Walk with Christ for Life, defending the unborn since 1992

by Kristina Lahr | New Earth

Bishop Folda carries the Blessed Sacrament to North Dakota’s only abortion facility during the Walk with Christ for Life on Oct. 7. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

On Oct. 7, following a noon Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, approximately 500 faithful gathered for a Eucharistic procession to the Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s only abortion provider. Bishop John Folda carried Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the place where approximately 20 unborn babies are aborted each week.

The Walk with Christ for Life began as a grassroots initiative in 1992 and was first known as the Marian Day of Prayer for Life. A group of people decided on the idea of a prayer march against the evils of abortion in our country, and in particular, the local area. They brought the idea to Bishop James Sullivan, then Bishop of the Fargo Diocese, for approval. Not only did he approve but requested to be involved. On Aug. 16, 1992, approximately 1,100 pro-life advocates marched from St. Mary’s Cathedral to the Fargo Women’s Health Organization located at 11 14th St. S., Fargo.

“When we look at pro-life activism that was taking place not only in Fargo, but across our nation in the 1990s, much of it focused on ‘rescue’ activity,” said Rachelle Savageau, director of the Respect Life office for the Diocese of Fargo. “But Bishop Sullivan wanted to emphasize the need for prayer as our means of bringing an end to abortion in our city and in our state. The central focus of the walk is not so much the issue of abortion, but that it is in Jesus Christ, the only one who can conquer sin and death, that we place our trust. And so, it is a joyful occasion to be present before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to offer him praise, adoration, and thanksgiving for the gift of human life and the graces he offers us each day to collaborate with him in the transformation of our culture.”

Today, that witness continues annually on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October.

“As disciples of Jesus, we are called to be apostles of life, those he sends out into the world to proclaim the beauty and the sacredness of every human life,” said Bishop Folda in his homily. “And this is not merely a matter of words, of saying with my lips that I am pro-life. It requires prayer and witness and action as well. This is why we are here today… We will bring our Eucharistic Lord to the place where his littlest ones are most threatened, where his love and mercy are most needed.”