“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
As we approach the end of our campaign, the question that we should all be asking ourselves is: So, what now?
It would be easy to settle down for a long winter’s nap and rest. It would be easy to focus on the holidays and our own family needs. It would be easy to slide back into our “pre-40 Days” routine and enjoy having a few extra hours each week. For those of us who have not been PERSONALLY affected by abortion, it’s easy to go back to “ordinary” life. However, for those men, women, and babies who have affected by abortion, the effects are lifelong (and, in some cases, lasting into eternity). However, Jesus didn’t come so that we could go about living as we used to. He didn’t come so that people could continue living under the burden, guilt, and hurt of abortion. He didn’t come so that men, women, and children would keep on dying.
Rather, Jesus came so that everyone might have life, and the fullest life possible. When this campaign is over, please don’t go back to life as it was. Make prayer, fasting, and protest a way of life. Live your life to the fullest for Jesus Christ so that others might have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.
I arrived before 7:00 a.m. and was able to help Diane with some set up.
Our shift manager Al arrived by 7:00 a.m. and about a half hour later we noticed a couple standing in the doorway of the building a short distance away. The woman was crying and the man seemed to have a stern expression. Al approached and asked if he could be of help, to which they said “no”.
A few moments later I approached with the flier of “Help available” and handed it toward the woman saying, “Here’s some information for FREE help.” The woman readily took it and said “Thank you”. They remained there for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, Marian arrived to join us . She, too, noticed them and approached with the flier for Men, and handed it to the man; the woman was speaking on a phone. In a short time they walked toward 9th Street. We were praying that they’d go to Catholic Charities.
At least 12 to 15 folks took fliers I offered and said “thanks.” An African American man reached to take the 40 Days flier and said, “In 2012 I thought you people who stand here are crazy. But when my wife killed our baby, I came to find out what you are doing is good. Thank you. Too bad I had to have the bad experience to realize it.” And he walked on.
Bill arrived shortly before I needed to catch the bus. I was still offering fliers, when a young woman with half blonde, half light green hair and a tan hat said to me, with a smug expression, “I wish YOU had been aborted”, to which I replied, “and I’m so happy I wasn’t”.
A most blessed and interesting vigil for sure !
Sally writes from the 9-11 shift:
Al did not see an abortionist going in this morning. Very few couples
and single girls went in during our two shifts. I saw two couples
leaving PP too early to have had a surgical abortion.
Rose, Marian, Nancy & Bill were with Al, followed the next hour by
Jim, Ron and Nancy’s sister, Susan.
Early in the shift a couple stood in front of the bookstore talking
for about 20 minutes. The woman was crying. Al approached them
without success. Some minutes later, his morning prayer partner, Rose,
was able to give her a resource flyer. Eventually they simply left,
and to our knowledge, did not return. Another woman, there alone, was
in conversation with one of our people for some time, but eventually
Madelyn and Peg were the sidewalk advocates this morning. Two of the
men also had been giving flyers to people before they arrived.
Things got a little heated as 3 of our men loudly discussed the wisdom
of withholding an offer of literature to those going into PP. I had
to remind them that 40 Days for Life is peaceful. Being the good guys
that they are they did not continue their conversation.
Barbara & Marilyn from Grace Church in Harmony came down early to do a
Jericho walk around the block. As I waited for my bus they were on
their 6th round. God bless them!
Regina managed the 11-1 shift and writes:
I was blessed to be greeted by my two lovely, faithful Sidewalk Advocates friends Marilyn and Peggy. Their beautiful, loving souls and powerful witness has inspired me to join them, and continue my weekly Friday witness on Liberty Ava, as a felow Sidewalk Advocate, until the next 40 Days campaign rolls around next Spring.
I am happy to continue forth with my friend, Pastor Bryan, as I found yesterday’s shared witness so very powerful and inspirational. Somehow, standing by myself on the opposite side as Pastor (alone for the first time this camapaign, which was very well attaneded), inspired me to offer literature and positive alternatives to literally everyone who passed,while praying the rosary out loud, between passersby.
I felt so very uplifted by the spirit, and found the downcast disposition, with which I arrived due to family challenges, to be completely replaced with one of hope and prayerful inspiration! I guess it is true what they say; “If you are feeling down, go help somone else”. It certainly worked in my case!
At various points before and after my time alone, I was grateful to be joined by Lisa Mears, from St. Bernadette, for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and by Barbara and Marilyn from Grace Harmony Church, who participated in a ‘Jericho Walk’, prayerfullly circling around the block in front of Planned Parenthood multiple times!
By the time my replacement, Shift Manager, Marie arrived, I was a completely new person! This was good because, a kind woman in need of support approached Marie and in need of human kindness and connection. We gave her a rosary, Sweatshirt (she was cold), and
Crash course on how to pray the rosary. Please keep, Shelly in your prayers. A street person in need also was given a gift card today. Thank you Jesus for 40 Days For Life! All life is a precious gift from God, before and after birth!
See you in the Spring!
Marie managed the 1-3 shift and was blessed to have the company of two seminarians from SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary praying during her shift. If any reports are sent in, they will be posted here.
Sheila managed the vigil from 3-5 and sent in this photo of the large group of seminarians from St. Paul Seminary in Crafton:
Praise God for all these Godly young men who are giving their lives in service to the Lord, and for their witness today!
As you saw in the pictures, we had a large group of prayer warriors. As I told you, Lisa brought candy and so many people stopped to grab a piece, and they were receptive to taking our brochures as well! Let’s pray for ‘A,’ a beautiful young black woman who wanted to know how we feel about LGBT people. When told that we love everyone just the same, she became tearful and told us that her family has totally rejected her. She said she’s a Christian so we encouraged her to keep Christ front and center in her life and pray for His guidance. She walked away smiling! Also pray for a young couple who walked out of PP then stopped to look at the fetal models. They insisted that abortion is sometimes the best choice. The young woman was abandoned by her father after the mother started using heroin, and then was pretty much on her own after that. She said she wished she had been aborted because her life has been so miserable, including a rape at the age of 13.
Pat managed the vigil from 5-7 and wrote:
When I arrived Lisa and her family were offering candy (and it was the good stuff, too) to those who walked by. Many smiles resulted, even by those who declined. And many did take some candy and were very grateful. As a reult, I think those of us who were offering the resource sheet had many more takers of that than we ordinarily would have. Thanks Lisa for being so generous once again.
We did have one negative incident. A young woman who was VERY angry, started to verbally abuse the youngest of our group, Anthony, for being out there in the street doing what he was doing. B/c the sidewalk was so noisy, and we were praying the rosary, it took us a bit of time to recognize what was happening. Without saying anything to each other, Maggie, Adam and I more or less surrounded Anthony to protect him. The woman left a minute or so later. Maggie had the good sense to ask that we all say a prayer for her, which we did.
While Maggie and Lisa and their families left at around 6, Adam, who had been there since 3:30, stuck it out with me to the end, even though his feet were obviously getting pretty cold. A woman named Alice from Crafton joined us at about 6:30 and also stayed until the end. Adam, thank you so much for being there with me all that time!