Sometimes I’m amazed at how forgetful I am. At the start of the the most recent spring campaign I asked my family if we could include with our saying grace before dinner a short prayer called PRAYER FOR THE CLOSING OF AN ABORTION MILL. Since no one objected too strongly, I would ask someone to that prayer before dinner nearly each of those 40 days (even then, we managed to forget a few times). Although I was the one in the family directly involved in the campaign, it was a good way to harness a bit of the prayer-power of the whole family.
So why was it never entered my mind to do the same thing for this campaign until Wednesday of this week? Well, as they say, better late than never. And in case you might want to also harness the prayers of your family – and possibly raise their collective consciousness as to what happens at the PP on Liberty Ave. – I’ve included the prayer below, which comes from Priests for Life:
Prayer for the closing of the abortion mill:
Father, all life is in Your care.
You have entrusted us to one another,
that we may show our brothers and sisters
the same love You have for us.
We pray, then, for the least among us,
the children in the womb.
Protect them from the violence of abortion.
We pray for those that are scheduled to die at
(Name the abortion mill assigned to you).
Save them from death.
Give new hope to their parents,
that they may turn away from the desperate act of abortion.
Grant conversion to the abortionist and to the staff.
Show us how we are to respond to the bloodshed in our midst,
And lead us to the day when this place of death
Will be transformed into a haven of life.
Guard us with your joy and your peace,
For in You, life is victorious.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Al and Sally had the 7-11 shift. Here’s their report:
A pleasant morning, no wind or sun, but warmer than yesterday. Something different for a Saturday morning…NO ESCORTS…and very few customers going into PP the entire morning. At the most, 3 or 4 couples, and about 6 single girls until 11 a.m. Two guys went in together, but did not stay. Most, of the few going in, went in very late in the morning. I looked up at the waiting room from across the street, and saw a few people sitting in chairs near the windows.
We were blest with 3 large church groups (St. Sebastian, Fr. Tim’s group & St. Michael, in Wheeling, WV). The St. Michael group included a brand new mom with her precious 3 1/2 week old baby. Also, about 8 from St. Vincent College and many regular pray-ers. So it was a good, prayerful morning broken only by an occasional disapproving comment from people coming from the bus stops.
Julie was the SM from 11-1:
When I arrived on Saturday there was a decent sized group that had been there. I signed in 4 people that arrived for my shift who were from Our Lady of Grace parish in Greensburg. We had a peaceful time of prayer together. Many, many young people were walking by and reading our signs as we prayed and smiled at them.
Dean was there from 1-3:
Hi. My shift was pretty quiet today. Some members of Our Lady of Grace were kind enough to stand with me even though their shift ended at 1pm. I was by myself until about 2:30 when Mimi arrived and stood with me for the last half hour. I’m not complaining, being by myself gives me an opportunity to focus more on prayer.
And Randy closed out the day with the 3-7 shift.
There were a lot of people in town with a Penguins game, Pitt football game, the environmental conference, and, of course, the last weekend for the giant rubber duck.
Three people from Ave Maria Church in Bentleyville joined in the prayer and witness for the full 4-hour shift. It was great to join them and prayer and to hear of their pro-life efforts, especially related to having a pro-life table at the county fair.
A passerby stopped to tell the story of giving up her child for adoption. A 24-year old guy had gotten her pregnant when she was just 16. He pressured her to abort. She didn’t. She gave up her child for adoption. It was terribly hard for her. She told of the experience of seeing other mothers with their children and thinking about the son that she had given up for adoption. Her story illustrated well how hard it can be for mothers to give up their children for adoption. But, she knew that post-abortive moms would still see other moms with their children and need to deal with that without having the consolation of knowing that their child was well cared for. She and her son didn’t connect until he was 30 years hold. The first thing he told her was that she had done the most unselfish thing. His adoptive mother could not have children after having a burst appendix. His family adopted another child. She was so comforted to see what a life and family he has had.
A young man came by who wanted to engage us in discussion, challenging us by saying there were so many better things to do, and asking whether we ate meat (since that came from other living things), and whether we care about pollution, etc. I talked with him for a bit. He sees nothing particularly special and unique about humans and that we are only being anthropocentric in thinking that we are special and made in the image and likeness of God (He says, a dog would conceive of God in his image if he could…). He has read a lot of the philosophers of the past several centuries that have basically left him a sad soul who doesn’t see the purpose we have in caring for other souls who are in danger of being aborted or of mothers who are considering that, etc. It made me appreciate the peace and meaningfulness that we have as children of God. What a gift we have. What a gift is our human dignity and, yes, it is worthwhile to witness to that and to pray that all may recognize this.
We were joined by a couple for the last hour. The wife had just attended the Catholic women’s conference and made the effort to come by to join in the prayer. Their presence was providential as a man came by who had just arrived in town from Harrisburg after being released from prison. She informed him of a ministry in which she is involved that provides help to homeless and needy people.
More stories and pictures will be posted as they become available.