Day 31: Thank you to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Holy Sepulcher parish, and Saints Peter and Paul parish! You brought light to our city’s darkness today!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:1-4)


My daughter and I just finished reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (one of the books in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series), and in the last few chapters, the characters are nearing the country where Aslan (the allegorical Christ figure) lives.  When they see themselves surrounded in the brightest light they’ve ever experienced, they find that they are able to look at it with no trouble.  They find they want more of it, and feel as though they could live like this forever.  And they haven’t even SEEN the originator of that light- only the light that emanates from him.


We are like that light, when we are standing at the vigil.  The passersby are not able to see the ORIGINATOR of the light, but WE are there to emanate it.  It doesn’t matter that today was a relatively sunny day- the light of which I am speaking, of course, has nothing to do with that created light.  Scripture tells us that in the New Jerusalem, “the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  (Revelation 21:23)  May you and I BE that light to the sidewalk on Liberty Avenue… light to the city of Pittsburgh… light to the world.

Thank you again to all of the faithful who came to be the light, shining in the darkness.  And thank you to our ever-present Shift Managers.

Shift Manager Sally shared this report from her husband’s shift this morning:

Al’s shift was cold, and rather busy for so early on a Friday morning.  By 9 a.m., he estimates about six or seven couples went in.

Rev. Cullen Duke, the pastor from the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, was the only person praying.  He planned to stay the entire four hours. He was horrified by the very pregnant abortionist who showed up promptly at 9 a.m. with 2 students.  He had no idea about what goes on in and around an abortion mill, and was amazed by everything Al told him. Two other men were there, our steady Friday pray-er, Greg W., and a man named Rich, from St. Cyril of Alexandria.

 God bless Ginny for showing up a little after 9 to do my shift, and stay for her own, with her sister, Marie.  


Holy Sepulcher parish in Glade Mills adopted the second shift today.  They had a wonderful group!  Here is a photo:

Shift Manager Pat gave us this report from later in the day:


Today (Friday) I had the 3-7 PM shift. Before arriving I found myself rushing to finish things at work, rushing to prepare my shift manager materials, and then rushing to get to PP on time. So I was happy to find that I had the sidewalk to myself once Shift Manager Marie H. and her prayer partner left, because I knew I needed some serious “gear-shifting” time. About 10 minutes later, Judy, a first-time 40 Days pray-er from SS. Peter and Paul in Beaver, came to pray with me. I really enjoyed getting to know yet another disciple of Christ who had felt compelled to come and offer prayers and penance to see abortion in Pittsburgh come to an end. 

At around 4 PM Judy let me know that she would soon have to leave. Now while I had enjoyed being by myself for those first 10 minutes, the prospect of being alone for the next three full hours was another thing altogether. But, as I keep forgetting, God provides. Within a few minutes Lisa C. (also from SS. Peter & Paul) and her two sons, John and Luke, appeared. Lisa and her family are not only faithful Friday evening pray-ers, but just a joy and an inspiration to be around.

While quite a lot happened during those four hours – both good and bad – I’d like to request your prayers for a rather angry and self-righteous young woman. She’s a small woman of about 20 with very noticeable blue hair. [We suspect she’s an art student downtown.] This is the third week she’s scolded/condemned us for what we are doing as she walked by. On top of her unpleasant demeanor is her unwillingness to respond even to questions about why she feels the way she does. This time I even received a multiple page letter from her (which Lisa C. told me she had received from her a week or so before) which gives her point of view. While haven’t read it yet – but I intend to before next week – the salutation, which I won’t reprint here, gives me a pretty good idea that the tone of the letter mirrors her demeanor. And as you pray for her, please pray for me that whatever my response to her next Friday, it will be not what I want, but what God wants.




3 thoughts on “Day 31: Thank you to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Holy Sepulcher parish, and Saints Peter and Paul parish! You brought light to our city’s darkness today!

  • October 27, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I will pray for the young woman who gave you the letter. Why not prepare one to give to her the next time she comes by? Maybe you can give her some food for thought, some wisdom that the Holy Spirit wishes to convey to her through you.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Actually, that letter was handed to me as I was standing next to Lisa, a few Fridays ago. My daughter and I were startled by the intense stare the blue-haired girl eyed us with. It appeared that she came prepared with the letter. She held it out with the intent of returning a response to the people who had handed her something in a previous encounter, so she prefaced her delivery. When I called out after her, “What is your name so we can pray for you?” she merely continued walking away with her young male escort. The content of the letter is obviously not something she wrote , so it seems that she is being influenced by someone else. Is this really an indirect plea for help? The kind and compassionate response from Lisa(I didn’t know how to handle this so I immediately passed the wad of papers to her) and I am sure others who have been the recipients of this letter is a witness to the true intentions of the 40 days prayer vigil/campaign and hopefully will chip away at her heart. This encounter shows how important it is to stand in public witness by the planned parenthood clinic.

    • October 31, 2013 at 10:56 am

      I hope that we can make in someone life and tune to someone that can help them


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