Day 30: Thank you to Catholic Mommas, Catholic Homeschoolers, and Life Church!

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it….”
(Exodus 32:7-8a)

Today, I think I have seen many examples of the kind of idolatry which takes place in our country all the time.  It is the idolatry of IGNORANCE.

Sometimes, as 21st-century Americans, we would rather AVOID or IGNORE what is true than SEEK and EMBRACE it.

What I saw today seemed to embody both the “innocent” type of ignorance, where the people don’t even know that they are ignorant, and the “willful” type of ignorance, where the people DO NOT WANT to be shown, told, or otherwise put in contact with the truth, since it might… change the way they think.

So I make the connection in my mind with “idolatry” here, since oftentimes we hold onto our ignorance like the Israelites held onto their golden calf.  They had even convinced themselves that the FALSE god was the one that saved them!!  We can do the same thing today.  We have all heard the saying that “knowledge is power.”  However, some have come to think that IGNORANCE is a new type of “knowledge,” by which we are “saved” from something worse: change of heart.  Conversion.

4-3-14 #4

So now, let me make the connection to abortion.  Today at the vigil, there were some who just walked by and shook their heads, showing that they either disagreed with us, or were disgusted with us, for reasons unknown.  Some refused the sheet of free resources for women, saying things like, “I’m good.”  (In other words, “I don’t need your ‘propaganda.’  I’ve got all the truth I need, thank you very much.”)

What bothered me most of all, I think, was when two moms hurried their little girls past us, and the one mom said, “Don’t you girls look at this stuff.”  Now this “stuff” she was referring to was three homeschooling moms and some of their sweet children, praying the rosary, standing beside little models of beautiful unborn babies in the womb, and holding signs with not only lovely images, but messages of inspiration. 

One of our signs was this very one:

4-3-14 #5

And so, these girls should not look at “this stuff?”  What, then, should they be looking at?  I shudder to consider many of the alternatives that so many families turn to instead.  Sadly, they may not even realize the problem.  Their ignorance of the truth has become their false god, without which they cannot live.

Let us always be open to TRUTH.  False gods keep us enslaved.  The TRUTH makes us FREE.

Here are our Shift Manager stories and photos from today:

Andy’s report:

The last of the least today, up early got there too early, coffee at McD on Penn, decaf, no sugar, Lent.  Park, walk, it was quiet, pray.  Signs, a storage bin large enough to fit a small person, pray.  Hold the sign, hold it high, tired, hold it high, pray.  Young one, a true inspiration, home schooled, no surprise, pray.  Yelled at, God Bless, pray.  Hold the sign, hold it high, photographer, arms tired, rest it against the killing place, pray.  Hold it high, spit at my feet, God Bless, pray.  Cold, first shift without snow, thank you, cold and frost Bless the Lord, pray.  Relief, pray together.  Walk back, are my feet touching the sidewalk?  Theology of the Body CD, Deo Gratias.

Marie’s report:

Finally, a warm day when a heavy coat, hat, gloves and thermals were not the attire!

Not only were the temperatures warm but the presence of a good number of prayer warriors for life was warming my heart and soul.

A special thanks to the moms from the Catholic Mommas group who came with their children to pray – Sue and Silvana R. from Mt. Lebanon and Emily, Jeffery and James T. from Ambridge.

It is so nice to see moms and their children making the sacrifice to come downtown and pray in such a strange surrounding with complete strangers. Thank you, thank you!

Sue, Silvana, Emily, Jeffery and James from Catholic Mommas group
Sue, Silvana, Emily, Jeffery and James from
Catholic Mommas group

The dedicated group from St. Teresa of Avila are always so faithful.  It was so nice to have their prayerful presence on the sidewalk.

Dedicated prayer warriors from  St. Teresa of Avila
Dedicated prayer warriors from
St. Teresa of Avila

Thanks also to Emilie, Beth and Donna, my pro-life friends from St. Alphonsus for joining in prayerful witness today.


Today was fairly uneventful in front of 933 Liberty Ave. The usual traffic on the sidewalk and only one young couple entered the building.

I would not have noticed it had it not been for a bicycle courier that had just gone by yelling “God hates you” at us.  The young man on the sidewalk yelled something back at him.  His companion was laughing as they walked by and entered the building.  It was odd to see this young man react to the courier since he was yelling at us.

We also had a persistent visitor today; perhaps others have seen and encountered him on the sidewalk.  He is a tall, African-American man who comes up and starts talking about what we are doing, says he is also pro-life, etc.  He eventually gets around to asking for money. He came by last week, so I noticed him today as he approached.  No one in the group gave him money.  He did return and asked again.

A couple of the gentlemen directed him to the Red Door near the Point, or Light of Life on the Northside, but he was clearly interested in cash, not food.  He did seem to have a different demeanor today, and I was surprised by his persistence.  He is fairly polite about it but is not interested in seeking help from the resources that are available.



How nice to see that Shift Manager Sheila joined the vigil today with family members and friends from her parish!  Thank you, Sheila!

Thank you to our lovely ladies from West Virginia!
Thank you to our lovely ladies from West Virginia!

Marilyn’s report:

What a great day on the sidewalk!  The warmest Thursday of this campaign for me.  What a terrific turnout I had – sixteen people came and went from 11am-1pm today!  We had folks all the way from St. Joseph the Worker in Weirton, West Virgina!  Thanks to shift manager, Sheila who brought her mom and sisters today.  So glad to meet all these lovely women.  The Catholic Homeschoolers of Pittsburgh were represented by Debbie and her daughter and sons during my shift.  Pastor Mike from Edgewood Baptist came back this week and this time brought his son, Pastor Sam.  Grateful to have the male presence at the vigil!  Especially when passersby have questioning motives for stopping to chat.  Several folks stopped by to pray for a short time while on their lunch hour.  Then we had regulars Megan and John, and shift manager Bill stopped by as well.  My dear friends Beth Ann and Sherry also accompanied me today.  Great turnout. 
The comment that got to me today was from a man who stopped by for a brief time to pray.  When he was getting ready to leave he told me that he never felt that his mother wanted him and realized that he could easily see that he might never have been born.  He paused and said how many other “me’s” should be here who were not given the chance to live.
A special thank you to our new shift manager, Liz who provided those wonderful prayer booklets!  They were so helpful.  Thank you, Liz!
We will most likely never know the true impact our witness has during these 40 Days.  I said a prayer that whoever needed the cards I was handing out would take one.  Only one person did.  Maybe he will pass it on to someone in need.  I never will know, but God knows, and that is all that matters!
God bless you,
Debbie N. and three of her children (L-R: Johnny, Jason, Jessie)
Debbie N. and three of her children
(L-R: Johnny, Jason, Jessie)
Pastor Sam (L), with his father, Pastor Mike! How wonderful is that?
Pastor Sam (L), with his father, Pastor Mike!
How wonderful is that?
Debbie and family along with Joe and Adam (the young men on the right), and Shift Manager Lisa (L)
Debbie and family along with Joe and Adam (the young men on the right), and Shift Manager Lisa (L)


Lisa’s report:

There are so many things to share, I don’t know where to begin.  But as I was telling my husband this afternoon, they are not “events” that happened, but more like thoughts and inspirations that came to me before, during, and after my shift.
One might wonder how being at Planned Parenthood (outside… in the rain… standing for hours… ) can bring any kind of inspirations to anyone.  But if we are open to what the Lord wants to show us, it really can.
Part of my inspiration came from the sweet families I was praying with:
Beautiful families join in prayer!   L-R: Bernadette, Celine, Cecilia, Rebecca, Jude, Clare, and Amy.
Beautiful families join in prayer!
L-R: Bernadette, Celine, Cecilia, Rebecca, Jude, Clare, and Amy.

One of the inspirations I had on my way to the vigil today was this.  I felt the need to remind myself of the seriousness of what I was about to do, and participate in.  A startling thought occurred to me:  “If I were standing outside the gates of Auschwitz today… what would I want to tell people walking by?”  Now, don’t get me wrong, I did no heroic thing today.  BUT, one thing the Lord did inspire me to do was to pass out more resource sheets to young women passing by.  (I have felt very convicted about this for this whole spring vigil).  And so for me, this was a small way to “let people know” what goes on inside the doors of death on Liberty Ave.

Dee’s report:

We were a small but earnest group today at Planned Parenthood. Mary, from St. Gabriel’s, and Martha and Lindsey, from Life Church (Greentree), stood and prayed, and witnessed in the constant rain. 

Thank you to Life Church participants!
Thank you to Life Church participants!
Thank you to prayer volunteer Mary
Thank you to prayer volunteer Mary

Most of the passersby ignored us–in a big hurry to get through the rain.  Martha and Lindsey were confronted by a gentleman who was not too rational.  Mostly, the vigil from 3 to 5 was peaceful and without much incident.


One thought on “Day 30: Thank you to Catholic Mommas, Catholic Homeschoolers, and Life Church!

  • April 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Andy- I thought your report was so cool!!! It was so poetically written. Loved it.


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