Thank you to everyone who came out and braved the bitter cold! Always remember that even when it’s too cold for us to stand outside, there are still people going inside, and they need our prayers! Please keep our vigil participants in your prayers, as standing in the cold and the elements can produce discouragement. Pray for encouragement! Pray that our prayer warriors are protected from the cold and also from despair! Please, don’t forget that the churches participating tomorrow are: Holy Family Parish, Steubenville; St. Joseph, Verona; St. John (Baden)/Good Samaritan (Ambridge).
Pat M. writes from the 8-9AM shift:
While I got there a little before 8, Rose S. was already there, as was Jackie, who is one of our Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Both had been since around 7 (and in case you’ve forgotten, 7 AM was when the thermometer was still on the wrong side of zero). While Rose had to leave shortly thereafter to catch her bus, Jackie and I stood on each side of the semicircle trying our best to offer literature and good counsel to those headed into PP.During the time I was there neither of us were successful in that respect–although Jackie was able to at least get a few of the couples to look her way and listen to a little bit of what she had to say before they went in. That’s hard to watch. However, it was good for each of us to have the other one there. Not only for the company, which I really enjoyed, but to talk about how difficult it can be to constantly experience what appears on the surface to be “failure.” And once you start talking about that, it’s not long before someone remembers that we can only do what we can do and that the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. So thank you, Jackie, for reminding me – and inspiring me, too.On an encouraging note, a man named Tom from Saints John & Paul in Sewickley, joined us about half-way through my shift. He remained there with Seamus. But what’s great is that he came down simply because he had read that the morning shift had no one signed-up.
It was an honor to stand-in for Sally and Al this morning and I was delighted to find many brave souls standing boldly for life. We were able to successfully provide a warm greeting and resource material to the vast majority who entered Planned Parenthood and in our silent prayers, we asked our Lord and Savior to intervene. Considering this was my first time as a shift manager, I felt humbled but empowered by the Holy Spirit’s grace as I handed a “candle” to each woman as she entered the darkness. It was so comforting to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jackie, Tom, Jen, Mary, Marian and Jackie.
Regina Writes from the 11am-1pm shift:
What a grace to arrive to a sidewalk filled with a good number of beautiful souls praying for life today! A generous group from St. Mary Margaret prayed numerous rosaries and held signs while offering alternatives and hope to each person entering the clinic today. It was a beautiful experience to pray with such faith filled Christian soldiers! Amy, Peggie; the wonderful sidewalk advocate, Peg, Dorothy and Myself experienced fellowship and prayerful witness together while the wonderful pastor from St. MM made rounds and prayed with all of his parishioners. One unhappy looking couple who exited the clinic did accept our literature and heard our words of love and mercy as they passed. Please pray for them. The group gathered to the left of the entrance offered the sorrowful mysteries almost in unison with the the group to the right. I plead the precious Blood of the Savior over each woman, man and child who entered the clinic this day. Jesus, we trust in you! Peace and gratitude,
Nikki Writes from the 3-5pm shift:
When I got to my shift there was a nice group from St. Mary Margaret parish, along with the shift manager Marie. The sun was shining and I was glad to do my first hour by myself. I prayed silently, getting colder and colder. Couple after couple exited the clinic. I know I always say this, but I hate being there at the end of an abortion day. Employees also began to exit. At around 4pm, I was joined by Meg from City Reformed Church. She took her sign and stood across from me on the sidewalk. Two was much better than one. Pat arrived at 5pm to take over and I left him and Meg to carry the vigil to the end. I had a difficult time finding a place to park, due to the fact that Home and Garden show opened tonight at the Convention Center, so all the garages were filled. I had to park in the Strip District…so please keep that in mind when you go downtown, you may need to allow extra time to find parking. God bless everyone for making this sacrifice to keep our vigil going!
Pat did the 5-7pm shift, he writes…
The first hour was much different than the second. I had Megan from the City Reformed Church with me for most of it. Unfortunately, we both had to deal with a drunk woman who wanted to argue/debate with us. She didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but finally left after about 20 minutes. Shortly after she left a man came by and wanted to let me know that he was pro-life, but that he just didn’t like those graphic signs. He said that his girlfriend had had an abortion a long time ago, but the scars of that are still with him. I told him about Rachel’s Vineyard and actually had a brochure (just one) in my back pocket to give him.
The second hour I was by myself, but I enjoyed it b/c it was very peaceful. In fact, I’ve never experienced a Friday evening in Pittsburgh that was as quite as tonight. It gave me a good opportunity to pray in a way I can’t seem to do when I feel the need to pass out literature or talk with others who are there.