DAY 20: Byzantine Catholics of Pgh, St. Alphonsus, Park Baptist Church

“It’s the hardest thing I have ever done”

I was standing outside planned parenthood and a woman who came to pray and witness outside the clinic said this to me. She said she had faced many other struggles in her life and some were really, really difficult. But coming to the clinic and watching women go in and knowing what was happening there and witnessing in public was by far the hardest thing she has ever done. “I’m just so uncomfortable”.

I remember my first time outside the clinic. I no sooner had gotten there and I wanted “to be gone”. I had committed to praying one rosary which should have taken less then 20 minutes. It seemed like forever. During that short time, I saw couples going in and I pleaded with them not to go in. I struggled to crasp the reality of what was about to happen. I offered to adopt their baby. I was emotionally devastated and drained the remainder of the day. But I went back as has the woman who made the  above statement. I’ll admit at first and for awhile I’d get really anxious the night before and wouldn’t sleep well and even now I still feel little uncomfortable.

But then I hear the expression rattling around in my head “If it were easy, HE wouldn’t need you”. Sure going to pray and witness outside the clinic requires sacrifice and extra effort. And no it is not easy.  But it is my cross to carry. 


While this might be the hardest thing many of us will ever do, it might also be the most meaningful and important as well.

As it says in the gospels so many times “Be Not Afraid”.

So, if you are feeling really uncomfortable, know that is normal. Know it will also diminish … eventually. Listen to the ears of your heart. Is it telling you something?  It’s not for everyone but is this your cross to carry?

Come back to the vigil. We need you. Sign up or just show up. Bring a friend and share the experience.

Who knows, maybe you’ll say it’s the hardest thing you have ever done and also the most important. And in that you’ll find true peace, joy and happiness.

Tim B.

Stories and pictures from today’s vigil will be posted throughout the day. So stop back and visit this site.

Marian was the first shift manager of the day (7-9 am)and wrote:

It was a blustery start to the day!  Thanks to Marianne and Peg who were helping with the shift.  Marianne, who was planning to stay until 11:00 am, was actually there helping Diane set up when I arrived.

The sidewalk was busy with pedestrians walking to work with some giving a sideways glance at the baby models. Th usual female suspect who walks by each day, as Peggy has witnessed, gave us her usual piece of advice about why we shouldn’t be out there. Sadly she wears the name of a local Catholic university on her bookbag.  The laborers are needed in every field.

Marian Carlino

 From Beth S. 9-11 pm:

” I started to complain about the frigid wind that made Liberty Avenue colder than it’s reported 43 degrees, I spied Mary Ann (who was there since 6:30 a.m.) and Peg, both shift manager subs extraordinaire, two women who just spent an hour in the wind and rain, smiling and praying. So much for my feeble complaints. Most people were huddled in their walk to work but some managed a hello and Gabriel, just passing through, stopped to thank us. Before we knew it, Karen, Deacon Paul and his wife, Pat and Fr. Jim from the Byzantine Diocese arrived, and to lessen the chance of a police call, we split up, some on each side of PP, leaving both sidewalks and storefronts clear. So if they were listening, the people of PP heard prayers for their conversion……in stereo. No customers, just workers, cold, clouds and gloom at PP today.” Beth S.

From Mark  11-1:

Well the time went by quickly what with the byzantine priests from dubois area.
They performed a suse walk service with chants and all. It was great!

Great group of Byzantine Catholics prayed today!
Great group of Byzantine Catholics prayed today!

Not much action at pp which was good.
Had a nice chat with a young man who was questioning the right to choose life or death. He left after a bit thanking us and said he is more pro life but .
He lost a set of twins who unfortunately had problems and miscarried.
He was a good man with a good heart that was trying to pump sense of life into him

day 20, 4th shift

day 20, 4th shift2

Johnny managed the vigil from 1-3pm and wrote:

St. Alphonsus showed up big time for their 1-4 shift today!  I’m pretty sure there were 7 of them!  Also a young lady from St. Barnard’s (Katie O’Brien) was there passing out her own candy snacks in FETUS – labeled bags (A great idea!). There was another fellow there passing out small pamphlets saying “GOD LOVES THE UNBORN” (He declined signing in.) Harry G. and another St. Alphonsus parishioner took pictures of the group.              Lots of prayers and zero customers for PP!!
Yours in Christ,

St. Alphonsus in Wexford shows up in force!
St. Alphonsus in Wexford shows up in a large group of prayer warriors!

Francis was the shift manager from 3-5 and wrote:

Two wonderful young ladies came by today and offered their thanks to me for opposing abortion. It was an inspiring moment for me because I M now certain that we are making progress. God bless those who support us on our journey. The photograph is of two people from St. Bernard’s in Mt. Lebanon.
day 20, 6th shift, katie and young man

From Joe 5-7:

The shift started walking into the sun towards PP and being greeted warmly as usual by
Shift Manager Francis. Seems like I don’t see the sun too often down in front of 933
Penn Ave., but maybe that is by design?

I was not alone – Hooray!!! as I was joined by Bill, a friend of Park Baptist Church in
Versailles Boro, who was in deep prayer. I introduced myself to Bill and as we
started to share we were stopped by 2 passerby’s.

Mark, who literally grabbed / hugged both Bill & I, said a quick prayer, and offered his thanks and support for us being here.

Chris, another passerby stopped by and asked if we had any of the Precious Feet Pins – which we were able to give him and he proudly showed how he displays them – in his ear – now that’s commitment!!!

Got a couple honks of horn, wave, and thumbs-up from a bus driver – that’s the first time
I’ve seen that!

Another passerby made a comment about being losers, but if standing out here defending life if being a loser, then I don’t want any part of being a winner.

The night ended in quite prayer as Bill remained until the end – thank you Bill for providing
company and support. What a wonderful man who had the pro-life seeds planted by
his mother at a young age, found God later in life, and has been working as a Pro-Life
Activist since 2000.

User comments
Bill from Park Baptist Church

Here is a link to a disturbing editorial that appeared in today’s PG “I am an abortion provider” (please pray for her):

3 thoughts on “DAY 20: Byzantine Catholics of Pgh, St. Alphonsus, Park Baptist Church

  • February 29, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    St. Alphonsus from 1-4pm

    The weather started to warm slightly when we arrived. We were welcomed by our shift manager and we started to pray quietly. This was my first experience at 40 Days for Life and I will be back again. Over the three hour period there was only about two or three women that I witnessed enter PP. There was a lab and paper vendor who made deliveries, but all else was very quiet. One younger gentleman walked by and thanked us for being there. We had a man in a car, while stopped at the red light, yell out in support of us and said ‘go Pro-Life’. Katie from St. Bernard’s handed out candy with Pro Life material attached. I believe she handed out her last piece a little after 3pm. Almost half of the people walking by were willing to accept Prayers for the Unborn pamphlets. Unfortunately, I did witness one man spit on a pamphlet offered to him. My first instinct was to be angry, but somehow almost immediately I realized the best thing would be to pray for that man. I spent some time quietly looking at that yellow half circle surrounding the entrance to PP. I wondered how the man or women felt when they were asked to paint that line. I pray that we will soon see that line dissappear and there will not be a separation of life and death. Remaining only a love for all life.
    God Bless,

  • February 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you for joining with our 40 Days “family” today, Adam! I enjoyed reading your perspective from a newbie on the streets. We welcome new faces any time as we continue this fight for “life”. God bless you all for your great witness there today!

  • February 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the link to the article.
    Please pray for this young woman now that we know her name and what she does.
    “There but for the grace of God go I.”


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