“Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”
Today there was no church presence during the morning shift, but one dedicated volunteer named Pete signed up for the whole 4 hours himself! It is so encouraging to see our 40 Days for Life community in Pittsburgh pitch in and help when we need it! Here is a photo of this early morning prayer warrior:
There are other extremely dedicated individuals that have been helping out as well…Vince, Sue, Jeff and Pat just to name a few. Thank you to everyone who has helped to keep our vigil going strong during the first half of this campaign!
Sally, the morning shift manager wrote this account of this morning:
What a slow morning! Also very chilly and windy. Only 6 of us the entire morning until the St. Therese group showed up 15 minutes early. Kathy might have had to do the Jericho march alone. The most noteworthy event of the morning was that the abortionist, Beatrice Chen, who shows up almost every day about 9 a.m. arrived at 7:50 this morning. Customers were going in, but very slowly. A few people took literature. Everybody passing by was pleasant. The restaurant man came down once to do his usual thing (scream at us to go protest in front of a “rich white abortion clinic). One man passing by wanted money, another wanted a meal. One of the vigil people had bought him food before. They get to expect it. I sent him to the Red Door down at St. Mary’s.
Here is another photo from the morning shift, taken by Sally:
St. Therese parish, led by Fr. Terry O’Connor, held the second shift. Dee wrote:
The 3 to 11 shift was calm today. We had a wonderful turnout of 8 to 10 people from St. Therese parish in Munhall. Their pastor, Father Terence O’Connor, also attended.
We also had a surprise visit of 5 people showing up from West Virginia, including a priest chaplain for one of the hospitals.
It’s wonderful that once again we had clergy witnessing on the sidewalks! Pittsburgh is truly blessed to have such dedicated spiritual leaders!
Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene held vigil during the evening shift today…so actually we had three pastors present today! If Sheila or Roseann send an account or photos from the evening shift, they will be posted here.
“For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
In time of need, the Lord provides. Despite the fact that no churches were scheduled this morning, read Cathy’s story below about how He met the needs of our vigil.
What a wonderful group of people we have! This AM there were no churches or individuals scheduled, but several people answered the call to come stand vigil and pray with me. Thank you Pat, Tim, Jen, Tony and Beth!
Kathy was joined by Chaplain Steve on her daily once around the building Jericho Walk at 9AM. This will continue all week leading up to Saturday’s 7x around.
It was a quiet morning, the usual people going to work and school, and not a lot of people going into PP. Continue to pray for the gentleman from the cafe, who has so much anger that he feels he has to walk down to tell us to go away, everyday, more than once.
The Lord can and does use the Body of Christ to reach out to those who need Him. Below, read about how He worked through Cecilia and others to do just that for a security guard in need of truth and a pregnant post-abortive woman in need of healing. Please also read about the prayer request at the end for a gentleman named Michael.
I was so thankful to have Brother Mark and Margie from St. Mary’s join me for the trip down for my 11-1 vigil shift! Soon after arriving we were surrounded by a wonderful group from St. Bernadette’s. Over the 2 hours, there were 6 parishioners, Nancy, Angela, Pat, Ralph, Paul and Lisa, there to stand vigil for life. What a witness! I was also thankful that the Lord brought William back this week to pray with us and to share his love and trust in the Lord with us. He is such a witness and inspiration to me! He said he felt the Spirit moving down there as songs were being sung and prayers and rosaries were being said constantly over the 2 hours shift.
The Lord blessed me with opportunities to minister to several people while we were there. Thanks, I’m sure, because of all the prayers! One of the young guards came out for a smoke and to talk on his phone. He comes outside often. The one time I was able to get his attention and asked if I could share some info with him. I had, before leaving home, printed out the info that Abby Johnson has about her ministry “And Then There Were None”. He was open to receiving the material. He proceeded to say that he only worked there a few hours a week and had other jobs around the area. As if he was not too comfortable with being there. I told him to feel free to share the material with others. Please pray that he asks his employer to find other work for him and that he decides to not work at that place of death.
Near the end of our vigil time, the Lord sent “C” to us with a friend who was a great support for her. “C”, with tears in her eyes, said that she believes that she is ~12 weeks pregnant. She said that she does not want to have an abortion as she had one in the past and very much regrets it. She said that she really did not want that abortion but at the time she was pressured to have it and was under the influence (of drugs/alcohol). She is currently a recovering addict (to pills) and needs prayers for her continued recovery. She is engaged to “M”. She has a son, 8 years old, that has diabetes and learning difficulties. She is concerned about the health of her baby. She says they have a nice home but money is an issue as they are not able to buy clothes, etc… I was able to share with her contact info for pro-life pregnancy centers that could do an ultrasound and help her out. I also gave her info for abortion healing. And she was glad to receive the baby model, feet pins, and fetal development book that I had. Please keep “C” and “M” in prayer along with her 8 year old son. Please pray for the health of her baby, for abortion healing and addiction recovery. Before leaving, she asked my name. When I told her “Cecilia”, we were amazed as that was the name that she was planning to name her baby if she had a girl! I told her that it was meant to be for her to come speak with me today. The Lord surely blesses!!!
While praying, please also pray for Michael, the son of one of our vigil participants today. He has Lyme Disease which is in an advanced stage and is affecting his organs. He is not doing too well right now. Michael and his family could sure use your prayers.
Prayer is, indeed, foundational to the success of our campaign. Below, read about how Beth, Cathy, and others served as true prayer warriors in this spiritual battle that we are taking part in.
Cathy had some company this morning and prayer was the order of the day. Lots of people from St. Bernadette Parish came early for the 11-1 timeslot. At the 1-3 p.m. shift, two new vigil participants, Tom and Bev, were just signing in and the poor soul who always yells about her sad life and how men are the problem, etc. started to rant…but our two first-timers took everything in stride. What a beautiful response to an uncomfortable situation. We just said that we would pray for her, although she said she wanted no prayers. About a second later, our buddy on the bike raving about the mystery abortionists from Mt. Lebanon rode past with his usual nonsense. We just smiled and I said the rest of the afternoon would be peaceful. And it was. Regina and Jim came and prayed and the afternoon witness continued when Rosalina, feeling better after a sick spell, took the next shift. We need not worry…miracles are happening all the time.
Finally, many of you in the past have encountered an atheist named David during our vigil. Read about a moving story about him from Pauline below.
His hair has grown in a little and I complimented him on it. It was truly a God orchestration. I have been praying for him since last campaign and before going down this week I idly thought, “Maybe I’ll bump into David again some day”. We had just started praying out loud and he just appeared on the sidewalk with no coat or jacket on (it was 35 degrees) and holding a warmly-dressed baby. We asked how he was and he immediately said, “I’m hurting, I’m really hurting”. Then he asked us to go to a restaurant with him but said he had no money and could we pay. You could tell he wasn’t used to taking care of the baby (we helped him with simple things like cutting up the banana, putting her in the highchair,etc). He was really flustered (a side not seen earlier, eh?) and kept thanking us.
I think the second restaurant WAS the City Cafe ! (Owned by the man who screams at our vigil participants that they are ruining his business). This is too funny!
The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Pastor Shawn from Living Word chose this passage as today’s scripture to underscore the loving, peaceful witness we all want to be, especially when praying to end abortion in front of Planned Parenthood.
These three wonderful witnesses were bundled up against the new weather that arrived over the weekend. They were soon joined by Pastor Shawn and his daughter Joy:
And then joined by fellow parishioners Linda and Develle:
When the second shift began, Sue and her beautiful children arrived from Catholic Moms Group of Pittsburgh:
Many children were witnessing today during the second shift! Shift managers Joyce and Cecelia brought their kids too!
Can you see the “tear” on this baby’s cheek? Joy’s hot cider dripped on her sign and looked just like a tear drop!
Can you tell what’s wrong with this picture?
Answer?…the CROSS! (No cross on the T in the word SUPPORT!)
Let’s keep the Cross at the center of what we do. God loved the world so much that if any one of us were the only one, He still would have sent His only son Jesus to the Cross to die for us. Let’s lift high that Cross in our witness for Him.
God Bless You, and thanks for all you do on behalf of the unborn child!
The morning began at 7:00 a.m. with Holy Wisdom Parish, joined shortly by Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland County. Shift Manager Sally wrote:
Almost 40 pro-life people showed up to pray on this cold, somewhat rainy morning. They came with Father Tim from Holy Wisdom (St.Boniface), Ford City, and a number of Pittsburgh areas and churches. Planned Parenthood was not doing much business.
A Columbus Day parade was scheduled, as well as an African American tribute outside the August Wilson Center (across Liberty Avenue from Planned Parenthood), so there was no street parking. Buses and traffic were rerouted, and loud music from a live band playing just up the street began about 10 a.m.. Praying was a challenge, but we just raised our voices.
A girl showed up to “observe us”, so I talked with her for a few minutes and gave her 3 pieces of literature. I’m told that she has been here before.
My hero for the day is Barbara who is spending the entire 8 hours that Holy Wisdom is here for the prayer vigil. That’s dedication!! Yay, Barbara!
Timothy, who managed the second shift today writes:
Today’s mid-day shift was excellent. We had vigil participants from several churches, such as Ascension in Ingram, First Presbyterian, the St. Boniface Latin Mass community, St. Pio, Holy Wisdom, the Pittsburgh Oratory, and Washington Alliance. There was a large parade going by, which gave us an opportunity to witness the parade participants, along with, of course, those going into and out of Planned Parenthood. As usual, some of the people going into/out of the clinic took our literature, and some didn’t, and we prayed for all of them. I had the good fortune to participate in an extended conversation with a gentleman whose girlfriend was in the facility having what he called a “checkup.” He graciously accepted the literature that I gave to him describing honorable organizations in town that would provide the same kind of “checkup” services for free and which are life giving. He also accepted the eye opening colorful flyer describing what exactly abortion is. Please continue to pray for him and his girlfriend.
Below are some pictures from the afternoon shift:
The third shift was managed by Lindsay, who took photos and wrote an account of her time at the vigil today:
“933 Liberty Avenue”. For some reason, yesterday the numbers 9-3-3 struck me as profound. Wasn’t Jesus around 9+3 when He became separated from Mary and Joseph so He could go spend quality time with His Father in the Lord’s Temple? And, of course, many of us believe that Jesus was 33 years old when He liberated our sinful humanity from death and darkness. And then there is the number “3” – God in 3 persons, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Jesus preached the Good News for approximately 3 years, and 9 is 3 raised to the power of 3. So, now I find the number 933 rather comforting, full of Hope that Jesus Christ will liberate this building – 933 Liberty Avenue – from death and darkness.
Yesterday was full of Hope in Jesus, as I had the joy of praying for an end to abortion with Washington Alliance Church, who covered the entire shift from 3-7pm. One special surprise was when I was approached by a beaming, young, good looking couple Travis and Amy, who had taken it upon themselves to successfully petition Washington Alliance Church to cover this entire 4 hour prayer shift, despite the long drive from Washington to Pittsburgh. I didn’t recognize them at first, but Travis and Amy had purchased our lovely rural home in Washington 3 years ago, when they got married!
Pictured: Amy and Travis,during their extended 1.5 hour prayer shift.
For the hour prior to Amy & Travis’ “shift”, I had the great joy of praying for life with Polly and June as well as with the lovely family: David, Jeannie, Victoria, Luke, Brianna, Jace
. The photogenic group of Polly, June (Right), and the Lloyd family (Left) is pictured below.
Finally, the decidedly colder and darker hour of this lovely Fall day was made warm and brilliant with the Love of Christ thanks to Nichole and Bette sharing the remaining 1.5 hour with me, so that I never had to stand in prayer alone. Unfortunately, I did not get a photograph of the decidedly photogenic Nicole and Betty.
Overall, the day was full of supportive comments from passersby, including Pastor Walter S. Moss, who I believe said he was leading the 40 Days for Life in Canton, Ohio, and handed us copies of his booklet “Why I Am a Black Pro-Life Pastor”. I am very grateful to Washington Alliance Church for their dedication to 40 Days for Life, and for never letting me stand alone in prayer. I am also very grateful to God that He graced them to Hear His Call to step out of their comfort zones and to take time from their busy lives to come downtown to Pray to End Abortion.
From the National 40 Days For Life daily email:
DAY 11 INTENTION
Pray that when those representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups see volunteers for 40 Days for Life, they see ambassadors of Christ, and may each volunteer be consciously aware at all times we represent Him.
I…beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness, and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love. — Ephesians 4:1-2
And, of course, continue to pray for our vigil in Pittsburgh, especially that unborn lives would be saved, and other lives would be impacted for the Kingdom of God!
By the way, Monday’s afternoon shift is better staffed, but our Shift Manager is currently scheduled to stand vigil alone for the last hour. If you can come out for 6 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and swell the ranks, I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated!
Today, Hosanna Church faithfully filled the entire 12 hour vigil with dedicated members.
Cath, the first shift manager of the day took these photos:
Cathy wrote the following report about this morning’s shift:
The vigil this morning (actually all day) was kept by the lovely, and faithful people of Hosanna Church, plus a few other pray-ers. It was a mostly quiet morning, as people were off to work and school. We were able to give away some literature to passers-by and a couple people coming out of PP. Our “friend” from the restaurant paid us a not very friendly visit. In the past when he would stop, I remember him disagreeing with us, but being mostly civil. This time is different, he seems so angry, our presence and what we stand for, really bothers him, though his establishment is several doors down the street. We prayed for him after he left. A young man also stopped for a short time. Said he could not have children, but definitely was against abortion. He is trying to get his life back together, and while Catholic, was not going anywhere right now. I encouraged him to get back to church, it could help him in his goal. We prayed the daily meditation together before he left.
Here are some photos and a report from the second shift manager, Nikki.
Standing on a warm, breezy afternoon with the pastor and many faithful witnesses from Hosanna Church in Bellvue…and also a pastor and parishioner from Christ’s Church Ministries was a blessing! We took advantage of the “prayer-power” that comes from having two clergy men present and we all prayed together. Pastor Bryan even brought his guitar! We sang a few songs to try to bring the love of Christ to a place that routinely kills 50 pre-born babies every week. I enjoyed the music…but not all of the passerbys did. One young man said (as he walked past), “Your band SUCKS!” I tell you…if you find yourself feeling too proud….come to the vigil…it will humble you! (smile).
One young woman stopped and admitted to us that she had just had a late-term abortion here at this clinic just a few weeks ago. She seemed numb to me. Not angry, not overly sad…just numb. I was surprised she told us! She allowed us to hug her and pray with her. I gave her information about post-abortion counseling and urged her to seek healing and reconciliation. Pastor Bryan looked for opportunities to interact with anyone who was open to conversation…just being a light for Christ. That is what we tried to do today. As always, my fetal model display brought many curious people. Quite a few girls entering and leaving the clinic took literature with information about our local pregnancy resource centers.
Maria came from Assumption Church…also in Bellvue. She brought her 3-year old and 5-month old sons with her…both were sleeping. This is dedication! She held the sleeping 3-year old in her arms for almost an hour while her baby slept in the stroller. If everyone had half her dedication, I think abortion would have long ended.
It was an honor and a privilege to witness for life with these brothers and sisters in Christ today! Here are a few more pictures:
Barbara, who managed the third shift wrote:
Standing expectantly on the bus-screeched Liberty Avenue downtown sidewalk in front of Planned Prenthood, our third shift Wednesday 40 Days for Life cohorts stood ready for battle with our implacable enemy. The enemy is not the staff at the abortion sidte. It is not the people passing by who give us the one-finger salute. The women going in and coming out of the Planned Parenthood doors are not the enemy. These 3 groups are just a few of the victims of abortion. The enemy is the devil. We prepare for this battle with prayer and fasting.
Val joined the line waiting for the commuter bus. I overheard him mentioning prayer as our “weapon”. “What kind of weapon is that?”, he asked a fellow comuter. “They need something stronger or they’ll never get anywhere.” Wow! Opportunity knocks. I respectfully requested if I could join the conversation. “Our first 40 Days for Life campaign resulted in a 28% drop in abortions in that Texas neighborhood”, I said. “Last year in Pittsburgh we know of at least 5 babies whose mothers chose life as a result of our prayerful, peaceful presence at this Planned Parenthood Pittsburgh site.” Val and I talked about the power of prayer and fasting. His bus came and he sid he was going to look up 40 Days for Life on the internet. I invited him to join us.
Hosanna Church prayer participants Neil, Wayne and Jessica & James (newly married), joined us this evening.
Richard, Eileen and Pat returned this Wednesday and added welcome warmth to our numbers. A positive presence was Frank, who began with questions and ended praying and wearing a sign as the hours went on.
One woman whom I recognized from the spring campaign let me walk with her a few steps. She is visibly angered by our presence. I will pray for her in particular this fall. I think there is hope for her. Anger is a sign of life!
No rain fell, even though the clouds darkened and menaced. There was a beautiful pink splendid sunset as the clouds spread and the sun penetrated. God in His heavens reminds us of His presence. Life is Good!
I will post pictures and stories from the other shift managers as I receive them.