Day 22…Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac & St. Joan of Arc Parishes, Divine Mercy Parish and many dedicated individual volunteers!

Prayer is the fire-proof suit that we wear to protect us in this battle to save precious lives at Planned Parenthood!

I have noticed lately that I just do not feel comfortable being in front of Planned Parenthood anymore UNLESS I AM PRAYING! Which is rather ironic, because when I first started leading Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for Life back in 2010…my little secret was that I really didn’t think praying was all that important. I thought that prayer was just an excuse so that we could be there and visibly witness to the injustice of abortion. I thought it was more important for us to be seen, to change hearts that way. The prayer part…well, that was just secondary.

It occurred to me when I was standing on the sidewalk this past Saturday, trying to be polite to those who wanted to engage in conversation…that I just didn’t feel comfortable. It was like being inside a burning building without protective equipment. I realized that the only way I can feel comfortable on the sidewalk is if I am praying or engaging in some sort of edifying conversation, including building up the faith of other Christians, witnessing to non-Christians, or reaching out to abortion-vulnerable parents. Prayer truly is our “protective gear” when we stand so close to the satanic flames that are spiritually enveloping that building located at 933 Liberty Avenue!

It is funny how my faith has grown, deepened and matured because of this pro-life work, and I suspect that I am not the only one! Because of the sacrifices that so many of us have made over the years, many of us have grown in our love for God.

It’s like someone who has had a baby, and has begun the exhausting task of tending to a child 24 hours a day, giving up sleep…feeding and changing them, worrying when they are sick or get hurt, etc. It is the suffering and the sacrifice that makes that child so precious to us!

If we all had nannies to take care of our children…to get up in the middle of the night to feed them and rock them back to sleep, I don’t think we would have as strong a bond with our children. Similarly, when we give ourselves completely to the Lord, and to the work that He calls us to…it is that sacrifice of time, sleep, energy, comfort, pride, etc….that bonds us more closely to Him!

Our Lord was present on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood to begin our 40-day vigil. Last Wednesday, our three rivers at the Point (along with the city of Pittsburgh) were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. The picture above is of the sun during the consecration. I have no doubt that God is preparing our city to play a role in the amazing work of salvation that He is accomplishing through our pro-life work here!

Keep the faith, keep your protective gear on while at PP…and trust in the Lord! He will carry us through any difficult times that may be ahead. Thanks to everyone who prayed and witnessed today!

Before we go onto the shift reports from today, I want to let you know the exciting news that we will close the 40 day vigil at Planned Parenthood on November 1st the same way that we began it…with our Lord, Jesus Christ…on the sidewalk in the Blessed Sacrament! Thanks to Bishop Waltersheid and Fr. Chris Donley for making this happen! Come to the sidewalk at PP at 4:45pm on Sunday, November 1st for a short time of prayer before the Holy Eucharist, and then join our Eucharistic Procession through Pittsburgh, ending at Epiphany Church for a Mass, in thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings, protection and for all the lives that He saved from abortion during these 40 days! The Mass should begin around 5:30, or as soon as the procession gets there. CLICK HERE for a bulletin announcement/flyer with all the details!

Now…on to the sidewalk happenings from today’s vigil…

Peggy, Charlene and Beth from 7-9

Unfortunately it was busy today. One young woman took material but preceded to go in anyway. Charlene & I prayed right by the window where she was sitting. Prayer partners were very strong today. We look to the Lord to change hearts.

Peggy

Katie, Terri & Priscilla were in charge from 9-11

It was bittersweet to be back on the sidewalk after 3 weeks of quarantine. (Don’t worry, I tested negative 12 days ago so I’m not contagious anymore!!!) On the one hand I’m grateful to be able to do something to try to help put an end to this violence, but it’s heartbreaking seeing mothers refuse our offer of help. 7 or 8 people went in during my shift, although two came back out after only a couple minutes. One girl accepted literature and I was able to talk to a man whose girlfriend was having an abortion, but as far as we know neither changed their minds. We had a few positive comments and only one negative. Thank you to Andy, Pete, Nancy and Seamus from St. Louise de Marillac, Priscilla and Bill for being there to give a voice to the children today.

Katie

Faithful Barbara & Richard managed the vigil from 11-1

Andy and Katie greeted us on this balmy day just an hour before noon.  Very soon, Bob arrived. Andy led us in prayer. Later Mike, also from St. Louise de Marillac Parish came … and then Marie.  We had so many witnesses praying with us. We needed them. Women arrived one at a time and just kept coming today.   It felt relentless.  It felt very bad.   One guy called me over to the car his woman companion had just returned to from inside PP.  He asked me a series of rapid fire questions.  In the end he said I should not assume they had come for an abortion.  A woman arriving at PP for an interview told me I should get a life.  Oh, the responses that occurred to me! I kept quiet.  It was Sarah’s first time with us.  She is a Pitt grad student. Elsie and Chris came and we left.

Barbara

Chris & Elsie were the managers from 1-3

More glorious weather sent by God for today’s prayer warriors.  I started my shift by sprinkling Holy Water on the infamous yellow semi-circle.  Today, I was joined by first-timer Sara, a grad student at a local university.  Welcome, Sara!  Chris and her mother, Joyce, came from Our Lady of Victory in Harwick.  Karen and Mary Ann came from St. Valentine’s.  Tom, John, and Dolores, Wednesday afternoon regulars, joined us in praying multiple Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.  Elsie lovingly tried to hand out information to every passerby and had a long conversation with a man concerning his girlfriend who was inside PP.  Sadly, 3-4 women came out of the building during my shift with brown paper bags most likely containing abortion pills.  When two of them came out, at separate times, we paused our Rosary and dedicated the next Decade to them, their developing child, and the child’s father.  We also prayed for the abortion doctors, staff, and clients.  There were two highlights during my shift- the first, a group of small children being shepherded (like the Good Shepherd) by two women caring for them, and, the second, a mother who stopped to talk with us and her five adorable children.  I believe God sends the little children to us on the sidewalk to remind us of his precious gift of Life.  

Chris
Joyce, Karen, Chris and Mary Ann

Joe and Virginia closed us out from 3-5

It was a beautiful sunny, pleasant  afternoon, unfortunately standing in front of PP dampens any beautiful day. There was a steady amount of foot traffic this afternoon, some regular workers that usually pass by PP during these hours, but lots of new faces. We handed out several yellow cards and other leaflets. A mother-daughter team, Hope and Holly, were there before I arrived and stayed till about 5 PM.  They are from Apollo. The Mom, a nurse has been involved in pro-life  for several years, this visit was a return after some time being away from pro-life work.  Holly was very persistent in pursuing women coming out of PP (several workers), unfortunate only a very few took any information. Several young ladies wearing Florida State tee shirts were in the area, they turned out to be soccer players scheduled to play the Pitt women’s soccer team tomorrow. Tom and Diane arrived to take down the booth a little before 5.

Virginia

Day 21: Thank you Ancient Order of Hibernians, Shift Managers and Buddies!

Most of us are not hard-wired for confrontation……maybe that is why people get nervous about coming to the sidewalk to pray, we generally like to avoid confrontation and confrontation is to be expected when we put ourselves out there. There is a lot of misunderstanding by the women entering Planned Parenthood, the employees, escorts and security guards.

But really, what we are about is CARE-frontation.

We are there to Care-Front with the TRUTH…..abortion kills a living, human being.

It is destructive to the mother, the baby and everyone participating in it. But we care enough for our brothers and sisters to lovingly offer other choices. We care enough to provide rides to doctors appointments, throw baby showers, provide material assistance and walk with anyone who will walk away from the death and destruction and choose life. We care about anyone working in the abortion industry, so many prayers are said for you, and we care enough to help you find a new job!

As Christians, we are ready to go to the sidewalk and engage in Care-frontation!

ABORTIONWORKER.COM

7-9: Tracy

We began our morning together by reciting the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, using the Rachel Rosary booklet meditations. Very helpful for helping to remain focused on our ministry here at Liberty Avenue! No group was signed up to keep us company, so it was just the three of us.

Greg and Steve were fairly busy. It seemed there were more young ladies going in than is usual on a Tuesday morning. Sadly, most looked right past them, refusing to engage at all. Greg was fortunate enough to pass info onto a brother who dropped off his sister. Maybe it’ll prove helpful later?
God’s will be done!
– Tracy

9-11: Beth

Busy day at PP. People from St. Alexis and Bible Church witnessing by prayer and handing out lots of literature.  Here’s hoping that our first time volunteers become regulars.


11-1: Fran

Although no one was able to sign-up today for the 11-1 shift, three individuals did stop by at different times to pray ~ it was good to have them with us.  Between the hours of 11am and 1pm you can usually count on a lot of traffic in downtown, both foot and vehicle, because everyone is scurrying to get their lunch.  This picture was taken at 11:34 am ~ completely deserted!  Unfortunately, the same thing could not be said for PP ~ there was a lot of traffic in and out of their doors.  Elsie and I stood on either side of the doors in order to reach as many people as possible.  Some took the literature as they entered and a few took it as they left.  Please pray that they will accept the help that was offered to them ~ there is always hope.”The real hope is not in something we think we can do, but in God, who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.”  Thomas Merton 


1-3: Johanna Mike & Kim

My wife Kim and Johanna were there from 1pm to 3pm. Beautiful weather. Quiet on the street. Many couples coming out with paper bags. Prayed multiple rosaries. Little interaction with customers of Planned Parenthood.


3-5: Nikki

The weather was beautiful to stand outside and pray with my faithful sidewalk partner, Larry from the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  We had a few negative encounters. One group of young women stopped by and were looking at the baby models and one of them asked me, I was on my knees praying at the time, what I thought should be done in the case of rape. I stopped praying and told her that we don’t punish the child of the criminal, and that the baby is innocent and does not deserve to be killed. She told me that she had been raped, but she was not pregnant and did not have to make that choice. I explained to her that the fact is that most women who get pregnant after rape and choose abortion end up being more traumatized from the abortion than they were from the rape. In fact, the birth of the child, whether or not they choose to parent the child, can be a way of healing, bringing something good from something bad. I don’t know if any of the seeds took root in her heart or not, but from the expressions of one or two of the other girls, I think they were thinking about it. Another young woman stopped later and was looking at the abortion pill reversal sign and she asked me why I didn’t go do something more worthwhile, didn’t I have a job? She had already taken the abortion pill and was hurting, I could tell. I told her how the abortion pill reversal works, and that it is very successful. She was not interested in listening, and walked away. Larry and I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet and rosary for healing for so many hurting people.

Larry, Nikki, Diane

Day 20: Thanks to St. Joseph the Worker Parish and St. Bonaventure/All Saints/Holy Spirit/St. Aloysius Parishes

“Lord make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life, Amen.”

St. Francis

There is nothing I can add to that prayer. I say this prayer everyday, however, it is one thing to say this prayer and another thing to live this prayer. When we are at 933 Liberty Avenue we live this prayer. We break the darkness and bring the light of Christ to all who see our witness. We sow hope where there is despair, we understand and don’t judge and we offer options and express love.

And when we love, God smiles. -Tim

Here are the reports from today at the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am:

9-11 am: “It was a very quiet morning at P.P. Only two people went inside. It is always so much easier to be here on  the days that they aren’t doing business.”

Thanks to Nadine, Beverly, Katie and John. They made sure that I wasn’t by myself at the vigil this morning.

Dave brought his family to pray with us today.

11-1: Thanks be to God the sidewalk was filled today with 20+ prayer warriors. Deacon Ron led prayer with his many parishioners from St. Joseph the Worker and they prayed the rosary too.  Fr. Jeremy joined in too as well as Beverly, Katie & Sharon and a family from St. Bonaventure also.  Jim, who I met a year or so ago, stopped by too. He lives close by and stops and prays often. Thank you all and God bless you. Quiet day not much activity with it being Columbus Day.  Donna

From Beth S. 1-3: “Dave from Weirton, Rose and I prayed the afternoon away with warm temperatures and sunshine (Please remind me of this in February). Only saw PP staff members going in and out. Reverend Billy joined us later, all of us praying for an end of abortion and healing from its wounds. 

From Marie H. 3-5: “Had a great group from St. Bonaventure parish along with their former pastor Fr. Sweeney. Very light sidewalk traffic. The shift was peaceful.”

DAY 19: THANK YOU, Triumph of the Holy Cross Parish; Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon; The Passionist Nuns; The Carmelites of Erie, PA; The Carmelites of Latrobe, PA; Shift Buddies Vince P., Andy L., Marie P., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Joe B., Cathy C.; and all of the spirited Witnesses who prayed with us today!

2,366 tiny faces…representing the 2,366 lives ended by abortion HERE in 2013.

The 14 golden squares represent the lives saved during our pro-life witnessing during that same year.

THE INNOCENTS. Nikki Bruni

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You know someone who has had an abortion. You might not know who it is, but unless you are a hermit, you know at least one person, and have likely encountered dozens throughout your life, who have had abortions. Abortion is the poisonous fruit of loneliness and desperation.  No one grows up wanting to violently end the life of her baby.    When in conversation with people who disagree with us on abortion, we must remember that, very likely, an abortion experience is there and we need to treat them with love, respect and mercy.

Hearing a woman who has lain on that table share her experience and her pain, will motivate you to help stop the next one before it occurs.

The healing process is a long and difficult cross to bear.

Shawn D. Carney.  TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

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Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table.  Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. The Pharisee said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

”So, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”   

LUKE 7: 37-39, 47-48, 50

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SILENT NO MORE

Silent No More Awareness is a Campaign where by Christians make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

PROJECT RACHEL

It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness. You are not alone…

FRANCINE’S STORY

It was the two abortions I had that nearly destroyed me. When I became pregnant for the fifth time in seven years, my doctor asked me if I really thought I should “continue the pregnancy.” My husband said, “It’s your decision. Do what you want,” and left for work.  I asked my doctor and he said, “It only takes a few minutes and it’s over.” Naively, I began looking for women who had had abortions. I wanted to know what to expect. But I couldn’t find anyone who would admit to having had one.

I had my first abortion. Before I even got home, I began to cry. It didn’t help. When finally I stopped crying on the outside, I kept crying on the inside. Something deep inside of me froze.  I went to counseling and the psychologist said “Forgive yourself,” and “Let yourself go on.” She didn’t say how.
I wasn’t told that after having an abortion an unbelievable self-hatred would consume me. I wasn’t told that it would become impossible to look at my own eyes in a mirror. I wasn’t told that I would come to hate all those who advised me to have my abortions. I wasn’t told that hearing babies cry would trigger such anger that I wouldn’t be able to be around babies at all.

I wasn’t told that I could become suicidal in the fall of every year, when both of my babies should have been born. I wasn’t told that on the birthdays of my living children, I would remember the two for whom I would never make a birthday cake. On Mother’s Day I would remember the two who would never send me a card. Every Christmas I would remember the two for whom there would be no presents. My abortions were supposed to be a “quick-fix” for my problems, but they didn’t tell me there is no “quick-fix” for regrets.
The nightmares continued. I became a workaholic. Work didn’t help.  I became a compulsive eater. Food didn’t help.  I became an anorexic as a form of self-punishment. That came close to killing me. I had two strokes. I tried alcohol. It only helped temporarily.
Healing does not mean forgetting. I will always regret what I did and always miss my babies until the day I am with them in Heaven. But I know now that God can use every part of our lives, even the worst parts, to help us to help others.

RACHEL’S VINEYARD

Do not continue to live in the shame, fear or numbness – call our toll-free national hotlines.
Rachel’s Vineyard: 877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463) – National Hotline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-LIFE (866-482-5433)

 RACHEL’S VINEYARD PITTSBURGH PA – 2021 UPCOMING RETREATS

TONY JESTER toniafj1@comcast.net 412-352=5348

MAY 14, 2021 FRIDAY – MAY 16 SUNDAY

NOVEMBER 12, 2021 FRIDAY – NOVEMBER 14 SUNDAY

Through treatment, I was able to get sober and get the depression under control. But there was a dark cloud. That cloud only lifted after I found out about and attended a healing program specifically designed for those victimized by abortion. Do you know what empowerment truly is? Knowing the truth and being Silent No More. Patti S. Florida

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He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,

for the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” 

REVELATION 21:4-5

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For me, this video hints at some of the types of beauty a newly God forgiven woman could enjoy. All the bells and whistles delight her. Listen to the music! Look around at the beautifully refinished Cathedral. Watch the two cellists give her a thumbs up near the end of her performance. Her conductor could not look more thrilled. And how she glows!!!

EXSULTATE JUBILATE, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rejoice, be glad, O you blessed soul. Rejoice. Be glad, singing sweet songs. In response to your singing, let the heavens sing forth with me. The friendly day shines forth. Both clouds and storms have fled now. For the righteous, there has arisen an unexpected calm. Dark night reigned everywhere [before]. You who feared till now, and joyful for this lucky dawn, give garlands and lilies with full right hand. You, O crown of virgins, grant us peace.  Console our feelings, from which our hearts sigh. Alleluia!

Regula Muhlemann sings and Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Frauenkirche Dresden.

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DEE

The prayers of the religious are like FUEL in our tank.  They give us the spiritual power that we need! 

FUEL #2  The Passionist Nuns 

As usual I am late in writing to you, but you can always be assured that we are with the 40 Days for Life. Our fast days are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday of every week. We have 6 hours of prayer every day during which we pray for an end to abortion and respect for life at every age, an end to the pandemic and for our country.

Devotedly in Christ,

Sister Mary Ann, CP for the Passionist Nuns

FUEL #3  The Carmelites of Erie, PA

The letter was rather long. Will give you the last paragraph.

In October we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and Her revealing Herself as such at the close of the Fatima apparitions with the miracle of the sun on October 13th. In each of the six apparitions she asked us to pray Her Rosary and though to some, its prayers may sound repetitive, who tires of hearing, “I love you”?

We pray a Rosary in community daily besides extra Rosaries during the day, carrying you and your intentions to Our Blessed Mother, begging Her powerful intercession with Her Son in your regard. Grateful for your kindness to us, we ask Her to console you with the words She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three Fatima children, repeating deep in your heart: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

FUEL #4  Carmelites of Latrobe, PA

We are with you all during 40 Days for Life. We are praying and fasting for an end to abortion with all of you who are able to protest publicly at Planned Parenthood, Liberty Avenue.  God keep you safe and healthy as you peacefully pray and inspire others to pray and fast. God Bless you all, 100 fold.

Your most grateful,

Carmelite Nuns

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NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

JEN M. 7-9 SHIFT MANAGER

A large group gathered for the first shift of today’s vigil.  Gentle weather and a quiet morning on the sidewalk allowed us to focus on prayer. Thank you all for joining with us as we ask God to end the violence and sorrow of abortion!

Joe, Pat, Jason, Beth, Amy, Bill, George, Rich (standing), Andy and Vince (kneeling) gathered in prayer.


RICH AND ROSEANN K. 11-1 SHIFT MANAGERS

Praying and witnessing. It was quiet and peaceful today.

October Sunday weather treats Mary, Shift Managers Roseann and Rich, this beautiful family and Joe and Cathy to a beautiful day to Witness for Life!!!

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Today was very peaceful and quiet … Just one colorful drive-by insult. We didn’t even flinch or lose focus on our Rosary, which was prayed evenly spaced around the half circle of doom,  looking inward at that hideous filthy building where souls, bodies and emotions are damaged, and innocent lives are lost. I can’t speak for anyone else, but insults there make me smile inside. This means our presence is a thorn in Pittsburgh’s side. Like Jesus’ crown of thorns, our thorns WILL – by God’s grace – bring about massive goodness through our tiny sufferings. 

Mary, Kathy, Kimberly … Lindsay’s Angels

Kathy and Kimberly focusing their prayer over 933 Liberty Avenue

JOE W. 3-5 SHIFT MANAGER

St. Agnes Church showed up in force, with spirit filled attitudes ready to pray, and pray they did with confidence and humility.

Thanks folks. It was a real blessing following along with you and my shift buddies this afternoon.

Peace of the Lord be with you all.

Pro life witnesses from Saint Agnes Parish, North Huntingdon

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And God saw that it was good.

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Day 18: Thank you to Clarks Mills United Methodist Church, Ascension Church Holy Name Society, St. Maria Goretti Parish, St. Margaret Mary Parish, St. Isidore the Farmer Respect Life Group, generous Individual Volunteers, and wonderful Team Members!

Frustrated? Yep . . . but NEVER DISCOURAGED
–Be Like Jesus

I have enjoyed the humanness of Jesus heard in the daily Gospel readings of the Catholic Church lately – Jesus has been putting his team together, and starting to preach in the marketplace and temple. AND He’s getting pushback! The Pharisees are total skeptics and at one point he says to them what amounts to “Hey guys give us a break — John the Baptist didn’t eat and you thought he was a nut — My followers and I eat and drink and you say we are gluttons – we can’t win!”
Bottom Line? JESUS WAS FRUSTRATED!

I have learned this from an AMAZING PASTOR:
IT IS OK to be FRUSTRATED
but Believers
Should Never be Discouraged

Frustration is a passing Emotion — COURAGE is a TRAIT
So in the times when we all get frustrated on the sidewalk and in the pro-life movement, perhaps this heavenly response will help:


Saturday Sidewalk Reports

7-9 AM +++ Tim and Sidewalk Advocates

It was a quiet peaceful morning and I was joined by Pastor Adam and his wife Jana, Rosa and Anthony, John and regulars Virginia, Linda and Bill. We were blessed as the clinic appeared to be closed which was great as a young couple arrived and couldn’t enter and we were able to connect them with the Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram. Please pray for T.

Tim

9-11 AM +++ Sue M and Sue D

Check back soon!

11 AM – 1 PM +++ Dean and Greg

I was blessed to be at P.P. today. This was one of those rare occasions where they were closed for the whole day. No lives were lost today. Peaceful.

Dean

A couple and their little girl were visiting from Mexico.  Phil, Laura, and daughter Lucia stopped to pray on their own and later said a Hail Mary with me, completing the last half in Spanish.  Laura is part of 40 DaysFor Life in Mexico, and was moved to near tears when she first approached and saw who we were.

Greg

1-3 PM +++ Mary and Nikki +++ 3-5 PM +++ Jeff and Billy

I arrived on the sidewalk at one, expecting to see only one or two other people, I was very surprised at the large crowd who came to pray from Saint Margaret Mary Parish! There were about 20 of us on the sidewalk from the 1 to 3 shift! Much prayer was going on, and it was very peaceful, a lot of positive comments from passersby. I was told the joyful news upon my arrival that Planned Parenthood was completely closed all day today! On a Saturday! We thank God for this blessing, that no innocent blood was shed today! At 3 o’clock, a wonderful group from Saint Isidore the Farmer showed up to pray, and pray they did! We prayed, among many other Rosaries, the patriotic rosary, which names and places the precious blood of Jesus over all 50 states. Very powerful! Patriotic songs and anthems are also part of it. Thank you to Mary for filling in as a shift manager from 1 to 3, and Jeff and Billee from 3 to 5. The sidewalk was well covered on this Saturday afternoon!

Nikki

Day 17: Thank you to Holy Sepulcher Parish, Weirton Catholic Churches, grace-filled Individual Volunteers, and faithful Team Members!

Our 40-day spiritual battle on the sidewalk is difficult. That weight, added to anxieties about our own lives and the world around us, can be crushing. God works in mysterious ways, though…He sometimes allows darkness to descend in order to remind us to turn to Him. He alone is the One we can trust. He alone is the One who sustains and saves us.

When my family was going through a difficult time a few years ago, a faithful and faith-filled member of the 40DFL Pittsburgh team sent me a novena of prayers. Pat described it as simple, comforting, and powerful. He was so right. It helped me to give everything over to Jesus in that dark time and in other stressful periods since then.

Here is the Day 1 prayer for the novena:

Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying?
Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

From THE SURRENDER NOVENA
Given by Jesus to Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo

If you would like to see all nine days of prayers, please go to https://www.fatherdolindoruotolo.com/ I hope it will bring you closer to Our Lord and allow you to feel His loving arms wrapped around you.

-Jen


FRIDAY’S SIDEWALK REPORTS

7-9 AM +++ Barbara, Richard, and Rose

7am on the sidewalk downtown feels cozy as Diane and Tom arrive, Rose and Lisa appear and Bill joins Richard and me.  Never a lonely moment.
A chilly morning with crowds of noisy empty commuter buses and the Wednesday roses still fresh and lovely.
One of the pix captured the PP door still open as an employee walked in. 
Our hearts go out to the people still captured by abortion’s promise to solve a crisis pregnancy.
No clients came. It was a blessing for us to pray and witness together. Peace.

Barbara

9-11 AM +++ Kathy and Mark

Crystal, pictured above, is a frequent passerby to our vigil.  Today she stopped to tell me that she appreciates our presence and that she’s 100% PRO-LIFE! Crystal shared that she is the mother of two successful college students and became a mom at age 15.  She bore the responsibility of raising her children alone due to family drug addiction.  She knew what she had to do and with God’s help, did it.  Crystal believes marriage is God’s truth for raising children.  Thanks for stopping, Crystal.  God bless you!

Kathy

11 AM-1 PM +++ Sheila and Dee

Debbie (Holy Sepulcher), Annika and Cindy (St. Paul’s, Weirton)

There was only one client who entered PP during this time.  Not sure if today was a down day there. There were a lot of hostile remarks and gestures flung at us from passersby, though, and all of them were women.  I never saw so many middle fingers thrown my way in the course of two hours!  Despite that, we smiled and let these ladies know that God loves them.

Sheila

1-3 PM +++ Jeannie and Elaine

What a beautiful afternoon on the sidewalk today. My usual shift buddies Elaine and Marilyn were with me even though I was delayed by an accident in the Fort Pitt Tunnel. What a joy to know that our vigil continues whether or not each and every one of us is able to participate. I was joined by Bob and Gretchen from Holy Sepulcher and Mary from way up in Chippewa at Saint Monica. Later, Dawn came from Saint Kilian’s. We even had a special visit from Lisa and Victoria. This weather is good for vigil business LOL. Since we were all Catholics on the sidewalk we were happy to pray the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet — we also prayed all the intentions on the back of the baby picture signs.
There was a unbalanced young woman who came into the PP circle and sat down and leaned against the building. I approached her to see if she needed any help. Her name is Cat “like kitty cat “she told me. A few minutes later the PP security guard came out and told her she was not permitted to sit against the wall.  Cat refused my offer of help. Please keep her in your prayers.
Also to all the participants please remember there is a line of folks waiting to get into the Department of Motor Vehicles most days — pray for them to join us!!! 

Jeannie

3-5 PM +++ Pat, Val, and Mike

We all did a better job of praying this week over last week – much time was spent on our knees.  It was great to see the familiar faces of the Weirton Catholic Church group once again (organized by our own SM Sheila).  They prayed on the far side of the circle while my faithful SBs Val and Mike prayed with me on the other.  Henry came once again (second time) and I think he must have spent a full hour on his knees praying.  It was great to see Amy and Vince again.  They have such a beautiful prayerful spirit about them and it’s so clear by watching them that God must hear their prayers.   

It was very quiet this afternoon, with no one going in and only employees coming out.  The last one out was Director Kim E.  I ask all reading this to say a brief prayer for her conversion.

Pat

Day 16: Thank you to Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, St. Richard and St. Catherine, Divine Mercy Parish, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Allegheny County, and all of our other faithful prayer volunteers!

40 Days for Life

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Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

~Luke 1:68

One of the amazing things about God is that He is our FATHER. When thinking about the above passage, what stood out to me is that the Lord has COME to His people. Our Father sent His Son and His Spirit- TO US. We are not alone, looking off to a faraway, impersonal deity. Our God has COME to US. And CONTINUES to come to us in every moment.

Many of us on the sidewalk sometimes might wonder if it matters that we are there, praying. Short answer? It MATTERS. Because God has COME to His people. He is WITH us on that sidewalk.

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Our Father helps us to keep going when we think we might not be able to make it on our own.

For those women or men seeking abortion…. they may wonder what to do, and whether God hears them. Short answer- He DOES. God has COME to His people. He guides them with His Spirit and whispers to their hearts.

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Our Father holds us when we are so tired we can’t do it on our own anymore.

For those who are abortion workers…. they may think that God is outside of the realm of their job. They may think that God has nothing to do with any of this. They may reject God completely. And yet…. God STILL comes to His people. He waits…. and waits…. patiently waiting for them to return to Him, or to come to Him for the first time.

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Our Father allows us to approach Him in our own time and at our own pace, as we learn more about Who He is.

God is our GOOD FATHER who has COME to His people. He loves us and wants MUCH better for us than we even want for ourselves.

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Reports from the Sidewalk:

Nikki:

The Thursday morning shift from 7 to 9 is my favorite one. Planned Parenthood is not doing abortions or even seeing clients on early Thursday mornings, plus I love my shift buddy, Peggy! It is a peaceful time for prayer, and pray we did! We had very little conversation mixed in between prayers. We were happily surprised when Mary Pat showed up to pray at around 7:30, and she stayed for most of our shift, witnessing silently with her sign. I met Holly, who had signed up to pray from 9 to 11 and arrived shortly after Shift Manager Meredith. Holly said she used to participate in the rescue movements of the 1990s, and even went to jail for it. She is now getting back involved in pro-life work and has been coming regularly for 40 days. She told me the joyful news that when she was on the sidewalk last Wednesday, a young woman came out of Planned Parenthood in tears and Holly spoke to her and the young woman informed her that she had changed her mind, and just could not go through with the abortion! At first I thought it was a second baby saved (that we know of)…but later realized it was the same one that was reported on the blog last Wednesday. Keep up the good work everybody! God is with us!

Thank you to Shift Manager Nikki and Shift Buddy Peggy!!

Thank you to Mary Pat!!

Meredith:

It was a peaceful morning with lots of blessings returned for Chuck’s “God bless you!” greetings. Today, a number of single women went in and came back out while we were still there. Continuing to praise God that Thursdays do not appear to be abortion days. Answered prayer! I met Holly from Apollo for the first time, and was surprised to be joined by two good friends, Pastor Deb and Karen.

Nikki listens to Holly

Thank you to substitute Shift Manager Meredith and Holly!!
Thank you, Holly, for informing us about the life saved last week!!

Thank you to Meredith and ever-faithful Chuck!!

Thank you to all of our faithful witnesses to life!!

Lisa K.:

I continue to be thankful for all of the BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING people who come to pray at the vigil each day. The Lord is working in these people’s lives in a powerful way. It was a relatively quiet and prayerful shift. Had a nice conversation with a police officer who is Catholic. Thank God for our police who keep us all safe.

Thank you to these beautiful ladies from St. Richard and St. Catherine!!
(L-R; Lori, Margie, Marilyn, Cheryl, and Shift Buddy Beth Ann)

Thank you to Tony, such a wonderful prayer warrior!!

Cecilia:

Rosaries were prayed, Divine Mercy sung, material handed out.  Birth control was a theme today. Talked with two beautiful young ladies about the IUD.  Both nice.  One came out of PP and said she didn’t believe in abortion.  Told her why the IUD was not good.  We recommended she go elsewhere for her care.  She didn’t stay to talk. The other is attending a local college for her master’s degree.  Bob and I spoke at length with her before she moved on to speak with Joyce and then Dolores at length.  She touched on many topics and asked many questions.  We looked for areas we could agree on, such as supporting organizations that help women who keep their children.  She took some contraception fliers, and may be back with material for us.  She was surprised to learn that the WHO classifies hormonal contraception as a group 1 carcinogen, up there with tobacco…  The conversation was very friendly.  Please keep all our college students in your prayers.  I believe God brought her to us and I pray she is open to what God has planned for her life. 

Thank you so much to Fr. Jim and this wonderful group of prayerful witnesses!!

Holy men standing for life!!

Thank you to Shift Manager Carolyn and Fr. Bryce!!

Hank:

It was a quiet shift. Larry (Ancient Order of Hibernians), Glenn (Most Precious Blood of Jesus) and I were able to pray the circuit, that is all 4 mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  There were a number of passers-by that were positive in their response, and only one group of young people who were very foul, loud, and obviously disturbed by our presence.  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)  We stand on this!!!

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

Day 15…Thanks to Guardians for Life, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland & St. Simon and Jude parishes, along with many faithful individuals!

Today, October 7th, on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, Bishop William Waltersheid will consecrate the Three Rivers, at The Point, to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph! The rivers of God’s Grace are flowing through Pittsburgh!

Going with the flow…

Do you ever feel like your life is out of control? If you are like me, you like to keep to a predictable schedule. I like to be prepared, to be stocked up…to do things in advance, so I don’t get caught off guard. I like to have a planned prayer time each day, daily Mass if possible, and have everything scheduled on my calendar.

But when things get too busy, and it seems like I am living in a whirlwind…I have to just let it go and go with the flow. That is my game plan lately. There has been a word from scripture that has been resounding in my mind, and it is St. Paul’s words, “I am being poured out like a drink offering.” Not that I am comparing my little tiny sacrifice of busy-ness to St. Paul’s sacrifice of his life…but still, the idea of pouring out seems like what we do during the 40 days. As the sinful woman broke the alabaster jar and poured out the expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet…so do we pour out our time, energy, resources and comfort…and yes…even our carefully organized schedules...to pray in front of Planned Parenthood. If I am allowing God to pour me out, I cannot put limits, or measure how much He chooses to pour out. I just have to “go with the flow.”

There are many good and holy movements happening in Pittsburgh right now, and we can see that God is moving and preparing us for whatever hardships may be coming. He will get us through it. In addition to the 40-day prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood, there is a 7-day rosary congress happening right now in St. Anthony’s Chapel in Troy Hill. All through the day and night, for seven days, there are at least two people praying before Jesus in Adoration. If you would like to sign up, there are still some hours during the night (tonight and tomorrow night) that need filled. Go to https://www.pittsburghrosarycongress.org/ to see which hours still need filled and to sign up.

Also, in keeping with the theme of “going with the flow“…today, on this Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, Bishop William Waltersheid will be consecrating the Three Rivers (at the Point) to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph! This will happen at around 1:15-1:30pm.

The spiritual graces abound! Things are happening fast, and if we try to stop, we may just get knocked over by the current...so let’s just keep our feet moving in the direction that God is pointing us and allow him to pour us out however He chooses!

Jesus, Mary and Joseph…we love you and consecrate ourselves and our city to your loving care.

Peggy, Charlene and Beth started us off from 7-9

Beth, Lynn, Peggy and Charlene began the prayer vigil this morning!

It was a very quiet morning. No one entered, with the exception of one couple. She went in and he left, but she was not in there long. She refused the info that we offered to her, but was very gracious. She blessed us.

Peggy
More troops arrive for prayer duty…including Julie and her friends from Riverside Community Church!

Terri and Priscilla were in charge from 9-11

I was again joined by Priscilla who prayed constantly.  A trio of ladies from Allegheny Valley remained from this morning and stayed with us until 11:00. They come every year. There were more people going into Planned Parenthood today. All were told of resources available to them and some did take the yellow cards. Steve soon came and knelt to pray the rosary. Later Priscilla, Steve and I recited a Rachel Rosary. It is a beautiful rosary of intercessory prayers for victims of Post-Abortion Syndrome. We received some positive comments and no negative comments. I often think that some of the women walking past with hardened faces may need healing from a past abortion. May they know that God is waiting with open arms to forgive and heal them.

Terri
Steve in prayer
Terri & Priscilla

Barbara and Richard prayed from 11-1

Terri, 9-11 shift manager remained with us for our shift. Father Jeremy, Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, came at the beginning and remained when we left.  He prayed, advocated with women going in to PP and marched across the street and back praying. A passerby requested some money, but he gratefully accepted Father Jeremy’s offer of a meal.  They walked off together and Father returned about ½ hour later. The wonderful Father Tim and the Guardians for Life lit up the neighborhood with their prayers and singing.  It was wonderful seeing Father Tim feeling better.  His team brings warmth and spirit, no surprise there! Included in the Guardians group was a hearty, hardy group of Knights of Columbus, Council 1275, Assembly 926. Sue and Darlene brought a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers as they arrived for the next shift.  As far as I know, this was the first Fall 2020 bouquet/sidewalk remembrance of the babies whose lives this Planned Parenthood takes. I am sorry I have misplaced the names of the wonderful Knights surrounding the sign, except for Father Tim. God have mercy on us and all the people who participate in abortion. Peace.

Barbara
Fr. Jeremy (far left) with Fr. Tim and his wonderfully devoted Guardians for Life! Welcome back Fr. Tim! So glad to see you healthy and strong again!
Sue and Darlene bring the first bouquet of flowers to honor the lives lost at PP. Thanks ladies!
Fr. Tim with the Knights of Columbus

Chris and Elsie kept the witness going from 1-3

Several shift managers have commented in the blog that you meet the nicest people praying in front of PP.  That was confirmed again this afternoon.  Another beautiful-weather day with hard-praying Christians raising their voices to God in support of Life.  I was joined by Darlene, Sue, John, Walt, Al, Bob, and Vince at the outset, all from the Carnegie-Greentree parish grouping.  Later, Joe from the Knights of Columbus and Pat from St. Ferdinand joined us in praying multiple Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.  And it was very special, given that today is the Feast Day of the Holy Rosary.  Elsie and Gerard were vigilant, as always, handing out flyers in support of the unborn and their parents.  Please pray for a young woman who is facing a difficult pregnancy due to health reasons.

Chris
Darlene, Sue and John
Walt, Al and Bob
Vince

Joe and Virginia finished the day from 3-5

Greeted warmly by Chris and Elsie whom we were replacing, but the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland & St. Simon and Jude crew stayed and added a few additional faces as the shift went on. Started the shift with Virgina leading us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. One passerby stopped to talk with us for about 10-minutes about how he can’t believe that there’s not a law against abortion. Relatively quiet other than the usual drive-by’s which were overridden by the supportive comments. A lot of traffic of young folks exiting 933 with papers in hand, some with bags.  One sad situation had a young lady exit 933 who looked to be unsteady and was gingerly helped into a nearby car… … …A bit of sharing between us with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland & St. Simon and Jude crew. The evening faded as did the setup into Faithful Diane’s car – ready for another day of prayer and witnessing!!!

Joe K
Donna, Bob and Nancy from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Margaret of Scotland and SS. Simon & Jude Parishes close out day 15 in prayer!

Day 14: Thank you St. Peter Parish (Steubenville, OH), Individual volunteers and Ancient Order of Hibernians

YOU are a Work of ART

cre·a·tive adjective: relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Each of us is an O-riginal idea, sprung from the imagination of God!! You are a work of art!!

Tracy

All was quieter this morning. No drama. We began with a group rosary and then took up our posts while Greg and Steve made efforts to help any entering PP. Beth, Masha, and Tracy from St. Peter’s in Steubenville were there along with a new Steubie neighbor, Karen. Karen did sidewalk work at one of the three (!!) PP’s in  Austin, TX. Glad to have a new member onboard!

Beth

Thanks to our great ladies from St. Peter in Steubenville,  Beth and her daughter Masha.  It was cold inside PP and outside on Liberty Avenue. Clients came, help was offered,the results we couldn’t see. But as Beth said that’s the way of the Holy Spirit. Later Bill joined us. Pretty quiet morning 


Fran

We were thankful for this beautiful, although slightly chilly, fall day.  In addition to two individuals who stopped briefly to pray, I was joined by Ken, Gerard, and faithful, faith-filled, Sidewalk Advocate, Elsie. 

We experienced mostly affirmation from those passing by but, sadly, our hearts were hurting with and for the abortion-bound women who were arriving today at planned intervals.  It was clear from the extreme sadness in their eyes that they will need all of our prayers in the days ahead. As the Mounted Police passed by I said a prayer of thanks for their service and sacrifice.  At any moment they might be called upon to selflessly risk their lives to protect ours.  When the Security Guard walked out of the doors of PP today I thought: If only we could ask her to go back inside and protect the babies… praying that her heart will be softened.     


Johanna Mike & Kim

When I arrived , Michael, Kim and Marlene were already there ready to begin our shift. We had a wonderful afternoon…people were very pleasant giving thumbs up and thanking us for being there.
Only one couple said something under their breath.
Kim and Michael were praying very devoutly as was Mary.

I was beginning my rosary when a woman named Patricia from New Jersey stopped and asked to pray with me.
I asked if she wanted to pray the rosary; she said that she prayed directly to God, so I told her to pray her way and I would pray with her.
She gave the greatest witness with her prayer. She spoke very loud, begged God to help all those who were going to have an abortion and how she had 4 abortions and regretted it and how, even though she knew God had forgiven her, it is always in her mind.
I began the Divine Mercy and she knelt down with me and prostrated herself praying with me. She gave me a hug and wished me God’s blessings  and went on her way.
I wish she would have stayed longer, because after she left two young girls entered Planned Parenthood. I prayed that neither of them were going in for an abortion.
Wow!! What an afternoon!
Thanks 🙏 be to God. Amen!!


Nikki

Larry and I were the only ones from 3 to 5 and we had a very prayerful and peaceful  shift. At the start of our shift, a young woman named Alba from London stopped with questions about what we were doing. She has a YouTube channel and talks about issues and so she was interested in knowing about 40 Days for Life. We had a pleasant conversation, she was very glad to learn about all the wonderful things happening in the pro-life movement and took some of our literature to learn more. We also saw a very young and very pretty woman who came to Planned Parenthood to check on where she is to go tomorrow morning when she arrives for her abortion. She seemed so callous and unemotional about getting an abortion, like she was going to be getting a tooth pulled. I talked to her briefly, offered her some of our information but when she realized it was information to help her keep her baby, she gave it back to me and said I don’t need this, I don’t want a baby, I want an abortion. I just blurted out, “if you are pregnant then you already have a baby, all you will do by getting an abortion is to kill your baby who is already there.“ That did not seem to affect her at all, she said that she wanted the abortion and she will be back tomorrow. I pleaded one last thing to her, I told her that her baby already has a beating heart, to which she replied, “no it doesn’t!“ I told her that at 3 1/2 weeks, a baby’s heart is already beating, to which she replied, “I am only 2 1/2 weeks. I said to her that it is not possible to get an abortion if you were only two weeks pregnant, and that was the end, she was gone. Larry and I prayed a Divine Mercy chaplet for that poor little baby, whose mother is so careless about its little life. All of the comments tonight were mostly negative, but nothing too bad. We just keep marching on and trusting the Lord!


Day 13: Thanks to Roundhill Presbyterian Church,Clarks Mills United Methodist Church and all the prayer warriors

Brick by brick

Did you ever look at a beautiful big building and just go “wow, that’s magnificent”.  We have many magnificent churches and buildings in Pittsburgh.  

These magnificent structures didn’t just appear one day.  They were built one brick at a time.  One steel girder, one window installed at a time.  

That’s how we will end abortion.  One prayer at a time.  One vigil outside the abortion clinic at a time. One day at a time. One heart changed at a time.  One baby saved at time.

Grab your brick, your smile, your presence and bring it down.  We can build something magnificent together. We can build the kingdom of God. It won’t be easy.  If it were easy, we wouldn’t need you.

God bless you. Tim

Here are today’s reports from the vigil starting with Sue 7-9 am:

“It was a pretty quiet morning on the sidewalk. It was good to stand with Pastor Adam and shift buddy Amy. Pastor Adam started our time with a beautiful prayer. It was so nice to have a Pastor on the sidewalk, leading us in the litany of the Holy Spirit. It appeared that mostly workers went into planned parenthood and Pastor Adam prayed specifically for everyone who entered. We were joined by a man whose name I do not know, who comes regularly to witness and also Lauren who works close by and came to pray.”

From Ginny 9-11 am: Members of Roundhill Presbyterian Church joined  Dean and I on the sidewalk for prayer and peaceful witnessing.  There were 3 pastors in the group. I felt very blessed to be there today  

Here are Marie and Beverly 11-1 witnessing to life and in prayer.

It was a quiet shift with a few negative pedestrians but even more positive people. Frank joined us for the last hour.

From Beth 1-3 PM: It was good to be there. As much as we pray for an end to the nightmare of abortion, it’s good that we have kind people to pray and witness at PP.  Volunteer Dave categorized it as a “ministry of availability. ” He, his wife Laurie, Rose and all of us are there to be with those who need us. Laurie said that the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. So correct. Thanks to our friends from Christ Church at Grove Farm. 

And Kevin from St. Michael the Archangel parish came right on time to pray for the rest of our afternoon.  As a reward for being “available,” we had some nice comments from those who could see that if the need arose, we were there and those who just prayed when passing.