On March 5, 2016, Archbishop Samuel Aquila, of the Archdiocese of Denver, led more than 1500 people in a Eucharistic Procession around Planned Parenthood.
They processed seven times around the facility, in silent solidarity with those who have been silenced by abortion, and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Years before, I had always wanted to be a part of a Eucharistic Procession of the Blessed Sacrament with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to an abortion center.
In August of 1991, I was a Rescuer and a lawyer in the Rescue Movement. Rescuers risked imprisonment and blocked access to abortion centers by mothers and doctors to prevent their killing of the unborn children. They followed the biblical instruction to “Rescue those being dragged off to death [i.e. the unborn children].” (Proverbs 24:11). I went to Fargo, North Dakota, with the Missionary Image to visit and bring consolation and prayer to imprisoned Rescuers who had rescued at the only abortion center in North Dakota, in hopes that it would close down and be the only abortion-free state in our country.
While I was there, I led a procession with the Missionary Image to the abortion center and led a Peaceful Prayer Presence there. After that, I was inspired to visit Bishop Sullivan to ask him to process the Blessed Sacrament to the Fargo abortion center. I was apprehensive about requesting an audience with the Bishop and going through the bureaucracy of the Chancery. Nevertheless, I took the right next step and tried to be a sign of hope to others.
I walked into the Bishop’s secretary’s office and asked if she could schedule an appointment for me with the Bishop. To my great surprise, she nodded and said, “Yes, he’s in his office now, why don’t you go down there to see him?”
I said, “You mean right now? Should I just go down and knock on the door?” She said, “No just walk in. The door is open.” This was the first open-door policy that I had ever encountered in any Chancery. I was encouraged that I might have a good chance to have my request granted.
So, I walked down the hallway and walked in on the Bishop who was sitting at his desk. I introduced myself and told him why I was in Fargo. Then I got right down to the point, looked him in the eye and asked him if he would ever consider leading a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionary Image to the abortion center and celebrate Benediction. He thought for a moment (really, only a moment) and said, “Yes, and we will do it.”
Bishop James Sullivan carrying Blessed Sacrament in public procession of 1,000 faithful to Fargo, North Dakota, abortion center where he celebrated Benediction
One year later, on Sunday, August 16, 1992, I returned to Fargo with the Missionary Image. I participated in a procession with the Image, Bishop Sullivan and one thousand of the faithful. Bishop Sullivan carried the Blessed Sacrament in solemn procession to the abortion center.
Teenagers carried a banner proclaiming, “TRUTH – teens rescuing unborn tiny humans.” “It’s something we wanted to do and planned for,” said a fifteen-year-old Christine Phillips. “Maybe it will help end abortion. I’m happy I’m here.”
Bishop Sullivan stood in front of the abortion center and said, “We are here today because we have sinned. We can no longer act as innocent bystanders. We cannot stand by and watch the innocent unborn washed out of the womb with saline solution and cut into pieces. We want North Dakota to be a leader so that lives will no longer be taken away in the very spot on which we stand.”
“So many people in the last few days have asked me what this is about. Those people just don’t know you. Help us, Lord, to be followers, perfect Christians, and soldiers of Jesus Christ.”
The Bishop then celebrated Benediction in front of the abortion center and later led the fifteen-decade Rosary and celebrated Mass outdoors at a nearby Carmelite Monastery.
Likewise, in the summer of 1993, Bishop Paul Dudley of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, led a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionary Image to the only abortion center in the state of South Dakota. The Bishop said to the hundreds of prayer supporters, “We believe that human sacrifices are being done today through abortions, and we’re asking Mary’s prayers of intercession to bring an end to that in a non-violent, spiritual way.” The Bishop blessed the abortion center and its staff and prayed for its closure and for the conversion of the staff.
Each year thereafter, Bishop Sullivan followed the precedent that he had set. In November 2006, I had breakfast with Archbishop Aquila at the United States Bishops’ Conference in Baltimore. He had succeeded Bishop Sullivan. He told me that he had continued the precedent set by Bishop Sullivan. This year, on March 5, Archbishop Aquila led approximately 2000 faithful in a Joshua Eucharistic Procession to and around Planned Parenthood in Stapleton, in the Archdiocese of Denver, circling it seven times in the manner of Joshua at the Battle of Jericho.
Please click here to learn how to host a Visitation with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe or our other images of Jesus King of All Nations, the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of America. Then contact us to host a Visitation and/or to arrange for processions and Holy Hours with these images.
We also provide religious goods on consignment to explain the Images and promote the devotions. You may see them here.
Here is some more information to inspire you to host a Visitation:
Processions for Life, Peace, Justice and Mercy, An Introduction
Processions for Life, Peace, Justice and Mercy, Guidelines
Please click here to read one of our Jericho Processions Visitation Report.
Please click here to read some other Visitation Reports.
Please click here to see more procession photos.
Read about Archbishop Aquila’s procession here.
Please sign the Petition here to request the United States Bishops to honor the request of Our Lady of America to have her statue solemnly processed and displayed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as a safeguard for our country, as she promised.