildup of fluid around the lungs, heart and abdomen. A doctor said that meant the unborn child had “zero chance for survival.” Doctors suggested abortion. Heartbroken, Michelle and Daniel Schachle begged the intercession of Father McGivney. “We never, for one second, felt Down syndrome was a problem. We were going to love him how God made him.” “I told Michelle, ‘Father McGivney needs a miracle to be named ‘Blessed,’ and there’s no reason it can’t be our son. Let’s pray to him. He needs a miracle; we need a healing — let’s go get it.’” “We emailed hundreds of people asking them to pray to Father McGivney for him. We just kept praying.” Soon thereafter, the child’s toxic fluid buildup (hydrops) inexplicably disappeared. Michael, who has Down syndrome, was born on May 15, 2015. The Vatican announced that the healing before birth … of the now five years old lively, happy child … has been accepted as the miracle necessary to advance the sainthood cause of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. Father McGivney was beatified yesterday, October 31, 2020. https://www.ncregister.com/features/michael-s-miracle-healthy-and-happy-at-5-years-old-thanks-to-father-mcgivney
“Boom. The shock was real. The disbelief was real. The questions…. The unknown, was real. Of course, this is exactly how most mothers I come to learn, feel too, because most of us are not educated well on this diagnosis. And it is a shame. But, in that moment, I had hope. As a Catholic woman, I immediately turned to God and told him to talk to me. I needed him to tell me something so that my heart could be at peace, and I could find my trust again in the Lord in this situation. I had no idea that he would tell me so clearly, exactly what I needed to hear. I had no idea where it would come from. But then, a powerful sensation within my chest told me to look in His Word at the time Sebastian was born. I was surprised. How would this make sense? I quickly asked my midwife what time he was born, and she said, “4:17” (pm). My sister in law immediately began searching Scripture, and found only one place where anything made sense. It was 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” I knew immediately what the Lord was asking of me, reminding me, and telling me. It was the fact that even though this seemed like an unfortunate and difficult situation, it would bring about great glory for God, and I must trust Him, and was instantly at peace, and quiet in my heart. I was able to accept this calling to raise one of His angels very well, and I became honored. Yes, honored.” https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgl4MEtFYIX/?utm_source=ig_embed
Opening our arms and hearts takes enormous effort. Each ordeal can last quite a long time. Here’s a video requesting peace … a peaceful interlude … useful as we replenish our supplies for battle. Notice the joy, the spoils of war!!!
DONA NOBIS PACEM (Grant us peace) is a round for three parts from the AGNUS DEI, a prayer from the Roman Catholic Mass liturgy. The melody has been passed orally. Our video presents Leif Ahlberg as conductor in a beautiful church in Norrköping, Sweden.
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
What an incredible group gathered to start the final day of the vigil! There were over a dozen people to pray and witness despite the early hour and threatening weather. We have been so blessed this campaign. Although serious issues–from pandemic to protests to charged political climate–kept our advance signups down and our schedule seemingly empty, the sidewalk rarely was!
May God bless all of you who were a part of this amazing effort. To Nikki who does more than any of us will ever know; to Tom and Diane who were there countless times to set up and break down; to Donna and Lisa who kept us all on track; to all the shift managers and buddies who prayed so faithfully; to all the churches, groups, and individuals who kept vigil with us; to the blog team who inspired and informed us each day; to all who prayed with us from a distance…a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU!
Incredible group crowding the early morning sidewalk in prayer and witness!
People of God
KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11
Damp and rainy for the last day of this campaign with some ugly comments and profanity shouted from a passerby and passing vehicles. Prayers were offered for conversion and healing.
Many thanks to shift buddy Andy who stood with me every Sunday for this campaign. I am grateful for his faithfulness, insights and prayer leadership. Also thanks to the People of God Community who prayed with us today.
Pictured are Milo, Joann, Pam, shift buddy Andy, Mary, Joe and Jim.
Also pictured is the Rosary procession. Every Sunday for this campaign, this battle in which we struggle was witnessed to by dozens in procession around Pittsburgh praying the Rosary. Each time they brought prayers to our vigil as they stopped and prayed to petition the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for Her intercession in the battle to save the innocents.
Milo, Joann, Pam, shift buddy Andy, Mary, Joe and Jim
Pittsburgh Sunday Rosary Procession
RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1
Thanks to Eileen and Marge for witnessing with us today. Jim who lives in town and comes regularly witnessed also. We arrived at our shift early and were greeted by Ken and Andy and some beautiful singing by the participants there. The weather was less than great, rainy and windy. At some point a gust of wind blew over the display. Eventually it got moved into the alcove of the building. Gratefully we had no negative responds. We prayed the Litany to the Saints since it was All Saints Day. We prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy. The sun came out and the next shift arrived.
Marge and Roseann
MARIE P. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3
We are ending our Sunday afternoon time on the sidewalk with a cold and blustery day! No complaints though, we have been blessed with beautiful weather every other Sunday.
The cold, damp and gusty winds didn’t dampen our resolve, or spirits, today. The sidewalk was quiet, even the passersby wanted to escape the cold and wind.
There were five of us always present during the 2 hours – thanks to Margie B., Bob P., Mary M., Rose W. and Bill L. for being faithful to prayer this afternoon.
We prayed constantly, the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, Chaplets of the Divine Mercy and as our time drew to an end, the Litany of the Saints – how appropriate for this Feast of All Saints!
Thanks to all who have led the vigil efforts and all who have participated through prayer, witness and fasting!
Mary, Rose and Bob. Cold, damp and gusty winds did not dampen their spirit!
I found this small card tucked in a group of donations I was sorting at my local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.
I feel GOD SENT IT JUST IN TIME FOR ALL OF US!! — – – –
Friday, I received a video that fit this theme perfectly! Fr. Dave Pivonko, TOR and President of Franciscan University recently said he knows little about what will happen in this presidential election, or if we will even have a president on November 4. This IS what he knows:
“I know that God is sovereign and Lord of all no matter who wins the Election.”
And he refers to St. Julian of Norwich:
“For all those who cling to HIM, all shall be well.”
So, as we finish the race in faith, we end our vigil, but NOT our effort. We will fight on for OUR KING!
7-9 AM +++ Tim and Sidewalk Advocates
We were blessed all morning long with unexpected prayer warriors stopping by. It started with Matt from the South Hills who joined year-round regulars Virginia and Joe for predawn prayers. Saturday regulars Linda and Jim came next and gave us a nice presence on the other side of the arc. Then a group of “Catholic Women” from a variety churches came and sang and prayed. It was beautiful to see and hear. The two every Saturday Jericho walkers, Chuck and Carol, passed by frequently bringing smiles and joy to all. And more kept coming starting with Fran and Rebecca and then Kathy and her sign sharing friend. It was a blessed morning filled with prayers and hope.
9-11 AM +++ Sue M. and Sue D.
Fran and I had expected to be somewhat alone this morning — boy, were we pleasantly surprised! A wonderful group of young people from Immaculate Conception / St. Agnes arrived and prayed their Rosaries silently for over an hour. Kathy L., Kim, Rebecca, Mary Jane, Jim, Maggie, Bridget, Isaac, Bill S., and Bill H. were not outdone in prayer. Brian faithfully resumed Chuck & Carol’s Jericho prayer walk after they left. It was a chilly morning, and PP was busy today. Kathy was able to have a discussion with a young man exiting PP whose wife was inside for an abortion. He said they already have a 4-year-old daughter, and he couldn’t talk her out of the abortion. We watched for him to come back but unfortunately didn’t see him. Please pray for “D” and his wife and for all souls who entered PP today. May those who had abortions seek the Lord’s face and His healing, and may none of those who entered today ever return to PP.
11 AM-1 PM +++ Dean and Greg
The last Saturday of this campaign was fairly busy for Planned Parenthood. On a positive note, more people than usual were accepting literature about pregnancy support groups. God willing, I will see you folks again this February.
1-4 PM +++ Nikki, Kathy, Jim, Jeff, and Billy
It was surprisingly peaceful on the sidewalk from one until four this afternoon! I thought that we would have some negative interactions with Halloween party goers, but there was none! The sky was bright blue and the sun was shining and it was a great time to pray. There were just a few post abortive women leaving, which is always very sad, but the place was closed for business early and we were able to engage in some uplifting and edifying conversation, sprinkled with prayer. A good way to end the final Saturday of our campaign!
I admit, I wasn’t always enthusiastic about praying the Rosary. But over the last decade or so, it’s become a real source of comfort to me.
One of the biggest reasons: when we pray it, we meditate on so many Mysteries that involve someone trusting God even though they didn’t understand what He was doing. For example…
The third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus
Give birth to the Savior in a barn and lay Him in a feeding trough? Really?
The first Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of Jesus
You want me to baptize You? Are you sure about that?
The second Luminous Mystery: The Miracle at the Wedding Feast in Cana
Fill the jars with water? Ummm, you heard that we ran out of wine, right?
God wove the story of our salvation with crazy, intricate stitches that we just couldn’t follow until we saw how they fit into the whole beautiful tapestry. They weren’t accidental knots in the thread that He had to work around, but deliberate and amazing actions to achieve the final result.
Meditating on the extraordinary results of putting blind faith in God reassures me that He is truly worthy of all my trust. Especially in these uncertain times, I need that!
7-9 AM +++ Barbara, Richard, and Rose
This chilly dark sidewalk felt strangely joyful. Our beloved Shift Buddy Rose removed the entire page from her prayer book to bring the Mass reading, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 1:1-11. She read it out loud. My heart goes out to Paul for his fortitude in not running away from being beheaded. His beauty strengthens me. Rose has a quote from that reading that she regularly uses in prayer. “I hold you in my heart.” In order of their appearance on the sidewalk for witness (7-9) in front of Planned Parenthood – witness in prayer for each and every person who went in those terribly opened doors – Rose, Diane, Tom, Richard, Lisa, Denise, Nikki – we pray in Saint Paul’s words, “I hold you in my heart.” Our beloved Lisa counted 5 women who probably had scheduled abortions. We prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Peace.
9-11 AM +++ Kathy and Mark
Several parishes from the North Hills came to pray today along with Anton from St. Regis Church. Sidewalk Advocates Katie and myself were present and Bill and Tim stopped by. I experienced some open hostility today: A woman passerby accepted the yellow card from me only to rip it up and throw the pieces my way. A young couple approaching PP refused literature and the male partner raised his voice and said, “Where’s the abortion building?” Those instances plus the cold rainy weather dampened my spirit. I joined in prayer with those near me for God’s mercy for those hurt by abortion.
11 AM-1 PM +++ Sheila and Dee
1-3 PM +++ Jeannie and Elaine
Today was beautiful because of these ladies plus another prayer warrior Mary who joined us during the most UNlovely weather we’ve seen at Planned Parenthood so far. What an absolute joy it has been to spend the weeks of the vigil with shift buddies Elaine & Marilyn. Today, grad student Sarah from the University of Pittsburgh bio chemistry department joined us. It was only her second time on the sidewalk and she was a real trooper in the inclement weather. We joined in praying the rosary and the intentions on the back of the baby pictures and we celebrated our new Supreme Court justice. We all vow to continue in this fight for life for as long as God allows us to be here. See you on Sunday!
Brothers and sisters: Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil.
Scripture tells us that if we draw our strength from the Lord and His mighty power, we will be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. Sr. Lucia, visionary of Fatima who saw and heard Our Lady speak to her, said the following:
This is why we must FIGHT for marriage between a man and a woman- and we must FIGHT for the nuclear family of father, mother, and children. This is a spiritual battle…. and abortion is very closely connected to this battle. Sr. Lucia tells us to NOT BE AFRAID. So let us defend marriage, family, and life in every way we can.
Reports from the Sidewalk:
It started out dark and rainy but at least it was quiet and semi-peaceful for the first part of the early shift. Peggy and I were able to pray peacefully. We were happy to see Joe arrive to boost our number to three. Shortly after his arrival, it began to be difficult to pray out loud because of this funny looking machine that was working on removing the red paint in the bus lane directly across the street. The noise was deafening, and it appears that this project will be going on for much of the day today, so everyone will have to endure the noise. Thank you Lord for faithful prayer partners who are willing to sacrifice their time and come out to pray in the rain today!
P.S. Am I the only one who thinks this machine looks like the Cat and the Hat’s picker-upper machine?
What a cold, wet, and dreary day at a cold and dreary place. But my Shift Buddy Tony and my friend Billy brought some light and warmth to the sidewalk. Thank you both for being there! Thank you also to Linda, who stayed a bit longer from the earlier shift, and to the lovely sisters, Linda and Toni, who joined us as well. I praise and thank God for each of you.
Our prayer time was mostly quiet, which was good. This has honestly been such a powerful and prayerful campaign this time for me personally. I pray that our prayers, fasting, and other sacrifices bear much fruit.
God is with us. Let us end this campaign with a spiritual surge and with NO FEAR. Come Holy Spirit!
It was a wet and cold day. I’m glad I brought gloves, wore boots, and had on two hoods. We sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet and rosaries were prayed. One young lady pulled on the door to PP and it wouldn’t open. Praise God! She turned and quickly walked away. I couldn’t catch up with her.
Quiet and WET, but the faithful were there, Glenn (Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish), Larry (Ancient Order of Hibernians) and Judy along with myself. We prayed all the mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We got a few thumbs-up from drivers passing by which was a great encouragement. To God be the glory for ever and ever.
Draw your strength from the Lord and His mighty power.
It is much easier to begin something well than to finish well. Don’t we all start out each new year with good resolutions…only to give up a few weeks later?
That is why I am SO encouraged to see that the pro-life family here in Pittsburgh and all around the world is NOT giving up! The road has been long and difficult, full of discouraging moments…but we have persevered! Along the way, God has given us footholds of grace, when we have seen lives saved and progress made on the political and legislative area. These victories keep us going. And just within the last 24 hours, we have been given two more victories! Amy Coney Barrett has been appointed to the Supreme Court, making the overturning of Roe v. Wade a very real possibility! This is something that seemed impossible when I began this pro life work back in 2010…and now here we are!
Also, just this morning, a little blessing was born here in Pittsburgh! Her overwhelmed parents arrived at Planned Parenthood during the last Lenten campaign (right before the lockdown)…and because of the loving presence of Sidewalk Advocate Katie, and the continual help of Regina at Birthright of Pittsburgh…they changed their minds and chose life for this little girl! Congratulations to “R” and “S” on the birth of their beautiful new daughter, and thanks to many in the 40 Days for Life family who came to the aid of this family! They are very appreciative to all who helped them!
It’s true that we do not get these encouragements often. I believe that lives are saved much more often than we know. We do this out of love and obedience, not for rewards…but when we are given these encouragements, we keep them in our hearts and look to them when times are dark. They keep us going.
These little victories are like footholds along the way to our ultimate goal of ending abortion.
So…no matter what happens at the polls next week…we know that God is with us and will strengthen us to endure anything that may come.I believe that as pro-life activists, we hold a special place in His Heart and He will look out for us…because we love Him and Trust Him…He will not abandon us. This said, of course we must do our part by voting pro-life!!! So get out and VOTE on Tuesday!!!
I invite you to join us this Sunday to help us to FINISH WELL at 4:45 pm in front of Planned Parenthood!
Bishop Waltersheid will bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sidewalk in front of PP at 4:45 pm, so we can finish out the final moments of our 40 Days for Life vigil in the same way that we began…with Jesus HIMSELF on the sidewalk! At 5pm we will begin a candlelit Eucharistic Procession with the bishop and other priests (all are welcome) to Epiphany Church for a thanksgiving Mass with Bishop Waltersheid presiding. For anyone not able to join the procession, just come to Epiphany Church at 5:15pm for the Mass. All others, meet at PP at 4:45.
***NOTE*** THE PROCESSION WILL BEGIN AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND END AT EPIPHANY CHURCH!!!
I hope to see you there!
Now, for today’s reports…
Peggy, Charlene and Beth report a possible life saved during the 7-9am shift!
A young couple refused our material but were very polite. They checked in at the front desk inside PP and sat down where you can see them under the blinds. Charlene observed them sitting on opposite sides, then they moved to sit together and finally he went to the check-in window ( and we are assuming he just told them they were leaving) and OUT THEM CAME! They walked hand in hand down liberty Ave. Charlene thanked them as they walked by. So we are celebrating!
Katie & Priscilla were Christ’s Hands and Feet from 9-11:
Terri and I were joined by Kathy, Linda, Bill and John for a very dreary shift. It was pretty quiet, there seemed to be less foot traffic than usual and I would say probably fewer people going in than a typical Wednesday. A couple people going in did take literature, as well as one man who was leaving. We had a few positive comments, and the only negative one was from the girl who used to eat the literature and knocked over the sign (Terri and I couldn’t understand what she said, but considering who it was it’s safe to assume it was something negative.) It’s so sad to see people so enthusiastic about violence. Terri talked to a young woman whose friend is pregnant and needs assistance. She gave her the yellow card and a Birthright pamphlet as well as her phone number. Terri said it seemed like she would reach out based on what her friend said!
NOTE: Katie reported that the couple who left PP during Peggy’s shift never came back!!! Praise God!!!
Barbara & Richard were in charge from 11-1 and wrote:
It is such a lovely day when you share the sidewalk with the Knights of Columbus, Father Tim and his team and volunteers as lovely as Hope and Holly. Richard and I had many blessings downtown today!
A vigil participant and her daughter were praying at the vigil during Barbara’s shift today and she had an interesting encounter that she wanted to share. She wrote:
My daughter and I go to 40 Days on Wednesdays. Today our time was 11-1pm. A strange thing happened that I just thought I would like to share. We were praying, and my prayer was, “Lord Jesus, please send your angels as a shield to protect these innocent babies from going into this death mill!” Less than 5 minutes later, a man walked up to me on the sidewalk and said to me, “I’m Billy the angel! I thought I should introduce myself! I’ve just been assigned to this area.” Well, I was shocked. Is he crazy? Maybe he really is an angel. Who knows? I said “ Well, thank you! We really need angels here!” He turned and walked away, and then we didn’t see him anymore! I know this is strange and weird and I’m not some crazy nut! But just the way the whole thing happened was so strange. I just wanted to share it! Who knows? Scripture tells us we may never know when we may entertain Angels.
God is SO GOOD to give us this encouragement! He really DOES have our backs when we are on the sidewalk! He really DOES hear our prayers!!! Thanks Holly for sharing this amazing encounter!
Chris & Elsie write from the 1-3 shift:
My last shift of the fall campaign was filled with more praying than any of my other shifts. A cold, dank, afternoon was warmed by the heart-felt prayers and love for the unborn shown by the pray-ers on the sidewalk. The last of my Holy Water was sprinkled on the yellow semi-circle. My shift was graced by the prayerful presences of Joyce from Our Lady of Victory in Harwick, Tom and Dolores from Divine Mercy parish, Pat from St. Ferdinand’s, and Marcia and her children, Patrick, Mark, and Mary from Sts. John & Paul. We prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary twice each hour and the Divine Chaplet of Mercy several times during the second hour. Sister Rose from Sts. John & Paul led one of the Divine Chaplets. What a contingent from the North Hills! Elsie, as always, was lovingly insistent on handing literature to all passersby and to women entering PP. Several men stopped by to pray with us for a while. Thank you for coming! A young man stopped and asked if it was OK to take a picture of the fetal models. After taking the picture, he was handed one of the fetal development brochures and continued on down the street, hearing “God Bless You” as he left.
Joe K. and Virginia report from the final Wednesday of this campaign:
A parishioner from St. Sebastian and a downtown resident, Jim ( a somewhat regular warrior) were present for most of the 3-5 shift. We handed out several yellow cards and some brochures to foot travelers and offered many to the mostly female persons exiting PP on this shift. One lady leaving PP accepted a card, but didn’t engage in any conversation as she crossed the street. Another lady who had exited PP was on her phone, stated “I am not pregnant, I didn’t have an abortion”, but seemed slightly unsteady on her feet. She did take some information as she passed by to get to her ride. A slightly older woman walking by stated she had 3 miscarriages and was against abortion. A young man walked by, refused any literature, but then turned around and told us he didn’t “necessarily agree” with us, but had been raised Catholic and his mother would definitely be in agreement with our proclaiming the right to life. It was an interesting experience, as I am writing this, I can see his face and it serves as a reminder that we never really know how many people we may influence or actually touch their hearts with God’s message. God Bless,
This is the message from National 40 Days for Life from today:
We are not entitled to results. God calls us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and results are up to Him, not us. When we focus on being faithful and not successful, God will show us the fruit of our labor.
JC in Yuba City, California waited an entire year before she learned that a mom chose life thanks to her presence at the fall 2019 40 Days for Life vigil. Find out how JC learned of the baby she saved last year in this new, raw video:
It is a good thing to remind myself to take a step back and “offer up” the results of our presence on the sidewalk to God. I like to re-orient myself by simply saying to God, I give you these 2 hours of my life…if You choose to save a mother and a baby, touch a person passing by or just accept my prayers, that’s great…I give it to You to use and You don’t even have to tell me about it! It gives me peace because things are then ordered correctly! I trust that we will know the results of our presence someday, if not in this life, then in the next! God Bless you for being there!
Our Sidewalk Counselors, Greg and Steve, along with Monica (St. James parishioner, soon to be a SC) arrived and our St. Peter’s group: Beth, Kathy, Sandi, Charles and I, joined them in reciting the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary using the Rachel’s Vineyard meditations. Today’s activity at PP was more typical of an early Tuesday morning. There weren’t tons of people coming in and going out. Quite a few clients did accept the info offered to them.(Thank you, Lord!) With less drama, there was more time for praying and touching base with pleasant kindred souls. It’s such a gift to be associated with so many joyful and generous people!
A million thanks to so many of the Tuesday morning regulars who make the journey from Steubenville. Seasoned veterans, everyone offers prayers and help for each client. Unfortunately there were many today. If anyone knows the magic words that can get a scared, determined woman to stop and listen, send it to us asap. Guess this is where faith walks in and whispers to keep going. Mary Ann, Claudia, Charles, Beth, Tracy, Sandy, honor to spend time with you. Stop by anytime. Cooler than it seemed, we were glad to see the next shift arriving early. Michael, Denise and Denise, Helen, Kimberly, Carol and Gina with shift manager, Elsie. Wonderful people helping to help women and their babies.
Filling in today for Shift Manager Fran, I greatly missed her sweet, quiet, prayerful presence. But it was indeed a privilege to share the sidewalk with a lovely lady (with a touch of an Irish brogue?) named Helen; Carolina, a beautiful, bilingual prayer warrior; and Mike, Kim, and their prayerful, MELODIOUS group from St. Matthias in Greene County. I was tempted to sing along with their sweetly haunting hymns but knew that my voice would destroy the effect! Johanna arrived towards the end of my shift and was soon praying the Rosary. I escaped from the Saddest Place in Pittsburgh and indulged myself in a trip to the infants’ department at Burlington — to shop for a “WELCOME” gift for the precious little girl who was saved during last spring’s 40Days and was born today 😊. Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!!! Gratefully,Elsie
1-3: Johanna, Mike & Kim
Kim and I were joined by 4 other parishioners from our parish today. We prayed from 11am to 3pm. Many of our parishioners who could not make it pledged to pray rosaries while we were there. We saw a number of women coming out of planned parenthood. We will continue to keep them in our prayers. We also took a moment to pray for our new Supreme Court Justice Amy Barrett. May God bless her and all our political leaders to work towards ending abortion.
Thanks to Larry and Walt with the ancient order of Hibernians for being my sidewalk partners today! It seemed extra noisy and chaotic for some reason. There seems to be more desperation on the streets, more homeless, more drugs, more people who are desperate. We prayed over the noise and it seemed more peaceful when we were praying. We prayed for all the babies who died today and for their moms. It is a sad time to be there, in the late afternoon. I will be happy when I don’t have to come here at this time of the day after the 40 days is over. We saw a lot of people leaving. Kim told us that it was a very busy abortion day today. This was my last Tuesday afternoon shift with Larry, it was wonderful having such a faithful prayer partner throughout these 40 days! May God continue to bless and protect us through day 40! PS, Kim the shift buddy before me came back looking for her drivers license and credit card, which she lost during her 1 to 3 shift. If anybody finds it, please let me know.
“We must convince ourselves that the worst enemy of a rock is not a pickaxe or any other such implement, no matter how sharp it is. No, its worst enemy is the constant flow of water which drop by drop enters the crevices until it ruins the rock’s structure. The greatest danger for a Christian is to underestimate the importance of fighting the skirmishes.” St. John Chrysostom
Every prayer, kind word, smile or sign viewed at the vigil is a drop that will demolish the rock of abortion. Our perseverance will enable us to end abortion.
If after the 40 DFL vigil ends you still want to come and pray, come join us. The trained advocates and other prayer warriors who serve year-round could use your prayers and presence. We are now inviting anyone who hears the inspiration and wants to join us to come back during non- 40 DFL Campaigns and keep coming back all year long to Planned Parenthood.
The year-round times of prayer vigils are to coincide with the dates and times when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP so no one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone. Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with those already there: Tuesdays 7:30-11am, Wednesdays 8-12 noon, Fridays 8:30am-10am and Saturdays 7am-1pm. Come join us. -Tim
Here are the reports from the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am: This last Monday shift was a very quiet one. Downtown seemed quite empty. I only noticed one worker, the security guard, and the McKesson delivery man enter Planned Parenthood. It was a good shift for prayer. Bill, our regular Monday shift buddy who does ministry work, stayed with Amy and I the whole time, giving out Christian leaflets. He believes once people accept Jesus in their lives, hearts and minds will change to be against the culture of death. Bill and I wore signs as our witness and Amy engaged as many people passing by as she could. Thank you, Sue
From Ginny 9-11 am:
From Nikki 11 am-1 pm:
There was a cloud of witnesses all around us on the sidewalk today! I have been amazed at what good participation we have had during this campaign, and it has continued through today! There was a large group of faithful prayer warriors from Blessed Trinity Parish, formerly Holy Angels. They prayed on the other side while I prayed with Ken, Beverly and later joined by Annamarie and Karolina. One young man stopped and wanted to talk. He was not a Christian but was reading the Bible. He said he had not given his life to the Lord because he has some mental issues and he did not feel that he could give 100% of himself. We eventually did pray with him and he did ask the Lord to come into his heart and to be the Lord of his life. Please pray for this young man that he will continue on this path! -Nikki
From Beth 1-3 pm:
Thanks to Anna Marie and Angela from Blessed Trinity who were with Rose and me for the beginning of the shift and Father Jeremy, Nat and Sylvia who prayed with us later. We had great conversations answering many questions No rain just the usual gloom that comes from an abortion clinic where babies die. -Beth