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

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,



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:




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!


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. 


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.


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!


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!


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


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.


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

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


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:


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)




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!


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. 


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.


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!!


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.  


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.



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.


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!


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.




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.


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.


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


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.


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

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


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”


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



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!


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!


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


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.

DAY 12: Thank you, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish (Celebrates the Latin Mass); Shift Buddy Vince P.; Volunteers Jeff B., Mary M., Amy M., Nate R., Fran M.; and all the Witnesses who joined us in prayer today!

The Infant Samuel Praying (1777)

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)

Fabre Museum, Montpellier, France

© akg-images/ Nimatallah.

At God’s command, Samuel anointed Saul and then David.

David answered Goliath: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted.

All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle belongs to the LORD, who shall deliver you into our hands.”

1 SAMUEL 17:45, 47


Mortifying our desire for food is powerful….

The angels will carry us through, and

the demons will hate it.

Shawn Carney, To The Heart Of The Matter

I want to be a saint. I want to be a champion. I want to be Samuel, David, Shawn and Nikki.  I added fasting to my routine. Yep! 

The good thing about fasting is that I am so bad at it.  When I get ready to begin my 40 Days for Life scheduled fast (24 hours, fluids only, 7p to 7p), I sometimes feel tons of reluctance.  “You’re too old … You’re too busy today … Just think how much more hilarious your face will look if you lose weight.”  Eeeww!  Am I really that conflicted?  Yes!

Sometimes I can’t fast until I pray. I can’t pray until I kneel down. Happily for me, the Bible offers treasures of little prayers that are just right for trying times.    Here’s one.

“Rejoice not over me, O my enemy!

though I have fallen, I will arise;

though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.”

Micah 7:8

If I look in a mirror, I see only me.  But when I pray, fast or choose virtue, a trio of voices does the talking … me, the Accuser and the voice that says, “Everything feels harder now, but DO THAT THING OF GOD ANYWAY!”

”You ask people to choose life.  For some people that is a very hard choice. You can’t even choose not to eat another cookie!”

Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion is the creation of a champion. The Collegium Vocale Gent performers can recreate Bach’s beauty together because each of them faithfully devotes time to studying and rehearsing. 

We are in the garden of Gethsemane just after Judas’ kiss. The soldiers took Jesus away. In a 4.5 minute interval Bach takes us from sorrow to outrage.   

Bach. Saint Matthew Passion. “So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen” (So is my Jesus captured now)

So is my Jesus captured now.

Moon and light

are quenched for sorrow

because my Jesus is captured. 

They lead him away, he is bound.

Loose him, do not hold, do not bind him!

Have lightnings, has thunder vanished in the clouds?

Open your fiery pit, o hell, wreck, ruin, engulf,

shatter with sudden force

the false betrayer, the murderous blood.

The “false betrayer, the murderous blood” is the enemy who rejoices when we fall.  The enemy is not our brother or our sister.

Thank you, champions, saints. I need your example. I want to try. Here I am, Lord. Send me!



It was a morning of surprises.  As I was driving to the vigil, I turned a corner and was startled by an enormous, bright, and beautiful full moon hanging at the horizon.  The sidewalk was much busier than a normal Sunday morning.  We had many pleasant greetings from the large group of runners passing by–a pleasant surprise, indeed.  Something less pleasant:  a young man walking past us suddenly stopped and screamed in a volunteer’s face as we were praying, making us all jump.  Later an intoxicated man paused to talk and tried to hug another volunteer. 

So grateful to everyone who came this morning!  Diane and Tom set up all our vigil needs, followed by Nikki and Joe with the beautiful paintings.  Shift buddy Vince led us in a Scriptural Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Mary, Katie, and Michelle all answered the call to pray with us.  Amy and a friend covered the other side of the circle with prayer, most of the time on her knees.  Faithful Bill stopped to pray.  Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of everyone…I didn’t pull my phone out until Ken came to take over and pray with members of Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish.  

Jen, Vince, Katie and Michelle


Thanks to Jen and Vince who managed the previous shift and were present and praying the Chaplet of Mercy when I arrived. Some sunshine and a little warmer on Liberty Avenue on this second Sunday in the Holy and penitential season of Lent. Thanks also to Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish who were present for many of the hours today. 

The first hour we were joined by Tim and Pat from Most Precious Blood of Jesus. Also Joe and Nikki were present for the Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy.  On this second Sunday of Lent, Transfiguration Sunday, when the Glory of God is revealed to Peter, James and John, we are reminded of the suffering that our Lord must endure before the Resurrection. Perhaps it is a reminder to us that we suffer these days in our battle against the evil of abortion but there will be victory. There will be an end.  There will be a Resurrection when the Cross will triumph over the grave.

In our second hour today we were joined by Stacy, Rose and Claire from Most Precious Blood of Jesus . Also Marge from Our Lady of the Angels, who was with me for the entire shift.  Thank you to all those who prayed in these hours today and may God bless us all.     

Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish came to pray and witness today!

Rose and Claire shared the sidewalk in Witness with fellow parishioners.


The presence on the sidewalk today by Most Precious Blood Parish was outstanding. In addition we had the R. Family come by to pray.  Sorry that I don’t have pictures of everyone who came during our shift, we were busy doing much praying to end abortion. Thanks to all who came to witness.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus Witnesses brought Jesus to the sidewalk!

Family day to Witness for Life


A warm and sunny shift spent with prayerful believers in Christ.
One of the many great blessings in the 40 Days For Life campaigns, is meeting so many Christians who are closer to Christ than I.
It’s so inspiring, humbling, challenging, and gratifying to be on the battlefield with all of you.
All glory and praise be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


A little police activity across the street.  But it did not disrupt the prayerful spirit on the last shift of the day. Great weather again thanks be to God. And we left with a confidence that Mary WILL shut down that mill!

It would be good to think that the law could defend unborn babies.

40 Days for Life … people who treasure every unborn baby …

and the baby’s parents.

And God saw that it was good.

DAY 5: Thank you, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Pleasant Hills; Corpus Christi Parish, Bridgeville/Cecil; Shift Buddies Vince P., Bill S., Jim M., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Thao N., Susan B., Amy M.; FUEL, Carmelite Nuns, Latrobe; and all the prayer warriors who witnessed with us today!

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (detail, c. 1440), fresco,
Fra Angelico (c. 1400-1455), Cell 10, Convent of San Marco, Florence, Italy.
© Battaglini/Leemage

“Many women feel they have no other option than to have an abortion because of the absence of a man or the presence of an adult boy who says nothing but the lame, ‘I’ll support you in whatever you decide.’”

“No one can be a man for us; it is our decision to make today and every day in this struggle to serve, lead, and love as Christ did.”

Shawn D. Carney, To The Heart Of The Matter (Nashville: Cappella Books, 2020), 20.    


You stand on the sidewalk at the front of Planned Parenthood, reaching to open the door for your girlfriend.  The baby scheduled to be aborted today is yours and hers.

Life brought you to this crossroads.  There is no middle ground.

On the LEFT, abortion tells you it’s not your fault.  Act as if it never happened.  The abortion will make her unpregnant.

On the RIGHT, the Bible tells you God is love.  Inconvenience yourself for your baby. In his book Carney says, “We men know the peace that comes when we do this and the pain when we don’t.”

Perhaps, in spite of the prayer and fasting of the pro-life witnesses on the sidewalk beside you and even though everyone in heaven is praying for you – perhaps you leave the decision to your girlfriend – you put up no resistance, and – abortion kills your baby today.

Do not despair.  The clock is still ticking.  The Prodigal Son is one of the most loved stories in the Bible. Those of us sinners who have lived it, highly recommend that you believe it can happen for you!

“So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.” (Luke 15:20-24)

“We are an alleluia people,” Saint Pope John Paul II confidently reminds us.

Listen as Walter Berry sings “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein” (Make thyself clean, my heart) from Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. How beautiful when sinful souls repent and return to their Father.



I’ve been under the weather for the last few weeks, so I was moving pretty slowly this morning.  By the time I arrived at the vigil a few minutes after 7 AM, Diane and Tom had the setup well in hand and Shift Buddy Vince was already welcoming Beth, Mary, and Jim from St. Elizabeth. 

Then Nikki arrived to set up the paintings.  Everyone has been saying what an impact they make on the sidewalk, but it still really struck me to see them in person. 

Bill stopped by to share his daily encouragement and holy water.  Then we began praying the Rosary.  Thao soon slipped in to join us, and another familiar face slid into our group a little later (I’m sorry I don’t have her name!) 

About halfway through, kindly Vince took over as shift manager and sent me home to nurse my cough. 

We are so blessed to have such an amazing team, supporting one another and praying fervently for the end of abortion!    

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish with Diane, Mary, Beth, Jim, (St. Elizabeth) Vince, Tom


I find the Sunday morning shift to be always peaceful. We heard from several who passed and supported our effort.

From today’s readings for the first Sunday of Lent: PS 51…Be Merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. This is the constant prayer and petition for the participants in our 40 days of prayer and fasting to end the destruction of innocent life. The USCCB prolife Scriptural Rosary that we prayed at our shift this morning is consistent with that theme. Joining in that prayer as we stood surrounding the image ‘The Innocents’ were: Pat, Mary Pat, Amy, shift buddy Bill, Mary Kay, and Joann.

May our efforts blot out this offense and may the Lamb of God cleanse us of this sin.

God Bless us all,


Pat, Mary Pat, Amy, Shift Buddy Bill, Mary Kay and Joann


First day back in this 40 days. We were greeted by Susan from Assembly of God, and then Jim who lives in town came by. Bill stopped by along with Amy and Vince who doesn’t like to have his picture taken. Marge also came and so we had many to witness with us. It was nice to see familiar faces although we are always ready to greet newcomers.

For some reason the alarm at Planned Parenthood was going off and so the police showed up (must have been about 5 or 6 of them). They left and the alarm was still sounding. We never did find out what caused it to activate or what caused it to eventually stop.

Responses today from passersby were very positive which is a good thing,  a very good thing.

Marge and Rich


Volunteer Susan, and Jim


A brisk sunny day to pray in front of the baby killing mill. Beautiful artwork for us to appreciate courtesy of Nikki.  I especially like the four gold squares for the 14 babies that were saved that year due to the prayers and intercessions of the prayer and participation warriors for life throughout the counties. And we had Jesus and our Lady of Guadalupe to listen to our prayers to shut down the mill. 

With a firm faith, we trust that that will happen, in God’s time, maybe tomorrow.

Nikki’s art surrounded by prayer warriors

with Kathy, Shift Buddy on the right

Prayer Warriors accompanied by Andy, Shift Manager


Shared a beautiful day with beautiful people in prayer to the holy family for Jesus’s Divine Mercy to shine on us, to save lives and magnify our efforts.

It’s such a blessing to be part of this wonderful ministry.

All Glory and Praise be to God!!!

Kevin from Bridgeville brings God to Downtown

Bridget, Our Lady of Grace Parish brings her beauty for the babies

Jeff B., Shift Manager, Prayer Warrior for this Sunday evening


FUEL is energy.   The prayers and sacrifices of the Sisters energize 40 Days for Life prayer warriors as they take the spiritual battle for the lives of the babies to the sidewalk downtown in front of Planned Parenthood.


We are truly with you in your Pro Life Lenten Campaign. May God Bless and protect each and every one of you.

We will be fasting, and praying the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Seven Sorrows Devotion to our Mother of Sorrows for great success in the ending of the sin and evil of abortion.

We are so proud of you, Our Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life Team.

Since St. Joseph is the savior of The Savior when Herod wanted to kill the Child Jesus, we are also praying for St. Joseph’s mighty help in saving the lives of the unborn from abortion.

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and sustain you, our wonderful 40 Days for Life Team.

With Grateful Love and Prayers

And God saw that it was Good.

DAY 40: THANK YOU, People of God Covenant Community, Living Hope Church; SHIFT BUDDIES Vince P., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; VOLUNTEERS Thao and Sandy; HOST for our Closing, Catholic Charities; and all of you who came to the sidewalk to witness with us today and throughout this fall!

Salvator Mundi (detail, 1395), Francesc Comes ©akg-images /Album/Oronz,

In your sight the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground.
You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life, you whose imperishable spirit is in all.  Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend, you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned, so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.

Wisdom 11:23, 27 – 12:1-2

We are an alleluia people!

Pope John Paul II

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Bishop Robert Barron

Joyful, armed with age old Biblical truth and beauty, Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life witnesses showed up on the pavement outside pp daily for 12 hours, for 40 Days.  We prayed, sang, encouraged, cooperated, stumbled, sighed and cried.  We stepped back.  We showed up again. 

Those of us on Nikki’s list love each other.  Even wrapped in layers and with faces reddened by the weather, we recognize each other.  It is as if we grew up in the same neighborhood.  We anticipate each other.  We are in step.

Our rhythmic joy bringing to the sidewalk reminds me of a video.  These guys share a joyful vibe.  They move gracefully, anticipating each other’s moves.  Their faces are happy.  They know they are doing their best.  They know their hearts are in good company. Their editor is almost as good as ours!

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk


Al and Sally

Sally always made deviled eggs for the Closing.

Beloved ardent witnesses for life



Early this morning, Diane set up the vigil for the last day of our current campaign.  Please say a prayer for Tom, who’s fighting the flu.  May God bless them both for their faithful service and incredible ideas to make the vigil more comfortable and fruitful!

My shift buddy, Vince, and I were happy to pray with Thao, who has been such a blessing to us all this fall.  We were also glad to have the witness of Michael, whose mom has helped organize the Harrisburg 40DFL vigil in the past.  
Bill H. stopped to share the joyful news that his daughter is pregnant!  And Bill E., Friday shift buddy, came with his wife, Ursula, to pray for a while.  Please hold him and his family in your prayer as his sister died unexpectedly two days ago.  
As we were praying through the 20 decades of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a charter bus with a police escort came down Liberty Avenue.  I have no idea who is visiting Pittsburgh that would warrant that kind of production, but I hope they noticed our vigil as they passed by–especially if it is someone in government or running for office.  
Uplifting little “God-wink” to share:  there was a huge gust of wind exactly when we were reading about the “noise like a strong driving wind” heard at the descent of the Holy Spirit!
And an encouraging moment to tell you about:  a young man stopped to stare at the fetal models and ask questions about abortion.  He truly seemed surprised and horrified at the details.  We gave him some information about the development of the child in the womb to share with others.  Those fetal models are such a witness to truth!  
Ken arrived at 9 AM to guide the next shift, joined by Pat, Bill, and the People of God Covenant Community.  Thank you to all who have prayed and witnessed over the last 40 days…God will use your sacrifice for such good that we can’t even imagine!  

Pat and Ken, Shift Manager 9-11

Michael, Thao, Vince (Shift Buddy), Jen (Shift Manager), Bill


We had a lot of foot traffic today due to the Steelers playing, but it was relatively quiet with a few negative and a few positive remarks.  Although no one was signed up for our shift today we had faithful prayer warriors Marg and Nadine to witness and pray with us.

Nadine, Marge and Rich, Shift Manager


Well it was a great blessing when a bus load from Living Hope Church in Whitney Pa  showed up, with Pastor Doug leading his faithful sheep.

Attached is a beautiful sketch of a sleeping baby. This was sent to a friend of mine on All Souls Day, including this prayer.
R.I.P. Today on All  Souls Day let us remember all babies: born sleeping, or we’ve carried but never met, those we’ve held but couldn’t take home, the ones that came home but didn’t stay. Make this an image on your wall if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby.
In memory of all babies too perfect for earth 👼☁☀.
Dedicated to all our babies.
May they rest in peace. Amen.



And God saw that it was good.

DAY 33 Thank You: Saint Kilian Parish “That Man IsYou” Men’s Group, Cranberry; Saint Mary, Holy Child, Saint Barbara Parish, Bridgeville/Cecil; Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Carnegie; Sisters of Saint Basil, Sister Elaine OSBM; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Individual Volunteers Thao N., Susanna A., Maia M.; FUEL Sister Elaine O.S.B.M., Sisters of Saint Basil; and all the people who came to witness with us today!

The Shepherd’s Prayer (1864)
Jozef Israels(1824 – 1911),©akg-images

The Shepherd’s Prayer pictures a man and a woman sharing a meal in an idyllic rural setting. How different that pastoral scene would look if we could see it through a transmission electron microscope. 

TEM uses a high energy beam of electrons to let scientists observe interactions between atoms and electrons.  TEMs can magnify objects up to 2 million times.

Your naked eye sees Israels’ work as he painted it.  Your TEM view would see very active atoms and molecules instead of trees and sandwiches.  You can call both scenes idyllic.  Atoms and their accompanying items obey the laws of nature … idyllic.    

Is this microscope equipped to discern whether a person is able share the burden as well as the beauty of togetherness? No!

What can that high energy beam tell us about the peaceful quiet we notice surrounding the man and woman?  Nothing!

The Person who can equip you with what microscopes can’t see is not shy. The Bible is immersed in him. He tells you there about himself all the time. Listen. You will fall in love.

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

Call Him by name. Saint Anselm of Canterbury learned God’s name while he was praying. This name for God is what Anselm heard God say.

that than which nothing greater can be thought

In designating God as he does, Anselm is giving expression to the elemental Christian conviction that the divine power disclosed in Jesus Christ … must be utterly strange.

Bishop Robert Barron, The Priority of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 215

When you let Him into your life, hold onto your hat.  Adventure calls!

Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together,
shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.

Luke 6: 27-28, 31, 36, 38

We witness for for babies’ lives and the fullness of life for abortion vulnerable mothers, fathers and families, and for people caught in the darkness of supporting abortion.

Those of us witnessing on the sidewalk know all about sin. We know it first hand.  We know that agony. And we know God’s forgiveness and joy. Visit us on the sidewalk. Let’s share our God stories.

Enjoy this little music moment.  These two men and their band are working toward their salvation.  Each is invited to a private heart to heart with our Father. Hearts ache.  God promises all of us that he will be right in the there with us … our strength in the battle.  Invite him!

Blues Brothers (1980)


DEE, Founder and Manager

SISTERS OF SAINT BASIL, Uniontown, Sister Elaine OSBM

I met Sister Elaine while shopping for red roses to take to the Sidewalk.  She told me that she and her sisters always pray for an end to abortion.  She said she would add a mention of 40 DAYS to their list.

Al and Sally


“The one who serves God willingly is heard;
 his petition reaches the heavens.”  Sir 35:20

Before I went to the vigil this morning, I opened an email with the Scripture readings for today’s Mass.  The verse above jumped out at me and got me going!
Thanks to Diane, Tom, Vince, Thao, Sue and Ken for serving God willingly this morning, and thanks to God for hearing our petition to end abortion!
It was a very peaceful morning of prayer, but one thing that happened really struck me:  a woman walked past PP pushing an empty infant stroller.  I suddenly got a chill thinking of all the women who, because of PP, will push an empty stroller in their minds for the rest of their lives, carrying the grief of their lost children.  

Vince arrives to serve as Shift Buddy as Diane and Tom set up the vigil.

Thao, Vince, Jen, Tom … Sunday Early bird Witnesses for Life

Ken and Sue, Faithful witness and Shift Manage


We had a large prayer group on the sidewalk today. Rosaries, Divine Mercies and litanies were said. Most of the comments were positive and I recall one angry woman who yelled out something about rape victims.  God in His timing will answer our prayers and end the scourge of abortion. Thanks to all who came out today.
Roseann and Rich

Mike, Joe, Don from St. Kilian’s “That Man Is You” Men’s Group

Don, Rich, Shift Manager, and Marge, Saint Kilian’ Witnesses

Mike, Lucina, Joe, Don, Marge

The beautiful faithful witnesses for life, R Family


Usually Sundays at 40 Days for Life tend to be quiet, at least from 1 to 3 pm before people start drinking. But today was somewhat frightening, as a woman walking with a friend started to yell at us as she passed by. She yelled, “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” Hearing herself yelling and seeing no reaction from us, she just got revved up more and more and was screaming louder and louder again and again this mantra:   “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” 
I actually thought she was coming unhinged. She carried on for so long that other people, not even with her, also started to scream, “IT’S PERSONAL AND NOT YOUR BUSINESS! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! GO HOME!” One man publically condemned us and yelled, “JESUS SAID, ‘DON’T JUDGE’. YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ANYONE! GO HOME!”  A few other voices in the distance joined in on the verbal lashing. I felt slightly alarmed that a mob might begin to form, so just in case I had my phone ready to dial 911 and/or record video. Thankfully after maybe ten minutes of this she and her instant followers decided to leave us alone, and hopefully themselves go home.  Now I’ll admit her vocalizing such anger was kind of scary, but I felt sad for her. Because what she was subconsciously masking as intense anger … sounded like deep anguish to me. So I pray the next time she passes by maybe peace and healing will start in her. Maybe she will turn to somebody for help … maybe she will see that it IS our business, and we CANNOT go home and leave the unborn babies ALONE to their fates. We CANNOT leave innocent babies, men and women ALONE with no one to pray for them, cry for and with them,  nor  help them. ABORTION IS EVERYONE’S PERSONAL BUSINESS!


Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church made a great showing and we were blessed that Father Jason was here with a lovely icon of Jesus surrounded by the innocents. Are there any more innocent than those killed by abortion? Unborn, not to the age of reason. Never having had the opportunity to live. Deprived of life at its dawn. Lord, have Mercy on us. Lord, have Mercy. 

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic parishioners crowd the sidewalk with prayer. Father Jason, Pastor, is in the back row to your right.


It was a peaceful, prayerful, and pleasant shift with fellow Jesus lovers witnessing for life.
All for the greater glory of God!!!
Joe W

Barbara, Deacon Myron, Mike, Patty, Tony, Angela

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Carnegie

Faithful Bridget prays kneeling.

Father Jason and parishioners from Holy Trinity Ukrainain Church


And God saw that it was good.

Day 26: THANK YOU, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish; Saint Gregory Parish; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Individual Volunteers Thao N., Susanna A., Maia M.; FUEL Sister Mary Ann, CP, Passionist Nuns and all the people who came to witness with us today!




OCTOBER 20, 2019



When an afternoon talk show on KDKA in 1972 presented the views of a woman from Pittsburgh who was bragging about her abortion in Colorado, I called the Diocese and asked what they were doing to stop abortion.  The person who answered said, “a lady in the South Hills, Mary Winter,” had been speaking out since 1969.  She formed a group called “Women concerned for the Unborn Child.”

Program notes, Pro-Life Directory And Resource Guide, PCUC 2019


A soldier is a citizen trained for battle. His/her assignments may be as tough as hand-to-hand combat or as gentle as caring for the children of refugees fleeing the battle. My son recently completed a 12-year stint with the U.S. Army. During that time he worked every day to be the fastest, strongest, fittest member of his brigade. His reports inspired me to strive to do my best in the Army of Life where I fight for the babies.

Helen Cindrich, Executive Director, People Concerned for the Unborn Child (PCUC): Editor of the PCUC Newsletter


For me it’s someone who fights the good fight to the end, a person who wears out while others rust out.

Beth Svirbel, PCUC President

Elizabeth Svirbel, PCUC President



Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life in America was the banquet speaker. Hawkins was recruited in 2006 to launch Students for Life of America’s full-time operation.  Since then, she has built up a small organization made up of a few dozen student groups scattered around the country to a coordinated national team serving more than 1200 Students for Life chapters in all fifty states. 

BULLET POINTS for prolife soldiers from her talk!

There’s nothing I can do.  It is in God’s hands. NO!  You are God’s hands.
You are kidding yourself if you think a billion dollar industry will go quietly in the night.
They are going to do everything they can to stop us.
We believe in a God who spoke our world into existence.  He can abolish abortion through us.  Act like you believe this!
What are you going to do?

Pope Benedict XV’s Maximum Illud, 100 years old next month, reminds soldiers that God is a winner!  Benedict begins:

Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation
Mark 16:15
Even in the first three centuries, when persecution after persecution, inspired by Hell, fell upon the infant Church in a raging attempt to crush her, even when the whole of civilization was deluged with Christian blood, out on the far frontiers of the Roman empire the heralds of the Gospel journeyed, announcing their tidings. 


Out of uniform a soldier looks like anyone.   Looking closer, you see that a soldier’s heart gives him away.

They are rich only in the faith and prayer that keeps them rooted in the personal relationship of love with Jesus, the master who sends them.

Pontifical Mission Societies, “The Church On Mission,” Magnificat 21, no.8 (2019) 300.

Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.

Matthew 10:16

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, sung by Angelina, (EWTN).



Dear Dolores,

Thank you for sending us the information about “40 Days for Life”.  The flier is hanging on our prayer board and we pray throughout the day that the abortion mill will soon be closed and the evil of abortion and the taking of life will be ended.  

This is our special intention during Vespers and the Holy Hour every day from 5 am until 6:30 pm.

We also ask the Angels to keep all the participants in the Prayer Vigils safe from all harm. Thank you for your witness to the sanctity of life.

Sister Mary Ann, CP, Passionist Nuns



The sidewalk was incredibly peaceful and prayerful this morning from 7-9 AM.  Thank you to my shift buddy, Vince, and the wonderful company we had from our 40DFL community and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish.  We offered all the mysteries of the Rosary as well as a Divine Mercy Chaplet for an end to the misery and sorrow caused by abortion.  

Vince, Bill, Suki, Drew, Tom, Jen, Thao…early Sunday morning Witnesses for Life!

Most Precious Blood Parishioners, Phil, John, Nikki, Cynthia, Bob, Drew, Suki


I had forgotten how much I enjoy praying on the sidewalk on Sunday mornings! It is so different from weekdays! So quiet and peaceful and even Sacred! There was a wonderful showing from my own parish, Most Precious Blood Of Jesus Parish. It was great to pray with so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ! Roseann and Rich were the shift managers after me, and they’re becoming members of our parish also! The third picture was of them with a few people from our parish. Thanks to everyone who came out for most precious blood parish! 

Latin Mass Community Sunday Morning Prayer Witnesses with Joe on the far end!

Outstanding Parishioner Outcome for Sunday Witnessing

Outstanding Prayer Witnesses including Roseann and Rick, 11-1 Shift Managers


God bless all of those who came to pray and witness with us today.  Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish was signed up to witness and during our shift Chris, Dan and Rose came to stand with us. The faithful R. family from Elizabeth Ann Seton and Bridget from Our Lady of Grace also came. Jim who lives in downtown stopped by.
For the most part everything was calm today. An older lady passing by made it known that she supported abortion.  A family from Portland, Oregon who were pregnant with their third child thanked us for our presence there. 

Dan, Rose, Chris Parishioners of the Latin Mass Community, Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish

Faithful Flourishing Sunday Worshipers R. Family

Bridget on her knees in prayer


Today God blessed the 40 Days for Life vigil in a special way. We actually had so many people praying the rosary we had two rosaries going at once! Me and my shift buddy Marie were honored to have the opportunity to pray with Pittsburgh’s Latin Mass Community of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish with many “on fire” devout families and young adults,  and their priest Rev. Canon William Avis.
As I was settling into the vigil, a woman walked quickly past and yelled: “What you people are doing is wrong, and I hope your God forgives you!” I really can’t even comment on that, because it’s such a perplexing thing that she said! But it just shows how upside down and twisted Satan has made the issue of the RIGHT to LIFE.
Later, as I was reading Luke, I was still contemplating the woman’s convoluted comments. A portion of Zechariah’s Prophecy stood out to me: “For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God the dawn from on high will break up on us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace”.  I pray God sheds light upon those who are spiritually blind and think protecting the unborn is wrong.
I also pray that the “extra five steps” given the sidewalk counselors to continue speaking to abortion bound women bears much fruit (see link to attached article).

Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parishioners

Most Precious Blood of Jesus blessed downtown PP with their prayerful witness


The campaign is past the half way point and gaining momentum. The shift starts with gratitude to God for the near perfect weather. Then Catholic guilt tries to sneak in. Who am I to get such great weather? But that is fended off with humility and the shift goes on.
And prayers were offered to our dearly departed Sally and Al made a surprise visit after the PCUC Banquet.
It would be his 62nd anniversary today and this is where Al wanted to remember his wife.
Truly, I think she was there before Al got there, and will be there after he left. Let us turn to her to intercede to close that murder mill. Al says they put in 28 years of faithful prayer. Imagine the faith it takes to do that. Beyond me, I will tell you. Death does not separate us. Hebrews 12:1 applies. It just makes the departed prayers more powerful as she is closer to Jesus!

Saint Gregory Parishioners join Most Precious Blood Of Jesus parishioners to cover the sidewalk in prayer.


And God saw that it was good.

DAY 19: Thank you, Transfiguration and Saint Victor Parishes; Saint Bernard Parish; Saint John/Saint Mary/Our Lady of Lourdes Parishes; Shift Buddies Vince P., Ken B., Marie P., Melissa D., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Thao N., Maia M.; FUEL, Carmelite Nuns in Latrobe, Pittsburgh witness’ nephew in Florida!

Al and Sally

Witnessing for life with us downtown a year or two ago, Sally hadn’t noticed the young man until he bumped her, on purpose.  Sally fell all the way down to the brick pavement.  Al rushed to her side as people quickly gathered around her.  “I felt like a feather floating down.  I am not hurt at all.  My Guardian Angel does a good job for me,” she said.

Sally kept her Guardian Angel busy.  She and Al witnessed for life in Pittsburgh on sidewalks and curbs, in all seasons, for decades.  We never called them Al or Sally. It was always Al and Sally.

Last evening Sally died in the hospital due to the stroke she suffered about a week ago. Our hearts are broken.  We look forward to seeing her again.

Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.

The prolife witness of Al and Sally helped God open the hearts of pro abortion people. It is difficult to understand the heart of a doctor who does abortions. For some insight into one doctor, here are a few excerpts from the autobiography of abortion doctor and co-founder of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), Dr. Bernard Nathanson. 

Ruth was a captivating, innocent, exceedingly intelligent young woman whom I met at a McGill dance in the autumn of 1945, in my first year in Montreal. She was seventeen and I was nineteen.
In my third year … we were spending more and more time together and talking seriously of marriage.  And then she became pregnant. I had no inclination to marry. I was still facing another year and a half of medical school.
The night before the abortion we slept together huddled in each other’s arms; we both wept, for the baby we were about to lose, and for the love we both knew would be irreparably damaged by what we were about to do. 
Although for a brief period in the immediate aftermath we huddled together as co-conspirators in an unnameable crime, eventually we drifted apart. 
Thus was the first of my seventy-five thousand encounters with abortion.
For every ten thousand Ruths there is one abortionist: icy; conscienceless; remorselessly perverting his medical skills; defiling his ethical charge; and helping, nay seducing, with his clinical calm, his oh-so-comforting professionalism, assisting women in the act that comes closest to self-slaughter.
I had been aware in the early and mid-eighties that a great many of the Catholics and Protestants in the ranks had prayed for me, were praying for me, and I was not unmoved as time wore on.  But it was not until I saw the spirit put to the test on those bitterly cold demonstration mornings, with pro-choicers hurling the most fulsome epithets at them, the police surrounding them, the media openly unsympathetic to their cause, the federal judiciary fining and jailing them, and municipal officials threatening them – all through it they sat smiling, quietly praying, singing, confident and righteous of their cause and ineradicably persuaded of their ultimate triumph – that I began seriously to question what indescribable Force generated them to this activity.
And for the first time in my entire adult life, I began to entertain seriously the notion of God….
I am no longer alone.  It has been my fate to wander the globe in search of the One without Whom I am doomed, but now I seize the hem of His robe in desperation, in terror, in celestial access to the purest need I have ever known.

Nathanson, Bernard N. The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind. Lewiston: Life Cycle Books LTD, 1996.

Sally, we know your Guardian Angel knew how to help you in the hour of death. With love.



Carmelites in Latrobe

May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, help all who are fasting and praying for an end to abortion and especially at the Clinic at Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh.  

Carmelites in Latrobe
May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, help all who are fasting and praying for an end to abortion and especially
at the Clinic at Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh. 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help please close this clinic, soon!! Amen.
God bless and strengthen you and all who work with you and protect you. 
We are fasting and praying with you, the Rosary, Mercy Chaplet, etc to end abortion at this clinic.
Your most hopeful,
Carmelite Nuns



We received this letter from a woman who has prayed at our Pittsburgh vigil. 
My nephew is in prison in Florida; he is involved in Prison Ministry and he has joined me in prayer for the last two 40 Days Vigils.  I think he shows a great deal of insight into the Respect Life problem, for someone who has been out of mainstream society for over 20 years.
This is what I received on 9/27/19.
I am praying with you and your church today, September 27, 2019, for the lives of the unborn.
Specifically, I am praying that:
God will move the hearts of the lawmakers and judges in this country to wake up and reverse Roe v. Wade;
Those performing abortions will come to their senses and protect rather than abort the unborn;
Those contemplating abortion will be moved to find a humane life-affirming alternative;
Those who have already had an abortion will come to repentance and find healing;
Those who name the name of Christ Jesus will never fail to stand in the gap for the helpless, and will never waiver from a strong biblically based pro-life position.



Thank you to Tom and Diane for faithfully supplying all our vigil needs first thing this morning.  Thank you also to Vince, Bill, Thao, and Steve for heartfelt prayers and witness for our sisters and brothers in danger.  Thank you to Ken and Pat, who took the baton for the 9-11 shift.  And thanks be to God for the amazing life of Sally Brunn, who prayerfully, courageously, and tirelessly fought for the protection of the unborn for decades.  
She touched so many of us with her clear insights, positive attitude, and beautiful smile.  We will miss her terribly but entrust her to the care of our Lord, Whom she loved so well.  Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord; let perpetual light shine upon her.  May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.  Dear Sally, please continue to intercede for the unborn and for your 40 Days for Life family!

Ken, Steve, Vince. Steve is the son-in-law of Bob N.,

who perpetually prayed and witnessed for the unborn for years

along Sally and Al!



A little chilly this morning on Liberty Avenue, but warmth and joy from our 40 Days participants. Today’s Gospel speaks of the thanks offered at the feet of Jesus by the Samaritan healed of leprosy. So at His feet I give thanks:

For Jen, Vince and Steve who held the previous shift of witness for life. Always a joyful moment of greetings and prayer when we change shifts.

For shift manager Sue who was a little under the weather and unable to attend this morning. God speed you a quick recovery, Sue.

For Pat who stayed with me for two hours with prayer and holy conversation, always a constant and faithful witness for life.

For Rich and Rosanne who prayed the Rosary with us and managed the next shift.

For Sally, the first person to greet me when I arrived at 40 Days for Life during Lent, early on a Saturday morning, in the cold, about eight years ago. I will always remember the smile and joy. She will forever be the face and the heart of this apostolate for me. May God grant her eternal rest.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Saint John Henry Neuman, pray for us.

Pat and Ken



We arrived at Planned Parenthood and were greeted by Ken and Pat of the previous shift. As we prayed the Rosary other prayer warriors started arriving. One man cleaning the street stopped to talk to us about abortion and I pray that we planted some seeds for life. We had some angry passersby today and one young man knocked over the sandwich board.  Although some were angry, some thanked us for being there. Thanks to all who prayed with us today.

Prayer warriors from Transfiguration and Our Lady of Grace

R. Family and Shift Manager Rich



It was an uneventful time at the 40 Days for Life vigil. I’m grateful for the participants from Saint Bernard Parish in Mount Lebanon. We also had two wonderful prayerful young ladies pedal all the way from Hazelwood on their bikes to join us in prayer!
We prayed a Rosary and a Divine Mercy with Sally in our hearts.
Please pray for a regular prayer warrior who seems to be going through a very hard time, living in a car. He’s a good man and I pray that God leads him to a comfortable and safe living situation.

Sunday witnesses from Saint Bernard Parish in Mount Lebanon.



A beautiful fall day serving God with prayers and community service. 

Sunday afternoon witnesses share the sidewalk with Bill in the middle!



Beautiful afternoon with my prayerful friends (40 days family) Jim and Cathy. Also Jim and Lloyd stopped by to pray and support us. 
May God’s will be done in all of us. Peace of the Lord be with you!!!

And God saw that it was good.