Day 9 Thursday October 3rd – St. Bernadette in Monroeville

I wanna welcome our sign volunteer Diane back from nursing her daughter back to health in New York City.  She is always smiling and it never fails to make my day.  Course on the 5-7 shift, it also signals the end of my shift. Hmm…no, it is definitely the smile.

Rev. John Patterson managed the early morning shift from 7am-9am.  He wrote:

My shift was quiet. I was there from 7-8 alone and then Marie M. from Our Lady of Grace came at 8 and prayed on her knees for one hour straight as I prayed and kept observant. Christ bless her.

I prayed a lot also, using the prayers on the back of one sign ( mine, I guess – ha, ha). I seemed to zero in on God arresting the souls of those who work at PP, that he would cause them to end their work there, and that the place would ultimately close down.

An intoxicated man (yes at 8 in the morning) wandered up to Marie as she was praying. He seemed fascinated by it. But I was concerned and put myself between he and her.

  I mentioned that he needed to be careful about where he stood or the police could possibly make him move. A minute or two later he walked (staggered) away. But as he did, he approvingly tapped lightly on Marie’s shoulder and respectfully nodded. Interesting.          Rev. John

Marilyn was on vigil from 11-1pm:

The Thursday 11am shift had folks stopping in on their lunch hour along with several church prayers.  It was so nice to have two first time prayers at the clinic!  Welcome to Joannie and Christine.  It is such a blessing to pray with such faith filled folks!  We were questioning whether or not it could have been an abortion day.  Glad we were there to pray all the more if it was one.   A passerby also stopped, not knowing what we were doing there, and joined us for a few minutes in prayer.   Praise the Lord that more people are becoming aware of what PP does in our city.  

Christine from St. Gabriel’s, Joannie, Peggy, and Meg from St. Elizabeth, and Beth Ann, St. Alexis.

Lisa managed the vigil from 1-3pm and wrote the following reflection:

My shift today really made me so grateful for all of the amazing, holy people that I know through 40 Days for Life.  Whether they were regulars or first-timers, it was such a joy for me to be with these other people today who were focused on prayer and ministry.  THANK YOU to all of them- Christine, Pam, Rose Marie, Bill, and Sue.  You are all such blessings to me.  

It’s a good thing the Lord surrounded me with such goodness, because the evil in front of us (at PP) was looming.  As Marilyn (from the previous shift) mentioned to me, it may have been an abortion day.  It’s hard to say.  But there did seem to be greater numbers today.  Maybe it’s just coincidence.  Many prayers are always needed. 

One brief moment that was special to me was when “A” walked by, a young woman who I spoke to last week.  We remembered each other, and it was good to reinforce the “re-connection.”  I think this is always a good thing.  The same happened with “A,” a man who I see during every shift of mine.  He is very pro-life and supportive, and it was good to re-connect with him as well.  This kind of informal “networking” is such a good way to spread the word about 40 Days for Life. 

And one more word for all those who pray for me and the other shift managers….  THANK YOU so much.  We really need it.  God bless you all.    -Lisa

Dee Gallagher had the  3-5 shift today.  Her church, St. Bernadette in Monroeville adopted the 3-7pm shift.  Here are some photos from her group:

Jeff, Fr. Tony, prayer volunteer from St. Bernadette and Dee

Dee wrote:

Our time at the clinic today was peaceful.  One woman passed Fr. Tony and said “You are disgusting“.   She has been around in the past. 

Another young girl passed by and said loudly, “I understand what you are saying, but, I have a 3 year old daughter, and people can choose.” She was very adamant in her statement.   

Others passed by and said positive things, such as, “Thank you“, and “I do not believe in abortion“, etc.    Dee

Bill and Peg from St Bernadette’s in Monroeville

Jeff Burgman had the 5-7 shift

I had a lot of company tonite as Dee stayed for her 2 hrs and my two hours because her home Parish of St Bernadette was the church scheduled for 3-7 today.  Jim Flaherty was with us also from St Bernadette.

I was blessed with two “shoutouts”, one from a moving car “Get on with your life, dumb—“, the other from a passerby not fit to print.  Nothing like standing on a city street witnessing for the unborn to get a very mild sense of what persecution must be like.  I had never been the subject of derision for my faith before my sidewalk witness, probably because the witness of my faith never ventured far from my church.  933 Liberty Ave is as good a place as any to flex the ole faith muscle.

Shift managers Jeff and Jim

Jeff wrote in today’s email:

“It is very simple to pray without ceasing. It means living in the Present Moment. That’s all it takes, you can do that wherever you are. Sometimes that union with God and that unceasing prayer is a prayer of anguish, a prayer of tears, or a prayer of joy.”

Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality, Doubleday

Today I would like to pass along a few suggestions to consider to those of you who will be standing vigil sometime it the next 31 days.

If someone thanks you on the sidewalk for your witness, hand that person a flyer or a handout giving them more information regarding 40 Days for Life. Use your witness to help recruit more 40 Days participants. Your shift manager will have flyers and brochures.

Buy some $10 gift cards to downtown establishments and keep them in your wallet should someone ask you for money and you are inclined to give. Please do not give money while standing vigil (I should have did this on Sunday when approached, but I was not prepared – no cards).

Spend as much of your time praying as possible. Yes, time goes faster talking amongst ourselves, but aren’t we just preaching to the choir most times? (This, too, I have done numerous times.)

Consider signing up for the Vigil Fast at Questions? Contact Megan Merante at

Spend some time with your sign visible to the street. It is hard for people driving by to know what we are doing when we are huddled in a circle.


One thought on “Day 9 Thursday October 3rd – St. Bernadette in Monroeville

  • October 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Great suggestions in the email, Jeff! Might I suggest to people who wish to buy gift cards to local food places to hand out to the “needy” consider buying once in a while from Emil. Perhaps he will be kinder towards us as I know he has accused us in the past of scaring his customers away.


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