North Dakota Bishop Asks All Priests to Spend “At Least One Hour” Outside Abortion Facility

Bishop himself commits to prayer hours with 40 Days for Life
Fri Sep 25, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

FARGO, ND, September 25, 2009 ( - Bishop Samuel J. Aquila, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, joined pro-life advocates for an hour of prayer this morning at 11:00, in front of a local abortion facility. His time of prayer coincides with the 40 Days for Life campaign, which began Sept. 23 in more than 200 communities nationwide.

This is the third annual 40 Days for Life campaign to be held in North Dakota.

In addition to his own participation in the pro-life campaign, Bishop Aquila also recently sent a letter to all priests of his diocese, asking them to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign. In a Sept. 23 letter to priests, he wrote:

"I will pray on the sidewalk in front of the abortion facility on Friday, September 25, at 11 a.m. and again on Respect Life Sunday when I lead a Eucharistic procession to the abortion facility, carrying our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to the site of death for so many of his children.

"I ask that each of you schedule at least one hour of prayer outside the abortion facility during these 40 days. I realize this will require great sacrifice for some of you in terms of miles traveled and time away from other pastoral duties. Yet I am confident that much fruit will come from your time spent in conversation with God at the site of this modern day, legally protected holocaust. Please also encourage your parishioners to take up the cross of Christ for the most vulnerable among us."

His letter to priests continues, "Most especially in the 'Year for Priests' we too are called to sacrifice - to carry the cross of Christ. With Christ we stand in prayerful witness, in the cold, the rain, the snow, enduring the glances of hatred and the words of disgust from those who do not understand. In faithful hope we pray that some will come to understand, that hearts will be transformed, unborn babies will be saved from death and parents will escape the agony of later realizing that their choice ended the life of their child."

The 40 Days for Life campaign is a national ecumenical effort of prayer, fasting and peaceful prayer and presence outside abortion facilities. The North Dakota campaign includes 40 days of non-stop prayer on the sidewalk outside the Red River Womens Clinic at 512 1st Ave. N., Fargo.

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See the full Bishop's letter to priests here.

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