Patriotic Prayer Vigil to be held Saturday, July 11th!

Prayer Partners for Life is holding a patriotic prayer vigil!
Date:   Saturday, July 11, 2020
Time:   8 – 10 am
Place:  Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Ave. downtown

Please join the newly formed Prayer Partners for Life as we pray for the rights of the unborn and also for their mothers and fathers considering abortion. Let’s hope they instead will celebrate 4th of July as a family next year because they chose LIFE.

No need to sign up, just show up and pray.  We are also hoping to have a Jericho march. 

This event is the second vigil for Prayer Partners for Life, a new coordinated effort between Pittsburgh’s Sidewalk Advocates, who are outside Planned Parenthood all year long, and members of 40 Days for Life. The goal of this new multi-denominational team is to bring prayer and witness outside Planned Parenthood all year long.  Currently, trained Sidewalk Advocates and other prayer warriors are outside Planned Parenthood all year long and could use your prayers and presence. We are now inviting anyone who hears the inspiration and wants to join us to come back during non- 40 DFL Campaigns and keep coming back all year long to Planned Parenthood. 

The year-round times of prayer vigils are to coincide with the dates and times when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP so no one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone.  

Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with those already there:

Tuesdays          7:30am-9am 9am-11am
Wednesdays     8am-10am       10am-12noon***

Fridays             8:30am-10am
Saturdays         7am-9am          9am-11am       11am-1pm

We would welcome any groups or individuals who would want to make a commitment to begin a regular presence with us.  Maybe twice a month?  Or more or less? We ask that you contact Sue David at or 412-651-2782 to make your commitment. ***Wednesday schedule may vary slightly, please email Sue to confirm times.

Please pray for the discernment to determine if increasing your presence is right for you.  We know it’s not for everybody but if God is calling you to do this, please take the call. Contact Tim Barr at or Sue David at if you have any questions. God bless you and bring you peace and joy.

 –Tim Barr and Sue David

Join Prayer Partners for Life for a Father’s Day prayer vigil on Saturday, June 20th…and beyond!

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020

Time: 8 – 10 am

Place: Planned Parenthood, 933 Liberty Avenue downtown

Please join the newly formed Prayer Partners for Life, when we will pray for all those mothers and fathers considering abortion and pray they instead will celebrate Father’s Day next year because they chose LIFE.

No need to sign up, just show up and pray.  We are also planning to have a Jericho march. 

This event is also the kickoff for Prayer Partners for Life, a new coordinated effort between Pittsburgh’s Sidewalk Advocates, who are outside Planned Parenthood all year long, and members of 40 Days for Life. The goal of this new multi-denominational team is to bring prayer and witness outside Planned Parenthood all year long.  Currently, trained Sidewalk Advocates and other prayer warriors are outside Planned Parenthood all year long and could use your prayers and presence. We are now inviting anyone who hears the inspiration and wants to join us to come back during non- 40 DFL Campaigns and keep coming back all year long to Planned Parenthood.  

The times of prayer vigils are to coincide with the dates and times when the Sidewalk Advocate teams are scheduled to be outside PP so no one who comes down to pray and witness will ever be alone.  

Here is their current schedule for when we would like to pair up churches or individuals with those already there:

Tuesdays          7:30-9:30am

Wednesdays   8am-10am       10am-12noon***

Fridays              8:30am-10am

Saturdays         7am-9am          9am-11am       11am-1pm

We would welcome any groups or individuals who would want to make a commitment to begin a regular presence with us.  Maybe twice a month?  Or more or less? We ask that you contact Sue David at or 412-651-2782 to make your commitment. ***Wednesday schedule may vary slightly, please email Sue to confirm times.

Please pray for the discernment to determine if increasing your presence is right for you.  We know it’s not for everybody, but if God is calling you to do this, please take the call. Contact Tim Barr at or Sue David at if you have any questions. God bless you and bring you peace and joy.

–Tim Barr and Sue David

Day 38: “Lord, Get Me Out of This!”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.

John 11:5-6

Every time I hear this Gospel passage, one word hits me hard: SO. As in, “for that reason.” Jesus loved His friends, SO He didn’t go to help them right away. He waited to help them because He loved them.

In my weak and clouded mind, that sounds completely contradictory. I want Jesus to swoop in immediately and end suffering right away. But unlike me, God is omniscient. He knows the long-term effects of present events. He knows that some things we suffer for a little while bring about positive change in our lives. And since God is all-loving, He allows that to occur at times.

It’s true in our current coronavirus crisis. It’s true in an unexpected pregnancy situation. It’s true in any trouble that befalls us. God uses difficult and sorrowful circumstances for our ultimate good whenever we put ourselves into His loving care.

Our (now retired) parochial vicar once gave an excellent homily in which he recalled the Apostles hiding away between the day when Jesus ascended into Heaven and the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Fr. Bud said:

At times, we are also locked in our own Upper Room, afraid and confused.  Instead of praying, “Lord, get me out of this!” try praying, “Lord, what do you want me to get out of this?”

Now is the perfect time to try, since we’re literally locked in our homes by quarantine and perhaps locked in our mindset by fear.

Dearest Lord, even in our darkest times, please let us trust that You will use our suffering for good if we give it all to You.


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:

Vigil Reports


Richard and I were up and ready to begin at 7 this morning. We prayed a Scriptural Rosary, Sorrowful Mysteries and prayed with the EWTN Mass. Rose, our Shift Buddy, is continuing to pray furiously for the end of abortion and the end of this virus. Mary Ann, a Christ Our Savior Parishioner, continues to pray with us. 

Later we took 2 dozen red roses and showered them on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Who was it who recognized what a good way this is to remember the babies whose lives abortion will take today? It feels right.  How else to get rid of that terrible feeling of helplessness in the face of so much tragedy!

Someone had already placed rose petals there.  A young man was passing and admired the flowers. We gave him a few for a bouquet to take to a loved one … we all love someone enough to take them flowers!

It felt good to be at the sidewalk even for a few minutes with mask and gloves.



Thank you to Kim, Mark, Memorial Park Church, and my family members who joined in offering prayers from our homes to end abortion.  May God hear and answer our prayers.


What a beautiful peaceful morning of prayer to our Holy mother! Come Holy Spirit, living in the heart of Mary, thank you for the gift of our loving mother, Mary! Who knew Jesus better than Mary? Makes me wonder who knows a child better than his or her mother.

I prayed again this week next to our 40 Days banners in front of the church (St. Gregory’s) on Rt. 68. Few cars and trucks went by today and most drivers met my eyes. Some waved. It was good to be there! Thank you for the privilege.

I pray all of  you stay well and your families… I pray for our clergy and staff and I pray for those contemplating the future of the baby in their wombs. Peace and love to all…

Thank you Lord for my wife and children.


What a beautiful sunny day today!  Some members from my church, St Joes, offered to pray from home for our shift.  Joyce had the great idea to go to St Mary’s in Herman and do the “drive by” Stations of the Cross that they have outside the church and cemetery.  So that’s what we did each staying in our own vehicles and utilizing the same pro-life Stations of the Cross resource.  We also stopped our minivans at the last station, which also had the Rachel’s Mourning statue nearby, and prayed a pro-life rosary.  Here is a picture (do you spy the bunny?):

We prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy utilizing the beautiful video that someone told us about on this blog recently (sorry I forget who but Thank you!).  And we prayed the Litany in Response to Abortion down by the Mary statue.  Thank you to the Guardians for Life for their wonderful prayers!

Although it’s our last week for this campaign, we can continue our pro-life efforts.  We know that many people are still struggling right now.  Even more so with some people out of work.  Some may be contemplating abortion or having a hard time supplying for the needs of their children.  Please consider checking in with your local crisis pregnancy centers and ask them how you might be able to help out.  There are things that you may be able to do “from home”.  For example, Alpha Omega Center has a client in Chicora and one in Springboro (upper Crawford County) that are in need of supplies esp diapers and wipes.  AO is looking for two people who are willing to keep a supply of diaper and wipes (they will supply) on hand so that when AO gives the OK, you are willing to leave a bag on the client’s porch.  If you can do this, call them at 724-674-3343.  I’m sure other CPCs have ways you can help them out too.  If you don’t have the time but you have money or supplies for them, they would be grateful.  

You are some of the kindest, most generous and loving people I know.  May God bless you all and I pray you have a wonderful Holy Week and Easter Season!


Well, for reasons mostly beyond my control, I didn’t get started until closer to 4 PM today, but I did pray two hours from that point.  I started in my room with a rosary, and then went for another walk (getting a little lost at one point) praying both the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.  Anyone else find it hard to focus on prayer for abortion and have COVID-19 keep floating to the front of your brain as we do this?


Just wanted to send you a few photos of where Mike and I prayed today.  This is part of our church grounds.  As we were walking down to the church the sun came out!  It was beautiful! 


My final shift for this Lenten session for 40 Days For Life was like a lot of other things happening these days.  It is just very different.  Maybe by next session some of the normal will have returned, even though we are praying for change.  Imagine if God did end abortion, until he does we keep working and praying for a save.  And so we pray at home now.  My wife and I did stop by PP for a few prayers in this past week.  I concluded my shift with my wife as we called up on EWTN the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a beautifully sung prayer.  Thinking of Claudia and Mary, my shift buddies.  God Bless!

Day 31: This Is My Beloved Son…Listen to Him

While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”
-Matt 17:5

I have the privilege of helping with Liturgy of the Word with Children at my parish, St. Philip. It’s truly been a blessing to me, in no small part because it gives me reason to research and reflect on the Gospel beforehand.

Several weeks ago, the Gospel reading for Mass was the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration. As I researched the passage in preparation, something stood out: the Transfiguration happened just a short time before Jesus’ passion and death.

God knew that the Apostles’ world would soon be turned upside down…faith tested, hopes crushed, hearts broken. Before they had to endure that, God wanted to reassure them that Jesus was truly worthy of their faith. While witnessing the Transfiguration did not stop the Apostles from feeling fear and confusion when our Lord was crucified and died, I would imagine that the memory of God’s own voice from the shining cloud helped them hold on to at least a shred of hope.

Last Sunday, standing outside of PP for what would turn out to be the last public day of this vigil, it hit me: God gave us the same encouragement, allowing us to hear that Gospel reading proclaimed just before OUR world was turned upside down by the current pandemic. We are feeling fear and confusion, no doubt; but the reminder that Jesus IS worthy of all our faith can help us to hold on to hope. Let’s accept God’s encouragement and stay united in prayer, asking Jesus in His mercy to heal our world of this virus and of our sin!


Here is Shawn Carney’s message for Day 31:

And here are reports from our faithful prayer warriors:

Today we witnessed for life from 7-9 at home instead of on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Our children, Gillian, Jennifer, Monica, Mary Clare, John Paul and David, passionately request that we stay home! We got up early to be ready. Setting the stage were our Bible, the little Scriptural Rosary book, and the Little Black Book  provided by Father Tony, Christ Our Savior Pastor.  Being home was fruitful.    
The EWTN  daily Mass was celebrated in memory of Mother Angelica, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, the Poor Clare nun who founded EWTN. Today is the anniversary of her death, 2016. She died on Easter Sunday.  That had long been her hope.We learned about Bishop Untener on whose writings our parish Lenten booklet is based. He died on this day in 2004.
Some of our parishioners Donna, Johanna, Mark, Mary Ann, and Susie (alphabetical order!) contacted us to let us know they joined us in prayer during our shift.It is such a blessing that my brothers and sisters at Pittsburgh 40 Days decided to continue our blog. Peace.


I am keeping a 2 hour vigil for the protection of ALL life AND closing of Planned Parenthood.  May God see our hearts and hear our prayers!


Kim, Mark, and I prayed from our homes this morning from 8:30-11:00. In these unsettled times, Psalm 104 stood out to me about God’s power and the control He has over the earth and every living creature.  Please read.
Be blessed.


Today is a day of prayer and rosaries in and around St. Gregory’s in Zelienople.
I asked my friends from the St. Greg’s mens prayer group to pray today and they are praying in quiet and I heard from our group leader that he is devoting his daily rosary to Mary.
I prayed for an hour at home and then walked over to St Gregory’s. I stood at the 40 Days for Life banner which is on the corner in front of the church and prayed the rosary and then in front of the statue of Mary.
Rt. 68 was somewhat quiet , but cars went by and there were many glances, truckers waved and Sister Patrice from the church drove by with a nice wave.
Spring is here and the birds were in abundance as I prayed. It was nice and quiet and I looked up and it was good.
Thanks and many Blessings to all!!


The remodeling of Holy Sepulcher church did not stop their prayer warriors from keeping their vigil today from about 12-2:30.  They gathered in their temporary prayer chapel but kept their social distance.  We started praying the Rosary of the Unborn with pro-life meditations.  Then we read the 40 Days devotion for the day, prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with song, and sang a few songs.  We ended praying the Stations of the Cross from the Medjugorje Pilgrimage Handbook.  It was a beautiful way to lift our prayers to God…pleading to God.  The statue of Jesus with his sacred heart and outstretched hands reminded me of His love, care, omnipresence and His Mercy.


Is it right to combine a walk on a nice day with your vigil prayer time?  I’m still not sure.  But that’s what I did today.  I took a walk of about 1:55 minutes, praying first the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then the Joyful, Luminous, and Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary.  I walked from my home to the to the neighborhood in which I grew up.  
I received an email earlier in the week from Shift Buddies, Val and Mike, that they were going to be praying from 3-5 as well, walking to their church which is fairly close by and was expected to be open for private prayer.  


I haven’t been downtown since last Friday’s vigil.  This was certainly different as I’m sure it is for most of us. I prayed for two hours on my back deck.  It was certainly easier to pray and hear myself and not have the distractions of the noisy buses, bar patrons and pedestrians that could offer up anything good or bad.  And so this evening’s prayers, which I prayed with my wife Ursula, came easier for the unborn, their mothers and all those involved and concerned for the children.  I know many others were praying and I also thought of Mary and Claudia who would have been sharing this shift.  God Bless all!


Day 27 and Day 28: The Virtual Vigil Begins :)

We may not be able to stand on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood right now, but the 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh team has resolved to continue the vigil from a distance. We invite you to join us each day in praying from home for the end of abortion–both the outright act and the belief in its acceptability.

To keep us united in heart and mind while we’re physically separated from one another, the blog will continue as well! Each day, we will post a video reflection from Shawn Carney, president and CEO of the worldwide 40 Days for Life organization, and share the thoughts of those praying locally.

Last night, Nikki wrote:

I know it seems strange that we are not in front of PP…and sad to think of all those desperate mothers going in to kill their babies with no one there to offer hope and help!  I am struggling with this, but it really is getting to be a different world out there.  It does seem to be getting dangerous, especially in the city where so many homeless and drug addicted people are hungry and desperate.  Maybe we have done all that we can for now, and need to trust that God will take it from here.  You know the verse that is coming to me right now is the one where Jesus says that we need to work while it is daylight, because when the darkness comes, we won’t be able to work.  Maybe that is the case right now…maybe the day is over. ( I just looked it up, it is John 9:4.)

This morning, she added:

I wanted to let you know that I think God gave me confirmation last night, after I sent that team email, regarding the verse from John about Jesus saying that we have 12 hours of daylight in which we can work, but when the darkness comes, then we cannot work without stumbling.  I didn’t know where that verse came from when it popped into my head as I typed the team email…so I looked it up as I was still writing the email.  But…after I sent the email, I went up to my room to spend some time reading…I am a little more than halfway through Bishop Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ.”  And wouldn’t you know that the very first page I read had this verse in it!!!  So, I think God wants us to know that we don’t need to feel guilty about not going to the sidewalk.  That time is over for now.  Now is the time to stay inside and pray and fast and read scripture or holy books.  He is doing something now.  Lets just wait and see what it is.


Shawn Carney’s Video Blog for Day 28:

Reports from the Pittsburgh Team:

Monday, Day 27: The 7am-9am shift was pretty quiet! No, seriously, I visualized actually being on the sidewalk and what a typical Monday looks like. Mostly workers entering which starts about 7:30am, so I focused my prayers on conversion of abortion workers…particularly the clinic director, a specific escort that we know and the abortion worker who is looking to leave her job and asked for our prayers. 
The last time I was at PP was last Monday when at least 15 women entered for abortions in 1 hour. I said the Divine Mercy on my knees for God’s Mercy and Forgiveness …and the couple whose 4th child who was saved last week from abortion and all that we do not know about who were saved from abortion, that all their needs would be met. 
I said the St. Michael the Archangel prayer and pictured the Archangel standing at the yellow line with a fiery sword not letting anyone pass…
I attached a picture of where I typically say my prayers which includes Nikki’s artwork of the pieta. God bless each and everyone one of you, God knows what He is about! Miss you, Love you!


Monday, Day 27: It was different praying from home today. I decided to pray in our office quietly. My dog joined me as she does every morning for devotions. I knelt and prayed and then did the closing songs, prayers and litany that we use at our closing ceremony. My sister and shift buddy, Diane,  was praying from home also. She likes the prayer book from Fr. Frank Pavone, “In The Palm of His Hand.”  God bless you all. God’s got this! 
Blessings For Life,


Monday, Day 27: Picture (below) is the main altar of St. Elizabeth’s where shift buddy Rose a.k.a my sister and I sat in the quiet and did our shift prayers.  The church is open for private prayer every day 8 to 4. A few others kept their prayers private.  We’re lucky our God can hear and answer our prayers from anywhere.


Tuesday, Day 28: This morning “Jesus Calling” said, “You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And he listens no matter where we pray from. Tracey prayed from home, watched the Oratory Mass and said 20 decades of the rosary!!! I went to the Sts John & Paul grotto chapel for Adoration…and I decided this is a good day to Fast. This Lent I have discovered Adoration…and I love it!! Stay healthy!!!


Tuesday, Day 28: I just spent my shift, 11-1, praying with my best friends: Jesus the good Shepherd, His mother Mary, and St Mother Teresa of Kolkata. Very peaceful. Pray on, faithful family, and stay healthy!

Mary Ann

Tuesday, Day 28: Christ Our Savior Parish covered our Prayer Vigil today from 11-3. Our Pastor Father Tony prayed in unison with us from 11-3. Parishioners who emailed us that they prayed for life today from home:  Mary Ann T., Donna S., Marianne Z. and her husband, and Richard and Barbara L.
God is so generous! Peace,


Tuesday, Day 28: I had my prayer time today at the Oratory in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I have to admit I was distracted because of something that I’m struggling with right now, but I am giving it to the Lord and trusting in him. I prayed the 54 Day Novena prayers, we are on day 16,  this included the Rosary, the joyful mysteries followed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus novena and prayers to St. Joseph and Saint Rocco. Then I meditated on today’s readings, which included a reading from Exodus where God was going to destroy the people and start over again from Moses after they fell back into idolatry and made the golden calf, but Moses interceded on their behalf and God relented.  Thank you Lord Jesus for coming to save us and to redeem us! Please forgive us for our terrible sins of killing our own children by abortion and for so many other sins that we have fallen into as a nation.  Above all, bring us back to you. Please forgive us and heal our land! 


God’s peace be with you, Mike and I were blessed to be able to go to our church and pray in front of the sacristy for our 3 to 5 shift today.  We watched and prayed today’s Mass using Mike’s phone.  Prayed some rosaries and a chaplet. I really felt as if our Lord and the blessed Mother were smiling at us.  When we got tired, to stretch our legs, we walked around the church and prayed the stations of the cross….I really enjoyed doing the prolife stations of the cross.  Then we lit two candles for our prayer intentions.  It was peaceful, as we were the only two there.  The time went by so fast.  It was chilly in church because they have the heat turned down….so it was the same sacrifice as being at PP.  All in all I’m very glad we made the trip to pray at church.  I was afraid if I stayed home I would get distracted.  I know the Lord is pleased with our efforts, even if our prayers are far from perfect, he knows we love Him and are trying.  I believe that our prayers will continue to work miracles.  Jesus we trust in you.

Kim and Mike C.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am sending you this beautiful prayer to end abortion (see below.) Please pray it at home or anywhere and feel free to pass it on to others. While you are at home with time on your hands, besides praying, I am asking you to think outside the box and think of a strategy or a way we can get through to the general population about the peril and tragedy of abortion. Slavery ended when it was exposed for exactly what it was and with the insistence of many leaders willing to stand up against it. I guess there was a defining moment. We must brainstorm and find something we can do that would lead to a defining moment in this pro-life movement. D. James Kennedy, a gifted and wise clergyman, said that if we could show an abortion on television, abortion would end tomorrow. As you know, the media will not approve of such a braodcast and anyway it may do more harm than good. A thought that comes to mind is getting the famous pro-life celebrities to meet with someone like Shawn Carney and organize an ad campaign to expose abortion for what it truly is. These strong pro-life celebs come to mind:

Martin Sheen, Celine Dion, Jack Nicholson, Kenny Chesney, Patricia Heaton, Jim Caviezel, Kathy Ireland, Ben Stein, Justin Bieber, Phil Robertson, Tim Tebow, Elizabeth Hasselback, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Kirk Cameron, Tom Selleck, Jon Voight, Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Armstrong, Simone Biles, Candace Cameron, Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, Janine Turner, Jordin Sparks, Mel Gibson, Shari Rigby, Sara Evans, Chris Sligh, Philip Rivers, and Casting Crowns. This is food for thought! I would love to hear your feedback or ideas.

God’s Blessings to you and your families,

Michael S.

Prayer To End Abortion

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst shed Thy precious blood upon the Cross for the salvation of all mankind: receive the souls of all the innocent pre-born babies, who have been, are being, or will be slaughtered today in the hospitals and abortion chambers throughout our nation. And as their untimely deaths have prevented them from receiving the grace of Holy Baptism, I entreat Thee to accept their innocent blood as their Baptism (as thou didst with the early Martyrs); so that they can share Eternity with Thee. To the doctors, nurses, parents and hosts of accomplices responsible for this infanticide, grant tears of repentence; so that they can run to Thee for forgiveness and healing, and thus avoid the Eternal Death of their souls. I believe that all things are possible with Thee, O Lord, therefore, I entreat Thee on this day, through Thy Divine Grace, to convince at least one mother in every state to cancel her abortion and bring her child to full term; and to convince one doctor in every state to repent of his actions, and never again kill a child in the womb. Receive my prayer, O Lord, even though it is offered to Thee from such a sinful and unworthy servant; and unite my entreaty with those of all the other brothers and sisters that are crying out today on behalf of all Thy little ones, who are now being formed in the wombs of their mothers. Deliver us and our nation, O Lord, from this shedding of innocent blood!  Forgive us!  Heal us!  Save us!   Amen.

-Author Unknown

Johanna and I spent our shift praying at the Oratory in Oakland before the Blessed Sacrament.  Neither of us had ever been there before and we both are so very glad we went. It was peaceful and an awesome experience. Highly recommend it. There is a small parking lot. Beautiful intimate Chapel. The ability to appropriately distance yourself from other worshippers. Holy candles were lit.


Day 24: Thank you to St. Thomas More & St. John Capistran Parishes (Bethel Park), Generous Individuals, and Faithful Team Members

Praise be to God, a courageous couple chose life for their child after walking away from PP last week!  We want to do everything in our power to support them. Please contact us if you can help with any of these needs:
–a landlord willing to offer them a
place with reasonable rent,
–people willing to hire “R,” who is a plumber,
–people willing to hire “S” for a part-time cleaning job at night.

As of 3/20/2020, all elective medical procedures have been temporarily prohibited by Pennsylvania state government. 

Abortion has not been prohibited by state government.

Therefore, abortion must not be an elective procedure. 

You may find an error in the logic of my statements above, but the fact remains…abortion is rarely a procedure someone elects to have because they desire it. Far more often, it seems to be the only choice in a difficult financial or personal situation. Many women are even compelled to have an abortion by threats of violence or abandonment. Let’s contine to PRAY that God’s love and peace will envelop pregnant women in crisis, and let’s continue to REACH OUT to those women with offers of help and support to enable them to choose life for their unborn child!


Diane took a beautiful picture of our city in the rain this morning!

Nikki and Steve, 7-9 AM:

It was an extremely soggy, wet time on the sidewalk this morning, but I was very blessed and grateful to share it with sidewalk advocate and prayer warrior Steve, and we were so thankful to have an awesome security guard, Josh with us! We felt very safe and protected as we prayed together on our knees, Steve and I. We prayed  two rosaries, including one in Latin and a Divine Mercy chaplet. Then we just prayed individually, silently on our knees. It was just workers going in, but during the end of our shift clients started entering, mostly single girls, one couple entered at the end of my shift. One young woman who entered by herself was crying.

At one point while I was praying on my knees, the rain was coming down in torrents, and the sky was very dark. Our security guard noticed a man who was acting strangely, he had noticed him and had been keeping his eyes on him for quite a while, but at this point he began approaching us and so he warned me about him. Sure enough, the man was clearly disturbed. I told Josh that many times  we see people with mental illness and that sometimes it appears to be mixed in with spiritual, demonic afflictions, sometimes they go hand-in-hand. That seem to be the case with this man. As he walked up to us, he asked Josh if he had a cigarette. Josh said no, so then he turned to look down at me as I was praying and asked me if I had a cigarette. I said that I did not. Then he stared at me very intensely and he asked me, “why are you here?“ I smiled and answered, “40 Days For Life.“ He paused and asked me, “are you for Jesus?“ I nodded and said yes. Then his face became distorted and he practically growled at me many cursing’s, calling me a “b—ch”, and telling me to go to hell and using all sorts of foul language. Thankfully Josh was right there and he made sure the man kept moving away from us.  This man was not going to mess with us with Josh there. But, it was a reminder of how spiritual this battle is. It is so clear, I wonder how sometimes people do not see it. 

As I was huddled under my umbrella, on my knees in the pouring rain, on the  quiet and deserted sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh  it occurred to me that by doing this, by our witness in these extreme circumstances, that we are like the prophets in the Old Testament. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the others. Back then, they had messages from God and showed by their behavior that God was calling everyone to repentance. They would do this by extreme measures  and actions. They would also throw dust on their head and sit in sack cloth and ashes. Even though we don’t throw dust on our heads, we do sit, in a way, in sack cloth and ashes when we kneel on those filthy sidewalks. I believe our actions are a sign to repentance for the workers, and anyone who happens to see us. Thank you Carolyn, her hubby and Kathy for coming at nine to relieve us. 

Nikki covered the first shift today while her umbrella covered her
So grateful to Nikki and Steve for offering up prayers as the heavy rains came down

Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM:

Nikki, Steve, and Josh (today’s security guard) greeted me when i arrived and then left when scheduled church members came.
 Even though other businesses were mandated to close and elective surgeries were to be postponed, PP was open today which prompted me to call Pgh police and mayor’s hotline to ask why? Reports were filed and I was told to contact Governor’s office which I did.
 A young couple stopped briefly and accepted yellow card but intervention did not change their outcome of choosing abortion.  Very sad.
Carolyn and Terry from St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park, Friday regular Terry, Jim, and daily participant Bill H were my sidewalk companions.

Thank you to the 9-11 crew!
Jim stopped by to pray before going to work.

Sheila and Cecilia, 11 AM-1 PM:

A heavy downpour didn’t keep a steady stream of women from entering PP.  Several women were turned away because they were walk-ins; only people with appointments were allowed to enter. One woman left with another woman after little more than an hour; she refused to stop and speak with us both coming and going, but barked at me, “My sister’s fine, don’t worry about us.”
Near the end of the shift, a woman exited and looked very distraught. Cil and I asked if she was OK. She told us that today was her first day as a PP volunteer and would also be her last. She expressed feeling so saddened as she sat in a room with about ten women. She wasn’t sure how many were there for abortions and how many for other procedures. She heard one of them complain that she had to pay over $400 for her abortion. She overheard a guy calling his girlfriend a murderer because she was aborting their baby.  She said that thoughts of her four miscarriages came to mind as she sat in that clinic. She had initially thought that volunteering at PP would be a good idea, but she couldn’t even finish her first shift!  She told us she couldn’t stand being there any longer and left. Cil and I  prayed with her and let her know about some resources that are available to her. She told us that she plans on returning to church. 

Praying for the end of abortion
Thank you, wonderful prayer warriors!
Today is the first full day of spring…a reminder that winter always comes to an end and–thanks be to God–NEW LIFE WINS!

Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

(This campaign, 40 priests were asked to have at least one Mass for the intentions of the conversion of the workers and the closing of the clinic; and also to come to the clinic on one day and pray a rosary. The following report is from one of those wonderful priests, Fr. Nick:)

I’ve celebrated another Mass–this one was a private Mass for the intention of converting all in the abortion business and a change of heart for all seeking an abortion and a respect for life at all stages throughout the world. 
Also, I prayed at the abortion mill on Liberty Avenue for two hours from 1:45pm to 3:45pm today Friday, March 20th, the first day of spring! I prayed with Maria, Bernadette, and Eileen, and then later with Val, Mike, and Patrick. Also, Josh our security guard was there the whole time making sure we were safe. I think I have all the names right. Forgive me if one or two are wrong.  We prayed two rosaries, two Divine Mercy Chaplets, a prayer against storms, and a chaplet of Divine Will. 
About ten women went in or out of the building during my time there. Some may have been employees.  Quest diagnostics and UPS brought deliveries to Planned Parenthood. 
And even with the mandate of only life sustaining businesses allowed to be open in PA,  Planned Parenthood remains open and thus is considered a life sustaining business. 
I’ll keep praying and fasting for the day to hasten when abortion is unthinkable. God bless you!

Fr. Nick

Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM:

My time on the sidewalk was quiet given the drastic drop in people on the road and on the sidewalk.  Nearly every bus I saw was empty, too.  I, along with SBs Val and Mike, were led in prayer by Fr. Nick from St. Maria Goretti for the first part of the shift, and then we prayed separately and quietly for the middle portion after Fr. Nick left.  For the last 1/2 hour Val, Mike, and I prayed the Stations of the Cross.  I was very glad to hear from them that their prayers were answered for their son, Matthew, who was able to get back into the country after having been working on a cruise ship for several months.  

Val and Mike keep vigil while Josh watches over the sidewalk

Bill, Mary, and Claudia, 5-7 PM:

Tonight’s night shift was very quiet.  I arrived a little early to find my shift buddy Mary already there.  Pat and his crew soon left and there was a security guard who had been there the entire day since 6:30 am.  Soon another volunteer arrived, this was Claudia from Cranberry.  We prayed a rosary.  There was almost no traffic on the sidewalks and an occasional employee leaving PP.  We did get a few thank yous from the passersby.  But mostly it was very quiet compared to past shifts.  Almost like Sundays used to be with the “blue laws.”  For me it made praying easier.  And again we closed up a little early.  Thank you, Mary and Claudia. God Bless!

Bill and friends brought our vigil to a prayerful close for the day

Day 17: Thank you to North Park Church, Conway Alliance Church, St. Regis Parish (Diocese of Greensburg), and our Wonderful Volunteers!

I think it’s safe to say that most of us are experiencing a lot of anxiety at this time. The coronavirus pandemic is a threat to health, education, finances, and more. We are joined in prayer for the great needs brought on by this crisis.

It’s a good time to remember that, for a variety of reasons, many people live with this kind of anxiety and uncertainty all the time. Adding an unexpected pregnancy to such stress must be unbelievably overwhelming. Let’s pray for women in those circumstances to feel God’s love, and let’s reach out to show them His providential care.


Sidewalk Reports

Barbara and Rose, 7-9 AM:

Pittsburgh’s Friday morning sidewalk felt warm, damp and crowded. Actually, there is plenty of room.  We were not crowded. We were accompanied.  Shift Buddy Rose helped Diane arrange the sidewalk according to Diane’s managerial genius.  
North Park Church blessed us with witnesses Jim L., and Denise and Manny V.  Denise and Manny recently moved to Pittsburgh from Texas to be near their grandchildren.  They gave us their email so we could get them on the 40 Days mailings. Steve D., Sidewalk Counselor, patiently offered his witness. Steve accepted a copy of The Hand Of God, Bernard Nathanson’s autobiography. Dr. Nathanson was one of the founders of NARAL. We witnessed and prayed for the mothers and their accompanists and for the PP staff and volunteers.  We pray that they will let God open their hearts to life. We offered people going into PP bouquets of love.

Rose petals to honor babies whose lives are taken today
Richard, Nikki, Shift Buddy, Rose and Jim L. 
North Park Church members, Jim L., Manny and Denise V; with Steve D., Sidewalk Counselor

Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM:

Even though no church signed up,  Sidewalk Advocate Kim, John A. from Mt. Pleasant, and Therese from Heidelberg joined me this morning.  Bill H. also stopped by briefly.
I passed out the free pens with the “Precious Feet” message printed on it along with accompanying card–they went fast! One young man stopped by and requested a baby fetal model (10-12 weeks) which I gave him in addition to a “Watch Me Grow” brochure.  He supported our presence and asked some theological questions.  I answered as best as I could and he left on friendly terms.
A few pp workers exited building but did not engage in conversation with us.  Two or three clients accepted yellow cards but still went in.


Sheila, 11 AM-1 PM:

There were about 50 teens who showed up for a STD testing pizza party at PP. I learned from a young Catholic man who has been volunteering for PP for 5 years that he helps plan the yearly event for area high school students. They received a credit for this extra-curricular activity. This young man was open to talking with me and accepted some material to look over.


Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

Check back soon but scroll for more!

Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM:

It was a quiet shift.  I was grateful for the good weather, my faithful SBs, Mike and Val, and for my brother Knight of Columbus from St. Regis, Mike C.  I prayed part of the time with Mike and Val and had some good and deep and necessary conversations with Mike C.

Pat and his brother Knight of Columbus from St. Regis, Mike

Bill, 5-7 PM:

Tonight’s shift was as uneventful as I have ever seen it. Pat and his crew soon departed and Mary and I took over with much better weather than the previous weeks. I don’t think one foul word was directed at us. One pleasant fellow stopped to admire and compliment Mary’s sign, adoption is the option. He talked for a minute about having faith in Christ and showed the cross he was wearing.  Later on, Lindsey, one of our own, stopped to pray with us. Mary and I got in a rosary before Nikki arrived for her signs and soon Tom arrived for the materials. Thru all this PP was mostly quiet, mostly workers leaving and no one going in. I will take an evening like this. So thank you, Mary, and God Bless!

Bill and Mary

Day 10: Thank You to Our Faithful and Faith-filled Volunteers!

Earlier this week, team member Donna included a prayer in an email.  It read, in part, “You are Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.”  I had never heard that title before…it really caught my attention. 

Then, yesterday, the Gospel reading for daily Mass was one of my favorites.  It begins,   

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
  Mt 7:7

Later in the day, while chaperoning my daughter’s field trip, several moms were talking about the joys and challenges of having a large family.  While acknowledging the struggle, they kept repeating what they’ve learned over the years:  “God provides.” 

Last night, while asking God to provide me with a reflection for today’s blog post, it hit me that He already had—He had been dropping hints all over the place!  “GOD WILL PROVIDE!”  Always, for our every need, even if it’s not in the way we expect.

We need to get that message out to expectant parents who are afraid they don’t have the resources to care for their child. May God work through us to reassure those women and men that He will provide if they choose life! 


7-9 AM, Barbara and Rose:

I arrived at the sidewalk ashamed of myself because I felt so tired and glum.  Shawn Carney warns that this can happen. It was heartening to remember his saying, “Show up anyway!”   He’s been showing up everywhere and all the time for 14 years, day in and day out, by my count.  Who can be cranky in his company? As soon as Richard and I arrived we were shouldered by the early birds, Diane and Tom, Nikki, Shift Buddy Rose, Sidewalk Advocates Steve and Monica, and the faithful witnesses, Thao and Charlie.  Outstanding!  The sun came out in my heart!  Before we did anything else, we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, led by Steve.  Steve and Monica share a ride from St. James Parish in West End.  Steve is a Sidewalk Advocate.  This is Monica’s first day on the sidewalk with 40 Days.  Her mother always took the family to the March for Life. She plans to start a prolife library in her parish.  I promised her 2 books for next Friday. I like her idea. Rose prayed and shared volumes of prolife literature with passers by.  Thao prayed unceasingly.  Charlie prayed with her, then left for his work day. Kim arrived to share the sidewalk advocate duties with Steve.  We talked of life and motherhood with the young women going into PP.  We hope our love bears fruit. We brought God to the sidewalk today. God is so beautiful. Peace.

Monica and Steve
Monica and Richard
Rose, Diane, and Nikki

9-11 AM, Kathy and Mark:

Thanks to my prolife pals Terry (Fri regular), Margie (PCUC), Kim (Sidewalk Advocate), and Mark (Shift Buddy) who accompanied me during the first hour of my shift and Mark, Margie, Ken (St. Thomas More) and Dan (Steubenville, OH) who were with with me for the second hour.
Two positive outcomes today.  1) I escorted a young lady “S” to Catholic Charities for a pregnancy test and 2) a young man seeking STD testing accepted the yellow card and said he would go to Women’s Choice Network for it.
Of the people that entered the clinic, two people accepted yellow cards, the others declined. Most passersby accepted 40 Days brochures and Watch Me Grow brochures.

Terry, Margie, Kim and Mark
Mark, Margie, Ken, and Dan

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Cecilia:

There was a lot of traffic into the clinic but nobody accepted any literature from us nor stopped to talk. A young man came out to smoke and told me that he accompanied his sister from DuBois. He was not comfortable talking with me but did accept a resource sheet and said he would give it to his sister.


1-3 PM, Elaine and Bernie:

Coming soon, but scroll for more!

3-5 PM, Pat, Val and Mike:

I was blessed to have Val and Mike (from St. Eugene’s in Liberty Boro) with me again as my SBs.  We both prayed and had good conversation.  The atmosphere/attitude of passersby seemed to be more negative than last week when I only recall one “finger” being offered to me.  The best part was that one young woman and her friend who were exiting PP actually accepted my offer of a yellow card – and when I asked if she wanted further information, she actually said yes.  I asked her why she had gone into PP and she said for birth control.  Thankfully Diane had three different brochures that I could give her on the subject.  Thanks for that, Diane.

The sign in PP’s window reads, “We support your choices.” Unfortunately, that’s only true if you choose abortion. If your choice is parenting or placing for adoption, you’ll get no support from PP.

5-7 PM, Bill:

This afternoon Nikki called me asking if I had anyone going down with me to the vigil.  I didn’t, but was expecting a particular volunteer to help out.  She informed me the volunteer had a personal crisis and could not make it and it may be too late to get a response for other volunteers. But Nikki put the word out and within a half hour there was a positive response.  David would help but he may be late coming from West Virginia.  I tried to arrive early and somehow David was already there.  Pat and his crew greeted me and it looked like everything was working out.  We soon got a visit from Jim, the fellow who stopped by for a minute last week.  This week he put on a sign and we invited him to pray with us but he said he was only staying for a few minutes.  He seems to be someone who wants to do something but is still very uncomfortable down here. Soon into our shift a lot of passersby vocalized their displeasure with us.  One young woman told us since we were men we really didn’t have a say.  Another lady told us that she was pro planned parenthood all the way.  An older lady told us to go to hell.  David tried to engage a conversation with her but all these ladies didn’t want to have conversation.  By then another volunteer showed up, this was Ken from Canonsburg and we realized that we really needed to pray.  Through all this nobody was going into planned parenthood.  I think it was after a Rosary was completed a couple came out and I mentioned that she looked fine but was reminded that now they give out the abortion pill.  Finally, Beth from the South Hills arrived and she began praying.  The sidewalk was mostly quiet the rest of the evening.  Tom and Diane arrived to pick up our materials and Nikki arrived to pick up her paintings.  A few of us ended up staying until 7pm praying on the sidewalk.  I’m sorry for the lack of pictures, I’ll do better next time.  Also, I ask for prayers for our volunteer and I want to thank David, Ken, Beth and two different Jims.  God Bless!

DAY 3: Thank you to our generous prayer volunteers!

I hate to admit it, but I have a very hard time starting Lent and 40 Days for Life.  My fallen nature, anxious and pessimistic, gets preoccupied with the thought of suffering and bogged down in dread. 

God never abandons me in my weakness, though. He is encouraging me by reminding me of where we are going on this road. Yes, we will have to pass through Calvary; but that will just be a stop on the way.  At the true end of the journey is Easter and the end of abortion (guaranteed, whether we see it during our lifetime or not.) Resurrection from sin and death! New Life with Christ!

It reminds me of a technique I learned in Lamaze class many years ago:  while you’re in labor, look at pictures of babies to remind you of why you’re temporarily enduring such pain.  Staying focused on the purpose of the suffering gives you strength to get through it. 

The beautiful Novena many of us prayed together in the days leading up to the campaign says it very well:

In the anxieties and unknowns of life, teach me, no matter what, to follow you, my Master, my Lord, my God and my King, especially when you lead me to Golgotha. Give me hope, even without sensing it, that this is the only road to Resurrection.

Sidewalk Reports

Rose, 7-9 AM:

Shift Buddy Rose was joined by gallant Charlie and Steve on this cold morning.
Faithful Thao kneeling in prayer early today
Judy answered the call to stand with Rose this morning. 

Our shift from 7 to 9 a.m. was well staffed with four “warriors” throughout. Stephen and Judy were most aggressive approaching the many young women who came to PP. 

Many passers-by expressed THANKS for our being there.  Only ten minutes into the shift a young woman stopped by me and asked if I had strewn the rose petals on the circle. I said that another woman had just done so.  She said, “When I saw them I got tears and choked up. I know why you are here, and thank you for all you do!  I need to get to work now!” So I thanked her and hoped the rose petals will inspire others to choose LIFE.

Two scowling women at different times gave their words:  “Go to hell,” and “Go home,” to which my reply was, “Have a blessed day.”


Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM:

A cold morning as expected.  Thanks to Sidewalk Advocate Kim, Shift Buddy Mark, Terry, and Bill H. for coming. 

I handed out many “Watch Me Grow” brochures to passersby.  At least four men who passed by spoke words of encouragement to us such as “I’m with you,” “Thanks for being here,” and “I’m prolife too,” etc.  A large group of high schoolers passed by and one student remarked positively about the fetal models while another stated he would not “kill” his baby.

Sadly, though, it appeared that three women sought abortions this morning.  Their male companions shielded them from us and our offers of resources. I made a call to the police to report a man yelling extremely loudly as he approached and passed by us.  He continued with this disturbing behavior as he walked toward Tenth Street.


Cecilia, 11 AM-1PM:

Fr. Jim with Patty, Denny, Cil, and Joyce from St. Joseph; joined by Deb from Holy Sepulcher
Ken from St. Germaine

First picture is Fr. Jim with our St. Joseph crew (Patti, Denny, myself and Joyce) along with our friend Deb from Holy Sepulcher.  Rosaries were prayed.  We are so thankful for Father’s presence! Other picture is Ken from St. Germaine who prayed the rosary with us and stayed throughout the shift.  His fasting is admirable! Thanks to Carolyn who came by to pray the rosary.  Ever faithful Bill came towards the end of our shift.  He came to our defense when one woman yelled in my face that we are disgusting.  I said that yes it is disgusting what happens in that building.  Many older kids were on a stroll with their teachers.  They came by in waves and I told them to pray for the babies.  One group of kids were very interested in our display and handouts. When one took a baby, the others also wanted one.  But then the teacher came over to stand between them and the display saying they don’t need to see and know about this stuff.  We did not agree but…Two young girls went in together to PP.  One seemed to be abortion bound… troubled.  They looked out a few times as I tried to waive them back out.  But continued in.  Thankfully, they came out a short while later.  We are praying it was a turn away and not an abortion pill. They had people coming and going. Sad they will not take our help and choose, instead, to end the life of their child. Cold day but surrounded by warm hearts with mostly positive public feedback to fuel our fire for this cause.


Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

Check for updates soon!

Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM:

Shift Buddies, Val and Mike, from St. Eugene’s in Liberty Boro

Val, Mike, and I had a reasonably quiet experience on the sidewalk.  There was a period early on, however, when we had about 300-400 middle school- and high school-aged kids pass by.  They were exiting the August Wilson Center and likely walking to wherever their bus was parked.  It still amazes me, however, how many people come out of PP in the evening, most of whom appeared to be employees, although there were customers among them as well.  At least one that I saw looked to have just had an abortion.    

Val, Mike, and I prayed a Rosary using the USCCB meditations.  Later on, I introduced them to the Surrender Novena by Fr. Dolindo Rutotolo, which I’m very fond of.  We all were thankful to Bill E. and Mary for arriving early. 


Bill and Mary, 5-7 PM:

Bill and Mary

I arrived at the vigil a little early for my shift, my shift buddy Mary was already there.  We exchanged greetings with Pat and his crew and they soon departed.  Sometimes the 5:00 Friday night shift is uneventful.  Tonight was something like that, but Mary was ready for praying and so we shared in prayer until finally a passerby stopped to look and read our signs and literature.  He declined to engage us in conversation, that reading our literature was enough for now.  After returning to prayer, another fellow stopped to look, he was excited that we were 40 DAYS FOR LIFE!  His name was Jeff and he just returned to God and was moved by the movie UNPLANNED.  We expressed gratitude for him stopping and talking and let him know that does a lot for people working the sidewalks.  Soon thereafter, Nikki & Joe arrived to take down the new posters, shortly after they left, Tom and Diane came to collect our literature. It was an early evening.  The cold weather seemed to justify it.  Thank you, Mary.  God Bless!!!


Angels We Have Heard On High (And On The Sidewalk)

Despite the cold and constant rain, “angels” gathered on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood to sing praises to the newborn King and offer hope to those in desperate circumstances.
Tim, who organized the Pittsburgh part of this national pro-life Christmas caroling event, noted, “I’m certain our presence and singing made an impact. I’m sure our songs touched the hearts of those inside and out.”
Around three dozen people answered the call to bring Christ’s love and peace to one of the coldest and saddest parts of our city.
Hot cocoa and donuts helped to keep everyone warm and energized.
Thank you to Barbara, Tim, and Jeannie for making this wonderful event possible!