Day 36…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac (Upper St. Clair), St. James (Sewickley), PCUC (New Castle) and many faithful volunteers!

Why are all the blog posts about God???

If you are new to this blog, you may have perused the daily reflections and noticed that…for a pro-life blog…we mainly write about GOD. If you are new to the pro-life movement…maybe motivated by the Unplanned movie…you may be wondering why we don’t write more about abortion! After all, our entire mission of 40 Days for Life is to END ABORTION. So, why don’t we talk more about it in our blog? Why don’t we speak more of the horrors and the injustices? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do our best to get our readers all riled up so that they will be motivated to show up on the sidewalk?

There is a good reason for this focus on God…and I will soon tell you what it is. But first, I want to tell you about my reputation within my family. Everyone in my family thinks I am a “religious fanatic”. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the gifts that I have been given in the past few years:

I guess when you think your mom is crazy about the whole Jesus thing…when you have to get her a gift, you go to the Christian store! Actually, one of my most treasured moments with my grand daughter happened while my daughter and her family were visiting last summer. It was the day before they had to return home to Oklahoma, and my (then) 5-year old grand daughter was sitting on my lap. We were sitting on the back porch, enjoying the beautiful summer evening…getting some cuddle time in before she had to leave. Suddenly, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Mamaw…why do you love God so much?” We hadn’t been talking about anything, so this was a totally random question. It must have been on her mind. I had the opportunity to tell her how good our God is and how much he loves her. I tell you, no matter how many mistakes I have made…and will make in the future…I consider this memory one of my SUCCESSES!

So, back to the question of why we tend to focus on God instead of abortion. Well, the reason is that the battle to end abortion is no ordinary battle, and praying in front of an abortion clinic is different than other sorts of pro life activity. It is different than going to the March for Life in DC…different than volunteering for a pregnancy resource center…different than holding or attending pro life fundraisers or lobbying for pro life politicians. Not to scare off our “newbies“…but praying at an abortion facility is serious spiritual warfare. It involves going physically to the devil’s most “holy ground“. Abortion is his most treasured “sacrament” if you will. It is like entering the belly of the beast. There is nothing that makes him angrier (and also nothing that causes him the most harm!) than praying in front of an abortion clinic.

Thinking we can end abortion without God is naive! It would be like jumping off this cliff and expecting to fly!

It would be naive of us to think that we could just simply show up on the sidewalk and be able to change people’s minds and hearts. Only God can do that. Unless we have a strong, solid base…rooted in prayer and self-sacrifice, we will soon give up out of fear and discouragement. Again, I am not saying this to scare away the “newbies”…but to ENCOURAGE them (and all of us!) to bump up our prayer lives!

We have to be fit, spiritually…lean and trim with fasting…ready to return love for hatred at any moment. If we do this, God will be with us always. He will fight the battle for us. Stay in his Word daily. Have a set time for prayer every day. Be strong and courageous! And be the “religious fanatic” of your family! 🙂

…and come join with your fellow pro life prayer warriors THIS SUNDAY at 6 pm in front of Planned Parenthood to close out the final hour of our 40 Days for Life vigil! Closing prayers will be lead by Fr. Thomas More Sikora, followed at 7pm with a pot-luck celebration inside Catholic Charities welcome center (corner of 9th and Liberty). Come join the fun!

Read on for today’s stories from the sidewalk…

Peggy writes from the 7-9 am shift…

It was a quiet morning. The witnesses from St. Louise were there with me all morning, and some were still there when I left, going to be there till noon!

Fr. Jeremiah came from the Forest Hills parishes. The others are from St. Louise
Amy joins the group, she is from St. Boniface in the north side
Faithful witnesses from St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair
Witnesses from St. Louise are joined by a passerby who stopped to pray on his way to work.

Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11 am…

The vigil. was blessed with the prayerful presence of many parishioners from St Louise and one from the Presbyterian Church.
There may have been some from another church besides St Benedict the Abbot and St Joan of Arc who began arriving around 10:30, but not sure. There were so many pray-ers we ran out of log sheets and began writing on the backs. Couldn’t find any more.)


Seamus, Matt and Joe, strong men of God from St. Louise!
Great crew of prayer warriors from St. Louise de Marillac!

Hank and Judy had the 11-1 shift…

We have been blessed to have good numbers of prayer warriors for the 11-1 shift throughout the 40 Days and today was no exception.  There was a gang from St.Benedict the Abbott, and St.Louise de Marrillac, a couple of individuals from St.James Sewickley, and several individuals (Chrystal, Elsie, Bill joined us for short times. We prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy and the Stations of the Cross.  Elsie especially distributed a good bit of literature.  We received honks from three different trucks passing by and several thumbs-up, thank you and God bless you from passers-by.  Only a few negative comments or gestures.  Praised be Jesus Christ.  

Hank and Judy
Sandy and Suzanne from St. James in Sewickley
Sandy and Angela
Angela from St. Louise
Linda, Diane and Mary from St. Louise
Nina, Joan and Mary from St. Joan of Arc parish, with shift manager Judy
Great gang from St. Benedict of the Abbott

Rosalina and Francis were the shift managers from 1-3 pm…

Faithful volunteers from PCUC (People Concerned for the Unborn Child), New Castle Chapter, and shift manager Francis in the background

Jeannie wrote from the 3-5 shift…

What a fabulous way to sign off on my last shift for this 40 days for life vigil. I was blessed to be with a wonderful folks from PCUC in Newcastle. We had a young woman stop by and engage us in a very spirited conversation. She was respectful but Had been sold all the typical abortion lies. Claudia and Raymonda were amazing and patient and sincere talking to her and she really appreciated a chance to dialogue. I am sure we planted seeds in her searching heart. Next I was joined by not one but two separate first timers who came down to pray because they had seen the movie unplanned. First tim came he is in the process of moving to Philadelphia but is determined to join whatever group is in Philly doing the same pro life work. Then came Ken who had never been on the sidewalk before but felt compelled after seeing unplanned. What a joyful day to be part of the 40 days for LIFE vigil.

Raymonda, Claudia and Tim from PCUC New Castle prayed and witnessed to the truth!
abandoned beauty…

Joe K. closed us out for the day from 5-7…

First, a big THANK YOU and BLESSINGS to all that make this happen – it has been an honor!!!
Shift Buddies are pretty important for the end-of-day shifts so a special shout-out to all of mine, especially Lori throughout the vigil, Ken today, and all the others (I have forgotten in name, but remember warmly in my heart!).
What a beautiful day, as the wonderful 3-5 group retired I was joined by my brother Knight, Mike and Ken.  It was Ken’s first time and he was inspired after seeing Unplanned and saw that no one was scheduled – Much appreciated my brothers – making sure that I would not stand alone.
It was relatively quiet – mostly positive feedback.  One man in Pittsburgh on business from San Francisco stopped briefly to give us support as well as a few passersby.
We shared, talking quite a bit about the Unplanned movie…
The shift concluded with the ever joyful Tom, Diane, and Penney packing
it all up until tomorrow…


Mike, Raymonda, Claudia, Tim, and Ken

4 thoughts on “Day 36…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac (Upper St. Clair), St. James (Sewickley), PCUC (New Castle) and many faithful volunteers!

  • April 11, 2019 at 6:20 am

    I love what you wrote about Why are all the blog posts about God??? You hit the nail on the head. Praying at PP and just being there is where the rubber meets the road. That’s what it is all about and that is where we must be. As uncomfortable and as painful as it can be, we must
    be there, and the more of us are there, the stronger we are. So well put and said, Nikki. You are so wise and right!!!

    • April 11, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Michael! Believe me, I am reminding myself of this! 🙂

  • April 11, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    One time (before I ever prayed with 40 Days For Life) I was reading about St. Therese calling herself a little white flower (where great majestic saints are roses or lilies), and about St Faustina (I think) being a violet, and I asked God what kind of flower am I?? – and immediately it seemed to me that I am a dandelion, which is kind of embarrassing because to anyone over the age of six they are a weed. But they are totally unimpressed by the parable of the sower (“rocky soil? thorns? Watch me grow in a tiny crack in the cement. Pull me up and I will come right back”) so I was like “well, ok.” So it is funny to me (or fitting) some time later to be praying on the pavement.

  • April 13, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Bridget, I LOVE the analogy of you being like a dandelion! That is beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing that!


Leave a Reply

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