Despite the fact that we wear signs around our necks and stand prominently (and sometimes even kneel) right in front of PP, 95% of the people who walk by us on the sidewalk still act as though they’ve just passed the dry cleaners. They give no outward sign of understanding that what they have just passed by amounts to a modern-day Auschwitz. I wish there were some way to reach them.
In my “dream-world” I envision us having two huge signs, each placed on the sidewalk about 15 feet beyond each end of the yellow line. On a white background with black lettering it would simple say the following:
IN HIS CLASSIC WORK, THE DIVINE COMEDY, DANTE WROTE:
“THE HOTTEST PLACES IN HELL ARE RESERVED FOR THOSE WHO, IN TIME OF GREAT MORAL CRISES, MAINTAIN THEIR NEUTRALITY.”
It would at least give them something to think about. Perhaps in smaller lettering below would also be this:
“SO, BECAUSE YOU ARE LUKEWARM, NEITHER HOT NOR COLD, I WILL SPIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH.”
The more time I spend out on the sidewalk, the less I find myself bothered by those who vilify us in one way or the other. Yet I’m much more bothered than I once was by those who just pass us by.
AND NOW ON TO OUR STORIES FROM THE SIDEWALK…
…BUT FIRST, A LOOK BACK AT A PICTURE FROM FRIDAY NIGHT THAT MISSED THE BLOG.
SETON HILL UNIVERSITY’S RESPECT LIFE CLUB CAME TO THE VIGIL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME .
The brisk morning did not discourage the faithful from St. Louise de Marillac from coming before sunrise and planning to stay all day. Father Tim also brought over a dozen of the Guardians for Life and lead the sidewalk prayers. There were several first timers. It was very inspirational to be surrounded by dozens of the faithful in prayer.
The Choices Pregnancy Services mobile Sonogram with Jill and Betsy on-board came and offered their immediate services. Year round sidewalk counselors Meredith, Virginia, and David – along with Bill S. and Bill H. – were also present. I was blessed by their presence.
Tim B., 7-9
Jim K family St Louise
The Marian’s were well represented today. Three of us through the morning! Cold hands (but warm hearts) held the signs and literature to hand out to the many people going in and out of PP today. St. Louise parish was represented by husband and wife team, Rich and Diane. They are proud grandparents of a beautiful 4 month old baby boy who was just in town to visit. Many grandparents have shared with me through the years that with grandchildren it is “unconditional love.”Angela, bundled to stay warm, Isabel and Sherry also represented St. Louise parish. Many of us who witness are older. Having a young woman on the sidewalk with us was a great example for life. Tina and Brenda drove from Ohio (not the first time) to stand and pray today. This 40 Days for Life campaign is the closest one to their home. Their parish is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Saturday is an abortion day at the clinic so reaching out is important. However, we cannot assume that everyone who goes into PP is going in for an abortion (on any day.) There were people going in for birth control, exams and other testing. (But the primary business of PP is abortion.)One woman came out and took literature about other clinics. Already a mother, and not looking for abortion services, she chose PP since they advertise themselves as a health clinic. She does not have a primary care physician. I identified WCN as a place where she could get more counseling and information for her needs.Three woman walked in together. One of the witnesses heard it said by one of the women that the girl was going in for an abortion- stated with bravado. No matter how boastful they are when they go in, women who come out after an abortion are not celebrating. I reached out to a young couple going in. The young man talked to me. He said that we (he and I) are in the same boat, that he is pro-life. The girl was not pregnant. He took the resource information before going hesitantly into PP.Judy was there for her regular Saturday morning shift for Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Judy reaches out to people walking by with a brochure while asking “Do you know anyone who is pregnant?” She gets in some examples of resources too such as shelter, food, clothing. Bill stopped by to witness his faith as he does on a daily basis. Bob ,who stops by everyday of the year,also prayed and joined in for a picture as well. A coworker of mine walked by. You cannot be a “closet” witness for life!Quest Diagnostics does business with PP. Twice now on my time on the sidewalk the driver of the little white car with green lettering stopped by to pick up samples for testing. A police officer thanked me (on behalf of all of us) for being there- in front of PP. Those who protect life and are willing to sacrifice their own for the sake of others know the value of life.And, word of mouth does work… someone who read the emails has a possible placement for someone in need. Prayers please!!! Many thanks to those who came today…. despite the cold and gloominess of this morning. And thanks to Pat for sending some real Knights to stand for the 1 to 3 shift which Julie will report about!! And thank you to Diane for taking the pictures and for her advocacy for the homeless in another part of town. The bag of donations of cold weather clothing is getting bigger. It no longer will fit in the supply trunk.Marian, 11-1
The pray-ers that arrived were a couple of ladies from St. Louise, Mark from St. Bonaventure, a group from Erie, PA Church of the Missionary Alliance, then later on two more people from St. Louise and also a regular prayer- Jean. The leaders of this group are the parents of Emily who lives in Pittsburgh. There is no abortion clinic in Erie (thank goodness) so they came all the way down here to pray for 1 hour.
The traffic going in and out of PP was pretty consistent. I tried to approach a few people going out of the clinic but did not engage anyone.
One young lady came out for a smoke, then went back in for her appointment probably because she didn’t come back out the rest of the time I was there.
A group of children walked by and noticed the little babies set up we have there and were oooing and awing as they saw how tiny the models are.
Another person notices Mark’s 40 Days for life sign with the picture of the baby in the womb and said “that’s disgusting”
None of this is new to me, but it was all new for a couple of the folks. I helped explain what goes on here and someone asked: do a lot of people come here?
I said- oh yes, and mentioned the thousands of abortions they do a year here.
Little by little more people are becoming more aware as they get involved to pray. Awareness is the key to get more people to pray, I believe.
The shift from 3 to 5 was very peaceful. Not too much activity to and from PP. There was an incident, which did not involve us, but, we went to check it out. Sister Faith saw someone lying on the ground outside of Mahoney’s bar and restaurant.She went to see what she could do. We followed her to see what was happening. One of the street cleaners called 911; took them a while to get there. Apparently, the young man had a bit too much to drink and just decided to lay down on the sidewalk and sleep. We prayed for him and returned to the PP. There were people standing in prayer at PP–PP was not left alone. We did pray a couple of rosaries and the chaplet.
Joe took these photos from his 5-7pm shift and wrote the following faith-filled reflection:
It’s cliché but so true. The saying you can’t out give God played out so spectacularly today.
To have Fr. Gruber, a faith filled, intelligent, holy young Priest join and lead us in prayer. Praise be to God.
To have quality conversation mixed with much prayer with Jesus lovers Shaemus and Michele. Praise be to God
To have Shaemus and Michele fervently praying a rosary while I embraced a young man searching for the truth. Praise be to God.
To witness a mother’s good example. The picture tells the story. Praise be to God.
To end my evening at the Night of worship at the seminary. How is it possible to receive so abundantly while giving so little.
All glory and praise is yours Lord.
MORE PICTURES AND STORIES WILL BE ADDED WHEN THEY ARRIVE