Day 20: Thanks to Mark, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, and all who kept the vigil going today!

The Power of One

I heard a great and inspiring homily recently by Fr. Tim D. (son of pro-lifers Diane and Tom.)  He talked about the role each one of us must play in life to do God’s will and be His light in this dark world.

He read from an early 20th century French poet about the illuminating power of one single candle in the darkness.

I couldn’t help but relate this to what we do when we are downtown at the vigil. We are that candle that brings the illumination of God’s love to that dark place.

We hopefully, by being that one single light, can save one soul and one life at a time. We enable those women to hopefully see the way, the truth, and Life.

You are that candle.  Come bring your light to the darkness downtown.  


 40 Days for Life Midpoint Event at 5:30 PM 
See details here:
Text 412-926-9413 to RSVP!
Please ask our merciful Lord to grant peace in the world and in the womb!

Stories from the Sidewalk

The Gospel at today’s Mass set the tone for my day downtown at PP. “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah…” Then twice Jesus says: “…something greater is here.”  I was reminded that Jesus, by His death and resurrection, conquered evil, and was going before me to the streets of Pittsburgh. I knew I would not be on the street praying alone. I was strengthened and encouraged knowing that Christ, who died for me, would be with me. During Mass, I prayed for all those traveling to Harrisburg for the March for Life, and I prayed that the Lord would keep me dry. We did not see one drop of rain all day! All praise to God! I know in my head that God is always faithful, and yet I often doubt and then I let fear stop me from doing things that I know I have been asked to do. Today was no different. Why do I doubt? Why do I fear?

7-9: Anthony was already in front of PP when I got the supplies. Seeing him in his wheelchair as I walked down the street was a sure sign of God’s presence. Jake, the first of many members from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, arrived shortly after and the three of us prayed the entire 20 decades of the rosary. It was like time stopped and we were in the presence of God and his angels. I did not see any young women enter during that time.

9-11: Mark, Fran, Marlene, and Tony from Holy Trinity UCC

10-11 Marc and Linda, also from Holy Trinity UCC, joined Marlene and the rest of us

We started to see a steady stream of women enter, with a couple of them taking literature from Marlene. One mom with her two young kids stopped to look at the baby models. Fran explained the age of the babies and the little girl was amazed and excited. We gave both kids a baby to take with them. It is a true blessing and joy to be an instrument of joy to the many people that pass by. We do make a difference by our presence. We had more positive comments and interactions than negative throughout the day.

11-1: Ginny, Sandy, and Michele

12-1: Pat from Holy Trinity UCC

Four prayer warriors! Michele handed out almost all of the Tri-fold brochures in the case and I needed to get more! Young women continued to enter and leave PP. Having been recently trained as a Sidewalk Advocate, I was feeling rather overwhelmed. The internal battle is real, and yet “…something greater is here…”  Why do I fear? Why do I hesitate? It is impossible to see the hurt and fear in the young women and not do something. I approached a few women trusting in the Holy Spirit, presented a brochure and said something like we are here to help and support you, and there are more options. Jesus, I am inadequate, use what I have, what I am doing and touch these young women and save their babies! I have much to learn, and yet we are only asked to be faithful, and God will work! A couple of homeless men stopped to talk during this time. One started with, “This is a serious question: What are you protesting?” I responded we are not protesting, at which point his language took a left turn and it was clear he was not interested in a conversation. May God provide his needs and may Mary comfort him.

1-3: George and Fr. Jason from Holy Trinity UCC

2-3 Denise from MSHJ parish & Steve from People of God

2-3:30: Gary and Leah and their 7 wonderful kids!

This was the highlight of my day. God used these 7 young angels to both bless and convict me. They were so full of joy and zeal! I think more brochures and cards were handed out by these kids in one hour than we passed out the entire day. Their joy was visible, and nobody could turn down what they were handing out, not even the women and staff that were leaving PP. It was simply amazing. I again asked myself, why do I fear? Why do I hesitate? I saw, by the actions of these beautiful kids, it is about Jesus, not me. (I know that is the case, but knowing does not make a difference.) Leah’s kids just wanted to share their love of Jesus. It was not about them. And if someone did not respond (which was very rare) they just went to the next person that came by. There was no difference between those walking by and those exiting PP. All needed to be given a brochure. It was such a blessing and reminder that it is not me on the street, but Jesus in me, and it is Jesus that needs to be shared.

3-5: Conrad and Mary Beth

We finished the day praying the Sorrowful mysteries, including the PP staff in our prayers as they continued to leave.

I am humbled that, even with my fear and hesitation, God is always faithful; how God used my single yes to stay in Pittsburgh and pray, to bless so many people, including me!

I will end with Psalm 91:1-2

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.”

5 thoughts on “Day 20: Thanks to Mark, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, and all who kept the vigil going today!”

  1. All of the pictures of this day were very inspiring !! BUT, the picture of the family with 7 children was the cherry on top !! GOD has blessed them !!

  2. Mark, thank you for your faith and your commitment to be there all day! That is very inspiring to us! And thank you to all from Holy Trinity Church, who came and all the team members also!

  3. Thank you Mark, Holy Trinity and all who came to pray. God bless you for your faithfulness and commitment! It is wonderful to hear of all the blessings on the sidewalk!

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