What a beautiful day to be a pro-life Christian in Pittsburgh! St. Alphonsus in Wexford, Memorial Park Church in Allison Park and St. Bernadette’s in Monroeville were the three lucky churches that chose today for their time slots…and there were many participants from other churches as well! Here are some photos and areport from Marie, the 7am-11am Shift Manager:
Marie wrote the following about her time this morning:
Today was a mixed bag – of blessings and belittlings. The blessings came in the form of all the great people who came to bear witness – faithful Vince B. at 7:00 a.m., the St. Alphonsus parishioners who stood vigil for our parish’s shift – Emilie B., Dave V., Barb W., Beth, P., Donna P. and Michele M. and 40 Days veteran Beth S. How wonderful it was to stand with such faithful – and faith-filled – companions. The blessings came in the woman who walked by and thanked us and told us we are saving babies. The blessings came in the sunshine instead of rain. The belittlings came – as I knew they would – in the form of the shop owner down the street who ranted at us, as he had at Lindsey on Sunday – about the rich abortion clinic in Mt. Lebanon and again calling us “scum” – Lindsey I’m happy to say I feel in good company with you! And the young man who felt compelled to raise his hand in a most unkindly gesture and yell an obscenity at us – and the scowls of passerbys as if we were the worst annoyance of their day. Yes, the belittlings can bother me – if I let them. But today I felt as if I had made an impact – at least enough of an impact to make people react – even in a unkind and negative manner. God is testing my mettle – I hope I am up to the test. In the meantime I think I will count the blessings and not the belittlings.
The second shift was managed by “Shift Manager Buddies” Lisa and Marilyn. Memorial Park Church was the “official” sponsor of the 11am-3pm shift, but quite a few additional churches were represented by faithful people today as well! Marilyn took the following photo of folks from Ascension Church, Memorial Park Church, St. Alexis, and Holy Angels Church:
Lisa wrote the following:
Today went well at the vigil. There were some WONDERFUL women with me, and we prayed and sang together. It continually amazes me that those of us from so many different parishes (and in today’s case, different denominations) can truly feel like FAMILY. We are all on the same side…. the side of the good…. the side of LIFE. I am so thankful for that, for being able to experience that unity that only the Holy Spirit can bring.
Another thing I wanted to share was this poem…. a bit lengthy…. that my daughter had in her Reading lesson yesterday. It just really made me think of 40 Days for Life and what God can do, simply by us being there.
Dona Inez was a lady
Very rich and fair to see,
And her heart was like a lily
In its holy purity.
Through the widest street in Cadiz
Dona Inez rode one day,
Clad in costly silk and laces,
‘Mid a group of friends as gay.
Near the portals of a convent–
From the Moors just lately won–
Sat a crowd of dark-skinned beggars
Basking in the pleasant sun;
One an old man– he a Christian,
Blind to all the outward light–
Told his black beads, praying softly
For all poor souls still in night.
“I am but a Moorish beggar,”
Said a woman with a child;
“I am but a Moorish beggar,
And the Moors are fierce and wild.
You may talk of Christian goodness–
Christian Faith and Charity,
But I’ll never be a Christian
Till some proof of these I see.
Christians are as proud and haughty
As the proudest Moor of all;
And they hate the men that hate them
With a hate like bitter gall.”
“You judge rashly, O my sister,
In the words you speak to me.”
“I would be a Christian, blind man:
Show me Christian charity!
Lo, here comes proud Dona Inez,
Very rich and fair to see;
I am but a Moorish beggar,
Will the lady come to me?
No! She will not, for she hateth all the children of the Moor.
If she come, I tell you, blind man,
I will kneel, and Christ adore!”
Passing was the Lady Inez,
When the dark group met her eye,
And she leant out from her litter
Smiling on them tenderly.
“They are poor, they are God’s children,”
Said a voice within her soul,
And she lightly from her litter
Stepped to give the beggars dole.
Sneered and laughed, and laughing, wondered
All the other ladies gay;
And the Lady Inez knew not
She had saved a soul that day.
-Maurice F. Egan
So… my thoughts are that the situation in this poem is not much different than at the vigil, is it? Can we, too, show Christian charity in such an authentic way that others may come to know the Lord without us even knowing it? We must never grow weary in doing what is right. God bless and help us all.
The third shift was managed by Dee, and her church, St. Bernadette in Monroeville provided the witness. She wrote:
The third shift was quiet from 3:00 to 5:00. After that, we started to get a few “customers’ who wanted to talk. One man asked me if we were praying to have the government change. I answered that we wanted to save babies by our prayers and also prayed for the workers at the abortion clinic. He said he would never want his woman to have an abortion. Then, he asked what we were saying. I told him it was the Rosary prayer. He said, “Oh, Catholic.” “Yes, but you can talk to God.” His reply was that Josua was told by God to go into battle and destroy some people. “Yes, but, God can do this.” “He alone can authorize killing an enemy.” He then proceeded to tell me that 500 years ago, catholics murdered 8 million indians and mutilated them. I said this was wrong to do. He may have had his facts skewed.
A second fellow stopped and told us he is an abortion survivor. 48 years ago, his mother was going to abort him, but at the very last minute she decided not to. (Imagine finding out your mother wanted to get rid of you.)
Another fellow, Rudy, was quite boisterous. He believed in what we are doing. Rudy is a Vietnam vet and did two stints in Nam. He is very adamant about veterans being “aborted” by the government, people, etc. Said a man goes to afghanastan and his wife is on food stamps. He did make some good points, but, his facts were also skewed like the first guy.
We did have a good turnout from St. bernadette.
Dee took this photo: