The greatest love story ever told is the one about a Father’s love for His children.
You can read about Him in The Bible!
When I was asked to do the blog for Saturday, I told my daughter I was going to dedicate it to men… because abortion affects men as well as women. When I looked at the date……..today is the Feast day of St. Joseph!
Check in this blog for: Save the date for May 7 and also the reflections from two seminarians, Aaron and Jacob!
Blessed Feast Day of St. Joseph- world famous father.
St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Church, unborn children, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, and of a happy death. May it be a feast day for all fathers and their children.
(Special prayers today for all fathers living and deceased… May God bless them!)
40 Days for Life has representation of men who attend on a regular basis. They stand for life as strong examples to other men to do the same. They also show women that they care. Just to name a few of the good men: Al, the husband of Sally, and father of 11; Joe– Nikki’s husband; George who adopted a child and pleads with the women to choose life; Pat M. (blog writer) Jeff F, Joe K, Tim B (blog writer too), Nick, Dave, Pastor Bryan, and Bill H. who advocate for life year round in front of PP; Bob N. and John who help people face the truth; Tom (husband of Diane) who makes the early drive many days to downtown Pittsburgh; Bob who stops to pray everyday (Mon-Sat); Richard (husband of Barbara) who works so hard for 40 Days for Life and helps with the grandkid’s appointments; Dean, Johnny, Rick, Chris, Mark, Marshall, David, Jeff B., Joe W., Seamus, all the Jims, Adam, John and Hank and so many more representing their families, churches and communities. (Names can be put in replies!) Thank you on behalf of all of us who stand for life!
Sadly, some miss out on the opportunity to be a real father and hero to women and children: Below is a link and a short excerpt from an article about the attitude of support or abandonment in pregnancy.
“Olivia Gans, director of American Victims of Abortion, summarized the situation this way: “According to a growing body of research, one of the most important, most powerful factor in determining whether a woman has an abortion is the attitude of the baby’s father.” Gans added, “It would be difficult to overstate how important the father’s reaction is to this life and death decision.”
A wonderful brochure, which we hand out during the vigil and during the Sidewalk for Advocates shifts, titled Myths-Men and Abortion briefly, but clearly explains the pain abortion causes men.
I try to select articles that are not always written by pro-life writers, click the link below for an article from 2008: I would say that 90 percent of men consider the day of an abortion to be one of the most stressful of their lives. Those who witness in front of an abortion clinic can attest to the visible stress of these men. Whether they support the abortion or not, the cigarettes come out and the faces tell their story.
But there is hope (as the men named above demonstrate). The movies listed below are great movies with positive male role models:
The movie, Courageous (2011) is an “action packed” movie about the impact of the men and fathers in their own families and in the lives of a community. Also, Bella is a movie that covers so many aspects of the abortion issue from the unplanned pregnancy, male support, family heritage, and adoption. Both of these movies would be wonderful examples to watch to show present day examples of St. Joseph. (Well worth seeing over and over again!)
After you read the reports click links for songs:
52 Songs that Dads love that can melt any heart (Stevie Wonder link at end!)
Reports and reflections from the Sidewalk!
7 am to 9 am shift report from Tim… welcome back from Florida to the cold weather! Tim is a regular on the Saturday morning sidewalk for life!!!
“I was blessed to have the faithful from St Joseph’s and St Michael’s show up well before dawn (even before the vigil began) on this brisk almost spring day. The blessings showered down for the next two hours as two priests, Fr Ed and Fr Tim came and lead in prayers. By the end of my shift there were nearly two dozen prayer warriors witnessing to life, including Nikki, 40 DFL Campaign Director, a member of St Joe’s.
The Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram with Betsy and Millie onboard came down offering an immediate alternative to the clinic. Year round regulars Bill and Bill, Meredith, Nick and Virginia were present along with sidewalk advocate Terry.
Few women entered the clinic early this morning hopefully due to our presence. Marian, my shift manager replacement, and I engaged in a delightful conversation with a young woman who stopped to view the fetal models. We discussed the different stages of development and offered a wide variety of information and materials that she willingly accepted and promised to share along with information on Rachel’s Vineyard for struggling friend. I was truly blessed to be surrounded by so many faithful witnesses.” Tim
Look for Tim’s email about the abortion doctor who now testifies for life: “When I became pregnant, I continued to do abortions without any reservations but when I returned to the clinic after my delivery I was confronted with 3 situations that changed my mind about doing them.” excerpt of testimony-U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Oral Testimony of Kathi A. Aultman, MD March 15th 2016
St. Joseph Church Verona- selfie!! (Nikki and friends)
A beauty among knights. Terri, a Sidewalk Advocate for Life, flanked by a few good men from the Knights of Columbus of Bellvue.
My report for the 9 am to 11am: The street was busy…. PP got busier…
Saturday is an abortion day at PP. This week for the 9 am to 11 am shift, only Terri was there as a SA. She and I were doing double duty. It is hard to reach out when the streets are crowded but the crowd was full of prayer!! Jamal stopped by to talk about impact of gun violence and abortion specifically on the black community. As a young, black male he knows the facts. He took information and we encouraged him to become a witness for life.
M and J came out to get something to eat but as I engaged them in conversation, appetites were suppressed. They were both there with the same friend still trying to convince the woman (already a mother of two) to not abort offering help and support. Their friend was stubborn. M was in tears after we prayed. They are heartbroken too. Our wonderful Katie handed them beautiful bags with information and they took Project Rachel information. M is a mother of 6 children and J is a mother of 2 children.
Save the date: Katie is organizing a diaper drive in front of PP scheduled for Saturday, May 7th– the day before Mother’s Day between 7 am and 6 pm. Please look for more information to come in your email. All donations will benefit local pregnancy resource centers. Many times we hear that women are aborting a child after having multiple children…. (no one should have a problem with helping in this drive. Even pro-choice people could get on board.) Once pregnant…always a mother regardless of how the pregnancy ends.
Aaron, a seminarian at St. Paul’s Seminary, wrote this reflection on St. Joseph acknowledging the Feast Day of St. Joseph:
My reflection in prayer outside of PP today was focused on the virtue that St. Joseph demonstrated in his life. He had the troubles of an unexpected pregnancy with Mary, his betrothed. Even though the law allowed him to call for the death of mother and child by stoning, Joseph planned on divorcing Mary quietly, exhibiting both justice and mercy.
I thought about what kind of man Joseph would be in today’s world. He would be a blue collar working man, but his faith would still be of high importance. I could see him making sacrifices like getting up early on a Saturday morning, even after a long week of working, to stand as a witness of mercy outside of Planned Parenthood.
It was great to be able to see the groups of men – it seems like most of them were Knights of Columbus – standing in witness this morning. I do think St. Joseph would have stood primarily in a silent, prayerful presence against that of abortion. He also would have been one to celebrate the lives of those who pass by on the sidewalk, particularly the children whose parents most recently decided to acknowledge the sanctity of life. May we strive to imitate the sacrificial, merciful witness of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus!
Jacob, also a seminarian at St. Paul’s Seminary, reflects:
Henri de Lubac, a 20th century French Theologian, has said in his book, Catholicism, “Wherever a Christian’s meditations may have led him; he is always brought back, as by a natural bias, to the contemplation of the Cross.” As Aaron and I came to Planned Parenthood this morning, we were prayerfully entering into this mindset.
The abortion and contraception services offered at Planned Parenthood certainly serve to bring us to the Cross. This is a Calvary in our own backyards, and all the participants in the evil there suffer in one way or another. As we begin to enter Holy Week, we reflect on Jesus’ suffering that we see today in the suffering of others.
The call to defend the lives of the unborn and support the women who face pressure to make harmful decisions in their lives is a sobering reminder of this suffering. Thank you to all who faithfully persevere in this mission. What a consolation to see such commitment by so many this morning!
In Jesu et Maria,
Lindsay took pictures from the 11 am to 1 pm: shift when the parishioners from Word of God parish were led in soft, peaceful prayer by Deacon Ron.
Julie covered the 1pm to 3pm shift:
Julie spent a week in Nicaragua recently interpreting for doctors who were helping mothers and their children. Julie also took the time to manage the shift even though family members are sick. Mary came again this week after her first time to the sidewalk in Pittsburgh last week! Welcome to the sidewalk for life.
Julie took a picture of our baby models.
The signs give these voice-less models, representing the stages of fetal development, a voice as the signs and babies are placed strategically for that purpose. Thomas didn’t believe until he saw the wounds of Jesus. I heard the testimony of a WWII Holocaust survivor from Hungary state: “We didn’t believe they were ripping babies apart.” I (blog writer)wrote my first pro-life editorial based on that statement.
Thanks to Pat M., we had new signs this campaign that help tell the story of the destruction of life….. helping others to understand the truth about abortion.
Jeannie covered the 3 pm to 5 pm shift:
Jeannie is doing double duty these days too…. honing her skills as an advocate for life. Holy Trinity parishioners took shifts covering the sidewalk.
Joe W. covered the Saturday evening shift from 5 pm to 7 pm:
I arrived at my shift and quickly signed in Kathy, Barb, Helen, Patrice, and Renee from Holy Trinity parish in Robinson twp. (pictured R to L- see below)
These beautiful daughters of the Blessed Virgin Mary were prepared, excited, and immensely capable to do battle, and how magnificently they fought. With their own materials, they prayed a prolife Rosary (all 20 mysteries), psalms, and various other prayers nonstop for the full 2 hour shift.
I mean to tell you these sisters were on a mission from God to stand up for the weakest amongst us. They prayed and prayed and then prayed some more. (I would not want to run into them in a dark alley) Tom from St. Fidelis showed up around the six mystery and humbly joined right in with fervent prayer for the duration of the shift.
Adam also stopped by and dutifully handed out brochures to those who would receive them. It is always uplifting to see the younger gents getting involved. What blessings ya”ll are to me, to our movement, to the innocents, to the world!!!
All Glory and Praise be to God,
Stevie Wonder sings about “isn’t it amazing what God has done”!
How do you thank the many people who come out and witness their love for neighbor??? God will bless them, of that we can be sure. Jesus promised!