Day 36…Thanks to Divine Grace & St. Martha and Mary Parishes, and many faithful team members and volunteers!

A Change of Perspective…

My husband and I go to my parents’ home most Sunday afternoons to visit, eat dinner, and usually watch some sort of inspiring movie with them. This past Sunday my husband chose the movie Rudy. It was a movie from the early 90’s which told the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, a young man from Indiana who dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame…even though he did not have the brains, brawn…or talent…to do so. During the first half of the movie I found myself criticizing Rudy in my mind. Why was he so focused on his dream when everyone else could see that it was impossible? Wasn’t it a sort of narcissism to be that focused on oneself? Why couldn’t he just accept the fact that he was not Notre Dame material and move on with his life? Instead, he was willing to suffer humiliation and mockery…along with danger to his physical well-being. Truly, he could have easily been killed or paralyzed by the tackles from much larger players…he was basically willing to be a live “tackle-dummy” for the first string players just to be part of the team…the dream was that important to him!

But as the movie progressed, my perspective began to change. I began to notice the effect that Rudy’s dedication and commitment was having on those around him. It was so inspiring in the end to see the entire Notre Dame football team…and then everyone in the stadium…chant his name so that the coach would put him in for the last few seconds of the game. I realized that my perspective was all wrong when I started watching the movie. I thought the story was about Rudy…and his dream. It was not! It was about the way that people are united, encouraged and inspired when they see someone giving themselves completely in true dedication to a cause…ESPECIALLY when the cause seems hopeless! (You know where I am going with this!)

Yes, from the world’s perspective, our little prayers on the sidewalk seem pointless. How could we possibly think that we will end abortion with our little prayer vigil? The truth is…we can’t. But that’s okay! God will end abortion in His time. We…by our dedication and sacrifice for this holy cause…are inspiring many others to do the same…and our presence on the sidewalk is causing passersby to rethink their position on abortion as well! Also…just as Rudy’s dedication developed in him strong discipline; mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically…our perseverance in this pro-life battle causes us to develop in the same way. We become less selfish, less prone to give in to fear or intimidation…more willing to sacrifice and suffer.

So if you want to be inspired, I recommend that you watch Rudy…and then…

Join us for our 40 Days for Life CLOSING EVENTS this Sunday!

It will begin at 3:30 with a JERICHO MARCH AROUND PP, led by Pastor Joe Stump of Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene! Pastor Joe will lead us seven times around the block as we pray that God will bring those spiritual walls of abortion down!

At 4:30pm Bishop Waltersheid will be bringing the Blessed Sacrament to Planned Parenthood for a brief time of prayer, and then leading us on a Eucharistic Procession to Epiphany Church, where he will offer a Closing Mass to thank God for His provision and protection during these 40 days, and for all the lives and souls that were surely saved!

On Good Friday, PCUC will lead the Stations of the Cross prayers in front of Planned Parenthood at 10 am! Come and join us in prayer on this most solemn day!

Now, on to today’s sidewalk reports…

7-9am – Cathy, Mark & Claudia

A number of staff entered the clinic, only 2–maybe 3–women. One young woman with a teen did go in. Claudia was able to talk to them while they were sitting on the bench waiting for the clinic to open. They travelled a long way but apparently PP was the closest place that would take their insurance. Not sure if they were maybe just getting BC. Claudia told them not to say “yes” to anything inside, and that we would be there to help, and not condemn them.


9-11am – Elsie & Linda

Thank you, Lord, for the SUN! I had missed my shift the past two weeks, as I was out of town. What a glorious surprise to find the sun warming the sidewalk in front of PP this morning. In my absence the city had mulched the sidewalk trees and re-planted the planter out front with daffodils and pansies. Spring had arrived.

My joy was short-lived, as the sun moved behind the buildings, and the cold once again returned to the sidewalk. Adding to the chill were the numerous women and couples entering PP this morning. No one was interested in taking any information about alternatives.

Joining Elsie and me today were Maria and Pam from St. Ferdinand Church. Pete also was present for our shift.

Also joining us towards the end of our shift were Chris and Jimmy. Thank you all for your witness for life!

Thanks to Pete for being there for so many hours this campaign!

11am-1pm – Terri & Katie

Today was our last Wednesday shift for this campaign. Again, we were not alone on the sidewalk. Several people from the 7 to 9 shift stayed for a while with us. We were also joined by three women from Saint Martha and Mary Parish. Bob, from Saint Mary in Kittanning, also stood with us. There seemed to be a steady flow of people going and coming through the doors today. Very few took literature or wanted to talk. Many people passing by will glance at the fetal models and signs, so they are aware of why we are there. I hope that they remember what they see and may one day recognize the truth of what abortion is and perhaps become a voice for the voiceless.


1-3pm – Chris & Judy Z

Today was a good day to pray, but a sad one, too.  As I arrived, I watched a mother and her daughter enter PP.  By the end of my shift they still hadn’t come out.  My prayer partners today were Cynthia and Gary from Saints Martha and Mary parish, Bernie from St. Joseph the Worker parish, and Carlos, who prayed his decades in beautiful Spanish.  Dan, from Steubenville, who I’ve gotten to know over the past several years, stood in the street, holding a sign that said “Science says that Life begins at Conception.”  While we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, Shift Buddy Judy and Katie worked diligently to hand potentially life-saving literature and resource cards to PP clients entering and leaving the building.  


3-5pm – Eileen, Larry & Steve

Today was pretty quiet.  Our pro-life friend from Butler shuffled past on his way to catch the bus, and a woman walked by us while we were praying and grabbed her daughter, pointed to us and said, “Those are the people that stopped me from…”  We didn’t hear what, but we can assume she finished by saying, “…ending my pregnancy.”  We prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary.   The mild weather was appreciated.   Steve, Eileen, and I all thanked each other for being such great partners for the Lent Campaign.


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