“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” These words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel, which appeared in the “Alleluia” segment at Mass today right before the proclamation of the Gospel, really hit home today. Could they have come at a better time, as far as we 40-Days-ers are concerned?! Rest. We all need it. Even God rested on the seventh day after creating the world! And after a long and arduous campaign – one that affected so many hearts this fall – we turn to Him, and He is granting us our rest.
As you all know, the closing rally was held tonight at Catholic Charities downtown earlier this evening. I regret I couldn’t make it to that always-inspiring event, but Nikki will have accounts and photos of the prayer vigil and festivities tomorrow. For that reason, I will make this short tonight and just get right to the stories and photos from today.
Heidi covered the 7-9a shift, and she writes:
Many years ago, I was leaving my parish after a quiet, private time of
prayer and an older, faith-filled parishioner stopped me and said with a
joyful glint of heaven in his eyes, “You know, even a few crusts of stale
bread and barley soup become a sumptuous feast when shared in love with one
another.” The remembrance of this dear man as well as his wisdom returned
to me while praying in front of Planned Parenthood this morning. You see,
upon my arrival at 7am, I was greeted by several members of the People of
God Community who were ready to praise, worship, and pray — not deterred by
the lingering darkness of Halloween celebrations on the street from the
night before nor the steady mist from the early morning rain but instead
ready to radiate the light and love of Christ to close out this last day of
our Fall campaign. As more faithful from the People of God Community
continued to join us as well as a gentleman named Dan from St. Maria Goretti
Parish, Pat S. led us in songs of praise with his guitar and intercessory
prayer. Soon the gloomy shadows that seem to always fall from PP, the wet
sidewalk, and even the dingy walls of the bar behind us became unimportant
as we experienced a piece of heaven in prayerful communion uniting our
minds, hearts and souls for the intentions of 40 Days for Life in defense of
the unborn. Today as we celebrate All Saints’ Day and the great cloud of
witnesses that surround us, I am ever grateful for the time of prayerful
communion that we shared as brothers and sisters in Christ on the sidewalk
this morning and throughout the entire campaign. Those moments were certainly
a foretaste of heaven despite the surroundings! Let us continue in
prayerful unity for the cause of life until we meet again.
God bless, Heidi
Nikki covered 9-11a, and she writes:
When I arrived for my 9-11 shift, I was blessed to see a large group singing and praying. It was the People of God covenant community. Steve was doing a great job of leading everyone in litany and song and read scripture which we all reflected on. We took turns as a group lifting up our thanks to God for the blessings He has given us. It was a Spirit-filled time on the sidewalk! A wonderful final shift for me. Thank you People of God! Hope to see everyone during Lent. God bless you all!
Rich & Roseann covered the 11a-1p shift as usual, and they write:
We were blessed today by many who came to pray and witness. We had Cory, Suzanne and their five children from Steubenville. Pat, Chris and Sandy came and rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets were prayed. Welcome to Kerri who came for the first time to witness with us. I believe our numbers are growing.
Thanks to all.
Marshall covered the 3-7p shift and he writes:
So blessed to have clergy join the shift, Fr. John and Maria from Ukraine Catholic Church and Fr. Jack from St. John Fischer in Richmond, OH with children from his parish.
Jim and Cathy S., with Trish M.
May God bless each and every one of you as we wrap up our fall 40 Days for Life campaign! I wish you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, a joyful Advent and Christmas, and a New Year filled with all of God’s very best! We will see you and pray with you again in February!