.- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo is strongly urging his priests to imitate him by praying for one hour in front of an abortion facility during this year's national Forty Days of Life.
The Forty Days for Life will begin Sept. 26 and conclude Nov. 4. According to organizers, churches and groups in 89 U.S. cities and 33 states have agreed to participate by conducting vigils in front of abortion clinics, praying, and fasting.
Bishop Aquila, who has committed to one hour of prayer at the abortion facility Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m., wants to encourage participation by all of the faithful through his own example and the example of his priests.
“As your bishop, I ask you to sign up for an hour of prayerful vigil, as well,” he wrote in a letter to his priests. “Tell your parishioners when that hour will be and challenge them to meet or exceed your example.”
The bishop suggested that parishioners could each volunteer for a particular hour on a given day so that the parish is represented throughout an entire day.
“Even if only two parishioners join you in your hour of prayer at the abortion facility, lives will be changed and some -- those of the unseen unborn -- may be saved," he wrote to his priests.
In a press release, the bishop thanked those who are committed to pro-life efforts, including education, prayer and good works. “Those efforts save lives and change hearts. They help to keep abortion numbers low in North Dakota," he said.
"But low numbers are not enough," he continued. "Not even one abortion per week is acceptable. Not one per month. Not one per year. Not one in our lifetime."
Quoting the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the bishop wrote: "The dignity of the human person begins at the moment of conception, not at birth. The dignity, as recognized by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is bestowed by the Creator, and no one has the right to destroy innocent unborn life."
For more information on the Forty Days for Life, go to: http://www.40daysforlife.com/about.cfm