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!
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.
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:
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!