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

CLOSING CELEBRATION TODAY

Eucharistic Procession from Planned Parenthood to Epiphany Church

Mass, Bishop William Waltersheid presiding, at Epiphany Church

Divine Mercy Parish, Reverend Christopher Donley, Pastor

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

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

___________________________________


The Infant Jesus
Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664)
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia
© Photo Scala, Florence
https://us.magnificat.net

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

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

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

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

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

This little boy’s Dad and Mom chose life for their little son.  He has Down syndrome. It affects approximately one in 700 children. The best calculations suggest that 67% of U.S. pregnancies – where the unborn child is diagnosed with Down syndrome – end in abortion. When European parents choose to have their baby killed due to this diagnosis, the rates may be greater than 90%. Iceland claims to have all but eliminated Down syndrome births. https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/columnists/2020/07/08/abortion-debate-down-syndrome-fetal-heartbill-tennessee/5368918002/

Michael Schachle was diagnosed in utero with both Down syndrome and a life threatening buildup of fluid around the lungs, heart and abdomen. A doctor said that meant the unborn child had “zero chance for survival.” Doctors suggested abortion.  Heartbroken, Michelle and Daniel Schachle begged the intercession of Father McGivney. “We never, for one second, felt Down syndrome was a problem. We were going to love him how God made him.” “I told Michelle, ‘Father McGivney needs a miracle to be named ‘Blessed,’ and there’s no reason it can’t be our son. Let’s pray to him. He needs a miracle; we need a healing — let’s go get it.’” “We emailed hundreds of people asking them to pray to Father McGivney for him. We just kept praying.” Soon thereafter, the child’s toxic fluid buildup (hydrops) inexplicably disappeared. Michael, who has Down syndrome, was born on May 15, 2015. The Vatican announced that the healing before birth … of the now five years old lively, happy child … has been accepted as the miracle necessary to advance the sainthood cause of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. Father McGivney was beatified yesterday, October 31, 2020. https://www.ncregister.com/features/michael-s-miracle-healthy-and-happy-at-5-years-old-thanks-to-father-mcgivney

“Boom. The shock was real. The disbelief was real. The questions…. The unknown, was real. Of course, this is exactly how most mothers I come to learn, feel too, because most of us are not educated well on this diagnosis. And it is a shame. But, in that moment, I had hope. As a Catholic woman, I immediately turned to God and told him to talk to me. I needed him to tell me something so that my heart could be at peace, and I could find my trust again in the Lord in this situation.
I had no idea that he would tell me so clearly, exactly what I needed to hear. I had no idea where it would come from. But then, a powerful sensation within my chest told me to look in His Word at the time Sebastian was born. I was surprised. How would this make sense? I quickly asked my midwife what time he was born, and she said, “4:17” (pm).  My sister in law immediately began searching Scripture, and found only one place where anything made sense. It was 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” I knew immediately what the Lord was asking of me, reminding me, and telling me. It was the fact that even though this seemed like an unfortunate and difficult situation, it would bring about great glory for God, and I must trust Him, and was instantly at peace, and quiet in my heart. I was able to accept this calling to raise one of His angels very well, and I became honored. Yes, honored.”  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgl4MEtFYIX/?utm_source=ig_embed

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

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

___________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

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

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

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

People of God

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

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

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

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

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

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

Pittsburgh Sunday Rosary Procession

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

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

Marge and Roseann

MARIE P. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________________

_____________________

And God saw that it was good.

___________________________________

DAY 33: THANK YOU, Corpus Christi Parish; Young Adult Ministry of Saint Paul Cathedral; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Jim and Cathy S.; Fuel Carmelite Nuns of Fairfield, The Passionist Nuns, The Carmelites of Erie, The Carmelites of Latrobe; Volunteers Kraig C., Mary M.; and all the wonderful witnesses for life who joined us in prayer today!

The Adoration of the Shepherds (detail, c. 1645)

Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)

Wallace Collection, London, UK

© Dist. RMN-GP / The Trustees of the Wallace Collection

https://us.magnificat.net

There is no home in the relationships that lead to abortion.  Most abortions involve men taking advantage of women without respect for their bodies and souls, and women in search of attention and affection.  These are not relationships of love but of use. There is nothing more important we can do than create a home that prepares us for our eternal Home. Not having it has sent many in our culture in search of home in all the wrong places. Shawn D. Carney. TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER: The 40-Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life 


 

Maggie joined us on the sidewalk this Saturday.  She said I could include her picture and story in the Blog today.  She shared bits and pieces of her pro-life history.  Maggie’s heart was always pro-life.  Then her Penn State professor told her class to write a persuasive speech on a topic of their choice.  She chose abortion.  She was amazed at all the terrible details her research uncovered. That did it.  Maggie witnessed with Operation Rescue! She knew a woman who was arrested and kept in solitary confinement. I wish I had requested more stories and recorded them to share here. Maggie inspired me to research OPERATION RESCUE. Just like all the rest, this pro-life story is brilliant with God’s presence.

In 1986, Operation Rescue sprang on the scene and soon became one of the most outspoken groups opposing abortion in the United States. Operation Rescue led the largest movement involving peaceful civil disobedience in American history. During those early years, thousands of men and women willingly sat in front of abortion mill doors to prevent the killing of innocent children and paid the penalty in arrest and prosecution on trespassing charges. In 1993, the Federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (F.A.C.E) was passed placing severe fines and jail time on those blocking access to abortion mills nationwide. Operation Rescue showed its resilience by adapting to the new restrictions. https://www.operationrescue.org/about-us/history/

Troy Newman, born 1966 and adopted at birth, is the President of Operation Rescue and sits on the board of The Center for Medical Progress where David Daleiden is Founder and President.   

There have been numerous news articles accusing Newman of advocating violence against abortion providers, but the record shows that this is a gross mischaracterization of the true position of Newman and Operation Rescue. Newman has taken legal steps to hold accountable those who continue to spread these falsehoods. For example, when Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, appeared on the July 26, 2015, edition of “This Week with George Stephanopoulus,” she attacked Newman and wrongly accused him of being “behind” acts of violence, including “the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches.”  Newman’s attorneys promptly sent “cease and desist” letters to Richards and ABC News seeking an apology and retraction of false, defaming statements. http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/operation-rescues-non-violent-history-is-a-matter-of-public-record/

LAUDATE DOMINUM by Bel Canto Choir Vilnius at Saint Catherine Roman Catholic Church, featuring soloist Lina Dambrauskaite and Raminta Gocentiene on the piano.

When I watch this video, I think about the comprehensive, personalized, rescue plan we work hard to provide for each abortion bound person.  This video is reliably easy to find. It is available any time night or day. It is beautiful and comforting. I hope the rescue plan we offer looks and feels BEAUTIFUL, RELIABLE, PERSONALIZED AND COMFORTING. Our sisters and brothers need a plan powerful enough to keep them strong as they CHOOSE LIFE for their child.

LAUDATE DOMINUM Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

More tortuous than anything is the human heart,

beyond remedy; who can understand it?

I, the LORD, explore the mind and test the heart,

giving to all according to their ways,

according to the fruit of their deeds.

JEREMIAH 17:9-10

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

It was such a pleasant surprise to have a large group gather to pray on the sidewalk early this Sunday morning!  Diane, Tom, and Nikki arrived to set up and get us off to a good start.  Shift buddy, Vince, and I were joined by Bill, Kraig, Lisa, and three men from Vince’s wonderful Knights of Columbus council, Jim, Rich, and George.  Before the shift ended, four more people stood praying quietly on the other side of the circle (sorry I didn’t get your names!) while Andy, Pat, and Kathy showed up to cover the next shift.  It was so good to have all of you there, praying for an end to abortion…God bless you all!

Lisa, Kraig (Volunteer), Shift Buddy Vince, Bill, Rich, George, Jim

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

It is a blessing for our Church and our nation that a Rosary procession has taken place every Sunday for Months now, through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. This photo was taken as they stopped today to pray at PP. We pray God will bless us with victory as He did when the Rosary was prayed at the Battle of Lepanto. 

Shift buddy Andy and I were not scheduled to have a church to pray with us today but answering the call were Arlene and Bill from Turtle Creek, and Patty and Bill all the way from Carrollton.  Also joining us in prayer were Rich, George,  Kathy,  Deanna  and Jim.

So many were moved by the Spirit to pray this morning when we expected so few. I pray that an abundance of grace will fall on this place today because of all the efforts of these who remain faithful. The grace of healing and conversion. The grace of love and peace. And the grace of fervor in true worship of the living God for all. 

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

Thanks to all who came to pray with us today. Mary and Eileen arrived and later in the shift the R. Family arrived so we were in good company.  As usual, Sundays for the most part are calm and today was no different. We had about four positive acknowledgements and no negative. We are grateful for that.

Mary praying on the far side

Eileen and Rich

MARIE P. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

I was joined on the sidewalk this afternoon by wonderful – and plentiful – prayer warriors from Corpus Christi Parish.

Thank you for your prayerful witness today as we prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, the prayer intentions on the back of the baby signs and the Divine Mercy Chaplet!

It was wonderful to have so many voices praying in unison for the unborn, their mothers, fathers, abortion workers, pro-life workers and our country!

There were also several individual prayer volunteers – a couple from Saint Mary’s in Export, Bill from Saint Sebastian, Marianne from Saint Aidan and Bob from Saints John & Paul.

God is so good to bring so many of us together today – even the few comments we received from passersby in cars did nothing to deter our prayerfulness! Thank you!!!

Corpus Christi Parish joined us on the sidewalk in prayerful witness

POWERFUL Pittsburgh Downtown Prayer Witness

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

With the shift changes this campaign, I’ve been blessed to be accompanied by more Christians.

Today the Soldiers for Christ came from all over Pittsburgh, armed with their beads, excited to do battle through fervent prayer for the innocents.

So uplifting, so inspiring, thank you, folks, for your sacrifice, and may the Peace of the Lord be with you.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

Soldiers for Christ

___________________________________

Young Adult Ministry of Saint Paul Cathedral

___________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

___________________________________

DAY 26: THANK YOU, Saint Regis Parish, Trafford; Assumption Parish, Bellevue; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.; Fuel, Carmelite Nuns of Fairfield, The Passionist Nuns, The Carmelites of Erie, The Carmelites of Latrobe; Volunteer Mary P.; and all the wonderful witnesses for life who joined us today!

Saint Joseph with the Christ Child (c. 1650)
Sebastian Martinez (1615-1667)
Prada Museum, Madrid, Spain
© akg-images / Album
https://us.magnificat.net

… that look on their little child’s face that, through a smile and a glance, manages to convey both the depth of their love and the strength of their own will.  “I love you with all my heart,” this charming toddler seems to say to his foster father, “but I am me!” Pierre-Marie Dumont. MAGNIFICAT, May 2019.

To remain chaste is a struggle to greater or lesser degree for most men their entire lives.  But chalking up this behavior to “boys will be boys” ignores the deep and varied wounds that are the inevitable consequences of this deceptively easy path. Shawn D. Carney. TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER: The 40-Day Companion to Live a Culture of Lif

Pray unceasingly for the rest of men …. Give them an opportunity therefore, at least by your conduct…. Meet their angry outbursts with your own gentleness, their boastfulness with your humility, their revilings with your prayers, their error with your constancy in the faith, their harshness with your meekness; and beware of trying to match their example. Saint Ignatius of Antioch (+ c. 107) bishop and martyr. Bishop of Antioch for forty years, Ignatius was arrested and escorted to Rome, where he died for sport in the amphitheater. MAGNIFICAT, October 2020, Saturday 10/17

Abortion bound people expect love from the $2 billion PP enterprise.  Abortion smiles warmly and mimics an aura of sympathy about a crisis pregnancy.  Actually, a “crisis pregnancy” is a child.  An abortion is a scheduled killing and removal of the body of the unborn son or daughter from the mother’s body.  Mother gets up and walks out of the building.  Abortion tosses the child’s little body into the trash – or sells its little body parts to the highest bidder. 

Where is the Father?  A father’s first reactions about a baby being on the way depends on his moral convictions and his relationship with the mother.  Did he oppose the killing, actively encourage it, demand it, stand helplessly by or not even know about it until after it happened?  Some fathers go with what the mother decides. Some fight for the life of their child. Many feel they have no say. They are right! The “head of the family” has no rights.  American laws and culture “canceled” fathers.

In a HUFFINGTON POST article, Hugo Schwyzer wrote about his response to the abortion of his child. The title – The Child Who Wasn’t: Pro-Choice Men and Abortion Grief – is the first indication of the challenges the author faces in trying to understand his abortion loss. We learn that Hugo wanted to parent their baby. Society and friends and family can collude to complicate post abortion grief. They can dismiss and even shame those who share any painful feelings or regret after abortion. Note below how the friend coldly dismisses Hugo’s grief.  The mother of his child ridicules and shames Hugo for his grief.

 “A few years ago, I had a dream that I was hiking in the hills near my family’s ranch in the Bay Area. I was alone; it was a warm spring day, golden poppies and lupine carpeted the hillsides. I came to a summit, and my late father and a young woman in her late 20s were sitting on two rocks, talking quietly. They looked up as I approached, and I knew at once that the young woman was she who was never born.”

Kevin Burke noted,

I was struck by this scene because it is very similar to one of the more moving and spiritually powerful exercises on the Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend, entitled Meeting Our Children with Christ. As participants travel in this meditation through a dark forest, they come upon rolling hills of flowers …. They then discover a great meadow where they meet their children who appear gathered in joy with the Risen Lord Jesus. I hope and pray that one day Hugo, and all men and women wounded by abortion, will make the journey to this healing meadow.

Kevin Burke, Co-Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries. Through A Mirror Dimly: Pro-Choice Men and Abortion Grief, January 2017 https://www.priestsforlife.org/kevinburke/blog/index.php/2017/01/18/through-a-mirror-dimly-pro-choice-men-and-abortion-grief/

 A man looks around for help when abortion begins to break his heart. Good News!!! Plenty of help is available.

RECLAIMING FATHERHOOD

SILENT NO MORE https://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/

PROJECT RACHEL https://www.rachelsvineyard.org/men/

RACHEL’S VINEYARD, PITTSBURGH PA – 2021 RETREATS Toni Jester 412-352-5348 toniafj1@comcast.net May 14, 2021 Friday – May 16, 2021 Sunday : November 12, 2021 Friday – November 14, 2021 Sunday

A FATHER GRIEVES THE DEATH OF HIS ABORTED SON   The parents name their child and write a letter.  Joe asked me to share his letter so parents can know there is healing after abortion. Fr. Hugo L. Blotsky, O.S.B.

My Dear John Peter,
This past weekend I did something I should have done a very long time ago. I confessed to your death by abortion. 
John, you would today be a young man of twenty. By allowing your abortion I sinned against you and against God.
Forgive me John. I was afraid.  I thought, we can always have more children later.
From that night onward I always had a “knot” in my stomach.  I could not get you out of my mind completely.
Little one, it is I who am saved by you and the mercy of God through the intercession of Jesus. You see, Little One, it is because of you that I finally sought reconciliation. Yes, I had confessed before, but I had done so to “be on the safe side” just in case what I learned was true. On Saturday as I confessed, I was crying.
Your Mother may not ever have confessed to this sin. I would ask that you through Jesus work the same miracle on Sandy that you have worked on me.  To her you represented this awesome threat to her chosen career. Please forgive her as well, John Peter. Please, my Little One, intercede for both of us through Jesus. I find it searingly ironic, Little One, that it is I who ask such favors of one whom I killed or rather, allowed to be killed. And yet I ask, Little One, for I have grown to love you in a way that is at once both deep and pure.
I see you as you might have been, a little boy running and playing, scraping your knees from a fall. I shall miss, John, all that I might have gained from your life. My Little One, John Peter, I can only now ask you to forgive me as Jesus and God have done. May you rest in the arms of God.
Dad

http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/testimonies/testimony.aspx?ID=1116

_________________________________

People hope for the company of holy men. Enjoy the lyrical beauty NEW YORK POLYPHONY so elegantly shares. Thank you, gentlemen! SICUT CERVUS. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music

SICUT CERVUS

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum,

ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.

As the deer longs for running water,

so longs my soul for you, O God.

Psalm 42:2

NEW YORK POLYPHONY

Male classical vocal quartet based in New York City

Christopher Herbert, Steven Caldicott Wilson

Scott Dispensa, Geoffrey Silver

Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Times Square

June 2012

_________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

PAT M. 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

On a rather cold morning, my brother Knights from Saint Regis in Trafford (my parish) came out in force – and it really felt so good to have them there with me.  They are:  Grand Knight, Lud S., Mike C., Albert D. (along with his wife, Yolanda), and first-time participant, Mike B.  

After introductions were made, we were led in the recitation of all four sets of mysteries of the Rosary by SB Vince (thank you, Vince!), followed by the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet which was led by off-duty SM, Jen M.  This took us right up to the end of our shift.  During our praying we were joined by the always faithful Bill H., two friends and brother Knights of Vince from Saint Sebastian’s (sorry, I didn’t get their names), Pat from Saint Patrick/Saint Stanislaus in the Strip, off-duty SMs Andy and Ken (who took over at 9), and Bud and Sharron from Saint Michael the Archangel.  

In all I think we had a baker’s dozen of prayers there by the time I left.  I think word is getting around that Sunday morning is by far the most peaceful, hassle-free, time of the week to come down to pray at PP.

Saint Regis Parish Knights of Columbus, plus one wife!

Bill H. and two Knights of Columbus from Saint Sebastian’s in the North Hills

Mike C., Saint Regis Knight of Columbus, off duty Shift Manager Andy, Bud and Sharon from Saint Michael the Archangel

KEN B. 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

I have to confess that at times I believe we have one of the easier shifts in our 40 Days campaign. Sunday mornings from 9 – 11:00 AM are always peaceful on Liberty Avenue. PP is closed and there are few who pass by in these ‘Covid Times’ when few events are scheduled and fear of interacting, even in public, is the order of the day. One comment of a positive nature by someone passing: ‘Amy Barrett will help fix this’. I try to hope in the Almighty and not in mankind but it sure seems that once again God may humble the rich and powerful using the meek. A Catholic Mother of seven, with two adopted children of color. You couldn’t invent a better script.

We started the shift praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet with Pat, Vince, Jen, and members of Saint Regis Parish from the previous shift. Staying with us for our first hour were Jen, Rich and George, from The Knights of Columbus, joined in this picture with Pat and shift buddy Andy. We continued with the USCCB Rosary for Life Joyful mysteries. A beautiful meditation that encompasses all those in society touched by abortion. The Holy Rosary procession passed with several dozen participants pausing to pray for God’s Mercy on our church, our city, our nation and our world, and for an end to the destruction of innocent human life in the womb. Frequent participant for 40 days, Joe stopped to pray also.  Andy and I spent the last half hour in prayer on opposite ends of the circle until Rich and Rosanne and members of Assumption Parish arrived a little before eleven to continue the vigil.

Andy, Frequent Participant Joe and Assumption Parishioners

RICH AND ROSEANN K. 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

Thanks to all who came to pray and witness. It was nice to have Father Joe to stand with us. It was calm and mostly peaceful today. We just had a couple remarks from people driving by.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Joyful Pro-Life Witness! Thank you, Assumption Parish, Bellevue

_________________________________

Father Joe and Faithful Sunday Witnesses

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

It was a prayer filled shift with Christians alive in the faith offering themselves up to the Lord for the life of the innocents.

What a wondrous afternoon. 

Thanks to all and the peace of the Lord be with you.

Philene and Shift Buddies Jim and Cathy

Sunday Witnesses for Life Bill and John!

_________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

__________________________________

DAY 19: THANK YOU, Triumph of the Holy Cross Parish; Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon; The Passionist Nuns; The Carmelites of Erie, PA; The Carmelites of Latrobe, PA; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Joe B., Cathy C.; and all of the spirited Witnesses who prayed with us today!

2,366 tiny faces…representing the 2,366 lives ended by abortion HERE in 2013.

The 14 golden squares represent the lives saved during our pro-life witnessing during that same year.

THE INNOCENTS. Nikki Bruni

_________________________________

You know someone who has had an abortion. You might not know who it is, but unless you are a hermit, you know at least one person, and have likely encountered dozens throughout your life, who have had abortions. Abortion is the poisonous fruit of loneliness and desperation.  No one grows up wanting to violently end the life of her baby.    When in conversation with people who disagree with us on abortion, we must remember that, very likely, an abortion experience is there and we need to treat them with love, respect and mercy.

Hearing a woman who has lain on that table share her experience and her pain, will motivate you to help stop the next one before it occurs.

The healing process is a long and difficult cross to bear.

Shawn D. Carney.  TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

_________________________________

Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table.  Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. The Pharisee said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

”So, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”   

LUKE 7: 37-39, 47-48, 50

_________________________________

SILENT NO MORE

Silent No More Awareness is a Campaign where by Christians make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

PROJECT RACHEL

It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness. You are not alone…

FRANCINE’S STORY

It was the two abortions I had that nearly destroyed me. When I became pregnant for the fifth time in seven years, my doctor asked me if I really thought I should “continue the pregnancy.” My husband said, “It’s your decision. Do what you want,” and left for work.  I asked my doctor and he said, “It only takes a few minutes and it’s over.” Naively, I began looking for women who had had abortions. I wanted to know what to expect. But I couldn’t find anyone who would admit to having had one.

I had my first abortion. Before I even got home, I began to cry. It didn’t help. When finally I stopped crying on the outside, I kept crying on the inside. Something deep inside of me froze.  I went to counseling and the psychologist said “Forgive yourself,” and “Let yourself go on.” She didn’t say how.
I wasn’t told that after having an abortion an unbelievable self-hatred would consume me. I wasn’t told that it would become impossible to look at my own eyes in a mirror. I wasn’t told that I would come to hate all those who advised me to have my abortions. I wasn’t told that hearing babies cry would trigger such anger that I wouldn’t be able to be around babies at all.

I wasn’t told that I could become suicidal in the fall of every year, when both of my babies should have been born. I wasn’t told that on the birthdays of my living children, I would remember the two for whom I would never make a birthday cake. On Mother’s Day I would remember the two who would never send me a card. Every Christmas I would remember the two for whom there would be no presents. My abortions were supposed to be a “quick-fix” for my problems, but they didn’t tell me there is no “quick-fix” for regrets.
The nightmares continued. I became a workaholic. Work didn’t help.  I became a compulsive eater. Food didn’t help.  I became an anorexic as a form of self-punishment. That came close to killing me. I had two strokes. I tried alcohol. It only helped temporarily.
Healing does not mean forgetting. I will always regret what I did and always miss my babies until the day I am with them in Heaven. But I know now that God can use every part of our lives, even the worst parts, to help us to help others.

RACHEL’S VINEYARD

Do not continue to live in the shame, fear or numbness – call our toll-free national hotlines.
Rachel’s Vineyard: 877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463) – National Hotline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-LIFE (866-482-5433)

 RACHEL’S VINEYARD PITTSBURGH PA – 2021 UPCOMING RETREATS

TONY JESTER toniafj1@comcast.net 412-352=5348

MAY 14, 2021 FRIDAY – MAY 16 SUNDAY

NOVEMBER 12, 2021 FRIDAY – NOVEMBER 14 SUNDAY

Through treatment, I was able to get sober and get the depression under control. But there was a dark cloud. That cloud only lifted after I found out about and attended a healing program specifically designed for those victimized by abortion. Do you know what empowerment truly is? Knowing the truth and being Silent No More. Patti S. Florida

_________________________________

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,

for the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” 

REVELATION 21:4-5

_________________________________

For me, this video hints at some of the types of beauty a newly God forgiven woman could enjoy. All the bells and whistles delight her. Listen to the music! Look around at the beautifully refinished Cathedral. Watch the two cellists give her a thumbs up near the end of her performance. Her conductor could not look more thrilled. And how she glows!!!

EXSULTATE JUBILATE, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rejoice, be glad, O you blessed soul. Rejoice. Be glad, singing sweet songs. In response to your singing, let the heavens sing forth with me. The friendly day shines forth. Both clouds and storms have fled now. For the righteous, there has arisen an unexpected calm. Dark night reigned everywhere [before]. You who feared till now, and joyful for this lucky dawn, give garlands and lilies with full right hand. You, O crown of virgins, grant us peace.  Console our feelings, from which our hearts sigh. Alleluia!

Regula Muhlemann sings and Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Frauenkirche Dresden.

_________________________________

DEE

The prayers of the religious are like FUEL in our tank.  They give us the spiritual power that we need! 

FUEL #2  The Passionist Nuns 

As usual I am late in writing to you, but you can always be assured that we are with the 40 Days for Life. Our fast days are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday of every week. We have 6 hours of prayer every day during which we pray for an end to abortion and respect for life at every age, an end to the pandemic and for our country.

Devotedly in Christ,

Sister Mary Ann, CP for the Passionist Nuns

FUEL #3  The Carmelites of Erie, PA

The letter was rather long. Will give you the last paragraph.

In October we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and Her revealing Herself as such at the close of the Fatima apparitions with the miracle of the sun on October 13th. In each of the six apparitions she asked us to pray Her Rosary and though to some, its prayers may sound repetitive, who tires of hearing, “I love you”?

We pray a Rosary in community daily besides extra Rosaries during the day, carrying you and your intentions to Our Blessed Mother, begging Her powerful intercession with Her Son in your regard. Grateful for your kindness to us, we ask Her to console you with the words She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three Fatima children, repeating deep in your heart: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

FUEL #4  Carmelites of Latrobe, PA

We are with you all during 40 Days for Life. We are praying and fasting for an end to abortion with all of you who are able to protest publicly at Planned Parenthood, Liberty Avenue.  God keep you safe and healthy as you peacefully pray and inspire others to pray and fast. God Bless you all, 100 fold.

Your most grateful,

Carmelite Nuns

_________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN M. 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

A large group gathered for the first shift of today’s vigil.  Gentle weather and a quiet morning on the sidewalk allowed us to focus on prayer. Thank you all for joining with us as we ask God to end the violence and sorrow of abortion!

Joe, Pat, Jason, Beth, Amy, Bill, George, Rich (standing), Andy and Vince (kneeling) gathered in prayer.


RICH AND ROSEANN K. 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

Praying and witnessing. It was quiet and peaceful today.

October Sunday weather treats Mary, Shift Managers Roseann and Rich, this beautiful family and Joe and Cathy to a beautiful day to Witness for Life!!!

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Today was very peaceful and quiet … Just one colorful drive-by insult. We didn’t even flinch or lose focus on our Rosary, which was prayed evenly spaced around the half circle of doom,  looking inward at that hideous filthy building where souls, bodies and emotions are damaged, and innocent lives are lost. I can’t speak for anyone else, but insults there make me smile inside. This means our presence is a thorn in Pittsburgh’s side. Like Jesus’ crown of thorns, our thorns WILL – by God’s grace – bring about massive goodness through our tiny sufferings. 

Mary, Kathy, Kimberly … Lindsay’s Angels

Kathy and Kimberly focusing their prayer over 933 Liberty Avenue

JOE W. 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

St. Agnes Church showed up in force, with spirit filled attitudes ready to pray, and pray they did with confidence and humility.

Thanks folks. It was a real blessing following along with you and my shift buddies this afternoon.

Peace of the Lord be with you all.

Pro life witnesses from Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon

_________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

________________________________

Day 12: THANK YOU, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish, Traditional Latin Mass; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Matt S., Amy M.; Carmelite Nuns of Fairfield PA; and all of the Blessed People who prayed with us today!

The Crucifixion of Christ (detail)

Diego Velazquez (1599 -1660)

Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

© Dist. RMN-GP / image du Prado

https://us.magnificat.net

___________________________________

This baby, according to many who support abortion – is never and can never be someone’s child. There is no treasure in this child.  He or she is never considered a member of a family but merely an independent entity, on his or her own, unaware of what is about to happen and powerless to stop it. Abortion is straight from Hell. Christianity was birthed from Heaven in a barn, in poverty, in the cold, among animals, but with the one foundation God chose to use: a family, a Holy Family. Shawn D. Carney. TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9

People whose hearts God has captured keep prayer vigil and Sidewalk Advocate presence at Planned Parenthood in downtown Pittsburgh. The red brick building looks ordinary.  People going in and out look normal.  Look deeper.  Saint Peter knows that roaring lion.  David Daleiden does too.  He speaks to us from many You Tube interviews.  He calls us to battle.    

Daleiden is the investigative journalist who went undercover for 30 months to investigate and ultimately to expose trafficking in aborted baby body parts by the abortion industry and its allies.  His numerous videos exposed the criminal activity. They demonstrated how tax payer funding was being used to do research using fetal organs harvested from born alive babies. Daleiden: In 2010, I first noticed it.  I was extremely troubled.  I had nightmares for about a week afterwards. I decided it deserved an in depth, focused, comprehensive expose.

Daleiden: I am the child of a crisis pregnancy situation.  My parents got pregnant with me their junior year of college and got married after graduation.  People can get pregnant and have kids in less than perfect situations. NOW is always the good time to welcome a little person into the world.

There is a cruel paradox that I can never get over. It is the fact that the humanity of unborn children is not considered equal enough to protect them from abortion. It is precisely that equal humanity – a humanity that is identical to our own – that makes them so valuable for scientific experimentation. It makes Planned Parenthood and researchers and their allies hunt their body parts like buried treasure.

Planned Parenthood has been illegally altering their abortion procedures to make them partial birth abortions so they can better harvest body parts for sale. A medical doctor is to do a procedure in whatever way is safest for the patient. But the abortionist changes that standard of care solely to increase the money line. That’s the first violation. The next big violation is that in changing that standard of care the doctor resorts to an illegal method of abortion.

Daleiden: In one video, the former medical director of a Planned Parenthood laughs and indicates that she needs to go to the gym to be strong enough to perform a dismemberment abortion with forceps. She describes how to deliver babies intact during late term abortions allegedly in order to harvest body parts.The law is that when a baby comes out intact in a late term abortion you are to check for signs of life of the baby. If there are signs of life, you are to do everything you can to save the life of the baby. I asked this long time Planned Parenthood abortion doctor what her standard procedure was for verifying signs of life.  Her response was – the key is you have to pay attention to who else is in the room with you. That was one of about three times that she made comments about paying attention to the reactions of the other staff workers in the clinic … that they might have to seeing a viable late term fetus come out in one piece. That was one of the most disturbing comments from any Planned Parenthood abortion doctor or really any abortion doctor in his time under cover in the abortion industry.

Daleiden: A whistle blower told me about the biggest liver from the biggest baby that they ever got during her time at Stem Express. A 19week old child had been aborted at a big Planned Parenthood site in Sacramento.  That is where I grew up. She said they received this pristine large intact liver … pulled all the stem cells out of it … put them in a vial … and sold that single vial … to a tax payer funded laboratory … for $17,000.  The way the system works, it was worth more to someone for that child to die and that liver to be harvested … rather than to use that $17,000 to try to save that child’s life.

David, you released the latest under cover video hours after you were hit with 15 felony charges in California. Why not wait to release new videos until your legal issues are resolved?

Daleiden: These 15 charges in the state of California are all based around the video tapes. They are all based around the act of recording which under California law is not illegal if it is a conversation that is held out in public or out in a public area. That’s why these 15 charges are totally bogus. Every single video tape that is cited in the Attorney General’s complaint is a video tape that was made of a conversation that was out in public or it could be overheard and in fact it was overheard.  And so pin point political prosecutions like the California Attorney General’s office has brought at the behest of Planned Parenthood cannot be allowed to stop and stifle the public conversation and the free and open exchange of ideas and information on issues of burning public concern like Planned Parenthood’s barbaric tax payer funded abortion business.

In summer 2015, with the release of the videos, the California Attorney General sent 11 California DOJ agents to my one bedroom apartment.  They had explicit instructions from Planned Parenthood to seize the computers and video equipment that I was using to publish the undercover videos.  Not all of them (the DOJ agents) fit in my apartment.  They had AR-15s (rifles; ArmaLite AR-15s; Barrel length 20 inches; length 39 inches. They had bomb sniffing dogs.

May 18, 2020, with the THOMAS MORE SOCIETY at his side, David Daleiden filed a massive federal civil rights complaint in Los Angeles, on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima, against the then Attorney General of California, Planned Parenthood, Stem Express, and  others. David is the first and only case of an undercover journalist being prosecuted in California for undercover news gathering under a California recording law that has been on the books for about 60 years.

After exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking business, Daleiden is now facing possible seizure of all of his assets by the abortion giant if he fails to raise $600,000 for an appeal bond due around October 2020, this month.

I don’t think I could go through experiences like having my home raided by the Attorney General of the state of California … going through all the law suits … and the bogus criminal prosecution. I don’t think I would be able to do that without having the Catholic Church … something that if the world is crumbling all around you, you can always come back to … because it stood and will continue to stand the test of time.  That is critical … something to stand on when it feels like the bottom is dropping out.  It is never going to change on you. It is not of this world.

ANIMA CHRISTI

Body of Christ, save me.

From the malignant enemy defend me.

At the hour of my death call me,

and cause me to come to thee.

ANIMA CHRISTI – Music scored and conducted by Reverend Marco Frisina, an Italian Roman Catholic priest and composer.

___________________________________

FUEL The prayers of the religious are like fuel in our tank.  They give us the spiritual power that we need.

DEE

CARMELITE NUNS OF FAIRFIELD, PA

Praised be Jesus Christ!  May God reward you for sending notice of your Planned Parenthood Prayer Vigils for the fall. We assure you that all the Sisters will be joining their prayers with yours and that we will very much  be standing guard with you in spirit. May God bless you and your efforts at saving lives. 

With the assurance of our prayers for all your other intentions, too.

Devotedly in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Your Carmelite Nuns

_________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN McD. 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

The schedule was empty this morning, but God surprised us by filling the sidewalk in front of PP with wonderful companions. Many thanks to Tom, Diane, and Nikki for setting us up for the day. Shift Buddy Vince and his brother Knights of Columbus, George and Rich, joined with faithful friends Bill and Pat to provide a peaceful, prayerful presence as our dear security guard kept watch.  Then we welcomed Andy and Ken at 9:00 to keep the vigil rolling.

Vince, Bill, George, Rich

Pat, Ken, Andy

KEN B. 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

For the second Sunday in a row the Rosary procession stopped in front of PP to pray at our vigil as they circled downtown Pittsburgh praying for peace, healing, God’s Mercy and an increased awareness and fulfillment of the message of Our Lady of Fatima for our city, our nation, our church, and our world. Perhaps next week I will remember to take a picture of the procession.

Always peaceful on Sunday to pray on Liberty Avenue. Some positive comments and visits from regulars Bill and Jim.

Andy, Pat, George and Rich

ROSEANN AND RICH 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

We had a nice group of pro-life parishioners from Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish. It was a great blessing when Reverend Canon O’Connor arrived. He led us in the Rosary and Litany to the Saints among other beautiful prayers. Many thanks to all who came. God is good.

Faithful Shift Managers Roseann and Rich

Sunday Powerful Prayer Presence

Reverend Canon O’Connor praying with his parishioners.

LINDSAY 1-3 SHIFT MANAGER

After a near miss with a fast moving bicyclist on the sidewalk, today was particularly peaceful, and I’m sure the Holy Spirit was present thanks to the devoted members of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish. I did see and hear a lot of birds. That is to say not pigeons, or doves, but middle digits and harsh words. It’s amazing how telling people they’re wrong in killing an unborn child generates so much anger. But in person, EVERYONE is joyous around babies!. But these gestures or ugly words did not affect our group today at all. Those who insult us don’t realize they actually give us more strength, mysteriously … mystically. The humble parish group just kept their eyes down ward, and continued their fervent peaceful prayers quietly within themselves, and sometimes we prayed traditional prayers as a group.

Most Precious Blood Parish lit up the sidewalk with their prayers.

Our Sunday Prayer Vigil brought love to the sidewalk.

Sunday Afternoon Prayer Witnesses for Life

Thank you, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Prayer Witnesses for Life today!!!

JOE W. 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

Inspiring shift lived out with beautiful Catholics (pictured, sorry to those not included in the pictures) standing up for the Innocents, with prayer and good will to all.

Grateful for the holy folks from Precious Blood of Jesus Christ Parish who came in multitudes armed with prayer and setting the example thru action for the youngins that accompanied them. Very uplifting.

Also my 40 days muses Jim and Cathy.

All glory and praise be to God.

Jim and Cathy, 40 DAYS MUSES

Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish raises the roof in prayer!

Prayerful witness from Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish

A joyful prayer with a youthful vibe!!!

Children are always welcome!

   _________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

________________________________

People whose hearts God has captured keep prayer vigil and Sidewalk Advocate presence at Planned Parenthood in downtown Pittsburgh. The red brick building looks ordinary.  People going in and out look normal.  Look deeper.  Saint Peter knows that roaring lion.

Day 5: Thank you, Our Lady of the Lakes Parish; Saints John and Paul Parish Respect Life Group, Franklin Park; Corpus Christi Parish; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Mary M., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteer Matthew J.; and all the people who joined us in prayer today!

I will share with one person today that I believe abortion will end.

No matter the reaction, I will ask him or her to pray for it to occur.

TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER.  Shawn D. Carney

___________________________________

I love you, LORD, my strength.

In my distress I called out: LORD!

He rescued me from my mighty enemy,

from foes too powerful for me.

They attacked me on my day of distress,

but the LORD was my support.

He set me on a rock I could not reach;

he rescued me because he loves me.

PSALM 18 1:1, 2:7, 18-20

Waking up at 4:30 Wednesday morning to be on time for the 6am Mass felt like an adventure.  When you see us gathered on the sidewalk do we look like a bunch of crazies?  The workers going into pp either look away or give us stony looks.  Those seeking “health care” sometimes hurry past, sometimes stop for a moment … and then go in.  But … occasionally people linger, listen and CHOOSE LIFE FOR THEIR BABY.    

Are our “SAVES” worth all the time and energy we spend?

INDUBITABLY!  We are adventurers. When you look at us you see an infinitesimal bit of the reality God creates using our effort. Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life is one of an estimated 588 pro-life gatherings in communities worldwide. Using the hour of prayer offered by 4 people at the Texas crisis pregnancy center in 2004, God sparked the fire that became this gigantic gathering of love.

Abortion continues to weave itself firmly into American politics, its schools and in the hearts of millions of our women. It is a $2 billion presence in our economy. No worries. We cling to God He will not give us a stone.

___________________________________

Consider how God wove the lives of Pope John Paul II, SOLIDARITY leader Lech Walesa and the Communist leaders of Soviet Poland into goodness. As SOLIDARITY got under way, people warned Walesa. Don’t even try. You won’t stand a chance.
Pope John Paul II visited Poland. The spirit was so contagious that even some party members and militiamen genuflected in public! The Pope ‘organized’ millions of people into praying together. The communists were pulling their hair out. Walesa said, “We were all amazed and also stopped fearing them.” 

In WITNESS TO HOPE, George Weigel notes that it may seem that Wojtyla’s role in this story is of interest solely to Christians, perhaps only to Catholics. However, history has shown that to tens of millions of people, many of whom are not Roman Catholics, he is the great figure of our time, the defender and principal embodiment of a moral force that led humanity safely through its bloodiest of centuries.

___________________________________

ENJOY “BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), “All-Night Vigil” / Vespers, op. 37, 2.” Irina Bogdanovich is the soloist.

It is full to the brim and overflowing with the good things surrendered by Soviet injustice and won by God for Karol Wojtyla, Lech Walesa, and SOLIDARITY. Notice the ancient beauty of the Cathedral icons and trimmings. Enjoy the beauty of the contemporary Polish performers. Beauty is always new and always ancient, suffered for and won in the today and in the yesterdays by generations of the people of God … since the beginning. 

The video was recorded at the Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Cathedral for the Diocese of Warsaw-Bielsk, whose address is ul. aleja SOLIDARNOSCI 52, Warsaw 03-402 Poland. This Cathedral is on a street named in honor of SOLIDARITY.

_________________________________

_________________________________

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN McD 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

It was good to get back to the sidewalk this morning for the first Sunday of our Fall 2020 campaign!  So grateful to Diane & Tom for setting us up for success, to Vince for leading us in a beautiful Scriptural Rosary, to the other volunteers for their prayerful presence, to our very comforting security guard, and to the interesting people who stopped to politely engage with us.  


Shift Buddy Vince and Shift Manager Andy

KEN B. 9-11 SHIFT MANAGER

Borrowing from today’s Gospel, about the faithful son who went to work in his Father’s vineyard, I pray that our time on the sidewalk will bear much fruit in time. There was not a lot of foot traffic today and only a few discernible comments in support of our efforts for life and none against. A sunny fallish day brightened by the fact that PP is closed on Sundays. I was very glad to have as a faith partner today shift buddy Andy. His prayers and insights were much appreciated. We were joined by a few good men from Saint Sebastian’s Knights of Columbus and the faithful from Our Lady of the Lakes Parish. May Almighty God heal our land and end the genocide against life in the womb.     

Shift buddy Andy, Security Guard, Pat and Bob from Our Lady of the Lakes, George and Rich from the Knights of Columbus

Sunday morning pro lifers gathered in prayer hoping they will let us “love them both!”

RICH AND ROSEANN K. 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

We had a great group of people present on the sidewalk today. It was nice to see some old friends and meet new ones all coming together for God’s purpose. We got to meet our security guard, who told us of his conversion. I love to hear those conversion stories. Everything was calm and we said our prayers. We had a couple of drive- by remarks and some positive feedback. They loved Nikki’s artwork of the Virgin holding the Lamb of God. 

Michael, Francis, Maria, Timothy

Judy, Cole, Amy, Joan

Joy and Bill

Betsy and Judy

Marge and Rich

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

The vigil was peaceful.  Just two women (different ages, different cars/times) said sad and bizarre things. One was a young girl (20’s) who said she wished she had been aborted.
The other a middle age woman who asked why we don’t protest miscarriages.  

The people at Saints Peter and Paul were awesome. 

A big crowd came to pray and witness for life.   

A precious little one witnessing for other precious little ones.

 

The people at Saints Peter and Paul were awesome.

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

Feel blessed to be a small part of this new campaign for life, and so grateful to be on the side fighting for the most innocent among us.

Amidst the insanity of the pandemic, it was inspiring to pray with (pictured) my faithful Shift Buddies Jim & Cathy, and the spiritually alive Parish, Corpus Christi in Bridgeville. They showed up in force with #s to share their love of Christ with the world.

A shout out to our guard for his protection of us and sacrifice for our country.

All Glory and Praise be to God.

Jim and Cathy, Joe’s Shift Buddies

Corpus Christi Parishioners, Bridgeville

Corpus Christi Parishioners fill the sidewalk with prayers resounding of the glory of God!

_________________________________

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 40: Thank you, Shift Buddies Vince P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; and all the Witnesses who joined our Pittsburgh Vigil for Life today!


The Crucifixion
Fra Angelico (c. 1387-1455)
Capitular Hall, Covent San Marco, Florence, Italy
© Electa / Leemage
https://us.magnificat.net

The devil attacks many of us with arrows of isolation and anxiety. We are not alone, however, because we walk with our Father in everything. Our personal trust in Him will make ripples today beyond what the eye can see.

Carney, Shawn D. To The Heart Of The Matter.

Day 40 feels different this spring.  It feels different. But, the virus doesn’t stop abortion minded people from participating in killing children.  The virus doesn’t stop people from rescuing innocents against all the odds.

Here are two stories with themes we recognize as being around since the beginning.  They tell you things about people you already know.  Evil can make people blind and driven. Good can dazzle people, igniting their hearts into responses replete with indefatigable creativity. 

Finally, a song for you, “For Unto Us a Child Is Born from Handel’s Messiah. The words listed are from the Bible text. Isaiah’s words hold a key.  Life is not a problem to be solved.  Life is a mystery to be lived.   In the mystery the most amazing Person greets us!

___________________________________

… the clatter of heavy boots and the barking of orders in German.  The hallway was suddenly in commotion.  Ala stood frozen.  But that kernel of an idea was growing.  She raced to the children’s ward where the bright room was already in chaos, and turned to a duty nurse and gave swift instructions:  Run, tell the kitchen staff we are coming. Ala needed the kitchen workers to fill a truck with food supplies and empty the vegetable boxes.  Ala clapped her hands.  Children! We must line up now very quickly. Daisy chains of toddlers and small children held each other’s hands, and teenage trainee nurses carried two or three infants at a time in bundles.  Thirty children followed Ala swiftly down the back staircases and into the kitchens, where they were tucked in and among the wooden potato boxes.  Ala ordered the cook to drive, and moments later Ala watched as the truck pulled away and disappeared around the street corner.

…by January 1943, the names of more than a thousand children were on the lists.  Every single child Irena had placed in the Warsaw convents was still alive.

By the end of the war, ninety percent of Poland’s Jews would perish – some three million people – but not Irena’s  2,500 children.

Mazzeo, Tilar J.  Irena’s Children. New York: Gallery Books, 2017.

___________________________________

The second powerful memory I carry as a treasure from that day is not of words spoken but of a silent act.  At one point I looked across the street, and there I saw Abby Johnson on her knees at that black fence, where she had just placed two long-stemmed roses.  One rose was for her own child that she had aborted years before, and the other for all the children aborted there while she was the director of the facility.  Around her, others knelt, wept, and prayed, and many placed their own flowers at the fence, transforming it from a cold, hard barrier that had once kept us all out into a memorial to all the lives lost and all the pain inflicted inside that fence.  Never again will an abortion center wall or fence look to me like a barrier.  I will recognize it as a territory staked out by prayer warriors and covered by the love and faithfulness of God’s people.

David Bereit, “Breakthrough.”

Bereit, David and Carney, Shawn with Cindy Lambert.  40 Days For Life, Discover What God Has Done…Imagine What He Can Do. (2013)

___________________________________

Listen in to Handel’s Messiah, “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.” At King’s College Chapel, Roy Goodman conducts the Brandenburg Consort and Sir Stephen Cleobury leads the King’s College School and undergraduates from Cambridge University.

For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us;

upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor,

God-Hero,

Father-Forever,

Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:5

___________________________________

My soul clings to you. Your right hand holds me fast. Psalm 63:8

__________________________________

Shawn Carney’s message for Day 40:


NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

___________________________________

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Vince and I kept vigil “together but apart” this morning, praying all the mysteries of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  I was blessed with a beautiful experience praying at a “drive-in” Adoration Chapel that has been set up in the window of a local church.

This has been a 40 Days for Life campaign like no other.  I’m so glad we continued the vigil even though we couldn’t be on the sidewalk.  I will miss gathering with all of you to close in prayer and fellowship tonight, but I look forward to what God has in store for us.  Jesus, I trust in You!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Today is my last shift for this campaign. From 9 to 11 I was joined once again by my wife and four of our children. We prayed the Stations of the Cross, the five Glorious mysteries of the Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live streamed by Fr. Mike Schmitz, from our home. Like many of you our home has the look of the domestic church as it should. The statues and holy images are sometimes overwhelming to visitors here but for our family it has always been conducive to prayer. And in this season of no Mass or sacraments this is a peaceful place to pray. However we are very conscious of the fact that it is a poor substitute for receiving Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament at our parish. This was our prayer today, that this sacrifice would be offered for the closing of PP. May God have Mercy on us all. 

ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGER 11-1

Palm Sunday and our last day in our campaign but not the last day to pray to end abortion. I am sure we will all continue to pray daily that God will bring this hideous sin of abortion to an end. Rich and I prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy along with the R. Family in spirit. We included prayers from Fr. Pavone and attended mass in our living room via EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Beautiful reflection Marie. That’s great to know the Tabernacle is still exposed. I wasn’t sure after Bishop’s latest directive. We celebrated a Mass at home for my 40 Days for Life shift. With Bishop Robert Barron. It was a little weird because the cats kept knocking over our little altar. Luckily I had some dried up Palm from last year. I cried when I sang “Oh Sacred Head Surrounded” as our dismissal hymn. I can’t wait till we’re all united as a community again!

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

This afternoon I prayed in front of the tabernacle at my church, SS John & Paul. I am so thankful that it is there and available for people to come and pray to our Lord in the Eucharist – even if through a glass window!

I prayed the Pro-Life Glorious Mysteries from Priests for Life and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I want to encourage all the Pittsburgh 40DFL team to not lose heart over the circumstances that our vigil had to take this time – God’s hand is in this.

We have to TRUST!!

The first Glorious Mystery is The Resurrection, I want to share the reflection on this mystery – may we keep this in mind as we journey towards Easter Sunday.

Christ is Risen! By His Resurrection, He has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion.

The outcome of the battle for Life has already been decided: Life is victorious!

Let us pray that all pro-lifers will spread this victory to every segment of our society.

May your Holy Week and Easter be blessed with the love of Christ who has conquered death – and will conquer the evil of abortion!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

So what can we control and what can’t we control.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Out of my control.

We have an extraordinarily aggressive government stance to try to flatten the curve, so aggressive that I believe it is fraudulent, full of ulterior motives which are most likely evil. And if you question our government being, and if you question our government being evil, what other word is there for a government that says abortion mills are vital necessary services, but churches are not?

Either way. Out of my control.

Some of us have lost our jobs for a time. Other’s work is so slow it may never return to the same it was before the crisis. Also out of our control.

But what do we do about it? Do we circle the wagons, seeking to protect our life or do we imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serve without counting the cost? It is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The hireling sees the wolf coming and runs. And there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. To those who have been laying it on the line for love of God in the poor, in service to others,

Shift Manager, Andy. Faithful 40 Days Witness

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Privilege serving and receiving the Lord with yinz in another blessed campaign.

See you in the fall, and may the Lord’s protection be with you all.

Peace

And God saw that it was good.

Day 33: Thank you, Erie Carmelite Nuns; all of you who pray, fast and witness for life with our Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life community.

The Crucifixion of Christ (detail)

Diego Velazquez (1599 – 1660)

Prado Museum, Spain

©Jean-Paul Dumontier/La Collection

https://us.magnificat.net

There are three thousand abortions per day in the United States. Do you believe that will end? We need to know that deeply and work that reality into our daily lives. And when abortion ends, there will be but one reasonable explanation: God.

Shawn D. Carney

TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

The 40 Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life

“Cynicism Takes No Effort”

Put yourself in the place of your sisters and brothers who feel that abortion is the only solution for their crisis pregnancy. You know how bad life sometimes feels.  You feel tightly gripped by relentless cold, impenetrable darkness.  Details out of your control block your escape.  Your faults nag endlessly.  Not thinking, you get up.  You go outside.

We pray that this moment … this exact moment … will change everything for them.  Let them notice the rush of fresh air … the fragrance of spring … birds singing, winging bush to tree … colors … daylight.  Let them feel Beauty calling.

Dear Father, help this poor one to turn to you. 

Hear him. 

From all his distress save him.

Saint Augustine says when we fall down we get up faster. Sidewalk witnesses, (virtual sidewalk witnesses for now) the infantry in the war for life, watch our PP bound sisters and brothers, hoping to rescue them.

Our Sidewalk Advocates are really good at it. Listen!

We want to help you.

Right now … we are ready now … to help you today … and tomorrow … and  always.

Let’s go for coffee!

You are right. This is serious.

It is life and death.

We want to get it right.

God takes life and death very seriously.  Reacquaint yourself with Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross.  Remember.  Listen and sing along. 

J.S. Bach Saint Matthew Passion, Choral: “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,”

O Sacred Head, surrounded by crown of piercing thorn!

O bleeding Head so wounded reviled and put to scorn!

Our sins have marred the glory of Thy most Holy Face

Yet angel hosts adore Thee and tremble as they gaze.

___________________________________

I see thy strength and vigor all fading in the strife.

And death with cruel rigor bereaving thee of life.

O agony and dying! O love to sinners free!

Jesus, all grace supplying, O turn thy face on me.

_________________________________

In this thy bitter passion, Good Shepherd, think of me

with Thy most sweet compassion, unworthy though I be.

Beneath Thy cross abiding forever would I rest,

in thy dear love, confiding, and with Thy presence blest.

———————————-

But death too is my ending. In that dread hour of need,

my friendless cause befriending, Lord, to my rescue speed.

Thyself, O Jesus, trace me right passage to the grave,

And from Thy cross embrace me, with arms outstretched to save.

___________________________________

The words are attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153)

Together with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, we too must recognize that man seeks God better and finds him more easily “in prayer than in discussion.” In the end, the truest figure of a theologian and of every evangelizer remains the Apostle John who laid his head on the Teacher’s breast.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 10/21/2009


Shawn Carney’s message for Day 33:


DEE G., FUEL

Erie Carmelite Nuns

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Just a note to let you and those at 40 Days for Life know that you have been in our thoughts, prayers, and sacrifices especially during the Novena to Our Father, Saint Joseph. He saved the Author of Life from Herod’s plans to kill him—what a strong supporter and model for 40 Days!!

May he obtain from Jesus all the graces you need to remain faithful to Him and to persevere in your good work of saving lives—-both body and soul of mother and child. 

God bless and Mary keep you, Saint Joseph guide!!

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

 “As Jesus was Himself subject to Saint Joseph on earth, just so in heaven, He still does all he asks.”    St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

___________________________________

NOTES FROM THE VIRTUAL SIDEWALK

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

In an email this morning, Barbara lovingly asked us to send in our shift reports and noted, “It is harder without the sidewalk.”  I agree!   Many people wrote this week that they were better able to focus on prayer in the silence of their homes.  Not me, sadly…but a few things comforted me in my distraction. First, I was blessed to have a livestream from a Perpetual Adoration chapel showing on my computer.  Looking up at our Eucharistic Lord helped me to re-focus many times.  Second, I knew my shift buddy, Vince, was joining me in prayer from a distance.  I missed having his spiritual leadership to guide me, but it felt good to know we were still united in praying the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Third, I’ve been told that intentionally redirecting your thoughts to Jesus over and over again when you are distracted is an act of love to offer up to Him.  I’m glad I had something to offer, considering the sorry state of my prayers.  And finally, knowing that our prayer is a supplication rather than an incantation gives me comfort.  If it were an incantation, like some magic spell, the effectiveness of my prayer would depend on my power and my ability to recite it perfectly.  But a supplication is totally dependent on the power of God to hear and answer in the way He sees fit.  And so I ask my merciful Jesus to hear my pathetic plea:  please end abortion, both the act and the belief, and remind us all that you are the Lord of Life!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I was joined in my two hour shift today by my wife Darlene and our four children still at home, Bernadette, Rita,  Brendan, and Emma. We offered our prayers for the closing of PP on Liberty Avenue and for God’s Mercy on all women who have appointments for the coming week. In our first hour we prayed the Stations of the Cross,  the five Glorious mysteries of the Holy Rosary,  and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy before the altar of our Domestic Church. The second hour we prayed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass live streamed from Duluth by Father Michael Schmitz. Father’s homily was most appropriate for our intention. He spoke of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus allowed His Heart to be crushed and broken as He wept for Martha,  Mary and Lazarus whom He loved. And so our hearts are broken and crushed but we do not lose heart, we are not discouraged,  we continue to enter into the Sacred Heart and we continue to trust. And so this is our prayer today,  that those women whose hearts are broken and crushed with an unplanned pregnancy will trust in the heart of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection. May God have Mercy on us all. 

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

During our 11-1 Shift, we prayed the beautiful Divine Mercy Chaplet sung by Donna Cori Gibson.  I shared a link. I hope I shared it correctly. We prayed the Rosary and several more pro-life prayers that we found from Father Frank Pavone. Then at 12:00 noon we attended Mass via television EWTN. The R. Family prayed the rosary during our shift today from their home.
I pray you all are doing well in these stressful times. Stay strong.

https://youtu.be/EL8Xzj76kh0

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

Lindsay and I split our prayer time today. I prayed outdoors from 2:00-3:00 p.m. standing in front of a tabernacle that has been place inside the glass doors at my parish, SS John & Paul .

The tabernacle sits on a table with a small statue of the pregnant Blessed Mother (Guadalupe perhaps?) on one side and the Divine Mercy image on the other side.

While we no longer have Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist for now, we are able to visit the tabernacle here at any time. This virus cannot keep HIM from us!

I prayed the Pro-Life Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries from Priests for Life followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

It was nice to feel the warmth of the sun shining down despite the strong wind gusts that threatened to blow me over.

This afternoon was to be our parish’s time at the vigil. Since we could not be present physically, our Respect Life team members were asked to spend time in prayer between 1:00-3:00.

This past week’s blog reports have made me think how deliberate and intentional our prayer has become, now that we are no longer on the sidewalk outside PP.

I found that my prayers today were that way since I didn’t have all the distractions that being on the sidewalk, even on a Sunday afternoon, presents.

My prayer is that ALL of our prayers are being raised up with more fervor – for the unborn, their mothers and fathers. I know that they are.

And that God is pleased with our intentionality – He longs for us to be intentional. Perhaps not being on the sidewalk is meant to remove the distractions.

God has a plan, it is on us to trust His plan! It is on us to remain strong – and to finish these 40 days strong!! I know we will!!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A surreal day, praying to shut down the mill.  And to open the Churches. Sunny skies, a strong wind at times.
But a heavy heart over the cancellation of funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
And the pandemic.
Part of me wants to lock myself in a safe room and never leave, and part of me thinks it is all in God’s Hands as a just punishment for my sins and those of the whole world.
I do encourage you to read the Dr. Fauci article in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Interesting stuff.
Be faithful and keep praying.  

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

I was cleaning up my email this week and stumbled across this photo from the 2012 fall campaign. Nikki sent it to our church group with a thank you letter. It stirred up a lot of emotions, below are a few.

Wow that went by fast … I’m OLD … and  BORING  (wknd shifts) …

AMAZEMENT, I can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve met down

there, and the things I see them do.

FULFILLED … what happens down there is really indescribable … it

must be experienced to be understood.  Where such wretchedness

abounds, so too is the abundance of God’s graces.

But mostly  GRATEFUL … all the TIME, HARD WORK and SACRIFICE OUR

LEADERS PUT IN TO KEEP THIS GOING. 

I feel so FORTUNATE, in my journey to CHRIST, to reap the abundant Fruit of this ministry. Your example truly brings out the good in me (yes it’s hard to find).

My inclination was to watch tv, however the beads ended up in my hands with the Word (7 penitential Psalms) thanks to all of you, MY FRIENDS.

See ya’ll in the fall.

ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD!!!

Shift Manager Joe with 4 Friends, Faithful Witnesses

And God saw that it was good.

Day 26: Thank you, Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg; Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene; Shift Buddies Vince P., Marie P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Pat M., Lynn W.; and all the Witnesses who joined us in prayer today!

+++IMPORTANT NOTE+++

Dear Friends in Christ, the national leadership of 40 Days for Life has made the difficult decision to end our public vigil due to the coronavirus crisis. Although today was our last day on the sidewalk, PLEASE continue to fast and pray from home for an end to abortion and for God’s love and providence to surround all who find themselves pregnant and in challenging circumstances.

Your fear of the Lord in a world that has no fear of the Lord

goes a long way. It is truly countercultural.

Shawn Carney. To the Heart of the Matter

Life dazzles me.  Proprioception, electrons, nasturtium, jelly donuts, warm rainy day walks, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bach, birdsong! I did not create or pay for it. It is a gift.    

There is more. Inviting me closer, life gives me a yes or no choice.  Someone cunningly suggests that I ignore the yes or no.  Say maybe. Keep all options on the table.   Someone else entices me.  Say yes and say yes again and learn to live yes. Both of them are terrible.  They call me to battle!    

I did not learn this in kindergarten.  The Bible taught me. This week the blog had a picture of a witness who brought the Crucifix to the sidewalk. Great idea!

___________________________________

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you

except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  

1 Corinthians 2:2 

It wasn’t just that Jesus died, that He was put to death – but that He died in this uniquely horrific way. That’s one of the most shocking things about early Christianity.  How absolutely strange it was to put a crucified criminal at the heart of the operation.

You have not considered the weight of sin.

What’s going on in the life and death of Jesus is a working in and with sin so as to change it – to undo it from the inside.

God, as it were, had to enter life as a warrior – into sin – so as to break it and conquer it from the inside.

A word of forgiveness blithely offered from a distance is not going to affect what had to be affected.

What’s happening on the Cross, is God going into God forsakenness, taking on Himself precisely the dysfunction of the world, symbolized by all those forces that brought him to the Cross.

Having taken all that on, He is able through the divine mercy, to break it and remake it from the inside.

All of that demands a work.  It demands that a price be paid.  It is a battle that has to be won. The Father out of love sends the Son who accepts the mission out of love. 

A price was paid.  A work was done.  See with the Cross the awe full work of the Divine Love.

Bishop Robert Barron. “Bishop Barron on the Scandalous Cross of Jesus”. youtube

Life dazzles. Life engages me in battle. Life blesses me with goodness, truth and beauty.

Saint Paul began with Jesus Christ, crucified. A crucified heart is a heart full of riches to share with sisters and brothers vulnerable to abortion.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

___________________________________

PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

The 7-9 on Sunday morning is already the quietest shift on the schedule, but it was even more so this morning.  This made the atmosphere especially peaceful.  It was my parish’s (St. Regis, Trafford) turn to take a shift and I was joined by my wife, Steph, and Nancy, who has been with us many times in the past.  Whenever I take this shift I find myself filled with such gratitude for SB Vince and his prayerful leadership.  He even printed out a prayer guide for all 20 mysteries of the Rosary, plus the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  He and I and Nancy prayed that while Steph stayed on the other side and prayed silently.  Chuck and Carol came early for their 9-11 shift and it was good to see them.  

Shift Buddy Vince, Shift Manager Pat who is witnessing with Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg. They are joined by Chuck and Carol, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

This was a quiet and peaceful Sunday morning on Liberty Avenue. Aside from a few panhandlers there were no comments and few that passed by on the sidewalk. I arrived to find two members of The Church of The Nazarene, Chuck and Carol with shift managers Vince and Pat. For most of the shift we had a most pleasant and welcome visit from the sunshine. Chuck and Carol stayed with me for the entire shift and gave us prayer and praise music and pleasant greetings for all who passed.  I was able to pray the Rosary, on my knees, in peace for a good part of my shift.  Nikki stopped on her way to Mass to set up the Sacred artwork for the benefit of all to see and also the rose petals for life that added much, in the sunshine, to bring life to this place of death. We did have two welcome guests in vehicles, Janine who prayed from her car and an off duty police officer in uniform who provided some security. My shift ended joined in the prayers of the Chaplet of Mercy with shift managers Rosanne and Rich and Lynn from The Oratory. 

Chuck and Carol joined Ken so he would not be alone.

Ken, Shift Manager

Nikki arranged her art after spreading the rose petals that honor the lives of the babies abortion takes at Planned Parenthood downtown.

RICH AND ROSEANN K., SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

Very calm on the street today although we did manage to get one negative remark but it was soon eclipsed by a positive one. When we got there Ken took a photo of Rich, myself and Lynn who witnessed with us until noon. Joe stopped by to pray. We prayed Rosaries and the Divine Chaplet. Before we knew it Lindsay and her husband Daniel showed up. Thanks and God Bless to all who braved coming out today.

Lynn from the Oratory witnesses with Shift Managers Roseann and Rich

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Let’s just say all hell broke loose today!

It was an EVENTFUL time outside the 933 Liberty Avenue Planned Parenthood. Things were calm and peaceful and prayerful, and then all the sudden there was a club wielding man amongst us. It started out in the middle of the intersection, when a deranged man yelled at an (uninvolved) driver of a car stopped at a red light.  They floored it to get away. Then the man started to come towards us. He was holding what appeared to be a large club and was wearing a black fedora style hat and something that looked like a dead animal wrapped around his neck (later I realized it was a cheap faux stole). Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re running but you can’t seem to move? That was me, your fearless shift leader. The man spoke unintelligibly and then lay down in the gutter and started to devour rose petals that were scattered there. He got back up and restlessly paced while still wielding what appeared to be a HUGE club (shift buddy Marie thought it was one of those Amazon rain sticks).

God gave me strength to at least try to start getting pictures and video and to run over to the security guard/hired police officer. I believe he had already called for backup.  The man started to go down the street away from us when he saw our security guard.  But he whirled around and came back with purpose.  He lay down on the sidewalk one more time. He got up, club in hand, and ignored the warnings of the police officer to calm down and drop the club. So the police officer acted heroically, swiftly, and professionally and pinned the man to the ground. In the scuffle our sandwich boards and baby models flew.  Thankfully many other police cars, police motorcycles and policemen showed up.  And it took about five or six policemen to remove the club from the man’s hands.  And he was arrested, thank God. When all the police were gone I realized there was another maniac amongst us. He seemed restless and agitated and started to punch a metal pole near us. But thankfully the power of prayer drove him away, just as I was dialing the 9 of 9-1-1.

I do want to thank the courageous prayer warriors who stuck with me during the scare. I also I want to thank the courageous security guard / police officer and all the other Pittsburgh police officers who were so quick to restore order to Liberty Avenue. My heroes always wear blue!

This all might seem scary and it was. However I believe it is a really awesome thing!

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY making Satan mad now. We must be real close to closing Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue! So keep it up, prayer warriors, especially Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel.  And stand tall and courageous.

Especially if Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the Pittsburgh Police got your back! Today was full of heroes. Thank you Father Jason Charron for giving Catholics the beautiful opportunity to receive the most Sacred Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ today at an outdoor Easter Ukrainian Rite Mass, that honored all social distancing and sanitary laws. May God bless all the heroic people I met, and prayed with, and prayed for.  We’re spiritually sustained today!

Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel. Prayer warriors standing tall.

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY working.

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A sunny day

with much quiet prayer and some public

but one thing in common between us all  

firm hope that 933 Liberty Avenue WILL CLOSE!

Thank you to all who have joined us in prayer, on the sidewalk and from a distance.
Although the coronavirus crisis is ending our public vigil early, PLEASE continue to pray and fast from home! May God bless all unborn children and their families, and may He end abortion forever!

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 19: Thank you, People of God Covenant Community; Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon; Shift Buddies, Vince P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Vicky A., Patrick S., Amy M., Joe B.; and all the Witnesses who prayed with us today!

The Evening Prayer (1857)

Pierre-Edouard Frere (1819-1886)

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Public Domain

https://us.magnificat.net

Let’s not be afraid to talk about virginity, advocate for virginity, and

restore its rightful place as an integral part of our pursuit of authentic love.

Shawn Carney, To The Heart Of The Matter

___________________________________

The 25th Anniversary of Saint John Paul the Great’s encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) is next week. Karol Wojtyla of Poland lived under the boot of Hitler and Stalin.  We live under the boot of legalized, culturally promoted personal promiscuity. Evil looked the same in Wojtyla’s time, 25 years ago, as it does today. Here’s Wotyla:

Today there exists a great multitude of weak and defenseless human beings, unborn children in particular, whose fundamental right to life is being trampled upon.

… infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.

The end result of this is tragic.

Conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.

The present Encyclical, the fruit of the cooperation of the Episcopate of every country of the world, is a pressing appeal addressed to each and every person, in the name of God: respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!

EVANGELIUM VITAE (Gospel of Life). Saint Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995 http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html

___________________________________

Here’s today:

A whole generation has now been raised in the school of divorce, learning its chief lessons―that families break up, relationships end, and love is not forever. As a result, they have assumed a “comparison shopper’s” stance towards the opposite sex with all of the typical “calculation and guardedness that works against commitment and even against the ability to fall in love.”

Margaret Harper McCarthy. “Hedging One’s Bets: Courting Divorce” https://humanumreview.com/uploads/pdfs/Humanum-Issue-Three-2015.pdf

___________________________________

The ultimate goal of the power of evil is to put love to death.

Pierre-Marie Dumont, MAGNIFICAT March 2020

___________________________________

Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know (featuring Kimbra)

___________________________________

… and the solution our Father offers – the Good, the True, the Beautiful – looks the same today.

___________________________________

There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents

than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

Luke 15:7

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Quiet morning on the sidewalk…some pleasant greetings from the few people passing by.  Only one person stopped to talk.  He was looking for money but also asked us why we were there.  When he heard our reason, he told the story of a friend who became pregnant at 17.  Her boyfriend and his parents all told her to abort, but her own parents supported her and her decision to parent.  She gave birth to a little boy who is now 7 years old.  The man thanked us for being there before going on his way.

Thank you to Diane, Tom, and Nikki for preparing the sidewalk for a day of prayer and outreach.  Thank you to Shift Buddy Vince and volunteer Vicky for joining in prayer and Scripture reflection.  Thank you to Bill for stopping to bless us and the yellow line with holy water.  And thanks be to God for allowing us to continue this vigil today despite the time of crisis!

Vince, Vicky, Jen and Diane: Early to the sidewalk!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I thought today’s Gospel reading applied to the current health scare….”Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst…  Some of the grocery store shelves have been emptied of bottled drinking water. I think the greater thirst and need at this time is the living Word of God. I was blessed to be joined for my two hours today with The People of God Covenant Community. The songs and prayers and praise were centered on that very Word.    

Covenant Community Witnesses Julie, Patti, Pat and Tom with Shift Manager Ken

More witnesses from People of God Covenant Community: Neil, Aaron, Joel, Steve, Michele and Marie.

Steve, Joe, Carol, Mary, Michele and Pam … People of God Covenant Community … Second Shift Witnesses!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A strong showing from Saint Agnes Catholic Church in North Huntington PA today. And once again we were blessed with some police activity in our general area but nothing to affect us. Thanks be to God. But I write this with a heavy heart as all Masses in our diocese have been canceled as of tomorrow morning by Bishop Zubik. We are in a war, he is my general, but he is taking away our strongest and best weapon. If there is ever a time for prayer, and to take up our cross and follow Him, it is now.

Saint Agnes Catholic Church, North Huntington – Vigorous Witnesses for Life bring God to Downtown Pittsburgh

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Jim and Cathy (my 40 Days muses) came back from their Florida trip ready to pray for the innocents to be spared.
Kevin C. from Steubenville is becoming a 40 days regular, offering up his valuable time and prayers.
Welcome, Kevin, enjoy the grace filled ride!!!
I continue to be amazed at the quality of fruit produced by this movement.
For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and the whole world.

Jim and Cathy S., Shift Buddies, and Kevin C. from Steubenville

Last but not least with Joe W. witnessing today for life!

And God saw that it was good.