Today is the last day of warm weather! God has certainly been kind to us so far…but I guess He wants to see if our dedication to His unborn children will continue when it is NOT sunny and warm. Please make sure to dress EXTRA warmly when going to the vigil during this up-coming week! Never underestimate how much colder and windy it is on the downtown sidewalk than it is at your home! Wear hats, gloves, scarves, long underwear under your clothes and bring a waterproof rain poncho or heavy coat. Okay, now that I have lectured you…Here are the stories and photos from the vigil today:
Morning Shift Manager, Sally wrote:
Another beautiful, warm day. The St. Paul Cathedral people actually were at PP when Al arrived at 7 a.m. Fr. Michael Roche, Fr. Daniel Vallecorsi, and 4 parishioners.
Fr. Roche, Priscilla & Dolly stayed until 11 a.m. Dolly had printed very nice pink cards that show the 800 Care Net number. She was handing them out to people going in and to others. She also had a very long conversation with a man who must have come out of PP and left someone inside. I could not ask her what it was about because she was still talking with him when I left.
Planned Parenthood was busy… some couples, but a lot of the customers seemed to be single women who would later come out with contraceptives.
Fr. Roche, Priscilla and I had a conversation with a middle aged man whose faith was originally Episcopal, but he has become a Mormon. He was involved in an abortion when he was a young man. He said that “the right side of his brain knows it’s a baby, but the left side questions if the mother has a choice, especially in case of rape or fetal problems.” I don’t know if what we said helped him, but he was very friendly and seemed open to learning.
We again had people who drove for a distance to be part of the 40 Days. Fr. Thomas & Mrs. Rosemary Wesdock, a Russian Orthodox pastor and his wife, drove from McClellantown, near Uniontown. Deborah drove in from Butler.
The restaurant owner rode by on a bicycle, yelling at us to go home. His message is always the same. He is so angry. Please pray for him.
Holy Sepulcher parish in Butler provided the witness during the middle shift, and if shift managers Marie and Ginny send in photos and stories, I will post them here.
Here is a photo of our wonderful, prayerful group from 5pm-7pm tonight:
I have said it before, but I can’t help but say it again. It is SUCH a blessing to be a part of God’s family…to stand and pray with so many beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ! Tonight, we really covered the space in prayer! Julie had a sheet with at least a hundred names for Jesus…from scripture. We did a litany, with David saying the name and our united response after each name was to pray, “Close this place down!” What POWER is in our Lord’s name!!! It was wonderful to pray that prayer tonight! As I leaned my back and head against the cool bricks of the front of the clinic, I prayed. The realization that satan had stolen innocent lives that God had created with a purpose…just this morning…behind that very brick wall that my head was leaning against…prompted that prayer.
Later we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet…which I have now fallen in love with. We prayed it in song, and even though I cannot carry a tune…I thought it sounded beautiful…even angelic. It brought SUCH a peace to the chaos that is downtown Pittsburgh on a Friday night! While we were singing this prayer, two young girls walked towards us, holding hands. Even though we didn’t even acknowledge their presence or say a word to them (we were singing)…one of them looked at us and said, “Are we an abomination to you?” I stopped singing just long enough to tell them that Jesus loved them (they didn’t stop to engage us, but had continued walking). But, it occurred to me…that we truly do represent Christ at that vigil! Without saying a word…we are evangelizing! I think when we stand together and pray…we are a mirror to those walking by. If they are engaging in active, known, sin…when they see us…God actually uses our presence as a mirror, and they see their own sin reflecting back at them. That is why they sometimes get defensive or angry. But, as Lisa pointed out, that is a good sign that they recognize it…that means they have a conscience and seeds are being planted in that conscience that may lead to repentance, forgiveness and freedom in Christ.
I am expecting miracles to happen tomorrow!