Day 15…Fourth Presbyterian & North American Martyrs Show Strength with Humility

This morning’s 7-11am shift was managed by Cathy.  She was blessed to have the company of the pastor and a member of Fourth Presbyterian Church to stand with her from 7-9am, but unfortunately no one was there with her for the last two hours of her shift.  She said she was suprised that no one even stopped by to pray for a bit…which seems to happen often.  No one…she kept vigil for two hours alone.  She wrote:

Pastor Eric and Beverly of Fourth Presbyterian Church  joined me at the vigil for part of the morning.  Three women took information on resources.  One was going in for an appointment for Birth Control and put it in her purse, one asked if they (PP) did pregnancy tests – I told her they did, but if it was positive she would be encouraged to abort.  She said she did not believe in that.  She took the information and walked away, hopefully to one of the places listed.  The third woman, very pregnant, said she would need help with things for the baby.

Two sad stories:  A man stopped to say we needed to do something about insurance.  He was going to bury his child.  His wife was 7 months pregnant with their 8th child, her water broke, but the hospital sent her home saying she had a urinary tract infection.  She miscarried.  He said the hospital would not admit her because they did not have the right insurance.

A young mother walked by with two very small children.  She said  she had had an abortion, and she was glad she did, now she has two beautiful boys.  Total denial.

Please pray for these two families.


I managed the 11am-3pm shift today…and it was intense.  I felt like I was actually witnessing spiritual warfare…angels and devils, forces of good and evil… wrestling for the same space on the sidewalk in front of 933 Liberty Avenue.  I felt like I was standing on holy ground instead of in front of an abortion clinic.

First let me tell you about some of the “forces for good” that I witnessed…well, actually, let me SHOW you :

This woman remained on her knees without moving an inch for over two hours! She credits the power of the Holy Spirit for sustaining her.

Carol, from North American Martyrs church in Monroeville (which adopted the 11am-3pm shift) got on her knees and began praying at a little after 11am….and NEVER MOVED UNTIL AFTER 1PM!)  It was amazing to see the effect her witness had on the passers-by!  It began to rain about an hour into her witness…but she never moved.  Eventually, there was a dry spot all around her in the shape of her body, but the rest of the sidewalk was wet.  At one point, a group of employees from Planned Parenthood left, I am assuming for lunch.  They noticed her kneeling and seemed to nervously make small talk as they walked by.  It HAD to make an impact on their consciences when, an hour later…they returned to work…and saw that she was STILL in the same position!  When her time commitment was over, she finally stood up and I asked her how she did it.  She told me that she really didn’t think she would be able to do it, but the Lord put it on her heart to try.  She said it wasn’t her doing it, she felt the power of the Holy Spirit sustaining her during the entire two hours.

There were other wonderful witnesses from NAM church also.  Here is a photo of them:

North American Martyrs Prayer Warriors!
Pete, Joe and Fr. Luisi

Okay, that was the forces for good…now I have to tell you about the evil that I witnessed today.  Or rather, let me show you:

As often as we “pro-lifers” stand in front of abortion clinics, it is easy to forget WHY we are there.  I guess it’s just a natural form of self-preservation that we don’t dwell on what is actually happening inside those doors every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday…but when we see the boxes being carried out and loaded into the truck, reality hits hard.  When the truck pulled up to Planned Parenthood, Fr. Luisi from NAM, Joe, Rick and I were already praying.  We were startled from our peaceful prayers by the obnoxiously loud noise and intrusion of the very large truck pulling up inches from our backs.  Even though I had only witnessed this twice before, somehow I knew before I even turned around that it was the medical waste truck.  It just SOUNDED ominous.  When we realized what was happening, instinctively…maybe even protectively…we all moved into the street at the edge of the circle…continuing to pray.  We were “facing the giant”…praying right in the face of Planned Parenthood.  While the boxes of babies were being loaded up on the dolly inside, we prayed.  Finally, they came out:

Boxes containing the bodies of aborted babies are loaded onto the “medical waste” truck in front of Planned Parenthood

Good and evil…it’s funny how some people get them mixed up.  While we were praying one woman stopped and said to us, “You all are horrible human beings!”

Yes, we are horrible human beings…standing and peacefully praying.  But I guess if she had been there five minutes earlier she would have said that the disposal of human bodies in cardboard boxes was okay?  They are the good guys…right?

As Al puts it “diabolically disoriented”… that describes our culture today.  I am glad that I am not pinning my hopes on this world!

Thank you to Fr. Luisi and all the pastors who are making the time to come to the vigil.  It is so inspiring to your faithful followers to see you leading the way in the fight to restore the God-given dignity owed to every human being!

Barbara and Richard, who managed the 3pm-7pm shift wrote about their time at the vigil and took these photos:

Wednesday evening downtown was bustling.  Richard, Reverend Werner, Bill, Rosemary, John and Jeffrey arrived to pray.  They prayed.  Workers lined up for buses and bused out to home, happy to leave the chilly wet corner of Liberty and Smithfield.  Planned Parenthood loomed dark and ugly above us.  Occasionally an employee opened the locked door and escaped to her other life.

Moments after the shift began, a young man stopped to talk.  “I’m completely with you.  That poster, ‘Take my hand, not my life,’ really caught my eye a few weeks ago.”  PCUC was the genius source of those few poignant words.  Daniel plays the guitar and is in a band.  He has an autistic son.  He doesn’t believe in God, although he read the Bible from beginning to end.  He liked what he read about Daniel in the Old Testament.  Daniel’s band has helped raise money for funds that support autism issues.

90% of the people on the street thank us for being there talking about the evil of abortion.

Another man stopped to talk.  “I never see anyone go in there,” he said.  I told him he should see the boxes they bring out weekly, labeled medical waste.  Plenty of women go in there on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, have their abortion and walk out that day.  Later their baby’s body is carried out in a box with other dead baby bodies, and discarded.  Nikki Bruni has a photograph of those boxes being carried out of Planned Parenthood.

Down what dark alleys does your imagination have to travel to return with a statement that it can be OK to kill an unborn baby?  It depends on the circumstances?  “Circumstances” is a word that stretches to fit so many variables that complicate a person’s life.  Circumstances and complications in abortion scenarios steadfastly aim to kill the baby and leave the mother’s arms empty.

Tomorrow Pope Benedict will leave the Papacy.  I will miss him so much.

Barbara Lewis

Shift manager


Thanks to the Respect Life Group at St. Mary’s in Glenshaw and their generous donation, we have been able to purchase 138 40 Days for Life hats!  We will be giving them away at our mid-point rally!  Come to the vigil this Sunday at 6:30 to close out the night with candlelight and singing…and then come to Catholic Charities Welcome Center for fellowship, coffee and snacks…and to share stories from the first half of the campaign!

Here is a photo of the hats:




2 thoughts on “Day 15…Fourth Presbyterian & North American Martyrs Show Strength with Humility

  • February 28, 2013 at 7:50 am


    Thank you so much for both the picture of Carol AND the pictures of the carboard box coffins. The latter made me wonder if it would have even dawned on me what was being carried out if I had been there.

    These pictures communicate pretty clearly that the very center of the battle between GOOD and EVIL in Pittsburgh takes place at 933 Liberty Ave.


  • February 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    the sad story about insurance sounds fishy to me. Sorry it it just hard to believe that one…..someone might just be trying to get some money….be careful.


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