and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7) I am so grateful that we have a God who tells us this message of love… especially as we approach the end of Lent… and the end of our vigil. His covenant with us is everlasting. He is our God forever. I THANK THE LORD FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS throughout these 40 days, and EVERY day. May we always remain faithful to Him as well. May we serve His people well on the sidewalk of Liberty Avenue.
Shift Manager Reports:
This morning’s 7:00-9:00am shift was graced by almost as many little children in attendance as there were adults! Little Jacob, Noah, and Gunnar and their moms Kara and Nicole, along with Pastor Ben, all from Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Prospect, PA, lit up the sidewalk this morning in a way that seemed even to surpass the abundant rays of sunshine that also blessed us. Many passersby walked by this morning, and I pray they also were blessed by the innocent witness of these precious little ones. Check out the adorable picture of little Jacob learning about the fetal models. It just doesn’t get much sweeter than that, does it?
At one point a gentleman, who looked like he was on his way to work, stopped by to ask why this issue is so important to us. He did swerve a little from the topic toward the end of the somewhat lengthy conversation, but Pastor Ben, Kara, and Nicole were able to bring him back to the issue at hand: the importance of Life. Thankfully, he admitted he ‘basically agreed’ with us on most points ……. Hopefully and prayerfully, the Holy Spirit, through the conversation, succeeded in provoking more thought in his mind on the topic and will help bring the seeds sown to fruition. It is interesting and very worth pointing out that before the gentleman stopped by, Pastor Ben had prayed aloud specifically for the chance to engage someone in conversation this morning!
Time flies when you are having fun (I have to admit I was having fun, talking to all those little children!), and this shift flew by. May God bless that faithful crew, coming all the way from Prospect so early in the morning. And may God bless each and every 40 Days participant, today and through the end of this vigil!
Marilyn and Marie, who managed the vigil from 9-1 reported that Fr. Mike and Deacon Mark, from St. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge, made the sacrifice to pray at the vigil for the whole four hours!
So, this is the last week of this campaign for 40 Days for Life. I really thought last campaign would shut the doors down at PP. Not to be. Why? How many campaigns do we need to have before the senseless violence stops? Only God knows. God’s ways are not our ways. In His time all will be revealed. Why? Perhaps to bring more of us together, to put aside all differences and unite for the truth. Today we were blessed to have present praying Fr. Mike and Deacon Mark from SS. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge. Meredith from Our Lady of Sorrows and a mother/daughter team, Anita and precious three year old Erin came to pray as well. Erin passed out rosaries. What a sweetheart! Claudia and Donna came too. Several passersby stopped for a quick prayer on their lunch hour. Beth Ann, who deserves the title “Honorary Shift Manager” has accompanied me for all of this campaign. Thanks be to God. The warmer weather slowed people down and folks did look at our new fetal model display. Two young girls asked for rosaries. It is such a blessing to be a witness for Life. I pray that our time on the sidewalk inspires others to join our cause. Every Life, no matter how small, has value. Let us pray that soon our numbers on the sidewalk will swell so that people can’t help but begin to realize that all life is precious.
Hope to see you this Palm Sunday night at the closing, 6:30pm at PP for song and prayer to close out the vigil and then 7pm at Catholic Charities for a pot-luck dinner and fellowship. You won’t want to miss the fabulous home-made cake that our talented shift manager Jeannie is baking for us!!
God bless you, Marilyn
Marilyn took this photo:
What a blessing this beautifully warm day was! As some have observed before, perhaps this nice weather and sunshine has a positive effect on passersby. It seemed that so many were offering pleasant or positive remarks to us as they passed. Even one of the workers smiled at me today! As she came out of PP, I simply said, “We’re here to help workers, too.” And she looked at me with what seemed like a genuine smile and just softly replied, “No, thank you.” What probably amazed me most, besides the smile, was the eye contact! How awesome.
I am so grateful to my fellow parishioners from St. John the Baptist who joined us today. Thank you to Ron, Roseann, Nancy, Shari, Peg, Dave, Noreen, and any others who may have stopped by.
One of the most beautiful things about our shift was our young helpers, who sweetly passed out rosaries to MANY passersby! Take a look at these cuties:
St. John the Baptist Church in Plum, sent David, Noreen and Peg to pray with us on this sunny windy day downtown in front of PP. Joe (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton), Lisa (Word of God, Swissvale), Nancy and Joan (St. Patrick, Canonsburg)joined us.
We prayed for a young man who stopped to talk. He said he is not from Pittsburgh. He has a child in New Orleans and one in Charlotte. He has been on his own since he was 18. He has been in jail. He has a degree to get a job as a cook, but does not have the certificate. People don’t want to hire him when they find he has been in jail. He looked healthy. But he appeared lost. Some people who stop to talk, hoping to get a dollar or two, will tell you what they think you want to hear. Sometimes a person will use “buzz” words that seem designed to trigger sympathy. But we never want to ignore a plea for help.
We asked him if he wanted a meal or if he wanted to visit Catholic Charities. Both sites were 2 blocks away in the same direction. He chose Catholic Charities. We went in and a woman came out to greet him. “Come on, tell me about yourself,” she said as she reached out for his hand.
Regina stopped to talk. She said she was hungry. She looked tired. We walked to a nearby diner and she ordered soup, lemonade and a dinner roll.
Often the people who come to pray have stories of their own to tell. We usually learn that each of us has a past and feels a debt to God’s mercy. We feel called to share the stories of God’s mercy with His children. When there appears no opportunity to talk with passersby who don’t want to listen, our prayers ask our Father to talk to their hearts…He knows what He is doing.
Finally, friends, let us not forget the tragedy of yesterday (Wednesday) that has shaken so many lives: