When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life…
…Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: “Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.” Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.Proverbs 31:10-12 & 28-31
Today’s epistle in the traditional Catholic readings couldn’t have been a more fitting description of our dear Sally on the day she was laid to rest. It was inspiring to see the church so full of people this morning…each person, touched in some way by knowing Sally. I have never been to a funeral of a person her age that had such a large crowd! It was truly a testament to an amazing life, fully and faithfully lived!
I needed something to shake me out of my discouragement and apathy…to continue this battle to end abortion. How did Sally and Al do it for so many years without giving up? How were they so strong? Why didn’t they get discouraged? I needed to know their secret!
Yesterday, I watched the You Tube testimony of Patricia Sandoval…because she will be speaking at St. Ann Church on October 28th, and I knew I would be spreading the word in my blog post today. (I will post the details for this event at the end of this reflection.) Anyway, as I watched her testimony, the seemingly brusque tone with which she described her three abortions…and then the gruesome description of assisting with abortions while working in an abortion clinic, really made me feel angry and discouraged. I was ready to stop the video right in the middle…but something made me keep watching. As I got to the part when she hit rock bottom, after becoming a homeless drug addict…I saw God’s grace and mercy reach out to save her. It was just the thing I needed to re-light the fire in my soul! (Disclaimer: Her tone was not really brusque…she was just being totally honest about her experiences. It was because of MY weakness and fatigue that I took her tone to be “brusque”.)
I guess after years of pro life work, it’s probably normal to become numb to the outright atrocity that is abortion, and to feel fatigue. Maybe Sally and Al were able to continue this work for so long because they never forgot just how horrible every single abortion is! If YOU need a boost, to REMIND you of WHY we do this… I recommend that you watch her testimony HERE, and then, register to attend the free event to hear her speak in person at St. Anne Church. Email Kathy at email@example.com to register. The event is on Monday, Oct. 28th at 7pm (400 Hoodridge Dr., Pittsburgh 15234).
I will close with a story that Sally and Al’s oldest son shared at her eulogy today. He, (Frank), said that while he and his siblings have not had the time to be actively involved in pro-life work, as their parents were… all eleven of them are pro-life because of the values that their parents instilled in them. He said that 13 years ago, he and his wife were hosting a dinner party at their home in Florida. While the guests were gathering in the kitchen before dinner, one woman reached into the refrigerator to grab a beer. As she opened the beer, she casually said to her friends, “Even though I’m pregnant, I may as well have a beer…since I am getting an abortion next week anyway.“ Frank was horrified, hearing those words. What did he do? What would any of us do??? Well…what he did was this; He proceeded to remove ALL the beer from the fridge and lined them all up on the kitchen counter. Then he said to her, “Well, if you are going to kill the kid anyway…you may as well go ahead and kill him right now!” As you might guess…that was the end of the dinner party! Everyone left and the party was ruined. However….Frank ended this story by saying, “But now, there is a 13-year-old boy who is driving his parents crazy!” A life was saved because of his reacting according to his pro life values, which were instilled in him by Al and Sally! Their legacy goes on. And lives are saved…
I imagine Sally can now see, from Heaven, just HOW MANY lives have been saved because of her life-long faithfulness and self-sacrifice! THANK YOU SALLY!!!
Today’s stories from the sidewalk…
Peggy 7-9 am
God’s people are good! Due to cancellations because of illness, Peggy was scheduled to do her shift all alone this morning. An email went out last night asking for help…and help arrived! What a fantastic 40 Days for Life family we have here in Pittsburgh! Thanks to all who came and prayed in the pouring rain this morning!!!Peg
Cathy 9-11 am
Joined, on this wet am, by Priscilla, Dean and Debbie. Fairly quiet, only a few went inside – some friendly passersby.Cathy
Hank & Judy 11-1
Oh what a beautiful day!!……..the sun was brightly shinning we just couldn’t see it with all the clouds and rain. It rained the entire shift but it’s always a beautiful day when you can pray together with brothers and sisters in Christ like the Guardians of Life and St. John/St. Mary’s parish in Delmont/Export, including Fr.Tim, Don, Anna Marie, Sr. James Anne, Joe, Tom, Brian, Irene and Terri. We were also joined by Debbie from Epiphany and Karen from the Latin Mass Community. Because of the rain we did not hand out any literature. There was very little street traffic given the rain, but we stormed heaven with the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy and Litany in Response to Abortion. Several people thanked us, gave us a thumbs-up or a shout-out with their horn as they passed by in their car. The rain slowed to a drizzle when Rege (SM) and Brian, a first-timer (signed up at the kick-off), arrived and the Son was still shinning!!Hank & Judy
Rege & John 1-3 pm
John and I were joined for the first hour by Kevin. It was his first time. God bless him! We started the shift with rosary in one hand and umbrella in the other. Six or seven young women entered PP. One young woman spoke to Kevin before going into the clinic saying, “I’m going for STD testing. I don’t believe in killing babies.” REGERege
Jeannie & Virginia 3-5 pm
We had a very good prayerful time on the sidewalk today. My shift buddy Virginia was there as well as Marilyn from Saint Bernard’s. Suki joined us as did John for a little while. We even had a special visit by Bill our every day shift buddy. Rain was no match for the hearts of prolife first today. I was intrigued by the footwear each of us wear. It is time to put our boots on the sidewalk!Jeannie
Jim & Audrey 5-7 pm
The 5:00 to 7:00 shift today was small, prayerful, and eventful. There was a Pens game tonight, so there were more people passing on the street than on a typical rainy, cold Wednesday evening. Thao, Jim, and Audrey were the prayer warriors. Thao was approached by a young woman who was homeless and pregnant. Thao provided her with information about Catholic Charities and they talked about Genesis. We prayed for the woman through our shift, hopeful she will find the help she needs for herself and her baby. We prayed for the students at Duquesne University who are working hard to get a Students for Life group on the campus. God gives us so many blessings and only the Lord can provide an end to this atrocious evil. God bless the babies and the expectant mothers and fathers – please let them choose life.Audrey and Jim