Monday September 13, 2010

Fast, Pray, Love: Bishop Urges Pastors to Join 40 Days for Life

By Peter J. Smith

FARGO, North Dakota, September 13, 2010 ( – A Catholic bishop in North Dakota has asked priests and pastors of his diocese to take the lead this year in the 40 Days for Life campaign.

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo sent a letter dated August 27 to his Catholic priests asking them to attend 40 days vigils alongside many of their parishioners who have “joined with people of other faiths to raise awareness of the scourge of abortion on our state” since fall 2007.

The 40 Days for Life campaign in North Dakota starts September 22 and will run through October 31.

While pointing out that pro-life Catholics have prayed for an end to abortion in their homes, churches, and chapels, Aquila asked his priests to dedicate some time for visible witness with the faithful on the sidewalk outside the abortion facility in Fargo.

“I know what a busy time this is for you in the parishes, yet I ask that you schedule one more very important thing on your calendar: your hour of prayer outside the abortion facility,” wrote Aquila. “I encourage you to tell your parishioners when that hour will be so that they may join you, or pray in union with you from wherever they may be at that time.”

Aquila also said that on Sunday, September 26, he would lead the annual Eucharistic procession, the Walk with Christ for Life, to the abortion facility. On Thursday, October 28 at 2 p.m., he will join pro-life witnesses praying at the abortion facility, after the conclusion of the Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting.

Aquila urged his pastors to “make every effort to encourage your parishioners to pray and fast during the 40 Days for Life North Dakota campaign.” He added that many groups and individuals “have been blessed by the sacrifices they have made as witnesses to the dignity of all human life.”

This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign has a record 238 locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark. The multi-faith campaign is a peaceful 40 day vigil of prayer, sacrifice, and fasting outside abortion facilities with the goal of ending abortion and building a culture of life starting with local communities.

To read Bishop Samuel Aquila’s letter to priests click here.

To learn more about 40 Days for Life visit here.

To learn more about 40 Days for Life North Dakota visit here.

Read related coverage by

In the LifeLight: 40 Days for Life Leader Talks Saving Lives, One Prayer at a Time

40 Days For Life Starting September 22 in Cities across Canada

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