Spring is in the air, and along with new life sprouting up all around us, enthusiasm for new life is high among our pro-life family here in Pittsburgh! Along with the opening of a brand new PRC in East Liberty this week, our Sidewalk Advocates for Life is partnering with 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh to make sure that no one enters the doors of Planned Parenthood without knowing that we are there to help them to choose life, and to pray for them and their unborn babies if they don’t.
Our goal is to cover the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood from 7:30 – 5:30 (business hours) on all four abortion days (Tues., Wed., Fri., and Sat.), with at least two people per hour. Thanks to the amazing work of Greg Engelmeyer and many other Sidewalk Advocate leaders, a very successful training seminar earlier this month has brought much fruit, with 20 new sidewalk advocates joining us in front of Planned Parenthood last week! My hope is that 40 Days for Life volunteers will step up to support these brand new volunteers by making an “appointment with God” each week to come and pray at Planned Parenthood. While the trained Sidewalk Advocate is there, equipped to offer help and assistance…YOU can spiritually “have their backs” as you stand and pray. You are encouraged to hold a sign with a loving message while you pray.
To help us fill needed hours, please contact our main scheduler, Jen McDevitt, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also reach her at email@example.com or 412-920-4916.
As a reminder of the importance of our year-round presence at Planned Parenthood, I am sharing the following testimonies from two first-time volunteers that inspired me, and which I hope will encourage you to join us:
This first testimony is written by a man who participated in 40 Days for Life for the first time last month, when his parish respect life group signed up for a time slot. He wrote this note to them on the following day:
I must confess that I was not looking forward to yesterday and almost looked for an excuse not to go. I knew it was from Satan. Once I arrived and began to pray with each of you, I realized how very important this work is and how blessed I was to be there you! Please forgive me if what follows is a little less than eloquent.
At Mass this morning it struck me that yesterday we were at a gate leading down into hell. Young women, unaware, walked past us through those doors into an outpost of hell. Heroic witnesses like Greg, Sue, Virginia, Jeannie, Hank et al tried to warn them that there is still time to turn back. When these young women who are with child refused to listen, it caused suffering in everyone’s heart, which is only right and just. Each of us mourns the brutal and barbaric killing of a human life of infinite value. And because this is the work of Satan, he will attack anyone who opposes his work in any way. So we should not be surprised when he mocks and belittles WITNESSES to what is actually going on. Remember that everyone driving by in a car or walking by cannot help but see us standing and praying and shining light into darkness!! So Satan’s evil work is no longer invisible but quite visible and opposed. Our prayerful, faith filled presence shines light onto darkness. Evil abhors the Light and will attack it.
Satan mocked and humiliated Jesus before and during his crucifixion and surely must have said to Our Lord: “Why are you doing this? Such a futile waste of time!” So when we feel weak and powerless and discouraged, we have to ask ourselves why would we expect anything less? In a small but significant way Jesus allowed each of us to share in His passion yesterday. Perhaps we can offer our suffering for each of those young women who must certainly be in torment today. This morning I asked the intercession of every precious Soul who was aborted yesterday to intercede on behalf of his/her mother who made such a terrible decision. Every one of these young woman still has time to find Mercy, forgiveness and salvation.With sincere gratitude and love, Conrad
The line that struck me the most in his letter, was :
“When these young women who are with child refused to listen, it caused suffering in everyone’s heart, which is only right and just.“
One of the most tragic things about abortion is that it happens secretly, and no one is publicly grieving or mourning the deaths of these little ones. That was the motivation for me when I painted the large murals, which were made up of tiny squares with images of baby faces…representing the numbers of babies killed at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. They all travelled from church to church with a book, in which people gave them all the dignity of a name. They were all named.
The second testimony is from a woman who has participated in 40 Days for Life in the past, but decided to take the training and did her first official Sidewalk Advocate shift this past week. In response to my email asking how her first shift went, she wrote:
This was my first “official” shift as a Sidewalk Advocate, although I had been praying for an hour on Saturday mornings at the clinic for the last few months. I had felt that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be down there to engage in spiritual battle. I had always hated going down to Planned Parenthood twice a year for the 40 Days for Life, but I think with the 2020 election and feeling the need to pray for protection for our city, I felt I needed to be down there. It was such a pleasure to be there this past Tuesday in the warmth! Two weeks prior on Saturday, I had been bundled up in my down coat, long underwear, etc. I prayed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and felt very comfortable being down there and approaching the people I did. Originally I said I only wanted to do a one hour shift, but I decided to up it to 1 1/2 hours going forward.Linda
Mike, a brand new sidewalk advocate wrote last week telling us that on his very first shift at PP, he was approached by a young woman who was looking to go to PP for a pregnancy test…and allowed him to walk her up to Catholic Charities instead!
Whether or not we see any results from our time on the sidewalk, God sees us and He uses our presence there for good. It is important. It is “right and just.” Our hope is to increase the sidewalk coverage at PP to all 6 days eventually…and to hopefully be able to expand to the East Liberty abortion clinic, where we can direct women and men to the brand new “East Liberty Women’s Center”!
If you would like to see this happen, please help us to make it a reality by “making an appointment with God” by contacting Jen to get on the schedule. If you do not feel comfortable handing our literature or speaking to abortion-bound women and men…THAT IS FINE! Just being there to pray and hold a sign can STILL save lives!!!
Mark your calendars now to participate in this spring’s annual DIAPER DRIVE AT PP!
40 Days for Life Diaper Drive has a NEW DATE!!! Saturday, June 19, 2021, the day before Father’s Day. Diaper Drop Off: In front of PP, 933 Liberty Avenue, between 9-12 noon. Start collecting! Contact Charlene with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-337-4056
Thank you for being a part of our little prayer army for life in Pittsburgh!
Your sister in Christ,