The Gospel passage we share today is a favorite of many pro-lifers. Our Lord makes it clear that children are incredibly precious to Him, and that He wants us all to imitate their simple trust and joy. How painfully far away our society is from that ideal, treating children as burdens that we’re free to dispose of! May Jesus remove the stumbling blocks of our pride and self-centeredness so that we can all see how precious children are, and not be afraid to become like them.
Today we also thank God for his gift of our Guardian Angels, to whom our Lord calls our attention in the Scripture passage above. As Solène Tadié explains in an interesting blog post about angels, “The feast of the Guardian Angels really is a celebration of divine Providence that uses every creature to guide us toward our Creator.” We are grateful for their much-needed assistance. For all the little ones whose innocent lives were ended through abortion today, we ask their angels to take them straight home to the loving arms of our Father.
Barbara, Richard, and Rose, 7-9 AM
Early Friday morning at PP used to be flooded with school kids, pedestrians, crowded buses and parents taking kids to day care. This morning we owned the sidewalk. Diane and Tom told us to step aside. We did. They unloaded their trunk and arranged the tin topped table. They placed everything in just the right spot. Diane is awesome.Barbara
Nikki and Lisa set up Nikki’s beautiful art. Right away we gathered and prayed for the quick and complete recovery of President and Mrs.Trump.
PP employees began to arrive, stiff necked and unfriendly. Then the Mothers came.
Our Shift Buddy Rose gathered her hand outs and offered each person her love.
Claudia and Anton, Cathedral parish, prayed together in Spanish. Lisa chose “40 Babies are killed each week in this building … Choose Life!” and knelt to pray quietly.
Steve, Sidewalk Advocate, spoke with many. Bill came and blessed the building with holy water. Another Bill arrived, went to pray quietly and I did not get his picture. Anika arrived and so did Kathy and Mark. Our shift ended. Shifts seem to disappear like a whisper. We trust God to share our love with the desperate parents.
God is patient and generous. He is the one who told Jeremiah, “More tortuous than all else is the human heart.”
Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM
Few clients appeared during the first hour. We gathered for group prayers and then focused our attention on passing out literature. One young man stopped to ask why we were there. After listening to his rant, he seemed to be an ally.Kathy
Several women entered PP during the 10-11 hour. One accepted a resource card but still entered.
Sheila and Dee, 11 AM – 1 PM
So, business was pretty slow at PP from 11- noon, but then several couples entered. Around 12:30, two of the boyfriends emerged for a smoke. They allowed me to engage them in conversation. Both stated that they brought their girlfriends in for an ultrasound and both said they were going to figure out what to do once they knew how far along their babies were.The one young man said that he already has 2 children and that their house isn’t big enough for a third. The other one, 23 y.o., said he hasn’t been out of prison for that long and says a child would keep him from moving forward in life. Both admitted that they want the child but that it’s ultimately up to the woman to make the decision. Both stated that they believe in God. I gave them the resource sheet and let them know about free ultrasounds available at various local pregnancy centers. I gave them lots of support and encouragement. I advised them that fathers do indeed have a say in whether their child lives or dies and urged them to encourage their girlfriends to choose life. Let’s pray for these two young men and their girlfriends. Hopefully Jeannie may have some positive news to report on these two later.Sheila
Jeannie and Elaine, 1-3 PM
Another really good afternoon on the sidewalk today in front of Planned Parenthood. Things were quiet and nobody appeared to have abortion appointments. There was some discussion about getting a sonogram but in all not a big day for PP thank heavens. Again, I showed up expecting to be joined only by my great shift buddy Elaine. But prolife Pittsburgh would not have it! We were immediately joined by Barb, Bernie, Ken, and Marilyn. Since we were all Catholic we prayed a scriptural sorrowful mysteries rosary — later we prayed stations of the cross for abortion victims and we finished up with the petitions on the back of the baby photo sign. We had three seasons of weather -luckily no winter -but it was such a joy to be with these wonderful people. We need extra prayers for the security staff at PP. For the second week he called the police who arrived to confirm that we were doing nothing wrong. Let us hope that the hurt in his soul is healed and he is able to accept our peaceful demonstration without suggesting we are harassing people who didn’t accept our literature…???? We showed the Pgh police Sargent the camera placement (both PP’s and ours) and invited her to take a look at the footage to confirm our peaceful behavior.Sheila
Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM
It’s been fun to read the blog (OK, I mostly just look at the pictures and read the captions – but sometimes I do read the rest) and see how many first-time vigil goers have been showing up. Well, I was blessed with TWO newcomers – and they didn’t come together. Henry came to us from Saints Peter and Paul in Beaver, and Christine came from Saints John and Paul in Wexford.
Both, independently, spoke about the nervousness/apprehensions/fears that had to be overcome in order to show-up at our vigil site and pray. (Is there anyone among us who didn’t have a lot of nervousness before their first time out there?) But prayer moved them from prayer on to concrete action. I pray (and hope you will, too) that they both return many more times.
While we did pray, I have to confess that this time, as Shift Manager, I should have directed us to more prayer and less talk. I hope (and pray!) that I do a better job next week.Pat