Last night we closed our 40 Days for Life vigil in front of Planned Parenthood in the same way that we began…with Christ as our solid foundation!
I have not turned away my face from those who rebuked me and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: Therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded. He is near Who justifies me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he who shall condemn me?Isaiah 50
For forty days…12 hours each day…we stood, knelt, laughed and cried…on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Through many bitter cold, windy, snowy and rainy days. Early morning darkness, mid afternoon bustling, late evening emptiness. Our 40 shift managers, our 40 shift buddies, members from about 40 churches, and many individual volunteers…gave of their time and set aside their own comfort…to come and pray. About 400 babies lost their lives while we stood helplessly by…but we prayed for them and for their parents and grandparents. At least 2 (we hope) were saved…although I have no doubt there were many more that we don’t know about.
The lives that were saved are a reason to celebrate…although that is not the primary blessing that we receive through our 40 day witness. Our closeness to Christ…experiencing His protection, provision and love for us…especially through our love for one another…is the greatest gift that 40 Days for Life gives us. When we set aside our own fears and selfish desires for comfort to go and pray in such a hostile environment, we experience a closeness with God that we just don’t get when we are living our normal, comfortable lives. When we stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters who are in the trenches of this spiritual war zone, we forge bonds of Christian fellowship and friendship which otherwise would be shallow acquaintances.
Last night as a small group of about 60-80 Christian brothers and sisters knelt on the sidewalk, with His Excellency, Bishop William Waltersheid holding the Monstrance containing the Precious Body of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist…we were truly TOGETHER. Jesus was truly WITH US! The most inspiring moment of our procession to Epiphany Church was when we were crossing an intersection on Smithfield Street, and the police had stopped the traffic to allow us to cross…I looked to my right to see a car that had stopped. As we passed in front of it, both the passenger and driver got out of the car and knelt on the street!
I will post the photos that were taken from last night’s event below, but first, I just want to plead with you to please consider making praying at Planned Parenthood a regular part of your year-round prayer life. Especially during this very HOLY WEEK! We need people to be on the sidewalk for the following times:
Tuesday (tomorrow) from 1:30-3:30 (Sandy needs a partner)
Thursday Dave needs a partner from 10:30-11:30, and there is NO ONE from 7:30-10:30 OR from 1:30-3:30.
Friday: Donna needs a partner from 12 noon-3 pm and Leah needs a partner from 2-3. THIS IS GOOD FRIDAY! PLEASE KEEP CHRIST COMPANY IN HIS AGONY BY PRAYING WITH US ON THE SIDEWALK!
***There will be Stations of the Cross prayed on the sidewalk at 10:00, books provided by PCUC (People Concerned for the Unborn Child). All are welcome to come and pray the stations at this time!
Saturday: From 2-3 pm there is NO ONE, and Leah needs a partner from 3-4pm.
Thanks for helping us keep Christ on the sidewalk all year round! If you are feeling called to take the upcoming Sidewalk Advocate Training class on April 23rd, please contact Greg Engelmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Now, enjoy these photos from last night’s closing event:
Prayer on the sidewalk…
Our Procession Begins…
In the Church…
Enjoying Christian Fellowship in the Church Hall…
Thank you Fr. Chris Donley for allowing us to use the beautiful Hall at Epiphany Church, and for the use of the Church for our closing Mass! Thank you Bishop Waltersheid for spending so much time with us last night, and for carrying our Blessed Lord through the streets of Pittsburgh! We are very grateful for you! Thanks to all who participated in this Lenten 40 Days for Life! May God bless you as He guides you through Holy Week, and may you have a blessed Easter!
Your sister in Christ,