Next Rachel's Vineyard Retreat weekend in southern Maine:
Friday evening, Nov. 4 to Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2016
Retreats are two overnights – from 5:00PM Friday to 2:30PM on Sunday. They are experiential, Scripture-based and non-judgmental, with no more than 8 participants on any weekend.
Anyone personally affected by an abortion, including women, men, relatives, and former abortion workers is welcome.
Pre-registration is needed. To talk about attending a retreat, please call Annette Rioux in the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation at 207-321-7885 (direct dial to her desk) or e-mail Annette.Rioux@portlanddiocese.org.
Visit www.rachelsvineyard.org for further information about this type of weekend retreat. Find helpful resources there and read comments from some who have attended a retreat.
Visit the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Project Rachel site for parish resources and information, including suggestions on how to talk with someone who has had an abortion. You may also call their nationwide toll-free number at 888-456-HOPE (4673) during regular business hours (Eastern Time Zone) to speak with someone at the national office.
"The Language of Compassion" is a presentation that assists parishes and groups explore ways to minister to those who are post-abortive. Call or e-mail Annette for more information.
It's O.K. not to feel O.K. about an abortion
There is hope, mercy and healing available
Those who know said this:
“I’m told most women go on with their lives. Maybe I’m crazy. I made the biggest mistake in my life, and I can’t take it back ... I listened to all the reasons why I shouldn’t have the baby.”
“I now feel that, despite all the overwhelming outside pressure, I was pitiful in my inability to stand up against others’ reasoning, no matter how powerful. I buckled under fear.” (Jennifer O’Neill, actress)
“Abortion promised to free me from two crisis situations [not being able to finish college, and being with an abusive boyfriend] and instead, it has nearly destroyed me.”
“My ignorance, fear, and youth were used against us. If anyone had told me of the secret shame, fear, pain, and lifelong regret, my baby would be alive today.”
- “Abortion does not just hurt women and their children. It hurts the fathers of the children. It leaves a gap in a family where a child should be, a child who was wanted, and already loved. It is a pathway of destruction that no woman deserves.” (A Grandmother)
Benefits of attending a retreat
• Encounter God’s unconditional love and forgiveness • Strive to forgive self
• Work to forgive those who contributed to the abortion experience
• Build a spiritual relationship with the baby
Those who know said this:
“This was a unique and profound experience. The Church doesn’t turn its back on you. There’s a great sense of sharing and solidarity among the retreat participants and team ...”
“This is a healing process that proceeds step by step and is well prepared and well organized ..."
“The sharing of stories in the small group, including our family of origin and the traumatic events of our life was a big help ... I never felt uneasy, and hearing other stories was positive. This retreat will help me a lot in my faith journey.”
- “The retreat allowed me a most precious encounter with Jesus ... words alone can’t express the importance of this experience for me … Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for such a deep encounter…”