Day 34: St. Mary, St. Anne and St. Irenaeus

Only 7 loaves

Did you ever feel that you are just not qualified? Or don’t have enough of something, be it skills, education, time or money? Or then think, can’t somebody else do it that is better suited for the task?

Isn’t it possible that is similar in a way to how the apostles felt when they told the Lord they only had 7 loaves of bread to feed the large group of followers? When they looked at the few loaves of bread and themselves did they think “He really doesn’t have much to work with”?

How many times did our Lord tell them “Be not afraid” ? How many times does our Lord say this…to us? When we say, “what can I do to prevent or end abortion? What is the value of going to the abortion center to pray?”

When his apostles said they only had 7 loaves to feed the masses, they thought they could only make do with what they had and thought it just wasn’t enough. They didn’t take into account what God can do to magnify our efforts to proportions well beyond our wildest imaginations.

As our Spring 40 DFL campaign comes to an end we can consider in hindsight that perhaps we are those 7 loaves of bread. He multiplied us. By our participating we fed the masses. Our unique individual efforts have fed the masses in all walks of life that we encountered downtown: the abortion bound, the passersby’s in cars and on the sidewalk and pp workers and like a ripple in the water we will affect so many more.  We are not perfect. We are all flawed. Some of us have a bit of Pharisee in us. Yet, He made use of us and we had a very big impact and affect on so many people in so many ways. Most of which we will never know.

Please, do not question the value of your being there. Know for certain you have touched and fed the souls of so many and the lives you saved will have a profound impact for the good in time to come. Because as we all know, HIS laborers do not labor in vain. So you should have no doubts about whether you made a difference.

So I close simply by saying Thank You for your prayers, fasting and witness. Thank you for stepping up despite not being perfect. Thanks for being a loaf of bread.

If you haven’t yet been to pray at the vigil you still have this last week. The Spring Campaign ends Sunday night with a short prayer vigil at 6:30 at pp followed by a closing rally and reception at 7 pm inside Catholic Charities at Liberty & 9th St. As is true in our spiritual life, it is never too late.

After this 40 DFL campaign is over, If you ever hear the call in the night with the ears of your heart to do some charitable deed to protect the unborn, know that year-round every Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday prayer warriors and sidewalk advocates are outside planned parenthood praying and trying to save lives and souls. We are usually there from 7 till 11 am. No need to sign up. Just show up.

Be not afraid, join us.

We hope to see you at the rally and again soon. I hope you have a Happy Easter.

Tim B.

Today at the vigil we were blessed with St. Mary (Glenshaw), St. Ann Catholic Church (Waynesburg) and & St. Irenaeus (Oakmont).

In thanksgiving for the blog writers whose fingers are trained for battle— and prepare the reflection before they go on leave!!

Marian adds from Saturday-  addition, not a do-over… recognizing others in the pro-life community:

In the Spirit of cooperation:  Before I head to the sidewalk on Saturday mornings, I do my “heavy lifting” in prayer.  I meet the wonderful people at The Oratory (Adoration) and St. Paul’s Cathedral for Mass on Saturday mornings.  It is not by my design.  If it were, then I would only be dreaming of them instead of meeting them in person.

Each Saturday, our younger brothers and sisters from CMU and the University of Pittsburgh, who are active in the pro-life community, meet at the Pittsburgh Oratory to drive to the abortion clinic in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh.  Although not ever having been there, I have never heard that location described with words other than with synonyms for dark and creepy- by veterans of the pro-life community. On my way, out of the door at The Oratory, I met Mark and Nicholas.  Mark and I recognized each other from Mass and Bible study.  Mark has been praying in front of the East Liberty clinic since last semester. Today, Nicholas was joining the group for the first time. Both young men have recognized for years there is something wrong with abortion. They are willing to acknowledge that in public, prayerful, peaceful witness.  The younger generation fighting for life is well represented at the Pittsburgh Oratory.

Then at the end of Mass at St. Paul Cathedral, I started talking with Yolanda.  Yolanda is a veteran of pro-life witness when the abortion clinic in downtown Pittsburgh was located closer to the shopping area. Yolanda would go to work and see the guards and another group of people.  At the time, she didn’t know the location near her work was an abortion clinic.   She recognized the Rosary beads in the hands of many who were praying, so she joined in prayer there on a regular basis. We have other veterans from that period of time too praying with us on a regular basis.  Today, Yolanda, as she usually does, joined in praying the Rosary with the usual prayerful suspects at St. Paul Cathedral.  They have been keeping us lifted in prayer daily.   Companions on the journey— visible and invisible!!

Saturday was still a gloomy day on the sidewalk but I knew there were people who had my back in prayer!

40 Days for Life – welcomes prayers from all denominations!!  Prayer works.


Reports from today:

Kathy L.  7 am -9 am:

Thank you to all who helped cover for me last Monday due to a family emergency.  And thank you for your prayers for my dad who is on the mend.
Peggy and I prayed through some pro-life prayers together.  I noticed several passersby glancing at our “Choose Life” signs.  The usual PP workers arrived.  Bill H. also arrived and stayed briefly.  One young woman passed by and hurled an insult toward us.  Bill may have countered her statement with a blessing. Not long after that, Ginny arrived to assume SM duty.
Bill H and Peggy!! Several days a week the Holy Spirit schedules Bill to come and pray with the water!! Peggy makes sure on several days that she arrives early to help Diane!!


Ginny 9 am -11 am:

St Mary’s Pro-life group from Glenshaw

Elaine ,Ginny ,Vince
We had a peaceful prayerful morning.


Johnny and Maryellen report for the 11 am  to 1:00 pm. 

People traveled from Waynesburg today.  Some faces are camera shy.



Beth, with many hats in the pro-life movement reports for the 1 pm to 3 pm shift:

We started out in the sun and even when the rain came, I think the SON stayed with us.  Lots of good friends from St. Ann’s in Waynesburg made the 1-3 shift a wonderful, prayerful occasion. Carol, Kathy, Mary Ellen, Tilly, Jake, Mike and Kim, Elaine joined Rose and I as we kept vigil on a busy day.

Bill H., Katie and Nick stopped  by and Alice from St. Alexis came to help with the 3-5 shift. It seemed as though there was lots of employee activity, and hopefully, few clients.

Thanks, bloggers, for all you do,


Francis on the sidewalk for life from 3 pm to 5 pm: 

Francis reports that he was alone for part of the shift but Alice, from St. Alexis, did witness with him for awhile. 

Judging wisely with the sign for life!!!



Nikki and Joe stand vigil for the 5 pm to 7 pm shift: 

We had a peaceful shift for the most part. A young man stopped to look at the fetal models. He wanted to take a picture of the five month model. He said that his pregnant girlfriend died, she was five months pregnant. So he lost her and his only child. He told me he started doing heroin when he was 15. He has been clean now for four years and has a job and plays the guitar in a worship band at a large church in Cranberry! I told him I would pray for his girlfriend and his child and him, and he even gave me his phone number in case my son ever wants to talk to him. It was very encouraging getting to talk to him!

Nikki and Joe, representing St. Irenaeus Parish in Oakmont.


After that Joe and I prayed together. We thought we would finish this vigil on a positive note, and then a woman who was headed into the bar looked at Joe, who had just greeted her with a friendly hello, and she spit right on him. You could just feel the anger and the hatred seething out of her. That was a shock for Joe, but we will pray for her healing.


Bonus report from sunny Florida per Sean’s email from Sunday for the national report:

It was Sunday. “The abortion center was closed,” said Tom in Fort Lauderdale, “but the vigil was not!”

So, on the Lord’s Day, a number of volunteers went out to pray.

“We impact a different public than we do during the week,” Tom said. “In the morning we see many churchgoers passing by and in the afternoon we see many at leisure. Most are unaware of the battle we fight every day at that center. And most are unaware of the stakes.”

He said 40 Days for Life is the ideal vehicle to bring the problem to light. “Everyone can participate. All it takes is a little time and a willingness to stand for life.”



Thank you to all who witnessed today.     Let the “Sonshine” in our hearts!!  We get by with a little help from our friends.




One thought on “Day 34: St. Mary, St. Anne and St. Irenaeus

  • April 3, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    At our parish many daily Mass attendees read “5 Minutes with the Word.” This little booklet brings the daily readings into contemporary view and helps us understand…Tim’s words today put him in league with any of the writers in our booklets. All of our blog writers are inspiring. Thank you for caring and sharing.


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