Reflection by Pat M.
From Miletus, Paul had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them;
“You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit…And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”Acts 20:17-20, 26-27
Think of the implications of that. What happens if we do shrink? If out of fear we shrink from going out to the sidewalk and telling people what is for their benefit and proclaiming to them the true plan of God? Doesn’t it seem fair to say that we would bear the responsibility for the blood of others?
It’s easy to forget, but Paul was human. He too experienced the fear that comes from telling people that they’re not living according to the commands of God. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have spoken of it in the terms he did.
So what’s the secret to overcoming that fear? Part of Fr. Joe Freedy’s homily at the kickoff mass dealt with that question. He spoke specifically about the fears we all have in going down to PP and publicly witnessing to a grave moral evil that most people don’t seem to have a big problem with. I found his advice for overcoming this fear pretty enlightening.
He first let us know that we should never, never, ever ask God to make us less afraid. Instead, we should ask for courage. Pat M.
Before we go on to today’s shift reports, I want to let you know that the Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood that was cancelled last Tuesday because of the rain HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25!!! Bishop Waltersheid will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Epiphany Church at 7pm and immediately following Mass we will process to Planned Parenthood. The rosary will be prayed as we walk and Bishop Waltersheid will lead us in prayer in front of Planned Parenthood. The procession will return to Epiphany Church for short benediction and to repose the Blessed Sacrament. For a bulletin announcement to post at your church, CLICK HERE! All are welcome to attend!
Now…on to Today’s stories from the sidewalk….
Peggy & Beth 7-9
Cathy & Priscilla 9-11
As the Peg and Charlene told me it appeared that there was a meeting. A few women/girls went in, some for quite awhile, but not near as many as last week. After about 10:45 or so it picked up. At least 2 couples entered. Linda, Therese and my shift buddy Priscilla were all there to pray and offer helpCathy Z
Hank & Judy 11-1
A morning filled with prayer as is always the case when the Guardians of Life are on the street even in reduced numbers. While they typically bring 15-20 people, today there were four including Rudy, Terri, Lisa and Brian. The smaller numbers did not affect the power of prayer which included three rosaries, Stations of the Cross, several litanies, Divine Mercy and songs of praise (if you can call the noise we made singing). Also present and faithfully praying on the opposite side of the circle were MaryAnne, Monica and Mike from St Catherine of Sweden. We distributed a good amount of literature and we had many positive and encouraging comments today along with lots of smiles; and we are appreciative of the good weather. God is good ALL the time!!Hank & Judy
Chris & John 1-3
I was joined by prayer warriors Will and Cynthia from St. Catherine of Sweden, my shift buddy John from Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and Diane from St. John Neumann. When I arrived, Hank, the previous shift manager, said that he thought it was an abortion day, but during my shift, I didn’t see what appeared to be abortion-bound women enter PP. Together, we prayed multiple Rosaries, using the Sorrowful Mysteries. Several passersby said, “Bless You” and there were several negative comments. There was also a work crew doing work inside PP. Another emotional moment today- a woman stopped by to ask questions and we did our best to answer them. She was interested in abortion statistics, so I provided the numbers for this abortion clinic, the United States, PP’s share in the U.S. number, and the worldwide number. She seemed to be taken aback at the magnitude of the numbers of unborn babies whose lives were cut short. She then talked about a friend of hers who had had an abortion and that she, the woman talking to us, tried to talk her out of it. At one point in that conversation, the woman said she wouldn’t get an abortion if her friend (the woman with us) would take care of the baby. She started tearing up and told us that she told her friend she couldn’t. She started sobbing and I gave her a long hug. She asked, “Why couldn’t I have said yes?” She was distraught over the loss of her friend’s baby and felt regret that she hadn’t said yes. We said we’d pray for her, her friend, and the lost child.Chris
Jeannie & Virginia 3-5
It was a chilly windy rainy and sometimes sunny two hours on the sidewalk. —- Kind of like four seasons all at once! We were delighted to be joined by Patty and John from Saint Titus in Aliquippa. A highlight of the time down on the sidewalk was when a woman walked by and pointed to Virginia and John and said “You are awesome, just awesome–thank you for being here.”Jeannie
Joe K & Thao 5-7
“Volunteers for Life,” “Politics,” and “Conversion” seemed to be tonight’s theme…
I was overwhelmed by the “Volunteers for Life” that made today’s shift simply Blessed! God is Great!
Thao, my Shift Buddy was there again at the beginning of my shift as well as John & Patty who were holdovers from the prior shift.
Thao and I prayed on one side while John & Patty took the other side.
We were then joined by Theresa and Ken, first timers, who are on fire for life from Saint Benedict the Abbot. They brought a huge 40-DFL Banner that they proudly displayed to all the passersby on Liberty Ave.Joe
An unusually quiet night for passerby comments, but there seemed to be a lot of bus traffic through the whole shift.
One gentleman did stop to try and talk politics and to discuss what party affiliation Jesus would have / who Jesus would vote for… but it ended up being a fairly good, civil, but short, pro-life discussion…
Thao and I were also approached by a couple of nice young men that wanted to convert us to the Church of Latter Day Saints. Thao’s responses to their questions were absolutely thoughtful and loving.
The night ended with some sharing about the pro-life movement / activities with Ken and Theresa until Faithful Servants Tom & Diane packed away all our “stuff” as a pro-life puzzle to be “solved” again tomorrow…