Day 34: Hope springs eternal

The signs of spring are all around us.  We will come out of these trying times and things will be better.  We must have hope.  We must also have faith and of course demonstrate love.  I hope and pray for God’s mercy for my family, for all of you and the world.  I know HIS mercy is is limitless and will be showered upon us in HIS time.

I also hope that we all come out closer to God.  I hope our faith will be strengthened.  I hope we will all have the courage to love those around us especially the unborn. As I hope you know, God can turn any bad thing into something good. Sure we will have tribulation in the world but remember He has conquered the world. 

“We just need to do the best we can, where we are with what we got.” God will do the rest. HE has this under control.  He’s got this. Have Hope.

Jesus I Trust in You. Jesus I Trust in You. Jesus I trust in You. Tim


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Here’s from Sue 7-9 am today:

My shift buddy Amy and I were united in prayer from our homes for the 7am-9am shift. Amy emailed me on Sunday to say she planned to pray Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets. I did the same from my own home. It’s like a Monday where we were covering each side of the yellow circle at PP. Blessings and peace, Sue and Amy

From Donna 11-1:

My shift was interrupted a little today as I had to go to my Mom’s so she could do a telemedicine phone call with her Dr.  I was close to town so for the last hour of my shift I parked near PP and sat in my car and prayed.  I did sing along with some praise music, “Raise a Hallelujah”.  Praise God no one went in and only one person came out and may have been a worker. May God stop PP and shut them down immediately since they are not an essential life sustaining business and should not even be open during this pandemic. Blessings For Life,
Donna

From Beth 1-3

There’s an altar in there!

Rose and I prayed for our shift.  St. Albert’s has glass doors and Father Steve has set up an altar right inside those glass doors with tabernacle, candles, and statues. People stop while circling the parking lot saying their prayers. Some just sit in their cars facing the altar.  We’re going to do what we can and prayers work.  Beth

Day 33: Thank you, Erie Carmelite Nuns; all of you who pray, fast and witness for life with our Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life community.

The Crucifixion of Christ (detail)

Diego Velazquez (1599 – 1660)

Prado Museum, Spain

©Jean-Paul Dumontier/La Collection

https://us.magnificat.net

There are three thousand abortions per day in the United States. Do you believe that will end? We need to know that deeply and work that reality into our daily lives. And when abortion ends, there will be but one reasonable explanation: God.

Shawn D. Carney

TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

The 40 Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life

“Cynicism Takes No Effort”

Put yourself in the place of your sisters and brothers who feel that abortion is the only solution for their crisis pregnancy. You know how bad life sometimes feels.  You feel tightly gripped by relentless cold, impenetrable darkness.  Details out of your control block your escape.  Your faults nag endlessly.  Not thinking, you get up.  You go outside.

We pray that this moment … this exact moment … will change everything for them.  Let them notice the rush of fresh air … the fragrance of spring … birds singing, winging bush to tree … colors … daylight.  Let them feel Beauty calling.

Dear Father, help this poor one to turn to you. 

Hear him. 

From all his distress save him.

Saint Augustine says when we fall down we get up faster. Sidewalk witnesses, (virtual sidewalk witnesses for now) the infantry in the war for life, watch our PP bound sisters and brothers, hoping to rescue them.

Our Sidewalk Advocates are really good at it. Listen!

We want to help you.

Right now … we are ready now … to help you today … and tomorrow … and  always.

Let’s go for coffee!

You are right. This is serious.

It is life and death.

We want to get it right.

God takes life and death very seriously.  Reacquaint yourself with Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross.  Remember.  Listen and sing along. 

J.S. Bach Saint Matthew Passion, Choral: “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,”

O Sacred Head, surrounded by crown of piercing thorn!

O bleeding Head so wounded reviled and put to scorn!

Our sins have marred the glory of Thy most Holy Face

Yet angel hosts adore Thee and tremble as they gaze.

___________________________________

I see thy strength and vigor all fading in the strife.

And death with cruel rigor bereaving thee of life.

O agony and dying! O love to sinners free!

Jesus, all grace supplying, O turn thy face on me.

_________________________________

In this thy bitter passion, Good Shepherd, think of me

with Thy most sweet compassion, unworthy though I be.

Beneath Thy cross abiding forever would I rest,

in thy dear love, confiding, and with Thy presence blest.

———————————-

But death too is my ending. In that dread hour of need,

my friendless cause befriending, Lord, to my rescue speed.

Thyself, O Jesus, trace me right passage to the grave,

And from Thy cross embrace me, with arms outstretched to save.

___________________________________

The words are attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153)

Together with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, we too must recognize that man seeks God better and finds him more easily “in prayer than in discussion.” In the end, the truest figure of a theologian and of every evangelizer remains the Apostle John who laid his head on the Teacher’s breast.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 10/21/2009


Shawn Carney’s message for Day 33:


DEE G., FUEL

Erie Carmelite Nuns

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Just a note to let you and those at 40 Days for Life know that you have been in our thoughts, prayers, and sacrifices especially during the Novena to Our Father, Saint Joseph. He saved the Author of Life from Herod’s plans to kill him—what a strong supporter and model for 40 Days!!

May he obtain from Jesus all the graces you need to remain faithful to Him and to persevere in your good work of saving lives—-both body and soul of mother and child. 

God bless and Mary keep you, Saint Joseph guide!!

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

 “As Jesus was Himself subject to Saint Joseph on earth, just so in heaven, He still does all he asks.”    St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

___________________________________

NOTES FROM THE VIRTUAL SIDEWALK

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

In an email this morning, Barbara lovingly asked us to send in our shift reports and noted, “It is harder without the sidewalk.”  I agree!   Many people wrote this week that they were better able to focus on prayer in the silence of their homes.  Not me, sadly…but a few things comforted me in my distraction. First, I was blessed to have a livestream from a Perpetual Adoration chapel showing on my computer.  Looking up at our Eucharistic Lord helped me to re-focus many times.  Second, I knew my shift buddy, Vince, was joining me in prayer from a distance.  I missed having his spiritual leadership to guide me, but it felt good to know we were still united in praying the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Third, I’ve been told that intentionally redirecting your thoughts to Jesus over and over again when you are distracted is an act of love to offer up to Him.  I’m glad I had something to offer, considering the sorry state of my prayers.  And finally, knowing that our prayer is a supplication rather than an incantation gives me comfort.  If it were an incantation, like some magic spell, the effectiveness of my prayer would depend on my power and my ability to recite it perfectly.  But a supplication is totally dependent on the power of God to hear and answer in the way He sees fit.  And so I ask my merciful Jesus to hear my pathetic plea:  please end abortion, both the act and the belief, and remind us all that you are the Lord of Life!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I was joined in my two hour shift today by my wife Darlene and our four children still at home, Bernadette, Rita,  Brendan, and Emma. We offered our prayers for the closing of PP on Liberty Avenue and for God’s Mercy on all women who have appointments for the coming week. In our first hour we prayed the Stations of the Cross,  the five Glorious mysteries of the Holy Rosary,  and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy before the altar of our Domestic Church. The second hour we prayed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass live streamed from Duluth by Father Michael Schmitz. Father’s homily was most appropriate for our intention. He spoke of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus allowed His Heart to be crushed and broken as He wept for Martha,  Mary and Lazarus whom He loved. And so our hearts are broken and crushed but we do not lose heart, we are not discouraged,  we continue to enter into the Sacred Heart and we continue to trust. And so this is our prayer today,  that those women whose hearts are broken and crushed with an unplanned pregnancy will trust in the heart of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection. May God have Mercy on us all. 

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

During our 11-1 Shift, we prayed the beautiful Divine Mercy Chaplet sung by Donna Cori Gibson.  I shared a link. I hope I shared it correctly. We prayed the Rosary and several more pro-life prayers that we found from Father Frank Pavone. Then at 12:00 noon we attended Mass via television EWTN. The R. Family prayed the rosary during our shift today from their home.
I pray you all are doing well in these stressful times. Stay strong.

https://youtu.be/EL8Xzj76kh0

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

Lindsay and I split our prayer time today. I prayed outdoors from 2:00-3:00 p.m. standing in front of a tabernacle that has been place inside the glass doors at my parish, SS John & Paul .

The tabernacle sits on a table with a small statue of the pregnant Blessed Mother (Guadalupe perhaps?) on one side and the Divine Mercy image on the other side.

While we no longer have Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist for now, we are able to visit the tabernacle here at any time. This virus cannot keep HIM from us!

I prayed the Pro-Life Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries from Priests for Life followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

It was nice to feel the warmth of the sun shining down despite the strong wind gusts that threatened to blow me over.

This afternoon was to be our parish’s time at the vigil. Since we could not be present physically, our Respect Life team members were asked to spend time in prayer between 1:00-3:00.

This past week’s blog reports have made me think how deliberate and intentional our prayer has become, now that we are no longer on the sidewalk outside PP.

I found that my prayers today were that way since I didn’t have all the distractions that being on the sidewalk, even on a Sunday afternoon, presents.

My prayer is that ALL of our prayers are being raised up with more fervor – for the unborn, their mothers and fathers. I know that they are.

And that God is pleased with our intentionality – He longs for us to be intentional. Perhaps not being on the sidewalk is meant to remove the distractions.

God has a plan, it is on us to trust His plan! It is on us to remain strong – and to finish these 40 days strong!! I know we will!!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A surreal day, praying to shut down the mill.  And to open the Churches. Sunny skies, a strong wind at times.
But a heavy heart over the cancellation of funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
And the pandemic.
Part of me wants to lock myself in a safe room and never leave, and part of me thinks it is all in God’s Hands as a just punishment for my sins and those of the whole world.
I do encourage you to read the Dr. Fauci article in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Interesting stuff.
Be faithful and keep praying.  

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

I was cleaning up my email this week and stumbled across this photo from the 2012 fall campaign. Nikki sent it to our church group with a thank you letter. It stirred up a lot of emotions, below are a few.

Wow that went by fast … I’m OLD … and  BORING  (wknd shifts) …

AMAZEMENT, I can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve met down

there, and the things I see them do.

FULFILLED … what happens down there is really indescribable … it

must be experienced to be understood.  Where such wretchedness

abounds, so too is the abundance of God’s graces.

But mostly  GRATEFUL … all the TIME, HARD WORK and SACRIFICE OUR

LEADERS PUT IN TO KEEP THIS GOING. 

I feel so FORTUNATE, in my journey to CHRIST, to reap the abundant Fruit of this ministry. Your example truly brings out the good in me (yes it’s hard to find).

My inclination was to watch tv, however the beads ended up in my hands with the Word (7 penitential Psalms) thanks to all of you, MY FRIENDS.

See ya’ll in the fall.

ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD!!!

Shift Manager Joe with 4 Friends, Faithful Witnesses

And God saw that it was good.

Day 32 : Things this Pandemic teaches Us . . .

THIS WONDERFUL REFLECTION is adapted from thoughts from writer Paul Tripp:

This pandemic confronts the delusion of human independence and self-sufficiency.

We like to think, as human beings, that we are so advanced and capable. But look around – all it takes is a single virus to shut down the entire world. Let this time remind you that you were created to be dependent on the Creator.

This pandemic reminds us that there is a greater, darker, and more dangerous pandemic – SIN !!

Not everyone will test positive for the coronavirus, but everyone has been infected by sin, from birth. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)

This pandemic makes God’s sovereign power and amazing grace shine even brighter.

Sin is eternally more destructive than the coronavirus will ever be, but there is a known cure. God looked at his world in awesome mercy and love and decided he would not let us perish from this disease (John 3:16).

This pandemic makes us long for our final destination.

Hope in heaven is not some faint, dreamy wish, for those who are embracing some religious delusion. The final promise of the gospel is this: There will be a day when such things will end forever, and we will be in a place where there will be no more sickness and no more suffering (Revelation 21:4).


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Musings from today’s prayer warriors:

Shift Manager Tim Reports:

The downtown streets were quiet today yet sadly PP was open. However, there was a prayer warrior on his knees making a powerful witness to life.  Surely God heard his prayers. I was not on the streets this morning.  I was in my home kneeling in prayer on the comfort on my carpet. I watched the Mass on EWTN, the ultimate prayer. I know Heaven heard my prayers to change hearts and minds and end abortion. Jesus I trust in You! Tim

Dean, praying from home today

Shift Manager Dean Reflects:

My daily reading from Our Daily Bread is currently in the Book of Judges. I can’t think of a more appropriate verse for society’s state than Judges 21:25, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”.
Please May God bring us back from this mindset to a willingness and dedication to follow His ways.
I spent the first half hour of my shift on my knees, with the aid of a pillow. Frankly, I don’t think that I could have managed that on the sidewalk. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give everyone a conviction of the sanctity of life. This is God’s precious gift to us.
I prayed for our legislators to make abortion more difficult to get, if not abolish it all together. Abortion thrives in an atmosphere where it is condoned.
I firmly believe that God will use the current pandemic to reach the unsaved. In closing I leave you with one of my favorite passages, Phil. 4: 6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. Dean

Shift Manager Melissa Writes:

Today as the rain falls I see the sunshine through at times. It’s a reminder to me that no matter how much the darkness tries to cover it cannot cover the Light. The Light of this world is Jesus and His love and sacrifice shines through all of this. I continue to pray the prayer I wrote believing God will answer our prayer to close the abortion industry down. Join me in this prayer if you wish.  Heavenly Father, thank you for opportunity to gather together to pray and share your message with all who are willing to hear. We pray for your guidance and protection in this area where we know evil lurks. We ask you to be with us. Cover us and protect us. In Isaiah 54:17  No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. We surrender this to you. Knowing fully that you are in control of everything. We find comfort in your Word and rest at Jesus feet listening for guidance and direction.  In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. And in Psalm 138:7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Help us Lord. Give us courage and boldness to reach those within the enemy’s grasp. Give us the words to reach their hearts and open their minds to your Truth.  Sustain us when we feel weak. Knowing fully our strength comes from you.   In Isaiah you remind us of this Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Bring healing and comfort to this area.  Bind the evil that resides here and send it back to where it belongs. Fill this area with your love and your comfort. Restore your people.  Unveil their eyes so they can see what the enemy has stolen from them and draw them to you Lord to join us in this fight for your children. All your children have value and matter.   Remind us victory is already ours through your son Jesus Christ as in Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. I pray for the body of Christ to come together to rid this city and county and world of the thought of abortion.  Bring this evil fortress Planned Parenthood and all places who perform abortions down!  Let their doors close forever.   Open the eyes of the hearts of all those that participate in this act of violence against the most innocent precious ones so they may seek repentance.  Guide us. Protect us. Heal us. Comfort us. Praise you for creating us and giving us purpose to do your Will. In Jesus name we Pray, Amen.  God bless you all and may he keep you safe.

And shift manager Katie sent a prayer that she finds inspiring:

Orthodox Prayer for Victims of Abortion O most merciful, all gracious and compassionate Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, Son of God: we entreat Thee, most gracious Master: look with compassion upon Thy children who have been condemned to death by the unjust judgment of men. And as Thou hast promised to bestow the heavenly kingdom on them born of water and the Spirit, and who in blamelessness of life have been translated unto Thee; and Who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven”—we humbly pray, according to Thy unfailing promise: Grant the inheritance of Thy kingdom to the multitude of spotless infants who have been cruelly murdered in the abortuaries of this land; for Thou art the resurrection and the life and the repose of all Thy servants and of these innocents, O Christ our God. Turn the hearts of those who seek to destroy Thy little ones. We beseech Thee to pour forth Thy healing grace upon them, that they may be convicted in their hearts and turn from their evil ways. Remember all of them that kill our children as on the altars of Moloch, and render not unto them according to their deeds, but according to Thy great mercy convert them—the unbelieving to true faith and piety, and the believing that they may turn from evil and do good. O Holy Master, Almighty Father and pre-eternal God, Who alone made and directs all things; Who rises up quickly against the evil of the impious ones; Who, by providence, teaches Thy people preservation of justice and the obliteration of evil on earth; Who condescends to raise up warriors for the protection of the people of God: we entreat Thee with compunction, that as Thou didst give David power to defeat Goliath, and as Thou didst condescend through Judas Maccabeus, to seize victory from the arrogant pagans who would not call on Thy Name; so too, grant protection to us, Thy servants against the enemies rising against us as we go forth to do spiritual battle against the evil one and those who do his will rather than Thine. For Thou art a merciful God, and lovest mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Day 31: This Is My Beloved Son…Listen to Him

While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”
-Matt 17:5

I have the privilege of helping with Liturgy of the Word with Children at my parish, St. Philip. It’s truly been a blessing to me, in no small part because it gives me reason to research and reflect on the Gospel beforehand.

Several weeks ago, the Gospel reading for Mass was the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration. As I researched the passage in preparation, something stood out: the Transfiguration happened just a short time before Jesus’ passion and death.

God knew that the Apostles’ world would soon be turned upside down…faith tested, hopes crushed, hearts broken. Before they had to endure that, God wanted to reassure them that Jesus was truly worthy of their faith. While witnessing the Transfiguration did not stop the Apostles from feeling fear and confusion when our Lord was crucified and died, I would imagine that the memory of God’s own voice from the shining cloud helped them hold on to at least a shred of hope.

Last Sunday, standing outside of PP for what would turn out to be the last public day of this vigil, it hit me: God gave us the same encouragement, allowing us to hear that Gospel reading proclaimed just before OUR world was turned upside down by the current pandemic. We are feeling fear and confusion, no doubt; but the reminder that Jesus IS worthy of all our faith can help us to hold on to hope. Let’s accept God’s encouragement and stay united in prayer, asking Jesus in His mercy to heal our world of this virus and of our sin!

-Jen


Here is Shawn Carney’s message for Day 31:

And here are reports from our faithful prayer warriors:

Today we witnessed for life from 7-9 at home instead of on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Our children, Gillian, Jennifer, Monica, Mary Clare, John Paul and David, passionately request that we stay home! We got up early to be ready. Setting the stage were our Bible, the little Scriptural Rosary book, and the Little Black Book  provided by Father Tony, Christ Our Savior Pastor.  Being home was fruitful.    
The EWTN  daily Mass was celebrated in memory of Mother Angelica, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, the Poor Clare nun who founded EWTN. Today is the anniversary of her death, 2016. She died on Easter Sunday.  That had long been her hope.We learned about Bishop Untener on whose writings our parish Lenten booklet is based. He died on this day in 2004.
Some of our parishioners Donna, Johanna, Mark, Mary Ann, and Susie (alphabetical order!) contacted us to let us know they joined us in prayer during our shift.It is such a blessing that my brothers and sisters at Pittsburgh 40 Days decided to continue our blog. Peace.

Barbara

I am keeping a 2 hour vigil for the protection of ALL life AND closing of Planned Parenthood.  May God see our hearts and hear our prayers!

Rose

Kim, Mark, and I prayed from our homes this morning from 8:30-11:00. In these unsettled times, Psalm 104 stood out to me about God’s power and the control He has over the earth and every living creature.  Please read.
Be blessed.

Kathy

Today is a day of prayer and rosaries in and around St. Gregory’s in Zelienople.
I asked my friends from the St. Greg’s mens prayer group to pray today and they are praying in quiet and I heard from our group leader that he is devoting his daily rosary to Mary.
I prayed for an hour at home and then walked over to St Gregory’s. I stood at the 40 Days for Life banner which is on the corner in front of the church and prayed the rosary and then in front of the statue of Mary.
Rt. 68 was somewhat quiet , but cars went by and there were many glances, truckers waved and Sister Patrice from the church drove by with a nice wave.
Spring is here and the birds were in abundance as I prayed. It was nice and quiet and I looked up and it was good.
Thanks and many Blessings to all!!

Mark

The remodeling of Holy Sepulcher church did not stop their prayer warriors from keeping their vigil today from about 12-2:30.  They gathered in their temporary prayer chapel but kept their social distance.  We started praying the Rosary of the Unborn with pro-life meditations.  Then we read the 40 Days devotion for the day, prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with song, and sang a few songs.  We ended praying the Stations of the Cross from the Medjugorje Pilgrimage Handbook.  It was a beautiful way to lift our prayers to God…pleading to God.  The statue of Jesus with his sacred heart and outstretched hands reminded me of His love, care, omnipresence and His Mercy.

Cecilia

Is it right to combine a walk on a nice day with your vigil prayer time?  I’m still not sure.  But that’s what I did today.  I took a walk of about 1:55 minutes, praying first the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then the Joyful, Luminous, and Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary.  I walked from my home to the to the neighborhood in which I grew up.  
I received an email earlier in the week from Shift Buddies, Val and Mike, that they were going to be praying from 3-5 as well, walking to their church which is fairly close by and was expected to be open for private prayer.  

Pat

I haven’t been downtown since last Friday’s vigil.  This was certainly different as I’m sure it is for most of us. I prayed for two hours on my back deck.  It was certainly easier to pray and hear myself and not have the distractions of the noisy buses, bar patrons and pedestrians that could offer up anything good or bad.  And so this evening’s prayers, which I prayed with my wife Ursula, came easier for the unborn, their mothers and all those involved and concerned for the children.  I know many others were praying and I also thought of Mary and Claudia who would have been sharing this shift.  God Bless all!

Bill

Day 30: We keep praying! Thank you all!

Please read to the end, to learn about national 40 Days for Life news about Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh.

40 Days for Life

Here we are… praying from home (or elsewhere) again today!

Thank you all for hanging in there with us as we continue to pray. You are all amazing. God is with us, and He continues to be on the move! A worldwide pandemic cannot stop our God!

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.’“
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Exodus 32:7-13ab, 14

What can we take away from this powerful passage? God sees the sins of His people, and STILL has mercy. God sees our depravity, and STILL gives us another chance. We humans tend to mess things up quite a lot, don’t we? And yet, Our Lord STILL says, “I love you. You are valuable and precious to me. I will help you.”

And so it is with abortion. Our world has permitted abortion for far too long. But our God knows that we are in a battle! It is HIS battle. And He trusts us to be willing to fight this spiritual battle of Life v. Death… with PRAYER.

Our ancient enemy, the devil, may think he can win, because he may assume we are weak and useless. And yet- he also knows the great POWER of prayer. He will ultimately be defeated. The killing of our unborn children cannot continue forever. It WILL be stopped. And PRAYER can help to STOP IT.

Shawn Carney’s message for Day 30:

Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

Peggy and I met at the Oratory and prayed for two hours, although we did 8-10 instead of 7-9, since the Oratory does not open until eight. We had a very peaceful, prayerful shift. We didn’t get rained on, we didn’t get the middle finger, and we didn’t get yelled at!  

I prayed my first hour as part of the Rosary Congress. I had signed up for the 8 AM hour today. So I prayed all three mysteries of the rosary for an end to the pandemic and for a return and belief in the Eucharist, and an end to abortion. For the second hour, I continued to pray and meditate on Scripture. The epistle reading for today was the story of Elijah raising the widow’s son. In that account, he actually lays his body on the dead boy, with his mouth on the boy’s mouth, and his hands on the boy’s hands. In this time of social distancing, I’ve thought about what a close and intimate encounter that was, that Elijah breathed his own life into that boy and raised him from the dead. I thought about how we all need that intimate encounter with Christ as well, to heal us from the death of sin. 

Judy:

We (Meredith, Chuck, Carol and myself) began with a texting prayer among ourselves at the beginning and at different times during our shift. Meredith, Carol and I prayed at our homes and Chuck prayed in front of Planned Parenthood. Chuck said he only noticed one lady going into PP and she came out a few minutes later. As Meredith was praying this morning, she was reminded of a vision she had had while praying one day. What she saw in the vision was intense light that filled the building housing PP. Those big windows in the front were bright with light and it seemed like all that the building was filled with was light, from the front to the back.

I got really excited when I heard that!!! That is a mighty vision in light of all of our praying and fasting, especially when we think of Jesus as the Light of the World, and to imagine that entire building filled with the Presence and the Light of Jesus. This is symbolic of so many powerful things that are going on in the unseen spiritual world since we truly believe that God answers prayer, such as the spirit of darkness dispelled by Jesus the Light, the spirit of death dispelled by Jesus who is Life, the Spirit of Truth piercing the veil of deception that has blinded so many, and 933 Liberty Avenue being the LIGHTHOUSE that shines brightly into the City of Pittsburgh. It’s all good and all of God! We thank Him for glimpses as we wait on the Lord. He is faithful.  

Lisa K.:

My prayer time consisted of praying the rosary with those who were praying on the radio. And I’m not sure, but I think I recognized the voices of two of our Shift Managers, Marie and Ginny! It made me really feel like I was praying with our team!

Then, I went for a walk around my neighborhood and prayed another rosary. I came home, and for the last half hour or so, I sat outside in the gorgeous weather, and prayed some pro-life prayers I found online. All in all, it was a beautiful time of prayer.

One thing struck me as I was walking and praying. We have all been praying for PP to close its doors for a long time. The dangers and damages done to families in that facility are incalculable. But how deliberate are we in our praying? We try to be- but there are often typical city distractions that can pull us away from our primary purpose. MAYBE- just MAYBE- the Lord is enabling us to become more focused in our prayer time for the end of this campaign. I’m NOT saying that that’s what the pandemic is about. Not at all. Just saying that it might be a convenient side effect for us to be able to pray in a more deliberate and focused way. COME, HOLY SPIRIT, and flood that building with Your PRESENCE!!!

Thank you to my little girl neighbors, who were in the process of this beautiful creation in their driveway, while I walked by praying the rosary. It seemed like they were trying to make it look like stained glass! How appropriate for my prayer time! Maybe it’s like Meredith said about her vision with the LIGHT coming through!!!! Oh, Lord Jesus, let it be so.

Mary M.:

It’s sad not to be at PP tonight, praying with faithful prayer buddy Barb and other 40 Days friends. I so loved reading that Hank and Judy kept their shift yesterday and bravely stood outside PP, praying as usual for the innocent lives that would abruptly and painfully end in that place. It inspired me to stop by PP today to say a few prayers, though I feel much braver with 40 Days friends by my side! Barb emailed me last night with the suggestion of prayer and scripture reading during our shift, so that’s what we did. Barb was struck while reading John 17, where Jesus prays for His apostles, and she feels He is praying with just as much love for the babies in the womb and their mothers. I also believe He has so much love for the abortionists and their staff, and will welcome them with open arms when they are ready to renounce the sin of abortion and turn to Him.

LET. US. PRAY.

Lastly…40 Days for Life National team mentions Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood worker who coughed on one of our volunteers during the current pandemic.

Most of you probably saw that Shawn Carney will be on EWTN tonight at 10pm EST. One of the things he will discuss is the circumstance where a Pittsburgh PP worker intentionally coughed on one of our prayer volunteers in the midst of the Coronavirus. Hope you can watch tonight, or if not, he may have a video link on the national blog tomorrow at 40daysforlife.com. The recent blog post that mentions the Pittsburgh incident can be found here:

https://www.40daysforlife.com/day-29-dangerous-and-disgusting

In addition, Shawn also recently included in his blog a link to an article by Sue Thayer, former abortion worker and current National 40 Days for Life team member. She discusses the situation in Pittsburgh in her article as well. You can read Sue’s article here:

https://townhall.com/columnists/suethayer/2020/03/23/dear-planned-parenthood-worker-i-hope-youre-fired-for-trying-to-spread-covid19-n2565510

I’m sure the Lord will continue to work through all of this in mysterious ways. God bless you all.

Day 29…Hopes Dashed…

Our Kick-off Mass with 40 priests on Feb. 25th began with hope of God doing something BIG!

Today was the day that we had planned to have a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood, led by Bishop Waltersheid. It was to be an amazing time to bring Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament to defeat the evil that has a stronghold at 933 Liberty Avenue. Obviously, that is not going to happen.

We started out 29 days ago with the most powerful kick-off event that we have ever had, and my expectations were high that God was going to do something really big during these 40 days! I honestly worked harder than I had since we began this thing…back in 2010! So, did God disappoint? Did I do something wrong? Is He not all powerful, and with Him, are not all things possible?

Those thoughts are just my own pride and weakness tempting me. I have always struggled with the feeling that everything depends on ME, and MY actions. Too much “Martha“, and not enough “Mary“. I remember when I began leading 40 Days for Life. My heart was so broken after God opened my eyes to the tragedy of abortion, that I just had to DO something! All I could focus on was getting churches to wake up and see the horror that I saw, and to get people to stand in front of Planned Parenthood, so as to wake up the rest of our city. Prayer? Well…sure…we could pray too. As long as it didn’t interfere with the actual WORK of pulling off these 40 day campaigns.

You may be surprised to hear me say that. I didn’t let anyone else know that I didn’t really think prayer was that important. I could talk a good game…

But, over the years, and as I have seen more and more of the spiritual battle that is going on under the surface of our day to day life, I have come to understand that prayer, united WITH action, is the most powerful weapon against evil. However, it seems that we no longer have the option of “action“…and are left with prayer only. So, my old “Martha” started to raise her ugly head. I was feeling guilty about not having anyone on the sidewalks, as Planned Parenthood is busier than ever, with scared and desperate women thinking they need to kill their babies to solve their problems. Then, as I was typing an email to my team on Monday, a Bible verse randomly popped into my head. I even typed it into the email. It was the following verse:

Are there not just twelve hours of daylight? A man can walk in the day-time without stumbling, with this world’s light to see by; He only stumbles if he walks by night, because then the light cannot reach him.

John 11:9,10

The confirmation that God was speaking to me through this verse came after I sent the email and went to bed. I pulled out the book that I am currently reading, Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ“. I opened the book to my bookmarked page and began to read. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this very verse right there in the chapter that I was reading! I felt such comfort knowing that it is okay that we are not there right now. We worked very hard, and we were pleasing to the Lord with our sacrifices and prayers. But now is not the time for work. It is the time for more prayer…and more sacrifices. After all, we were asking God to do something big, weren’t we? And look around you! Doesn’t it look like something big is happening?

There are no drag queen story hours happening in public libraries right now. Preschoolers are not having “My Two Dads” read to them as part of the indoctrination process. Life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. And maybe it is God’s mercy that has stopped us in our tracks…because maybe we were running full steam towards a cliff.

Now the busy-ness has stopped. The noise and distractions are gone. It is time to be quiet and still…and wait for God.

I have read that some theologians believe that the Church, since she is Christ’s Bride, follows the pattern of His life. He was born in a stable, and the Church was born on Pentecost. He taught and sent out his disciples to teach, and the Church had her great missionary time. He had his betrayal by Judas, and she has been betrayed by wicked men in the hierarchy. He endured humiliation by the scourging and crowning with thorns, and She has been humiliated by the sex abuse scandal. He hung on the cross and died…and was laid in the darkness of the tomb. His disciples shut themselves away in fear in the upper room…and prayed. Now, it appears that our beloved Church has died. The buildings are closed and we are denied holy communion with Him. We must wait and pray.

Our Blessed Mother, Mary also waited. Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The day in which we celebrate the coming of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, to announce that she would conceive of the Holy Spirit and would give birth to a Son. She didn’t understand fully what God’s plan was. There surely was fear of the unknown…would Joseph understand and accept her? Would she be stoned for adultery? She said “YES” anyway. In complete humility. Then she waited for nine months to give birth to the Savior.

So, even though we don’t understand fully what God’s plan is, we do know that He is allowing this to happen for a reason. Let’s trust and accept His Holy Will, while we wait and pray…and look forward to seeing Him again in the resurrection!


Here is today’s message from Shawn Carney, President & CEO of 40 Days for Life…featuring some events and pictures from our Pittsburgh campaign! Check out our own Nikki and Joe in the opening shot below!

Our team members are keeping their regular shifts that they would have had at Planned Parenthood, but are praying from wherever they can. I encourage everyone who was signed up to pray for an end to abortion during those times.

Today, Hank and Judy, who have the 11-1 shift on Wednesday, went to Planned Parenthood to pray.

Even though the vigil is officially cancelled, that couldn’t keep Hank and Judy from praying in front of Planned Parenthood today!

Judy and I went down to PP for part of the 11-1 shift and prayed the scriptural rosary. The guard came out and told us we were not allowed to be there, to which Judy responded, “If you are still doing business, we’ll be here!” Several Pittsburgh police officers walked by us, but did not say a word. If evil exists, how much more grace abounds.

Hank & Judy

Parishioners of Holy Redeemer prayed from 11 AM-3 PM today.

Holy Redeemer (comprised of St. Mary’s and St. James’) had our shift today from 11AM-3PM.  With everything SO “off kilter” these days and kids needing to do schoolwork on all the family electronics, I did not manage until late last night to send out an email requesting fellow parishioners to pray from home for the babies and their parents today.  Nevertheless, wonderful Friends of Life responded right away, promising to pray at specific intervals so no one would be required to pray for four hours straight (although we ARE supposed to “pray ceaselessly,” right?)
Divine Redeemer prayer warriors included Mary Beth (joined from a distance by two friends from Saints John and Paul), Jim (a member of Assumption but a “fellow traveler” with our Respect Life group), Ibie, Mary, Sandy, Betsy, Christian, and Charlene.                                       
  I noticed (surprise!) that it is  a lot more comfortable and less stressful to pray at home than outside a death mill, but it is dreadful to contemplate vulnerable, misled mothers approaching Pittsburgh’s Auschwitz with NO human being outside it to offer a last-minute plea (whether silent or spoken) to reconsider.  SO WHEN THE KIDS FINISHED USING THE IPAD TONIGHT AND I SAW THE PHOTO OF HANK AND JUDY OUTSIDE PP TODAY, I KNEW THEY WERE AN ANSWER TO PRAYER.  Thank you, Hank and Judy, for risking your own lives to be a sign of contradiction in this culture of death and a sign of Hope to a frightened young mother.

Edith

Chris prayed from 1-3 PM.

It was a quiet shift in my family room, with the only passerby being the occasional cat wandering through.  I prayed the Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary using my Rosary of the Unborn (pictured above).  Within each bead is the image of a 1-month old unborn baby.  I prayed with increased focus compared to praying on a noisy Pittsburgh street.  I’ve found it helps me concentrate on Jesus’ suffering if I try to visualize the scenes from The Passion of the Christ.  While my prayer–time went well, I missed the fellowship of prayer warriors standing with me in defense of the unborn.

Chris

And Joe kept his 5-7 PM vigil slot to pray for the end of abortion.

From the front yard of the church where Joe went to pray today, although it turned out to be closed. His vigil occurred at home instead.

Guess I got “home schooled” by God today!  My vigil occurred from home…

A couple of things: “God woke” me today – Nikki’s beautiful outpouring in today’s blog post, and Hank & Judy’s witnessing today.

In today’s scripture readings the Responsorial Psalm:  “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” I must accept that it is his will that this vigil is done elsewhere today.

Fr. Robert Barron’s homily during Mass today: he contrasted Ahaz from the first reading and the Gospel reading of Mary’s Annunciation as “dreaming small” (Ahaz) vs. “dreaming big” (Mary) – “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Sometimes I must admit of “dreaming small.”

We must not fear “dreaming big” and to ask God for the “big dream” -not just closing 933 Liberty Ave., but an end to abortion in our state, country, and in the world!!!

Another thought – in these troubled / uncertain times that we are dealing with… In a 2006 Stephen A. Smith interview of (recently deceased) NBA’s Kobe Bryant, Smith asked Kobe Bryant what he learned after one of the lowest points of his life – to which he replied “God is great.” Pressed further on how he knows this, Kobe responded: “You can know it all you want, but until you have to pick up that cross that you can’t carry and He picks it up for you and carries you and the cross, then you know.”

I “know” God is carrying our crosses during these troubling times – “GOD IS GREAT” my brother and sisters!

Joe

I also want to let everyone know about the virtual rosary congress which began today. Go to https://www.rosarycongressusa.org/virtual/ to sign up to pray the rosary for one hour, to help fill the week-long, 24 hour prayer vigil…to bring grace and healing to our land!

Day 27 and Day 28: The Virtual Vigil Begins :)

We may not be able to stand on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood right now, but the 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh team has resolved to continue the vigil from a distance. We invite you to join us each day in praying from home for the end of abortion–both the outright act and the belief in its acceptability.

To keep us united in heart and mind while we’re physically separated from one another, the blog will continue as well! Each day, we will post a video reflection from Shawn Carney, president and CEO of the worldwide 40 Days for Life organization, and share the thoughts of those praying locally.

Last night, Nikki wrote:

I know it seems strange that we are not in front of PP…and sad to think of all those desperate mothers going in to kill their babies with no one there to offer hope and help!  I am struggling with this, but it really is getting to be a different world out there.  It does seem to be getting dangerous, especially in the city where so many homeless and drug addicted people are hungry and desperate.  Maybe we have done all that we can for now, and need to trust that God will take it from here.  You know the verse that is coming to me right now is the one where Jesus says that we need to work while it is daylight, because when the darkness comes, we won’t be able to work.  Maybe that is the case right now…maybe the day is over. ( I just looked it up, it is John 9:4.)

This morning, she added:

I wanted to let you know that I think God gave me confirmation last night, after I sent that team email, regarding the verse from John about Jesus saying that we have 12 hours of daylight in which we can work, but when the darkness comes, then we cannot work without stumbling.  I didn’t know where that verse came from when it popped into my head as I typed the team email…so I looked it up as I was still writing the email.  But…after I sent the email, I went up to my room to spend some time reading…I am a little more than halfway through Bishop Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ.”  And wouldn’t you know that the very first page I read had this verse in it!!!  So, I think God wants us to know that we don’t need to feel guilty about not going to the sidewalk.  That time is over for now.  Now is the time to stay inside and pray and fast and read scripture or holy books.  He is doing something now.  Lets just wait and see what it is.

Nikki

Shawn Carney’s Video Blog for Day 28:

Reports from the Pittsburgh Team:

Monday, Day 27: The 7am-9am shift was pretty quiet! No, seriously, I visualized actually being on the sidewalk and what a typical Monday looks like. Mostly workers entering which starts about 7:30am, so I focused my prayers on conversion of abortion workers…particularly the clinic director, a specific escort that we know and the abortion worker who is looking to leave her job and asked for our prayers. 
The last time I was at PP was last Monday when at least 15 women entered for abortions in 1 hour. I said the Divine Mercy on my knees for God’s Mercy and Forgiveness …and the couple whose 4th child who was saved last week from abortion and all that we do not know about who were saved from abortion, that all their needs would be met. 
I said the St. Michael the Archangel prayer and pictured the Archangel standing at the yellow line with a fiery sword not letting anyone pass…
I attached a picture of where I typically say my prayers which includes Nikki’s artwork of the pieta. God bless each and everyone one of you, God knows what He is about! Miss you, Love you!

Sue

Monday, Day 27: It was different praying from home today. I decided to pray in our office quietly. My dog joined me as she does every morning for devotions. I knelt and prayed and then did the closing songs, prayers and litany that we use at our closing ceremony. My sister and shift buddy, Diane,  was praying from home also. She likes the prayer book from Fr. Frank Pavone, “In The Palm of His Hand.”  God bless you all. God’s got this! 
Blessings For Life,

Donna

Monday, Day 27: Picture (below) is the main altar of St. Elizabeth’s where shift buddy Rose a.k.a my sister and I sat in the quiet and did our shift prayers.  The church is open for private prayer every day 8 to 4. A few others kept their prayers private.  We’re lucky our God can hear and answer our prayers from anywhere.

Beth

Tuesday, Day 28: This morning “Jesus Calling” said, “You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And he listens no matter where we pray from. Tracey prayed from home, watched the Oratory Mass and said 20 decades of the rosary!!! I went to the Sts John & Paul grotto chapel for Adoration…and I decided this is a good day to Fast. This Lent I have discovered Adoration…and I love it!! Stay healthy!!!

Charlene  

Tuesday, Day 28: I just spent my shift, 11-1, praying with my best friends: Jesus the good Shepherd, His mother Mary, and St Mother Teresa of Kolkata. Very peaceful. Pray on, faithful family, and stay healthy!

Mary Ann

Tuesday, Day 28: Christ Our Savior Parish covered our Prayer Vigil today from 11-3. Our Pastor Father Tony prayed in unison with us from 11-3. Parishioners who emailed us that they prayed for life today from home:  Mary Ann T., Donna S., Marianne Z. and her husband, and Richard and Barbara L.
God is so generous! Peace,

Barbara

Tuesday, Day 28: I had my prayer time today at the Oratory in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I have to admit I was distracted because of something that I’m struggling with right now, but I am giving it to the Lord and trusting in him. I prayed the 54 Day Novena prayers, we are on day 16,  this included the Rosary, the joyful mysteries followed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus novena and prayers to St. Joseph and Saint Rocco. Then I meditated on today’s readings, which included a reading from Exodus where God was going to destroy the people and start over again from Moses after they fell back into idolatry and made the golden calf, but Moses interceded on their behalf and God relented.  Thank you Lord Jesus for coming to save us and to redeem us! Please forgive us for our terrible sins of killing our own children by abortion and for so many other sins that we have fallen into as a nation.  Above all, bring us back to you. Please forgive us and heal our land! 

Nikki

God’s peace be with you, Mike and I were blessed to be able to go to our church and pray in front of the sacristy for our 3 to 5 shift today.  We watched and prayed today’s Mass using Mike’s phone.  Prayed some rosaries and a chaplet. I really felt as if our Lord and the blessed Mother were smiling at us.  When we got tired, to stretch our legs, we walked around the church and prayed the stations of the cross….I really enjoyed doing the prolife stations of the cross.  Then we lit two candles for our prayer intentions.  It was peaceful, as we were the only two there.  The time went by so fast.  It was chilly in church because they have the heat turned down….so it was the same sacrifice as being at PP.  All in all I’m very glad we made the trip to pray at church.  I was afraid if I stayed home I would get distracted.  I know the Lord is pleased with our efforts, even if our prayers are far from perfect, he knows we love Him and are trying.  I believe that our prayers will continue to work miracles.  Jesus we trust in you.

Kim and Mike C.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am sending you this beautiful prayer to end abortion (see below.) Please pray it at home or anywhere and feel free to pass it on to others. While you are at home with time on your hands, besides praying, I am asking you to think outside the box and think of a strategy or a way we can get through to the general population about the peril and tragedy of abortion. Slavery ended when it was exposed for exactly what it was and with the insistence of many leaders willing to stand up against it. I guess there was a defining moment. We must brainstorm and find something we can do that would lead to a defining moment in this pro-life movement. D. James Kennedy, a gifted and wise clergyman, said that if we could show an abortion on television, abortion would end tomorrow. As you know, the media will not approve of such a braodcast and anyway it may do more harm than good. A thought that comes to mind is getting the famous pro-life celebrities to meet with someone like Shawn Carney and organize an ad campaign to expose abortion for what it truly is. These strong pro-life celebs come to mind:

Martin Sheen, Celine Dion, Jack Nicholson, Kenny Chesney, Patricia Heaton, Jim Caviezel, Kathy Ireland, Ben Stein, Justin Bieber, Phil Robertson, Tim Tebow, Elizabeth Hasselback, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Kirk Cameron, Tom Selleck, Jon Voight, Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Armstrong, Simone Biles, Candace Cameron, Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, Janine Turner, Jordin Sparks, Mel Gibson, Shari Rigby, Sara Evans, Chris Sligh, Philip Rivers, and Casting Crowns. This is food for thought! I would love to hear your feedback or ideas.

God’s Blessings to you and your families,

Michael S.

Prayer To End Abortion

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst shed Thy precious blood upon the Cross for the salvation of all mankind: receive the souls of all the innocent pre-born babies, who have been, are being, or will be slaughtered today in the hospitals and abortion chambers throughout our nation. And as their untimely deaths have prevented them from receiving the grace of Holy Baptism, I entreat Thee to accept their innocent blood as their Baptism (as thou didst with the early Martyrs); so that they can share Eternity with Thee. To the doctors, nurses, parents and hosts of accomplices responsible for this infanticide, grant tears of repentence; so that they can run to Thee for forgiveness and healing, and thus avoid the Eternal Death of their souls. I believe that all things are possible with Thee, O Lord, therefore, I entreat Thee on this day, through Thy Divine Grace, to convince at least one mother in every state to cancel her abortion and bring her child to full term; and to convince one doctor in every state to repent of his actions, and never again kill a child in the womb. Receive my prayer, O Lord, even though it is offered to Thee from such a sinful and unworthy servant; and unite my entreaty with those of all the other brothers and sisters that are crying out today on behalf of all Thy little ones, who are now being formed in the wombs of their mothers. Deliver us and our nation, O Lord, from this shedding of innocent blood!  Forgive us!  Heal us!  Save us!   Amen.

-Author Unknown

Johanna and I spent our shift praying at the Oratory in Oakland before the Blessed Sacrament.  Neither of us had ever been there before and we both are so very glad we went. It was peaceful and an awesome experience. Highly recommend it. There is a small parking lot. Beautiful intimate Chapel. The ability to appropriately distance yourself from other worshippers. Holy candles were lit.

Lisa

Day 26: Thank you, Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg; Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene; Shift Buddies Vince P., Marie P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; Volunteers Pat M., Lynn W.; and all the Witnesses who joined us in prayer today!

+++IMPORTANT NOTE+++

Dear Friends in Christ, the national leadership of 40 Days for Life has made the difficult decision to end our public vigil due to the coronavirus crisis. Although today was our last day on the sidewalk, PLEASE continue to fast and pray from home for an end to abortion and for God’s love and providence to surround all who find themselves pregnant and in challenging circumstances.

Your fear of the Lord in a world that has no fear of the Lord

goes a long way. It is truly countercultural.

Shawn Carney. To the Heart of the Matter

Life dazzles me.  Proprioception, electrons, nasturtium, jelly donuts, warm rainy day walks, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bach, birdsong! I did not create or pay for it. It is a gift.    

There is more. Inviting me closer, life gives me a yes or no choice.  Someone cunningly suggests that I ignore the yes or no.  Say maybe. Keep all options on the table.   Someone else entices me.  Say yes and say yes again and learn to live yes. Both of them are terrible.  They call me to battle!    

I did not learn this in kindergarten.  The Bible taught me. This week the blog had a picture of a witness who brought the Crucifix to the sidewalk. Great idea!

___________________________________

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you

except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  

1 Corinthians 2:2 

It wasn’t just that Jesus died, that He was put to death – but that He died in this uniquely horrific way. That’s one of the most shocking things about early Christianity.  How absolutely strange it was to put a crucified criminal at the heart of the operation.

You have not considered the weight of sin.

What’s going on in the life and death of Jesus is a working in and with sin so as to change it – to undo it from the inside.

God, as it were, had to enter life as a warrior – into sin – so as to break it and conquer it from the inside.

A word of forgiveness blithely offered from a distance is not going to affect what had to be affected.

What’s happening on the Cross, is God going into God forsakenness, taking on Himself precisely the dysfunction of the world, symbolized by all those forces that brought him to the Cross.

Having taken all that on, He is able through the divine mercy, to break it and remake it from the inside.

All of that demands a work.  It demands that a price be paid.  It is a battle that has to be won. The Father out of love sends the Son who accepts the mission out of love. 

A price was paid.  A work was done.  See with the Cross the awe full work of the Divine Love.

Bishop Robert Barron. “Bishop Barron on the Scandalous Cross of Jesus”. youtube

Life dazzles. Life engages me in battle. Life blesses me with goodness, truth and beauty.

Saint Paul began with Jesus Christ, crucified. A crucified heart is a heart full of riches to share with sisters and brothers vulnerable to abortion.

NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

___________________________________

PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

The 7-9 on Sunday morning is already the quietest shift on the schedule, but it was even more so this morning.  This made the atmosphere especially peaceful.  It was my parish’s (St. Regis, Trafford) turn to take a shift and I was joined by my wife, Steph, and Nancy, who has been with us many times in the past.  Whenever I take this shift I find myself filled with such gratitude for SB Vince and his prayerful leadership.  He even printed out a prayer guide for all 20 mysteries of the Rosary, plus the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  He and I and Nancy prayed that while Steph stayed on the other side and prayed silently.  Chuck and Carol came early for their 9-11 shift and it was good to see them.  

Shift Buddy Vince, Shift Manager Pat who is witnessing with Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg. They are joined by Chuck and Carol, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

This was a quiet and peaceful Sunday morning on Liberty Avenue. Aside from a few panhandlers there were no comments and few that passed by on the sidewalk. I arrived to find two members of The Church of The Nazarene, Chuck and Carol with shift managers Vince and Pat. For most of the shift we had a most pleasant and welcome visit from the sunshine. Chuck and Carol stayed with me for the entire shift and gave us prayer and praise music and pleasant greetings for all who passed.  I was able to pray the Rosary, on my knees, in peace for a good part of my shift.  Nikki stopped on her way to Mass to set up the Sacred artwork for the benefit of all to see and also the rose petals for life that added much, in the sunshine, to bring life to this place of death. We did have two welcome guests in vehicles, Janine who prayed from her car and an off duty police officer in uniform who provided some security. My shift ended joined in the prayers of the Chaplet of Mercy with shift managers Rosanne and Rich and Lynn from The Oratory. 

Chuck and Carol joined Ken so he would not be alone.

Ken, Shift Manager

Nikki arranged her art after spreading the rose petals that honor the lives of the babies abortion takes at Planned Parenthood downtown.

RICH AND ROSEANN K., SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

Very calm on the street today although we did manage to get one negative remark but it was soon eclipsed by a positive one. When we got there Ken took a photo of Rich, myself and Lynn who witnessed with us until noon. Joe stopped by to pray. We prayed Rosaries and the Divine Chaplet. Before we knew it Lindsay and her husband Daniel showed up. Thanks and God Bless to all who braved coming out today.

Lynn from the Oratory witnesses with Shift Managers Roseann and Rich

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Let’s just say all hell broke loose today!

It was an EVENTFUL time outside the 933 Liberty Avenue Planned Parenthood. Things were calm and peaceful and prayerful, and then all the sudden there was a club wielding man amongst us. It started out in the middle of the intersection, when a deranged man yelled at an (uninvolved) driver of a car stopped at a red light.  They floored it to get away. Then the man started to come towards us. He was holding what appeared to be a large club and was wearing a black fedora style hat and something that looked like a dead animal wrapped around his neck (later I realized it was a cheap faux stole). Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re running but you can’t seem to move? That was me, your fearless shift leader. The man spoke unintelligibly and then lay down in the gutter and started to devour rose petals that were scattered there. He got back up and restlessly paced while still wielding what appeared to be a HUGE club (shift buddy Marie thought it was one of those Amazon rain sticks).

God gave me strength to at least try to start getting pictures and video and to run over to the security guard/hired police officer. I believe he had already called for backup.  The man started to go down the street away from us when he saw our security guard.  But he whirled around and came back with purpose.  He lay down on the sidewalk one more time. He got up, club in hand, and ignored the warnings of the police officer to calm down and drop the club. So the police officer acted heroically, swiftly, and professionally and pinned the man to the ground. In the scuffle our sandwich boards and baby models flew.  Thankfully many other police cars, police motorcycles and policemen showed up.  And it took about five or six policemen to remove the club from the man’s hands.  And he was arrested, thank God. When all the police were gone I realized there was another maniac amongst us. He seemed restless and agitated and started to punch a metal pole near us. But thankfully the power of prayer drove him away, just as I was dialing the 9 of 9-1-1.

I do want to thank the courageous prayer warriors who stuck with me during the scare. I also I want to thank the courageous security guard / police officer and all the other Pittsburgh police officers who were so quick to restore order to Liberty Avenue. My heroes always wear blue!

This all might seem scary and it was. However I believe it is a really awesome thing!

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY making Satan mad now. We must be real close to closing Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue! So keep it up, prayer warriors, especially Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel.  And stand tall and courageous.

Especially if Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the Pittsburgh Police got your back! Today was full of heroes. Thank you Father Jason Charron for giving Catholics the beautiful opportunity to receive the most Sacred Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ today at an outdoor Easter Ukrainian Rite Mass, that honored all social distancing and sanitary laws. May God bless all the heroic people I met, and prayed with, and prayed for.  We’re spiritually sustained today!

Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel. Prayer warriors standing tall.

Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY working.

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A sunny day

with much quiet prayer and some public

but one thing in common between us all  

firm hope that 933 Liberty Avenue WILL CLOSE!

Thank you to all who have joined us in prayer, on the sidewalk and from a distance.
Although the coronavirus crisis is ending our public vigil early, PLEASE continue to pray and fast from home! May God bless all unborn children and their families, and may He end abortion forever!

And God saw that it was good.

Day 25: Thanks to St. Paul of the Cross Parish (Mt. Lebanon/Castle Shannon), Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Living Hope Church, Resurrection Church, and more …

Her first day as a PP volunteer would end up being – – – – – her LAST!

In case you missed this report from the sidewalk yesterday: A first time PP volunteer came out of the building and …. expressed feeling so saddened as she sat in a room with about ten women… She wasn’t sure how many were there for abortions and how many for other procedures…. She heard one of them complain that she ” had to pay over $400 for her abortion” …  The volunteer said that thoughts of her own four miscarriages came to mind as she sat in that clinic. … She had initially thought that volunteering at PP would be a good idea, but she couldn’t even finish her first shift! ….. She told us she couldn’t stand being at PP any longer and she left. ….

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing any good out there — But this account tells us so much! Whether you are able to join the vigil on the sidewalk or not, wherever you are during these crazy times, know that storming heaven with prayer in the cause for life WORKS. Please, please, please continue to pray in earnest! PRAYER CHANGES THINGS – Jeannie

412 LIFE WATCH SHIFT REPORTS

7-9 Shift Manager Tim Reports:

What a blessed morning as “Vigil Essentials” were put to use and I was joined by St. Paul of the Cross parishioners and Father Tim and the Guardians for Life.  Thank you all for standing up for the most vulnerable during these trying times. The relatively quiet streets allowed our prayers to ring out.  Sadly the clinic was open along with escorts and a few couples went in.  We hoped and prayed the unborn felt our love. Thanks also to Nick for acting as our Guardian Angel on the street during these difficult times.

St. Paul of the Cross folks & Joe keeping Social Distance (except for Married Couples)
When it is Quiet in the City, PRAYER fills the AIR— Thank you Fr. Tim & faith-filled vigilants.
There is an ANGEL on the Sidewalk, too!

9-11 Shift Manager Charlie Reports: Today’s 9 to 11 shift was very quiet but consequently very peaceful. Wonderfully, PP was very slow and not too many were seen going into the clinic.  Amy joined me as my prayer partner.  Please pray for our Sidewalk advocates as both of our Sues were missing today.  


11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports: Surreal. I have never seen the sidewalks this empty, but I expected that. Except for a very few passersby, the only people on the sidewalk at P.P. were clients and members of 40DFL.

Thanks Lisa for getting the request out for people to stand and pray with me. WHAT A TEAM we have in this city! There was a good response from the young men attending Resurrection Church in Brookline. They used Knee Mail!

Joan and some of Resurrection Church’s finest today on the sidewalk… KNEE MAIL sent!
Happy to have Living Hope Church members out TODAY!
Katie & Billie amid the Rose Petals … to wrap up the day!

Day 24: Thank you to St. Thomas More & St. John Capistran Parishes (Bethel Park), Generous Individuals, and Faithful Team Members


Praise be to God, a courageous couple chose life for their child after walking away from PP last week!  We want to do everything in our power to support them. Please contact us if you can help with any of these needs:
–a landlord willing to offer them a
place with reasonable rent,
–people willing to hire “R,” who is a plumber,
–people willing to hire “S” for a part-time cleaning job at night.


As of 3/20/2020, all elective medical procedures have been temporarily prohibited by Pennsylvania state government. 

Abortion has not been prohibited by state government.

Therefore, abortion must not be an elective procedure. 

You may find an error in the logic of my statements above, but the fact remains…abortion is rarely a procedure someone elects to have because they desire it. Far more often, it seems to be the only choice in a difficult financial or personal situation. Many women are even compelled to have an abortion by threats of violence or abandonment. Let’s contine to PRAY that God’s love and peace will envelop pregnant women in crisis, and let’s continue to REACH OUT to those women with offers of help and support to enable them to choose life for their unborn child!


SIDEWALK REPORTS

Diane took a beautiful picture of our city in the rain this morning!

Nikki and Steve, 7-9 AM:

It was an extremely soggy, wet time on the sidewalk this morning, but I was very blessed and grateful to share it with sidewalk advocate and prayer warrior Steve, and we were so thankful to have an awesome security guard, Josh with us! We felt very safe and protected as we prayed together on our knees, Steve and I. We prayed  two rosaries, including one in Latin and a Divine Mercy chaplet. Then we just prayed individually, silently on our knees. It was just workers going in, but during the end of our shift clients started entering, mostly single girls, one couple entered at the end of my shift. One young woman who entered by herself was crying.

At one point while I was praying on my knees, the rain was coming down in torrents, and the sky was very dark. Our security guard noticed a man who was acting strangely, he had noticed him and had been keeping his eyes on him for quite a while, but at this point he began approaching us and so he warned me about him. Sure enough, the man was clearly disturbed. I told Josh that many times  we see people with mental illness and that sometimes it appears to be mixed in with spiritual, demonic afflictions, sometimes they go hand-in-hand. That seem to be the case with this man. As he walked up to us, he asked Josh if he had a cigarette. Josh said no, so then he turned to look down at me as I was praying and asked me if I had a cigarette. I said that I did not. Then he stared at me very intensely and he asked me, “why are you here?“ I smiled and answered, “40 Days For Life.“ He paused and asked me, “are you for Jesus?“ I nodded and said yes. Then his face became distorted and he practically growled at me many cursing’s, calling me a “b—ch”, and telling me to go to hell and using all sorts of foul language. Thankfully Josh was right there and he made sure the man kept moving away from us.  This man was not going to mess with us with Josh there. But, it was a reminder of how spiritual this battle is. It is so clear, I wonder how sometimes people do not see it. 

As I was huddled under my umbrella, on my knees in the pouring rain, on the  quiet and deserted sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh  it occurred to me that by doing this, by our witness in these extreme circumstances, that we are like the prophets in the Old Testament. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the others. Back then, they had messages from God and showed by their behavior that God was calling everyone to repentance. They would do this by extreme measures  and actions. They would also throw dust on their head and sit in sack cloth and ashes. Even though we don’t throw dust on our heads, we do sit, in a way, in sack cloth and ashes when we kneel on those filthy sidewalks. I believe our actions are a sign to repentance for the workers, and anyone who happens to see us. Thank you Carolyn, her hubby and Kathy for coming at nine to relieve us. 

Nikki
Nikki covered the first shift today while her umbrella covered her
So grateful to Nikki and Steve for offering up prayers as the heavy rains came down

Kathy and Mark, 9-11 AM:

Nikki, Steve, and Josh (today’s security guard) greeted me when i arrived and then left when scheduled church members came.
 Even though other businesses were mandated to close and elective surgeries were to be postponed, PP was open today which prompted me to call Pgh police and mayor’s hotline to ask why? Reports were filed and I was told to contact Governor’s office which I did.
 A young couple stopped briefly and accepted yellow card but intervention did not change their outcome of choosing abortion.  Very sad.
Carolyn and Terry from St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park, Friday regular Terry, Jim, and daily participant Bill H were my sidewalk companions.

Kathy
Thank you to the 9-11 crew!
Jim stopped by to pray before going to work.

Sheila and Cecilia, 11 AM-1 PM:

A heavy downpour didn’t keep a steady stream of women from entering PP.  Several women were turned away because they were walk-ins; only people with appointments were allowed to enter. One woman left with another woman after little more than an hour; she refused to stop and speak with us both coming and going, but barked at me, “My sister’s fine, don’t worry about us.”
Near the end of the shift, a woman exited and looked very distraught. Cil and I asked if she was OK. She told us that today was her first day as a PP volunteer and would also be her last. She expressed feeling so saddened as she sat in a room with about ten women. She wasn’t sure how many were there for abortions and how many for other procedures. She heard one of them complain that she had to pay over $400 for her abortion. She overheard a guy calling his girlfriend a murderer because she was aborting their baby.  She said that thoughts of her four miscarriages came to mind as she sat in that clinic. She had initially thought that volunteering at PP would be a good idea, but she couldn’t even finish her first shift!  She told us she couldn’t stand being there any longer and left. Cil and I  prayed with her and let her know about some resources that are available to her. She told us that she plans on returning to church. 

Sheila
Praying for the end of abortion
Thank you, wonderful prayer warriors!
Today is the first full day of spring…a reminder that winter always comes to an end and–thanks be to God–NEW LIFE WINS!

Elaine and Bernie, 1-3 PM:

(This campaign, 40 priests were asked to have at least one Mass for the intentions of the conversion of the workers and the closing of the clinic; and also to come to the clinic on one day and pray a rosary. The following report is from one of those wonderful priests, Fr. Nick:)

I’ve celebrated another Mass–this one was a private Mass for the intention of converting all in the abortion business and a change of heart for all seeking an abortion and a respect for life at all stages throughout the world. 
Also, I prayed at the abortion mill on Liberty Avenue for two hours from 1:45pm to 3:45pm today Friday, March 20th, the first day of spring! I prayed with Maria, Bernadette, and Eileen, and then later with Val, Mike, and Patrick. Also, Josh our security guard was there the whole time making sure we were safe. I think I have all the names right. Forgive me if one or two are wrong.  We prayed two rosaries, two Divine Mercy Chaplets, a prayer against storms, and a chaplet of Divine Will. 
About ten women went in or out of the building during my time there. Some may have been employees.  Quest diagnostics and UPS brought deliveries to Planned Parenthood. 
And even with the mandate of only life sustaining businesses allowed to be open in PA,  Planned Parenthood remains open and thus is considered a life sustaining business. 
I’ll keep praying and fasting for the day to hasten when abortion is unthinkable. God bless you!

Fr. Nick

Pat, Val, and Mike, 3-5 PM:

My time on the sidewalk was quiet given the drastic drop in people on the road and on the sidewalk.  Nearly every bus I saw was empty, too.  I, along with SBs Val and Mike, were led in prayer by Fr. Nick from St. Maria Goretti for the first part of the shift, and then we prayed separately and quietly for the middle portion after Fr. Nick left.  For the last 1/2 hour Val, Mike, and I prayed the Stations of the Cross.  I was very glad to hear from them that their prayers were answered for their son, Matthew, who was able to get back into the country after having been working on a cruise ship for several months.  

Pat
Val and Mike keep vigil while Josh watches over the sidewalk

Bill, Mary, and Claudia, 5-7 PM:

Tonight’s night shift was very quiet.  I arrived a little early to find my shift buddy Mary already there.  Pat and his crew soon left and there was a security guard who had been there the entire day since 6:30 am.  Soon another volunteer arrived, this was Claudia from Cranberry.  We prayed a rosary.  There was almost no traffic on the sidewalks and an occasional employee leaving PP.  We did get a few thank yous from the passersby.  But mostly it was very quiet compared to past shifts.  Almost like Sundays used to be with the “blue laws.”  For me it made praying easier.  And again we closed up a little early.  Thank you, Mary and Claudia. God Bless!

Bill
Bill and friends brought our vigil to a prayerful close for the day