“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
As most of can attest, it’s a rare Sunday when we hear a deacon, priest, or pastor address the topic of abortion. I’m not in their shoes, but it’s a fair bet that the reason most don’t do it is fear of the reaction they’ll get for addressing such a “controversial” topic. My good friend Lenny was ordained as a deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in June. Despite being newly minted, and despite the fact that the parish to which he was assigned is just getting to know him, Lenny was moved by God to do something bold. He preached a homily on abortion.
But his boldness didn’t stop there. At the end of that same homily Lenny announced to his congregation that he planned to go out and pray in front of Planned Parenthood on the morning of Sunday the 27th from 7 to 9 as a part of the 40 Days for Life effort, and then invited all of them to join him – if only for a short while.
When he told me all of this last Wednesday, I asked him how it all went. He let me know that it wasn’t an easy homily to deliver. But not in the way you might suspect. He never mentioned his fears of how his words would be received (although I’m sure that had to be there). He told me it was hard because he found himself getting choked-up emotionally because of the nature of the topic.
So what made him deliver such a homily? As we spoke I could surmise that two factors were at work here. The first is his day-job. The nature of his work, he shared, gives him gives him a little more exposure than most to the painful reality of abortion. But the second is the fact that in his own home parish (Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in The Meadowlands) there’s been an effort in recent years to get people to participate in 40 Days (lead by Shift Manager Lindsey) and Lenny has participated.
While I wish that I could tell you that Lenny’s boldness lead to an immediate “harvest” of new 40 Days participants, the fact is that Lenny was the only one who came from his new parish. But as we both agreed, we can only plant seeds – and that he clearly did the right thing. Now it’s up to God to move in the hearts of all who heard the invitation.
THERE IS ONE ELEMENTARY TRUTH – THE IGNORANCE OF WHICH KILLS COUNTLESS IDEAS AND SPLENDID PLANS: THE MOMENT ONE DEFINITELY COMMITS ONESELF, THEN PROVIDENCE MOVES TOO. ALL SORTS OF THINGS OCCUR TO HELP ONE THAT NEVER OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE OCCURRED… WHATEVER YOU CAN DO OR DREAM YOU CAN DO, BEGIN IT. BOLDNESS HAS GENIUS, POWER, AND MAGIC IN IT. BEGIN IT NOW. – Goethe
I (Pat) had the 7-11 shift today with my parish, St. Regis in Trafford, and was blessed to have at least two parishioners with me at all times. Thanks so much to Nancy, Yolanda & Albert, Larry & Georgia, along with my fellow Knights of Columbus Mike and John (who was a first-timer). We were also joined by Deacon Lenny (mentioned above), SM Bill H., and by Kathy from Memorial Park Church.
While it was cold, it was dry and relatively windless. I find the Sunday morning shift to be so nice because it’s the least busy and most quiet time of the whole week. People are even more inclined to take our literature on Sunday mornings.
Nancy, Kathy, Deacon Lenny, Yolanda, Albert, Georgia, and Larry
Rich and Rosann had the 11-1 shift:
We arrived at 11:00 a. m. The Venturini family and Bob and Caitlyn Waruszewski came to pray with us. It was quiet and we prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy and did a litany together. Passerbys were relatively friendly and we had only one angry gentleman who kicked our sidewalk sign as he passed by. A man from Toronto, Canada came over and asked us some questions about 40 days and wanted to know what they actually did at Planned Parenthood. So we informed him. What a privilege to stand with 40 days for life!!!!! Roseann
Jeff had the 1-3:
Lots of great people on the sidewalk today. An exceptionally abusive drunk came by twice to deliver the most ignorant diatribe i have experienced yet. How a guy so drunk/high could have such a strong opinion about abortion speaks volumes to a story in his life we will never know. Our first time vigil participants were truly Christ-like. To see/hear the hate in this mans voice can leave no doubt that Satan prowls this earth.
More pictures and stories will be posted as they come in.