Day 39: Holy Wisdom Parish, Pittsburgh [ALL DAY!]

Preach the message; be persistent in doing so, whether in season or out of season; convince, reprove, and encourage, but with great patience and instruction.       2 Timothy 4:2

Come Monday morning, our 40 Days for Life ministry in Pittsburgh will be “out of season.”  And believe me, I’m looking forward to the break.  No more Friday evenings out in the cold and the noise, no more Saturdays spent on the computer working on the blog.  Ahhh.  Man, I need a break.  I’ll bet you do too.  And you know what, I think God really wants us to have a break, a time of rest from this high-intensity work of ours.

Planned Parenthood of Pittsburgh

But at the same time……we can’t ignore the fact that PP has no off-season.  So, what are we supposed to do?

Let me suggest that the only wrong answer to that question is:  “Nothing.”

I’m convinced that each of us should really set aside at least 5 minutes at some point on Monday (“Day 41”) to offer a very short prayer to God – and to listen for His response.  The kind of prayer I’m talking about should sound something like this:  “Lord, what you want me to do now?  Please show me.”

Now, if you’re willing to trust Him enough to even ask this question (no small thing, I’ll admit), you know well that there may be no immediate answer.  But if it’s a question that you keep on your heart, an answer will eventually come.  And those answers will vary greatly because there so many different ways we can serve the Lord in service to “the Gospel of Life.”

On a personal note, I don’t think  I formally asked myself that question at the close of the last campaign.  Yet I do remember feeling, shortly after it ended, that simply waiting around for the next campaign to begin just wasn’t sitting well with me.  So when I learned that Sidewalk Advocates for Life, an organization which actually sprang from 40 Days for Life, found someone willing to lead a Sidewalk Advocates group here in Pittsburgh (our very own Kathy Laslow!), it hit me that maybe this was what that nagging feeling was preparing me for.  Fear, of course, showed-up shortly thereafter in an attempt talk me out of it.  But I figured that simply signing-up for the 4-hour training course wasn’t like I was making a formal commitment or anything, so why not?

Well, I did take the course (which is done via DVD very put together), along with about 10 others, and concluded by the end of it that God was, in fact, calling me to give this a try.  I’m still taking baby steps and making mistakes, and some fear remains.  But there is a peace in knowing that you are where you are supposed to be.

 

So I’ll emphasize again that everyone’s call will be unique.  But if in the next few days you sense that being a sidewalk advocate might be a direction God is calling you to explore, please take a few minutes to watch the short  (less than 7 min.) video on the SAFL website entitled “WHO WE ARE.”  [And when you do, have a tissue handy.]

If after watching it and exploring their website you think that taking this training course is a logical next step, send an email to Kathy Laslow at kathlaslow@yahoo.com.  She’d be glad to answer any and all of your questions.

Pat Malley


And now, on to the reports from the sidewalk.

Day 39 Saturday 7 – 9 AM

day 39, 1st shift, mobil unit

We were blessed Saturday morning as the day started with the rain stopping and a visit from the Choices Mobile Sonogram team of Sue, Betsy and Jill.  The Choices team welcomed all to tour the mobile sonogram to see and understand what they do and how they do.  The Holy Wisdom team lead by Barbara and her husband  arrived at “7 on the nose, assuming 7 has a nose” said Barbara.  Holy Wisdom had a strong presence including a family with four young courageous children. How uplifting to see young people at the vigil.
Shift Manager Barbara stayed ALL 12 HOURS with her parish today! Pictured with Diane and Saturday morning "regulars"
Shift Manager Barbara stayed ALL 12 HOURS with her parish today! Pictured with Diane and Saturday morning “regulars”
Wonderful family from Holy Wisdom Parish
Wonderful family from Holy Wisdom Parish
 
We had the strong presence of the early morning sidewalk counselors Meredith, Virginia and David as well as two more who came later at 9. Regular Saturday prayer warriors Bill from St Ferdinand’s, John M., Bill H., Jimmy,  Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie along with newcomer Monty witnessed to life.  
 
Bill from St. Ferdinand
Bill from St. Ferdinand
Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church and Monty
Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church and Monty
Jimmy
Jimmy
Holy Wisdom
Holy Wisdom
Fr Tim again made the long drive with his faithful flock and filled the air with heartfelt prayers.
Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland Counites
Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland Counties
 
Many out-of-towners supporting the Duke Football team (vs Pitt at noon) passed by and looked on to see our witness.  I am sure we made an impression.
 
The year-round Saturday prayer warriors were saddened to see the last Saturday within 40 Days come along as the added presence of so many encouraging vigil participants will be missed. They wanted to let everyone know that there is a faithful group at planned parenthood every Saturday morning year-round from 7 till 10 or 11 AM and all are welcome to come back  and join us when the Holy Spirit touches your heart. 
 
Peace
Tim B.
Barbara took these photos:
Al, Sally and Julie
Al, Sally and Julie
Holy Wisdom came out in force today!
Holy Wisdom came out in force today!
Many prayer warriors from Holy Wisdom
Many prayer warriors from Holy Wisdom

And here’s Barbara’s report:

Our greatest talent and treasure is our ability to love….
It belongs to the very nature of love to flow outward, to gravitate like water to those empty, low, dry places.
…the divine nature abhors the void of love and runs to remedy it….
To be “in heaven,” means rather to reside in the fullness of love and to be always engaged in bestowing the benefits of love on others – to pour out one’s being into the void in others as if one were sunlight and rain.
“The Meaning of the Parable of the Talents.” Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. Magnificat November 2014

Pittsburgh presented us with chilly cloudy weather, but Holy Wisdom parishioners presented downtown Pittsburgh in front of Planned Parenthood with the gift of their presence, their smiles, their prayers and their offer of alternatives to abortion.  Those who could come downtown were Mary Jane, Kent and Margaret and their children, the Nypaver family, John, Liz, Bernadette and her children, Al and Sally, Clare, Kevin, Janet, Andy, and Kathy with her husband and daughter.
Barbara Lewis, Shift Manager

Shift manager Maggie wrote:

It was an intense 2 hours. A young boy named Josh stopped and talked to Mary Jane, and I and although I think he was a little inebriated, he was crying about the regret he felt having an abortion. He didn’t believe god could forgive him and he said it was the worst decision he and his girlfriend ever made. He said things have never been the same. He also said that the abortionist didnt know what she was doing and that his girlfriend bled and passed tissue for awhile. She is afraid she will never have any more children. When she saw a gynecologist they said there was a lot of scarring. Please pray for Josh and his girlfriend “C” that they will get tne healing they need (it will be 3 years in january). We prayed with him and have him information on silent no more and Rachel’s vineyard. There were 5 beautiful young girls who went in around 12:30 for abortions. A good lucking young couple. A girl alone (while someone waited into their car at the curb), 2 mother daughter groups, and a boyfriend mom and daughter. I prayed so hard hoping someone would change their mind.

Great group from Holy Wisdom with Barbara
Great group from Holy Wisdom with Barbara

 

MORE STORIES AND PICTURES WILL BE ADDED AS THEY COME IN.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Day 39: Holy Wisdom Parish, Pittsburgh [ALL DAY!]

  • November 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm
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    Just to show how far our “arm” reaches: Today I was at St. Emma in Greensburg for a day of recollection. At the end of the day I talked to a sister who (surprise!) was Sr. Helen. She said she was from St. Mary’s. I told her how much we admired the group that came from so far away. She said she was part of that group, and she was at PP several times.
    Won’t it be fun when we go to other towns and meet “40 Days” people!?

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  • November 2, 2014 at 1:47 am
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    This is a note especially to Maggie, but I hope others will also benefit. I was with the Holy Wisdom contingent today. My family and I are members of the Holy Wisdom Latin Mass Community. Maggie, I want you to know that Our Lord heard your prayers. We had an important rescue today. The couple who went in with the young mother’s mom were touched by God’s grace and decided to spare the little life in the womb. I was surprised at how busy the abortion clinic was today. I arrived at a time when many of the women were coming out – post abortion. I was busy offering information about resources for healing such as Rachel’s Vineyard. When the young woman emerged with her boyfriend and mother, she was still very distraught and had tears in her eyes. I naturally assumed that she had had an abortion. They all looked a little shell-shocked. They stopped within the bubble, but I offered some literature and some kind words, and the mother of the crying younger woman reached out and took the information. I continued to talk and the mom said, “She’s not having it [the abortion].” I then addressed the younger mom, and beckoned her to come over to me, which she did. I embraced her and held her very tightly, and told her over and over again that she was not alone – that she had made the right decision and that God will bless her. I asked if the young man with her was the father and they all acknowledged this, so I congratulated him, too. I think that the weight of their decision was just settling in, and she was not completely sure that she had done the right thing. She was obviously very frightened. Another counselor came to offer information on various resources and this encouraged the young mother very much. I gave her my personal contact information, as well. The mother of the younger woman told me that she had had an abortion many years ago, before she was pregnant with her daughter, and that she had terrible regrets about it. Despite this, she had told her daughter that she would stand by her no matter what she decided – abortion or not! I suggested that she, the grandmother of the child in the womb, reach out to Rachel’s Vineyard for her own sorrow, and gave her the contact information again. Of the three, I think the young father was having the most difficult time with accepting this new life that he had helped create. He definitely seemed the most detached, the least emotionally involved in what was going on. I know that the presence of the prayer warriors was critical, and also the powerful prayers that sent the angels to the side of this beautiful, young and vulnerable woman today. Later on, when the family emerged from the clinic, our group had our own role to play. It was a team effort all around. Key, as well, was the fact that the Planned Parenthood personnel did a sonogram. Once this young mother saw her baby in the sonogram (@ 9 weeks), she became very, very upset. This image made all the difference to her. My sign indicated that there is a heartbeat at only 3 weeks, and they shook their heads as they read this – they had obviously seen the little heart organ throbbing away, and this, too had made a tremendous impression on them. The young mother was only 18 and desperately wanted to continue her university studies. She did not want to disappoint her family, particularly her maternal grandfather whom she was very close to. But in the end she could not bring herself to kill. Very, very important was our presence giving them the support that they needed, letting them know that they were not alone, and reaffirming that they had courageously made the right decision. The other counselor told the young woman about a program that offered free babysitting to college students who had gone through a crisis pregnancy. The young mother REALLY responded to this offer of assistance. I hope that they will follow up with me. I told them that I wanted to be invited to the baby’s Baptism, and that I would supply the cake! They all laughed at that. I also showed them a photo of my own daughter, who was also rescued in utero. They were very, very interested and impressed by this. I talked a lot about God, and constantly told them to place everything in His hands. Praise God for this miraculous save today!!! I am encouraged and pretty confident that the young mom will not change her mind. She took a photo of the sonogram image with her i-phone and I believe she is going to post it. I overheard the mother of the young woman making a call to a family member, and she smiled broadly as she said, “I’m going to be a grandma!” She told me that this was the first announcement. They have a long road ahead of them, so please, please everyone keep this young family in prayer. The couple is not married, although they have been together for a good long while.

    There were many interesting encounters today. One was with a man very active in the Democratic Party. He was very supportive of our presence and tried to convince us that the Democratic Party was filled with pro-life, anti-abortion members. I pointed out that their platform was abortion on demand, through nine months gestation. He insisted that political loyalty should not be based on a single issue. I responded that some issues are more important than others, and pointed out that even the NAZIs built great roads.

    Another encounter was with a woman who strode past us forcefully and remarked in a loud voice that “these babies (the ones being aborted) would otherwise be left in the woods to die.” I retorted that I had adopted an abortion bound baby myself, and that child was doing just fine. I found it interesting that she clearly referred to the unborn children whose murder she advocated, as “babies.”

    “Lebensunwertes Leben” – (“Life Unworthy of Life”) – the NAZI ideology that was the basis for the slaughter of so many unwanted or undesired human beings – is still alive and well. But then, the NAZIs had imported this philosophy from the United States – the various schools of American eugenicists. See for example: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/1796 a 2003 piece reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a radical and racist eugenicist.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2014 at 6:50 am
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    First, it was great to see the picture of David and Susan Z. & family. It was an honor, Susan, to have been able to have your parents with me once again on the sidewalk with our very small St. Regis contingent earlier in the campaign.

    Secondly, WOW! Kathy what incredibly wonderful news! Thank you for your being there and the prayers offered up by all of your group. It sounds to me like the Holy Spirt gave you just the right things to say to them when they came out of PP. Clearly, you’ve been given a gift a gift for doing this sort of thing.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2014 at 8:21 am
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    Thank you for the words of encouragement, Pat. Yes, the Holy Spirit will always supply the words we need. But first and foremost, we have to truly love the people caught up in this diabolical situation – ALL of them. I have been involved in the movement long enough to know that sidewalk counseling is really one of the most critical front lines of the deadly battle that we are all engaged in on this side of the Vale, as members of the Church Militant. But we walk with the angels there, and need not be afraid. First and foremost, though, we have to identify the real Enemy – and it is NOT of the human variety. My heart is filled with love for our human “opponents” – and I hope that they see this. I guess that is the greatest gift that God has given me, and I am very, very grateful for it. Actually, it is really the only one we need. He will give it to anyone who asks Him for it. I will try and do more sidewalk counseling when I can and I hope others will, too! Thank you for organizing these encounters and for getting us out of our routines and down there to the abortion clinic, the site of so much killing, one of the epicenters of the bloodbath we are living in today. But abortions are also taking place in regular doctors’ offices, as well – probably your own OB/GYN does them regularly. We need to start conversations – everywhere.

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  • November 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm
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    Wow Kathy! Thanks so much for your witness to her and for sharing this encouraging news with us!!! Thanks be to God for answered prayers!!!

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  • November 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm
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    Kathy,
    Thanks for your wonderful story! I felt bad for missing our Holy Wisdom day at PP because I attended a silent retreat in Erie this weekend. However, I was praying for babies to be saved yesterday and am so heartened by your story. I will keep this family in my prayers!

    Reply

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