While our city grieves the tragedy at Franklin Regional High School today, we pray for God’s healing touch to be on those children who are wounded…and for His comfort and peace to surround the parents and families…teachers and students…doctors, hospital staff and emergency workers.
Senseless violence such as this sends us reeling, trying to understand the incomprehensible. For those of us who recognize abortion as another form of senseless violence against children…our vigil continues.
The sidewalks were crowded today with many selfless witnesses, including many pastors! Thank you men of God for taking time out of your busy schedules to make witnessing for life a priority and thereby setting an example for your parishioners!
Read on for the stories from today:
Dean managed the vigil from 7-10am and wrote:
Wow and thanks to the folks from St. Bonaventure who stood strong this morning. There wasn’t a much to report besides a few women going into PP. Dave from St. Bonaventure did tell me about the origin of the yellow semi-circle. He said that when he was at Franciscan University that they used to pray regularly at the abortion center in East Liberty. They were closed for a month and so his group focused their praying at the PP on Liberty Ave. The workers and escorts were really upset and enlisted the aid of Pgh. police who suggested to them to paint the semi-circle so that pro-lifers would have limited access to the women going inside. Here are the pics from today.
Cathy managed the vigil during the 10am-1pm shift, and shared the sidewalk with a very large group of prayer warriors from Indiana and Westmoreland counties, led by the faithful and inspirational Fr. Tim Kruthaupt. She took these pictures:
I (Nikki) managed the vigil from 1-4pm and had the great privilege of praying with a wonderful group from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Meadowlands. Led by Fr. Carmen D’Amico, this dedicated group covered the space in front of Planned Parenthood with prayer. Here are some photos:
While the members from OLMM were praying on one side of the circle, I went to the other side to pray with Liz, who came from St. Paul Cathedral. I noticed a young woman standing in the circle, so I offered her some information. She wasn’t a customer of PP, but was waiting for her sister. We had a long conversation about God. It turns out that she was raised in a Catholic family that was very pro life. She said she grew up praying in front of abortion clinics. However, after her parents fell away (I think they ended up getting divorced…but I am not sure)…she decided to leave the Catholic Church and began going to a non-denominational Christian Church. She was even re-baptized! Unfortunately, after entering college, she came to realize that Christianity is a very narrow religion and that there are many other religions that are just as good. She is now no longer a Christian and no longer prays. I shared with her my love and joy for God, and for His Son Jesus and was blessed to tell her all He has done for me in my life. I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit was bubbling out of me and will remain in her heart. I hope seeds were planted that will grow in God’s time. She was a beautiful, respectful, thoughtful and intelligent girl. Please pray for her. Her name is Bonnie. She will be in my prayers daily.
At 3pm, Cindy from Lutherans for Life arrived…followed by Pastor Bryan. Susan and Mimi also showed up to pray. There was a lively, prayerful witness in front of Planned Parenthood today. A stark contrast to the dull and dreariness that surrounds the sad looking building that is Planned Parenthood.
At 4pm, shift managers Barbara and Richard arrived. Barbara took these photos:
Many witnesses for life filled our Wednesday evening with their gifts of the Spirit.
Mimi, Susan and I prayed the Joyful Mysteries Rosary while Cindy gave the sign language version. We had to time our prayers carefully so that we would all be “saying” the same thing at the same time. Cindy went to school and became proficient in sign language when a family need arose. Mimi is from Cathedral parish, Susan is from St. Norbert parish and Cindy is a member of Lutherans for Life. Richard and I are from Holy Wisdom parish. As the shift progressed we were joined by Bethany from Providence Baptist Church, Ellwood City; Roseann from St. Thomas More Parish; Pastor Bryan from Christ’s Church Ministries and Jim Flaherty who is a shift manager on Thursday evenings.
This little group explains one of the joys of 40 Days for Life. We are people from all over the area, all Christians (so far) who come together in downtown Pittsburgh to pray for God’s intercession in the abortion horror that grips our country.
Two young men in their twenties and a German Shepherd joined us in conversation. Their questions were sincere. Pastor Bryan and Bethany were patient and informed.
What about the pregnant girl who could not care for a baby at this time in her life? But, did you know that there are so many options of help, local free confidential help. Here is the list of that help with the phone numbers and email addresses. There are so many government supports for her. What about the adoption stories you hear about adopted children being badly treated? Strangely, one of the two men said that his sister had been adopted and she had a great life. We talked about adoption. The waiting lists for adoption are so long, people hesitate to even sign on the list. The mother has the option of interviewing and choosing the adoptive parents. She has the choice of visiting with her child in some of the options.
Susan’s handicap van arrived and driver Jesse helped her board. He greeted Susan by name. She comes to pray a few times a week. Her brothers and sisters take good care of her, she notes. She lives in assisted living and is grateful for all the people who help her be “independent.”
A crisis pregnancy is difficult. Plenty of occasions in life are difficult. Killing is not an option in any other difficulty. What is it about a crisis pregnancy that makes civilized people think that killing a baby is a solution?
In the Devotional for today, Day 36, Vera Faith Lord, Director of Alpha/Omega Life Ministry shares a quote. “I am a feather on the breath of God.” In her reflection she notes, “I do not “have” a soul – I AM a soul, as well as a body. My entire purpose in this life is to find my back to my Creator.”
When they tear apart the body of the aborted baby, they release the child to return to God. The gift the baby bears for life returns, barely opened.