Day 39, St. Pius in Brookline, Guardians for Life, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry

The early morning shift manager, Sally, wrote:

This was such a calm morning after yesterday’s spiritual warfare. No major problems or other things to report. PP was busy until about 10:30. About 50 people came to pray, including Fr. Tim’s people, the Ford City family, St. Vincent students & many from local churches. One lady drove by blaring her horn & giving us a thumbs down sign. She had a child in the back seat, so she must not be 100% pro abortion.
I saw 2 girls walking across the street, like they were coming from the parking garage. Although temperature was in the low 40’s with wind they wore short sleeve tops & no jackets, so I assumed they were coming to PP. But they turned and headed over Smithfield Street. Could they have changed their mind after seeing a large, crowd, singing and praying? I’ll never know, but we can hope that some people changed their mind this morning. It’s always a possibility. —Sally

The following photos were taken from the first shift, by Pamela:

Matt, Harry from Resurrection Church and Mary from St. Pius

St. Vincent’s students come to pray

Mary Jane

Fr. Tim

Marilyn, Mary, Fr. Gary and Josie from Our Lady of Loreto

Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland Counties

Guardians for Life

Lindsay was the manager of the second shift and wrote:

Normally, I alternate with another 40 Days for Life Shift Manager, sharing the Sunday Vigil’s 2nd shift. Typically, I am not there on Saturdays, 2nd Shift, but so as to be there for the 4 hour shift which I had adopted for my parish Saturday, I swapped days. There is no comparison of the Sunday prayer vigil to the Saturday prayer vigil. The Saturday prayer shift is a much more hectic day, because the Planned Parenthood clinic sees a lot of “business” and the streets are very active with pedestrians enjoying their Saturdays. Sunday is a much quieter prayer day because the clinic is closed, and the streets are much less busy.

Sunday is almost peaceful compared to Saturday, and much less emotional. On Saturday’s, you can literally see tragic life and death “choices” being made right before your eyes. You can also see the permanently scarred women exiting the clinic later in the day, often sobbing openly, and usually escorted by a seemingly uncaring man friend. There is no comparison of Sunday prayer vigil times to Saturday prayer vigil times. None.

As the days drew closer to my parishes adopted Saturday Vigil slot, I found myself becoming very discouraged that only 2 people from my parish were able to commit to come pray, leaving 2 hours of vigil time “uncovered” by our parish. I shared my disappointment with our new pastor, Fr. C, who assured me that “God will provide; Yaweh yireh”. I knew Fr. C was right, and that I had to let go of my imagined outcome (which, in my selfish, prideful “minds eye” was our extremely busy new pastor surrounded by about 10 of his likewise busy “flock”, praying snug together downtown), and that I had to instead trust in God. So, Friday night I prayed that God would provide me with just enough parishioners to cover the remaining 2 hours, so I would not have to pray all alone. I asked God to “just send two”. And, lo! and behold, He did! First, God inspired my husband to come pray with me all day! Then, God inspired our former (now retired) pastor, Fr. J, to come down to the vigil to pray; Fr. J had no idea that his former parish had adopted that very time slot!  It was Fr. J’s outspoken “from the pulpit” pro-life message that had initially led and inspired me to become involved in 40 Days for Life, in the first place. God used Fr. J to plant the pro-life “seed” within me, and if it wasn’t for Fr. J, I would never have been there at the prayer vigil to begin with (let alone have become a Vigil Shift Manager!) But, the pro-life “seedling” within me had recently begun to wilt with self-imposed discouragement… and on Saturday God healed this discouragement by first inspiring our new pastor Fr. C to “fertilize” God’s little pro-life seedling with Hope (“Yaweh yireh; God will provide”). And second, God inspired our former pastor Fr. J to become an answer to my prayers, by leading Fr. J down to the vigil to “water” God’s little pro-life seedling with Faith (yes, God DID provide, big time. Why did I ever doubt?!) God not only sent me “two” parishioners to cover the balance of our adopted prayer shift, but He also sent me “two” wonderful pro-life priests to help encourage me (and many others) to help God to deliver His pro-life message to the world! Lord, forgive me for all of the times that I have doubted in your Goodness, and have despaired in my lack of Hope and Faith! Amen!Lindsay Mitchem”

Third Shift witnesses, with Shift Manager Chaplain Steve

Faithful witnesses at the third shift

Chaplain Steve did the 3-7 shift, when St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry provided the witness.  He took this photo:

Great group from St. Ferdinand

Pauline’s reflection

Day 7 – Witnesses from Many Different churches Come to Pray…and a nice group from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!

This morning’s shift manager, Sally Brunn, reported that there were people from MANY different churches who came to pray at the vigil today!  Ascension Church had “officially” adopted the early shift, but they were joined by people from St. Joseph in Verona, St. Ferdinand in Cranberry, St. James in Sewickley and St. John Vianney!  Here are some photos that she took:

Mary Alice from St. James, Mary Jane from Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community and Pat from St. Ferdinands in Cranberry
John, Sandy and Mary Alice from St. James
Judy from Ascension, Laura from St. John Vianney and Mike from St. Joes

Here are photos from our second shift, taken by the Shift Manager, Cathy.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish brought a nice group to pray:

Frederick, Vince, Walter, Ann and Sandra from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
Bill, Ann and Fran from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish

Cathy wrote this about her shift today:

“There was a lot of traffic in and out, being an abortion day.  I was able to talk to a couple people, and gave them some literature, but don’t think any minds were changed.   Another woman, a passer-by, or perhaps with a client in the clinic, came up to us, just after Sheila arrived, said she had been seeing us for the past several years, and wanted to know what we had to offer the women.  She said that our presence made it even harder for the women who had made the hard decision to abort.  She said her own mother had really struggled raising 5 children, and that she would have told her mother to abort her!  We stressed that these women needed support, and that it is available.  I offered the sheet with the pregnancy care centers which she grabbed out of my hand and walked away.  We just keep praying.”

Here is a photo that Sheila sent me from the third shift today:

Shift Manager Roseann, Gus, Stacy and Jennifer, and a passerby who stopped to pray

Sheila wrote about her shift:

“We had a lively shift.  A man named Gus walked by, agreed with our cause and decided to stand with us for a couple of hours.  A drunken Ryan also stopped to talk with us.
Sadly, he had been recently released from prison and has no hope for the future, although he professed faith in God.  He spoke of wanting to kill himself and we all encouraged him to head to a facility with Gus (who is a recovering alcoholic) so he could sober up.  He refused that, but before he left we all prayed together for Ryan.  Please keep him in your prayers.   Also please keep Sheena in your prayers.  She stopped by the clinic
for a pregnancy test.  I directed her to Women’s Choice in Oakland.   She called them and then went directly there.  She does have abortion in mind for the child so please pray for Sheena.”