***Saturday’s vigil will be shortened to 9am – 5pm, and Sunday’s will be shortened from 10am – 4pm, so that our shift managers can do one-hour shifts instead of two.***
NOW FOR TODAY’S STORIES…
I have to admit that I am feeling very humbled right now. I woke up thinking about our shift manager, Jeannie, who coordinated her group from St. Thomas More parish to fill all 12 hours at the vigil today. I was worried about her being in such extreme cold for so many hours, and kept offering to shorten the vigil today. She refused, saying she was willing to stay the whole day. I sent her a text message around 9am this morning, asking if she wanted to reconsider closing early, and she texted me back that she is fine and will stay all day. Wow.
It is when I begin to think that I am strong, that God shows me that I am weak. I am glad to be weak, because God has so kindly surrounded me with so many strong brothers and sisters. They are strong in the Lord, but weak in themselves…so that is why God is able to use them so mightily! It is wonderfully humbling to be a part of this beautiful pro life family here in Pittsburgh.
Here are some pictures sent in by Jeannie, as she braved the cold along with many dedicated souls today…
Jeannie wrote about her long day on the sidewalk:
GREAT Vigil Participants– so proud of St. Thomas More Parish and our Sidewalk Supporters!
Lots of interest in FETAL MODELS today– surprising with the cold cold weather. God is Good.
Baby on Board
The sidewalk advocates were able to chat with a couple bound for a pregnancy test at PP==They have some dire financial issues and are not married, but PRAISE GOD afterwards they reported their baby is due October 4th! We referred them to Lee Ann at Catholic Charities. PS- The great, helpful resourceful literature we gave them prior to entering PP was confiscated inside. Good thing we had extras for when they came out. So much for PP being “pro-choice” !
At some point in the morning, the owner of the bookstore came and asked us not to “picket in front of my store”. At first I explained that we were not picketing there, but reaching out to women who were coming for abortion, and that most of them have abortions to please or protect someone else (this is a fact). Then, I offered him a trade– I said if he would help us get the yellow line removed around the entrance to PP, we would be more than happy to demonstrate in front of specifically that building. He asked what he was supposed to do and I said “complain to the city” about our free speech rights being denied. I explained that we would much prefer to picket in front of planned parenthood but we were being denied the right to do that, so we had no choice but to spill over and be in front of other businesses. He didn’t have much to say!!
Fetal Model Panic
At one point, a couple who had gone in for testing at PP came out and was looking at the fetal models from within the circle. A passerby walked by them and yelled “get the f— out of the circle” as he passed. The gentleman looking at the models took offense and let the passerby know and… if not for his significant other, things may have gotten violent. It was quite a scene…… Imagine, now it seems the public is not even allowed to look at the models!
2 Choice Discussions
At 2 times during the day, we were approached by folks who immediately stated that they supported abortion. At the end of one conversation, the pro-choice woman said she had never been able to discuss abortion so calmly and logically, and it gave her something to think about. The pro-choice gentleman actually said he thought he had ” changed his mind “on the issue. PRAISE GOD!
We welcomed back MARY F. back to the vigil –a octogenarian who has had some health issues. And later we were joined by Thomas R. a sophomore studying Physics at Carnegie Mellon University who stopped by to pray on his one free afternoon. THE SIDEWALK is full of good things!!
I (Nikki) was there with Jeannie from 3-5. She was still going strong…amazing! There were four people praying when I arrived. Three from St. Thomas and one from St. Alphonsus:
A young man stopped to pray, he is a student at CMU. It was a blessing to have him join us! Thanks Thomas!
One noteworthy event…while I was there, a young man stopped to argue the “rape” case. He said he was pro choice and believed that if a woman was raped, that she shouldn’t be forced to carry the child of the rapist. I told him that getting an abortion does not “un-rape” the woman, and that studies have shown that the abortion actually is a second trauma which compounds the trauma of the rape, and the women have a harder time getting over the abortion than they do the rape. I explained that it has been found that women who became pregnant by rape, but chose to give birth to the child, actually were able to find healing and that the child was a way of bringing something good out of something bad. I also said that there is no other crime where the child of the perpetrator is punished. The child is an innocent victim, just as the mother. He actually told me that he thinks I changed his mind and that I gave him a lot to think about! I told him that it boils down to the fact that all human life has meaning…that we are not just garbage to be thrown away, because God made us and He loves us…all of us. I invited him to come and join us anytime, and he thanked me.
One soul at a time….
Your sister in Christ,