Day #1…Our Lady of Victory, Guardians for Life & Lower Burrell Baptist Light the Torch!

What a beautiful day in Pittsburgh to witness and pray for LIFE!  Could the weather possibly be any better?  We had so many dedicated prayer warriors to begin our 40 day vigil in front of Planned Parenthood!  It was an honor to pray with them.

I like to think of our 40 day vigil as a marathon.  The torch was lit at 7am today, and with God’s grace it won’t be extinguished until 7pm on November 3rd.  Each group who participates will hand off the torch to the next group…like a relay.  The church that lit the torch at 7am this morning was Our Lady of Victory in Carnegie.  Fr. Rodolph is such an inspiration to me.  As busy as he is, he makes it a priority to stand as a witness to the sanctity of human life. He stood for four hours this morning with Cathy, the morning shift manager.

Fr. Rodolph, Nikki and Cathy

At 11am, the wonderful “Guardians for Life” of Indiana and Westmoreland Counties arrived.  Fr. Tim leads the large group in non-stop prayer and song.  For two solid hours we prayed…storming the gates of hell with the power of heaven!

Guardians are true prayer warriors!
This dedicated group travels two hours each way to witness for life in Pittsburgh!

You may notice the truck in background.  There was a film crew keeping us company all day at the vigil.  A television series is currently being filmed in Pittsburgh… all around the vicinity of Planned Parenthood.  The name of the series?  THOSE WHO KILL!  I swear I’m not making that up.

Now come on…if SHE can do it…so can YOU!

At 1pm the Guardians piled into their large van for the long ride home, and it was just Rev. Bryan, myself and Nancy…along with a string of passersby who stopped for prayer or to discuss the issue of abortion.

In this photo, you’ll see Rev. Bryan talking with three ladies.  They stopped to look at the large fetal model display.  One of the three explained to Rev. Bryan that she actually had an appointment at this Planned Parenthood for an abortion just a few weeks ago..but after thinking it over, changed her mind and chose life!

A nice young family stops to chat with Rev. Bryan.  Young children love the fetal models!

This sweet little guy loved the flower we gave him from the bucket of fresh flowers that will remain at our vigil during this 40 day campaign.  The flowers are for anyone who needs to be reminded of God’s love for them.

Melissa stopped to ask us to pray

Melissa has a neighbor who is planning to get an abortion. She asked us to pray that she would change her mind.  We gave her information, along with a 12-week fetal model to give to her friend…and we prayed together.  She also took a flower.

A man stops to ask Rev. Bryan for prayer

I’ll tell you…if you don’t want God to use you in a powerful way…to be a light in the darkness to those who need Him…DON’T come to the vigil.

At 3pm, Lower Burrell Baptist showed up for their 3-7pm shift…along with the shift managers Richard and Barbara.

Barbara wrote this beautiful reflection from her time managing the 3-5pm shift:

40 Days for Life, Fall, 2013 began for Richard and me with our 3 to 5 shift as shift managers. 

We’re there for the babies and mothers.  To summarize the hellish truth, Mother goes in, cooperating in her contract as money changes hands, and leaves behind the dead body of her baby.  “Whew.  Problem solved.  I’ll pretend it never happened.”

But you can’t lie to mother nature.  Abortion kills the baby, but maternity leaves physical tracks.  Motherhood cannot be erased.   

Abortion can kill this mother, this beloved child of God, much more comprehensively than it kills her baby.  This searing reality drives Silent No More and Rachel’s Vineyard.  It ignites people to volunteer with 40 Days for Life twice yearly, in America and internationally.

Joining us today were members of Lower Burrell Baptist Church who were scheduled for 3 to 7.  Arriving during our shift were Paul, Reverend Brian, Raine; and Dan from Holy Family Parish in Steubenville.

Distractions to our prayer were almost overwhelming.  Chaos almost reigned.  People crowded each other in that tiny part of Allegheny County today for millions of reasons. 

In His generosity, God covered us and we lifted our hearts together to Him in love for these people vulnerable to abortion.

Barbara Lewis

At 6:30 many people showed up for the kick-off event.  We gathered in front of Planned Parenthood for half an hour to sing and pray.

We gathered for united prayer and song from 6:30-7pm…to close the first day of our vigil!

Rev. Bryan Werner and Rev. John Patterson led the prayer

Vigil Shift Managers gather for a blessing and prayer for protection


At 7pm we walked to the Susan Zubik Welcome Center for the rest of the event.

Andy, April and Jarod from INTENT blessed us with their music as we began our kick-off event


Intent has an awesome sound! We were so blessed to have them share their gift of music with us!
Nikki and Shawn Carney. It was such an honor to have Shawn at our Kick-off!
Helene Paharik, representing the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Department for Human Dignity, gave us encouragement from Bishop Zubik!
Georgette Forney, President of Anglicans for Life and Co-Founder of Silent-No-More, shared with us the pain that abortion causes, and shared her heart with us in a moving testimony.
Shawn Carney, National Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life spoke about how he came to be involved in pro-life work, and the awesome way God is using 40 Days for Life to save lives, change hearts and minds all around the world!

We were a nice and cozy group packed into the Catholic Charities Welcome Center!

The image of Divine Mercy watched over our event…as “Mercy” is our theme during these 40 days!
Close-up image of the Divine Mercy painting reveals faces of  babies that could have been…if they hadn’t died from abortion at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood in 2012…2,470 of them.

We made a difference in Pittsburgh today!  Thanks to all who came to the vigil, the kick-off event…and thanks to all who prayed and fasted from home!

Your sister,



2 thoughts on “Day #1…Our Lady of Victory, Guardians for Life & Lower Burrell Baptist Light the Torch!

  • September 26, 2013 at 2:07 am

    God Bless everyone who stands up for LIFE – Be strong and of Good Courage.

    • September 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Thank you, Nikki and Mary Ann!


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