My parish has a LOT of babies and young children. We are very blessed to be part of a young and growing faith community at Most Precious Blood of Jesus Church. I love watching the little ones. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing children at church! This morning there were two little girls, around two years old, playing peek-a-boo with each other around the pew in front of me. Another toddler escaped briefly and made a dash for the altar, before her dad chased her down and scooped her up just in time. Actually, I saw two runaway toddlers this morning. The second one was making a dash for the door but her mom ran after her and the little one’s escape plan was thwarted. I can laugh about it, because those days are behind me now and I get to actually sit and enjoy the Mass. I know it’s not as entertaining for the parents as it is for me. But from my perspective, it is a joy to see babies absorbing the light and love of Jesus by simply being part of a vibrant faith community.
But lots of babies also means lots of noise. This morning there was an especially noisy little one. She was NOT happy, and had VERY healthy lungs. It was during the homily, so her frazzled father struggled to carry her squirming little body while heading to the church “Cry Room”. As the sliding glass door shut behind him, the loud crying was immediately muffled and peace was restored. I was sitting near the cry room, so I could see the little girl was continuing to scream at the top of her lungs…but those of us sitting in the pews could no longer hear her.
That got me to thinking about the crying that goes on behind the doors of Planned Parenthood that we are not able to hear. Abortion is able to ensnare its unsuspecting victims because no one can hear the cries from behind those doors. From the outside, everything seems peaceful. Abortion is just a simple medical procedure that will solve all your problems, right? You will be able to go on with your life and forget all about it. What a terrible lie that is!
It occurred to me that our prayerful sidewalk witness in front of Planned Parenthood has the same effect as opening the cry room door. The (false) “peace” is broken… and the cries can be clearly heard. It is clear to everyone who sees us that all is NOT well, and that a terrible grief and tragedy is occurring inside that place. Maybe our witness will be enough to cause a young, unsuspecting woman to think twice before entering that place. Maybe lives and souls will be saved.
That is what Nichole is hoping her witness will do. She is allowing HER cries to be heard, in the hope that, by opening the “cry room door” of her soul, and allowing us to see her pain and grief…that maybe someone will heed her warning to not make the same tragic mistake.
I am grateful for Nichole, and for all our dedicated year-round prayer warriors for braving the frigid weather this past week. Our dear Barbara and her husband Richard pray on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood every Friday, as well as volunteering to help fill additional empty shifts when needed. Barbara wrote this beautiful reflection about her time this past Friday:
Zowee! Snow and 28 degrees. 78-year-old seniors – we considered witnessing virtually. But, no. We know too much about the protected American voracious beast – abortion. A powdery snow floated down while the guard shoveled and salted the pp sidewalk. The front doors locked safely behind him each time he went outside to complete this safety precaution. The abortion bound couples crowded inside and lined up in the hall. As he registered them for admission, the masked guard checked their safety masks. As he prepared to usher each man, mother and baby further into the abortuary, the guard “wanded” them for safety. The baby was not masked or wanded. The guard, the men and the mothers were not there to protect the baby. Each mother had scheduled her baby to be killed there, today. Richard, Bill and I were there to guard the baby. Our hearts ached.
Among our other prayers, we pray that someday the hearts of the guard and adults in that ghastly hall will ache because of what they are doing there today. The odds of this happening are good. God was ready to take me back. God is ready to take them back, when they are ready.
With Saint Augustine, I gratefully pray, “Late have I loved thee, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new.” Life is good.
Now…hopefully I have planted a seed in your heart…that if God is calling YOU to pray and witness at Planned Parenthood, that you will join us! Our Lenten 40 Days for Life vigil begins with a kick-off Mass & Eucharistic Procession at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 1st at Divine Mercy Parish, Epiphany Church. Please help us to fill the 40-day vigil in front of Planned Parenthood from March 2nd through April 10th! Contact Fran Morrow at email@example.com to sign up as a church group, or Donna Goss at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up as an individual.
I also am in need of some folks to act as “shift managers” or “Shift buddies” during the 40 days. Especially on Mondays from 7-9am, 9-11am, 1-3pm and 3-5pm. Also on Tuesdays from 3-5pm and Thursdays from 3-5pm. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are able to help!
Please spread the word at your church and on your social media with these flyers:
If you are not planning to go to the March for Life in Washington DC, please consider witnessing at Planned Parenthood instead!
There is also a Mass at St. Paul Cathedral on January 20th that I hope you will attend! Here are the details:
Pro-Life Vigil Mass
All are invited to a Mass celebrated by Bishop Zubik for the Protection of Human Life on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 7:00 PM in St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland. The Mass will unite the clergy and the faithful of Diocese of Pittsburgh with the National Prayer Vigil for Life promoted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrated in Washington, D.C. in anticipation of the March for Life on January 21. The Rosary will be prayed at 6:30 PM in St. Paul Cathedral for the protection of human life especially the most vulnerable, unborn children in the womb. All are welcome to participate in the Rosary and Mass to beg God’s protection for and our heightened respect and care for human life
There is also a local “March for Life” planned to take place in Bridgeville. Here are the details:
The Corpus Christi Parish (Bridgeville) Pro-Life Group is once again coordinating a March for Life in Bridgeville on the day of the National March for Life in DC (Friday January 21st).
As we did last year, the activities begin with Noon Mass at Holy Child worship site in Bridgeville. At the end of Mass, we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Child until 7 pm that evening and will also conduct our own March for Life through the streets of Bridgeville, following approximately 1.5 mile route beginning and ending at Holy Child. At 7 pm, a Festival of Praise will take place in conjunction with Benediction for Adoration.
Finally, I ask you to please say a prayer for our wonderful Sidewalk Advocate Leader, Greg Engelmeyer. His father, John, Passed away on Friday. Please pray for his family and for the repose of his dad’s soul.
Thank you and may God bless you!