Day 23: Thank you to the Manordale Knights of Columbus, St. Paul Seminarians, Byzantine Catholics of Pittsburgh, the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Allegheny County, and all of our other prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life

We are CHOSEN by Our Heavenly Father!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.

Ephesians 1:3-4

St. Paul tells us in the above passage that Our Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. He loves us and cares for us, as a human father does- only our God does it perfectly. May we strive to trust Him as Our Father.

He has CHOSEN us to be alive.

He has CHOSEN us to exist in this moment in time.

He has CHOSEN us to be in a particular family.

He has CHOSEN us to be holy and without blemish before Him. May we strive for that.

Reports from the Sidewalk:

Nikki:

It was good to be with my faithful buddy Peggy this morning! We prayed for just about all of our two hour shift, and were blessed to be joined by three men from the Manordale Knights of Columbus in Murrysville, Vito, Dennis and Dave. There was no business happening at Planned Parenthood; only a couple workers went in and no clients. As we were praying in the stillness, I sensed that we were praying beside a sleeping beast. A beast who has gluttonized for the past two days on the bodies of precious babies and gotten drunk on innocent blood and now lays sleeping quietly. We prayed beside that beast this morning. It was inspiring to be greeted by a large group of young men from the seminary who were there to pray as I left!  May God bless them and all who come to pray today!

Thank you to Dennis, Vito and Dave from the Manordale Knights of Columbus,
who stepped in at the last minute to fill a gap in the schedule!! God bless you all!
Thank you so much to the “first shift” of seminarians from Saint Paul Seminary!
A second group came for the second hour!
Pictured with Shift Manager Judy, Pastor Joe, and Chuck. Thank you all!

Judy:

Five students from St. Paul Seminary joined us this morning for prayer. Then we were joined by two more at 10 am. They were a blessing to us with a powerful prayer presence.

Bus driver gave us the thumbs up. Many people were cordial and responded to our greetings and blessings.

Two young girls stopped to talk, and said they were going in for other services. They listened to information about free women’s services and took a card. They listened to all the information I told them about PP but went in anyway.    

Mom and daughter went in for condoms and were standing inside and facing the door. Pastor Joe kept beckoning them to come out. They did come out and looked at all the material and they were very interested and took information with them.

A couple came by for prayer for addictions and spent some time talking to us. The lady had seven children. They are coming by next week to get Bibles to help them in their spiritual journey. 

Thank you to more of our wonderful diocesan seminarians!!

Lisa:

Some potentially important things to share today. First, thank you to my wonderful prayer partners, Shift Buddy Beth Ann, Tony, Bob, Judy, and Fr. James and Deacon Paul. God bless you all!

The shift was generally peaceful for the first hour and a half. Then as we were toward the end, an unusual occurrence took place. A man and woman came around the corner from the alley, the woman dressed in black clothes and long silver gloves (photos of the couple are below). She began to pose in front of various spots around the vigil, opening up a folding hand fan that had the bold obscenity “C _ _ _” on it. The man took photos of her in each place– in front of the signs, in front of the baby models, etc. My prayer partners and I just watched and stood silent… until… they began to approach the images of the Blessed Mother. I instinctively went over and told them they couldn’t do that THERE. (I know that they can LEGALLY, but I meant, not in front of the holy images.) The woman angrily said, “Yes we can! This is a public sidewalk!” I calmly but firmly responded, “I’m just trying to defend the Blessed Mother.” She yelled back, “And I’M just trying to defend my right to choose!” I knew that this would go nowhere, so all I could do was try to cover the holy images of Our Lord and Our Lady. Of course, that meant that I’d be IN their photos, but so be it. They seemed to get a sort of sick thrill from seeing me try to protect the dignity of what is holy. As they left, Beth Ann heard the woman say, “It’s too bad we didn’t bring the guys with dresses…. but we’ll be back.”

I’m sure you all understand that all of this is perfectly legal. But none of it is appropriate. I told Nikki what we might be expecting next, and she asked that I make this publicly known on the blog- not to dissuade anyone from coming, but just to make you aware that the “sleeping beast” Nikki mentioned above seemed to be stirring a bit today. Just be on your guard, stay calm, and PRAY.

Thank you to Deacon Paul and Father James, from the Byzantine Catholic community in Pittsburgh. Their prayer services on the sidewalk are always BEAUTIFUL. Thank you again!! (And check out those beautiful vestments-and that awesome HAT!)

Thank you to Judy, who stopped and prayed for a short time. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to join us in prayer!!

The odd couple as they walked BACK for more photos…..
How about this shirt…. a teddy bear holding an axe. And words that say “KILL ALL.” Hm. Interesting.

Cecilia:

Thank you to Carolina and Mary!!

Thank you, Tony, for your prayers and your presence!!

Thank you to Shift Manager Carolyn, Fr. Jim, and Patti!!

Thank you for your faithfulness, Bill!!

Hank:

Pleasant weather and the company of faithful prayer warriors Glenn (The Most Precious Blood of Jesus), and Mike and Larry (AOH). We prayed the rosary circuit (all mysteries) during the shift, and distributed literature.  Foot traffic was light, and there were few individuals entering and leaving PP.  We had some positive comments and some negative as well.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  (Rom 12:12)

Thank you to Mike and Larry (Ancient Order of Hibernians), and Glenn from Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish!!

Today (October 15) is also a day to remember St. Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite reformer from the 16th century. She lived at a time when those in her Carmelite order were needing help to get back to what they should be about: their true Faith.

We Christians today find ourselves in a similar situation, don’t we? Let us always remember what it is to be a follower of Christ, and to live accordingly. One way to remember this is with the help of the prayer below, known as “St. Teresa’s Bookmark.” May it bring you peace as it did her.

He has CHOSEN YOU. He has CHOSEN me. May we live in the knowledge of His great love for us in CHOOSING us to be HIS.

Day 16: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard and St. Catherine, Divine Mercy Parish, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Allegheny County, and all of our other faithful prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life

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Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

~Luke 1:68

One of the amazing things about God is that He is our FATHER. When thinking about the above passage, what stood out to me is that the Lord has COME to His people. Our Father sent His Son and His Spirit- TO US. We are not alone, looking off to a faraway, impersonal deity. Our God has COME to US. And CONTINUES to come to us in every moment.

Many of us on the sidewalk sometimes might wonder if it matters that we are there, praying. Short answer? It MATTERS. Because God has COME to His people. He is WITH us on that sidewalk.

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Our Father helps us to keep going when we think we might not be able to make it on our own.

For those women or men seeking abortion…. they may wonder what to do, and whether God hears them. Short answer- He DOES. God has COME to His people. He guides them with His Spirit and whispers to their hearts.

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Our Father holds us when we are so tired we can’t do it on our own anymore.

For those who are abortion workers…. they may think that God is outside of the realm of their job. They may think that God has nothing to do with any of this. They may reject God completely. And yet…. God STILL comes to His people. He waits…. and waits…. patiently waiting for them to return to Him, or to come to Him for the first time.

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Our Father allows us to approach Him in our own time and at our own pace, as we learn more about Who He is.

God is our GOOD FATHER who has COME to His people. He loves us and wants MUCH better for us than we even want for ourselves.

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Reports from the Sidewalk:

Nikki:

The Thursday morning shift from 7 to 9 is my favorite one. Planned Parenthood is not doing abortions or even seeing clients on early Thursday mornings, plus I love my shift buddy, Peggy! It is a peaceful time for prayer, and pray we did! We had very little conversation mixed in between prayers. We were happily surprised when Mary Pat showed up to pray at around 7:30, and she stayed for most of our shift, witnessing silently with her sign. I met Holly, who had signed up to pray from 9 to 11 and arrived shortly after Shift Manager Meredith. Holly said she used to participate in the rescue movements of the 1990s, and even went to jail for it. She is now getting back involved in pro-life work and has been coming regularly for 40 days. She told me the joyful news that when she was on the sidewalk last Wednesday, a young woman came out of Planned Parenthood in tears and Holly spoke to her and the young woman informed her that she had changed her mind, and just could not go through with the abortion! At first I thought it was a second baby saved (that we know of)…but later realized it was the same one that was reported on the blog last Wednesday. Keep up the good work everybody! God is with us!

Thank you to Shift Manager Nikki and Shift Buddy Peggy!!

Thank you to Mary Pat!!

Meredith:

It was a peaceful morning with lots of blessings returned for Chuck’s “God bless you!” greetings. Today, a number of single women went in and came back out while we were still there. Continuing to praise God that Thursdays do not appear to be abortion days. Answered prayer! I met Holly from Apollo for the first time, and was surprised to be joined by two good friends, Pastor Deb and Karen.

Nikki listens to Holly

Thank you to substitute Shift Manager Meredith and Holly!!
Thank you, Holly, for informing us about the life saved last week!!

Thank you to Meredith and ever-faithful Chuck!!

Thank you to all of our faithful witnesses to life!!

Lisa K.:

I continue to be thankful for all of the BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING people who come to pray at the vigil each day. The Lord is working in these people’s lives in a powerful way. It was a relatively quiet and prayerful shift. Had a nice conversation with a police officer who is Catholic. Thank God for our police who keep us all safe.

Thank you to these beautiful ladies from St. Richard and St. Catherine!!
(L-R; Lori, Margie, Marilyn, Cheryl, and Shift Buddy Beth Ann)

Thank you to Tony, such a wonderful prayer warrior!!

Cecilia:

Rosaries were prayed, Divine Mercy sung, material handed out.  Birth control was a theme today. Talked with two beautiful young ladies about the IUD.  Both nice.  One came out of PP and said she didn’t believe in abortion.  Told her why the IUD was not good.  We recommended she go elsewhere for her care.  She didn’t stay to talk. The other is attending a local college for her master’s degree.  Bob and I spoke at length with her before she moved on to speak with Joyce and then Dolores at length.  She touched on many topics and asked many questions.  We looked for areas we could agree on, such as supporting organizations that help women who keep their children.  She took some contraception fliers, and may be back with material for us.  She was surprised to learn that the WHO classifies hormonal contraception as a group 1 carcinogen, up there with tobacco…  The conversation was very friendly.  Please keep all our college students in your prayers.  I believe God brought her to us and I pray she is open to what God has planned for her life. 

Thank you so much to Fr. Jim and this wonderful group of prayerful witnesses!!

Holy men standing for life!!

Thank you to Shift Manager Carolyn and Fr. Bryce!!

Hank:

It was a quiet shift. Larry (Ancient Order of Hibernians), Glenn (Most Precious Blood of Jesus) and I were able to pray the circuit, that is all 4 mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  There were a number of passers-by that were positive in their response, and only one group of young people who were very foul, loud, and obviously disturbed by our presence.  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)  We stand on this!!!

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

Day 9: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Agnes Parish (North Huntingdon) and to all our other faithful volunteers!

Today, October 1, Catholics around the world celebrate this holy woman, Therese of Lisieux. Her simple and childlike way of life and trusting the Lord Jesus is something we can ALL imitate in our daily lives, and particularly as we pray on the sidewalk

“Unless you turn and become like children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven.” The saint we celebrate today, St. Thérèse the Little Flower, understood and lived this teaching of our Lord.

Jesus himself explained what he meant; he goes on to say that it is childlike humility that we must imitate.

This is the way that St Thérèse lived and experienced God’s loving presence. She did not stand out in the convent for unusual supernatural phenomena or great tangible achievements. On the contrary, she lived her community life with simplicity and humility and great trust in and love for God, seeing herself as a child in God’s arms.

This path of childlike humility and trust led her to great holiness. She died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis, and was canonized 28 years later in 1925. Although she did not perform miracles in her lifetime, she is known to have obtained many miracles through her intercession after her death.

Becoming like a little child full of trusting humility is not easy for most of us.

Today, let us ask St Thérèse to intercede for us, that we may be given the grace of being truly childlike in our souls, recognizing our limitations but also rejoicing and trusting in God’s infinite love and providence that accompanies us through all our tribulations, and promises to comfort us, make us flourish, and find in God our peace.

Excerpts taken from the following website: https://advenus.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/becoming-spiritually-childlike-a-la-st-therese/

A photo of Therese as a Carmelite sister.

A few select quotes from this beautiful saint of God:

For those of you who are praying on the sidewalk:

“You know well that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.”

For those of you who work in the abortion industry:

“The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.”

For those of you who might be considering abortion:

“Love can accomplish all things.  Things that are most impossible become easy where love is at work.”

Reports from the Sidewalk:

Nikki:

This morning, as I was driving into town, there was the most beautiful full moon on the horizon! It was bright yellow and was hanging right at the tree line in front of me as I was driving on Route 28. Praise God for his magnificent creation! His beauty is all around us! His goodness was evident on the sidewalk today as well. I prayed with my dear sister in Christ, Peggy, for the first hour, on our knees much of the time. We prayed the Glorious Mysteries as part of a 54-day novena for our nation, and then we prayed the Joyful Mysteries in thanksgiving for the life that was saved yesterday.

John arrived for our second hour. I remembered him from the last campaign. He came often, and it was good to see him again. He had signed up for the 8 AM hour. He carried a sign and walked back and forth in front of the circle, witnessing to the cars.

We had some excitement this morning! It was quite entertaining, although a little frightening at first. I noticed a man across the street dancing vigorously all by himself. He had headphones on, so maybe he was listening to music, but he was really letting it all hang out and giving it all he had. We tried not looking at him, hoping he would not notice us and come over, but alas, to no avail. He danced his way across Liberty Avenue and stood right in the middle of the circle, right in front of Planned Parenthood’s doors, and continued to dance with all his might. His arms and legs were pumping, he was jumping and spinning; he was really dancing with all of his heart, although we could hear no music. I have to admit, I silently prayed a Saint Michael prayer. Then he began to dance towards the baby models, and I wondered if he was going to kick them or damage them, but he simply reached out and touched them with one hand, then he went back to his dancing. Then, a beautiful thing happened. He stopped dancing and he began singing the Christian hymn, “Lord of the Dance.” He had an amazing voice! His voice projected loudly and was so beautiful! He knew every single word and sang all the verses of Lord of the Dance. Even as he walked back to the other side of Liberty Avenue, he stood on that side of the street and continued to sing. It seemed like everybody was silent, listening. When he finished, I gave him the thumbs up sign from across the street. Immediately, he walked back over to our side. I wasn’t sure what to expect. He said to me, “I am very much against what you are doing here, but, since I have the right to sing and dance in public, I guess you have the right to do this as well.“ I told him that God had blessed him with a beautiful voice, and asked him if he sang professionally. He said he sings in pubs. I asked him how he knew a Christian song then. He said that his mother had been a Christian; she was an Episcopalian. I thanked him for the music and said that we had enjoyed it. I still have that song in my head now! I tell you what, pro life work is never boring! You never know what you are going to see when you come to the sidewalk! God is good!

Peggy, Nikki, and John started us off this morning! Thank you!!

Judy:

Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene for your joyful and prayerful witness!

Thank you to Meredith, Judy, and Chuck!!

Lisa K.:

A cold and windy shift this afternoon– but a beautiful time nonetheless! I am always so thankful for those who come to pray during their busy week and busy lives. Thank you especially to Nancy, Anita, Tony, and my wonderful Shift Buddy Beth Ann! You are all wonderful!!

If I had to think of a “theme” for today’s shift, I’d say it was “Spiritual Warfare.” But surprisingly, it was not at all as ominous as that sounds. Without going into detail- but I will tell you in person!- I believe that there were saints and angels there with us on the sidewalk today!!!!!!! Thank You, Lord, for giving us such a wonderful and powerful family in heaven who prays for us, and helps us in fighting our spiritual battles!! Evil is alive and well at Planned Parenthood, but GOD HAS THE VICTORY, and we are NOT ALONE!!!

Thank you to Anita and Nancy- beautiful women of prayer!!
Thank you to Beth Ann and Tony!!

Cecilia:

Thank you to those who came from St. Agnes in the Greensburg Diocese, as well as Tony and Bob who stayed to pray with us!

Thank you to the parishioners of St. Agnes in North Huntingdon!
Thank you to Shift Manager Carolyn, along with Fr. Jim, and Patti from St. Joseph in Cabot!
Thank you, Bill, for your witness!
More parishioners from St. Agnes. Thank you all!!
Thank you for your prayers and witness, ladies!

Hank:

I am amazed at how little foot traffic there was at this time.  PP was very quiet, no abortions today and only employees exiting……that’s a good thing.  Judy and I were joined again by Glenn from Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and Cathy from St. Thomas More who was with us from 3-4.  We did distribute 25-30 copies of the “Watch Me Grow” pamphlet.  It’s interesting that most of these were accepted by men and not women.  A group of four young women made multiple angry and foul remarks….. Lord, we pray that they may come to know the TRUTH and walk in it.  The sign that Judy holds continues to turn heads mostly in a positive way.  This week, in which we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels, we continue to call on Michael to be our defense as we battle the forces of evil present at PP, and as we begin the month of October, the month of the Rosary, we pray to Our Blessed Mother to crush the head of satan and all the evil spirits involved with abortion.

Let us strive for the same childlike joy and trust in God in imitation of St. Therese,

as we continue to pray for an END to the slaughter of His littlest ones in the womb.

Day 2: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Joseph (Cabot), the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and all of our other volunteers!

In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
~Psalm 90:1

Ah yes, 2020. The year of oddities, confusion, and chaos. But aren’t there ALWAYS those things? And when they happened before, what did we do? We did NOT cower and give in. So why would we do it NOW? Short answer is, we can’t. Today’s First Reading from Ecclesiastes tells us that “Nothing is new under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9c) So why worry now? The above passage from the Psalms reminds us of an important truth:

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE.

May we hold on TIGHT to Him in the midst of this crazy world. Pandemic, riots, even abortion- have all happened before. But GOD has been our REFUGE amidst ALL of it. He is forever faithful. Let us hold fast to Him in childlike abandonment and trust, knowing that He is in control.

As you may know from Wednesday’s blog post, we had a beautiful opening Mass and Eucharistic procession on Wednesday morning. One of our 40 Days participants, Audrey, sent us a short reflection she wanted to share:

A Day of Contrasts – the Dawn and the Night

This morning in the city of Pittsburgh, a new day dawned.  A sunrise Mass and the Blessed Eucharist processed through the city streets with over 100 of the faithful praying and being witnesses to the beauty of life.  As the night set in, sitting in my office at Duquesne University, I hear the noise of an angry mob.  Outside my building there are 100 marching, but they march in darkness and their chants are angry and hateful.  Lord God bless us with the light of the dawn.

Fr. Chris and the other priests leading the Eucharistic procession through the city
The angry mob at night. Such a contrast.

National Speaker, Sue Thayer

Last evening (Wed), we were blessed to welcome Sue Thayer to speak to us at the Ark and the Dove Retreat Center. Sue has an amazing witness story of how she went from working in the abortion industry (participating in thousands of abortions personally) to now serving as Outreach Coordinator for the 40 Days for Life national team! What an amazing journey with the Lord she has had. Thank you, Sue!

The Ark and the Dove- what a beautiful setting!

What a great crowd.

A lovely evening outdoors to hear Sue!

Former abortionist Sue Thayer tells her amazing story.
L-R: Donna, Nikki, Joe (Nikki’s husband!), Chris, our guest speaker Sue Thayer, and Sue D.

Sue D., Donna, Nikki, (all from our Pittsburgh team), and Sue Thayer on right. Thank you, Sue!!

Sidewalk Reports:

Nikki:

It was a peaceful shift this morning, and was so nice to see the beautiful setup that Diane and Tom bring to the sidewalk! So well organized! David was there from West Virginia for our first hour and then it was just Peggy and me. We prayed pretty much the whole time, with a little bit of conversation mixed in. Thankfully it did not seem to be an abortion day, at least not this early in the morning. In my two hour shift there was only one girl who entered, and she was clearly disturbed and angry. She screamed at us as she walked in, and about half an hour later, screamed at us again as she walked out. I tried to tell her that God loves her and has a plan for her life but she obviously was spiritually wounded and in need of prayer.

Thank you to David, Tom, Shift Buddy Peggy, and Shift Manager Nikki!!

Judy:

Thank you to the beautiful prayer warriors from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene: Meredith, Chuck, Judy, and Pastor Joe!!

Lisa K.:

Today’s shift was mostly quite peaceful and prayerful. I’m so thankful for my Shift Buddy Beth Ann, and all of the volunteers who joined us today, especially first-timer Tony!

We had one sad situation with a woman who seemed to need our help. I prayed a lot for her. There were also some other small instances of “harassment”… but nothing out of the ordinary.

Thank you to Sidewalk Advocate Walt, first-timer Tony, and faithful Bill!!

Hank:

Well the 1st day was very pleasant, partly sunny and a comfortable temperature. We arrived early (Judy, me and Glenn) and so we were happy to spend some time with the 1-3 shift, Carolyn, Cecilia and Patti who were joined by Bill and a couple (Sarah and Scott) who just happened to encounter the vigil.   Bill stopped by for a short time and Larry (AOH) was with us the entire time.  There was very little activity at  PP, so it must not have been an abortion day.  Also, there was not the usual pre-COVID street traffic, but we did distribute a good amount of literature to passers-by.  We received several positive comments and only one nasty remark.  The sign Judy used prompted several positive reactions.  We prayed up a storm…..4 rosaries and the Divine Mercy. However, Judy and I for the past several years had the 11- 1 shift on Wed and were frequently accompanied by the Guardians of Life……now that’s a group that creates a real storm of prayer. Toward the end of the shift a gentleman named Chris, who has a ministry to homeless, stopped and encouraged us.  Chris travels all over the country with the ministry and he shared about this with us.  He was on his way to Washington DC for the Prayer Rally this Sat. as a volunteer with Franklin Graham.  So we ended the day on a high note.    Hank

In this spiritual fight against the evil of abortion, we are always in the arms of the Lord.

Let us remember those powerful words from Scripture:

“In every age, O Lord, You have been our refuge.”

Day 37: Thank you to those who aren’t giving up. That’s all of you!!

40 Days for Life

Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

~Philippians 3:13b-14

Goals are hard. Setting them is hard. Striving toward them is hard. Reaching them? Hard again. I have a difficult time with all of these. I wish I didn’t. But I do. But here’s the thing about goals. We COULD decide to do away with them. That might make procrastinators like me think we are in the clear. “Nothing to worry about now!” But the problem is… without those goals, our progress would most likely not happen NEARLY as much or as often… if at all. I speak from LOADS of frustrating experiences. Amidst them all, I can say that the goals that motivated me were important and absolutely necessary.

In this spiritual battle against abortion, we must have goals as well. It might take a LONG time to reach them, but we need those goals to at least be in place. In 40 Days for Life in particular, we don’t pray merely that abortions will slow down or decrease (although that would be good). We set our sights HIGH, and pray that abortion will END. Without striving toward this goal, we may never get there.

But you know what? We are NOT giving up. Our prayer, fasting, and other sacrifices continue. May we trust. And then trust more. And NOT GIVE UP.

GO TEAM!!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

Poor Nikki was not feeling well this morning, and was unable to pray during that early shift time. But her faithful sidekick Peggy did!! Thanks, Peggy!! And let’s keep Nikki in our prayers!

The Knights of Columbus Manordale Valley Council 4226 from Murrysville also prayed from 7-9, honoring the commitment they made before the sidewalk portion of the vigil was cancelled. We are so grateful to them and to all who continue to pray from a distance!

Lisa K.:

I was able to pray the rosary for the first part of my shift. Once again, I prayed (the Luminous Mysteries) along with WAOB radio. One of the lines from the Scriptural Rosary was about when the Father’s voice is heard at the Mount of Transfiguration and He speaks of Jesus, saying, “Listen to Him.” It struck me that SO many times, we don’t. We just DON’T listen to Our Lord. And when we don’t, we get a whole lot of sin in our lives and in the world at large. Abortion is one of those sins. I was then praying for people’s conversions from this sin.

The next part of my shift was prayed on a walk outside through my neighborhood again. Very windy, but beautiful. I prayed another rosary… the Joyful Mysteries this time. I was praying that people would see the GIFT of their children (born and unborn), and of course, praying for the abortion workers as well.

For the last part of the shift, Shift Buddy Beth Ann and I had a video call via Facebook. We prayed a couple litanies, the 40 Days devotional for today, and a few other prayers. It was good. It’s times like this that technology is such a gift. Thanks, Beth Ann!

It was sunny and windy! But the time spent in prayer was good! Thank You, Lord!!
Beth Ann and me on our video call!

Mary M and Barbara K.:

From Mary:

Today during my shift I prayed the Glorious Mysteries, very slowly, as I was also thinking of my former father-in-law, who is in hospice with only days to live. A staunch Protestant and a good man, he had some trouble accepting a Catholic daughter-in-law, but I never forgot something he once said- that he had to admire Catholics, because they were firm in their belief that abortion is wrong, and were willing to put themselves out there. Of course we know that many people of all faiths, even of no faith, see abortion for the egregious sin that it is, and some are willing to join in the fight, and it’s true that more and more hearts and minds are changing. It is so good to know people who have sacrificed their time and their comforts to confront the abortion mills and call it what it is, remembering that it is our Creator who gives us the strength to persevere and who hears our pleas. I thank God for all of you! 

From Barbara:

Today is my last day praying at my assigned time for the vigil. But my prayers for the protection of life in the womb and the conversion of hearts of all those involved in the abortion holocaust will continue. I am in awe of the wonderful people I met during this campaign, their holiness and dedication. I fear that abortions will continue for quite some time, but rest assured that God has heard our prayers. It’s not time yet. I cry at nights knowing that babies were torn to shreds at 933 Liberty Avenue. Please God, save the babies! It’s not time yet.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple because it was not his time yet. However, now is our time to choose. Whose side are we on? Well friends, we have shouted loud and clear to our Lord that we are on His side! We have planted seeds of hope in all who have seen our presence. We HAVE changed hearts. We have SAVED babies, maybe more than we know! I am reminded of 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” And Mathew 25:23, “Well done good and faithful servant…”  I think God is pleased with our work. Blessings to all of you as we approach “virtual” Holy Week. 

Sometimes, things look insurmountable.

But we must trust in God and NOT give up.

God is the One who will win this battle.

We just have to show up and do what we can to reach the goal.

Day 30: We keep praying! Thank you all!

Please read to the end, to learn about national 40 Days for Life news about Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh.

40 Days for Life

Here we are… praying from home (or elsewhere) again today!

Thank you all for hanging in there with us as we continue to pray. You are all amazing. God is with us, and He continues to be on the move! A worldwide pandemic cannot stop our God!

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.’“
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Exodus 32:7-13ab, 14

What can we take away from this powerful passage? God sees the sins of His people, and STILL has mercy. God sees our depravity, and STILL gives us another chance. We humans tend to mess things up quite a lot, don’t we? And yet, Our Lord STILL says, “I love you. You are valuable and precious to me. I will help you.”

And so it is with abortion. Our world has permitted abortion for far too long. But our God knows that we are in a battle! It is HIS battle. And He trusts us to be willing to fight this spiritual battle of Life v. Death… with PRAYER.

Our ancient enemy, the devil, may think he can win, because he may assume we are weak and useless. And yet- he also knows the great POWER of prayer. He will ultimately be defeated. The killing of our unborn children cannot continue forever. It WILL be stopped. And PRAYER can help to STOP IT.

Shawn Carney’s message for Day 30:

Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

Peggy and I met at the Oratory and prayed for two hours, although we did 8-10 instead of 7-9, since the Oratory does not open until eight. We had a very peaceful, prayerful shift. We didn’t get rained on, we didn’t get the middle finger, and we didn’t get yelled at!  

I prayed my first hour as part of the Rosary Congress. I had signed up for the 8 AM hour today. So I prayed all three mysteries of the rosary for an end to the pandemic and for a return and belief in the Eucharist, and an end to abortion. For the second hour, I continued to pray and meditate on Scripture. The epistle reading for today was the story of Elijah raising the widow’s son. In that account, he actually lays his body on the dead boy, with his mouth on the boy’s mouth, and his hands on the boy’s hands. In this time of social distancing, I’ve thought about what a close and intimate encounter that was, that Elijah breathed his own life into that boy and raised him from the dead. I thought about how we all need that intimate encounter with Christ as well, to heal us from the death of sin. 

Judy:

We (Meredith, Chuck, Carol and myself) began with a texting prayer among ourselves at the beginning and at different times during our shift. Meredith, Carol and I prayed at our homes and Chuck prayed in front of Planned Parenthood. Chuck said he only noticed one lady going into PP and she came out a few minutes later. As Meredith was praying this morning, she was reminded of a vision she had had while praying one day. What she saw in the vision was intense light that filled the building housing PP. Those big windows in the front were bright with light and it seemed like all that the building was filled with was light, from the front to the back.

I got really excited when I heard that!!! That is a mighty vision in light of all of our praying and fasting, especially when we think of Jesus as the Light of the World, and to imagine that entire building filled with the Presence and the Light of Jesus. This is symbolic of so many powerful things that are going on in the unseen spiritual world since we truly believe that God answers prayer, such as the spirit of darkness dispelled by Jesus the Light, the spirit of death dispelled by Jesus who is Life, the Spirit of Truth piercing the veil of deception that has blinded so many, and 933 Liberty Avenue being the LIGHTHOUSE that shines brightly into the City of Pittsburgh. It’s all good and all of God! We thank Him for glimpses as we wait on the Lord. He is faithful.  

Lisa K.:

My prayer time consisted of praying the rosary with those who were praying on the radio. And I’m not sure, but I think I recognized the voices of two of our Shift Managers, Marie and Ginny! It made me really feel like I was praying with our team!

Then, I went for a walk around my neighborhood and prayed another rosary. I came home, and for the last half hour or so, I sat outside in the gorgeous weather, and prayed some pro-life prayers I found online. All in all, it was a beautiful time of prayer.

One thing struck me as I was walking and praying. We have all been praying for PP to close its doors for a long time. The dangers and damages done to families in that facility are incalculable. But how deliberate are we in our praying? We try to be- but there are often typical city distractions that can pull us away from our primary purpose. MAYBE- just MAYBE- the Lord is enabling us to become more focused in our prayer time for the end of this campaign. I’m NOT saying that that’s what the pandemic is about. Not at all. Just saying that it might be a convenient side effect for us to be able to pray in a more deliberate and focused way. COME, HOLY SPIRIT, and flood that building with Your PRESENCE!!!

Thank you to my little girl neighbors, who were in the process of this beautiful creation in their driveway, while I walked by praying the rosary. It seemed like they were trying to make it look like stained glass! How appropriate for my prayer time! Maybe it’s like Meredith said about her vision with the LIGHT coming through!!!! Oh, Lord Jesus, let it be so.

Mary M.:

It’s sad not to be at PP tonight, praying with faithful prayer buddy Barb and other 40 Days friends. I so loved reading that Hank and Judy kept their shift yesterday and bravely stood outside PP, praying as usual for the innocent lives that would abruptly and painfully end in that place. It inspired me to stop by PP today to say a few prayers, though I feel much braver with 40 Days friends by my side! Barb emailed me last night with the suggestion of prayer and scripture reading during our shift, so that’s what we did. Barb was struck while reading John 17, where Jesus prays for His apostles, and she feels He is praying with just as much love for the babies in the womb and their mothers. I also believe He has so much love for the abortionists and their staff, and will welcome them with open arms when they are ready to renounce the sin of abortion and turn to Him.

LET. US. PRAY.

Lastly…40 Days for Life National team mentions Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood worker who coughed on one of our volunteers during the current pandemic.

Most of you probably saw that Shawn Carney will be on EWTN tonight at 10pm EST. One of the things he will discuss is the circumstance where a Pittsburgh PP worker intentionally coughed on one of our prayer volunteers in the midst of the Coronavirus. Hope you can watch tonight, or if not, he may have a video link on the national blog tomorrow at 40daysforlife.com. The recent blog post that mentions the Pittsburgh incident can be found here:

https://www.40daysforlife.com/day-29-dangerous-and-disgusting

In addition, Shawn also recently included in his blog a link to an article by Sue Thayer, former abortion worker and current National 40 Days for Life team member. She discusses the situation in Pittsburgh in her article as well. You can read Sue’s article here:

https://townhall.com/columnists/suethayer/2020/03/23/dear-planned-parenthood-worker-i-hope-youre-fired-for-trying-to-spread-covid19-n2565510

I’m sure the Lord will continue to work through all of this in mysterious ways. God bless you all.

Day 23: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Christ the Divine Shepherd, and all of our other volunteers!

40 Days for Life

Today, many of us are celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary.

Part of today’s Gospel passage is included here:

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.

~Matthew 1:18-20

One thing I have recently read is this interesting interpretation of the above passage, known as the “reverence theory.” Perhaps St. Joseph did NOT want to “divorce” his wife at all. In this theory, “he does not doubt her purity and innocence. Instead, he doubts his worthiness and ability to take care of Mary and the child. A just man, he knows that Mary belongs to God and he considers himself unworthy of living with Mary. He decides to separate himself from her quietly out of justice to God and reverence for Mary. He is willing to leave the picture so as not to reveal her mystery.” (Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of our Spiritual Father, p. 143.)

What I find especially interesting– and relevant to 40 Days for Life– is that at the news of this new life in the womb of his betrothed, St. Joseph had the appropriate response: REVERENCE. This is ALWAYS the appropriate response to the miracle of life– whether the woman houses the Son of God in her womb, or any other newly conceived little one. Conception, pregnancy, gestation, birth….. these are absolute MIRACLES. Let us hope that all men– all the fathers of newly conceived little ones in the womb– respond to their children (and to the mothers of their children) with a manly REVERENCE that desires only to love and protect these women and children. And thanks be to God for an example of such a Godly man in St. Joseph.

Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

 It was such a quiet and peaceful shift this morning! It was just Peggy and I along with Samuel. Peggy and I prayed on our knees, one on either side of the circle. It was so peaceful and quiet without the usual passersby. Many employees going in today, but praise God, no clients! I feel like everything has been stripped away, all the fluff, and we are down to the nitty-gritty, real reason for us being there. It is just us and them at this point. The workers and our prayers. They look at us as they walk in, trying to pretend like they don’t see us, but I think our silent prayers are very loud in their ears.

While I was praying I felt such gratitude for our faithful team members who have been doing this for so long, I thought about how we have been able to do this for so long because we have so many dedicated people that it distributes the work and nobody gets overwhelmed by having to do too much themselves. An analogy came to mind of a funeral, where the pallbearers carry the weight of the casket. Any one of them would not be able to carry that casket alone, but with six or eight of them, it is doable.  

Then I started to think about how much weight we are carrying in that casket that is holding the remains of all of the babies who have been aborted at this Planned Parenthood since we have started in 2010. With 3000 being killed every year, that would be 30,000 tiny babies. How much weight would that amount to?  Actually, I just did the math, a 12 week fetus weighs 1 ounce, multiply that times 30,000 and you have a combined weight of 1875 pounds. We need all of us, our entire team, to carry this weight.

Near the end of our shift, Katie arrived and began writing messages of hope on the sidewalk with chalk. It was such a blessing to have her there. And as always on Thursday mornings, it was a joy to see the smiling faces of the Lincoln Pl. Nazarene group! Sorry, no pictures. Thank you everybody  for your faithfulness! 

Katie doing her fabulous job of keeping the public informed of available help!

Lisa K.:

Thank you to the faithful volunteers who joined us in prayer today. A strange week to be downtown, for sure. No one going inside PP except workers. So that- plus the fact that we were keeping distance from each other- really allowed for some good quiet prayer time. SO much to pray for, and SO many different ways to pray while we are there. Thank you all for ALL that you do.

Katie doing more beautiful artwork and messaging! Bringing light to the darkness!
Talk about light in the darkness!! Thank you, Katie, for being the awesome woman you are!!
Thank you to Carrie for joining us today!!
Thank you for being there today, Mary!!
The Lord just happened to bring this bus to my attention. The message on the bus struck me as so obvious!! Why can’t everyone see this– for unborn children as well??

Helen:

Not only did today’s vigil feel like spring, we had flowers and even a dose of “spring cleaning” from an unusual source. The flower petals were plentiful. Everyone had a smile.

Today the yellow arc seemed to be keeping the evil “in” while we prayed for everyone trapped in its clutches. We saw no customers going in and only a few employees coming out. Someone said it was a “training day,” whatever that means.

When the PP guard came out with a little bucket of water and a broom and used them to obliterate the pro-life slogans on the street, Sam reminded him that he was washing a public street and not the property of PP. 

He did not use his “tools” on the words and phone number on the sidewalk closest to PP’s door.

We started our vigil with a rosary and Divine Mercy prayers on the left side of the line. Almost right away we moved to the right side for another rosary. When we returned to the left side, it was 4:00 and time for the rosary and another Divine Mercy, as requested by Pope Francis in honor of St. Joseph on his Feast Day. 

As we prayed, a lovely lady came and admired our precious models. She said her daughter was awaiting the birth of her son. This was Grandma, so happy that the baby was still coming, since her daughter had tried to rid herself of her baby. She said, “You know how women can get so mad at their men.” She said her daughter is now in the hospital and being taken care of while her baby grows. 

Helen sharing something beautiful from the sidewalk!
Thank you to Hank!!
More beauty from Helen’s point of view!! Thank you, Helen!!
Thank you to Mary Jane and Carolina!!
Thank you to John, and thank you for bringing this beautiful image of Our Lord!!
The PP security guard washes away Katie’s sign of life and hope. 🙁
This sign of Katie’s was NOT washed away!

Mary M.:

When I arrived, the earlier group had just finished some intense praying, just what is needed, with a prominently displayed crucifix. Faithful prayer warrior Barb was already there and we were soon joined by Lisa M., praying on her knees and then covering every side of PP with prayer. Our protector Samuel was present; it’s always a joy to see him. Apparently today was a “training day” at PP, and hearing that made me wonder if anyone can look at a sonogram and not see a precious, helpless human being. I was told the security guard at PP, under orders from the employees, doused Katie’s beautifully written “Where there’s life, there’s hope” from the street. More willful destruction from PP. All I know is, no one ever looks happy entering or exiting PP. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful vigil partners!

God bless all the wonderful DADS out there

who LOVE their women and children!!

Day 16: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, and all of our other volunteers!

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. -Psalm 40:5

At my mother’s funeral Mass last month, the priest gave a beautiful homily in which he reflected on 1 Thessalonians 4:13. That passage says: We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.” I have thought of this passage several times since then, and it seems relevant here as well, in the midst of our 40 Days for Life campaign.

People are being killed at Planned Parenthood ALL THE TIME. And yet… and YET… we cannot forget HOPE. The hope is NOT that the children who were killed can ever come back. The hope is for the LIVING. Those who can still choose life. Those who can still choose family. And those who can change. THEY can have hope. And so can we.

As long as the post-abortive father or mother is still alive, there is HOPE that he or she may be healed.

As long as the abortion worker is still alive, there is HOPE that he or she might turn away from a job that profits from killing.

As long as we who pray on that sidewalk are still alive, there is HOPE that 933 Liberty will CLOSE for good, and that it might become a place of life and joy.

We are Christians. Jesus rose from the dead. We can’t be like the rest of the world, those who have no hope. As long as we remain close to the Lord, there is ALWAYS hope.

Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:

 There are many things I am thankful for during this morning’s shift. First of all, it was not a busy clinic day! Thankfully not many people going in. Secondly, the weather was mild and pleasant, and thirdly, I had wonderful prayer partners, Amy and Peggy with me for the whole shift. It was a peaceful and quiet time, which I spent praying on my knees, which is how I have felt led to spend my sidewalk time lately. Thanks to everybody who is praying and coming along on this 40 day journey through the desert. God will use it for good! 

Thank you to Amy, Peggy, and Diane! What joy these ladies have at 7am!!

Meredith:

Thank you to Nikki for taking a picture of our crew, Chuck, Carol and myself from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. We were joined before long by Bill, who brought the sunshine with him!

My impression was that they were not killing babies there yesterday. 
There seemed to be some kind of presentation going on. A man hauled in huge duffle bags (I mistook him for a homeless person at first!) and was followed in by  a woman who was apparently the presenter. A couple of people came out of Planned Parenthood who must have gone in before our shift, but hardly any going in stopped at the window. (Apparently employees.) We were blessed to be joined by Mike and first time attendee, Hannah. Very grateful for a quiet day.

Chuck, Carol, and Meredith holding the fort for the second shift! Thank you!!
Thank you to Mike and his niece, first-timer, Hannah!

Lisa K.:

Well, thanks be to God for the beautiful weather today…. even though I still had my thermal layers on! (Better safe than sorry!) One crazy thing I want to apologize for– I don’t know why, but most of my photos I had taken at the vigil were NOT on my phone when I got home! I’m so sorry, but only ONE photo remained! But we had some awesome people praying with us today! Thank you to Chris, Bob, Ken, Mike and his niece Hannah, Denise and her daughter Rachel, and first-timers Sandy and her son Marty. God bless you all!

Nikki mentioned in her report that there was not a lot of foot traffic into PP today. She was right. Perhaps there were some meetings going on, who knows. But it was nice to NOT have clients going in.

One passerby, on seeing our sign that says “Women DO Regret Abortion,” “cheerfully” called out to us the reasons she did NOT regret her abortion. Sigh. Such a “drive-by” comment cannot possibly be addressed in the moment. There are so many multi-layered issues there. I simply responded with a kind “God bless you.” Sometimes, that’s the most charitable thing we can do in that moment.

However, the BEST thing that happened was this. A young couple approached the resource table and started picking up brochures. Volunteer Mike called me over to talk with them. I asked if they needed help. The woman said, “I just don’t know what to do.” I asked if she was expecting, congratulated her, and asked how far along she was. I then showed her, via the fetal models, the “rough” size of her baby now in the womb.

The couple was worried about their ability to care for the child financially. We talked about that a little, and I offered her one of the cards and explained about the services she could receive. They both were so sweet and receptive. They thanked me and left.

A little while later, they came back from the other direction. I had just been praying for them, and was HOPING they were not going into PP. They didn’t. The woman asked me, “Can you pray for me?” I smiled and said, “I already have been.” Then she said, “But I mean, right now, out loud?” I said, “Absolutely.” I prayed for this sweet couple and their baby. And she thanked me, gave me a hug, looked at us and smiled and said, “Nice people.” And they left. Oh…. God is amazing. Let us continue to pray for this couple who is sincerely searching and desiring GOOD.

The only surviving photo from the 11-1 shift! So glad this mother-daughter duo could join us! Thank you, Denise and Rachel!!

Carolyn (with report by Beverly):

I myself was only there from about 1 to 2:20. It was Carolyn, Kathy (a first timer), myself and Bill and then about 2 o’clock, Anita and Cathy came and the other new lady Kathy had to leave. We didn’t get any negative remarks. A couple people said thank you, and we were able to pass out brochures to people, but as usual most people were hardened and didn’t look our way. But I pray for the ones that did receive the literature, that they would read it and be touched by it.

Toward the end of my shift, two young ladies walked by but would not take the literature, but they waited for a bus across the street. Kathy, the new lady, as she was leaving, crossed the street and engaged them in some conversation.  I’m not sure how that ended, but at least she was able to say something to them.

As far as PP was concerned, there weren’t many going in or coming out. However, my personal prayer was that the babies went without pain directly into the arms of Jesus, and that the women would change their minds and not go through with it, and that the workers would be convicted and quit their jobs there. I’m sure that’s something we all can agree with and continue to pray for.

–Beverly

Shift Manager Carolyn (such a trooper- she just had cataract surgery and still came to the vigil!), along with Beverly and Bill. Thank you all!

Thank you to Cathy, Anita, and Bill!

Kathy (R) joins Carolyn and Bill as a first-time participant!
Thank you, Kathy!!

Helen:

While we were on the sidewalk, I saw only one person go into PP. She was inside for a brief time and back out within 15 minutes or so. We did see employees leaving for the day. Thank God, it was not another Tuesday.

While we prayed, we had the usual passers-by who aimed gestures and words of contempt toward us. I think the “thank yous” and “God bless yous” were welcomed as much or more. The “different” gesture for today was a man who, as he walked past us, leaned over and coughed at us – twice.

Traffic on the sidewalks and at crossings seemed to be a whole lot less than we expect at these hours. Even the usual long line for buses was absent today.

It was warm enough to take off our coats.

Two ladies came along, saying they had not eaten for two days. They said they were from out of town, but when we offered to take them to Catholic Charities, one of them said “all they had was noodles.” Our belief in her experience dimmed when she said they were from “someplace else.”

Mary Jane pulled out her card and said, “Come on, ladies. We’ll go over to McDonald’s and you can get a hamburger.” At that, the lady said, “Never mind.” She walked away and the young woman with her shrugged and followed her. Apparently, they wanted cash.

By 4:30, our numbers increased. Rose L. and the 5:00-7:00 group filed in, along with a man who joined us for our final rosary. It felt good to see nine smiling 40 Days veterans. 

A little footnote: shortly after the ladies who refused the hamburgers left, a man who was ready to cross the street in front of PP asked if we would be there “tomorrow.” I told him we are there from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. He said, “Tomorrow I’ll bring hoagies. I sell hoagies, and I’ll bring them.” He said he went on the March for Life every year in what sounded like his teens. He was probably 20 years beyond that. It will be good to see him, no matter who is at the vigil tomorrow. 

Mary M.:

When I arrived, faithful Shift Buddy Barb was already there, and we prayed a rosary with Rose from St. John Capistran, who had joined an earlier shift and stayed for ours.  Helen and Mary Jane from the earlier shift joined us, and Patti and her friend John from St. Titus in Aliquippa arrived for our shift and also joined us.  We then split up so we could be on both sides of the circle, and we had some encouraging words from passers-by. 

One man, who has previously approached the group asking for money, told us a story about being released from the hospital and needing money to get home, and although Barb was very kind and explained that we don’t carry money, he stalked off.  He has been seen before and will probably approach people again. 

We were blessed with great weather and a mostly uneventful shift, until the end when the materials were being loaded into the car and someone (from the yellow bar?) approached Barb and Patti and asked why we weren’t home, doing “something good.” Barb answered tactfully that we were there to save lives because we love babies; the questioner replied that she also loved babies, but “that” wasn’t a baby.  She was applauded by her friends standing outside the bar.  She didn’t care to stay and have a real discussion, just wanted to make her point.  Unfortunately that’s what we face every day–people who believe a real, live, created child is a blob that can be easily removed, and that we are trampling on women’s rights when we show up to witness for the unborn.  It’s discouraging, but we see evidence of changing hearts, a little at a time.  I am blessed to have such wonderful people to pray with.

Thank you to John and Rose for joining us today!

Thank you to Barb and Patti as well! Keep rocking that 40 DFL shirt!
Always remember that there is HOPE.

Day 9: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Lower Allegheny Valley Catholic Parishes, and all our other volunteers!

40 Days for Life

Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Psalm 138:3a

Who needs help on that sidewalk?

1. Women and men in crisis.

2. The preborn children in danger.

3. The abortion workers.

4. Those of us who pray on the sidewalk.

5. The passersby.

So, EVERYONE on Liberty Avenue, at any given time, is in need of help. How can I say this with such certainty? Because we are all human. And we all have needs. As we pray on the sidewalk each of these 40 days, let us consider: HOW does this person need my help– or ultimately, God’s help– right now? And then if we can pray for them, let us pray. If we can do more, let us do more. But let it NEVER be said that when someone is in need, that God (possibly through someone else) didn’t answer or help.

Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

Thank the Lord for sunshine and blue skies, and for faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying and sacrificing for an end to abortion! Faithful Thao was  praying on her knees this morning for the first hour, along with Peggy and me. Thao is sick but is still coming out in the cold. Please pray for her healing as well as for her other intentions which she has asked us to pray for.

As we were all three on our knees praying, a young confused-looking couple headed towards the door. We offered them information, which they refused, but they walked past and did not go in. I began to pray for them and offered up the pain in my knees for them and their child. They eventually did come back about half an hour later. I was still on my knees, and I told them that I was continuing to pray for them specifically and the man told me to keep praying. They walked by a second time, but eventually they did come back and they went in. That baby was prayed for and had an advocate, and I believe that when he or she is taken in the arms of the angel to heaven, he or she will be thankful that we were there for them.

Unfortunately, it was a very busy abortion morning. At least eight couples that we saw went in. I felt led to stay on my knees for most of my shift.   Hearts seem very hard, but we do not know of all of those who never even show up for their appointments because of our prayers and witness. We only see those who stubbornly persist on the path to destroy themselves and their child. It is discouraging, but I have faith that God is using us for good.  Thanks to Carissa for coming to be a Sidewalk Advocate and to Judy and her faithful crew from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene for coming at nine for their shift. 

Carissa praying and advocating on the sidewalk. Thank you!
Faithful Peggy. Thank you!
Thank you to the ladies ready for their upcoming shift: Carol and Shift Manager Judy!
And thank you for your good work today, Carissa!

Judy:

It was good to be with Meredith, Chuck, and Carol from Lincoln Place Nazarene. We were joined by Bill for a while. We appreciated the sunshine today, even though it didn’t reach Liberty Avenue LOL, and we were thankful we did not have a repeat of last week’s wind. There was a fair amount of people going in and coming out of PP. Most of them were cold and resistant to any conversation/information/literature. There was a lady with a young child, possibly 18 months, who went in and waited for her husband/boyfriend to come in. I was able to intercept him before he went in and he was willing to listen for a short while.… until the lady inside called him and instructed him to come in. He did reveal that neither one of them wanted the abortion, but they could not financially afford another baby. They had the little one they brought with them today, and he said he also had one or two of his own and she had a couple of her own. We tried desperately to convince him, but his partner would not permit him to speak with us any longer. Lord, have mercy on this young family that has been deluded to kill their baby.

Lisa K.:

Thank you to those who came to pray today. It is always so important. Families’ lives were totally broken inside that building today. Generations severed. Futures lost. And this kind of destruction happens “in the moment.” If only more conversations could be had with those couples before they go inside. And when presented with the opportunity to have such a discussion, we MUST hear them out. We MUST listen with an empathetic and compassionate heart. Many of these people either do not know what else to do– or they don’t even REALIZE the gravity of what is taking place. May we always listen with love.

Witnessing with love and prayer
Thank you to Ken and Sidewalk Advocate Fr. Jeremy!
Thank you to Walt!
Byzantine seminarian Tim, who stopped to pray with Ken and Beth Ann!
Thank you all!
Fr. Jeremy in prayer.
Thank you to Ken, Shift Buddy Beth Ann, Yolanda, Alma, and Barb!

Carolyn:

Cathy, Yolanda, Mary and Carolyn

Helen:

Vince said the weather was so lovely, it was almost like spring. Mary Catherine brought Ann and the four of them made a fine parish team. Mary Jean always has a happy hello for everyone. 

We prayed the Joyful Mysteries with the beautiful LIFE rosary together, and another group rosary rang in the concrete canyons of downtown Pittsburgh.

Only one really crude remark was spat at us. Mostly the “waiting for the bus” crowd and the “little ones going home from daycare” were the major sidewalk traffic. 

Several ladies from the 5:00-7:00 shift arrived in time to pray with us. That was a real bonus. 

Thank you to Mary Catherine and Vickie!
Thank you, Ann and Mary Jean!
Thank you to Vince and Ann!

Mary:

Barb K. and I were fortunate enough to arrive early and spend a little prayer time with Anita and the previous shift group.  We were blessed to be joined by Judi D., then Soad V. and Carolina G., all beautiful souls and love-filled pray-ers.  We were joined for a short while by Ericson V., who was on his way to the Greyhound station but wanted to share his prolife views with us, and Peg K., who prayed with us.  We were also blessed with very reasonable weather! 

We had a few negative drive-by comments and vigorous headshakes, and if only the nay-sayers/headshakers had stopped by to speak with us, they would learn the truth of what really happens inside PP, and why we are there to try to save the precious lives of the unborn.  I noticed a sign in the upper window of the PP building, saying “We Support Your Choice” but nothing could be further from the truth.  I know that if a young woman goes through the door of PP because she needs help with a pregnancy, she will be strongly encouraged to have an abortion.  We know that the motivation behind this is the money PP receives for abortions, but it’s clear that while they are pretending to support these vulnerable women, they are treating them with total disrespect.  They are telling these women that their babies are not worth bringing to life.  They have seemingly judged these woman to be poor and ignorant, and incapable of loving and raising their children.  These women are not given the truth about the dangers of abortion, nor information about adoption; they are just processed through the system and are left empty, and too bad if they have regrets later. 

We did, on the positive side, receive many thank you’s and I agree with you’s and God bless you’s, so that always helps to reinforce the determination.  It’s always uplifting to pray with those we were blessed to be with!

Additional comment from Mary:

Forgot to add something-while we were at PP this evening a young woman, an employee or patron of the bar, came over to ask us to pray for her mother, Alice, who is very ill in the hospital. We prayed for her and I said that I would ask everyone else to pray for her too. Thanks!

Thank you to Judi and Barb!!
Thank you, Carolina and Soad!!
Thank you all for your PRAYERS, FASTING, and DEDICATION!

Day 2: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, Divine Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, and our other faithful volunteers!

THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE

“Not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that 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.” (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995)

Every day, I’m sure, there has to be at least one high-level official of Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania reviewing what we write in this blog. Assuming that’s correct, I’d respectfully ask that individual to take at least a few minutes to take what John Paul II has written to a personal level. Do this by asking yourself this: Have I found it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil?

Pat M.





Shift Manager Reports

Nikki:


 The morning started out sort of pretty, although it was very cold. The light snowfall and the calm air made it sort of peaceful and serene. Peggy and I prayed the rosary on our knees while Thao prayed on the other side of the circle.  As the morning progressed, the wind picked up and it seemed like the temperature dropped. It got to be very bitterly cold and things were beginning to blow around the sidewalk. We were grateful to have Amy as a Sidewalk Advocate, and then also Katie and Claire came.  

It was a very busy abortion day; sadly many couples entered those doors as Amy and Katie valiantly tried to intercede on behalf of those who were being led to the slaughter.  There was one couple who looked very young who, although they refused the information and went in, left again after about 10 minutes. They had not come back as of the time I left. Let’s pray that they will have a change of heart and will not come back!  

It was almost time for my shift to be over and I was just getting up to take down my large artwork display, when a big gust of wind blew it off of its place and right into the sidewalk into the path of a passerby! Luckily I was right there and grabbed it immediately, and nobody was hurt; it is very light. But, I had a scare when I tried to carry it down the sidewalk. The wind was so strong, and the artwork acted like a sail. I literally could not stop myself, the wind was pushing me where it wanted me to go and I had absolutely no control! It was the scariest sensation! Luckily Amy came to my rescue and saved me! She helped me to bring the sign to where it needed to go. This reminds me of one time when Sally was participating in Face the Truth and she was holding a large sign. She was much smaller and lighter than I am, and she had the same experience of being carried away with the wind blowing her large sign! One good thing- I was tired and sleepy before that happened, but after the adrenaline rush, I am wide awake now! Thank you Lord for protection today! 

Thank you to these lovely sidewalk warriors- Peggy, Thao, and Nikki!
Thao in prayer
Peggy in prayer
Thank you to Sidewalk Advocate Katie, and Claire!
The new team arrives! Thank you to Chuck, Carol, and Shift Manager Judy!

Judy:

We arrived on the scene this morning just about the time Nikki was literally being swept away by the wind. During our shift, we had numerous encounters with people coming in and going out of PP today. Even though we approached them, they were not interested in looking at us, talking to us, or much less interested in taking our lit. We continue to pray that God will soften hearts of abortion-minded people and that they will be receptive to receive help to save their babies.

Thank you to Claire, Katie, and Meredith!

Lisa K.:

Although it was cold today (so cold I couldn’t move my lips to speak properly after my shift), it was VERY warming to my heart that five of us women were out there to pray. I couldn’t help thinking that OUR feminism– the authentic feminism that says that it is GOOD for women to be women– is SO much more beautiful than a radical feminism that supports the killing of unborn children who grow in our wombs. Thank you to all of the authentically FEMININE women out there, who see the beauty of their womanhood….. and thank you to all of the good men in their lives who honor them.

It was a busy time at PP during my shift. Sad to see that. Why are so many young people attracted to PP? One reason might be– because it offers a quick “solution” to end one’s dilemmas. Maybe we should be teaching our young people about true love and the meaning of their bodies instead.

Beth Ann and first-timer, Beth! An adorable duo! Thanks, ladies!

Carolyn:

Thank you to Beverly and Anita!


Thank you to Connie and Cathy!
Thank you Anita and
Shift Manager Carolyn!

Helen:

When I arrived at PP, Mary Jane was already there, and Carolyn was ready to leave. I had no idea how cold it was, even though Nikki called the office to say we might want to close the vigil early because of the weather. Anita and her northern friends (meaning Butler) and Edith were busy handing out brochures, and Mary Jane was lively and smiling. Thank goodness for fingers and toes because it was too cold to feel the rosary beads in my pocket. The hand warmers were a pleasant bonus.

As 4:00 approached, I called Nikki, who called Diane. I was amazed at how quickly she came. Diane has a methodical, practiced routine for getting all the signs, the tent, the brochures, the salt bucket and the weights into her car. She asks that we refrain from bringing extra “stuff” because it just won’t fit into her vehicle. I have several very good signs that I will take to the PCUC office for whoever wants to take them downtown again. Michele arrived for her first vigil, and she was disappointed that it was so brief. Even when I left, Bernadette wanted to stay and finish her rosary. Thank God for the generous hearts of those who keep the 40 Days for Life vigil.

Thank you to Mary Jane!
One of our handmade signs!