I was touched when I read the article about this young man who showed up at his school’s flag pole to pray during last weeks national “See you at the pole“ https://syatp.com/ national prayer campaign. He said he thought others would show up, but when they didn’t…he just stayed and prayed anyway. To read the article, go to http://herviewfromhome.com/the-boy-who-stood-at-the-flag-pole-alone/
I think there are many of us who can relate to how this young man must have felt. How many of us have stood all alone on that bustling sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood…wondering if anyone else cares about the tragedy that is going on behind those doors at 933 Liberty Avenue. But this photo is so powerful, I think, because it shows the IMPACT that just ONE person of faith can have! This story has already touched many people’s hearts and no doubt has inspired many others to be strong in their faith. Similarly, I believe that our witness at our 40 Days for Life vigil is having the same impact on many who see us.
“See you at the vigil!”
Speaking of standing alone…our dear shift manager Cathy Z. will be ALL ALONE during her entire 7am-9am shift TOMORROW (Thursday) if no one comes!!! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on our online vigil calendar at https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ to make sure she has a prayer partner!
Now, on to the shift manager reports from today:
Regular Wednesday morning shift manager Sue F. is out of town, so her wonderful mother, Judy, filled in for her today! Here is her report from this morning:
7am-9am: i am so grateful that my mom could sub for my shift this morning! Judy reports that Diane and Marian were setting up when she arrived. After Marian left she was by herself for a short time until Walt arrived and took up praying. Judy did not notice any clients going into pp this morning, however several employees had trouble getting in the front door and had to use an alternate entrance. She says many positive comments of support were made by passersby. Two women from Fourth Presbyterian Church arrived at 8 and took up praying on the other side of the circle and were engaged by a man on a bike about science vs religion and how it relates to being pro-life. She said it was a privilege to be there this morning!
Cathy Z. managed the vigil from 9-11 am and wrote:
It was fairly quiet this morning, just a few going in, mostly singles, some “staff”? Walt and Elsie, two “regulars” were there.. A young father, David, with his year old son, stopped by for about a half hour to pray. They are from Texas, with a non-denominational group, “Youth With a Mission”, staying right now on the SS Slopes. 40 Days is one of the places the group wanted to go while in Pittsburgh. David had prayed at the PP Clinic in Plano, Texas which closed. Another woman, who usually comes on Saturday, stopped for a little while to pray.
11 am – 1pm
Cecilia was the shift manager from 1 – 3 pm. Here is her report and photos:
The wonderful group from St Bernadette filled the sidewalk with rosary prayer and rosaries! Many were handed out on my shift. One lady took one saying it was an answer to prayer and they were an angel!
SM Chris arrived early. Here he is with other prayer warriors. Thanks to Jerry, Angela, Jean, Sue, Diane, Sal, Marylou, James, Beverly, Tom and my college friend, Lisa, from St Bernadette and Helen from St Joes O’Hara who came to stand vigil with me.
We had a chance to share chastity/std info with single men in their parked car, abortion healing info with a post-abortive girl, pregnancy test kit with a Mom who came by with her 3 young girls (who took candy). The Mom went in but immediately back out of PP. So I offered her help. She was surprised and so was I to see we had testing kits! Cool! Many other fliers were handed out. Thanks to Elsie for covering the “other side” and all her great resources!
Joyce, my friend from St Joes, joined me for the trip in again. Here she is with Cherise from St Bernadette and Matt from Living Hope. Matt planned to stay all day! God bless him!
1 – 3 pm
Chris managed the vigil from 3-5 pm. He wrote:
What a beautiful, warm, sunny day God gave us today to pray in front of Planned Parenthood today. It was another shift with several supportive words from passersby and no negative comments from anyone. One of the men who stopped to talk with us had just been released from prison and told us he’s spent time in a number of them. He asked if he could have a rosary, a red, white, and blue one, and we happily obliged. Father Tony and several of his parishioners from St. Bernadette’s in Monroeville prayed with us. Matt had been there praying since 11:00am and was planning on being there until 5:00pm! Karen and Jackie, from Matt’s church in Latrobe, arrived at 2:30pm and were excited when I told them the National 40 Days for Life RV was coming at 6:00pm. They’ll be there!
3 – 5 pm
Barbara was the shift manager from 3-5. She sent in this photo and wrote:
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me. Psalm 40
All of us who come to the sidewalk have waited for the Lord in our lives. He has stooped toward us. We hope to carry the plight of our brothers and sisters to his merciful attention. He has never given us a stone when we asked for bread.
Living Hope Church provided a sidewalk full of witnesses for life on this sunny mild Wednesday afternoon. We were joined in prayer by Kevin, President of Right to Life, Matt, Jackie and Karen.
As he walked by, Devon joined us to pray from the 40 Days Devotionals. He had a sure steady voice that carried above the screeching buses. When he was in the Navy, he would lead his group in evening prayer. That usually consisted in a reading from the Bible and then silent prayer. He describes himself as not affiliated with a church at this time. “But I am definitely not for abortion.” Our steady companion, Hank arrived.
Everyone was looking forward to the arrival of the 40 Days for Life United Bus. At 5 I left the sidewalk. My assignment was to park with 2 other cars to reserve a place for the bus to park.
Barbara Shift Manager
Joe was the shift manager during this time, which was when the statewide rally took place. He wrote:
Like some of lyrics to the Beatles song “A Day In The Life”, “…Found my coat and grabbed my hat. Made the bus in seconds flat…” Seemed like there was a lot of hustle-n-bustle / anticipation on this beautiful day, just to make it to my shift on time… This was the day / shift that the “United Tour” was coming to Pittsburgh. I was excited to see the “Big Blue Bus” and everything that went with it!!!
That being said, here are the”lyrics” to our song today, this shift, “40 Days For Life”…
It started by greeting Wednesday “regular” Hank and the wonderful pro-life community from Living Hope Church (LHC) who came armed with their own signs as well as handouts. From talking Kevin of LHC it seems like they have a really active pro-life group who have been coming to 40 DFL for a long time. They are also able to cover an abortion referral center in their area once a week.
As you can imagine with the United Tour in town today there were so many new folks that I came across, too numerous to mention everyone (my apologies), but a noteworthy mention does go out to Audrey and her husband (from St. Agnes) who took that bold step to come on down for the first time.
Another young man, Israel, stopped and donated what little he had and he talked about coming back regularly during the week and possibly bringing his youth group.
Another man stopped by to thank us for our efforts and share his story which involved his mother whom I believe was having trouble conceiving, and after seeing a vision of St. Joseph, went to the doctor for some stomach issues and was found to be pregnant (with the young man telling the story)…
As it got closer for the United Tour, we learned that the bus had some mechanical issues, and wouldn’t be coming, though this would not deter the United Tour Team as they were able to pack up the essentials in a mini-van so that they could still speak to us.
There were approximately 100 folks gathered to listen, learn, share, pray, and celebrate!!!
Many faces were familiar, some were not so, but the buzz and feeling of family / united / strength and victory was in the air! Fr. Joe from North American Martyrs led off with the opening prayer, followed by Steve Karlen from the National Team speaking to us and how we are growing and making a difference.
Thank You United Team!!!
Reverend Peg M. gave a brave and heartfelt testimonial in which she talked about how there are long-term “consequences’ for our decisions – something which doesn’t get discussed as it should inside the walls of places like 933 Liberty Ave. – but there is healing and God can lead us to do some incredible / wonderfully unexpected things with our lives in the process…
Nikki B. was also able share her thoughts from the Pittsburgh 40 DFL perspective – thank you for all that you do Nikki… and we concluded, even more united, as Reverend Joe S. led us in the closing prayer.