Praise God for the gift of holy friendship! What an incredible blessing to have people in our lives who voluntarily act like our family. They give us their prayers. (Please offer your prayers for longtime shift manager, Jim, who is in the hospital with an infection.) They give us their time. (Thank you again for covering my early-morning shift today, Pat!) They support us with physical gifts like providing a meal during a stressful time. Our lives are much richer thanks to the good friends with whom God has surrounded us.
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without friendship, but it’s a reality for so many people we meet on Liberty Avenue. We see women who have no one to support them when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. And increasingly, we encounter folks with no home and no one to care for their needs.
We haven’t been able to confirm yet, but we’ve heard that one of these lonely souls who is familiar to us may have passed away in the last few days. Laura often sat in her wheelchair near our 40 DFL vigil. An ambulance was called to provide assistance for her on Friday; and on Saturday, a man who also lives on the city streets told our vigil participants that she has died.
A number of our dear regular volunteers have reached out to Laura over the years. Their offers of friendship must have been a bright spot in her difficult life–God bless them for their efforts! They are now trying to confirm what’s happened and plan for her next needs, possibly a funeral. While we wait to hear, please hold Laura in your prayers…either for the repose of her soul, or for her earthly needs for health, shelter and friendship to be met if she’s still with us.
Dear 40 Days for Life,
We are deeply concerned for the mothers and their preborn babies. Be assured of our daily prayers and penance for an end to abortion, especially in Pennsylvania. God alone can eradicate this evil. We will remember this intention every day at Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and especially during Vespers followed by an Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. We also pray for all those who work and witness to the dignity and awe of the wonder of human life.
Sincerely,Sister Mary Ann, CP and the Passionist Nuns of Pittsburgh
Stories from the Sidewalk
A quiet Sunday on Liberty Avenue with a little foot traffic for the Steelers game. Light rain and just a few comments — one was nasty but the rest were pleasant with lots of smiles. Thanks to Jen for filling in while shift buddy Pat was away, and to faithful K of C members Rich and George always with us on the first hour of our shift. Also thanks and admiration for the downtown rosary walk. Kathy and Nadine arrived at 11:00 am for the next shift.Ken
Nadine and I prayed on each side of the line at intervals. Many Steeler fans. One man stopped to tell us an encouraging story about adoption.Kathy K.
Around 12:30, I stood too close to the Art Gallery building. I was told emphatically not to stand there by manager. Walking back and forth on sidewalk, I noticed a cultural district security guard and I heard manager telling him loudly, ”She is walking back and forth on our sidewalk.” Guard quietly said, ”Public sidewalk.” I kept walking. Just wanted to encourage others not to stand near the white brick part of their building.
Rainy day on the sidewalk today, but although we missed Jim and Cathy, St. Luke and Corpus Christi Parishes made it a great shift. We peaked with almost 20 people present, with most staying for the full shift! A few negative and positive comments, but downtown was pretty quiet overall.Andrew