Day 36…Old Testament God?

What happened to THIS God???

These have been strange days lately. Our world seems very different, doesn’t it? I keep waiting for our leaders, be it church leaders or civic leaders, to acknowledge our need to repent and turn to God for deliverance from this global chastisement…err…pandemic.

Why is no one looking around and seeing God’s Mighty Hand in this? When I mentioned to a church-going friend of mine that I believe that God is chastising us with this pandemic, she responded with, “Oh, I don’t believe that God would do that!” My boss gave me the same response when I was talking to him on the phone a couple days ago. He is not a believer, but said “I thought your God was supposed to be all about forgiveness!

So, during my morning prayer today, I reflected on today’s Gospel reading (in the traditional Catholic Missal). From John 10:22-38, the unbelievers in Jesus’ time were trying to trip him up and wanting Him to admit openly that He was the Christ. In reply, Jesus said:

“I and the Father are one.”

John 10:30

As I meditated on that short verse, it occurred to me that the reason that so many Christians are unwilling to entertain the idea that this global crisis could possibly be a chastisement is because they are conveniently forgetting that the merciful Jesus of the New Testament…IS ONE with the Just Judge of the Old! In fact, there is a quote from Billy Graham that says:

If God doesn’t punish America, He owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah!

Billy Graham

In fact, God first broke my heart over abortion through a sermon that I heard on the radio called “Stop the Holocaust,” by Rev. John Guest. Before hearing this sermon, I had never given the issue of abortion much thought. I had never seen a photo of an abortion victim and I didn’t know the gruesome truth about the horror of abortion, or about the trauma that many post-abortive parents deal with for the rest of their lives. But as I listened to Dr. Guest talk about the numbers of babies that had been killed, and about various instances in the Old Testament where God had destroyed peoples and nations for the crime of shedding innocent blood…I heard him say that America is guilty in the eyes of Almighty God for this horrible crime. At that point, I began to cry and sob…as the reality of what our nation has done sunk in. Just as the passengers of an airplane have to pay the consequences of the pilot’s error when the plane crashes…so we will suffer God’s judgement for the shedding of innocent blood for over 60 million babies.

That was when I decided I needed to get involved in pro life work, and then I discovered 40 Days for Life. For 10 years now I have had the amazing privilege of leading so many faithful and dedicated brothers and sisters, as we have prayed, fasted and stood on the sidewalk. We have had joys and sufferings through these past 10 years, and I can say without a doubt that being part of the 40 Days for Life movement has been the most meaningful and spiritually enriching experience of my life. It has helped me to overcome my natural timidness, laziness and weakness. I am very grateful to God for bringing us all together to fight this spiritual battle, and I have no doubt that our efforts have brought much grace to our city…whether we see the results or not. Imagine, all the babies that were saved that we never knew about…some of them are hitting puberty by now! In another 10 years or so, a second generation will come forth from those saved lives! Our work will indeed bear eternal fruit!

Speaking of babies that have been saved…the couple who chose life after coming to PP for an abortion near the beginning of our campaign, are currently working with Birthright of Pittsburgh to help them with some of their needs. They have three small children and are in need of housing and employment, as well as material help for their children and baby-on-the-way. The husband is a plumber but would be grateful for any kind of employment. The wife is looking for cleaning work (in the evenings)…and they are in need of a house to rent. If you can help this courageous young couple, please contact Regina at nateran1291@aol.com

This is my last blog post for these 40 days. I am uncertain what our future holds, and whether or not we will be able to hold a campaign in the fall. But I have peace in letting God take the reigns right now. I just want to watch and pray…and listen for His call when He wants me to jump back in.


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Here are our final Wednesday shift reports:

Faithful Cathy has been keeping her 9-11 shift from home:

I have been praying from home for my shifts (last week and today), streaming Mass, and prayer walking.  No particular insights or revelations, just trying to stay faithful.

Cathy Z
Hank and Judy fulfilled their last 11-1 shift today by praying from their car at Planned Parenthood!

When we arrived at pp this am it appeared that they were closed but shortly a young man came out for a smoke and an older woman with a young child got out of a car and went into pp for a short time obviously  both waiting for someone having an abortion.  How ironic we’re asked to stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus and save  lives but the state allows pp to brutally kill the most innocent and defenseless among us.  Lord have mercy on us.  We prayed the Rosary and Devine Mercy for the end of abortion and for those seeking abortion and those facilitating this abomination.  

Hank & Judy

I had a quiet two hours of prayer in my home this afternoon.  I prayed the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries using my Rosary of the Unborn (pictured below).  Within each bead is the image of a 1-month old unborn baby.  God bless those who are continuing to pray for the unborn during this time of trial.

Chris

Today was a “dry” day inside, no breeze, 72 degrees…
Seriously, the shift was “Pro-Life Potpourri” – trying to tune-up the Mind, Lips, and Heart with worship (Virtual Mass with Bishop Barron), prayer (Vespers, and Divine Mercy Chaplet) and catching-up on Pro-Life email newsletters and educational videos.
Ended the shift reflecting on a few verses of the day that stood out with respect to our time with each other and others on the sidewalk as well as our current situation:

Ephesians 4:32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Matthew 4:34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself…

Peace my brothers & sisters!

Joe

Day 29…Hopes Dashed…

Our Kick-off Mass with 40 priests on Feb. 25th began with hope of God doing something BIG!

Today was the day that we had planned to have a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood, led by Bishop Waltersheid. It was to be an amazing time to bring Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament to defeat the evil that has a stronghold at 933 Liberty Avenue. Obviously, that is not going to happen.

We started out 29 days ago with the most powerful kick-off event that we have ever had, and my expectations were high that God was going to do something really big during these 40 days! I honestly worked harder than I had since we began this thing…back in 2010! So, did God disappoint? Did I do something wrong? Is He not all powerful, and with Him, are not all things possible?

Those thoughts are just my own pride and weakness tempting me. I have always struggled with the feeling that everything depends on ME, and MY actions. Too much “Martha“, and not enough “Mary“. I remember when I began leading 40 Days for Life. My heart was so broken after God opened my eyes to the tragedy of abortion, that I just had to DO something! All I could focus on was getting churches to wake up and see the horror that I saw, and to get people to stand in front of Planned Parenthood, so as to wake up the rest of our city. Prayer? Well…sure…we could pray too. As long as it didn’t interfere with the actual WORK of pulling off these 40 day campaigns.

You may be surprised to hear me say that. I didn’t let anyone else know that I didn’t really think prayer was that important. I could talk a good game…

But, over the years, and as I have seen more and more of the spiritual battle that is going on under the surface of our day to day life, I have come to understand that prayer, united WITH action, is the most powerful weapon against evil. However, it seems that we no longer have the option of “action“…and are left with prayer only. So, my old “Martha” started to raise her ugly head. I was feeling guilty about not having anyone on the sidewalks, as Planned Parenthood is busier than ever, with scared and desperate women thinking they need to kill their babies to solve their problems. Then, as I was typing an email to my team on Monday, a Bible verse randomly popped into my head. I even typed it into the email. It was the following verse:

Are there not just twelve hours of daylight? A man can walk in the day-time without stumbling, with this world’s light to see by; He only stumbles if he walks by night, because then the light cannot reach him.

John 11:9,10

The confirmation that God was speaking to me through this verse came after I sent the email and went to bed. I pulled out the book that I am currently reading, Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ“. I opened the book to my bookmarked page and began to read. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this very verse right there in the chapter that I was reading! I felt such comfort knowing that it is okay that we are not there right now. We worked very hard, and we were pleasing to the Lord with our sacrifices and prayers. But now is not the time for work. It is the time for more prayer…and more sacrifices. After all, we were asking God to do something big, weren’t we? And look around you! Doesn’t it look like something big is happening?

There are no drag queen story hours happening in public libraries right now. Preschoolers are not having “My Two Dads” read to them as part of the indoctrination process. Life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. And maybe it is God’s mercy that has stopped us in our tracks…because maybe we were running full steam towards a cliff.

Now the busy-ness has stopped. The noise and distractions are gone. It is time to be quiet and still…and wait for God.

I have read that some theologians believe that the Church, since she is Christ’s Bride, follows the pattern of His life. He was born in a stable, and the Church was born on Pentecost. He taught and sent out his disciples to teach, and the Church had her great missionary time. He had his betrayal by Judas, and she has been betrayed by wicked men in the hierarchy. He endured humiliation by the scourging and crowning with thorns, and She has been humiliated by the sex abuse scandal. He hung on the cross and died…and was laid in the darkness of the tomb. His disciples shut themselves away in fear in the upper room…and prayed. Now, it appears that our beloved Church has died. The buildings are closed and we are denied holy communion with Him. We must wait and pray.

Our Blessed Mother, Mary also waited. Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The day in which we celebrate the coming of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, to announce that she would conceive of the Holy Spirit and would give birth to a Son. She didn’t understand fully what God’s plan was. There surely was fear of the unknown…would Joseph understand and accept her? Would she be stoned for adultery? She said “YES” anyway. In complete humility. Then she waited for nine months to give birth to the Savior.

So, even though we don’t understand fully what God’s plan is, we do know that He is allowing this to happen for a reason. Let’s trust and accept His Holy Will, while we wait and pray…and look forward to seeing Him again in the resurrection!


Here is today’s message from Shawn Carney, President & CEO of 40 Days for Life…featuring some events and pictures from our Pittsburgh campaign! Check out our own Nikki and Joe in the opening shot below!

Our team members are keeping their regular shifts that they would have had at Planned Parenthood, but are praying from wherever they can. I encourage everyone who was signed up to pray for an end to abortion during those times.

Today, Hank and Judy, who have the 11-1 shift on Wednesday, went to Planned Parenthood to pray.

Even though the vigil is officially cancelled, that couldn’t keep Hank and Judy from praying in front of Planned Parenthood today!

Judy and I went down to PP for part of the 11-1 shift and prayed the scriptural rosary. The guard came out and told us we were not allowed to be there, to which Judy responded, “If you are still doing business, we’ll be here!” Several Pittsburgh police officers walked by us, but did not say a word. If evil exists, how much more grace abounds.

Hank & Judy

Parishioners of Holy Redeemer prayed from 11 AM-3 PM today.

Holy Redeemer (comprised of St. Mary’s and St. James’) had our shift today from 11AM-3PM.  With everything SO “off kilter” these days and kids needing to do schoolwork on all the family electronics, I did not manage until late last night to send out an email requesting fellow parishioners to pray from home for the babies and their parents today.  Nevertheless, wonderful Friends of Life responded right away, promising to pray at specific intervals so no one would be required to pray for four hours straight (although we ARE supposed to “pray ceaselessly,” right?)
Divine Redeemer prayer warriors included Mary Beth (joined from a distance by two friends from Saints John and Paul), Jim (a member of Assumption but a “fellow traveler” with our Respect Life group), Ibie, Mary, Sandy, Betsy, Christian, and Charlene.                                       
  I noticed (surprise!) that it is  a lot more comfortable and less stressful to pray at home than outside a death mill, but it is dreadful to contemplate vulnerable, misled mothers approaching Pittsburgh’s Auschwitz with NO human being outside it to offer a last-minute plea (whether silent or spoken) to reconsider.  SO WHEN THE KIDS FINISHED USING THE IPAD TONIGHT AND I SAW THE PHOTO OF HANK AND JUDY OUTSIDE PP TODAY, I KNEW THEY WERE AN ANSWER TO PRAYER.  Thank you, Hank and Judy, for risking your own lives to be a sign of contradiction in this culture of death and a sign of Hope to a frightened young mother.

Edith

Chris prayed from 1-3 PM.

It was a quiet shift in my family room, with the only passerby being the occasional cat wandering through.  I prayed the Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary using my Rosary of the Unborn (pictured above).  Within each bead is the image of a 1-month old unborn baby.  I prayed with increased focus compared to praying on a noisy Pittsburgh street.  I’ve found it helps me concentrate on Jesus’ suffering if I try to visualize the scenes from The Passion of the Christ.  While my prayer–time went well, I missed the fellowship of prayer warriors standing with me in defense of the unborn.

Chris

And Joe kept his 5-7 PM vigil slot to pray for the end of abortion.

From the front yard of the church where Joe went to pray today, although it turned out to be closed. His vigil occurred at home instead.

Guess I got “home schooled” by God today!  My vigil occurred from home…

A couple of things: “God woke” me today – Nikki’s beautiful outpouring in today’s blog post, and Hank & Judy’s witnessing today.

In today’s scripture readings the Responsorial Psalm:  “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” I must accept that it is his will that this vigil is done elsewhere today.

Fr. Robert Barron’s homily during Mass today: he contrasted Ahaz from the first reading and the Gospel reading of Mary’s Annunciation as “dreaming small” (Ahaz) vs. “dreaming big” (Mary) – “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Sometimes I must admit of “dreaming small.”

We must not fear “dreaming big” and to ask God for the “big dream” -not just closing 933 Liberty Ave., but an end to abortion in our state, country, and in the world!!!

Another thought – in these troubled / uncertain times that we are dealing with… In a 2006 Stephen A. Smith interview of (recently deceased) NBA’s Kobe Bryant, Smith asked Kobe Bryant what he learned after one of the lowest points of his life – to which he replied “God is great.” Pressed further on how he knows this, Kobe responded: “You can know it all you want, but until you have to pick up that cross that you can’t carry and He picks it up for you and carries you and the cross, then you know.”

I “know” God is carrying our crosses during these troubling times – “GOD IS GREAT” my brother and sisters!

Joe

I also want to let everyone know about the virtual rosary congress which began today. Go to https://www.rosarycongressusa.org/virtual/ to sign up to pray the rosary for one hour, to help fill the week-long, 24 hour prayer vigil…to bring grace and healing to our land!

Day 22…Thanks to Divine Mercy Parish & Faithful team members and volunteers!

These are Different Times….

Do you feel like the world is changing? Could it be that we are at the end of an era?

I know everyone is wondering what the right thing to do is. Do you go out? Do you stay home? What is the definition of “essential”? Getting food? Going to work? How about mourning the death of innocent little ones? Could that be considered essential? I mean, funerals are still taking place, right? Where are the funerals for the little ones being aborted at Planned Parenthood? Who cares about them? Who loves them?

Of course, God loves them. And we love God. And therefore, we have to be there. In fact…it is ESSENTIAL that we be there. For them…and for HIM.

But…the times they are a changin’…so we need to do things a little differently. We need to be responsible and not take a chance of spreading any contagion. So, here are the guidelines that we are asking all vigil participants to abide by during the remainder of these 40 days:

  1. Please maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from others. Refrain from hugging, hand shaking or standing too close when speaking.
  2. For safety, we have done away with the sign-in sheet and the signs. You need not touch anything that others have touched. You may bring your own sign if you wish.
  3. We ask that you do not distribute literature to passersby or to Planned Parenthood clients. If you want to bring literature to the vigil to have available in case someone asks, that is fine.
  4. If a passerby or worker does anything such as coughing or spitting in your direction, please let the shift manager know so they can report it to the police.
  5. Starting today, we now have a security guard with us at all times on the sidewalk, thanks to the 40 Days for Life national team…so we will be much less vulnerable to these hateful attacks.

I am sad to say that Planned Parenthood is busier than I have ever seen them. Since this crisis began, more and more women feel that they NEED an abortion…possibly out of fear of the future. We need to be there in prayer and peaceful witness in hopes that their hearts will soften and they will reconsider this terrible decision to end the life of their own flesh and blood….their heritage.

I will leave you with a verse from today’s Gospel reading for the Tuesday in the third week of Lent. It gave me so much comfort as I meditated on it this morning.

For where two or three are gathered together for my sake, there am I in the midst of them.”

Luke 4

We are not doing this alone. He is with us. We can be sure of that. Thank you to all who are praying, fasting and sacrificing because you love.

Click HERE to watch a short video from Shawn Carney, National Director of 40 Days for Life as he informs us of the impact the corona virus is making on our 40 Days for Life witness.

Today’s reports from the sidewalk:

Peggy & Beth 7-9

Faithful few…Joe, Beth and Peggy start out the morning in prayerful witness!

Today we had three couples go in only one came out. Might have been scheduling issue. One of the couples was from West Virginia. They slowed down in front and then parked in our garage. No persuasion but lots of prayers. Today I was struck by the people who avoided walking on the roses. They did not talk to us but I believe they understood the significance. I was very very touched by their actions.

Peggy

Cathy & Priscilla 9-11

This time it was not as busy as the previous 2 days, but still, 3 couples and several women went into the clinic. One woman, part of a couple, looked very sad. I called to them that there were other places, they didn’t have to go in, but sadly, the continued into the clinic. A young man stopped to talk, said he goes by often, noticing the baby models. He said his (now ex) girlfriend had an abortion behind his back. He pointed to the 16 week baby and said that was the size. He was upset that he had no say about their baby. I had tucked a few flyers in my bag, one was for fathers so I gave it to him. In addition to shift buddy, Priscilla, we were joined in prayer by Steve from St. Thomas More and Ed from Brighton Heights.  The streets and sidewalk had a lot less traffic than usual.  As Peg reported, many people walked around the rose petals, though some were oblivious.

Cathy

Hank & Judy 11-1

Very quiet day on the street, although several couples entered PP for abortions.  They were approached, but to no avail.  Judy and I were joined today with Ken (St.Germaine), Tom (St.Thomas More) and Glenn (Most Precious Blood).  Samuel, the security guard was there today.  We prayed and prayed….God deliver us from all evil.  Pray Psalm 91.  

Hank & Judy

Chris & John 1-3

It was a quiet shift on the sidewalk this afternoon- noticeably fewer pedestrians and vehicle traffic.  I didn’t see any abortion-bound women enter PP.  Joining me in four Rosaries and multiple Chaplets of Mercy were Fr. Joe, George, Sister Rose, and Dolores.  In this strange time, it felt odd not to be wearing a sign and not having a resource container.  A man stopped to tell us his daughter had an abortion years ago- we offered a Rosary in her name.  No negative words today, but several “Thank you for being here” comments.  It was great to meet Samuel, our new “protector”.

Chris

Jeannie & Virginia 3-5

It was —- dare I say — a very peaceful day on the sidewalk. With so few people around, the minutes tick slowly by out here! I miss the hubbub of the commuters and the kids coming from school. There was very little foot traffic and gratefully very few people coming out of Planned Parenthood either- yay! Virginia and I were to be alone but as is the case with this incredible 40 days for life group, we were not. Marilyn from Saint Bernard’s and Maggie and Eileen from Saint Philip’s round out our crew. The rain began to fall just as the next shift started. It was very good to have Samuel among us. I think just his presence is a force for peacefulness!

Jeannie

Joe K & Jeff 5-7

The drive and subsequent into the vigil today seemed a bit apocalyptic…

Very little traffic car & foot, only 3 people in front of the “Steel Building”,

the sink hole on Penn & 10th…  And the blood still flows out of 933 Liberty

Ave.

The warmth of all the folks at the vigil and the “virtual” physical greetings that are the norm (at least for now) shook the “darkness dust from my sandals”…

We know – God is Great! God Provides! and in the end – God Wins! God Wins!

Jeannie and Virginia turned over the reigns and off we went…

Mary and Tim showed-up and Samuel was there.  Bill H. and Jim & Jim showed up too…

Little foot traffic and only 2 young men stopped to talk about abortion and the typical edge cases…  The discussion ended with a virtual high-five!

There also was sharing and prayers around the drizzle that increased over the course of the shift.

Faithful Diane showed up to put the vigil on hiatus until tomorrow morning when Our Awesome God will provide for the vigil once again!!!

Day 15…Thank you to Flame of Love Prayer Group, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Indiana), Divine Mercy Parish, Intercessory Prayer Group and dedicated Individual volunteers!

“Come out so that His Great Mercy may be yours!”

Reflection by Pat Malley:

Let the Lord of the Black Land come forthLet justice be done upon him!”

That line comes near the climax of The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King.  It’s spoken by Aragorn, the king, who has just led an extremely small, and wholly inadequate, army to the imposing Black Gate of Mordor.  He is daring Sauron (that world’s version of Satan) to come out from behind the Black Gate and fight him.  Since joining 40 DFL many years ago, that scene has never failed to bring to my mind an image of the doors at 933 Liberty Avenue.

Why?  It’s the many parallels I see.  Between their small army and ours.  Their puny-looking weapons and ours.  Their army’s slim chance of success and ours.  

But while there are parallels, there is an important difference.  Yes, we come to battle Satan and drive him out of that place, but we have a completely different attitude towards those who work there, having been deceived by The Father of Lies.  To you we say this:

“Come out, so that His great mercy may be yours.”

But maybe you believe yourself to be beyond the reach of His great Mercy?  Listen with your heart to the words Christ spoke in a private revelation to St. Faustina of Poland in the early part of the 20th century:

“I perform works of mercy in every soul. The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy.”

From Nikki: The image above is my rendition of St. Faustina’s “Divine Mercy Jesus.” The image is made up of tiny baby faces in the exact number of babies that were killed at Planned Parenthood in 2013. Even this terrible sin is not beyond the Mercy of God!

Now for today’s sidewalk reports…

7-9am, Peggy & Beth

Shift manager and buddy, Peggy and Beth

Three couples during our shift. I did approach without success. A woman stopped by in tears with the story of her daughter aborting her 1st grandchild but go pregnant again and thru the intervention of a youth leader kept the second baby. Baby is beautiful. I gave her a pamphlet on Rachel’s Vineyard. Her daughter is in denial about the first baby.

Peggy
 

9-11am, Cathy & Priscilla

It was fairly busy this morning with individuals and couples going in and out.  So sad they feel there are no other options, even though there are.  Too many are not interested in what we have to offer them.  Linda, Kay and Betty from Flame of Love, Irene, Lois, and Dennis part of St Bernard-Indiana, Fr. Jeremy, Bill, and Jim & Claire from St. Bonaventure were all there at various times to pray for the moms, the babies and the workers.

Cathy

11-1pm, Hank & Judy

A cold gray day on the street, but even on the sunniest day abortion is cold and gray….there were several couples who went into PP during the shift.  The bright spot was the wonderful prayer warriors who were out praying for an end to this tragic story in American history and for the many people who greeted us with words of thanks and warm smiles.  Bill, Irene and Lois from St. Bernard in Indiana were there from 10 AM until 1 PM.  The Guardians for Life including Terri (sidewalk advocate), Tom, Joe and Rudy were there. Tom from St.Thomas More in Bethel Park and Pat from St. Ferdinand joined us for an hour as did our faithful Bill.  Fr.Jeremy was there when I arrived and remained in prayer with us for some time.  We prayed rosaries, the Stations of the Cross, Devine Mercy and several litanies and we sang songs of worship.  The sun (SON) is still shining even on the darkest days!

Hank

1-3pm, Chris & John

It was brisk weather on the sidewalk today, but I was warmed by faithful prayer warriors Fr. Joe & Dolores from Divine Mercy Parish, Churches of St. Benedict the Moor, Epiphany, and St. Mary of Mercy, Diane from St. John Neumann, and George from Sts. John & Paul.  Steve and Brendan joined us in praying four Rosaries and a Divine Chaplet of Mercy.  Roseanne sacrificed her work lunch-hour to pray with us.   One woman stopped to ask if she could have one of the soft baby models, as her daughter is pregnant.  She picked one out and I gave her a Watch me Grow! Booklet.  Late in the shift, while we were praying the Rosary, an angry woman walked past and loudly cursed all of us.  She continued the vile language as she continued down the street.   May God have mercy on her and heal her from the inside out.  While reading the Book of Daniel last week, I thought of how each of us pray outside the lion’s den, praying that little lives might be saved.

Chris

3-5pm, Virginia & John …check back later for report….

5-7pm, Joe K

Michelle and Linda from Bridge City Church in North Braddock

Blessed with a dry / calm / quiet Wednesday – Yay!

Greeted on my shift by my ole Sidewalk buddies Virginia and David. Walk-ups on their way home joined me for the 1st half of the shift which included Jim from St. Maurice.

Linda and Michelle from Bridge City Church in North Braddock joined for the later half of the shift, took materials to hand out and prayed / shared from the other side of the arch.

Only positive comments from today’s passersby, though one gentleman did stop to thank us for being there, to pray, and to let us know to see the film “October Baby” which Jim had seen on the bus returning from this year’s March for Life.

Joe

Day 8…Thanks to Flame of Love Group, St. Richard & St. Catherine of Sweden (Gibsonia/Allison Park) and Dedicated Individual Volunteers!

RESISTING SHRINKING

Reflection by Pat M.

From Miletus, Paul had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned.  When they came to him, he addressed them;

“You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.  I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit…And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

Acts 20:17-20, 26-27

Think of the implications of that.  What happens if we do shrink?  If out of fear we shrink from going out to the sidewalk and telling people what is for their benefit and proclaiming to them the true plan of God?  Doesn’t it seem fair to say that we would bear the responsibility for the blood of others? 

It’s easy to forget, but Paul was human.  He too experienced the fear that comes from telling people that they’re not living according to the commands of God.  If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have spoken of it in the terms he did. 

So what’s the secret to overcoming that fear?  Part of Fr. Joe Freedy’s homily at the kickoff mass dealt with that question.  He spoke specifically about the fears we all have in going down to PP and publicly witnessing to a grave moral evil that most people don’t seem to have a big problem with.  I found his advice for overcoming this fear pretty enlightening. 

He first let us know that we should never, never, ever ask God to make us less afraid.  Instead, we should ask for courage. Pat M.   

Before we go on to today’s shift reports, I want to let you know that the Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood that was cancelled last Tuesday because of the rain HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25!!! Bishop Waltersheid will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Epiphany Church at 7pm and immediately following Mass we will process to Planned Parenthood. The rosary will be prayed as we walk and Bishop Waltersheid will lead us in prayer in front of Planned Parenthood. The procession will return to Epiphany Church for short benediction and to repose the Blessed Sacrament. For a bulletin announcement to post at your church, CLICK HERE! All are welcome to attend!

Now…on to Today’s stories from the sidewalk….

Peggy & Beth 7-9

Peggy and Beth were joined with extra prayer partners Joe and Charlene who came to boost the ranks this morning. Also pictured are faithful Diane and Tom

Cathy & Priscilla 9-11

As the Peg and Charlene told me it appeared that there was a meeting.  A few women/girls went in, some for quite awhile, but not near as many as last week.  After about 10:45 or so it picked up. At least 2 couples entered.  Linda, Therese and my shift buddy Priscilla were all there to pray and offer help

Cathy Z

Hank & Judy 11-1

A morning filled with prayer as is always the case when the Guardians of Life are on the street even in reduced numbers.  While they typically bring 15-20 people, today there were four including Rudy, Terri, Lisa and Brian.  The smaller numbers did not affect the power of prayer which included three rosaries, Stations of the Cross, several litanies, Divine Mercy and songs of praise (if you can call the noise we made singing).  Also present and faithfully praying on the opposite side of the circle were MaryAnne, Monica and Mike from St Catherine of Sweden.  We distributed a good amount of literature and we had many positive and encouraging comments today along with lots of smiles; and we are appreciative of the good weather.  God is good ALL the time!!

Hank & Judy

Chris & John 1-3

I was joined by prayer warriors Will and Cynthia from St. Catherine of Sweden, my shift buddy John from Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and Diane from St. John Neumann.  When I arrived, Hank, the previous shift manager, said that he thought it was an abortion day, but during my shift, I didn’t see what appeared to be abortion-bound women enter PP.  Together, we prayed multiple Rosaries, using the Sorrowful Mysteries.  Several passersby said, “Bless You” and there were several negative comments.  There was also a work crew doing work inside PP.  Another emotional moment today- a woman stopped by to ask questions and we did our best to answer them.  She was interested in abortion statistics, so I provided the numbers for this abortion clinic, the United States, PP’s share in the U.S. number, and the worldwide number.  She seemed to be taken aback at the magnitude of the numbers of unborn babies whose lives were cut short.  She then talked about a friend of hers who had had an abortion and that she, the woman talking to us, tried to talk her out of it.  At one point in that conversation, the woman said she wouldn’t get an abortion if her friend (the woman with us) would take care of the baby.  She started tearing up and told us that she told her friend she couldn’t.  She started sobbing and I gave her a long hug.  She asked, “Why couldn’t I have said yes?”  She was distraught over the loss of her friend’s baby and felt regret that she hadn’t said yes.  We said we’d pray for her, her friend, and the lost child.

Chris
Will and Cynthia from St. Catherine, with shift buddy John

Jeannie & Virginia 3-5

It was a chilly windy rainy and sometimes sunny two hours on the sidewalk. —- Kind of like four seasons all at once! We were delighted to be joined by Patty and John from Saint Titus in Aliquippa. A highlight of the time down on the sidewalk was when a woman walked by and pointed to Virginia and John and said “You are awesome, just awesome–thank you for being here.”

Jeannie
Patty and John From St. Titus in Aliquippa, with shift buddy Virginia

Joe K & Thao 5-7

“Volunteers for Life,” “Politics,” and “Conversion” seemed to be tonight’s theme…
I was overwhelmed by the “Volunteers for Life” that made today’s shift simply Blessed! God is Great!

Thao, my Shift Buddy was there again at the beginning of my shift as well as John & Patty who were holdovers from the prior shift.

Thao and I prayed on one side while John & Patty took the other side.

We were then joined by Theresa and Ken, first timers, who are on fire for life from Saint Benedict the Abbot.  They brought a huge 40-DFL Banner that they proudly displayed to all the passersby on Liberty Ave.
An unusually quiet night for passerby comments, but there seemed to be a lot of bus traffic through the whole shift.
One gentleman did stop to try and talk politics and to discuss what party affiliation Jesus would have / who Jesus would vote for… but it ended up being a fairly good, civil, but short, pro-life discussion…
Thao and I were also approached by a couple of nice young men that wanted to convert us to the Church of Latter Day Saints.  Thao’s responses to their questions were absolutely thoughtful and loving.
The night ended with some sharing about the pro-life movement / activities with Ken and Theresa until Faithful Servants Tom & Diane packed away all our “stuff” as a pro-life puzzle to be “solved” again tomorrow…

Joe

Day 1: Thank you to Flame of Love and Individual Volunteers

Thus says the Lord; “Be converted to Me with all your heart, and in fasting and in weeping and in mourning…” Joel 1:12

This verse from Joel is the Epistle reading for Ash Wednesday, and it really tells us what God wants from us during this special season of Lent. He wants our whole hearts…not just a section of them. Not just a little part that we give to Him on Sunday morning. He does not want a lukewarm religiosity…he wants it all! All of US!!!

We are so weak and needy, and so un-inclined to suffer voluntarily. Even when suffering comes to us without our consent…it is our nature to complain about it, rather than to accept what God sends and to try to see His purpose in allowing it. But for 40 days, He gives us the gift of Lent. We are SUPPOSED to find ways to suffer!!! How crazy is that??? God knows that our hearts grow fat and lazy and our faith lukewarm when we forever are giving in to our own temptations and desires. He knows it is not good for us. And that is not the kind of children that He desires. He desires his kids to REALLY love Him. To love Him so much that we are willing to suffer in order to help bring those who are lost and hurting to know of His goodness and kindness.

And so…we begin. We begin to suffer. We get up earlier. We eat less. Our stomachs growl and our heads ache. We go to the sidewalk where it is cold and wet. We pray. But through it all…we grow closer to God. He is pleased. He answers our prayers.

Yesterday He answered our prayers in two very big ways! First of all, He saved a baby from abortion at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood! We had just prayed the night before during the kick-off Worship and Prayer service at Pastor Joe Stump’s church…(click for pictures of this event)…and God heard our prayers! A young woman and her mother walked toward the doors of Planned Parenthood to end the life of their child/grandchild. Year-round sidewalk advocates Beth and Elsie were there to be Christ to them and lovingly offered them alternatives. They went inside anyway…but soon came back out…with their ultrasound! The grandma was so excited that her daughter had changed her mind that she couldn’t remember where she had parked!

40 Priests kicked off our 40 Days for Life last night!!!

The second way that He answered our prayers yesterday happened during our kick-off Mass and procession to Planned Parenthood. Between 500-700 people came out on a rainy Tuesday night to pack Epiphany Church (there were people standing in the aisles!)…to join with 40 PRIESTS who concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Waltersheid! Thanks to Bishop Zubik for also being there to lead the rosary and the beautiful and solemn procession around the church! It was an absolutely amazing and inspiring event! The most touching moment for me were when Bishop Waltersheid thanked the 40 priests for being there and the entire church erupted in thunderous applause that didn’t die down and ended with a standing ovation! I thought the roof was going to come down! Click HERE for pictures of this event!

Which leads me to say this to those forty priests…

We need you to lead us…

I hope you can see now how much we need you to lead us in this spiritual battle against abortion! We LONG to have priests to lead us on this way of the cross in front of abortion clinics! It is not easy…we suffer. We know that you also suffer, and so we appreciate you suffering with us and for us. If the sin of abortion wasn’t legal in our nation, all of us pro-lifers could stay home and live normal lives. If sin hadn’t crept into the Church…you wouldn’t be suffering in the way that you are. But, just as we (pro-lifers) have to suffer to make up for those who unknowingly are committing the terrible sin of killing their own children…you good and faithful priests have to suffer because of the sin of some wolves that have crept into the sheepfold, disguised as shepherds. (Please offer that suffering for our intentions of ending abortion in Pittsburgh during these 40 days.)

We pray for you. Please pray for us.

Our Eucharistic Procession had to be cancelled because the Blessed Sacrament could not be brought out in the rain...but that didn’t stop a couple hundred of us who already carried the Lord in our hearts from making the procession anyway! It was a beautiful time of Christian unity as we all prayed and sang together in front of Planned Parenthood! If you see a Pittsburgh Police Officer…please tell him or her how much you appreciate their service! They were absolutely wonderful!!! We felt so safe and protected with them at our sides, guarding us as we walked and as we prayed. Our city is blessed with an amazing police force. Please show them your appreciation!

To see some videos of the event last night (both in the church and on the sidewalk, here are some links:

The beautiful procession of priests at the end of Mass.
Singing in front of Planned Parenthood.
More singing…

And to watch the ENTIRE Mass (2 1/2 hours!)…click here: https://www.facebook.com/40daysforlifepgh/videos/560747581453201/ Thanks to Pat Polachek for filming!

Emily Teodorski took some BEAUTIFUL pictures of the Mass…go HERE to view!

And now…enough of my rambling…(sorry I went on so long!)…on to the shift reports from today:

Shift Manager sub, Beth, was there on the sidewalk from 7-9 am this morning…filling in for Peg.

All went well today on the 7-9 am shift.  The beautiful new posters gave an increased presence to the Vigil.  It was a blessing to be there!  There were more positive than negative comments from passers by.  A gentleman stopped by and said a rosary.  Jo and I said a Rosary and many quiet prayers.  All people entering and leaving the clinic were prayed for.  

Beth
Diane and Tom arrive for the first set-up…with substitute shift manager Beth.

Shift manager Beth, with Buddy Joe were the 7-9am pray-ers today!
A printed reproduction of my “Pieta” painting, which memorialized those who were killed here in 2014 will be on the sidewalk as part of our theme of honoring the Mother of Jesus during these 40 days.
A reproduction of my “Innocents” painting is also part of the new display. This painting honors and remembers those who lost their lives here in 2013.

Cathy Z & Priscilla were the 9-11am team…Cathy writes:

Our first shift for the spring.  It did feel like spring, though winter is not over yet!  There were a number of women who went into the clinic this morning, some with a male companion.  However not so many came out during our shift.  Abortion day?  It seems that way.  Betty and Linda,from Flame of Life prayer group, joined for awhile by Glenn, kept the prayers going.  I told Hank that some women may be coming out during his shift and to pass the message on.  He made sure some Rachael’s Vineyard bro’s were at hand.

A little addition:  I was talking to an African American gentleman who stopped.  He knew about Margaret Sanger and her racist views and that so many black babies are killed.  He is very angry that this is happening.  Said he would pray for the babies but not for the abortionists – he said they will get their just dues before God.  I tried to tell him we need to pray for them also but he wouldn’t hear it.  I didn’t think until later (of course) that I should have reminded him that unless we forgive, we cannot be forgiven.

Cathy
Betty and Linda from Flame of Love are new participants of 40 Days for Life…welcome and thank you for coming!

Hank and Judy managed the 11-1 shift. Hank writes:

Thanks be to the Lord of the Universe for good Feb weather. I pray the remainder of the shifts this day are rain free.  It was a relatively quiet first day with the usual foot traffic.  There were more women and couples entering PP than is usual for a Wed. in my experience.  We approached as many as possible to offered literature, some accepted others not.  We did distribute a good bit of materials and we received several positive comments..”God bless you, thank you” and really only one negative outburst.  We were able to pray three rosaries and the Divine Mercy.  Rose from Most Precious Blood and Ken From St Germaine were there for the entire shift.  Jeff from St. Irenaeus spent a half an hour of his lunch time praying with us and Bryan from Grace Life joined us toward the end of the shift.  We know this is the Lord’s battle, but we pray…. give us the courage to enter the fight as you call us to. 

Hank
Thanks to Bryan from Grace Life Church for coming to pray today!
Rose from Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish is a witness for the need of humility and repentance. Thanks Rose!
Ken from St. Germaine came to pray and witness today!
Jeff from St. Irenaeus came by on his lunch hour to pray.

Chris and John were the 1-3 manager/buddy. Chris writes:

It felt good to be back praying in front of PP, praying for the day that the clinic is closed permanently.  During my shift, I was joined by Diane, Rose, Carolina, and John, plus early-arriving 3pm’ers Virginia and Mary.  There didn’t seem to be as many people passing by on the sidewalk, maybe because of the drizzly weather.  We received several “God Bless Yous” and only a couple of negative comments.  We prayed four Rosaries together and the highlight was Carolina doing decades in Spanish.  The most emotional moment of the shift happened toward the end.  A man stopped and asked if he could have several of the roses that were in a bucket by our resource table.  I said, “Sure”.  He then went on to explain that they were for his aunt who is in the hospital due to a stroke suffered two days ago.  As he hugged me tightly, we prayed an Our Father and a Hail Mary for his aunt.

Chris

Jeannie and Virginia managed the 3-5 shift…here is their report:

What a great group of prayer warriors we had on the sidewalk this afternoon! Virginia does such a great job handing out literature !! Answering the call to be there when others were not were Claire, Mary and Carolyn who each “stepped up for Life”. We had several positive gestures through the raindrops —-  and no negatives. Toward the end of our shift a young woman took shelter near the entrance to the bar and was looking through the raindrops at the fetal models. She told us that she was born at 25 weeks weighing  1 lb. 9 oz. !!!!   She was so supportive of us being there and of people allowing these children to be born. She was a great example of why we are down there every day. 

Thao and Joe K. had the 5-7 shift. Joe wrote:

Yes, a “Super Soaker” opening evening – at least it was warm – for February 🙂 Transitioned shifts with Jeannie & Virginia…  One young lady stopped to tell us that she was born at 25 weeks.  Another young man stopped by when he literally “kicked the bucket” – the bucket of roses, that is, that were against the wall…I was joined for the duration of my shift by my shift buddy Thao and her friend. Thao and I helped a passerby.  We also admired the beautiful paintings by Nikki of the Blessed Mother that were on display – what an impactful touch! All comments this evening were warming and positive!  A few folks took roses home this evening. The evening ended quietly and “sloshy” as Faithful Servants Tom and Diane came to pack up the vigil for a hopefully drier Day #2. Stay tuned in and have courage my brothers and sisters…

Joe K.

We are Weak…But He is Strong!

My Grace is sufficient for you, for strength is made perfect in weakness. 1 Cor. 12:9

The thing that I most like about 40 Days for Life is it’s total dependence on God and the fact that we are not trying to rely on our own strength or abilities to end abortion. We are simply putting ourselves out there on the sidewalk…gently….vulnerably…weakly. We are saying to God, “Use me!”

That is when God’s beauty shines, in the most delicate and fragile of his creatures…like this butterfly. Isn’t it strange that the butterfly is the ONLY insect that is not creepy? I admit that I am afraid of pretty much all bugs…but if I see a butterfly, I am in awe. They are so graceful and beautiful! That is the kind of grace and beauty that God can create with us when we humble ourselves and show up on the sidewalk to pray.

We need YOU to show up! Especially during the first 20 days! The vigil coverage is looking better from day 20 through day 40…but it looks pretty thin during the first half of the campaign! Can you help? If so, please email Fran at franmac98fmc@gmail.com to get signed up! See the schedule HERE!

Please join us in praying a novena for the 40 priests and two bishops who will celebrate Mass and process to Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, Feb 25.  The prayers will be posted daily on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our name for all these platforms is 40DaysForLifePittsburgh.  If you on are any of these social media, please follow us. If you are not and would like to be, download the apps on your smartphone. 

Hope to see you soon!

In Christ,

Nikki

The Devil Screams…God Whispers…

I didn’t watch the Superbowl, but while talking with my daughter yesterday, she informed me that she received many negative comments on her Facebook page after she posted criticism about the overt sexuality of the half-time performance. She was so surprised at the hostility in the comments that she removed her post. So…curiosity got the best of me. I went online and watched the show. Now I know the saying is true, “Some things just can’t be unseen”! The image of J-Lo’s bared crotch thrusting into the camera is burned into my mind, unfortunately. I advise you NOT to watch it if you haven’t seen it. The only good thing that came of watching it, is that it inspired this blog post, which is meant to encourage those of you who are beginning to despair… as it seems Christians are losing…correction…HAVE LOST…the culture war.

Drag Queen Story hours at public libraries are just one sign that the devil has targeted the very young.

I don’t think it’s possible to shelter our kids from the evil forces that have taken over the culture. Unless you are able to home school your kids, and keep them from all electronic devices…and move somewhere near the south pole…it is impossible. Never before has the devil gone after the young and innocent like he is doing right now. We cannot shelter our kids from the culture…but we can let them see us FIGHTING IT!!! I really think that is our best bet right now. That is the best hope that our children won’t be deceived, if they see us fighting evil.

And how do we fight it? The way God does. With whispers…like this one:

This money was sent to me by a young woman named Carita, who came to Planned Parenthood 5 years ago for an abortion. She was confused and panicked…in a relationship that she did not want to continue…and even at 18 weeks pregnant, thought the only option was to have an abortion. Our 40 Days for Life team had a baby shower for her, and even took a collection to help her to buy a car. She is now so grateful that she has her beautiful little girl, that she wanted to “pay it forward”. Even though money is short and she struggles as a single mom of two, she sacrificed this money to give to Angel, a young woman who also was scared of the new life within her, and arrived at Planned Parenthood, determined to abort. Angel had her baby last October and is now in love with her little daughter, She is grateful for the help our pro-life community has given her, and her heart was deeply touched by Carita’s gift to her.

This is an example of God’s whisper. The world won’t hear about it, and the devil despises such humble, selfless acts….but God is speaking. He is here with us and we have nothing to fear.

There is nothing more important right now than to stand up for the sanctity of human life. God loves every unborn baby. He loves every lost sinner. He loves me, and he loves you. He loves the abortion worker and those who have had abortions. He wants us to be still and quiet, humble and kind. The opposite of the world right now…that is how we are to be.

We need you to be that gentle, still voice on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood during these Lenten 40 days! Our schedule is VERY empty, and we only have two weeks to go!

PLEASE email Fran to get your church group signed up at franmac98fmc@gmail.com, or email Donna to sign up as an individual at gdgoss620@gmail.com. You can view the schedule to see what times are already taken at https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/vigil-schedule/

I hope to see you at one (or both) of our kick off events! A Worship & Prayer Service at Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene on Monday, February 24th…and/or a Kick-off Mass at Epiphany Church, followed by a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood (with 40 Priests!) on Tuesday, February 25th. For details, see the flyer: https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/spring-flyer-2020-40-Days-for-Life.pdf

Please sign up to fast from food on certain days, to help us to make sure someone is fasting on each day of the campaign. Go to https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/3144841/false#/invitation to get signed up.

God has big things in store for us here in Pittsburgh! I really believe that! I hope to see you soon!

In Christ,

Nikki

Have no fear…

Take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather seek to expose them. Ephesians 5:11

I am not fearful by nature. It’s possible that I am just naive or too sheltered to know that I SHOULD be afraid. But, being afraid usually doesn’t occur to me.

That said, I must admit that for the last month or so…with the year 2020 looming…I have felt fearful. Maybe it is the coming election and the fear of increasing anger and aggression, but I think it is more than that. This world just seems so foreign to the world that I remember growing up. Hearts seem so cold now. People don’t have large families anymore. No brothers and sisters, cousins and grandparents. Houses are large and lawns manicured, but there are no children to wear out the grass with games of kick ball. Everything seems empty and sterile. Faces are glued to screens, no smiles or greetings for those passing by. Things are very efficient now, but not very human. I could go on, but I won’t. You know what I mean.

I am not afraid for myself, for I have already lived the better part of my life. But I fear for my grand babies. What is in store for them? This feeling of dread was bothering me so much in fact, that on New Year’s Eve, as my husband and I watched the ball drop…I decided to make my new year’s resolution. I decided to give something up. I decided to give up FEAR. To implement this… I resolved to put morning prayer before morning coffee.

God affirmed my resolution this past week; as I was walking towards my car in the darkness, I noticed that some small pebbles were casting incredibly long shadows because of the headlights of the car parked beside mine. Tiny little rocks looked like tall trees in such eerie lighting. When I noticed the long shadows that were cast by those tiny stones in the street, I thought of the comparison to these times that we are living in. They may LOOK frightening, but in reality, compared to the True Light of Jesus Christ, all the evils that are trying to scare us into despair are really just little pebbles. We do not need to fear the shadows. God is allowing these times for a reason. We simply have to love and to trust. We have each other and we have Him. And that is enough.

God has made it very clear that He is using 40 Days for Life to work powerful miracles! A former abortionist and two former clinic managers are now working for 40 Days for Life. The building that used to house Planned Parenthood is now the 40 Days for Life headquarters. 16,742 babies have been saved, 196 workers have converted and 104 clinics have closed. God has given us a faithful team of 40 vigil shift managers here in Pittsburgh and now 40 shift “buddies”…to make sure that we are able to successfully keep the prayer vigil going on the sidewalk during each campaign. He wants us to know that HE is in charge of this movement, so we do not need to fear!

I think He has mighty things in store for us here in Pittsburgh during the Lenten campaign (Feb. 26 – Apr. 5)! In fact, He is using the number 40 to help us to overcome fear of the darkness and to help us to TRUST HIM! For the first time ever, we are seeking 40 PRIESTS to kick off our 40 days with a Mass at Epiphany Church, and to lead a Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Pittsburgh to Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, Feb. 25! See the flyer HERE and spread the word about this exciting event! We will also especially be honoring Jesus’ mother during these 40 days, with a dedication of these 40 days to her Immaculate Heart at the opening Mass. I have a feeling that Jesus will be pleased by this show of love for his dear Mother, and I would’t be surprised if we see some amazing miracles!

There will also be a kick-off praise and prayer service on Monday, Feb. 24th at 7pm at Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, led by Pastor Joe Stump! All are welcome to both of our kick-off events See our campaign flyer HERE for details!

Fran is ready and waiting to sign up church groups for the vigil! The vigil is WIDE OPEN and needs MANY CHURCH GROUPS to fill it! Contact Fran at franmac98fmc@gmail.com to get signed up.

We made the decision not to print the campaign flyers in bulk this time because many were wasted last time. Churches can print them from the resource page on our website at: https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/get-involved-2/ Please use the resources on this page to spread the word at your church.

Thank you and may God bless you in this new year as we give up fear and TRUST THE LORD!

In Christ,

Nikki

Day 41…Thanks to all who made our 40 Days for Life fall campaign a success!

The precious baby pictured here was just born last Thursday…and was saved from abortion when her mother arrived at Planned Parenthood last April for an abortion, but instead decided to accept help from our sidewalk advocates!  We are praising God for this beautiful life and wonder what plans God has in store for her!

We thank God for all of the wonderfully selfless, dedicated people who prayed, fasted and witnessed for life during these past 40 days! We know of 2 lives saved, but believe that God used us to save MANY more that we may never know about. He is faithful and good to those who love Him…and we DO LOVE HIM!!! Our next 40 days begins on February 26th. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas…and I will see you in February!

Enjoy these photos from our closing celebration:

It was wonderful to see Al back on the sidewalk, thanks to his beautiful daughter, Alicia for bringing him! Doesn’t she look like her mom?
Thank you Fr. Thomas More for coming all the way from St. Vincent’s in Greensburg to lead our prayer on the sidewalk!!!
A beautiful time of candlelit prayer and song tonight!
Al and Alicia joining in song!
Nice turn out for the closing of our vigil on the sidewalk tonight!
it was a beautiful night!
Our Christian fellowship kept us warm and cozy on a chilly night!
Melissa closed us with a prayer that she wrote.
The fun and fellowship begins!
Fr. Jason Charon, of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church inspired us with encouraging stories of lives that seemed hopeless but that God used for amazing things!
Benson is only 18 years old but is on fire for pro-life work! He spoke about the exciting place we are at in the pro-life movement and about the very real possibility that we may see Roe overturned and the importance of the next election! He is one sharp young man! Thanks Benson!
Fr. Thomas More encouraged us with stories of saints and reminded us of the importance of our presence on the sidewalk!
Al was laughing at Emcee Joe’s antics…just like old times…only missing Sally! It just isn’t the same without her.
Emcee Joe
Al got a standing ovation when he spoke about his lifelong fight to save lives from abortion!
Al spoke about years of sidewalk advocacy…Picketing Magee Hospital, handing out leaflets at high schools, standing in front of PP three days a week for 30 years, Face the Truth…and more! He was presented with a scrapbook from our team, including photos and messages from the team.
Our scheduling ladies…Donna and Fran…what a great team!
Fr. Jason’s daughter, Nikki and Fr. Thomas More, enjoying the speakers.