As the Gnome Goes





This Sunday, November 6, 6:30 – 9

Meet on the Sidewalk at

Planned Parenthood at 6:30 for PRAYER AND SONG

and immediately following


Catholic Charities 212 9th Street, 15222 Downtown Pittsburgh



Saturday Coming to Pray

Saints John and Paul 7-8, 10-11

Guardians for Life 8-10

Saints John and Paul

Saint Alexis Catholic Church, Wexford 11-3

Saint John Neuman Knights of Columbus, Steubenville 3-7



Our gnome stood on the porch this morning, silent, bathed in sun, crowned with flowers, nestled in leaves and looking good!    He looked like he is supposed to.

We look like we are supposed to when we stand witness and pray in front of downtown’s abortion site.

We bundle up for the weather.  We women surrender concern for our makeup and hairdo as we return time after time to the sidewalk.  We are ready to share useful information, even though some people, only a few, hurl invectives, rush past and don’t care.

Powerful and admired people seem to control the national abortion conversation.  It could be easy to feel discouraged.

But I am sure that just as our gnome looks good, so do we…to the only One whose opinion matters…the One who is not fragile… Who listens as we speak from our heart.

What are human beings, that you make much of them, or pay them any heed?

You observe them every morning and try them at every moment!

How long before you look away from me, and let me alone till I swallow my spit?

If I sin, what do I do to you, O watcher of mortals?

Why have you made me your target? Why should I be a burden for you?”

Job 7:17-20

In time, in conversation He brings us in full circle to love.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! … You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Augustine of Hippo, (386)

Read the excerpts from Book One and Book Two.  

It is always a blessing to learn how our Father is busy melting hearts and dazzling minds.


BOOK ONE Though I’d been with Planned Parenthood for eight years, I had never been called into the exam room to help the medical team during an abortion.  Cheryl poked her head into my office. “Abby, they need you.”   “Sure.”

I took the ultrasound probe.  “Okay,” the doctor said. “Just hold the probe in place so I can see.” Just like that, I was assisting in an abortion.

The cannula was inserted into the uterus.  At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of it.

Next the tiny foot started kicking. As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling. The cannula was being rotated by the doctor, and the tiny body was violently twisting with it.  The little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube. The uterus was empty.

I froze. From deep within me I knew, “Never again!”

I had invested myself, my heart, my career in Planned Parenthood because I cared about women in crisis.  From my first days, I’d told myself I was there to decrease abortions.  Not only had I been a leader in abortion efforts here in Texas, lobbying at the capitol, repeating clever talking points to the media, and running an abortion clinic, I’d even aborted two of my own children.  My sins were calling out to me.

I looked out my office window and saw two volunteers for Life standing on the other side of the fence. “We are here to help.  Let us help you.”  I’d heard them say that a thousand times.

In that moment, I saw with clarity. I am on the wrong side of the fence. Tears were pouring and my heart was hammering.  I grabbed my purse. I pulled out of the Planned Parenthood parking lot, then into the Coalition for Life parking lot as close to the back door as I could.  “I’ll call them and ask if I can come in.”

“I’d like to come in and talk to you guys.  I’m out here in your parking lot.  Can I come in your back door?  I don’t want anyone to see me.”  Sobs shook my whole body. When she came back on the line, her voice had gone really steady, like she was talking somebody off a ledge. “Abby, I’m opening this back door now.  Come in.”

They looked dumbfounded at seeing the director of the clinic their organization had been protesting for twelve years, sobbing, undone.

“Abby, how about if we pray for you.”  And before I knew it their heads were bowed and Shawn Carney was pouring out his heart to God, thanking Him for the work He’d been doing in my heart.

I felt the presence of Almighty God, the connection I’d been longing for over the past few years.  Once again the tears flowed – more deep cleansing tears. A dam deep inside of me had broken, and a torrent of guilt, grief, pain, remorse, shame, secrets and fear was bursting out.  It was a horrible, wonderful, frightening, cleansing gush of raw emotion.

Abby JohnsonunPLANNED, 2010, abridged




“In this book I will demonstrate the following:

Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.

The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.

Darwin’s theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.

There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.

It is reasonable to have faith.

Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.

Atheism is motivated not by reason, but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.”

Dinesh D’Souza.  What’s So Great About Christianity, 2007









Tim, Shift Manager 7-9

Dozens came for the last Saturday morning vigil.

The team from Saints John and Paul arrived early in the dark and were joined by the Saturday morning regular prayers and sidewalk advocates.

Father Tim came along with a few dozen of the Guardians for Life from Indiana, Greensburg and the Knights from Uniontown. Fr. Tim lead in song and prayer.

Marian coming for the next shift said she could hear the prayers and song echoing down Smithfield street long before she got near to Liberty Avenue. What a beautiful witness.

We are also blessed by only a few women going into pp despite an abundance of escorts on both sides of the facility. Let’s hope and pray we turned a few hearts away today.

Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team Christine, Virginia, Bill, Joe
Saturday morning regular Sunrise Team
Christine, Virginia,
Bill, Joe
Prayer Witnesses Holy Family Parish
Prayer Witnesses
Holy Family Parish
SAints John and Paul Witnesses for Life
SAints John and Paul
Witnesses for Life
Knights of Colunbus Uniontown
Knights of Colunbus
Father Tim Prayer and Song Guardians for Life
Father Tim
Prayer and Song
Guardians for Life
Bill and Bill Saturday Regulars
Bill and Bill
Saturday Regulars


Marian, Shift Manager 9-11

The Saturday morning shift is always bustling with activity.  The usual suspects were there as I arrived. If there is life to be defended Father Tim, the Guardians of Life and the Sidewalk Advocates show up.

Joining them on the 9 – 11 shift today were the faithful witnesses of Saints John and Paul!  Deacon Tom, Joseph, Gene, Carol and Barb took positions of prayer!

Robert L. from St. Mary’s in Moon Township came down on his own as he has been doing for many, many years.  He is a veteran of the street so to speak.  He explained the meaning of his last name. Depending on whether one is German or Chinese, his last name could mean “one who is left handed” or “forest”.  That conversation was a reality check once again about abortion…there is no handing down legacy when babies are aborted.

Ken made the trip in from Kittanning again… he is a “usual suspect” too.  It was heartwarming

to see Amy (with her three children and husband with the Guardians) and Ken smile as they greeted each other.  Home school families have a special bond.

We offered the baby models to those passing by.  One Gentleman (capital G) took two, then turned around and joined hands with me enclosing the two baby models in our hands. He offered loving words of prayer for the babies and those impacted by abortion.  Another older man also shared his concern for the unborn…and questioned how anyone could be a PP escort.

Once again…so many positives.

Judy, a Sidewalk Advocate had a brief conversation with a woman who took information then walked back to talk more.

The woman’s message was to keep the message of HOPE…for the women.  This woman also took Project Rachel and Silent No More information from me.

The escorts are also present on Saturday mornings.  Two left early…something must have been bothering them.

Diane is always searching to improve getting the message out.  She shared this link today.  Must view… we should have thought of that….

A feminist pro-life group of hundreds or more in Chile marched to Santiago government buildings but without signs or banners.  They instead amplified the pregnant marchers unborn children’s heatbeats and let that chorus of heartbeats be the only sound of the march.

Terri Marian, Shift Manager
Marian, Shift Manager


Dean, Shift Manager 1-3

Thanks so much to the folks from St. Alexis and Saints John & Paul who prayed with me today.
A young man asked one of our prayer warriors if she thought she could end abortion by praying about it. YES. That’s why all of us are part of the 40 DFL family. We come together and lift our prayers to God, who will end abortion in His time.
As this campaign ends, let’s not be disappointed or discouraged that it hasn’t happened yet. It will.

St. Alexis Family Witness
St. Alexis
Family Witness
ProLife Witness Mary from St. Stephens
ProLife Witness
Mary from St. Stephens
Matthew and Julia Saint Alexis
Matthew and Julia
Saint Alexis


Marshall, Shift Manager 3-5

The 3 to 5 shift had a small turnout yet we prayed to God through Rosaries and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Bev and Adam helped to pray and pass out flyers.
May God bless our work.  Have mercy on us.


Joe, Shift Manager 5-7

Marshall Shift Manager Knight of Columbus
Shift Manager
Knight of Columbus
Denise and Steve St. Joseph's, Coraopolis
Denise and Steve
St. Joseph’s, Coraopolis




One thought on “As the Gnome Goes

  • November 5, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I love the video! What a genius idea! I wonder if it could be done here in Pittsburgh? Thanks Diane for passing along this link! And I love your reflection about us looking good to God, as we stand there looking foolish to the world!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *