Bishop of Fargo Samuel J. Aquila prayed outside North Dakota’s only abortion facility on Friday in an event coinciding with the 40 Days for Life campaign. He has also encouraged clergy to do the same.
The 40 Days for Life campaign is a national ecumenical endeavor of prayer, fasting and peaceful prayer outside abortion facilities. Its fall segment began on September 23.
This year marks the third time North Dakota has held the campaign.
In a September 23 letter to priests of the diocese, the bishop announced that he would pray outside the state’s abortion clinic on Friday at 11 a.m. He asked priests to participate in the 40 Days for Life Campaign by scheduling at least one hour of prayer outside the facility.
“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,” Bishop Aquila wrote, asking the priests to encourage their parishioners to join the pro-life effort.
He also encouraged priests to imitate St. Padre Pio, whose feast day is September 23.
“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,” the bishop said in his letter. “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.”
Bishop Aquila also announced that he will lead a Eucharistic procession to the abortion facility on Respect Life Sunday.
The 40 Days for Life website is at http://www.40daysforlife.com