Day 29…Hopes Dashed…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 11:9,10

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Hank & Judy

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

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

Edith

Chris prayed from 1-3 PM.

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

Chris

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes I must admit of “dreaming small.”

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

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

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

Joe

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

Day 27 and Day 28: The Virtual Vigil Begins :)

We may not be able to stand on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood right now, but the 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh team has resolved to continue the vigil from a distance. We invite you to join us each day in praying from home for the end of abortion–both the outright act and the belief in its acceptability.

To keep us united in heart and mind while we’re physically separated from one another, the blog will continue as well! Each day, we will post a video reflection from Shawn Carney, president and CEO of the worldwide 40 Days for Life organization, and share the thoughts of those praying locally.

Last night, Nikki wrote:

I know it seems strange that we are not in front of PP…and sad to think of all those desperate mothers going in to kill their babies with no one there to offer hope and help!  I am struggling with this, but it really is getting to be a different world out there.  It does seem to be getting dangerous, especially in the city where so many homeless and drug addicted people are hungry and desperate.  Maybe we have done all that we can for now, and need to trust that God will take it from here.  You know the verse that is coming to me right now is the one where Jesus says that we need to work while it is daylight, because when the darkness comes, we won’t be able to work.  Maybe that is the case right now…maybe the day is over. ( I just looked it up, it is John 9:4.)

This morning, she added:

I wanted to let you know that I think God gave me confirmation last night, after I sent that team email, regarding the verse from John about Jesus saying that we have 12 hours of daylight in which we can work, but when the darkness comes, then we cannot work without stumbling.  I didn’t know where that verse came from when it popped into my head as I typed the team email…so I looked it up as I was still writing the email.  But…after I sent the email, I went up to my room to spend some time reading…I am a little more than halfway through Bishop Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ.”  And wouldn’t you know that the very first page I read had this verse in it!!!  So, I think God wants us to know that we don’t need to feel guilty about not going to the sidewalk.  That time is over for now.  Now is the time to stay inside and pray and fast and read scripture or holy books.  He is doing something now.  Lets just wait and see what it is.

Nikki

Shawn Carney’s Video Blog for Day 28:

Reports from the Pittsburgh Team:

Monday, Day 27: The 7am-9am shift was pretty quiet! No, seriously, I visualized actually being on the sidewalk and what a typical Monday looks like. Mostly workers entering which starts about 7:30am, so I focused my prayers on conversion of abortion workers…particularly the clinic director, a specific escort that we know and the abortion worker who is looking to leave her job and asked for our prayers. 
The last time I was at PP was last Monday when at least 15 women entered for abortions in 1 hour. I said the Divine Mercy on my knees for God’s Mercy and Forgiveness …and the couple whose 4th child who was saved last week from abortion and all that we do not know about who were saved from abortion, that all their needs would be met. 
I said the St. Michael the Archangel prayer and pictured the Archangel standing at the yellow line with a fiery sword not letting anyone pass…
I attached a picture of where I typically say my prayers which includes Nikki’s artwork of the pieta. God bless each and everyone one of you, God knows what He is about! Miss you, Love you!

Sue

Monday, Day 27: It was different praying from home today. I decided to pray in our office quietly. My dog joined me as she does every morning for devotions. I knelt and prayed and then did the closing songs, prayers and litany that we use at our closing ceremony. My sister and shift buddy, Diane,  was praying from home also. She likes the prayer book from Fr. Frank Pavone, “In The Palm of His Hand.”  God bless you all. God’s got this! 
Blessings For Life,

Donna

Monday, Day 27: Picture (below) is the main altar of St. Elizabeth’s where shift buddy Rose a.k.a my sister and I sat in the quiet and did our shift prayers.  The church is open for private prayer every day 8 to 4. A few others kept their prayers private.  We’re lucky our God can hear and answer our prayers from anywhere.

Beth

Tuesday, Day 28: This morning “Jesus Calling” said, “You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And he listens no matter where we pray from. Tracey prayed from home, watched the Oratory Mass and said 20 decades of the rosary!!! I went to the Sts John & Paul grotto chapel for Adoration…and I decided this is a good day to Fast. This Lent I have discovered Adoration…and I love it!! Stay healthy!!!

Charlene  

Tuesday, Day 28: I just spent my shift, 11-1, praying with my best friends: Jesus the good Shepherd, His mother Mary, and St Mother Teresa of Kolkata. Very peaceful. Pray on, faithful family, and stay healthy!

Mary Ann

Tuesday, Day 28: Christ Our Savior Parish covered our Prayer Vigil today from 11-3. Our Pastor Father Tony prayed in unison with us from 11-3. Parishioners who emailed us that they prayed for life today from home:  Mary Ann T., Donna S., Marianne Z. and her husband, and Richard and Barbara L.
God is so generous! Peace,

Barbara

Tuesday, Day 28: I had my prayer time today at the Oratory in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I have to admit I was distracted because of something that I’m struggling with right now, but I am giving it to the Lord and trusting in him. I prayed the 54 Day Novena prayers, we are on day 16,  this included the Rosary, the joyful mysteries followed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus novena and prayers to St. Joseph and Saint Rocco. Then I meditated on today’s readings, which included a reading from Exodus where God was going to destroy the people and start over again from Moses after they fell back into idolatry and made the golden calf, but Moses interceded on their behalf and God relented.  Thank you Lord Jesus for coming to save us and to redeem us! Please forgive us for our terrible sins of killing our own children by abortion and for so many other sins that we have fallen into as a nation.  Above all, bring us back to you. Please forgive us and heal our land! 

Nikki

God’s peace be with you, Mike and I were blessed to be able to go to our church and pray in front of the sacristy for our 3 to 5 shift today.  We watched and prayed today’s Mass using Mike’s phone.  Prayed some rosaries and a chaplet. I really felt as if our Lord and the blessed Mother were smiling at us.  When we got tired, to stretch our legs, we walked around the church and prayed the stations of the cross….I really enjoyed doing the prolife stations of the cross.  Then we lit two candles for our prayer intentions.  It was peaceful, as we were the only two there.  The time went by so fast.  It was chilly in church because they have the heat turned down….so it was the same sacrifice as being at PP.  All in all I’m very glad we made the trip to pray at church.  I was afraid if I stayed home I would get distracted.  I know the Lord is pleased with our efforts, even if our prayers are far from perfect, he knows we love Him and are trying.  I believe that our prayers will continue to work miracles.  Jesus we trust in you.

Kim and Mike C.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am sending you this beautiful prayer to end abortion (see below.) Please pray it at home or anywhere and feel free to pass it on to others. While you are at home with time on your hands, besides praying, I am asking you to think outside the box and think of a strategy or a way we can get through to the general population about the peril and tragedy of abortion. Slavery ended when it was exposed for exactly what it was and with the insistence of many leaders willing to stand up against it. I guess there was a defining moment. We must brainstorm and find something we can do that would lead to a defining moment in this pro-life movement. D. James Kennedy, a gifted and wise clergyman, said that if we could show an abortion on television, abortion would end tomorrow. As you know, the media will not approve of such a braodcast and anyway it may do more harm than good. A thought that comes to mind is getting the famous pro-life celebrities to meet with someone like Shawn Carney and organize an ad campaign to expose abortion for what it truly is. These strong pro-life celebs come to mind:

Martin Sheen, Celine Dion, Jack Nicholson, Kenny Chesney, Patricia Heaton, Jim Caviezel, Kathy Ireland, Ben Stein, Justin Bieber, Phil Robertson, Tim Tebow, Elizabeth Hasselback, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Kirk Cameron, Tom Selleck, Jon Voight, Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Armstrong, Simone Biles, Candace Cameron, Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, Janine Turner, Jordin Sparks, Mel Gibson, Shari Rigby, Sara Evans, Chris Sligh, Philip Rivers, and Casting Crowns. This is food for thought! I would love to hear your feedback or ideas.

God’s Blessings to you and your families,

Michael S.

Prayer To End Abortion

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst shed Thy precious blood upon the Cross for the salvation of all mankind: receive the souls of all the innocent pre-born babies, who have been, are being, or will be slaughtered today in the hospitals and abortion chambers throughout our nation. And as their untimely deaths have prevented them from receiving the grace of Holy Baptism, I entreat Thee to accept their innocent blood as their Baptism (as thou didst with the early Martyrs); so that they can share Eternity with Thee. To the doctors, nurses, parents and hosts of accomplices responsible for this infanticide, grant tears of repentence; so that they can run to Thee for forgiveness and healing, and thus avoid the Eternal Death of their souls. I believe that all things are possible with Thee, O Lord, therefore, I entreat Thee on this day, through Thy Divine Grace, to convince at least one mother in every state to cancel her abortion and bring her child to full term; and to convince one doctor in every state to repent of his actions, and never again kill a child in the womb. Receive my prayer, O Lord, even though it is offered to Thee from such a sinful and unworthy servant; and unite my entreaty with those of all the other brothers and sisters that are crying out today on behalf of all Thy little ones, who are now being formed in the wombs of their mothers. Deliver us and our nation, O Lord, from this shedding of innocent blood!  Forgive us!  Heal us!  Save us!   Amen.

-Author Unknown

Johanna and I spent our shift praying at the Oratory in Oakland before the Blessed Sacrament.  Neither of us had ever been there before and we both are so very glad we went. It was peaceful and an awesome experience. Highly recommend it. There is a small parking lot. Beautiful intimate Chapel. The ability to appropriately distance yourself from other worshippers. Holy candles were lit.

Lisa

Day 26: Thank you, Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg; Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene; Shift Buddies Vince P., Marie P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Pat M., Lynn W.; and all the Witnesses who joined us in prayer today!

+++IMPORTANT NOTE+++

Dear Friends in Christ, the national leadership of 40 Days for Life has made the difficult decision to end our public vigil due to the coronavirus crisis. Although today was our last day on the sidewalk, PLEASE continue to fast and pray from home for an end to abortion and for God’s love and providence to surround all who find themselves pregnant and in challenging circumstances.

Your fear of the Lord in a world that has no fear of the Lord

goes a long way. It is truly countercultural.

Shawn Carney. To the Heart of the Matter

Life dazzles me.  Proprioception, electrons, nasturtium, jelly donuts, warm rainy day walks, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bach, birdsong! I did not create or pay for it. It is a gift.    

There is more. Inviting me closer, life gives me a yes or no choice.  Someone cunningly suggests that I ignore the yes or no.  Say maybe. Keep all options on the table.   Someone else entices me.  Say yes and say yes again and learn to live yes. Both of them are terrible.  They call me to battle!    

I did not learn this in kindergarten.  The Bible taught me. This week the blog had a picture of a witness who brought the Crucifix to the sidewalk. Great idea!

___________________________________

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you

except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  

1 Corinthians 2:2 

It wasn’t just that Jesus died, that He was put to death – but that He died in this uniquely horrific way. That’s one of the most shocking things about early Christianity.  How absolutely strange it was to put a crucified criminal at the heart of the operation.

You have not considered the weight of sin.

What’s going on in the life and death of Jesus is a working in and with sin so as to change it – to undo it from the inside.

God, as it were, had to enter life as a warrior – into sin – so as to break it and conquer it from the inside.

A word of forgiveness blithely offered from a distance is not going to affect what had to be affected.

What’s happening on the Cross, is God going into God forsakenness, taking on Himself precisely the dysfunction of the world, symbolized by all those forces that brought him to the Cross.

Having taken all that on, He is able through the divine mercy, to break it and remake it from the inside.

All of that demands a work.  It demands that a price be paid.  It is a battle that has to be won. The Father out of love sends the Son who accepts the mission out of love. 

A price was paid.  A work was done.  See with the Cross the awe full work of the Divine Love.

Bishop Robert Barron. “Bishop Barron on the Scandalous Cross of Jesus”. youtube

Life dazzles. Life engages me in battle. Life blesses me with goodness, truth and beauty.

Saint Paul began with Jesus Christ, crucified. A crucified heart is a heart full of riches to share with sisters and brothers vulnerable to abortion.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

___________________________________

PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

The 7-9 on Sunday morning is already the quietest shift on the schedule, but it was even more so this morning.  This made the atmosphere especially peaceful.  It was my parish’s (St. Regis, Trafford) turn to take a shift and I was joined by my wife, Steph, and Nancy, who has been with us many times in the past.  Whenever I take this shift I find myself filled with such gratitude for SB Vince and his prayerful leadership.  He even printed out a prayer guide for all 20 mysteries of the Rosary, plus the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  He and I and Nancy prayed that while Steph stayed on the other side and prayed silently.  Chuck and Carol came early for their 9-11 shift and it was good to see them.  

Shift Buddy Vince, Shift Manager Pat who is witnessing with Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg. They are joined by Chuck and Carol, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

This was a quiet and peaceful Sunday morning on Liberty Avenue. Aside from a few panhandlers there were no comments and few that passed by on the sidewalk. I arrived to find two members of The Church of The Nazarene, Chuck and Carol with shift managers Vince and Pat. For most of the shift we had a most pleasant and welcome visit from the sunshine. Chuck and Carol stayed with me for the entire shift and gave us prayer and praise music and pleasant greetings for all who passed.  I was able to pray the Rosary, on my knees, in peace for a good part of my shift.  Nikki stopped on her way to Mass to set up the Sacred artwork for the benefit of all to see and also the rose petals for life that added much, in the sunshine, to bring life to this place of death. We did have two welcome guests in vehicles, Janine who prayed from her car and an off duty police officer in uniform who provided some security. My shift ended joined in the prayers of the Chaplet of Mercy with shift managers Rosanne and Rich and Lynn from The Oratory. 

Chuck and Carol joined Ken so he would not be alone.

Ken, Shift Manager

Nikki arranged her art after spreading the rose petals that honor the lives of the babies abortion takes at Planned Parenthood downtown.

RICH AND ROSEANN K., SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

Very calm on the street today although we did manage to get one negative remark but it was soon eclipsed by a positive one. When we got there Ken took a photo of Rich, myself and Lynn who witnessed with us until noon. Joe stopped by to pray. We prayed Rosaries and the Divine Chaplet. Before we knew it Lindsay and her husband Daniel showed up. Thanks and God Bless to all who braved coming out today.

Lynn from the Oratory witnesses with Shift Managers Roseann and Rich

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Let’s just say all hell broke loose today!

It was an EVENTFUL time outside the 933 Liberty Avenue Planned Parenthood. Things were calm and peaceful and prayerful, and then all the sudden there was a club wielding man amongst us. It started out in the middle of the intersection, when a deranged man yelled at an (uninvolved) driver of a car stopped at a red light.  They floored it to get away. Then the man started to come towards us. He was holding what appeared to be a large club and was wearing a black fedora style hat and something that looked like a dead animal wrapped around his neck (later I realized it was a cheap faux stole). Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re running but you can’t seem to move? That was me, your fearless shift leader. The man spoke unintelligibly and then lay down in the gutter and started to devour rose petals that were scattered there. He got back up and restlessly paced while still wielding what appeared to be a HUGE club (shift buddy Marie thought it was one of those Amazon rain sticks).

God gave me strength to at least try to start getting pictures and video and to run over to the security guard/hired police officer. I believe he had already called for backup.  The man started to go down the street away from us when he saw our security guard.  But he whirled around and came back with purpose.  He lay down on the sidewalk one more time. He got up, club in hand, and ignored the warnings of the police officer to calm down and drop the club. So the police officer acted heroically, swiftly, and professionally and pinned the man to the ground. In the scuffle our sandwich boards and baby models flew.  Thankfully many other police cars, police motorcycles and policemen showed up.  And it took about five or six policemen to remove the club from the man’s hands.  And he was arrested, thank God. When all the police were gone I realized there was another maniac amongst us. He seemed restless and agitated and started to punch a metal pole near us. But thankfully the power of prayer drove him away, just as I was dialing the 9 of 9-1-1.

I do want to thank the courageous prayer warriors who stuck with me during the scare. I also I want to thank the courageous security guard / police officer and all the other Pittsburgh police officers who were so quick to restore order to Liberty Avenue. My heroes always wear blue!

This all might seem scary and it was. However I believe it is a really awesome thing!

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY making Satan mad now. We must be real close to closing Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue! So keep it up, prayer warriors, especially Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel.  And stand tall and courageous.

Especially if Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the Pittsburgh Police got your back! Today was full of heroes. Thank you Father Jason Charron for giving Catholics the beautiful opportunity to receive the most Sacred Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ today at an outdoor Easter Ukrainian Rite Mass, that honored all social distancing and sanitary laws. May God bless all the heroic people I met, and prayed with, and prayed for.  We’re spiritually sustained today!

Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel. Prayer warriors standing tall.

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY working.

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A sunny day

with much quiet prayer and some public

but one thing in common between us all  

firm hope that 933 Liberty Avenue WILL CLOSE!

Thank you to all who have joined us in prayer, on the sidewalk and from a distance.
Although the coronavirus crisis is ending our public vigil early, PLEASE continue to pray and fast from home! May God bless all unborn children and their families, and may He end abortion forever!

And God saw that it was good.

Day 25: Thanks to St. Paul of the Cross Parish (Mt. Lebanon/Castle Shannon), Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Living Hope Church, Resurrection Church, and more …

Her first day as a PP volunteer would end up being – – – – – her LAST!

In case you missed this report from the sidewalk yesterday: A first time PP volunteer came out of the building and …. expressed feeling so saddened as she sat in a room with about ten women… She wasn’t sure how many were there for abortions and how many for other procedures…. She heard one of them complain that she ” had to pay over $400 for her abortion” …  The volunteer said that thoughts of her own four miscarriages came to mind as she sat in that clinic. … She had initially thought that volunteering at PP would be a good idea, but she couldn’t even finish her first shift! ….. She told us she couldn’t stand being at PP any longer and she left. ….

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing any good out there — But this account tells us so much! Whether you are able to join the vigil on the sidewalk or not, wherever you are during these crazy times, know that storming heaven with prayer in the cause for life WORKS. Please, please, please continue to pray in earnest! PRAYER CHANGES THINGS – Jeannie

412 LIFE WATCH SHIFT REPORTS

7-9 Shift Manager Tim Reports:

What a blessed morning as “Vigil Essentials” were put to use and I was joined by St. Paul of the Cross parishioners and Father Tim and the Guardians for Life.  Thank you all for standing up for the most vulnerable during these trying times. The relatively quiet streets allowed our prayers to ring out.  Sadly the clinic was open along with escorts and a few couples went in.  We hoped and prayed the unborn felt our love. Thanks also to Nick for acting as our Guardian Angel on the street during these difficult times.

St. Paul of the Cross folks & Joe keeping Social Distance (except for Married Couples)
When it is Quiet in the City, PRAYER fills the AIR— Thank you Fr. Tim & faith-filled vigilants.
There is an ANGEL on the Sidewalk, too!

9-11 Shift Manager Charlie Reports: Today’s 9 to 11 shift was very quiet but consequently very peaceful. Wonderfully, PP was very slow and not too many were seen going into the clinic.  Amy joined me as my prayer partner.  Please pray for our Sidewalk advocates as both of our Sues were missing today.  


11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports: Surreal. I have never seen the sidewalks this empty, but I expected that. Except for a very few passersby, the only people on the sidewalk at P.P. were clients and members of 40DFL.

Thanks Lisa for getting the request out for people to stand and pray with me. WHAT A TEAM we have in this city! There was a good response from the young men attending Resurrection Church in Brookline. They used Knee Mail!

Joan and some of Resurrection Church’s finest today on the sidewalk… KNEE MAIL sent!
Happy to have Living Hope Church members out TODAY!
Katie & Billie amid the Rose Petals … to wrap up the day!

Day 24: Thank you to St. Thomas More & St. John Capistran Parishes (Bethel Park), Generous Individuals, and Faithful Team Members


Praise be to God, a courageous couple chose life for their child after walking away from PP last week!  We want to do everything in our power to support them. Please contact us if you can help with any of these needs:
–a landlord willing to offer them a
place with reasonable rent,
–people willing to hire “R,” who is a plumber,
–people willing to hire “S” for a part-time cleaning job at night.


As of 3/20/2020, all elective medical procedures have been temporarily prohibited by Pennsylvania state government. 

Abortion has not been prohibited by state government.

Therefore, abortion must not be an elective procedure. 

You may find an error in the logic of my statements above, but the fact remains…abortion is rarely a procedure someone elects to have because they desire it. Far more often, it seems to be the only choice in a difficult financial or personal situation. Many women are even compelled to have an abortion by threats of violence or abandonment. Let’s contine to PRAY that God’s love and peace will envelop pregnant women in crisis, and let’s continue to REACH OUT to those women with offers of help and support to enable them to choose life for their unborn child!


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Diane took a beautiful picture of our city in the rain this morning!

Nikki and Steve, 7-9 AM:

It was an extremely soggy, wet time on the sidewalk this morning, but I was very blessed and grateful to share it with sidewalk advocate and prayer warrior Steve, and we were so thankful to have an awesome security guard, Josh with us! We felt very safe and protected as we prayed together on our knees, Steve and I. We prayed  two rosaries, including one in Latin and a Divine Mercy chaplet. Then we just prayed individually, silently on our knees. It was just workers going in, but during the end of our shift clients started entering, mostly single girls, one couple entered at the end of my shift. One young woman who entered by herself was crying.

At one point while I was praying on my knees, the rain was coming down in torrents, and the sky was very dark. Our security guard noticed a man who was acting strangely, he had noticed him and had been keeping his eyes on him for quite a while, but at this point he began approaching us and so he warned me about him. Sure enough, the man was clearly disturbed. I told Josh that many times  we see people with mental illness and that sometimes it appears to be mixed in with spiritual, demonic afflictions, sometimes they go hand-in-hand. That seem to be the case with this man. As he walked up to us, he asked Josh if he had a cigarette. Josh said no, so then he turned to look down at me as I was praying and asked me if I had a cigarette. I said that I did not. Then he stared at me very intensely and he asked me, “why are you here?“ I smiled and answered, “40 Days For Life.“ He paused and asked me, “are you for Jesus?“ I nodded and said yes. Then his face became distorted and he practically growled at me many cursing’s, calling me a “b—ch”, and telling me to go to hell and using all sorts of foul language. Thankfully Josh was right there and he made sure the man kept moving away from us.  This man was not going to mess with us with Josh there. But, it was a reminder of how spiritual this battle is. It is so clear, I wonder how sometimes people do not see it. 

As I was huddled under my umbrella, on my knees in the pouring rain, on the  quiet and deserted sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh  it occurred to me that by doing this, by our witness in these extreme circumstances, that we are like the prophets in the Old Testament. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the others. Back then, they had messages from God and showed by their behavior that God was calling everyone to repentance. They would do this by extreme measures  and actions. They would also throw dust on their head and sit in sack cloth and ashes. Even though we don’t throw dust on our heads, we do sit, in a way, in sack cloth and ashes when we kneel on those filthy sidewalks. I believe our actions are a sign to repentance for the workers, and anyone who happens to see us. Thank you Carolyn, her hubby and Kathy for coming at nine to relieve us. 

Nikki
Nikki covered the first shift today while her umbrella covered her
So grateful to Nikki and Steve for offering up prayers as the heavy rains came down

Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM:

Nikki, Steve, and Josh (today’s security guard) greeted me when i arrived and then left when scheduled church members came.
 Even though other businesses were mandated to close and elective surgeries were to be postponed, PP was open today which prompted me to call Pgh police and mayor’s hotline to ask why? Reports were filed and I was told to contact Governor’s office which I did.
 A young couple stopped briefly and accepted yellow card but intervention did not change their outcome of choosing abortion.  Very sad.
Carolyn and Terry from St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park, Friday regular Terry, Jim, and daily participant Bill H were my sidewalk companions.

Kathy
Thank you to the 9-11 crew!
Jim stopped by to pray before going to work.

Sheila and Cecilia, 11 AM-1 PM:

A heavy downpour didn’t keep a steady stream of women from entering PP.  Several women were turned away because they were walk-ins; only people with appointments were allowed to enter. One woman left with another woman after little more than an hour; she refused to stop and speak with us both coming and going, but barked at me, “My sister’s fine, don’t worry about us.”
Near the end of the shift, a woman exited and looked very distraught. Cil and I asked if she was OK. She told us that today was her first day as a PP volunteer and would also be her last. She expressed feeling so saddened as she sat in a room with about ten women. She wasn’t sure how many were there for abortions and how many for other procedures. She heard one of them complain that she had to pay over $400 for her abortion. She overheard a guy calling his girlfriend a murderer because she was aborting their baby.  She said that thoughts of her four miscarriages came to mind as she sat in that clinic. She had initially thought that volunteering at PP would be a good idea, but she couldn’t even finish her first shift!  She told us she couldn’t stand being there any longer and left. Cil and I  prayed with her and let her know about some resources that are available to her. She told us that she plans on returning to church. 

Sheila
Praying for the end of abortion
Thank you, wonderful prayer warriors!
Today is the first full day of spring…a reminder that winter always comes to an end and–thanks be to God–NEW LIFE WINS!

Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

(This campaign, 40 priests were asked to have at least one Mass for the intentions of the conversion of the workers and the closing of the clinic; and also to come to the clinic on one day and pray a rosary. The following report is from one of those wonderful priests, Fr. Nick:)

I’ve celebrated another Mass–this one was a private Mass for the intention of converting all in the abortion business and a change of heart for all seeking an abortion and a respect for life at all stages throughout the world. 
Also, I prayed at the abortion mill on Liberty Avenue for two hours from 1:45pm to 3:45pm today Friday, March 20th, the first day of spring! I prayed with Maria, Bernadette, and Eileen, and then later with Val, Mike, and Patrick. Also, Josh our security guard was there the whole time making sure we were safe. I think I have all the names right. Forgive me if one or two are wrong.  We prayed two rosaries, two Divine Mercy Chaplets, a prayer against storms, and a chaplet of Divine Will. 
About ten women went in or out of the building during my time there. Some may have been employees.  Quest diagnostics and UPS brought deliveries to Planned Parenthood. 
And even with the mandate of only life sustaining businesses allowed to be open in PA,  Planned Parenthood remains open and thus is considered a life sustaining business. 
I’ll keep praying and fasting for the day to hasten when abortion is unthinkable. God bless you!

Fr. Nick

Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM:

My time on the sidewalk was quiet given the drastic drop in people on the road and on the sidewalk.  Nearly every bus I saw was empty, too.  I, along with SBs Val and Mike, were led in prayer by Fr. Nick from St. Maria Goretti for the first part of the shift, and then we prayed separately and quietly for the middle portion after Fr. Nick left.  For the last 1/2 hour Val, Mike, and I prayed the Stations of the Cross.  I was very glad to hear from them that their prayers were answered for their son, Matthew, who was able to get back into the country after having been working on a cruise ship for several months.  

Pat
Val and Mike keep vigil while Josh watches over the sidewalk

Bill, Mary, and Claudia, 5-7 PM:

Tonight’s night shift was very quiet.  I arrived a little early to find my shift buddy Mary already there.  Pat and his crew soon left and there was a security guard who had been there the entire day since 6:30 am.  Soon another volunteer arrived, this was Claudia from Cranberry.  We prayed a rosary.  There was almost no traffic on the sidewalks and an occasional employee leaving PP.  We did get a few thank yous from the passersby.  But mostly it was very quiet compared to past shifts.  Almost like Sundays used to be with the “blue laws.”  For me it made praying easier.  And again we closed up a little early.  Thank you, Mary and Claudia. God Bless!

Bill
Bill and friends brought our vigil to a prayerful close for the day

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

40 Days for Life

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

Part of today’s Gospel passage is included here:

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

~Matthew 1:18-20

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

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

Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa K.:

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

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

Helen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary M.:

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

God bless all the wonderful DADS out there

who LOVE their women and children!!

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

These are Different Times….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 4

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

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

Today’s reports from the sidewalk:

Peggy & Beth 7-9

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

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

Peggy

Cathy & Priscilla 9-11

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

Cathy

Hank & Judy 11-1

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

Hank & Judy

Chris & John 1-3

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

Chris

Jeannie & Virginia 3-5

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

Jeannie

Joe K & Jeff 5-7

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

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

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

Ave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 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 20: Thanks to St. Thomas Anglican Church, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Bonaventure, All Saints, St. Aloysius, Holy Spirit, and Faithful Volunteers!

“You’re in”

At the 40 DFL kick off Father Joe Freedy retold a story of his football days and the coach coming to him on the bench and telling him “you’re in.” He went on to tell us that some of us in the same way are being called off the bench by God to get into the game. HE is saying “it’s your time, you’re in.” It’s in the game of life. Pro Life.

Well it’s half time of the big Spring game. We are lucky here in Pittsburgh as we have a great team. We just need to execute HIS plan. We need to show up for 40 Days and witness to life. We need to pray and fast. Sure it requires a little sacrifice but it is worth it. We have a tough adversary but we have the secret weapon that assures we will win. We have God on our side.

This isn’t a watch on TV thing, this is a get in the trenches and get muddy game. Get over your fear. As Father Joe said, have courage and it will overtake your fear. And then savor the joy of winning.

He doesn’t call everybody. But if HE is calling you and saying “you’re in,” then pick up your helmet and get in the game. Come down to the vigil for your first time during this Spring event or an extra time. Bring a friend, as we’re holding tryouts (no worries, all will make the team as we have a no-cut policy) .

Thanks also to Father Joe for the truly inspirational homily. Peace and joy, Tim

Here are the stories from today at the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am:

There was more traffic coming into town today than I expected. Amy and I took up each side of the circle to pray. I wore the https://abortionworker.com/ sign because Mondays are mostly workers entering Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, about an hour into our shift, women started entering PP for abortions. I believe at least 15 women entered while I was still there. I was grateful Katie and Priscilla came to offer women help and Amy was reaching out as well. A man whose name I do not know also stood peacefully with us holding a hand-made sign saying “Choose Life.” We did our best to let the women and their companions know that they are not alone and there is free help available. I do believe everyone was approached regarding alternatives to abortion, but sadly it did not appear anyone was changing their mind. I do believe God hears our prayers and trust that God knows what he is about…Thanks, Sue

From Ginny 9-11: Today was the worst day I have experienced in years. So many women went into Planned Parenthood. Mondays are never abortion days, but today was. I suppose they trying to get as many as possible. Several woman came out towards the end of my shift with tears in their eyes. So I spent my shift crying and praying. May God comfort us.

From Donna and Glen 11-1: It was a busy and sad day today at PP for a Monday. Everything may be shutting down around us and PP is still doing abortions and on a Monday!!

From Beth 1-3: Surprise today was an abortion day so
twice as many thanks to the faithful prayerful family of 40 days
Dianne, Janet, Rita, Marie and Sandy from St. Teresa of Avila
They kept the prayers coming on this gray cold day at PP. So many clients

Our first experience was seeing a Mom and her daughter leave and it was clear by the look in the daughter’s eyes that she was hurting, physically and emotionally. They refused any information. So sad to see so many going in to PP today.

Katie had been there since 8 or so and was trying so hard to reach people and hand out pamphlets. She was determined! Thank God for that determination because praise God one of the couples she spoke with today, they are going to Birthright tonight for help. Please keep praying for this couple who has 3 kids and things are really tight for them. Kathy was there too and brought us some Unplanned DVD’s to hand out and share and Wolves In Sheeps Clothing DVD from EWTN. Thank you Kathy! Katie no sooner had the DVD’s and was sharing them with the book store owner. He told her he had been wanting to see Unplanned and appreciated her sharing them with him.

We were joined by faithful prayer warriors Patty & Bill. Then 3 ladies from St. Sebastian’s came early: Dot, Rita & Mary Lou. Thank you all for joining us today to pray to end abortion where we live.

We tried to reach out to so many but they refused. We thank God for the couple that Katie reached today.

3 to 5 was quiet at clinic and on the sidewalk. We had a great prayer group. Dave and John from St. Boniventure, Gloria from St. Mary of the Assumption and Pete the shift buddy. -John

DAY 19: Thank you, People of God Covenant Community; Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon; Shift Buddies, Vince P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Vicky A., Patrick S., Amy M., Joe B.; and all the Witnesses who prayed with us today!

The Evening Prayer (1857)

Pierre-Edouard Frere (1819-1886)

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Public Domain

https://us.magnificat.net

Let’s not be afraid to talk about virginity, advocate for virginity, and

restore its rightful place as an integral part of our pursuit of authentic love.

Shawn Carney, To The Heart Of The Matter

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The 25th Anniversary of Saint John Paul the Great’s encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) is next week. Karol Wojtyla of Poland lived under the boot of Hitler and Stalin.  We live under the boot of legalized, culturally promoted personal promiscuity. Evil looked the same in Wojtyla’s time, 25 years ago, as it does today. Here’s Wotyla:

Today there exists a great multitude of weak and defenseless human beings, unborn children in particular, whose fundamental right to life is being trampled upon.

… infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.

The end result of this is tragic.

Conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.

The present Encyclical, the fruit of the cooperation of the Episcopate of every country of the world, is a pressing appeal addressed to each and every person, in the name of God: respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!

EVANGELIUM VITAE (Gospel of Life). Saint Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995 http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html

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Here’s today:

A whole generation has now been raised in the school of divorce, learning its chief lessons―that families break up, relationships end, and love is not forever. As a result, they have assumed a “comparison shopper’s” stance towards the opposite sex with all of the typical “calculation and guardedness that works against commitment and even against the ability to fall in love.”

Margaret Harper McCarthy. “Hedging One’s Bets: Courting Divorce” https://humanumreview.com/uploads/pdfs/Humanum-Issue-Three-2015.pdf

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The ultimate goal of the power of evil is to put love to death.

Pierre-Marie Dumont, MAGNIFICAT March 2020

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Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know (featuring Kimbra)

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… and the solution our Father offers – the Good, the True, the Beautiful – looks the same today.

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There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents

than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

Luke 15:7

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Quiet morning on the sidewalk…some pleasant greetings from the few people passing by.  Only one person stopped to talk.  He was looking for money but also asked us why we were there.  When he heard our reason, he told the story of a friend who became pregnant at 17.  Her boyfriend and his parents all told her to abort, but her own parents supported her and her decision to parent.  She gave birth to a little boy who is now 7 years old.  The man thanked us for being there before going on his way.

Thank you to Diane, Tom, and Nikki for preparing the sidewalk for a day of prayer and outreach.  Thank you to Shift Buddy Vince and volunteer Vicky for joining in prayer and Scripture reflection.  Thank you to Bill for stopping to bless us and the yellow line with holy water.  And thanks be to God for allowing us to continue this vigil today despite the time of crisis!

Vince, Vicky, Jen and Diane: Early to the sidewalk!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I thought today’s Gospel reading applied to the current health scare….”Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst…  Some of the grocery store shelves have been emptied of bottled drinking water. I think the greater thirst and need at this time is the living Word of God. I was blessed to be joined for my two hours today with The People of God Covenant Community. The songs and prayers and praise were centered on that very Word.    

Covenant Community Witnesses Julie, Patti, Pat and Tom with Shift Manager Ken

More witnesses from People of God Covenant Community: Neil, Aaron, Joel, Steve, Michele and Marie.

Steve, Joe, Carol, Mary, Michele and Pam … People of God Covenant Community … Second Shift Witnesses!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A strong showing from Saint Agnes Catholic Church in North Huntington PA today. And once again we were blessed with some police activity in our general area but nothing to affect us. Thanks be to God. But I write this with a heavy heart as all Masses in our diocese have been canceled as of tomorrow morning by Bishop Zubik. We are in a war, he is my general, but he is taking away our strongest and best weapon. If there is ever a time for prayer, and to take up our cross and follow Him, it is now.

Saint Agnes Catholic Church, North Huntington – Vigorous Witnesses for Life bring God to Downtown Pittsburgh

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Jim and Cathy (my 40 Days muses) came back from their Florida trip ready to pray for the innocents to be spared.
Kevin C. from Steubenville is becoming a 40 days regular, offering up his valuable time and prayers.
Welcome, Kevin, enjoy the grace filled ride!!!
I continue to be amazed at the quality of fruit produced by this movement.
For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and the whole world.

Jim and Cathy S., Shift Buddies, and Kevin C. from Steubenville

Last but not least with Joe W. witnessing today for life!

And God saw that it was good.