Day 39: Thanks to Guardians for Life, St. Maria Goretti, St. Ferdinand Church,


Last week on the sidewalk, I watched an employee of PP walk out and pour water on the musings of my favorite street prophet which read:  “Every Human Life Saved is > any $ Amount “  The chalked message was a response to the pledge-a -picketer message PP has posted.  The PP employee took time and used paper toweling to attempt to scrub the words off the sidewalk .    She was definitely bothered by it what the message said, which means SHE READ AND UNDERSTOOD IT  and she felt she had to remove it — It GOT TO HER!    


Another  PP employee addressed me about the baby photo I was wearing.  She said “You know they don’t look like that, don’t you?”  (referring to the innocent ones killed in the clinic) .    I said    “Well, I know you don’t look like you did when you were 2 years old, but you are still you — it is still a child!”   She through up her hands and walked angrily away.

Many of us have experienced similar instances where folks are “acting up” in response to our presence.  It may just be showing us that convenient middle finger, or using the phrase that often accompanies that gesture,  or maybe a shake of the head or an audible “tsk”,  sometimes these poor souls even lose control of their drool  (if you know what I mean).  I  know it is easy to become upset or unsettled when folks approach us with this impolite behavior.   I react viscerally as well….  it is a bit nerve-wracking.

But …..   once things settle down (and they always do) we must realize that this behavior means that


I think we can safely say that WE Are getting under the skin of the PP employees/supporters.  They read our signs, they see our images, they witness our commitment and ……  THEY REACT.    If our message didn’t hit home, didn’t stir something within them —- if we were insignificant,  or clueless, would any of them bother with us?   I think not.

I pray that we are given the peace to react to these angry acts of PP supporters  by acknowledging them as the beginning of the conversation on abortion people in our country need to have.  



Perhaps, now that we are under their skin,

we can make it to their HEARTS!   



Shift Report from Tim, 7-9am

Thanks to Father Tim and the Guardians for Life who made such a powerful witness on the sidewalk with their prayers and presence. Liberty Ave was closed to traffic so we really stood out on the sidewalk.

The Saturday morning “regulars” mentioned they were saddened by the end of 40 DFL.  It gave a sense of being part of something so much bigger than their individual efforts. And they really liked the extra prayer warriors to give witness to life.  Never the less, this dedicated team will be back next Saturday morning and every one thereafter.  God bless them all. Tim B.

Shift Report from Sue:

I arrived this morning to the faithful Guardians for Life finishing out a Rosary, and they stayed and prayed until around 10:00.  Dan from St. Maria Goretti joined us, followed shortly afterward by Rosemary and Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville.  I for one am blessed every vigil by Tom and Rosemary’s lovely sung prayer, and this vigil was no exception.  SA Judy also arrived around 10:00.

PP business today was pretty “average” for a Saturday – “average” of course always being too much.  We offered cards and literature to each person going in, and we also prayed for each person going in.  For the first time in my years of coming to the PP sidewalk, I witnessed a PP escort accompanying a woman OUT of the clinic and down the street.  I am pretty certain I saw this woman go in; thus, she likely did not have an abortion, but all the same, I’ve never seen this happen.  At one point, a passerby said to us “Just adopt!” and I replied “Amen – perfect idea!”, although I believe her intention was to imply that we should do that instead of being on the sidewalk.  Judy, as she regularly does, told each PP escort that their lives are profound and have been since before they were born.  Today, one of the male escorts replied to her that he had talked to God and that He was going to forgive us.  Amen – may God forgive us and the escorts and every person who loves Him, and may he break hardened hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit!

Dan from St. Maria Goretti, with Rosemary & Tom from St. George Orthodox Church in Bridgeville


Shift Report from Dean:

Peaceful shift for the first hour and a half, until the last half an hour a man came to pass out tracts.  He was trying to get into an argument about differences in Christian religions.  Happily, we were able to avoid arguing with him.

St. Ferdinand Church Prayer Squad!

Shift Report from Billy:

Today  I was accompanied  by 2 volunteers named Maggie and Tammy. I was visited by a guy named Chuck  and while he was talking to me a lady walked  by with her son. She explained to us that she went with her friend to take her friend to the particular  clinic we were at and explained in detail and even expressed to her son this clinic was an abortion clinic.  Then we had Mimi come visit. Out of all the people who I had recognized going  6 went in and 4 came out. Out of the four the one woman definitely seemed to not be comfortable there  and seemed to work else where. All in all it was pretty quiet today.  Billy


Shift Report from Kathy:

Joan, Mike, Mimi, John, Bridgette:Beautiful People

Mimi arrived just as I arrived.   She commanded:  “Say Rosary.”
God provided Joan, John,and Mike from Bentleyville at just the right moment.

Mike led the Rosary and Bridgette joined us. Afterward, Mimi shared all she would do tonight and we watched as she crossed the street and zoomed down Liberty. 

Praying on her knees Bridgette was observed by many as the concert preparations were underway, touching hearts  —- including mine.
Jim joined us, too.   

Prayers continued until we were delighted to see Diane and Tom. 

“It was a fantastic day for the pro-life community”

Aug 22 2015

“It was a fantastic day for the Pro-Life community in Pittsburgh. Young, old, conservative, liberal, we were all there to say “NO” to funding Planned Parenthood. Pretty awesome.  Thanks to all for your support.”

Jeannie F. August 22, 2015

“Hi all,  there was a prayerful presence at Planned Parenthood today from 10-11am, part of a nationwide protest in 300 cities, calling attention to the now 8 Center for Medical Progress videos which show how some Planned Parenthood clinics harvest and sell aborted baby organs, harvested at times from babies whose hearts are still beating, and worse atrocities — in frank detail.  As you know these videos and any significant mention of them have been censored by the media.

Well the news is that 240 pro-life people were there today in Pittsburgh alone, peacefully (as always) marching and praying in defense of the unborn and of their parents who likewise are victimized by abortion.

The love of those who love God cannot be defeated.”

Diane D.


Day 39: Holy Wisdom Parish, Pittsburgh [ALL DAY!]

Preach the message; be persistent in doing so, whether in season or out of season; convince, reprove, and encourage, but with great patience and instruction.       2 Timothy 4:2

Come Monday morning, our 40 Days for Life ministry in Pittsburgh will be “out of season.”  And believe me, I’m looking forward to the break.  No more Friday evenings out in the cold and the noise, no more Saturdays spent on the computer working on the blog.  Ahhh.  Man, I need a break.  I’ll bet you do too.  And you know what, I think God really wants us to have a break, a time of rest from this high-intensity work of ours.

Planned Parenthood of Pittsburgh

But at the same time……we can’t ignore the fact that PP has no off-season.  So, what are we supposed to do?

Let me suggest that the only wrong answer to that question is:  “Nothing.”

I’m convinced that each of us should really set aside at least 5 minutes at some point on Monday (“Day 41”) to offer a very short prayer to God – and to listen for His response.  The kind of prayer I’m talking about should sound something like this:  “Lord, what you want me to do now?  Please show me.”

Now, if you’re willing to trust Him enough to even ask this question (no small thing, I’ll admit), you know well that there may be no immediate answer.  But if it’s a question that you keep on your heart, an answer will eventually come.  And those answers will vary greatly because there so many different ways we can serve the Lord in service to “the Gospel of Life.”

On a personal note, I don’t think  I formally asked myself that question at the close of the last campaign.  Yet I do remember feeling, shortly after it ended, that simply waiting around for the next campaign to begin just wasn’t sitting well with me.  So when I learned that Sidewalk Advocates for Life, an organization which actually sprang from 40 Days for Life, found someone willing to lead a Sidewalk Advocates group here in Pittsburgh (our very own Kathy Laslow!), it hit me that maybe this was what that nagging feeling was preparing me for.  Fear, of course, showed-up shortly thereafter in an attempt talk me out of it.  But I figured that simply signing-up for the 4-hour training course wasn’t like I was making a formal commitment or anything, so why not?

Well, I did take the course (which is done via DVD very put together), along with about 10 others, and concluded by the end of it that God was, in fact, calling me to give this a try.  I’m still taking baby steps and making mistakes, and some fear remains.  But there is a peace in knowing that you are where you are supposed to be.


So I’ll emphasize again that everyone’s call will be unique.  But if in the next few days you sense that being a sidewalk advocate might be a direction God is calling you to explore, please take a few minutes to watch the short  (less than 7 min.) video on the SAFL website entitled “WHO WE ARE.”  [And when you do, have a tissue handy.]

If after watching it and exploring their website you think that taking this training course is a logical next step, send an email to Kathy Laslow at  She’d be glad to answer any and all of your questions.

Pat Malley

And now, on to the reports from the sidewalk.

Day 39 Saturday 7 – 9 AM

day 39, 1st shift, mobil unit

We were blessed Saturday morning as the day started with the rain stopping and a visit from the Choices Mobile Sonogram team of Sue, Betsy and Jill.  The Choices team welcomed all to tour the mobile sonogram to see and understand what they do and how they do.  The Holy Wisdom team lead by Barbara and her husband  arrived at “7 on the nose, assuming 7 has a nose” said Barbara.  Holy Wisdom had a strong presence including a family with four young courageous children. How uplifting to see young people at the vigil.
Shift Manager Barbara stayed ALL 12 HOURS with her parish today! Pictured with Diane and Saturday morning "regulars"
Shift Manager Barbara stayed ALL 12 HOURS with her parish today! Pictured with Diane and Saturday morning “regulars”
Wonderful family from Holy Wisdom Parish
Wonderful family from Holy Wisdom Parish
We had the strong presence of the early morning sidewalk counselors Meredith, Virginia and David as well as two more who came later at 9. Regular Saturday prayer warriors Bill from St Ferdinand’s, John M., Bill H., Jimmy,  Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie along with newcomer Monty witnessed to life.  
Bill from St. Ferdinand
Bill from St. Ferdinand
Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church and Monty
Deacon Myron from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church and Monty
Holy Wisdom
Holy Wisdom
Fr Tim again made the long drive with his faithful flock and filled the air with heartfelt prayers.
Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland Counites
Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life of Indiana and Westmoreland Counties
Many out-of-towners supporting the Duke Football team (vs Pitt at noon) passed by and looked on to see our witness.  I am sure we made an impression.
The year-round Saturday prayer warriors were saddened to see the last Saturday within 40 Days come along as the added presence of so many encouraging vigil participants will be missed. They wanted to let everyone know that there is a faithful group at planned parenthood every Saturday morning year-round from 7 till 10 or 11 AM and all are welcome to come back  and join us when the Holy Spirit touches your heart. 
Tim B.
Barbara took these photos:
Al, Sally and Julie
Al, Sally and Julie
Holy Wisdom came out in force today!
Holy Wisdom came out in force today!
Many prayer warriors from Holy Wisdom
Many prayer warriors from Holy Wisdom

And here’s Barbara’s report:

Our greatest talent and treasure is our ability to love….
It belongs to the very nature of love to flow outward, to gravitate like water to those empty, low, dry places.
…the divine nature abhors the void of love and runs to remedy it….
To be “in heaven,” means rather to reside in the fullness of love and to be always engaged in bestowing the benefits of love on others – to pour out one’s being into the void in others as if one were sunlight and rain.
“The Meaning of the Parable of the Talents.” Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. Magnificat November 2014

Pittsburgh presented us with chilly cloudy weather, but Holy Wisdom parishioners presented downtown Pittsburgh in front of Planned Parenthood with the gift of their presence, their smiles, their prayers and their offer of alternatives to abortion.  Those who could come downtown were Mary Jane, Kent and Margaret and their children, the Nypaver family, John, Liz, Bernadette and her children, Al and Sally, Clare, Kevin, Janet, Andy, and Kathy with her husband and daughter.
Barbara Lewis, Shift Manager

Shift manager Maggie wrote:

It was an intense 2 hours. A young boy named Josh stopped and talked to Mary Jane, and I and although I think he was a little inebriated, he was crying about the regret he felt having an abortion. He didn’t believe god could forgive him and he said it was the worst decision he and his girlfriend ever made. He said things have never been the same. He also said that the abortionist didnt know what she was doing and that his girlfriend bled and passed tissue for awhile. She is afraid she will never have any more children. When she saw a gynecologist they said there was a lot of scarring. Please pray for Josh and his girlfriend “C” that they will get tne healing they need (it will be 3 years in january). We prayed with him and have him information on silent no more and Rachel’s vineyard. There were 5 beautiful young girls who went in around 12:30 for abortions. A good lucking young couple. A girl alone (while someone waited into their car at the curb), 2 mother daughter groups, and a boyfriend mom and daughter. I prayed so hard hoping someone would change their mind.

Great group from Holy Wisdom with Barbara
Great group from Holy Wisdom with Barbara






Day 27: St Margaret Mary and Round Hill Church

“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”

EPH 2: 1-10 

Nobody every said it would be easy, in fact just the opposite was promised.  Yet somehow we all answer the call.  You know ‘the call”.  That call that comes to your heart in the middle of the night.  We all want to stay in the cozy comfort of our homes.  Yet, we respond in that “Heroic moment”. That moment when we get out of bed or off the couch to do HIS will.  To go downtown when it is dark and cold and sometime rainy or in the middle of the day when so many other things are demanding our attention.  Yet we go witness to the dignity of life still in womb.

 OK, sometimes we hit the snooze button once or twice but we answer the call. Because we know what we are doing is important.  It is God’s will.  After all, if it were easy He wouldn’t need you.

 Be not afraid.  Be a hero.

Tim B. 

Today we have the prayer warriors from  St. Margaret Mary Moon twp and Round Hill Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth

We have some large holes in vigil coverage this week.  Tuesday from 3-7 there is no one, so Sheila will be alone from 3-5 and Jeannie from 5-7. Also, on Wednesday morning from 8-11am there is no one.  Charlene will have Dick with her till 9:30, but Cathy will be alone from 9:30-11 if no one shows up.  Other than that, there is just the 3:00 hour on Thursday (Jeannie) and 1-3pm next Sunday (Jeff) that is empty.  So far, our 40 Days family has not let us down…so I don’t doubt that prayer partners will answer the call for these empty hours!

Peace be with you today.

Shift manager Bill was alone from 7-9am.  Thank so much Bill for holding down the fort!!!

Bill stood alone this morning
Bill stood alone this morning

 Kathy managed the vigil from 9-11am and wrote:

Even before I left the house this morning, prayers were answered that I would have a prayer partner during my shift from 9-11 a.m.  An e-mail answered by Chris (I forget his last name) said he would join me.  As I arrived to relieve Bill H., who stood watch for the 7-9 hours, a gentleman by the name of Joe introduced himself and said that he came to pray.  Shortly afterwards, Chris also came and the three of us quietly prayed while wearing signs.  Thank you Bill, Chris, and Joe for your witness for life.

Joe and Chris came to the rescue so Kathy didn't have to pray alone during her shift!
Joe and Chris came to the rescue so Kathy didn’t have to pray alone during her shift!

 Toward the end of the hour, MaryJane came also to pray.  She was a tremendous blessing to one woman who stopped to tell us that she talked her daughter out of having an abortion.  We prayed for her and gave her pregnancy resources to share with her daughter.  Please keep “K” and her daughter “S” in your prayers.

Rose managed the vigil from 11-1pm and wrote:

Despite the chillier weather compared to last week, we were warmed by the heartfelt prayers from the  6 prayer warriors from St. Margaret Mary in Moon Township.  They came at 11 and were staying for 4 hours. John and Anna Gallagher also came to pray, and this is their anniversary!  They keep coming back. We prayed two rosaries and sang several pages of  hymns together.   A man took some literature and told of his girlfriend who had been abused by her former boyfriend but was greatly helped by an organization called “Voice.”  She wasn’t pregnant, but they greatly helped her out of the terrible situation. I think this is good information to have in case we run into someone in that same situation. We also met a very talkative,enthusiastic young man named Nature Aura who supports what we are doing and wants to help us get our message out there through some internet websites he is working on.  I took his contact info to pass along to Nikki. Several folks took some literature as they passed by and no one harassed us today. Praise God who gives us the gift of  life!

St, Margaret Mary in Moon Twp, along with the Gallaghers who came to pray on their anniversary!
St, Margaret Mary in Moon Twp, along with the Gallaghers who came to pray on their anniversary!


Over the weekend our family went to the Franciscan TOR Friary in Loretta  PA, to attend a family weekend with our youngest son,Tom, who is now a novice there, Brother Stephen Mary.  After Sunday Mass, my daughter-in-law Caitlyn, who was holding her 4 1/2 month old daughter, Lucy, was very blessed by a priest who put his hand on baby Lucy and thanked Caitlyn for saying “yes” to life.  Maybe that’s a good phrase to remember to say to someone who is holding a little baby, to encourage and bless them, too 🙂




From Beth:

How blessed we are to have such wonderful prayer volunteers at Planned Parenthood today!  All the supplies were ready;  Bill stopped by to give my sister Rose and I an update on everything and the crew from St. Margaret Mary was already in place. Regulars like Tony, Francesca, and Beth came, offered their prayers and helped the atmosphere become a peaceful, prayerful spot in a very noisy downtown Pittsburgh.  Very uneventful, with lots of very nice comments as people worked by.  By three o’clock, the group from Round Hill Presbyterian had arrived:  Matt, Pam, Linda and Bob and Julius, some wonderful newcomers with them.  Brother John from St. Paul’s Cathedral arrived just  a little before Francis came to relieve us and take on the shift manager job.
And thanks to Pastor Matt for the picture. Definitely more positive than negative today, at least on the outside of PP.
p.s. to busy pro-lifers:  Even though you’re always on the go, if you get half a chance, try requesting from the Carnegie Library Something other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler.  Great story, atheist to Catholic, especially the part that show how a militant pro-abortion  young woman discover the logic and beauty of the  pro-life argument. Easy read.

Pastor Matt with his wonderful prayer warriors from Round Hill Presbyterian Church


Day 11: Guardians for Life; WPA Church of the Brethren; Holy Trinity (Robinson); St. Ferdinand (Cranberry)

“I’m just here for birth control.”  

birth control pills image

Have you ever heard this as a woman walked into PP?  I’ve heard it many times.  And each time I’m at a loss for how to respond before she manages to get the door open and disappear inside.  In my mind I want to shout out to her:  “But wait, don’t you know that they can and do cause abortions too!”  So why don’t I?  If I know that “the pill,” the IUD, and other hormonal contraceptives can sometimes act as an abortifacient, don’t I have a moral obligation to at least try to inform her of this? 

Part of the problem is the difficulty in explaining the concept itself.  The very notion that a drug or device called a “contraceptive” can sometimes actually destroy a newly conceived life is completely foreign to most people.  How do you explain in a simple manner that while these kinds of drugs and devices act to make conception less likely, it sometimes happens anyway?  And that when conception does take place, that the contraceptive has also acted to make the endometrium in a woman’s uterus much less able to receive the newly fertilized egg (that is, a brand-new human life)?  And that if that egg cannot implant in the uterus, it will die?

Another problem is that all of the above is usually either completely new information or completely contradictory to what they’ve previously been told about how contraceptives work.  But you know what, the other side, at least when speaking officially, doesn’t deny it.  Consider what Frank Susman, a lawyer for the Missouri abortion clinics, said during oral arguments for the Supreme Court case of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989):

…The most common forms of what we most generally in common parlance call contraception today, IUD’s, low-dose birth control pills, which are the safest type of birth control pills available, act as abortifacientsThey are correctly labeled as both. (emphasis added)

So what are we to do?  Well on Tuesday, as I was talking with Cil, one of our Shift Managers, I noticed that in addition to having the usual pro-life literature on hand, she carried in a Ziploc bag pamphlets from the American Life League – each of which addressed the different forms of birth control and explained exactly how they worked.  Clearly, she came to the front line of the battle welly armed.  Maybe that was a sign for me to go and do likewise.

Pat Malley

 Tim, who managed the vigil from 7-9am, took these photos:

George, Deacon Myron and Fr. Jason, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic in Carnegie
George, Deacon Myron and Fr. Jason, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic in Carnegie
Pro-Life Legend, Bob Newman
Pro-Life Legend, Bob Newman
David and John
David and John
Ever-faithful Bill
Ever-faithful Bill

Tim wrote:

On this crisp windy morning the faithful came great distances to witness to the gospel of life.  Father Tim and Pastor Adam brought a group, as did Father Jason.  It was a wonderful and inspiring sight to see multiple denominations united in prayer.  Regular sidewalk counselors Meredith, David and Kathy were there to offer help and options.

Legendary Pro Life Warrior Bob Newman attended the vigil with new custom made oversized signs.
God was good to us with no rain and peaks of sun.

Be Not Afraid.
Tim B

Joe, who managed the vigil from 9-11 took these photos:

Much prayer on the sidewalk this morning!
Much prayer on the sidewalk this morning!
WPA Church of the Brethren
WPA Church of the Brethren

Our friends in Christ traveled a good distance this morning (Greensburg, Wheeling & Somerset) to unite with our local friends from Carnegie.  Coupled with these Apostles were our friends from the sidewalk advocates and the other Saturday morning warriors.  What transpired was an amazing witness to life through heartfelt prayer and song.

What a blessing it was to be able to participate in this celebration of FAITH!!!



Maggie, who managed the vigil from 11am – 1pm took these photos:

Prayer warriors from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Robinson
Prayer warriors from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Robinson


Prayer witnesses brave the cold rain today
Prayer witnesses brave the cold rain today
huddled in the warmth of fellowship and prayer
huddled in the warmth of fellowship and prayer

Maggie wrote:


It was an interesting shift. There was an African American Heritage Day parade. It was good for the parade marchers to see us with our signs! We had a great group of prayers on both sides of Planned Parenthood. It was a bit cold and we even had some hail. One of the vigil participants said it always seems cold there because of the evil present, I thought that was interesting. There were a decent number of young women who exited the building. I locked eyes with the one young girl, she looked so sad.  I wish I could stop these girls from having to experience regret and remorse for this act which they believe is the only way. If only the men accompanying them would be willing to stand up and fight for the life of their unborn child. Its just such a tragedy. Please God let this all stop!


Julie, who managed the vigil from 1-4 took this photo:

St. Ferdinand, Cranberry
Pete, Bill, and John from St. Ferdinand, Cranberry

Julie wrote:

From 1-3 the prayer warriors from Holy Trinity Robinson kept the vigil going with out a pause. We prayed a rosary with different colored brads to signify pro life intentions.  I prayed with Francis, who came alone today on the feast of St Francis. he felt that it was the right thing to do today in honor of his namesake.

Vince from St Elizabeth Ann Seton came alone also joining right in.  I spoke with a man who stopped to notice our prayer and he was encouraged.  He said he is a Christian rapper from Abundant Power church on Grape St In Belzhoover.  He said he would pray and I got his contact info.  The guys from Cranberry- St Ferdinand’s came at 3- and they will stay till 7 praise God!  

Peace, Julie