DAY 40: THANK YOU, Most Reverend William Waltersheid, Reverend Christopher Donley, Divine Mercy Parish; People of God Church; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Mary M., Jim and Cathy S.; Fuel, Carmelite Nuns of Fairfield, The Passionist Nuns, The Carmelites of Erie, The Carmelites of Latrobe; and all the witnesses for life who joined us in prayer today!


Eucharistic Procession from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church

Mass, Bishop William Waltersheid presiding, at Epiphany Church

Divine Mercy Parish, Reverend Christopher Donley, Pastor

We close our 40 Days for Life fall campaign, and thank God

for His protection and provision, and for all the lives saved from abortion


The Infant Jesus
Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664)
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia
© Photo Scala, Florence

Let us pray for our children as we contemplate the chubby-cheeked face of this Child, with his strong yet tender gaze, and the endearing pout through which Zurbaran displays all the love God feels for his brothers and sisters in the human race. Pierre Marie Dumont. “The Eucharistic Child”. Magnificat November 2017

I will carry my Lord with me today with life-affirming trust. TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER: The 40-Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life. Shawn D. Carney

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.  G.K. Chesterton. ORTHODOXY

“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned … through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” God grounds me. He leaves me no illusions. This is good! In Him, I share a privileged place in life’s bounty.  Offering more bounty, life invites me to open my heart, open my arms.  This invitation feels scary, like a dare. Every time I try, stumbling and stupid, things work out. Teaching me to know what to look for, life never disappoints me … and it shows me how my heart and arms are still so closed and so clenched … and how my clenching keeps so much bounty out of my reach … and how much my having that bounty to share would make me so much better at loving … and loving is where life loves me.

And a sword will pierce your heart. LUKE 2:35

This little boy’s Dad and Mom chose life for their little son.  He has Down syndrome. It affects approximately one in 700 children. The best calculations suggest that 67% of U.S. pregnancies – where the unborn child is diagnosed with Down syndrome – end in abortion. When European parents choose to have their baby killed due to this diagnosis, the rates may be greater than 90%. Iceland claims to have all but eliminated Down syndrome births.

Michael Schachle was diagnosed in utero with both Down syndrome and a life threatening buildup of fluid around the lungs, heart and abdomen. A doctor said that meant the unborn child had “zero chance for survival.” Doctors suggested abortion.  Heartbroken, Michelle and Daniel Schachle begged the intercession of Father McGivney. “We never, for one second, felt Down syndrome was a problem. We were going to love him how God made him.” “I told Michelle, ‘Father McGivney needs a miracle to be named ‘Blessed,’ and there’s no reason it can’t be our son. Let’s pray to him. He needs a miracle; we need a healing — let’s go get it.’” “We emailed hundreds of people asking them to pray to Father McGivney for him. We just kept praying.” Soon thereafter, the child’s toxic fluid buildup (hydrops) inexplicably disappeared. Michael, who has Down syndrome, was born on May 15, 2015. The Vatican announced that the healing before birth … of the now five years old lively, happy child … has been accepted as the miracle necessary to advance the sainthood cause of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. Father McGivney was beatified yesterday, October 31, 2020.

“Boom. The shock was real. The disbelief was real. The questions…. The unknown, was real. Of course, this is exactly how most mothers I come to learn, feel too, because most of us are not educated well on this diagnosis. And it is a shame. But, in that moment, I had hope. As a Catholic woman, I immediately turned to God and told him to talk to me. I needed him to tell me something so that my heart could be at peace, and I could find my trust again in the Lord in this situation.
I had no idea that he would tell me so clearly, exactly what I needed to hear. I had no idea where it would come from. But then, a powerful sensation within my chest told me to look in His Word at the time Sebastian was born. I was surprised. How would this make sense? I quickly asked my midwife what time he was born, and she said, “4:17” (pm).  My sister in law immediately began searching Scripture, and found only one place where anything made sense. It was 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” I knew immediately what the Lord was asking of me, reminding me, and telling me. It was the fact that even though this seemed like an unfortunate and difficult situation, it would bring about great glory for God, and I must trust Him, and was instantly at peace, and quiet in my heart. I was able to accept this calling to raise one of His angels very well, and I became honored. Yes, honored.”

Opening our arms and hearts takes enormous effort.  Each ordeal can last quite a long time.  Here’s a video requesting peace … a peaceful interlude … useful as we  replenish our supplies for battle.  Notice the joy, the spoils of war!!!

DONA NOBIS PACEM (Grant us peace) is a round for three parts from the AGNUS DEI, a prayer from the Roman Catholic Mass liturgy.  The melody has been passed orally.  Our video presents Leif Ahlberg as conductor in a beautiful church in  Norrköping, Sweden. 




What an incredible group gathered to start the final day of the vigil!  There were over a dozen people to pray and witness despite the early hour and threatening weather.  We have been so blessed this campaign.  Although serious issues–from pandemic to protests to charged political climate–kept our advance signups down and our schedule seemingly empty, the sidewalk rarely was!  

May God bless all of you who were a part of this amazing effort.  To Nikki who does more than any of us will ever know; to Tom and Diane who were there countless times to set up and break down; to Donna and Lisa who kept us all on track; to all the shift managers and buddies who prayed so faithfully; to all the churches, groups, and individuals who kept vigil with us; to the blog team who inspired and informed us each day; to all who prayed with us from a distance…a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU!

Incredible group crowding the early morning sidewalk in prayer and witness!

People of God


Damp and rainy for the last day of this campaign with some ugly comments and profanity shouted from a passerby and passing vehicles. Prayers were offered for conversion and healing. 

Many thanks to shift buddy Andy who stood with me every Sunday for this campaign. I am grateful for his faithfulness, insights and prayer leadership. Also thanks to the People of God Community who prayed with us today.

Pictured are Milo, Joann, Pam, shift buddy Andy, Mary, Joe and Jim.

Also pictured is the Rosary procession.  Every Sunday for this campaign, this battle in which we struggle was witnessed to by dozens in procession around Pittsburgh praying the Rosary. Each time they brought prayers to our vigil as they stopped and prayed to petition the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for Her intercession in the battle to save the innocents. 

Milo, Joann, Pam, shift buddy Andy, Mary, Joe and Jim

Pittsburgh Sunday Rosary Procession


Thanks to Eileen and Marge for witnessing with us today. Jim who lives in town and comes regularly witnessed also.  We arrived at our shift early and were greeted by Ken and Andy and some beautiful singing by the participants there. The weather was less than great, rainy and windy. At some point a gust of wind blew over the display.  Eventually it got moved into the alcove of the building. Gratefully we had no negative responds. We prayed the Litany to the Saints since it was All Saints Day. We prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy.  The sun came out and the next shift arrived.

Marge and Roseann


We are ending our Sunday afternoon time on the sidewalk with a cold and blustery day! No complaints though, we have been blessed with beautiful weather every other Sunday.

The cold, damp and gusty winds didn’t dampen our resolve, or spirits, today. The sidewalk was quiet, even the passersby wanted to escape the cold and wind.

There were five of us always present during the 2 hours – thanks to Margie B., Bob P., Mary M., Rose W. and Bill L. for being faithful to prayer this afternoon.

We prayed constantly, the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, Chaplets of the Divine Mercy and as our time drew to an end, the Litany of the Saints – how appropriate for this Feast of All Saints!

Thanks to all who have led the vigil efforts and all who have participated through prayer, witness and fasting!

Mary, Rose and Bob. Cold, damp and gusty winds did not dampen their spirit!



And God saw that it was good.


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