Thank you to all who made our fall 40 Days for Life possible! Thanks to all the team members, shift managers and buddies. Thanks to all the church coordinators and volunteers, individual volunteers who gave of their time and comfort to come to the sidewalk! Thanks to our blog manager, Jen…and our schedulers, Lisa, Donna and Fran! Thanks to Diane and Tom for delivering the vigil materials every day! Thank you Bishop William Waltersheid for bringing Jesus to the sidewalk yesterday to help us close our vigil with Christ! Thanks to all the other clergy who came…Fr. Tim Kruthaupt, Fr. Jason Charron, Fr. Thomas More, Fr. Nathaniel and Fr. Ed Bryce and thanks to Fr. Chris Donley for hosting us! Thanks to the sisters of Divine Mercy for being there! Thanks to the many faithful souls who braved the cold wind to walk with Jesus to Epiphany Church for our closing Mass!
Here are some photos from the closing event, along with my reflections:
The weather was not cooperative for our procession last night, however, I believe that there are many insights and analogies that we can draw from our little “pilgrimage” from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church.
First of all, it was inspiring to see the faith of so many people! Before Bishop arrived, carrying the monstrance…we were all scattered on the sidewalk, engaging in conversation. It was almost instantaneous that as soon as we saw him walking towards us, everyone who was able dropped to their knees on that cold, hard sidewalk. A peace overcame the noise of the wind…and for a few moments, we all just adored and soaked in our Loving Savior…present with us in that place that needs Him so badly. It was truly beautiful. Bishop Waltersheid blessed all of us and blessed those terrible doors that have swallowed so many precious lives. I imagine the demons of that place were cowering in fear.
As we crossed the street and began our procession to Epiphany Church, the wonderful Pittsburgh Police officers helped to keep us safe. Take a look at this photo of us crossing Liberty Avenue…doesn’t it look like Jesus is actually GLOWING in the monstrance?
The wind was relentless as we walked, at times the gusts were actually frightening…feeling like they could literally knock us over! God must have given Bishop the strength to hold that heavy monstrance up as he walked! Thanks to all the saints in Heaven who walked with us, helping us!
So I thought it was fitting that God gave us such challenging weather conditions for our procession. Why? Well, look at the times we are currently living in! Would you say that today is an easy time to be a faithful follower of Christ? But, do we give up? No! We persevere! Just as we persevered through the wind, rain and even some snow…we eventually arrived at our Father’s House. Our HOME! It was warm and welcoming inside of the beautiful Epiphany Church, as the family of God gathered in thanksgiving for the many blessings that we have received during these 40 days.
So, the main analogy that I drew from our procession from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church is one that Bishop Waltersheid pointed out in his homily last night. He said that as we began our journey at a place of darkness and death…we ended in a place of light and life. And isn’t that what our journey of life is all about? We begin our lives in original sin…and Hell is our destination if left there. Fortunately, God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay our sin debt and to die on the cross so that we can make the long journey of salvation. It is a difficult and sometimes treacherous journey. Sometimes the wind screams and howls and the cold rain pelts our faces. But as long as we stay close to Christ, and persevere…we will eventually enter our Father’s Beautiful Home! Our destination is Heaven, and no amount of hardship can stop us on this earthly pilgrimage. Especially when we have each other to encourage and lift one another when we fall. We certainly were an encouragement to many last night! I saw quite a few people on the streets stop as we passed, bowed their heads or made the sign of the cross in respect. The world may seem dark right now, but there still are many people who believe! Many people have faith! Last night gave evidence of that!
To see more photos from last night, go to
Including this short video of the beginning of our procession: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNZe54jbUhH9gaHr6VJ53lGbxOIwpVydlecs4-ePpnK8vybcjJbMp5Ri7Nijl2Q8w/photo/AF1QipOkb1yijjaMoLDML1GTYpNDcabCRXM5XNaTGiPy?key=SktTaGZ3OGRRR19wamtDeHA0aTRJczEyYmpud1VB
Thanks to Larry Squires for taking these and posting them!
May God bless us all! See you during the Lenten campaign, which begins on February 17!