Day 35: Thank you Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish and individual Prayers!

The last time I was on the sidewalk, a woman came hurrying past, juggling a child and several bags in her arms. She was joyful, but trying to make it to the bus station to catch her bus. Greg immediately scooped up the bags and she hoisted her toddler onto her shoulders and the three of them ran down the sidewalk towards the bus station!

When he returned, he reported that she did make it in time to catch her bus, but the other striking thing she told him was “She Saved Me”

Several hours later that day, I came across this American Idol audition. It is a beautiful story about a young woman choosing life and adoption for her baby, while still pursuing her dreams. At one point in telling her story, she says “She Saved Me”

In our culture of death society, I found these two women to be amazing witnesses to how choosing life for their unborn children had changed the trajectory of their lives for the good!! It is a message not often heard these days. I hope you have time to watch the audition!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Greetings from Tracy and Charlene 7am-9am

Juju
Tracy and I had big plans for today. Tracy was going to Confession and “Mass at home”. I was really looking forward to Adoration at the Grotto…especially when I realized that the statue behind the altar was Our Lady of Guadalupe!! What a perfect place to pray for the unborn…other than the sidewalk. But it was closed!!! By order of the Bishop! I was so sad!! I saw one of the secretaries in the parking lot and expressed my sadness and she said, “Jesus is everywhere.” Thank you Lord, that was what I needed! I came home and prayed here… …with Jesus!!
Charlene

Christ the Divine Shepherd 11am-1pm

Christ the Divine Shepherd parish honored their 40DFL commitment and prayed all 20 mysteries of the rosary from home during their parish’s time slot of 11am-1pm. Their priests led the prayers and livestreamed them so that parishioners Lisa M., Lisa F., Carol, Suzanne, Lynda M, Emily, Linda V., the Knights of Columbus and the Men’s group could be united in prayer with them!

Nikki 1-3pm

Here is a picture of my little prayer area where I spent my prayer shift this afternoon.

For the first 40 minutes I meditated on scripture. The first reading was from the book of Daniel, and was the story of Daniel being thrown into the lions den. The gospel reading was when Jesus was being encouraged, out of spite and disbelief, to attend the festival of Tabernacle’s. He said that he would not go because it was not his time yet. But then, he did go, although he remained hidden. So, as I prayed, I thought about how God sometimes hides himself, and that reminded me of how we are all in hiding  in a manner of speaking. Evil is out and about, prowling like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Meanwhile, we are in hiding, waiting for God’s time. We don’t know what he is up to right now, but we wait and pray.  It was a reminder to me that although God has gone to such extreme measures as dying on the cross to save us, the majority of his people by far do not believe. It is a crazy time right now and very few people are even thinking of him or looking to him, let alone repenting. 

Chasing Down Exposition – Unsuccessfully
Since my shift buddy and I so enjoyed our prayer time last week at the Oratory Johanna checked on line and they did not say they were closed.  We headed there.  As I was getting off the parkway, Johanna called me with the unfortunate news that it was, in fact, CLOSED.I came home and watched the daily mass on Word on Fire.  My home parish, St. Colman, in this past weekend’s bulletin (available online) listed having Holy Hour Exposition 6:30 – 7:30 so off I went.  Unfortunately, that too was cancelled – CLOSED.  I am sure Johanna still prayed rosaries on her own and I will be praying my Rosary of the Unborn.  We will persevere. Blessings, Lisa

Day 21: Thanks to St. John Burry’s Church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland, Sts. Simon and Jude, and Allegheny County Ancient Order of Hibernians

Psalm 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

I trust you, let me not be disappointed;

do not let my enemies triumph.

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed, but only those who wantonly break faith.

Charlene 7am-9am

“Let your mercy be on us, O God, as we place our trust in you”

Coronavirus and nasty PP employees. Dark, empty streets…but smiles and warmth from our prayer warriors. Today we were joined by Tracey’s daughter, Lizzie and St. John (Burry’s) Church from Beaver County.

Pastor Win, Gregg and I were talking about the negative change on the sidewalk the last 2 campaigns. I would like to think that the devil has amped up the negativity because we are making a difference. Pastor Win said,”They don’t understand us…and so they hate us.” We have been there every day for years…rain, snow, and pandemic! We have to be crazy…crazy for trying to save babies because Jesus trusts us to do that and we trust that He will win this fight in His time!

Thank you, National, for Security!  Charlene

9-11: Beth

Cold, rain and way too many clients. But Ron and Win from Zeleinople brought warm hearts to keep Edith and me from the totally depressing atmosphere.

Later Michelle and son Joseph prayed with us as the rain stopped. Bill H stopped by. Gave out information cards and our prayers will take them to whoever’s in need . Thanks, faithful friends. 

Edith was able to offer literature to several women exiting PP. It seemed as though at least one of them had left PP because she had changed her mind, praise God!!!

Andy 11am-1pm

A special treat to spend some time praying for the babies during Tuesday lunch time. Saw a car get towed for being in front if the fire hydrant in front of the gyro place.

Downtown was quieter than usual, but sadly evil kept busy. One of the victims, a young mother, maybe high school age, who was brought in by her rough mom, just came out of the murder mill fresh from sacrificing her unborn child to satan worship. When a prayer partner offered the girl literature, she pushed our member back a few feet and let out a groaning sound. I told the mom to keep an eye on her Baby-less daughter and to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself of someone else. She is after all at a much higher risk of suicide attempt after the trauma she went through. 🙏🙏🙏

1-3: Nikki

 It was a very quiet time on the sidewalk today, and a very sad time as it was clearly and obviously extremely busy abortion day. Many, many young women who were obviously post abortive left during my shift. I stayed on my  knees for most of my shift  in quiet prayer with my eyes open, so I met all of their eyes. I did not know what to say, but my heart went out to them and I prayed for them. Sidewalks were extremely quiet, very different from a normal weekday afternoon. Everybody is thinking the same thing. I am grateful to Ken who signed up to be with me so I wasn’t alone.

It was just he and I for the first hour, and then we were joined by Julie who also signed up because she knew we needed help. She joined me on her knees, Ken prayed on his knees for a while also.  Given the tragedy that is happening here, this seems to be the most appropriate posture to take. It is unbelievable how busy they have been lately! I guess when there is a crisis like this pandemic, people panic and if they are pregnant and don’t feel secure, they think that they need to get an abortion. It is so sad and tragic.   All of us made sure to maintain our social distance while we prayed privately. I did want to know that when I first arrived for my shift, the shift buddy from the previous shift, Mary, had been shoved very hard by a girl who had just walked out of Planned Parenthood. Mary had offered her literature, the girl was upset because she had just had an abortion and I guess was not wanting to receive the literature but instead of  declining in a civil manner, she put her hand on Mary’s chest and shoved her backwards. Mary flew back into the arms of shift manager Dean who thankfully caught her. We did tell the police who were passing by about the incident but Mary did not want to file an official report.  One bit of good news, while I was on the sidewalk I got a text message from Fr. Jason Charron. His wife just gave birth to their seventh child, after six beautiful daughters, they now have a son! Praise God and congratulations to the Charron family! 

Dedicated group from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton with shift manager Michael and Kim and Mike

3-5: Michael

Today was great because this is our third Tuesday of the Vigil and the first one without any rain and heavy winds. Downtown was very quiet with many people not going to work due to the virus precautions and government restrictions, unfortunately  PP was busy and conducting their awful business as usual. Thank God there were no negative incidents to report during this shift. We had some terrific volunteers from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. Our shift buddies, married couple Kim and Michael, were present and fervently in prayer the whole time. A huge plus of being involved in this life saving movement is we get to meet so many fellow believers who are terrific people who never cease to amaze us. We probably would never have met if abortion was kept illegal. The Lord expects us to bring good when evil hits us and the pro-life community has done and continues to do just that. As much as we hate abortion, it has brought us together and made us stronger in many ways, especially our faith.   

5-7: Lisa

Faithful Larry and Brian from the Ancient Order of Hibernians joined me. We had no incidents. Not many people in town because of Coronavirus. Anthony, a passerby, stopped to thank us and praise God for his goodness to Anthony. We told him we would pray for him. He said he was glad he stopped and thanked us for our kindness. Johanna

From Lindsay:

 No woman WANTS to have an abortion.  They feel they MUST have an abortion.  So when people say we are restricting a woman’s choice,  it’s not true. No woman WANTS an abortion.

Day 14: Thank you St. Peter Catholic Church (Steubenville), Allegheny County Ancient Order of Hibernians and Individual volunteers

National 40 Days for Life daily intention for March 10: Pray that the abortionists and all workers in abortion facilities would be troubled in their souls regarding their work and would seek truth.

Perpetual Adoration Chapels Sts. John and Paul, St. Thomas More and St. Monica have agreed to specifically pray these daily devotions which also include scripture and a reflection, overnight from 7pm-7am to cover the hours when we are not on the sidewalk.

Pictures of the binder that volunteer Marie put together for the overnight pray-ers!

We are thankful for this off-site presence in the 40 Days for Life vigil… for supporting those on the street downtown and extending the presence of people praying to be around the clock!

7-9: Charlene

7am darkness and yet Tom, Nikki, Tracey, Beth, Shawn and Gregg were all “wide eyed and bushy tailed”…ready for the sidewalk. Beth and Shawn are from St. Peter Catholic Church in Steubenville…so you know how early they were up! The day had several bumps including a PP employee yelling at Gregg to get out of the circle. This happens but this attack had more venom. It truly felt like she viewed us as an enemy…not someone with different views. It gave me a very sick feeling. In last Saturday’s readings (Matthew 5:44-48) it said,”So be perfect just as your Heavenly Father is perfect…for Jesus, perfection involves loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors”. I know we do pray for the employees of PP but this morning that was hard to do and I saw how far from “perfect” I can be. Charlene

9-11: Edith

Since my parish’s Respect Life Committee is having a diaper&wipies drive as a “Lenten Almsgiving Opportunity” (easy to do!  Just put marked bins at the church exits, place announcements in your Sunday Bulletin, and send out email blasts plugging both this and 40 Days) , I had the privilege of stopping by Catholic Charities on the way to my shift, to drop off diapers for their Pregnancy and Parenting Program.  

I joined a great group on the sidewalk, including Charlene and Greg from the previous shift; Tracey and a husband and wife duo who had come all the way from Steubenville; and Priscilla, the most faithful prayer warrior ever!!  Sadly, PP had a lot of victims this morning, but whenever someone leaves and accepts pro-life literature, there is hope that maybe she has changed (or will change) her mind.
Bill H stopped by, armed with holy water, to offer prayer and witness before heading to a Bible study at First Presbyterian. Mary Ann arrived very early for the next shift and was joined by Mary and another lovely lady.  Then a couple arrived spontaneously to pray a Rosary for the babies and their parents, and on the other side of the Bubble a prayerful young grad student appeared as well.  As my dear, sainted father always said, “You never meet anybody in the pro-life movement who isn’t NICE!”

11-1: Mary Ann

11 to 1 manager, Mary Ann with Ken

1-3: Nikki

 It was a terrible time on the sidewalk. I really do not like being there in the middle of the day. But, I guess this is not all about me and what I want, is it? So many precious lives were lost today, discarded  like  so much trash. It was so busy, probably 8 to 10 couples went through those doors for abortions just in the two hours that I  was there. I felt compelled once again to just stay on my knees in prayer the entire time. As terrible as it was, it was very uplifting to see Ken and Steve who had signed up for the two hour shift to make sure I was not alone!

Also, it was good to see Joan who was sidewalk advocating for the first hour, and then Michelle who came to sidewalk advocate for the second hour. Both of these ladies were very gentle and kind and offered helpful information to all who passed by and who went in to the clinic.  

As I was on my knees praying, one couple practically bounced into  Planned Parenthood, and in a singsong voice, exclaimed, “What a beautiful day for an abortion!” I felt such sadness for that little one whose life was being ended in such a callous and thoughtless way. That little one did not know that its life was going to come to a screeching halt within the next hour. The only thing that little one knew was the safety and the warmth of his or her mothers body. The only thing he or she had ever heard was the sound of the mother’s heartbeat and her voice. As I prayed, I thought about how tragic and pitiful the killing of these babies is. An analogy came to mind. Think of a young girl who is preparing for her wedding day. She is nervous, excited and full of anticipation for her big day and looking forward to her new life as the wife of her beloved husband to be. Imagine her in her room getting ready, making sure her make up is just perfect, her hair the best that she can make it look, and finally, putting on her wedding gown. The moment has arrived! She arrives at the church and prepares to walk down the aisle.    She is so excited and nervous and scared. Everybody is going to be looking at her and she is hoping her beloved will think she is beautiful. But then, as she walks toward him,  he  suddenly pulls out a gun and he shoots her dead, right in front of everybody in the church. It turns out everybody is in on it. They all laugh and clap their hands as the young woman sinks into a puddle of blood and dies. In my mind, that is what is happening to these little ones.  They are just beginning to develop, little hands and feet and eyes and mouths. Their hearts are beating their blood circulating, they are stretching and yawning and dreaming. Sure, they don’t know what the outside world is like, and they don’t know what to expect, but their soul is just as big as ours. There is no such thing as a baby soul. All souls are perfect and complete, made by God. So, her soul is anticipating the life that God had planned for it, and is anxiously awaiting the meeting of its mother and father, who are the very ones who have orchestrated her death…right in front of everybody, with everybody in on it. Nobody has pity for her as she dies.  I did see one couple leave, and there were tears streaming from the young woman’s eyes, while her friend patted her back gently, trying to comfort her.  At least somebody cried for that one. 

3-5: Michael

3 to 5 crew in a torrential down pour!

5-7: Lisa

Larry, Ray and Brian deep in prayer for those lost to the world forever today, the innocents aborted today. Thank you gentlemen for your presence today. 

Day 7: Thank you Divine Mercy Parish, Catholic Community of South Pittsburgh (CCSP), St. Paul Seminarians, Allegheny County Ancient Order of Hibernians

Fear seems to be a really big part of life.

We all have fears…one of my biggest fears is of flying. It is an unreasonable fear that I cannot talk myself out of.

Because I still get on a plane and fly, it does not mean my fear has gone away.

I muster enough courage to outweigh the existing fear because I know the destination is worth it…vacation, visiting family/friends, or a new city. And I get courage knowing my husband will be there to hold my sweaty hand at the first hint of turbulence.

I have read testimonies that the overiding reason women seek abortion is paralyzing fear….of circumstances, finances, health. We stand on the sidewalk praying they will have enough courage to outweigh their fears and to tell them that they are not alone!

If you are considering participating in 40 Days for Life, but are afraid to come down to the sidewalk for whatever reason…please allow courage to outweigh your fear. You will not be alone and you may just give someone else the grace to let courage outweigh fear and choose LIFE!

Charlene 7am-9am

Today was day 1 for me this campaign. This partial reading seemed appropriate:

Is 55:10-11 “ Thus Said the Lord:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
……
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
Achieving the end for which I sent it.”

We stood in the rain, Tracey, Gregg, and I, doing what the Lord has asked…praying for babies, moms and dads and an end to abortion.
Charlene

Beth 9am-11am

If a picture is worth a thousand words then maybe my pictures will make up for the fact I didn’t write down everyone’s name. Surely God took note. Lots of clients, lots of sadness in the rain. Everyone was offered help, some took literature, but PP made their $500 per woman today. We can pray that some clients felt the prayers and left by the back door. Beth

Mary Ann 11am-1pm

When I arrived, late for my 11am shift, I saw a police car and ambulance in front of PP and thought there was a “botched” abortion. Thank God that was not the case. A man had some kind of seizure so paramedics were treating him. The brave prayer warriors were already hard at work. Lots of positive comments today “thanks for being here and God Bless you’s”. The rain even stopped from 11 to 1pm, probably because I wanted to try out the new rain poncho I got for my wheelchair!

My shift buddy, Chris took some nice pictures but I realized after I got home that I did not get their names. Thank you to all who prayed today especially my shift buddies Chris and Mary.      

Nikki 1pm-3pm

This was my first Tuesday afternoon shift of the 40 days, I forgot how chaotic and noisy the hustle bustle of the afternoon is! It is very difficult to remain prayerful. It was wonderful to see Deacon Dan and his dedicated group from  Holy Angels. They were busy at prayer the entire time!

When they left at two, a wonderful group of seminarians showed up for their 2 to 4 shift.  Those guys were very prayerful, they prayed the rosary together and then prayed on their knees for a good long time.  

There was a group of young people who came out of Planned Parenthood and were standing inside the circle looking at the baby models. I struck up a conversation with them. The young man’s girlfriend was in the recovery area, she had went in there for a D&E  but he said the baby had already died and they were just removing  him or her.  They were intrigued by the baby models and pointed out the 18 week and said that was how far along she was. They seemed surprised to see the development. I gave them some information on postabortion healing, although they said it wasn’t an abortion, it was the loss of a child and there will be grief.  Up to this point the sidewalk was very chaotic and unsettling. I found it got much more peaceful when I got on my knees. That seems to be the only way I really feel comfortable there anymore is if I am on my knees. Otherwise, I feel like I am being too casual or too callous about what is really going on there. I cannot express my sadness when I am standing and people are chatting with me. It is easier just to kneel . The body language speaks  more loudly than words. And really, it is the best way to show that we value these little lives, even if the world doesn’t. Nikki

Michael 3pm-5pm

Today was our first Tuesday 3-5 shift of this 40 DFL campaign. We were blessed to have 3 fine young seminarians (Sean, Dan and Eli) from St. Paul Seminary who prayed unceasingly on bended knees. Marissa from Mosaic Community Church in Jeanette joined us as well as a new volunteer and first timer, Michelle. It is hard to believe today was Michelle’s first time at PP because she is a natural and really connected with passersby with most of them accepting brochures and cards. A gentleman named Tim just happened to be walking by and said he was vehemently against the killing of the unborn. Tim decided to join us and stayed even though we received a downpour of rain and fierce winds. Four gentlemen (Brian, Larry, Michael and Raymond) from the Allegheny County Order of Hibernians arrived to the vigil and said they will be returning once a week during the campaign. It is so obvious that our presence at PP is fruitful and awe inspiring to many of the passersby who support life.    –Michael

The four Hibernians, Tim, and Marissa

Lisa and Johanna 5pm-7pm

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND

This is a common saying; theme for our State, title of a nice old James Taylor song and most importantly, we know we have a friend in Jesus.

How about the friends we have made through our pro-life work?  Well, today I was able to count not only on my dear shift buddy Johanna but also on a new volunteer to our shift who promises to be with us throughout the campaign and he brings with him fellow Allegheny County Ancient Order of Hibernians.  What a relief knowing the shift would be covered as I remained home in bed under the weather.  Lisa

 Brian, Ray, Larry, Michael and Johanna also Tim, a fellow who stayed for a while.

Johanna reported:
It started to pour down rain before the guys got there and Michael from the three o’clock shift called Diane and she came around 5:30 and took everything. The guys and I stayed and prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy. This great bunch of men walked me to my car and said they would be back next week.

Day 35: Thank you St. Peter Church (Steubenville) and Individual prayer warriors!

In Omaha, Nebraska there is a suburb called “Boys Town” that was founded 100 years ago to care for wayward, homeless boys. Many will remember the film in which the famous actor Spencer Tracy played Father Flanagan, who founded the town.

Father Flanagan’s belief was that “every child deserves a future”.

The most famous scene in the film is a 10 year old boy carrying his little brother on his back as he knocks on the entrance to Boys Town. As Father Flanagan opens the door, sees the exhausted boys and reaches to help them, the older brother says “He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother.” This phrase is the driving force behind the town as it continues it’s mission 100 years later, to serve unwanted, neglected children.

40 Days for Life also believes that “every child deserves a future” The work and sacrifices of 40 Days for Life can be exhausting, but may we too continue to be inspired and refreshed as we witness, with a brothers courage: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”

Charlene

Today was my last day on the sidewalk for this campaign…and what a way to go out!! First Jeannie showed up with lots of roses!!! We made a memorial in front of baby pictures and put some around the circle. Then it happened!!! A couple was trying to get into PP but the door was locked…it was 7:30!! Tracy said, “ Charlene those people are trying to get in!” So I put all of my prayer books down, grabbed some cards and went up to them. I said Hi and I saw you were trying to get into PP…we can give you help. The guy assured me they were looking for a friend who worked there. I said ok, would you like a card in case you or a friend might need it? He said he had plenty of cards. So I said,” ok God Bless” and left them alone…they walked away. The rest of the shift I wore no signs and stood right inside the circle but I kept missing people…I’m not very good at this. I did not think that the Holy Spirit was calling me to be a SA but maybe I wasn’t listening. Today he made sure I heard. I WILL take the training before the next campaign!!! I was joined by Tracy (my buddy) Beth and Shawn, St. Peter’s, Steubenville, Bill (and his son stopped by) and Mark.

Today I learned,”I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you!”(Psalm 32:8) He will make sure we hear loud and clear!! Charlene

9-11: Beth

Thanks so much to the faithful Tuesday crew, it’s an honor and inspiration to have joined with you praying and witnessing to end the heartbreak that is abortion

Sean, Tracy and Beth drove from Steubenville doing their usual 4 hour shift, 7 to 11.

Karen, from Penn Hills Claudia, Claudia and Beth Ann from the North Hills made sure this shift was well covered.  Lots of positive comments including prayers from a pastor and his friend from Canonsburg.  On the negative side  PP was very very busy this morning.  It’s hard to think about the babies that will be missing from our world and such sadness for whole generations. We’ll just keep going, we know abortion will stop even though we may not be able to see the end right now, we’ll just keep going…
We’ll keep going and save 

11-1:Fran

When I arrived there was a good number of people keeping prayerful vigil on all sides of the circle.  Although some of the group had to leave, Beth Ann, Claudia and Claudia remained to pray for another hour.  Passersby were very pleasant but, sadly, there were several young women, accompanied by their support person, who went inside without accepting assistance.  A young woman stopped to ask about the models and she was surprised to learn that late term abortions are legal. She said that she and everyone in her family are pro life and she has one child and she is hoping to soon have another one.  A short time later a young man came by and proudly stated that he is from Ohio — ‘where they have defunded PP’ — and he hopes we will soon be able to say the same thing.  Then a gentleman who looked to be retirement age, but who was still very fit, stopped to talk.  We learned that he had served our country as a Marine.  One of the ladies said, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” and we all thanked him for the sacrifices he made.  We also learned that he was raised by his mother – his father had recommended that she have an abortion – so he is very supportive of our efforts.  Around Noon, Sue and Patty from Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg and Tony from St. Thomas More came ready to pray and we were joined by Jim and Cathy who stopped by during their lunch break.  Shortly before I left, a Policeman (possibly lieutenant?) went out of his way to thank us for what we are doing.  It meant a great deal to all of us to know he is with us along with the many others who offered kind words and smiles of support as they passed by us today.  Nikki and Joe came and I was on my way…

1-3: Nikki

 It was beautiful weather to stand outside and pray today, but as always, it was a very sad time to be there. At least three abortion bound couples entered and quite a few left during my shift. It was really nice to have a bucket of fresh roses to hand out to people entering and people leaving. Whoever brought those, thank you! My husband Joe accompanied me to my shift because there was nobody signed up for my second hour. He enjoyed handing out  roses to passerbys.  I was glad to have the company of Suzan and her friend from Greensburg for our first hour. We prayed a rosary and a divine mercy for the babies whose lives were taken today.

One young woman who looked to be accompanied by her mother and a friend, or a sister, did take a rose and the information but went in anyway. I pray that the Rose touched her heart. I trust God that lives are saved when we don’t even know it. There was a little bit of excitement as we saw  what appeared to be some sort of crime. A young, very obviously athletic man came running past at TopSpeed with someone who was not nearly as in shape chasing him. The one who was chasing him clearly had no chance of catching him. Soon after that police showed up and there were flashing lights everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but I thought about an analogy of how we are trying to fight abortion. The devil is strong , Sort of like that athletic criminal. He is very fast. If we are going to come against him in this battle to end abortion, if we are out of shape and overweight like the man who was trying to pursue the thief, we won’t stand a chance. We need to be lean and strong from praying and fasting and being uncomfortable and doing  things we don’t necessarily want to do. If we are going to stand a chance at winning this battle. Thank you to whoever left the recovery bags for us to hand out! It is so nice to be able to give them to girls as they are leaving after their abortions! 

3-5: Michael

5-7: Lisa

A beautiful evening weather wise for the last Tuesday shift of this campaign.  There were only good interactions this evening so we were able to pray uninterrupted for the many lives that were ended today inside the doors of death of our city on Liberty Avenue.I want to thank my faithful team, my CDA sisters, Johanna and Denise as we made sure the last shift of every Tuesday was covered.  I also want to nominate Thao as the newcomer extraordinaire of this campaign.  This beautiful young woman would not just show up to pray on our weekly shift when she saw a need for more pray-ers but she showed up on a lot of shifts that were “lean” in numbers.  Thao, your peaceful, prayful presence was always greatly appreciated.We know we are fighting the good fight.  May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us as we finish this Fall campaign strong! Blessings, Lisa

Day 28: Thanks St. Matthias and all the individual Prayer Warriors

It is my habit to walk and trace the thin yellow line that marks the buffer zone at the PP building as I pray and witness during 40 Days for Life. As I was doing so during my shift, the guard appeared at the door and cautioned me about stepping over-the -line. I acknowledged him and moved a step back while continuing my path of prayer.

As I walked, I thought about this line that separates us and creates the “buffer zone.” A yellow line…which is ordinarily meant to caution, warn and protect from harm, here is ignored by those who cross it to enter a building where 50+ human babies are killed every week.

How ironic it is, I think, as I continue my path, to be cautioned to stay on the safe side of the line; while a pregnant Mother is allowed to step over-the-line to place herself and her unborn baby in danger as she ignores the yellow caution line.

Let us continue to pray, witness and walk-the-line in the sure hope that by our Faith and with God’s help, we may caution, warn and protect from harm, those that come with the intention to step over-the-line.

7-9: Charlene

Today was a confusing weather day on the sidewalk…warmer than it has been for my shift this entire campaign. But with rain…warm rain. Maybe it wasn’t the weather but our attitude as we celebrated the court ruling!!!  Dick and I and Greg (SA)…arrived first and discussed it…than Jackie(SA)…then Claire (a pray-Er who still has the same rules). Jackie and Greg were carefully testing the waters but then Jackie walked with a young woman to the door. Even though the woman still entered PP, Jackie felt the woman heard her! It was a very uplifting day!!
 
My meditation this morning said, “Remind yourself that God’s grace is so much more—so much more abundant, so much more powerful, so much more effective—than the sin you see. And then choose to immerse yourself in the grace that God pours out, which he does always and without fail.” He will stand with us against the evil of Abortion today AND tomorrow. Praying for safety tomorrow and enjoying a little celebration today!!Charlene

9-11: Beth

Discouragement is the devil’s strongest weapon but God sends encouragement when we need it!
When I arrived Dick and Charlene were properly drenched as were Claire, Jackie and Greg (whose supplies are in the red fios bag underneath the fetal models).

There was an enormous flatbed trailer with excavator on the back. Big burly guy goes up to Claire and tells her to move because he is pulling out,  but then he says that he really respects us standing in the downpour trying to help.  He said what we do is right and what abortion does is wrong! Encouragement
And Jackie took a young lady to Catholic Charities, they are closed tomorrow, and although the young lady wasn’t pregnant  she took the literature and was glad that Jackie spoke with her.  Dean,Claudia, friend Claudia and Lisa prayed as it poured, a couple walked to the alley and when approached the father smiled and said it was too late although they later went back into PP, laughing, I guess because they fooled me.
Discouragement
So I can either think about encouragement or discouragement. If I pick discouragement, the devil wins.  If I concentrate on encouragement maybe a baby will win. It seems that the most important thing about being prolife is Showing Up! We don’t always know what to say or do, doing nothing is worse. Nine out of ten times we’re not successful but if you don’t show up that tenth time the baby may be lost.

And Claire had placed a rose by the picture of a baby. Two women asked if that was a memorial for someone who had died.  Claire said it was, people do die in PP every week, babies 

Jackie taking a client to Catholic Charities.

We followed the court’s guideline, peaceful, one-on-one conversation, and we did walk through the yellow  circle and no one said anything as far as PP is concerned. Don’t know if this is their policy or no one wanted to come out in the rain.

11-1: Fran

As always happens on rainy days, fewer people were on the sidewalk, and the ones who were there, passed by quickly.  But, even in the rain, many people were willing to pause for Elsie to accept the literature she offered.  Also, I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for the rush of joy I felt when, for the first time, I saw the results of the new law that was passed on October 18th: A Sidewalk Counselor walked inside the half-circle (censorship zone) and spoke face-to-face with a couple entering the facility.  Being able to approach the couple made a difference in the quality and length of the conversation.  We were all praying that they will consider what was spoken to them.  Quoting an article from the Alliance Defending Freedom: “Every American has the right to speak on public sidewalks — including pro-life sidewalk counselors.”  Thank you to everyone who made that happen!   We have new reason to hope that soon, every American will once again be assured of their inalienable right to life – the central prayer of our campaign.  Our mission continues….. The rain in no way dampened the prayerful spirits of Claudia, Claudia, Elsie, Maggie and Karen.  Thank you so much for the silent prayers, rosaries and intentions that were all offered on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Use the link below to read the Alliance Defending Freedom blog about the buffer zone!

    https://adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2019/10/18/the-supreme-court-struck-down-anti-free-speech-buffer-zones-so-why-does-pittsburgh-still-have-them

1-3: Nikki

It was a prayerful shift with the wonderful and dedicated Christians who came all the way from Greene County today!

 The rain stopped soon into my shift, we prayed for pretty much the entire time, although I did have opportunity to talk with one abortion bound woman. She accepted my information and let me talk to her, she was polite, but she did not want to accept  any help and her and her boyfriend went in anyway  and never came back out. It was very sad to see how busy it was today, with many abortion bound couples entering and many obviously post abortive couples leaving. That’s why I stayed on my knees for most of my shift, that somehow makes it better. I felt the Lord’s comfort and presence with us on the sidewalk today. He is with us and he loves us and even though this breaks his heart,  we are close to him when we do this. 

Young man showed up and prayed an entire rosary on his knees

3-5: Michael

The rain stopped prior to our shift and the sun came out to crown us with a little warmth for awhile. Shift buddies, Kim and Michael, were there since 1 pm, along with three ladies from their church in Greene County. A lady stopped to ask me if we get paid to do this and I said no. I should have said we get paid “big dividends” when a pregnant woman decides to keep her baby and not abort. Four young teen girls stopped to chat and criticized us for being there. They said we harassed women and we should not be there to make women feel worse than they already feel. They said it is not a baby until it is born. We listened and tried to instill the truth, but they were closed minded and did not want to really listen openly to what we had to say. They were sarcastic and did not think we had a right to be there. Another passerby stopped and sounded a little like the four teens, but she was a better listener and was more open minded. She said she was transgender and thought we would hate her for being that way. I told her we don’t hate her and we love her and everyone.  She appreciated and thanked us for accepting her the way she was. I thank God I was there today to be a defender of life in the womb.

5-7: Lisa

Do Not Be Afraid!  Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.    Pope Saint John Paul !!     Feast Day October 22. Thank you to my buddies Johanna and Denise once again for their prayerful presence.  Elizabeth also was welcomed again this evening.

Inspired by the words of our dear Pope St. John Paul, I believe he was watching over us this evening.  We were Not Afraid, but, I can say I was irritated!  One bar patron in particular came outside frequently and hassled me each time.  I prayed to the Holy Spirit to give me words of rebuttal but they appeared to fall on deaf (inebriated) ears.  I felt very unsuccessful in handling the situation(s).  I prayed for help and here comes my angel, Johanna over to the side of the circle I was on and showered this woman with so much of God’s love and positive affirmation  that I’m sure that seeds of hope and love were planted this day by Johanna.      Johanna ended up giving this grieving soul a big reciprocated hug.  Johanna, you are so loved by me and by God.  You are a great role model to imitate!

Day 21: Thank you St. Margaret Mary (Moon), Holy Angels Parish (Hays) and Individual Volunteers!

There is a museum in the town of Ave Maria, Florida dedicated to St. Teresa of Calcutta. Ave Maria University is adjacent to the town and its President was Mother Teresa’s attorney for 12 years. He became her friend and was the benefactor of many of her artifacts which can be seen in the museum.

One of the exhibits is the video of Mother Teresa speaking to the guests at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994. At the podium, her small stature is barely visible…the white part of her habit circling her “invisible” head like a halo. Yet, her voice is strong, clear and easily heard by the assembled politicians, many whom are abortion advocates. Her speech begins without apology:

“The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion. Jesus said; if you receive a little child, you receive me. Every abortion is the denial of and neglect of receiving Jesus.” She continues, “It is really a war against the child. The murder of a mother against her own child. If we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell others not to kill one another? A country that accepts abortion is NOT teaching its people to love one another but to use violence to get what they want.” She then encourages those listening to fight abortion with adoption and offers to take any unwanted children.

The words of this humble Saint continue to teach us today! Most of us won’t be called to speak to a room full of politicians, but if you are standing at “the podium” (on the street) you ARE witnessing. In the spirit of Mother Teresa, let your voice be strong and clear, even if you are barely visible above the podium…except for your halo!

Charlene

When Steve and Tracy and I arrived in all of our layers on the cold street, I mentioned how I do not sleep well the night before my shift. I mean, it’s not like we are going to meet the lions in the coliseum! We are peacefully praying. And yet we all know it is more. This mornings devotional scripture hit the nail on the head:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand”.Peaceful prayer…God’s powerful weapon!!

We were joined by Greg, Dave, and Bill. Our Pittsburgh Pride friend, Julius, also stopped and was so sad to hear about Sally’s death. He was going to try to make the viewing and see Al. Their lives have touched so many. Prayers for them both.~Charlene

Beth

Warm hearts but frigid fingers today! Tracy from steubenville kept vigil for three hours.
Claudia and Beth Ann from St. Alexis came and lead prayers which were needed especially today, an abortion day. We saw about 4 to 5 couples go in after the abortionist arrived. A wonderful group from St. Margaret Mary came, including Maureen, Jackie, Chris, Don, Peg and Lou! Please pray for “s” who came to PP to get health insurance because she is pregnant. She had to get back to work but she said she would be back on Wednesday.
Stay warm and Thanks to our fellow witnesses for life! 

Fran

I felt blessed to be in the company of so many veteran prayer warriors today.  When I arrived I first noticed 2 very familiar faces among the many pray~ers, shift buddy Beth Ann and Claudia.   Their regular presence and ready smile always make me feel welcome.  I soon learned that the rather large group standing with them in reverent prayer were parishioners from St. Margaret Mary (Maureen, Jackie, Chris, Dom, Peg, Lou).  The gentle kindness and warmth of this group radiated blessings to the people passing by.  It was a wonderful surprise that only an hour later our numbers would double with the arrival of parishioners from Holy Angels whose hearts were filled with hope that all of our prayers will be heard (Rosemary, Joan, Mary Ellen, Jean, Patricia, Anna Marie, Dan).  In addition to these two beautiful groups of people (who spanned 3 shifts today) we were joined by Beverly, who is a long time, faithful witness on the sidewalk and also Cathy who came to pray with us on her lunch hour.  Cathy brought with her a multi-page document of prayers that she had put together herself and I regret that I did not get a chance to see inside.  I am hoping I will be afforded that opportunity again.  We were also joined briefly by Bill who blessed each of us with Holy Water and also a gentleman who, I believe, stops briefly every day to pray, and he has been doing so for some time.  This man does not sign-in and he does not address anyone from the group, but his faithfulness is very much noticed by many in our group.  I mention this because we often reflect that we can never be sure how many hearts are being touched, just by our faithful, loving presence.  May we always be willing to be a channel of God’s Love.   

Nikki

Sun shining on the dirty building

 It was a bright and sunny day on the sidewalk, and there were many prayer warriors there. A large group from St. Margaret Mary Parish on one side, and a big group from Holy Angels Parish on the other. It was a peaceful shift, not much to report. Everybody was just praying  either in groups or by themselves. As I was praying and looking up at the building, I noticed the sun shining on the bricks and the glass, showing the filthiness of the building.  It occurred to me that as the sunlight  reveals the filthiness of the building, so our presence  on  The sidewalk  reveals the ugliness of abortion.  And I was looking at the letter that is engraved in the stone above the door, the capital R, I was imagining that one day that will stand for Redeemed, when our Lord redeems this place for himself.    I am grateful for everyone who came out to pray today! 

Michael – Kim

It was a beautiful day and great to be able to enjoy sunshine and warmth in the middle of October. Even though we had no churches at this time, Michael and Kim were great prayer warriors as always. Many passerbys were supportive and defintely pro-life. Many people said thank you to us for being there and many gave us a thumbs up. These words and gestures of support are truly appreciated and help to restore our faith in people. It helps to make us realize we are not alone in this battle for life.

Johanna

I want to thank Michael, who stayed with me until Diane’s husband came to pick up the treasures we have to work with.
I also want to thank Donna who stayed with me until the 5-7 shift was done.
Michael not only did his 3-5 shift but stayed with us for the 5-7 shift. He didn’t want to leave two women alone.
We had a very good shift with many people thanking us for being there. Michael met a fellow Orthodox Catholic from Tennessee. All in all it was a happy and holy time with prayer and grateful people. Thanks, Johanna

Day 14: Thank you St. Peter (Steubenville) and St. Agnes, (North Huntingdon) and Individual Volunteers

COURAGE: The attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, painful or uncomfortable instead of withdrawing from it; the quality of being fearless or brave.

Pope Saint John Paul II often said “Be Not Afraid” and he knew well what that meant! He lost his entire family before the age of 21. His mother when he was 8; his brother when he was 11 and his father at age 20. He was ordained to the priesthood in a persecuted church in Poland, ruled by communism. He suffered debilitating Parkinson’s disease with great courage until his death. His entire life spoke to the words “Be Not Afraid

Let those words resonate with us now…in this 2019 Fall 40 Days for Life campaign…YOU ARE ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH!

Let us, as Pope John Paul II did, wield our weapons of prayer, peaceful witness and unconditional love, He did so and lived to see Poland as a free country. As we follow the Pope’s example, let us stand in solidarity and proclaim that we are not afraid and we have the COURAGE of our convictions. May God bless us and may we live to see our country free from the scourge of abortion!

Charlene

I love coming to the sidewalk on an early morning like today. Crisp, but not cold, people hustling but peaceful…sooo peaceful. Prayer warriors arrive: Dick, Tracey ( my buddy), Beth and Shawn from St. Peter’s in Steubenville, and our SA, Steve.

Our peace was shattered when a lady threw a glass of pop at the baby models. I screamed (it just came out). The women said, “That’s how I feel when I see the model and know you are working to save babies that are just going to be abused.” Beth jumped right in with several “God Bless you”. Sadly, this woman had a child, about 6, with her. He did not look or turn around…just kept walking. We need to pray for the woman and little boy. They both seem to be hurting. And we pray for the babies in PP…and we put our trust in Gods plan that he will intervene according to His own wisdom and timing. Charlene

Beth

From Father Solanus, “God, who loves tiny beginnings, will know, as He always does know, how and when to provide developments” (p. 211).  Tuesday from 9 to 11 will be my time to follow pro-life giants like Al and Sally, and Lillian R. among others who “hung out” at Planned Parenthood for so many years, praying for an end to abortion. From their tiny beginnings, just a few stalwart believers, we now have over one million 40 Days for Life participants this fall campaign. And 40 Days started with only 4 people praying around a wooden table.  God does love tiny beginnings. 

The St. Alexis Crew

 Today, my shift began with just St. Peter’s from finest, Tracy, Beth and Shawn making a valiant effort to pray and change hearts with smiles and literature and prayers, of course.  Ed from St. James joined us as did Beth Ann and Claudia from St. Alexis.  When Priscilla dropped by, as did Bill, we formed a praying presence on Liberty Avenue.

Ed guarding our work

A young woman approached the ladies and said that her friend was raped and wanted to abort.  She listened quietly as we gave her what she needed:  the truth and lots of help.  Pray for this young woman to be able to change her friend’s heart.  Only God can make incredible goodness come from incredible evil, and He will. We just have to be there to make those “tiny beginnings.”

Tracy, Beth, Steve, Shawn

Fran

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday it was cloudy and raining and cold today we had blue skies and sunshine and comfortable temperatures.  What will tomorrow bring?What a difference a minute makes.  A woman decides that abortion is her only option and she travels to Planned Parenthood.  She is met by the prayerful, loving presence of the 40 Days for Life volunteers and she learns that she has other options.  What will tomorrow bring?  Although we can never be certain of what tomorrow (or the next minute) will bring, we do know that God is with us through it all, including the women who walk into PP.  I felt God’s loving presence in the women whose mission it was to make sure that no one should be alone today ~ not the shift manager nor any of the women who were heading for the doors of PP.  

Claudia, Beth Ann, Michele, Mary Ann and Lisa brought warmth and light to the sidewalk today.  Their prayerful presence made this day even more beautiful.  A gentleman stopped and asked for information because he would like to become involved in our mission.   He wants to be involved because he believes that from the moment that the seed is planted, there is life – he knows this for certain because it is God’s Word.  Amen. 

Nikki

 I actually was feeling guilty as I was driving into Pittsburgh today with the magnificent blue sky and warm temperatures! I felt so badly about everybody who suffered in the cold rain all day yesterday, but I have to say that it was a pleasure to be able to pray in such nice weather, and especially with so many faithful members of Saint Agnes Parish in North Huntington   They had a large group of prayer warriors, about 10 of them, including their pastor, Monsignor Paul. They were all extremely prayerful and made a powerful witness of Christ’s love. It was a sad time to be there, as many couples left, who were obviously post abortion. Some of them looked so sad, I prayed for them that they will be healed and set free    And not held in bondage, which is what Satan  often does. He uses a past abortion to take a soul captive and make them feel like they are not worthy of forgiveness, when in fact, God wants more than anything for that soul to humble themselves and turn to him and ask for forgiveness. He is so merciful and eager to forgive the sin of abortion! I saw one woman who did not seem sad, she practically bounced out of that clinic, still munching on the cookie that they must have given her  recovery. I had the thought that, although she did not seem to be bothered about the fact that she left her child behind, that there were all of us there because we cared about that child, if for no other reason than the fact that that little boy or girl was part of our human family, and was made in the image and likeness of God, who is all good.  There was much to pray for today, and pray we did! It was wonderful, as always, to see the next shift arrive, Mike, Kim, and Michael. I hope they have as peaceful of a shift as I did. 

Michael – Kim

A beautiful day in the PP neighborhood, in terms of weather, prayer vigil, positive passerbys and the Lord’s presence. The Lord is everywhere, especially inside of all the PP’s. And of course, Satan is there too. The battle continues, but our Heavenly Father is on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  It was a peaceful shift with one exception. A gentleman, and I use the term generously, in a red coat, pushed Bill hard and tried to take his sign. Bill resisted and pushed back. The man ripped Michael C’s sign off of him, breaking the cord, but Michael retained possession of the sign. Then he ran off on his merry way. There are cameras which most likely captured all of this. I am not certain if we should report this to the authorities? Other than that, it was a good shift. Thank God for our devout and prayerful shift buddies, Kim and Michael. 

Michael, Kevin, Michael, Bill, and Kim

Lisa – Johanna

It was a quiet and uneventful evening.  Just a few abortion mill workers leaving for the evening during our shift. Pictured is Johanna and Denise in deep prayer.  Praying for the day that No Parking sign reads No Abortions! Bernadette and Elizabeth both stopped and prayed with us for a time.
Appealing for prayers to stand with Johanna next Tuesday 5 – 7 PM as I cannot be there.  Please do not let her be alone! 🙂 Blessings, Lisa

Johanna and Denise in deep prayer

Day 7: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church, St. James/St. Mary (Sewickley) and Individuals

Years ago, when I was young and shopping downtown with friends, someone on the street approached me for money. Startled, I initially hesitated but then I dug into my pocket for the few coins that I had left. I gave them to that soul and wished her well. Once home, my Mother told me she was happy that I gave the person something and said she may have been an “angel unaware”!

These many years later, I still see “angels unaware” in all sorts of situations and I know others do too! Whenever I’ve mentioned angels to anyone, there’s almost always a story or incident about their own angel encounter.

When the angel Gabriel announced Mary’s chosen role as Mother to our Saviour, her acceptance changed everything! As we stand on the sidewalk, with the support of the angels…we, like Mary, say “YES to Life”! Be aware of our angelic company and you’ll never feel alone. Guardians, protectors, messengers and ministering angels are just a thought away!

In Billy Graham’s book “Angels, God’s Secret Agents”, he says that “angels are a very real and powerful force in our world today. They are not sent as weaklings but to do battle and are on our side in the fight as we pray…”

Besides the reality of true angels….are each of YOU; who are “Angels Unaware” to those you witness to and encounter on the sidewalk! Keep reading for more angel stories!

7-9: Tracy

After she finished putting out the materials, Diane gave me a crash course in Shift Manager-ing. (Thanks, Diane!) I’ll look forward to Charlene’s return next week. 🙂 Thank you to early morning vigil attendees, Pastor Kirk from First Evangelical Free Church and Sidewalk Counselor, Stephen. SC’s Greg and Jackie showed up as well and everyone was delighted to welcome Ed back! He’d been absent from his ‘post’ for some time. The morning wasn’t complete without Bill making an appearance. Having run out of Holy Water, he came supplied with Holy Oil! God blessed us with fair weather and mostly friendly faces – not too much negativity out there. PP was mildly busy. Only a few couples and several girls went in. I’m not sure, but most folks entering seemed to work there. We weren’t successful deterring anyone, but the fight (PRAYING!!) continues even after anyone walks through those doors!

A couple representing First Evangelical Free Church, Jim, Charlene and Dean

9-11: Beth and Ed

It is always an honor to be at Planned Parenthood, fighting the good fight with the members of the First Evangelical Free Church of Mckeesport.  With Pastor Kirk at the lead, Dan, Rick, Patty, Barry,  Dean, Dave, Janet, and others filled in the 9-11 a.m. shift with prayer and fellowship.  Tracy from Steubenville was shift manager as Sidewalk Advocates, Jackie, Greg, Steve, and Ed offered help to the four or five couples entering PP for the early shift while the second round of clients met Beth Ann, Charlene and Jim trying to avert the disaster we know as abortion. Overall, it was a rather quiet day with prayer and lots of literature being distributed.  Tuesday is a surgical abortion day.  Our hope in God’s promise, to overcome evil, is stronger than the absolute betrayal each mother and child must eventually feel. We’re here; we’re not quitting.  We can do this.

11-1: Elsie

11AM-1PM: My parish (St. Mary’s/St. James’) was supposed to be providing prayer coverage today from 11-3, but I didn’t know for sure whether I would have companions. How pleased I was to find Charlene already there when I arrived, as well as Jim (parishioner at Assumption but a frequent communicant at St. James’)! Beth Ann from St. Alexis managed to pray and offer help and info simultaneously! Ken from a new South Hills parish soon joined us, and several kind, prayerful folks from McKeesport stayed beyond their shift. A young man came up to us just for “conversation,” he said. He recognized that abortion is wrong, but seemed to have given up hope on life, telling us that he smoked because his life didn’t matter and planned never to marry or have children because women couldn’t be trusted not to kill your babies and/or leave you. He said he is part of a movement of men who have just given up. Beth Ann and the good folks from McKeesport tried to convince him that he is indeed a beloved child of God and CAN have a meaningful life in Christ. By Noon we had been joined by two more of my fellow-parishioners, Christian and Jen, who jumped right in, sweetly offering help and info to anyone walking by or in or out of the death mill. And before 1:00 Nikki arrived!  

1-3: Nikki

 Thanks to Elsie and her wonderful crew from Saint James and Sewickley! Elsie was the hands and feet of Christ on the sidewalk for four hours today! Since she had it well covered with reaching out to abortion bound couples, I decided to take advantage of that and just spend the time on my knees in prayer. It was a blessing just to see how she interacted with  these couples with such love and concern. One teenage girl with her friend were going in and Elsie educated them on the dangers of contraception, which  this young girl had implanted in her arm. She is so knowledgeable, I learned a lot from listening to her myself! Another very young couple, a teenage boy and his girlfriend were going in to the clinic. They seemed open and receptive to hear what Elsie was telling them, and Bernadette  offered them a homemade rosary, which she had made herself. The young girl crossed over to the edge of the circle to take it from her hands and Bernadette told her that she had been praying for her and gave her a  pre-born Jesus brochure that includes a prayer for pregnant women to trust the Lord with their child. It was a beautiful prayer, and we prayed for that young couple as they were inside that God would touch their hearts. We never did see them come out, unfortunately. 

A passerby gave us this card. This couple are good friends of his and they are desperate to adopt a baby, they cannot have one on their own. Let’s spread the word!  Wouldn’t it be great if we had more couples who are waiting to adopt a baby make business cards like this that we could have to offer couples who are coming to Planned Parenthood to abort their children! 
Kim and Mike at prayer

  Another interaction reagrding the baby models happened during my shift. Elsie was admiring the baby models and was saying how glad she is that we have them on the sidewalk, and she wanted to know if we could count on them being medically accurate. I had my phone out and was looking up photos and information on a seven week fetus,  to try to determine if they were in fact accurate,  just as a young woman who, trying to act calm, but it was obvious that she was upset, she stopped at the models and was complaining to Bernadette that they are not accurate. She said, “you are not showing God’s truth by having these lies on display.“ I heard what she said, and I was actually in the process of looking up on my phone what a seven week unborn baby looks like! So, I walked over to her and I told her that.  I told her what a coincidence it was because Elsie and I were just discussing this very thing, if we could trust these models to be medically accurate! I was pulling up the information on my phone, and I had a picture of a seven week unborn baby on my phone, which actually did not look quite like the seven week model. However, she did not want to look at it or engage with us in any sort of reasonable conversation. She just kept telling us that those models were lies, and it was quite obvious that she could use prayer because she must have  a wound in her soul. Anyway, I realized that when I looked up a nine week unborn child on my phone, it was exactly the same as the seven week model. So, what we should keep in mind when we talk to people about the models, is the age of the model is from the time of conception, not the last menstrual period. So, the seven week model would actually be nine weeks LMP, which is another way to calculate it.  But, they are accurate! Pray for those who have blinders on because of something they do not want to face, for those blinders to be removed. 

3-5: Michael and Kim

Shift manager Mike, with buddies Kim and Mike have the 3-5

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

WOW     #1 The beautiful weather and  #2 The beautiful people who joined Johanna and me on the sidewalk.  Truthfully, I usually find myself somewhat jealous of shift managers that have large groups joining them.  The shift I have covered for several years, Tuesdays 5 – 7 PM, typically does not draw too many additional prayer warriors.  Tonight was not the case.  A record (for us) number of people saw the plea for prayers and joined us this evening.  Upon arriving at 5 pm, Johanna is already there enjoying seeing Mike again, We relieve him from his 3 – 5 shift.  Mike gave me one of the most beautiful prayer cards I have ever seen – Prayer to End Abortion.  Thank you Mike!Joe, a Knight of Columbus and  member of St. Bernadette parish in Monroeville and Thao, the beautiful young woman who also volunteers at Catholic Charities were also there already.  Shortly there after two additional women arrived separately but coincidentally both named Elizabeth both with rosary in hand.  Then, the greatest surprise and delight of the evening, a dear mother, Laura and her beautiful family of 6 children all veterans to the sidewalk.  Faith, Hope, Charity, Aletheia, George and little Leo.  Those dear children grabbed signs and pamphlets and made the sidewalk come to joyful life!  It utterly amazed me how many pamphlets those young children gave out and how many wonderful comments were received from passerby’s.  Amazingly, this family traveled all the way from Steubenville and are members of St. Peter parish, (two older brothers are away at college).  Finally, to round out the night after experiencing extreme traffic woes but still persevering to attend Eileen, member of St. Phillips in Crafton arrived.If not for the sobering reason we are all there, tonight was one of the most wonderful evenings I have had in a long time.  Love of Jesus and all people – no matter how small – was the overwhelming theme tonight!

Lisa between two Elizabeths
S. Family from Steubenville
Eileen with George caressing the baby models
Faith, Hope and Johanna
George entertaining Joe.  George wore the 3 baby signs.  What a joy!
The very prayerful Denise
Denise, Johanna, Thao and Joe

Day 35: Thank you First Evangelical Free Church (McKeesport), St. Alexis, McKeesport/North Versailles/White Oak, Culture Impact Ministry

I came across a poem called My Colors will be Clear….here is a little excerpt that I think describes all of the people who have showed up on the sidewalk for 40 Days for Life! Thank you for coming!

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, proclaim until all know and work until He stops me.

And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – for my colors will be clear!

7-9: Charlene and Dick

55 degrees at 7am. We were taking hats and gloves off…and no hand warmers in sight!! The Lord continued to Bless Dick and I with First Evangelical Free Church arriving in their van.

What great Prayer Warriors…Pastor Kirk, our Dean,Darl,David,Randy,Roy, Bill, and Abigail and Nathaniel…Abigail and Nathaniel  did not think they would be here because their baby was due 3/31 but they felt God wanted them on the sidewalk! The 3 of them made an impactful statement!!! And still FEFC kept coming…bus #2…Norbert, Jill, Patricia,Ed, and Laurie.

And when the Lord said,” Who shall I send”? FEFC said,”Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people (babies) in my hands.” What a great last shift of the campaign! Charlene

9-11: Beth and Beth Ann

Thanks to Charlene and Dick who always have everything under control when I arrive.  Members of the First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport headed by Pastor Kirk were beautiful witnesses for life on a beautiful day.  A few clients, definitely an abortion day.  One woman said she was there to hold her friend’s hand all the way as she aborted her baby.  She was  asked how could she hold her friend’s hand when she was on the sidewalk having a cigarette? It was that kind of day with the great regulars from St. Alexis, Theresa from St. Barbara and as Fran took over, another great group of praying pro-lifers from North Versailles/ White Oak. Ed and Vince prayed a heartfelt rosary, prayers straight to heaven.

And don’t forget, if God has His finger in your back to continue this awesome activity, Sidewalk Advocates will be offering a training session coming up on  Saturday, June 1 from 10:00a through 3:00p at the Knights of Columbus hall in Bellevue.  Spread the word – and contact Charlie (412-716-2789) or me or Sue M for more details. 
We’d like to have RSVPs by May 27

11-1: Fran 

The warmth of the sunshine was a foreshadowing of what I would find when I arrived at PP today.  Everyone offered such a warm welcome ~ accompanied by a lovely smile.  St. Alexis, St. Barbara, St. Sebastian and St. Robert Bellarmine were well represented.  Beth Ann, Diane, Claudia and Therese had been with shift manager Beth, and they remained for a while.  Vince from St. Sebastian joined us for a time and the 11:00 shift, Helen, Mary, Margie and Pat, took no little time entering into prayer.  A gentleman from out of town, on his way to the Convention Center, stopped to engage in supportive conversation.  Before he went on his way he asked how he could make a donation and we offered him a 40DFL pamphlet.  That conversation was good preparation, because a short time later, a pro-abortion woman engaged us (respectfully) to explain her position, but, as often happens, it appears that everyone’s words went the way of the wind.  A little while later, a flock of preschoolers, close to 20 in number, came by holding hands in groups of four.  Everyone of us smiled at the sight ~ how could you not?!?!  After they passed, I imagined seeing them all standing, shoulder-to-shoulder, with their little toes perched on the yellow, semi-circle, boundary-line, with their innocent smiles, and I wondered, how many of the PP patrons would be able to walk past them. Grace & Peace, Fran

1-3: Nikki

One to three shift

It was a beautiful, although windy day on the sidewalk! I was blessed to share it with many faithful Christians! When I arrived, Helen and her group from the McKeesport parishes were there and had been there since 11. Soon, the rest of her crew arrived who were going to be there until three. There were also a couple there who had never been there before but  had been inspired by the movie unplanned and decided to come. They were from Steubenville and were not able to come yesterday so they came today. Halfway through my shift, I was pleasantly surprised to see Bernadette and Pat show up with the beautiful statue of Mary. It is Pats birthday today, what a wonderful thing to do on your birthday, witness that these babies may also have birthdays!

It was an abortion day and when I got there at 1 o’clock, there was an abortion    bound couple  headed in the door. They did take the information, but went in anyway. I had opportunities to pass out information to people going in and also post abortion information to at least one person when they left. It is a sad place to be, even on a bright and sunny day. If I had been standing anywhere else and such beautiful weather it would have been a pleasure.  Before I left the wonderful people from cultural impact ministries were arriving for the 3 to 5 shift, along with shift manager Michael. I passed the baton to him. Thanks to everyone for coming! 

3-5: Michael and Kim

It is a beautiful sunny, breezy afternoon!  As always, wonderful people gathered at PP for 40 DFL. What more could we ask for?  We are so blest during this campaign. The Lord sends the best people to be His prayer warriors and witnesses.  What an honor to be a shift manager here and now.  All I do is show up and reap the benefits of a first class, fined tuned operation. What did I do to deserve such a priviledge and honor?  I am blest beyond words.


Matt, St. Richards; and Janis, St. Kilian

I cannot say enough about Kim and Michael, my husband and wife shift buddies who inspire me with their prayers and praises to the Lord. They are awesome and so inspiring to me and all who witness their dedication to the Lord and this holy cause. I will miss this gathering, but Lord give us the courage and desire to come down to PP to pray at times when there is not a 40 DFL CAMPAIGN going on. We are needed just as much then. I wish all of my fellow pro-lifers a fulfilling and safe Spring and Summer. See you in the Fall. God be with all of you.


Donna, Jim, Pauline, Judy of Cultural Impact Ministry;
Laura of NPC

5-7: Lisa and Johanna

A great group joined me this evening.  Marc brought his mother Marjorie.  Marjorie was a “first timer”.  We all kept busy in prayer and the evening ended on a great positive comment from a passer by.  God Bless Us All.


Foreground: Jim and Marjorie.  Standing: Mary, Mike, Marc, Audrey, and Johanna