Day 7…St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Bernard of Clairvaux & St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shine as a Light in the Darkness!

I can honestly say that my shift at the vigil today was a blessing!  I was blessed to stand and pray with so many wonderful people, and we had opportunity to be Jesus to many people who need Him!

A wonderful group of folks from St. Robert Bellarmine in McKeesport stood vigil from 7am – 11am…including their pastor, Fr. Brennan. I was able to take a photo of him before he left…at the end of his shift, although most of their group had already gone:

Lori from St. Killian, Fr. Brennan and Helen from St. Robert Bellarmine

I am humbled and encouraged to see busy pastors setting the example for us lay people by taking time out of their busy schedules to be a witness for life!  Fr. Brennan stood the whole four hours with his parishioners.  I believe that seeing pastors on the sidewalk will inspire more people to sacrifice their time to come to the vigil…and it is a very powerful visual image when passersby see priests praying on the sidewalk.

Sally and Al were the shift managers during the morning shift, and Sally sent in the following report:

Hi All, 

What a beautiful “summer” morning!  We had 13 people from St. Robert Bellermine & other churches praying during this morning shift. Some stayed the entire 4 hours. PP was just a tad busier than they have been.  A few more couples, a few less single girls than we have been seeing on abortion days last month. Everything was very quiet and peaceful, except when Emil put in his usual appearance to ask us why we aren’t picketing UPMC, and to wish that we would all walk in front of a moving bus.  Helen Cindrich will be sending pictures.

I (Nikki) managed the second (11-3pm) shift…and had the great privilege of sharing the sidewalk with a wonderful group that had driven all the way from Indiana to witness for four hours! 

Irene, Ray, Rita, Ray and Joan from St. Bernard of Clairvaux in Indiana PA

This group prayed and handed out literature…witnessed to passersby and just shone for Jesus for the entire four hours!

One young couple stopped next to us and seemed hesitant, so I walked over to them (assuming they were going into PP), and I offered them information.  The woman told me that they already have a baby girl named Faith.  She said that her baby is now one year old, and said to me “She is here because of you people!”  I asked her what she meant, and she explained that when she was pregnant they had made the decision to have an abortion.  She actually went into this Planned Parenthood for the abortion, but saw the signs (Bob’s big graphic ones) and changed her mind and left!!!  They just stopped to thank us!

See, we just never know when God is going to use our presence to save a life!  That was so encouraging!!!

There were at least three women who we turned away from going into PP.  These women said they were not pregnant, but were going in for various other reasons.  They all left PP and did not come back!  Praise God!

I also had the opportunity to speak with three men who came outside to smoke.  All three of them had girlfriends/wives inside who were getting abortions.  In all three cases, I offered them information…which they took.  Something happens when your eyes meet with another human being’s eyes.  So much transpires.  We are truly human when we connect in compassion.  I saw sadness and shame in all three sets of eyes.  I believe they saw in my eyes a human being who understood and wanted to help.

In addition to the great group from St. Bernard…other individuals came to pray also.

John witnesses for life with a “Silent No More” sign
Joe from St. Bonaventure often kneels in prayer on the sidewalk

When my shift ended, I was replaced by Richard…the other half of Barbara (who is recovering from dental surgery).

Third shift manager, Richard with wonderful witnesses from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie

As I was leaving, more folks from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton showed up to pray…along with MiMi, who comes each day.  Here is a photo of them:

It was a blessed day!  I have no doubt that God used us to save lives and souls today!  Thanks to everyone who came and witnessed for life!


One thought on “Day 7…St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Bernard of Clairvaux & St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shine as a Light in the Darkness!

  • October 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Finally Fr. Brennan and Nikki recognized each other. This “hello” was a long time coming. Carolyn, who has 13 children and at least 36 grandchildren and great grandchildren, all of them beautiful, came to where some of us were standing to tell us that a man (not so young himself) told her, “When all you old people get out of the way, then the young people can have more babies.” We know that’s not how it works, but it gave Carolyn and all of us a laugh.
    Am I the last person to notice that in the city of Pittsburgh there are no utility poles with wires for birds to alight and carry utilities to all those buildings? When I noted that to the man from Duquesne Light who was marking the street with pink paint, he said it has been that way for 50 years.
    The bar next to PP is celebrating the arrival of the DUCK on the north shore with strings of rubber ducky lights in the tree in front of their establishment and across the façade of their building.
    It was fun to see all the downtown people dressed in black and gold.


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