DAY 5: Thank you Sisters of the Holy Spirit; Beloved people praying, fasting and witnessing with us this fall; the Beloved who accompany us for Life on the sidewalk downtown; and Nikki and the managing team who shepherd us so generously.

Saint Francis Receives the Stigmata
Illumination from the Life of Saint Francis
by Saint Bonaventure, before 1478
Add. 15710, f. 164v.,
The British Library, London, England.
Copyright British Library Board / Robanna / Leemage.

Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 1:8,14

The picture just above was “possibly painted by a Poor Clare nun from Fribourg, from a fifteenth century illuminated manuscript” writes Pierre-Marie Dumont in Magnificat, October, 2013.

Did Jesus accept Crucifixion in all its details, unaware of the agony it would cost him?  Did the “Poor Clare nun from Fribourg” enter the convent expecting a life of fancy clothes and cozy accommodations?  Are pro-life people comfortable when the scathing hatred of the abortion industry is aimed at them?  We cling to the the Armor of God for protection. And we have a secret we hope to share.  The Fribourg Poor Clare nun sings the secret as she paints.  Bearing a share of hardship for the Gospel is a source of great joy.

The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life convenes at Georgetown University annually, the day before or the day after the March for Life. In 2021, it convened virtually due to COVID.  The Conference on Life strives to promote intellectually rigorous discourse on the sanctity of human life as well as build a culture of life both within and beyond the Georgetown community. Georgetown students founded the Conference in 2000 and remain both the organizers and facilitators of what has become the largest student-run, pro-life Conference in the United States. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, the Conference is named in the honor of His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, who principally committed himself to advocate for the defenseless and eloquently defend pro-life positions.

The conference is fiercely protested on the Georgetown campus, in social media and on blog posts.  “The Cardinal O’Connor Conference is named after an incredibly homophobic and disgusting person and brings in homophobic, misogynistic, racist people without fail every year.”

Kelsey Hazzard, J.D.: Founder and President of Secular Pro-Life was on the panel of the 2018 Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life.   She spoke. “Abortion is not inherently a religious issue. It’s not enough to say that abortion is considered a religious issue just because Catholics talk about it a lot.   What has led abortion to be ghettoized as a religious issue exclusively? An inference of this tactic was that there were no non-Catholic groups opposing abortion.  The fact that other Christian and non-Christian religions were and still are monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed along with pro-life atheist’s opinions. I am a pro-life atheist.

“I came to the March for Life as a college student and I loved it.  But, I also saw far more crucifixes and Virgin Mary items than I had ever seen before in my life.  It was all very foreign to me. I thought an observer who came to this, not really knowing anything about it, would probably think that this was a Catholic gathering. I started an explicitly secular organization. “

In The Hand of God, Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of NARAL and former abortionist, explains NARAL’s targeting of the Roman Catholic Church.  “No more perfect straw man could ever have been devised. We attacked at every opportunity.  Our favorite tack was to blame the church for the death of every woman from a botched abortion.  There were perhaps three hundred or so deaths from criminal abortions annually in the United States in the sixties, but NARAL, in its press releases, claimed to have data that supported a figure of five thousand.

“When ultrasound in the early 1970s confronted me with the sight of the embryo in a womb, I simply lost my faith in abortion on demand. I continued to do abortions through 1976.  Increasingly I found the moral tensions building and becoming intolerable. In 1979 I did my last one.”

Nathanson became a pro-life advocate.  “At every pro-life rally at which I speak, I still apprehend the ecstatic faces, radiating such love and joy that I find an icy knot deep within me … slowly thawing into rhapsodic waves of warmth.” He became a Catholic.


Beethoven composed Symphony No. 9 in D Minor over ten years. He lost his hearing during this composition, his final complete symphony.  At the premiere in May, 1824, he was deaf

Henry van Dyke wrote Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (1907) with the intention of musically setting it to the Ode to Joy melody, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Ever singing march we onward,

victors in the midst of strife.

Joyful music lifts us sunward

in the triumph song of life.

Hong Kong Festival Orchestra Flash Mob 2013: Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, August 12, 2013. At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule.


The Sisters of the Holy Spirit will be blessing us with their prayers throughout these 40 days. 

Sister Jolenta



The first Sunday morning of our campaign was quiet and prayerful. Thank you to Vince and his brother Knights of Columbus, Rich, George, Dave, and Dan, for keeping vigil; and to Pat and Ken for taking our place at 9 AM.

Knights of Columbus Dave, Dan and Vince


Sorry, technology failed me in trying to present a picture from our shift. It was wonderful to be on the sidewalk again, the first Sunday of this campaign, with our faithful teams of pro-life warriors. Every time we arrive for our shift we find Jen and Vince in prayer, finishing up their shift with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

From the propers of today’s Mass Gradual: Ps. 32 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…  In a certain sense, all of our prayers have the intention that we hear in the Gradual for Mass this Sunday. We pray that our nation will turn back to Our Lord as God. The Knights of Columbus, Dave, Dan, George and Rich, were with us today for the first hour of our shift in prayer. Shift buddy Pat S. and I carried the second hour until Rich and Rosanne arrived at 11:00AM.


First Sunday back and it was good to be greeted by Shift Manager and Shift Buddy, Ken and Pat.  We had no one signed up for our shift today so we were “forced” to take a selfie. Sorry. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect today because of previous reports but it turned out to be quiet even though there was a Steeler game today, so we got our Rosaries and Divine Mercy prayed and we witnessed.

Rich and Roseann, Shift Managers


Safe and secure, on our journey to Christ.

All glory and praise be to God!!!

Pictured faithful shift buddies Jim and Cathy.

Jim and Cathy, Shift Buddies


Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father,
Save us.

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