Today, we’d like to thank the faithful parishioners of Living Word, St. Paul Seminary, North American Martyrs (Monroeville), SS Peter and Paul (Beaver). Thank you for coming out and praying and supporting Life! Tomorrow’s churches are St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Colman (Turtle Creek), St. Elizabeth of Hungary (Pleasant Hills).
This was a very busy morning, almost like a Saturday. A few men from
Living Word Church were praying at PP all morning. Also, we had Fr.
Vaskov & Fr. Freedy the Rector &
Assistant Rector of St. Paul Seminary, plus a large number of
seminarians. They arrived in several shifts and were a prayerful
presence until 11 a.m. One seminarian wore a short sleeve shirt, no
coat or sweater or hat or gloves. He must have been very cold because
I was wearing gloves, long sleeve sweater, hooded sweater & jacket. I
did not ask, but he possibly was offering up his discomfort to atone
for the evil happening inside.
Also, there were women from Harmony Grace Church, a lady from “The
River” in New Kensington, Jennifer, who sometimes comes down to
sidewalk counsel and hand out tracts, two Sidewalk Advocates, and
Marge Baker, who counsels in East Liberty. We had filled two pages of
the sign-in sheet by 10:30.
PP was doing abortions, but a lot of single girls went in also. They
could have been going for RU486 abortions or birth control. Early in
the morning parents brought their late teen daughter for what they
called “signing up to volunteer”, but after exiting & being away for
about a half hour they went back in and did not come out again.
Several interesting things happened. A man stopped to speak with
Marge & the one Sidewalk Advocate & later with me. He is the father,
and father-in-law of two women whose babies were killed, one by
abortion & the other by deliberate gun violence. We gave him all that
we could find about healing after abortion for women & men. He, and
other men in the family, need to be healed as well as the women.
Those babies were the man’s children and his grandchildren.
He asked if Catholic Charities gives out free food because he does not
have a proper home at this time & nothing but a microwave to cook
with. I remember them having lunch during one 40 Days, but told him
he would have to ask. Food is also given out at the Red Door. I did
give him one of the donated gift cards & he later came back to thank
me and show me the very large half hoagie that he had bought with the
card. I do not know his name, but please pray for him and his family.
Then a man came up to me and said, “They told me over there that you
would give me a sign”. I said, “Sure. Sign the sheet, take a sign,
and when you leave, put it back”. He said, “But I’m not staying. I
want to take the sign home and put it in my window.” I told him that
I could not give him one of our large, new signs because they belong
to 40 Days for Life. But if he was willing to take an older sign,
that was not in good condition, I would give him one of those. I found
one of our original signs that had lost its ribbon, and the plastic
was tearing, but it was still pretty decent looking. He happily took
that and told me he will come down and pray with us one of these days.
Altogether a very interesting morning.
Nikki took the 11-1 shift with North American Martyrs and writes:
I was blessed to stand with many devoted members from North American Martyrs from 11am-1pm today. The sidewalk was peaceful, we only had one person stop to say they disagreed with us. A few couples entered the clinic, some took information from me. We prayed almost nonstop. I am thankful that folks are not willing to give up this fight to end abortion. I know it can seem discouraging, but truthfully, even if it looks like we aren’t making a difference…the simple fact that people are willing to take time out of their day to stand and pray on the sidewalk during these campaigns, shows that we are already successful. Failing would be to accept abortion as a reality that cannot be changed and to do nothing. That would be failing in God’s eyes. As long as we continue to pray, to witness, to offer our sacrifice of time and energy for this cause…WE ARE SUCCESSFUL! Thanks to Fr. Luisi and the other gang from North American Martyrs who came to relieve me at 1pm and were staying till 3pm. I especially appreciate Fr. Luisi coming, as he has been sick all week. May God bless everyone who had made the commitment to stay in this battle….no matter what.
I had the 4-7 this evening and the noise during that first hour was a real challenge. The jackhammers at the nearby garage were going strong and it made hearing anything nearly impossible. The Cahill family – Mom Lisa along with Nadi and Esther this time – represented their parish (as they do on most Friday evenings, Saints Peter and Paul in Beaver). Mimi came to pray with us and so did SM Bill H. SM Joe White came early and stayed until the end. Thank you Joe and God Bless you
Did you ever have one of those times when you decided to do something and you weren’t sure after you did it whether or not that something was a “good something” or a “bad something”…but it sure was SOMETHING! I decided to be a little more bold this evening and engage in conversation with some people I might not normally engage. The first was a man who was hanging around inside the semi-circle. I thought that he might have someone inside PP (turns out he didn’t) and came to offer him some literature especially for men. Well, that led to some curious discussions/debates/arguments that went all over the place and, try as I might, didn’t seem to lead him anywhere near where I was hoping he might go. He couldn’t seem to see my focus on this problem when the world had so many other problems.
The second encounter was with a man who pulled up near PP and, having seen him before, I was pretty sure he was waiting there to pick-up his spouse who worked there. Given that PP employees seem to be forbidden from talking to us or taking our literature, I thought I’d offer him one of our pink sheets with information from Abbey Johnson’s organization, “And Then There Were None” which helps current abortion workers get out of the industry. This encounter made the first one look tame by comparison. He was having none of the material, but seemed pleased to be able to unload some of his anger on me. After taking some time to recover from these two encounters – and it did take some time – I realized that one common thread between them was their total sense of hopelessness in the state our world is in now. It made me once again grateful that we are people of hope and that this campaign has HOPE as it’s theme.
Thanks to all of our shift managers and vigil participants! Our prayers are with you! You are not alone! Keep the faith! Be bold and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you!