FARGO, North Dakota, May 25, 2011 ( – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo will open a prayer chapel in the vicinity of North Dakota’s only abortion facility – with the sole purpose to serve as a place for prayer to end abortion.

The “Visitation Chapel,” located near Red River Women’s Clinic, Fargo, will open June 1st.  Each Wednesday, the day when abortion procedures are performed at the facility, the chapel will open for morning Mass, followed by Eucharistic adoration until late afternoon, when Benediction will be celebrated.

Prayer warriors at the chapel, who will include many who cannot witness on the street during the day, will pray in reparation for the sin of abortion and the conversion of those who participate in abortions.

“We believe prayer is so powerful and what we’re engaged in is a spiritual battle,” said Rachelle Sauvageau, director of the diocese’s Respect Life Office who spearheaded the project. “It’s a place where we need an intense and focused prayer and that’s why we feel the need to be right there.”

The name of the chapel, “Visitation Chapel,” was inspired by the Scriptural passage of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth.

“While meditating upon the Scripture passage of the visitation between Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, one can easily draw parallels between their condition and our present day crisis with abortion,” read an article announcing the chapel in the diocesan newspaper.

“Both Mary and Elizabeth unexpectedly found themselves with child. Yet, rather than despairing over Mary being seen as an unwed mother, or Elizabeth being a woman who was beyond her years to have children and, as we so often hear today, that because of her age there was fear that the child she carried might be disabled in some way, both women turned to God with confidence in his will for them.”

“They recognized that the life within them is willed by their heavenly Father and that every life has a particular meaning and purpose within God’s plan for salvation.”

The Visitation Chapel will also be available for women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy.  These women will have the opportunity to pray there and visit others who can offer care and support.

The chapel will rely on donations for its continuation, as well as the support of area priests to celebrate Masses and volunteers to remain throughout the day in prayer.

“There are a lot of people who can’t stand outside – the elderly and other people who don’t feel called to be down there on the sidewalk,” Sauvageau said. “This gives them the opportunity to be there in a real present way.”

Meanwhile, Tammi Kromenaker of the Red River Women’s Clinic said the abortion facility is a “safe haven” for pregnant women.  “It doesn’t matter who moves in next door, across the street or down the block. We are a safe haven for women to consider what they need to do with this pregnancy and for their lives,” she said.

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