Day 40! St. Mary of the Assumption (Herman, PA); St. Mary/St. John (Export); Our Lady of Victory

We made it!

What a vigil this has been! I’ve only been doing this a few years, but this has been the most challenging one I’ve been through.  Extreme cold, snowstorms, illnesses ……. We’ve sure had a rough ride this Lent.  But, we made it, didn’t we?  Praise God!

As a Catholic Christian, I believe our suffering here on earth has much value when we unite it with the suffering of Christ and offer it to the Lord.  So it’s for this reason that I believe this vigil, due to all of the suffering and challenges, has likely been one of the most effective we Pittsburghers have experienced, at least on a spiritual level.  We can point to the baby we know of who has been saved as a result of this vigil — we praise and thank You, Dear Lord!!!!!!!!  Even beyond this known life saved, I’m certain the Lord has been able to plant many seeds through us.  For example (as has been said by someone else in this blog before), think of the folks who observed us showing up to pray on those horrible weather days we endured.  How could those folks not have seen our love and commitment and thus come to think of WHY anyone would voluntarily do this?

Stuck at home tonight due to a hanging-on illness I’ve had all week, I’m sad I had to miss the closing rally and celebrate another vigil opportunity and the work of God in our city.  You’ll see the pictures from tonight’s event in the final blog entry that Nikki will post tomorrow.  If you’ve never been to a closing or opening rally, I so heartily recommend it.  These events are very uplifting and inspiring …… and may I add they are attended by our town’s most wonderful people, the 40 Days for Life family!  In addition to the spirituality at these events, I’ve experienced a real sense of comfort and peace.  Even a kind of “homey-ness” – really like I’m with family.  I challenge anyone to show me where a finer bunch of folks can be found!

I want to thank our dear Nikki from the bottom of my heart for all she went through and put up with during this vigil!  Nikki, you are an angel ……. Even though we know it is anything BUT, you make it all appear so easy.  May God bless you and Joe!!!!!!!  A huge thank you also, as always, to Diane and Tom D. for your tireless back-and-forth into and out of town every day to provide us with our physical vigil necessities.  Talk about the hands and feet of Jesus!!!!!  Last, I thank ALL of you, each and every person who participated in any way, large or small, in this Lenten vigil.  I am so blessed to have met and prayed with this town’s most wonderful people for this most worthy of causes.  And I look forward to meeting many more of you at the fall vigil.  KEEP PRAYING — EVERY PRAYER MATTERS – God hears us all and he WILL bring about the end to abortion, in His Time!!!

Heidi covered the 7:00-9:00a shift, and she writes:

Given it is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I feel rather badly that I forgot to take a picture from my shift this morning.  In the gift of our faith, however, I rejoice trusting that the Lord receives our prayers said on behalf of the unborn and the intentions of 40 Days for Life as far more valuable than any picture that we could have taken.  Like clockwork at 7am, Diane and Tom D. faithfully delivered the sign and all the materials needed for the last day of the vigil.  For the most part, all was quiet on the sidewalk with the exception of a visit from a young man who declared he was definitely pro-life but vehemently disagreed with our presence in front of Planned Parenthood.  Mainly, he felt that it appeared that we were standing in judgment or condemnation.  By God’s grace, it was a peaceable conversation and one that gave us an opportunity to share our love and witness for the dignity and value of all human life…including his!  Thank you again, Nikki, for allowing me to be shift manager…it has been a blessing…and thank you, too, for all that you do in union with the faithful of 40 Days in defense of the unborn and all human life.

In Christ’s love,


I (Sue M.) covered 9:00-11:00a.  I had the honor of praying with Regina from St. Clare of Assisi and my own home-parish brother in Christ and Life, Vince P.  Here they are!

Vince and Regina
Vince and Regina

We took advantage of the semi-quiet morning to get a lot of prayer in.  I say “semi”-quiet due to the surprising encounters we experienced with four negative commenters.  That’s an unusual number for a quiet Sunday morning.  Instead of feeling insulted and discouraged by these folks as I have in the past, I’ve come to wish they would stay to talk, as the young man at the earlier shift did, rather than just hurling their venom as they continue on their brisk walk by.   We prayed that the Lord would soften the hearts of these bitter folks.  Maybe He’ll even send them by sometime during the next vigil so we can try again to talk to them.

Rich and Roseann covered 11:00a-1:00p as always, and they write;

When we arrived at 11:00, shift manager, Sue, said there had been a lot of negativity for a Sunday morning.  Well I have to say it continued until our shift was over at 1:00.  On Palm Sunday, when the Passion of Our Lord is proclaimed and Holy Week begins, I believe the “evil one” wanted to make himself relevant.  We prayed and witnessed with Margie and Larry from St. Mary of the Assumption and Alex and Donna from Holy Family in Steubenville.


Marshall managed the vigil from 1-3pm and wrote:

The last day seemed to spur on the emotions of those whom witnessed our peaceful demonstration of Life.  Many people came by and said, “God bless you,” or something to that effect.  However, one young woman stated, “I would be involved in this movement maybe if men were not involved,” which we all thought a little curious.  Toward the end, a young man in his late 20’s came by and spit on the “CHRIST-LIKE, PEACEFUL, PRAYERFUL” white sign and kicked another box and walked away.  I had never seen any physical display of anger at the Vigil, so may God be working with that man.

John with Margie and Larry from St. Mary in Herman
John with Margie and Larry from St. Mary in Herman
Marshall's "selfie"
Marshall’s “selfie”


3-5 Shift manager, Cathy, along with the wonderful Johnny and Mary Ellen and Trish , along with Fr. Rodolph Wakim of Our Lady of Victory in Carnegie, as he arrived for his 5-7 shift to close out our 40 day vigil:

day 40, fr. rodolph

Please pray for Cathy’s other half, Jim, who is sick.  Dear Lord Jesus, hold your precious son Jim in your Tender, most Merciful Heart!

For Life,

Sue M.

4 thoughts on “Day 40! St. Mary of the Assumption (Herman, PA); St. Mary/St. John (Export); Our Lady of Victory

  • March 29, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Congratulations to those who in any way who helped make this campaign another success. Our youngest son turned 16, 4 days ago and surprised me with a bouquet on HIS BIRTHDAY and said “Thanks, Mom for giving me life.” Let our prayers this week especially be heartfelt spiritual bouquets to thank God for giving us life, and thank Him for sending His Son to give us life eternal! Special thanks to Nikki (and Joe) for living the virtue off perseverance especially this campaign!
    Have a blessed Holy Week,
    Bernadette Conklin

  • March 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you, Nikki and all!!! We love you! And Bernadette, what a beautiful thing for your son to do!! I will share that story. God bless you all!

  • March 30, 2015 at 7:10 am

    evil strikes out at Holiness and at Holy times. Stay with Jesus!
    Lesson learned in real life. God will never put you and your trust in Jesus to shame. He will affirm that trust even in the storm.

  • March 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you to all the vigil volunteers in these 40 Days of Life, who persevered in the coldest of
    weather. I was glad to be involved in praying everyday for the babies to be saved and for their
    moms to be set free, protection for the vigil people and praying for the workers and doctors
    in Planned Parenthood. Thanks for all the e-mails everyday and keeping me informed of what some of the needs were and Shawn C. for sharing from other vigils and internationally.
    You were all such an encouragement to me and to see how our Fr. God is moving across our country. May the Lord bless all of you richly and grant you peace of heart and mind.
    In His Joy, Charlie Petrich


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