Day 38: SS. Christ Ch. Ministries; Cyril & Methodius Seminary; SS Peter & Paul

“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.

In Christ,

Adam Stump Signature

Pastor Adam

Rose writes:

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
went in.

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!

 

Jim and Susan
Jim and Susan

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.

day 38, 3rd shift

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:

Seminarians standing for Life!
Seminarians standing for Life!

Praise God for all these Godly young men who are giving their lives in service to the Lord, and for their witness today!

Sheila wrote:

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!

Lisa and her family, and Maggie with her kids
Lisa and her family, and Maggie with her kids

 

 

Day 31: Byzantine Catholics of Pgh; St. Bonaventure; SS Peter & Paul

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” -Philippians 2:5-11

This passage is known as the “double kenosis,” or “double emptying” of Christ.  It speaks to Jesus’ emptying Himself, first by becoming a human, and secondly by becoming a servant to the point of death.  The result of that double emptying is that Jesus was exalted to a place above all else, with a name above all names.  This is to prove the Lordship of Jesus and to glorify the Father in heaven.

As we go through this life, we shouldn’t try to avoid periods of “emptying,” in which we are brought low.  Rather, we should accept them.  Whether they are times of persecution by the government, persecution by our peers, or persecution from corporations like Planned Parenthood, we are to take on the role of servants and serve all whom we meet, even our oppressors–even to the point of death.  Scripture tells us that if we die with Christ, then we shall be raised with Him.  If we suffer with Him, then we will be glorified with Him, and all this is to prove the Lordship of Jesus and to glorify our heavenly Father.

Don’t be discouraged by the hardships and trials of this life.  Don’t be discouraged by living as a servant.  Instead, enjoy the opportunity to serve God and suffer with Christ so that we can share in His glory and glorify our great God in heaven.

Scroll down to read the stories from the sidewalk today.

In Christ,

Adam Stump Signature

Pastor Adam

Sally writes:

It was an interesting morning. A woman abortionist, whom Al had never
seen, went in at the usual time. We each saw a few couples and singles
go in. One older couple spoke with one of the Byzantine women, telling
her that they have 3 children, she is pregnant, and has cancer. They
said they did not want to have the abortion but “had no choice”
because a doctor has told her that she would die if she carried the
child to birth. The woman seemed especially anxious to go in and get
it over with. We prayed for them to make a decision for life and trust
in God, but we did not see them come out.

Sally5 Sally4

The Byzantine Liturgy, which the group chanted between 10 and 10:30,
is very beautiful. But the man from the bookstore came out and told
Father that we were “too loud” and were bothering some people in the
store who were “working on a project”.  Father told him that we could
not be quiet, but that we would be finished in 15 or 20 minutes.  He
went back in the shop and did not come out again.
Before I went across the street to my bus stop a large group began
arriving from St. Bonaventure, including parents with small children
and their pastor, Father Sweeney.  I was able to ask him how his
parishioner, Joe Hughes, is.  Joe is a WWll veteran and was a faithful
picket at PP every Tuesday morning for many years.  He now has a lot
of serious health problems, probably will never be seen at PP again,
and could use some prayers. Thank you.

Sally

Sally2 Sally1

Regina writes:

Dear pro Life Family,

My heart was greatly encouraged by the ‘force’ of Pro Life warriors and their fearless leaders; Pastor, Fr. John Sweeney, and Parochial Vicar, Fr. Jeremy Mohler from St. Bonaventure in The North Side. The Pro-Life culture lived at this large Parish of over 3,000 families brought powerful, prayerful witness to the sidewalk today!  A spirit of family joined by common purpose was felt by all present including: St. Bonaventure Parishioners, Dave and His beautiful family, Charlene (fellow Shift manager), Theresa, Chuck, Sandy, Dawn, and husband and wife teams: Claire and Jim, MaryAnn and Frank, and Mario and Judy. George from Holy Sepulcher, joined Lisa Mears from St. Bernadette, and Pastor Bryan as they offered their Friday faith witness, thus adding to the significant numbers already present for Life! A special thanks to all who joined our Campaign for Life in witness or in prayer from home this day!
God bless each and everyone of you! Your presence and prayers touched many hearts today including mine!
Regina

Regina1 Regina2 Regina3 Regina4

Pat writes:

I started my shift with two Lisas.  And while I got a good picture of them – along with Lisa C’s two daughters – the picture somehow didn’t get from my phone to my computer.  Urrrhhh!

The most significant part of the night occurred while David, Rosanne and I were praying together.  A young woman who seemed to be in need, asked us if we had two dollars we could spare.  Her name is “F”.  David ended up talking to her and ministering to her for about ½ hr.  She told him her story, and she really seems to be in a difficult situation.  After a while, as David continued to talk with her, Rosanne and I continued to pray.  After she left David gave us the details, and that he had given her some tools to help her in her prayers and to fight the addiction he suspected she was fighting.  He even gave her the small bible he brings with him to the vigil.  Please pray for “F”.  She clearly has a great need for them. 

Pat, 5-7

Pat1 Pat2

 

Day 24: Christ Church Ministries; North American Martyrs; West Hills Baptist

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”–1 Timothy 1:12-17

When confronted with the horrible evil of abortion, it’s easy to look at the act of murdering babies and focus on judgment and condemnation.  We sometimes ask ourselves, “How can a doctor perform such an act, when they take an oath to do not harm?” and we can easily fall into the mindset that such people are beyond God’s grace.  Without having a theological dissertation on sin and its various forms, it is important for us to remember that when Jesus died on the cross, all people were sinners, enslaved to a life of sin and deserving of eternal condemnation.  However, the whole point of Jesus’ coming and dying for us was to save us from that condemnation and give us new life.

The prime example of the redemption offered by God is seen in Saint Paul, who was “the foremost sinner,” but became one of the greatest missionary evangelists of all time.  This was not because he was great or a good person, but because his heart was radically changed by God.  He had been so blind to the truth that he actually thought that he was pleasing God by killing Christians.  It was only when God blinded him, physically, that he was able to see how blind he was spiritually.

There are many people just like St. Paul today.  One of the most blatant examples is the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, who believe that they are doing God’s work by supporting abortion.  They believe that abortion is a godly and right choice for a person to make.  It’s hard for us to relate to people who are so blind to the truth, but we must never, ever become so discouraged as to think that even these people, and the doctors who perform abortions, are beyond God’s grace.  Paul had blessed the murdering of Christians, but because of God’s grace, he became the most famous Christian in history.  His radical transformation from “the foremost sinner” to “the foremost Christian” is still possible today.  However, it takes more than just a halfhearted commitment.  It takes a lifestyle change on the part of Christians to faithfully pray and fast for those who defend and perform abortions.

I believe that we are seeing a cultural tide change in America, where people are viewing abortion for what it is: murder.  However, it will take more than a physical eye opening to change the culture of abortion.  It will take the power of the Holy Spirit to spiritually open the eyes of America.  The question for us, today, is this: are we prepared to commit the time, energy, and effort to faithfully and continuously praying for those who support abortion.  This involves more than just praying for a shift downtown or praying during the campaign.  It means praying daily that those who commit these acts will be spiritually awakened and changed.  I believe that if we pray in such a way, the hearts of those running Planned Parenthood will be changed.  I also believe that when those people’s hearts are changed, they will become “the foremost pro-Lifers” in our midst.  Let us continually pray for this change of heart in these people, that they might cease to be our enemies and become our friends.

Continue reading to see how God has worked today, so that we might pray more effectively for the mission.

Sally writes:

For a shift that had no church signed up before 11 a.m. we had a lot
of people witnessing for life. Rose & Bill H. and Sidewalk Advocates,
Kim and Seamus, were with Al. Tom came to pray about the time that I
arrived, and spent most of the morning with us, as did Advocates
Pastor Bryan and Madelyn.  A married couple from N. American Martyrs
arrived more than a half hour before their church was to be there.
Faithful Lillian and two ladies from St. Thomas More also came to pray
the rosary. And a large group from N. American Martyrs was signing in
as I was crossing the street to my bus stop.

This must have been a school holiday. Without students there were far
less people on the sidewalk during the first hour.  People seemed a
bit friendlier than usual.  Seamus was watching the alley and reported
that some women were using that way to enter PP.
He could not tell if they were workers or customers. The abortionist,
“B”, went in alone at the usual time. It is unusual for her to have no
students with her.

A homeless man stopped, thanked us for being there, and ask if we had
any more of the coupons for the pizza place across the street. I gave
him the one that had been put with the shift manager badge and could
find no more.

Some time after 10 a.m. a very LONG and WIDE tractor trailer parked in
front of the bar, PP,and the dance place next to PP.  They proceeded
to move things into the dance place for at least an hour. They were
still there when my bus arrived at 11:20.  Because that truck was so
large we could not walk in the street to go from one side of PP to the
other.  So I simply walked on the sidewalk with my signs, something I
ordinarily never do.  It was also a hazard for any one trying to
cross Liberty at the crosswalk because the truck stuck out into the
street so far.

No rain or wind, but gloves were necessary for the entire morning. PP
business seemed to be very slow until 10:45 when several couples went
in. I spoke to them.  One couple came out a couple minutes later, went
up Liberty and did not come back before I left. There was no way to
speak to them as they left, so I don’t know if they changed their mind
or had taken someone else in.

Sally

Sally Sally2

Regina writes:

A joyful spirit of prayer and hope filled the sidewalk today as North American Martyrs (NAM) Parishioners came out in record numbers to stand for life! New Shift Managers, Donna and Mr. Roney, generously joined their parish for an additional shift, and prayed a rosary with Pastoral Associate, Elizabeth Trexler. Though New to the sidewalk, Jessica handed out life saving alternative literature to individuals entering and exiting the clinic like a pro! Sidewalk advocate and NAM 40 Days Co-Coordinator, Vicky Pernik invited and drove a car-full of enthusiastic witnesses for life including: Jenny, whose cheerful smile  and greeting rang out to each passerby; Patty, who’s loving spirit of prayer warmed the chill;, Angelina, insightful 8th grade granddaughter of Patty; and prayer warrior, Kim. What a blessing for me to be surrounded by my loving parish family during my shift today! The sight of our supportive, pro-life pastor, Fr. Joe Luisi, walking towards us with a big smile, and two signs was the icing on the cake at change of shift! Praise God and thank you NAM for a special day!

God bless,

Regina

Regina1 Regina2 Regina3 Regina4

Jeff Writes:

Thanks to West Hills Baptist for standing the whole 3-5 shift with me, along with Adam from Monroeville. Sidewalk was busy with lots of people going by.  Vicky, a sidewalk counselor, was busy working her phone trying to find shelter for R. who is 9 weeks pregnant and homeless (she spent last night in the bus terminal).  Kathy L. came down and took the woman in for the night while Vicky continues to find her a place to stay.  Pro-choice people would never believe this happens on the sidewalk when they accuse us of just standing around doing nothing.  Non-believers may  never understand these women doing God’s work here on earth.  I am in awe of the wonderful signs He sends down on this sidewalk!

Jeff Burgman

Jeff2

Pat writes:

It was great seeing the ever-faithful West Hills Baptist group there again.  They came at 3 and stayed until nearly the end.  So thank you Pastor Larry, Karen, Dave and Sarah.  
We also had cousins Jim and Ron return again.  The two of them, along with Adam, who was at the vigil for only the second time, were able to distribute lots of the 40 Days for Life flyers.  Adam, I really enjoyed talking with you and getting to know you  [And thank you, SM Jeff, for coming back in your car and taking the pictures.]
Hopefully we’ll also be able to be able to soon share the picture we took of the group from Seton Hill University who came down to the vigil for the very first time…and brought nuns with them!!!  Stephen and Madeline, leaders of the SHU Respect Life club, were there along with Jackie, Hanna, Cora, Sr. Maureen, and Sr. Ann.  Thank you all so much for being there guys!
Pat, 5-7
David, Sarah, Karen, Larry
David, Sarah, Karen, Larry

Day 17: St. Margaret Mary (Moon); Christ Church Ministries (Penn Hills); SS Peter & Paul

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”     So God created man in his own image,     in the image of God he created him;     male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” –Genesis 1:26-28  

When we read our Bibles, one of the main lessons that we learn is who God is.  We know that God is love, God is uniquely concerned with humanity, and that He is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ—the Sacrifice offered for our redemption (And we could keep going forever talking about the greatness of our God!).  However, when we read our Bibles, we also discover who we are. Part of the divine mystery is that “who we are” is a reflection of who God is.  Genesis tells us that we are made in the image of God.  That means that we were created to look like God and that we are all images of God to this world.  In other words, the world “sees” God through us.  The Bible tells us that all people, both male and female, are made in the image of God.  The Bible doesn’t say that God created us “black and white/gay and straight/poor and rich/strong and weak.”  Rather, Scripture tells us that all people, no matter who we are, reflect the image of God. Because all human life bears the image of God, all human life is valuable, as we can learn more and more about God through others’ reflection of Him.  It doesn’t matter if that life is “viable” or not.  That life is valuable because each life reveals a different facet of the God whom we love and serve. As we pray outside of Planned Parenthood, let us pray that the mothers and fathers who go into that place will see God in the life growing inside the womb.  Pray that God reveals Himself to them through the tiny person who has entered their lives and that they will see the intrinsic value in that life and that the lives of the mother and father will be changed by seeing the image of God appearing in their midst.

For those of you who don’t know, there has been a man coming to our vigil who has been taking pictures of people and harassing and startling shift managers and participants.  Please be aware that Pennsylvania does have laws concerning harassment.  While no one has been assaulted or threatened, please know that if you feel as though you are being threatened, you can always call the police and report the incident and request their presence.  However, what we must do is remember the “rules of the sidewalk,” and not aggress against these people.  Instead, I urge you to pray for them–and pray hard!  They need the love of the Lord in their lives.  What follows is Pennsylvania’s legal statement on harassment:

Pennsylvania
Harassment
Title 18, Chapter 27, § 2709
In Pennsylvania, the general harassment law includes a variety of actions. The following prohibited conduct is relevant to street harassment, if done with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another:

* Following someone in or about a public place.

* Striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting someone to physical contact, or attempting or threatening to do so.

* Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts which serve no legitimate purpose.

* Communicating to or about someone any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures.

This statute defines “course of conduct” as “a pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct.”
If a harasser follows you, uses sexually explicit or obscene language, has some physical contact with you, or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose, you can report that person.

Now, please enjoy the stories and pictures from the sidewalk!

The rain had not yet arrived, so our shift was warm & sunny.  About 6 couples went into PP by 9 a.m. and a few more on my shift. An abortionist and 2 or 3 students went in as usual around 9 a.m., just   as I was walking from my bus stop. I was not close enough to see who they were.

A lady named Elaine, who is from an Orthodox Presbyterian Church & counsels girls who have had abortions, told Al that the biggest reason women have abortions is FEAR. Fear that the guy will leave them, fear that their parents will throw them out, fear that people will look down on them, fear that they will not be able to care for a child,  fear that the child will not be “normal”, etc. So I guess the first thing to ask any woman we meet who is abortion bound is why she feels  that she needs to have an abortion.

Only 3 people arrived from St. Margaret Mary, but they were powerful pray-ers and also were handing out literature. We had 4 sidewalk advocates on duty, first Seamus and Kim and later Peg and Madelyn.  Bill, Rose & Lillian were also with us. People walking by seemed to be  more friendly than usual.

Sally (7-9)

Sally
Fr. Frank and friends from St. Margaret Mary in Moon twp.

Regina managed the vigil from 11-1 and wrote:

Sharon, Elizabeth, Madelyn and Peg shine for Jesus
Sharon, Elizabeth, Madelyn and Peg shine for Jesus

As you can see the ‘wet wittness’ did not dampen the smiles or spirit of love pouring forth from the 11:00-1:00 40 Days For Life shift on Friday. Fr Frank from St. Mary Margaret in Moon Township, helped kicked off our first hour with his warm personality and easy going laugh. Peggy, Madelyn, and Pastor Bryan, our regular sidewalk advocates, worked hard as always to inspire different choices and change hardened hearts. One example was a conversation engaged by Pastor Bryan, and a gentlemen making the common argument for abortion in the case of rape. Pastor Bryan applying logic and reason, answered the argument effectively by noting that in the case of rape resulting in conception, there are are not one but two victims; the mother and her baby. He then posed the question as to why the victim should be punished? The gentlemen reportedly responded by exclaiming that “He would have to let the logic of that argument sit with him for a while”!

 

Pastor Bryan spreading God's love...rain or shine!
Pastor Bryan spreading God’s love…rain or shine!

We had the pleasure of praying with Sharon and her lovely, newly married daughter, Elisabeth both from Holy Trinity Parish in Robinson, Helen from St. Joseph’s in Indiana Township, and Audrey from St. Margaret of Scottland. 

 

A special thank you to all for uniting their prayers with the added sacrifice of standing in the torrential downpou!  St. Pope John Paul II said; “The most powerful force in human history is to unite suffering with prayer”! I Thank God for receiving yesterday’s offering for the cause of life!

 

With love, Regina

 

Friday, 3-5pm

 I arrived after the downpour, to a warm, breezy and even sunny sidewalk.  Thanks to all those before me who stood in the rain!  I know your witness did not go unnoticed!

 I was alone for my first hour, which was fine.

 Nikki

I sat on the plastic bin and prayed my rosary, while gazing at the door of Planned Parenthood…imagining the day when that door will no longer be opening for abortions.  It seems to me that when a woman is alone at the vigil…and the environment is safe (a busy weekday afternoon)…more folks seem to be comfortable to want to stop and chat.  One young woman was pushing her toddler in a stroller and told me that she had almost had an abortion.  She had a beautiful little girl and I thanked God that she chose life!  Another man stopped and said, “People don’t like it when you live a righteous life, do they?”  Sort of a strange, random opening statement…but that began a conversation.  Then a young man who had been working at the convention center stopped to “debate” about abortion.  He was respectful enough, but I think he would have gone on forever, if Greg from St. Gregory in Zelienople hadn’t shown up at 4:00 to pray.  Thanks Greg!  This was his first time praying at a 40 Days for Life vigil.  Soon, Lisa and her two daughters, Esther and Natividad arrived for their 4-6pm shift for SS. Peter & Paul in Beaver.  It turned out that both Lisa and Greg had a lot in common…they had both adopted kids from Guatemala…and even in the same year!  It’s amazing the people you meet on the sidewalk! 

Nikki 2 

We were also joined by Rick (not pictured).  Together we prayed the rosary and a Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Another prayer volunteer, David, joined us near the end of my shift.  Before I knew it, Pat was there to replace me.

Nikki 3 

Thanks to everyone who is praying and fasting these 40 days!  God bless you!

Nikki

Pat writes:

Tonight I once again had Lisa to pray with, but this time she brought here two youngest daughters, Nadi and Esther, with her.  It was great to see their smiling faces again.  Greg, who I know from the daily mass at Epiphany parish, came down to pray for the first time.  Thanks for being there tonight, Greg.  And through my entire shift I was once again privileged to have David with me. Thanks so much David.
While there were a few incidents of “drive-by” harassment, the night was fairly calm.  The highlight came at about 5:45 when a young woman tried to get in, but couldn’t.  She asked me if they were open and I told her that they weren’t.  I said that we have other alternatives to PP that I’d be happy to give her, she said that she wasn’t there for an abortion.  I told her that no matter what it was:  birth control, STD testing, whatever, I had a list of places where she could go.  She waited for me as I went to the other side and gave her one of our tri-fold resource sheets.  I also happened to have on hand a pamphlet about birth control and its dangers.  She took that as well.  Who knows how the intersection of her being late and our being out on the street will change her life.  If you can, please say a prayer for her.
Pat, 5-7

Day 10-St. John Neumann; Holy Sepulchre; Glade Mills; SS Peter & Paul

HELP IS NEEDED TO COVERING THE FOLLOWING VIGIL SHIFTS:

Sunday, Oct. 4th 7-11; Monday, Oct. 5th 10-11

IF YOU CAN COME DOWN, PLEASE EMAIL NIKKI, OR COME DOWN EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T SIGNED UP!  PLEASE DON’T LEAVE OUR SHIFT MANAGER THERE ALONE!  THANK YOU!

On days like today, it’s easy to feel “down” or “blue.”  When the sun is hidden by clouds and we know that rain will come, we can get depressed.  Often, our mood is determined by things completely outside of our control, like weather, global/political problems, and even family problems that we can’t solve.  However, God works in these days, too.  It doesn’t have to be warm and sunny, and we don’t have to feel positive or upbeat for God to work.  In fact, it is on days like this that we remember what an amazing God we serve, because He cares for us and loves us and interacts with us, even when we least expect it.

Today was another day that We all had the opportunity to let God shine in our lives.  As we reflect on our own days and see how the “Sonshine” came into our lives, let’s look at how God worked through 40 Days for Life:

Sally writes about the 9-11am shift:

This morning was a preview of weather to come. Coats, hats & even
gloves were necessary for the first 3 hours of this shift.  Denise,
Sharon & Diane from St. John Neumann parish prayed four rosaries to end
abortion.

Denise told us that over 30 years ago her daughter, born with problems
that needed to be corrected by serious surgery shortly after birth,
had a dream when she was 4 years old.  In the dream she saw herself in
a hospital bed, as an infant, with tubes coming out of her head and
her arms tied to the bed sides. She saw this while being held above
the bed “in the arms of Jesus”, who then told her that He was “sending
her back to her mother now”.  Denise knew that the dream had
accurately showed her daughter as she had been after the surgery.

Beatrice Chen and students were the abortionists of the day. As of 11
a.m. their business had been slow.

Nothing noteworthy happened, except that a man came by toward the end
of my shift and handed me five 9″ x 11″ beautiful color copies of
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.  The wording is: ‘THE FIRST PERSON TO
RECOGNIZE JESUS WAS AN UNBORN CHILD. LUKE 1:41” I took one copy home
to see if it would fit into a ziplock freezer bag, and it does.
The other 4 copies are under the sign-up sheet. They can easily be
rain proofed by putting them in ziplock bags. I did thank the man, but
he just walked away before I could ask him his name.

Sally

Diane, Sharon, and Denise from St. John Neumann
Diane, Sharon, and Denise from St. John Neumann

Regina writes from the 11-1am shift:

A powerful group of Prayer warriors from Holy Sepulcher Parish were joined by a dedicated group of Sidewalk Advocates at Planned Parenthood today. Prayers accompanied by offers to help women entering PP were the steady pattern from 11 until 1:00 when the badge went to Marie and a fresh group of reinforcements from H.S. Parish. 

One young woman expressed excitement as she spied Genesis listed on the resource sheet I handed her. She went on to share that she had been searching for this listing for her pregnant friend. She was more than happy to learn of other resources available to her friend, and explained that she was not even aware of the fact that abortions were done in the building behind her. Thanks be to God for His ‘Divine appointments!’ Jesus is the best ‘Master scheduler’!

With love and hope,

Regina

Regina 1 Regina 2 Regina 3 Regina 4

Barbara managed the vigil from 3-5pm and took this photo of the great group from SS. Peter and Paul in Beaver:

day 10, lisa cahill

Pat writes from the 5-7pm shift:

Tonight, at least when compared to last week’s Fall Crawl, was a relatively quiet night.  Still, there was a young woman, who was later joined by another young woman, who seemed intent on arguing with Bill Harrison and me.  But because logic was getting me nowhere, and I could feel my own temperature rise, I finally had to just back away, be completely silent, and pray.

 

Lisa and her friend Teddi were there for the first hour and were great company.  We talked and we prayed.  Around 5:30 or so, cousins Jim, Art, and Ron came and stayed until the end.  It was great having the chance to talk to Jim for a little bit and to get to know a little bit of his story.  You just can’t get too much of hearing about the miracles God works in people’s lives. 

 

Towards the end of the night, a young woman and man walked by and then came back.  Jim had specifically requested when they arrived to wear a sign about women regretting their abortion.   When the young woman and young man came back I could hear her say that the sign he was wearing made her sad.  The three of them then went to the other side of the street to talk.  The conversation lasted a good 10 minutes or so and from the little I could overhear, it was clear that they were listening to Jim as he spoke to them about Christ.  It also seemed clear that she was post-abortive.  As their conversation was breaking up, I handed the woman a Rachel’s Vineyard pamphlet.  Her name is “D”.  Please pray for her.

 

Pat 5-7

Cousins Ron, Art, and Jim
Cousins Ron, Art, and Jim

Pat 2

 

Day 3: St. Ferdinand, Cranberry; St. Mary Glenshaw; SS. Peter and Paul; Ascension Holy Name Society

Today was a beautiful day with lovely fall weather.  We thank God for His provision thus far, and we look forward in faith believing that He will continue to bless us with strength, perseverance, and lives saved!  Thank you to our shift managers and those faithful prayer warriors who came to lift up their voices in supplication to the Lord of Life!  Here are the reports from the morning:

Sally writes:

A beautiful morning, and for the most part very quiet. St. Ferdinand
church was at PP from 9 to 11. John from St. Killian brought 4 rather large signs,
professionally produced and framed, showing the milestones of life
from months 2 to 5. The signs were a beautiful witness for life the
entire morning.

We also had quite a few sidewalk advocates passing out literature the
entire morning. Kathy was on the job when I arrived a little after 9
a.m. and was later joined by Pastor Bryan, Peggy, and Madeline. Bill
H. was also with us.

A couple small, noteworthy events: A young African America girl
screamed, “I love abortion”.  Al responded that her words would have
made Margaret Sanger very happy. She shouted an expletive and kept on
walking.  Amazing how those whom Margaret Sanger wished to eliminate
are often her staunch supporters.

A man came by and announced twice in a loud voice that “It’s illegal
to hang signs on trees”, referring to the wonderful sign showing
quotes from women who regret their abortions.  He did not say if
Christmas lights, wrapped around a tree for 10 months, are illegal.

Sally

St. Alphonsus church with John's signs
St. Ferdinand church with John’s signs

Kay, from St. Ferdinand made this observation from her time at the vigil:

As the 4 of us were holding the photos showing the various stages of development of the baby in the womb (2 mos., 3 mos., 4 mos., 5 mos.), a group of very small children – looked to be about 2 years old – passed by with 2 adults. The ten or so of the children were huddled together and holding hands as they walked down the sidewalk. Their eyes were wide open as they passed us and looked at the photos. One of the children walked right up to the photo I was holding, pointed to it, and said “BABY!!!”. We just smiled and commented to each other how even a 2-year old knows it’s a baby.

 

Regina writes from her 11a-1p shift:

As I arrived on the sidewalk today for my first shift of the fall campaign, I was greeted with the loving, warm smiles of two gentle warriors for Christ, Pastor Bryan and Bill Harrison. The presence and love of The Holy Spirit was immediately tangible as Side Walk Advocate, Peggy Evans and I embraced, mutually happy to be sharing a shift again, though both lamenting the continued need for our prayerful presence at the gates of death. Peggy was joined by SWA partner, Madelyn and I by Rose who so generously came out to avoid my being alone on the sidewalk for the second hr. as the schedule implied I would. Well, as it turned out we had the pleasure of much company as we were joined in prayer by Rose’s son Bob, Bill Harrison ( a kind man taking time out from work to join us in prayer),

 and Lisa Fenesy with Lisa Mears, both from St. Bernadette’s Parish in Monroeville. What a grace! Thanks be to God! We are off to a Faith filled start indeed, with all of these prayer warriors for life ready to stand in the gap for Jesus, for woman and men, for life!!

With love and hope,

Regina

Regina 5 Regina 4 Regina 3 Regina 2 Regina 1

Pat writes about his 5-7pm shift:

When I arrived and saw the 3-foot plastic cat wearing a top hat and perched on a car roof, this should have tipped me off.  Then, when two police officers pulled-up and said that they had had a complaint about us, this should have erased all doubt.  [Don’t worry, Nikki, we weren’t at fault and everything was eventually cleared-up.]

I was actually looking forward to my 5-7 shift tonight, but Pittsburgh decided that tonight would be a great night for their “Fall Gallery Crawl.”  This meant about 3-4 times the normal number of people on the streets – and many of them with a hostile attitude towards us.  We even had one woman who I’ve seen before put her cell phone less than a foot from our faces as we prayed.  And she continued to do this for nearly 10 minutes.  Another who mocked us wore a T-shirt which said:  “Planned Parenthood:  Saving lives since 1973.”  Could all of this negative attention mean that some people are, all of a sudden, starting to feel a little bit threatened by us? 

But it was so good to be there with David from Weirton, and Ed and his family and former pastor from Ascension Holy Name Society in Jeanette.  We prayed and we endured it.  And God was with us. 

 
Pat
A cat in a hat
A cat in a hat

Pat 2 Pat 3

Day 31: St. John Neumann; St. Alphonsus Wexford; St. Mary Glenshaw; West Hills Baptist

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and came out during the snow and the rain!  You are a blessing, and we pray that you will be blessed!  Your witness for life is so needed, and it’s priceless.  Thank you.  Tomorrow’s churches are Guardians for Life; Holy Wisdom & St. John XXIII.  Let’s pray for better weather, and that God works through the vigil to save life and change life.  Read on for the stories and pictures from the sidewalk!

Rose writes from the 7-9 shift:

When I got the 6:30 a.m. bus in Lawrenceville this morning it was snowing, drizzly rain to follow.  I prayed that each snowflake or raindrop bring a washing away of plans of those intending to come to PP today.  I was at the “circle” for about 10 minutes when Diane arrived with the display and bin of resources and signs.  She waited till the 7:00 a.m. bus arrived with Al our shift manager. Fortunately I had brought a large umbrella for by that time it was a steady, wet rain and Al was grateful to share the space under it. As we talked and prayed the rosary ,I kept offering the 40 Days fliers to passerby’s. At least a dozen people took them, several saying “Thank you” for the resource.  There were a few staff who entered PP.  Around 8:15 Karen Nelson, Greg Weis, and Kim arrived , took signs to hold ,and huddled in the cover of the doorways to be out of the rain.  I continued prayer from across Liberty Ave as I waited for the 8:40 bus. I had hardly crossed the street when I saw a tall African American man join the group for a shift.

Sally Writes from the morning shift:

It was cold enough for gloves and winter clothes. Rain and/or snow
poured on us all morning. That was the bad news. The good news is that
temperature stayed high enough to prevent freezing.  The log page &
anything else that was not in plastic got very wet.  Yet we had a good
number of pray-ers present. They came from St. John Newman, St.
Alphonsus, St. John & Paul, St. Bonaventure, Three Rivers AOG, and
others.

PP was very slow. Almost no customers up till the time I left. Al had
seen one couple go in early. He said, “Abortion murders babies”. The
man responded “Cool!”. His one word statement shows such a total
disregard for babies, born and unborn, and probably for all human
life, and is entirely too prevalent today.  God help us!

God bless her, Caroline was early enough for me to catch an earlier bus.

The folks from St. Mary Glenshaw
The folks from St. Mary Glenshaw

Nikki Writes from the 3-5 shift:

My husband Joe accompanied me for my 3-5 shift today. We were blessed to share the sidewalk with the faithful witnesses from West Hills Baptist Church. Dave, Karen and Pastor Larry. Other than two rather long winded and pointless encounters with men who really had no desire other than to hear themselves talk there really wasn’t any problems. I didn’t see anyone leaving that looked post abortive. Just workers left while we were there. So that was good!  I am so appreciative of everyone who works to keep this vigil going!  All the shift managers and Diane and all the church groups!  Thanks everyone!

Nikki and Joe with the folks from West Hills Baptist
Nikki and Joe with the folks from West Hills Baptist

2

Rev. John Patterson Writes from the 5-7 shift:

Two beautiful things today. A dear lady named _______ came and prayed on her knees for 20 plus minutes. She later told me of having an abortion and has since turned to Christ. I was touched deeply by this. Then a man from Youngstown, Ohio who was visiting Pittsburgh stopped to talk. He was moved by our presence of prayer and expressed his displeasure at the awful business of abortion. He then beautifully prayed for our cause and for us two ministers (and our wives) who were there.

As I was near the end of my shift, I was thinking about our Lord’s words to faithful Christians on the Great Day, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou in to the joy of thy Lord.” May our lives reflect the Savior so that we may hear these words. And may those who have truly repented of having an abortion hear them also.

In our truly good and Godly cause,

Rev. John Patterson

5

Day 24: Creekside UMC; Christ Church Grove Farm; St. Mary Glenshaw; SS. Peter & Paul, Beaver

Today presented some warmth and sunshine, despite being a busy day for PP.  Many couples went in and came out, several of whom took our information with them.  We hope and pray that they choose life.  Particularly distressing to me was seeing a couple walk in with a baby in a carrier.  The man came out with the baby while the woman stayed in.  This couple has visited PP before with their other children.  I don’t know their names, but please be praying for them.  It was a pleasure to walk up to PP and see Al there, as I haven’t seen him yet during this campaign.  He is a vigilant witness to Life, as is Sally, with whom I shared the shift.  I was able to bring a young man from my Methodist Church near Indiana, Pa, and he will be coming back with me along with other youth next Wednesday.  It is so good to see youth engaged in the mission of Life and spreading the love of God!

Thank you to all the churches and vigil participants today.  What a blessing you all are!  Thank you for your stand for life.  It is a witness to the eternal life that we have been given through Jesus Christ.  Tomorrow’s churches are: SS John and Paul, Sewickley; St. Ann, Waynesburg; Crossroad Community, Butler.  We will be praying with you!

In Christ,

Pastor Adam

And here are the stories and pictures from the street!

Rose Writes:

Al and I met on the bus again this morning to arrive for our 7:00 a.m. shift. Several persons responded to the sign I held STOP ABORTION, a left over sign from the March for Life. Their words were, “Thanks,” “So right!” Some workers entered the clinic as Al reminded them “That’s a terrible place to work.” A young woman stood at the other side of the “circle” smoking, glancing occasionally at the door. I waved her to come over, which she did. I said I could direct her to free counseling. She said, “For what”. I said, “I thought you may be going into that clinic.” She said, “Oh, no.” and went back to her place still smoking.  A short time later she ditched her cigarette butt, and darted into the door of the clinic. Ah, another “Pinocchio” person! Faithful Jim came to stand in witness across the “circle”, almost in the spot where that woman had been. We prayed the rosary and close to 8:40 a.m. the Methodist pastor and young man Joseph arrived. They began instructing this first-timer Joseph as he willingly took the big STOP sign I offered to leave with Him as I departed to get to our office work.

Sally Writes:

PP was very busy all through the morning. It’s so sad to see a couple,   with children, going in to kill their children’s sibling.  Today a   couple went in with two small children & another couple went in with a   baby in a car seat.

Al and Rose were praying the rosary when a car drove up and a young   woman got out.  She stood in front of PP and Rose tried to talk with   her.  She assured Rose that she was not going into PP, then walked up   Liberty Avenue a short distance, turned around and went it.  Always   remember that PP tells their clients to lie to us so we will not talk   with them.  As long as they are not hostile, I think it’s best to   continue talking to them, in a friendly way, as long as they are   within the sound of your voice.

Pastor Adam and a young man named Joseph, from Adam’s youth group,   were at PP for about 2 hours this morning, handing out literature.   Pastor Adam spoke with a few of the men and girls. Terry T. from St.   Bonaventure, Marian & Peg, sidewalk advocates, and a good group from   Christ Church @ Grove Farm were also with us as the morning progressed.

Pastor Adam and I both talked for a long time with K. who I have spoken with at least one other time. She seems to be working up nerve to join us.  I gave her literature and encouraged her to come back.    We keep trying!

 

Bill, Joseph (Creekside UMC, and Al
Bill, Joseph (Creekside UMC, and Al

Nikki Writes:

I was at the vigil from 11-1 today and had the honor of sharing the sidewalk with brothers and sisters from Christ Church Grove Farm, led by their pastor Rev. John Guest. These were such joy filled, Christ filled people. It was awesome to see the way they reached out to couples entering and exiting PP as well as passersby. They were truly inspirational to see in action.
One young man was waiting while his girlfriend was inside for a physical exam. He was furious to learn they did abortions and went right in to get her out. Sure enough they both exited a few minutes later.  Another young man who came out to smoke accepted Rachel’s Vineyard brochure. He said his girlfriend was already called back and it was too late.

One poor girl walked out all alone and seeing the large pro life witness began shouting “I am going gringo to Hell!”  We tried to assure her that God loves her but she did not stop to let us talk. Please pray for her.

  The weather was warm and beautiful. We had almost all positive comments from passersby and it was good to be there. At 12:45 a great group began arriving from St. Mary in Glenshaw, led by the 1-3 shift manager Marie. They were praying when I left. 

Please pray for Susie who lost her father today, which was the reason for me filling in for her and Regina’s 11-1 shift today. Pray for her dad’s soul and for their family.

Christ Church, Grove Farm
Christ Church, Grove Farm
Rev. John and Kathie Guest
Rev. John and Kathie Guest
A Family from Christ Church
A Family from Christ Church
Rev. Guest leads his group in prayer
Rev. Guest leads his group in prayer
Lillian
Lillian
Shift Manager Marie
Shift Manager Marie
St. Mary's Glenshaw
St. Mary’s Glenshaw

Marie managed the vigil from 1-3, along with a wonderful group from St. Mary in Glenshaw.

Jeff and Mark filled in for Nikki during the 3-5pm shift.  If any reports or photos come in, they will be posted here.

Pat Writes:

This evening we had what the Irish would call “a wee bit of soft weather.”  The rain was constant, but not heavy.  I was fortunate to have with me for about an hour Charles, Phoebe, and their near one-year old, Miriam, who was completely content for the whole time she was there.  Phoebe had been here earlier this week, but this was the first time for Charles.  I thank them both for being there and I enjoyed getting to know them.

We did see one woman who seemed to be post-abortion get into the car with her husband and a young child in the back seat.  That was a very sad sight to see.  She came out the door the same time that Kim, the Director of PP did.  “Father, forgive them both, for they know not what they do.”  

 

Day 17: St. Mary Margaret, City Reformed Church

Thank you to everyone who came out and braved the bitter cold!  Always remember that even when it’s too cold for us to stand outside, there are still people going inside, and they need our prayers!  Please keep our vigil participants in your prayers, as standing in the cold and the elements can produce discouragement.  Pray for encouragement!  Pray that our prayer warriors are protected from the cold and also from despair! Please, don’t forget that the churches participating tomorrow are: Holy Family Parish, Steubenville; St. Joseph, Verona; St. John (Baden)/Good Samaritan (Ambridge).

Pat M. writes from the 8-9AM shift:

While I got there a little before 8, Rose S. was already there, as was Jackie, who is one of our Sidewalk Advocates for Life.  Both had been since around 7 (and in case you’ve forgotten, 7 AM was when the thermometer was still on the wrong side of zero).  While Rose had to leave shortly thereafter to catch her bus, Jackie and I stood on each side of the semicircle trying our best to offer literature and good counsel to those headed into PP. 
 
During the time I was there neither of us were successful in that respect–although Jackie was able to at least get a few of the couples to look her way and listen to a little bit of what she had to say before they went in.  That’s hard to watch.  However, it was good for each of us to have the other one there.  Not only for the company, which I really enjoyed, but to talk about how difficult it can be to constantly experience what appears on the surface to be “failure.”  And once you start talking about that, it’s not long before someone remembers that we can only do what we can do and that the rest is up to the Holy Spirit.  So thank you, Jackie, for reminding me – and inspiring me, too. 
On an encouraging note, a man named Tom from Saints John & Paul in Sewickley, joined us about half-way through my shift.  He remained there with Seamus.  But what’s great is that he came down simply because he had read that the morning shift had no one signed-up.
 
Seamus writes from the 9-11am shift:
It was an honor to stand-in for Sally and Al this morning and I was delighted to find many brave souls standing boldly for life. We were able to successfully provide a warm greeting and resource material to the vast majority who entered Planned Parenthood and in our silent prayers, we asked our Lord and Savior to intervene. Considering this was my first time as a shift manager, I felt humbled but empowered by the Holy Spirit’s grace as I handed a “candle” to each woman as she entered the darkness. It was so comforting to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jackie, Tom, Jen, Mary, Marian and Jackie.  
Pat, Tom, Jackie, Seamus
Pat, Tom, Jackie, Seamus
Marian and Mary
Marian and Mary
Shift manager Seamus with group from St. Margaret Mary parish, (Sidewalk advocate Pet in front)
Shift manager Seamus with group from St. Margaret Mary parish, (Sidewalk advocate Pet in front)

Regina Writes from the 11am-1pm shift:

What a grace to arrive to a sidewalk filled with a good number of beautiful souls praying for life today! A generous group from St. Mary Margaret prayed numerous rosaries and held signs while offering alternatives and hope to each person entering the clinic today. It was a beautiful experience to pray with such faith filled Christian soldiers! Amy, Peggie; the wonderful sidewalk advocate, Peg, Dorothy and Myself experienced fellowship and prayerful witness together while the wonderful pastor from St. MM made rounds and prayed with all of his parishioners. One unhappy looking couple who exited the clinic did accept our literature and heard our words of love and mercy as they passed. Please pray for them. The group gathered to the left of the entrance offered the sorrowful mysteries almost in unison with the the group to the right. I plead the precious Blood of the Savior over each woman, man and child who entered the clinic this day. Jesus, we trust in you! Peace and gratitude,

Men from St. Margaret Mary (including their pastor, Fr. Frank on right)
Men from St. Margaret Mary (including their pastor, Fr. Frank on right)

day 17, amy and st. margaret mary

 

 

St. Mary Margaret
St. Mary Margaret
St. Mary Margaret and Amy
St. Mary Margaret and Amy
The Pre-born Jesus
The Pre-born Jesus
Meg from City Reformed Church
Meg from City Reformed Church

Nikki Writes from the 3-5pm shift:

When I got to my shift there was a nice group from St. Mary Margaret parish, along with the shift manager Marie.  The sun was shining and I was glad to do my first hour by myself.  I prayed silently, getting colder and colder.  Couple after couple exited the clinic.  I know I always say this, but I hate being there at the end of an abortion day.  Employees also began to exit.  At around 4pm, I was joined by Meg from City Reformed Church.  She took her sign and stood across from me on the sidewalk.  Two was much  better than one.  Pat arrived at 5pm to take over and I left him and Meg to carry the vigil to the end.  I had a difficult time finding a place to park, due to the fact that Home and Garden show opened tonight at the Convention Center, so all the garages were filled.  I had to park in the Strip District…so please keep that in mind when you go downtown, you may need to allow extra time to find parking.  God bless everyone for making this sacrifice to keep our vigil going!

Pat did the 5-7pm shift, he writes…

The first hour was much different than the second.  I had Megan from the City Reformed Church with me for most of it.  Unfortunately, we both had to deal with a drunk woman who wanted to argue/debate with us.  She didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but finally left after about 20 minutes.  Shortly after she left a man came by and wanted to let me know that he was pro-life, but that he just didn’t like those graphic signs.  He said that his girlfriend had had an abortion a long time ago, but the scars of that are still with him.  I told him about Rachel’s Vineyard and actually had a brochure (just one) in my back pocket to give him.

 The second hour I was by myself, but I enjoyed it b/c it was very peaceful.  In fact, I’ve never experienced a Friday evening in Pittsburgh that was as quite as tonight. It gave me a good opportunity to pray in a way I can’t seem to do when I feel the need to pass out literature or talk with others who are there.

 

Day 3: Heavenly Sunlight During the Bitter Cold!

Remember that in the face of adversity, we are the image of God.  As the vigil will be canceled for tomorrow, please continue to pray for the campaign, knowing that your prayers make a difference.  Sometimes, we say, “All we can do now is pray.”  In reality, all that we can ever do of consequence is pray.  Sometimes we pray with our mouths, sometimes with our actions, but always with our hearts.  As we sit in our warm homes praying, know that we are storming the gates of heaven and beseeching the throne of Grace.  God is a great God, and He listens to the prayers of His people and waits on us to ask Him to do a mighty work in our midst.  Please take extra time to pray tomorrow and pray that angelic witnesses to Life will be present, even when we physically aren’t able.

Prayer does work.  And whenever you get discouraged at how the world is becoming worse and worse, there are rays of hope.  One such ray of hope is a great movie that’s coming out that looks worthy of our support.  In the frenzy created by the movie “50 Shades of Grey,” there is a very different movie that actually upholds moral values that we can agree with.  It’s called “Old Fashioned.”  Click the link here to find local times and theaters for the movie.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a Rosary for the Unborn, you can get one here.

Below are the stories and pictures from today’s vigil:

Even though the time of the vigil was delayed because of extreme cold, dedicated shift manager Bob arrived at 7am (in -10 degree weather!)  He wrote:

I owe many, many thanks to Cecelia Love for her advice on how to dress.  You know men have trouble dressing themselves anyway.  I wore two sets of long underwear, two pair socks, a hat and a hoodie and a turtleneck.  My loving daughter gave me some handwarmers to put in my gloves (which I passed on for the next shift).  When I arrived around 7 am, it was in the negative range.  I was able  to stay until about 10:40 or 10:45 by not just standing in front of the building, but by walking back and forth.  Standing still makes you stiff and the cold radiates up from the concrete into your joints.

 

God is so incredibly good!  After the first hour, which was spent in prayer and song, alone, I started to get a bit self-involved with the cold.  During that hour, however, one man stopped and asked me for one of my signs (I printed several signs off the internet on 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper) so he could hang it in his office.  He wanted to let me know that God started the world with one man and one woman for a reason.  I also met a man whose sole purpose was to deliberately run his shoulder into my side, and then rush away.  It just gave me someone else to pray for.

 

After that hour, I was thinking that God really knew what He was talking about when He said that He is there whenever two or more gather in His name.  So, I asked him to send someone to share the time with me and to help me keep up my spirits.  I was only getting to the “Amen” when I was joined by two more prayer warriors, who came to spend the hour from 8 to 9.  Rose and Al helped me tremendously and prayed and sang with me and passed out literature and  encouraged people endlessly.

 

More people came (Peter and Joe and Bill and Peggy and Sally and Marian) and continued to pray and praise and sing.  It was a glorious way to spend the morning.  My only regret was that no one asked me if I was freezing to death.  I wanted to be able to tell them “No.  I am freezing to Life!”

 

With Love and Prayers,

bob

Rose and Al arrived at 8am, an answer to Bob's prayer!
Rose and Al arrived at 8am, an answer to Bob’s prayer!

Rose writes:

I promised to be there for at least one hour. I hopped on the 91 A bus to see on the first seat dear, faithful  AL. He asked, ”Are you coming to pray?” to which I responded, “Of course.” We arrived around 8:00 a.m. to find Bob from St. Irenaeus already having been there since 7:00 a.m. He smiled and said that he already felt warmer since we had arrived. We prayed, sang several songs, and were thanked by a beautiful African-American mother of four, Jasmine, who stopped by and put her arms around us as she led a short and beautiful prayer of gratitude for our being witnesses even in the freezing temperatures. We spoke a blessing for her and her children as she went on her way. Around 8:30 a.m. Tom from St. Ferdinand’s arrived, then closer to 9 a.m. another brave warrior (I believe his name was Phil) came to witness to LIFE. Al was nearly frozen as I accompanied him across to catch the 9 a.m. bus. His nose was more red that Rudolph’s. Prayers continued throughout the day as I offer “all I think and say and do, united to Christ who saves us.”

Sally writes:

Al had no trouble staying for his hour. He even had 3 people with him:
Rose from Sharpsburg, Bob Federline (new shift manager), & Peter from
St.Ferdinand, who is with us often during the 40 Days. The mill did
not seem to be busy.

Rose and Bob sang. A black lady, named Jasmine, came by, thanked them
for being there, and prayed with them for a short while. Joe White
came early for his shift, so Al & Rose caught the 8:50 bus. Bob &
Peter were still there.

Joe managed the vigil from 9-10am and writes:

I showed up for my shift and was greeted by Wonder
Woman (Rose),Hercules (Pete from St. Ferdinands), Superman (Al) and Iron
man (Bob from St. Iraneus). Bill stopped by to pray and say hello and
Marian relieved me (pictured). The cold didn’t stop the abortion mill,
and it certainly didn’t stop the witness to LOVE.

All Glory and Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ!

First shift!
First shift!
Reinforcements have arrived!
Reinforcements have arrived!

Marian managed the vigil from 10-11am and writes:

Some of the witnesses to life today were Peter, Bob, Tim, Terry, and Peggy.  We had “A tale of Two Women” today: one woman stopped by to talk about life and told us that Al and Bob had helped her four years with her son, who is now a four year old. Another   woman told me when I offered her a brochure that I should mind my own business and stay out of her personal life. She walked on.  Thanks Bob and Al! Life is our business!

 

Regina and Susie managed the vigil from 11am-1pm.  Regina wrote:

Though the air was cold, the feeling was warm on the sidewalk today. Susie and I were very warmly greeted by Sidewalk Advocate Peggy upon arrival. We had the privilege of praying a rosary with both her and 40 days participant Amy. It was a blessing to stand and pray for life with both of these Inspirational women. They made the first hour fly. The second hour was a littler harder on the toes, but God knew we needed relief and sent Carol 15 minutes early. Thank you Carol, and everyone who participated in prayer and penance on the sidewalk on this very cold day! 

A blessing from Heaven to meet and pray with God’s children for life! So many beautiful people stopped to pray or give us encouragement in spite of the cold. The cold offered a powerful element of sacrifice. The power of prayer coupled with sacrifice is unparalled, just as our dear Holy Father of happy memory, JPIl has said. God is so generous to give 40 Days this powerful start to our Lenten Journey! Peace and blessings dear ones!

 

 

 

Shift managers Regina and Susie, with Peg and Amy
Shift managers Regina and Susie, with Peg and Amy
Shift manager Marie shows up to relieve Susie and Regina
Shift manager Marie shows up to relieve Susie and Regina

 

 

Marie managed the vigil from 1-2pm and writes:

The shift went well – I arrived early to relieve Suzie and her friend Rachael.  3 people joined me (Shamus Maloney and a couple from Franklin Park).  Not very much traffic but one black man with many tattoos all over his face stopped and inquired about what we were doing and then indicated he would like to join us sometime and bring his sons.  I gave him information on 40 days and hopefully we will be seeing him again.  Marshall Myers came early and he took pictures of everyone.

Marshall managed the vigil from 2-3pm and took these photos:

John and Iris
John and Iris
Justin and Marshall
Justin and Marshall

 

Nikki  managed the vigil from 3-4pm and writes:

I was very layered-up for my one hour on the sidewalk at 3pm today.  The sun was shining and the sky blue.  It really wasn’t too bad until towards the end of the hour.  Lisa and three of her children, along with Arlene and I, prayed for the entire hour.  I had the sensation of being inside a little “prayer cocoon” …maybe because we were all huddled together and were so bundled up.  But, it seemed like the outside hustle and bustle of the city disappeared at times, and I was just enjoying the sunshine on my face and the companionship and prayer.  At one point a man stopped to thank us for being there.  He had a name tag on his jacket that showed that he was a pastor of a church.  He said that his wife was a product of rape, and that her mother had had numerous abortions before becoming pregnant with her…but chose not to abort her.  He said they have a large family now and he is so thankful that her mother chose life.

Friday afternoons are my least favorite times to be there.  We saw a few girls walking out of the clinic with their boyfriends.  They look so sad.

It is good that we are there.  Keep the faith everyone!

The Cahills from SS Peter and Paul Beaver
The Cahills from SS Peter and Paul Beaver

Pat M. closed out the final hour today from 4-5pm and  writes:

I think I’m getting used to this bundling up business.  Seven layers under my winter coat seems to do the trick. Well, my shift was fairly peaceful and uneventful.  I was grateful that Nikki stuck around (even though I could tell that her feet were very cold) at the beginning to talk a bit and pray a bit.  I gave out more literature than I expected given all of the people with heads down and hands in their pockets.  But after a while I stopped because my hand was getting cold being out of its mitten and I just wanted to stand there and “be”.  Throughout the hour I don’t recall any negative comments, but do recall several positive ones.  The one that sticks out the most was one from the uncle of one of the PP executives.  I’ve encountered him three times now and I really like him.  

Thank you to all the shift managers and participants on this cold and blustery day.  You are loved and greatly appreciated and your actions arer working to build up the Kingdom of God!

In Christ,

Adam Stump Signature

Pastor Adam