Day 22…Thanks to Divine Redeemer & St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parishes and many dedicated team members and individuals!

Fill My Cup, Lord! (click to hear the song)

This song by Andrew Ripp has been playing in my head since reading the story of Elisha and the Widow’s jar of Oil, (from 2Kings 4) this morning. The song, like the story, is about our emptiness without God, and about His provision for those who trust Him. In the story, the prophet Elisha multiplies the oil of the widow whose sons are about to be enslaved to pay a debt. Elisha first asks the widow what she has in her house. She answers that she has only a little jar of oil. He tells her to go and borrow empty vessels from all her neighbors and to take her vessel of oil and pour it into them. As many vessels as she collected, that is how much her oil multiplied. When the last vessel was filled, the oil stopped flowing. She then had enough oil to be able to pay off the debt that she owed…and still had enough left to live on.

This made me think about how foolish the woman must have felt as she went door to door to her neighbors, asking for the empty vessels. How humiliating it would be if God did not fill them! She would be the laughingstock of the town! I compared this to our witness on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Indeed, how foolish do we appear as we stand there in the cold, begging mothers and fathers to spare the lives of their unborn children as they ignore our pleas and walk in those doors. We are laughingstocks to many. But we, like the widow, are desperate. The widow was desperate because she was about to lose her children to a debtor. We are desperate because we are losing our preborn children to abortion!

With all the other problems in the world today, such as war, violence, financial instability and the seeming destruction of the family and morality… and even the loss of faith in the Church by many…we know that the intentional killing of the most vulnerable, most innocent of all human beings…while in the very place that God created to keep them safe and to preserve their life…is the one sin that cries out the loudest to God for justice. We are not going to be distracted by all the other problems that we see around us. It is true that those other problems are more visible and “in-our-face”...but the hidden sin of abortion is the worm that has eaten away and hollowed out the tree of our culture.

Up until recently, this tree appeared to be strong and formidable…although within it was hollowed out and ready to fall. Now, it doesn’t even appear to be strong anymore. Everyone can see that this tree is full of disease and it will only take one strong storm to bring it down.

So we are desperate for God to purge us from the terrible sin of abortion…so that maybe our nation will have a chance to be saved. We are so desperate that we are willing to look foolish. We hold out our empty vessels and wait for God to pour out His abundance.

For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord.

Daniel 3:14-21 From today’s (Tuesday’s) Mass readings

Fill our cup, Lord!

Read on for today’s shift reports:

7-9am – Cathy, Mark & Claudia

Mark, Claudia, Anton and I had the first shift of praying  this cold morning. Our layers and warmers helped us so it wasn’t terrible! At least it was dry! 

Unfortunately, three couples and a mother/ daughter went into the clinic. Only one person accepted a resource flyer. We continued to pray that they would change their minds.


9-11am – Elsie

Wonderful group from Divine Redeemer Parish brightened the sidewalk with their prayers today!

Linda’s journey out of town was timed perfectly, although her wisdom, calm, and sensitive kindness were greatly missed, and we are looking forward to her return!! I was by no means alone on the sidewalk today.  My own parish, Divine Redeemer, sent nine prayer-warriors to join me: Father Brian and his lovely mother Kathy, Jim, Christian, Carolina, Renate, Terri, Ibie, and Sandy!  Some of them offered literature and help to PP’s victims and to passers-by, but collectively they still managed to “pray ceaselessly.”

We were joined by Sidewalk Advocates Maggie and Pete and two very sweet, quiet and earnest lady prayer-warriors from churches near Harmony and Zelienople.

A nice lady passed by and asked us all if we could give her a Bible, but, alas, none of us had one with us.  Further conversation with her indicated that she was in need of some social services, so Christian and Carolina walked with her to the Red Door and eventually to a doctor and then (by car) to a hospital.  I have no more details and do not know the lady’s name, but please pray for her to be healed and blessed!

Sadly, victims were going in and out of those Dreadful Doors.  We tried to share the truth about the reality of their precious, unique babies — and the help and hope available.  Please God, may our efforts bear fruits by Thy grace.


11am-1pm-Terri, Katie & Maggie

Tom & Terri
Thanks to St. Bernard of Clairvaux parishioners for coming all the way from Indiana PA!

When Katie and I arrived, we were greeted by parishioners from Elsie’s parish family, who were just leaving. Thanks to Pete, Maggie and Tom who joined us on our shift. A group from St. Bernard of Clairvaux in Indiana PA were also with us for our shift today. It was nice to hear prayers and songs from the sidewalk. People entering and exiting the clinic were not very receptive to offers of materials and help. Although it was one of our colder days of the campaign, the sun did peek through toward the end of our shift. It reminds us that there is always light after darkness, and we will one day see an end to the darkness of abortion.


1-3pm – Chris & Judy Z

MacKenzi, Riese & Erin from the Culture Project spread the message of Life in Pittsburgh!
Faithful Ed prays at PP regularly

Again this week, Judy and I were joined on the sidewalk by five members of The Culture Project (here in Pittsburgh until May)–Riese, MacKenzi, Erin, Luke, and Jacob.  Their mission in the Pittsburgh area is to visit middle and high schools and talk to students about The Theology of the Body.  Ed from the Church of the Divine Shepherd joined Judy from St. Joseph the Worker, Riese, MacKenzi, and Erin on one side of the semi-circle, while Carlos and Phil from St. Aidan Parish joined Luke, Jacob, and me praying on the other side.  The young people from The Culture Project said they’d be back to pray with us next Wednesday.  God Bless these young people for returning to pray with us today!


3-5pm – Eileen, Larry & Steve

Larry and Steve closed out day 22

Pretty quiet today.  Just me and Steve.  We prayed the Rosary and had a few comments, mostly good.  Looked like only one or two women came out of PP, the rest mainly looked to be employees after 4:00 PM.  One guy did talk to Steve.  He looked like a construction worker, and he was walking all around town with a Choose Life sign.  He told Steve something to the effect that our message did not fall on deaf ears.


2 thoughts on “Day 22…Thanks to Divine Redeemer & St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parishes and many dedicated team members and individuals!”

  1. Edward McDermott

    I briefly talked to a young lady today about how years ago she accepted some of our literature on pregnancy crisis centers and she went to one kept her baby. He is now sixteen and doing well. Her words were I ran out those doors at planned parenthood. So keep the faith everyone, we are making a difference even when it doesn’t seem so. God is faithful and in control Thanks be to God

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