Tonight, I’d like to thank the Academy ………… the 40 Days for Life Academy, that is! And what an Academy it is! This morning I was scheduled to manage the 11:00-1:00 shift. I found out as I was getting ready to leave the house – around 10:20 — that I would have to be in Washington, PA by 12:15 to pick up my son from a weekend trip with teammates (who I’d thought would be arriving there at least two hours later than that). I got ready and headed downtown, hoping and praying someone there would be able to help. After 5 phone calls while driving, I discovered no one in my family was able to help me by going to get him. I was stuck. I called Nikki twice; she was in church so of course couldn’t answer, but she called me afterwards. I got to the vigil and asked my dear fellow parishioners (and vigil veterans) from St. Sebastian if they could please cover for me, at least for a little while. They graciously and unhesitatingly agreed. I then sent an e-mail to all the shift managers to see if anyone might be able to stop down until 1:00. Dear Sue D. came to the rescue! THANK YOU, SUE!!! You get the Oscar today – not for Best Actress but for Best Sincere Real-Life Person — today ………. and I OWE YOU ONE!!! And THANK YOU to Mary Lou, Libby, and Aryn, my friends from St. Sebastian, and of course Nikki, for calling and e-mailing people during the time I was driving: More Oscars, for Best Supporting Actresses — NO, I really mean more Best Sincere Real-Life People — for agreeing to be on watch until Sue arrived!
These impromptu and last-minute acts of kindness by Mary Lou, Libby, Aryn, Nikki, and Sue D. are just one of many examples of how this 40 Days family helps and covers for one another and gives, gives, gives of themselves each and every day. And very much unlike Hollywood actors, they don’t do it for awards, or kudos, or so that people will look at them (even though people ARE looking at us!), or for any kind of earthly acknowledgement at all. These are folks who know their citizenship is in Heaven, and they walk their talk. I am always so humbled by you all. May God bless you all!
Before I start with the stories and photos ……… this week, WEDNESDAY (March 2) is looking very sparse on the vigil calendar. Could you please consider coming down to stand with our otherwise-all-alone shift managers during the long hours of 7:00-9:00 a.m. and 1:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday? Then, on THURSDAY (March 3), the 10:00-11:00 a.m. shift manager will be alone, as will also the shift managers during the hours of 2:00-7:00 p.m. NO ONE is signed up for those hours. If you can help out, please go to https://40daysforlife.com/login/?status=logged_out, log yourself in, go to March 2 and/or 3, and sign yourself on for the hour(s) you can attend. Thank you!!!!!
Jen covered the 7:00-9:00 a.m shift. She writes:
As dozens of neon-clad runners from a CrossFit group passed by the vigil during the 7-9 shift, I couldn’t help but think they must be crazy for being out so early on a cold Sunday morning. Then again, isn’t that what people are saying about us? Happily, we know that our cause is worth every lost second of sleep, every shiver, every bit of discomfort we may endure as we pray and witness on Liberty Avenue. Thank you to the amazing parishioners from St. Bernard, as well as Vince and Pat, who offered their warm fellowship at our vigil this morning!
Rich and Roseann were on from 9:00-11:00 a.m. this morning. When I myself arrived, these adorable, lively, and spunky kids were singing Christian songs. It struck me that these were absolutely some of the most upbeat kids I have ever encountered! May God bless them!!!
Here are my fellow parishioners and “shift manager stand-ins” from about 11:20 a.m. through noon this morning:
As I’d mentioned, Sue D. generously covered noon to 1:00 p.m. for me today. She writes:
I arrived a little after noon and the faithful St Sebastian group was holding down the vigil with Rosaries and Stations of the Cross! Colleen and Nick stopped by and Colleen led us through the Sorrowful Mysteries. We were on the “Crowning of Thorns” when a young man looking a little lost walked by and remarked that he has heard about the people who “harass” the clinic, but has never actually seen them! We just peacefully continued the Rosary, but it made me reflect on Jesus being insulted during the Crowning of Thorns. A woman who appeared to be homeless stopped to chat and tell us how wrong abortion is. She doesn’t understand why a woman will kill her child instead of choosing adoption. She said there are so many people wanting to adopt, it’s very sad. She off-handedly mentioned she was hungry, so we gave her a Subway gift card …. she was so grateful, she gave us all a hug! Another man stopped to ask where a McDonald’s was and ended up telling us that he thinks abortion is wrong and about a situation in his family regarding a cousin with Down’s Syndrome. We gave him the 40 Days brochure; he was very supportive of us and then he went on his way. There was a little more interaction on the sidewalk than I expected on a Sunday afternoon! I can see why it is good to be there even when PP is closed. ~ Sue D.
Trish M. covered the 1:00-3:00 p.m. shift. She writes:
The weather was nice again — thank God! Only had one person yell at us but had several bless us for what we do. Had a man chat about how he agreed with us. At about three a man stopped and said he was new to the area and had participated where he was from. He wanted to know how to join us. I hope I was correct in telling him our hours, etc., and that he could just show up. I think Jason is his name and he said he would come tomorrow.
Jim and Cathy S. covered 3:00-5:00 p.m. They reported:
It was a beautiful day (for a change!) at the vigil today. All went well. Great participation from Round Hill Presbyterian Church.
Jeff B. closed the day by covering the 5:00-7:00 p.m. shift. He sent some photos:
Please consider attending the holy hour on Tuesday, March 1 following the 6:30 p.m. Mass at Madonna of Jerusalem Church, 220 Ninth Street, Sharpsburg, PA 15215 . This event marks the midpoint of the vigil, and although it is Catholic in nature, all vigil participants are more than welcome to attend!
I wanted to be sure to include the following, which Dot, the head of our Respect Life Committee at my church, shared:
Most of you are probably familiar with the HHS Mandate requiring religious non-profits to provide coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees, even though it violates their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the challenge to this mandate (“Zubik vs. Burwell”) and will decide whether Catholic charities and other religiously affiliated groups may opt out of the HHS mandate.
This case will be heard on Wednesday of Holy Week (March 23). Bishop Zubik is asking all of us to pray fervently and daily for the desired outcome, starting now through March 23. This is a major test of religious liberty and is extremely important! Thank you for your prayers!!!
Finally ……… have you seen the new videos from Live Action? They are a series of about 4 or 5 short videos in which the leader of Live Action, Lila Rose, interviews former abortionist (now a practicing pro-life ob/gyn) Dr. Anthony Levatino. Go to www.liveaction.org, and you’ll see the link on their home page. In the videos he explains just how abortions at different stages of the baby’s development are performed, as well as how he came to be pro-life and stopped doing abortions. Very informative.