Monday, September 28, 2009
A website designed and run by teens who are seriously considering becoming Catholic priests. What can we do to help you discern your vocation?
A Vocation to be a Priest?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Through a post on Father Donald Calloway, a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception who has an incredible story of conversion and who is now vocations director, I met John.
John has been kind enough to keep me updated on his discernment to the priesthood. It is with his permission that I share the following:
Dear friends and family,
You’re receiving this email because either you’ve expressed interest or I thought you may be interested in receiving periodic updates from me regarding my continuing discernment for the Catholic priesthood. I look forward to keeping you updated on this exciting new adventure in my life!
Just a disclaimer: since this email is going out to a very diverse group of Catholics and non-Catholics, please forgive me if I write anything that seems very rudimentary or obvious.
It’s now been nearly two months since I “moved in” with a Roman Catholic religious order, the Marians, in order to discern whether I’m called to be a Catholic priest.
When one is discerning for the priesthood, it quickly becomes apparent that one must figure out which “track” is right for him, meaning the diocesan priesthood or the religious priesthood.
A diocesan priest is a priest of a diocese. A diocese may be defined as a geographical “district” of the Catholic Church. With over a billion Catholics in the world today, there are thousands of dioceses throughout the world. Diocesan priests are under the obedience of a local bishop and for their formation they typically attend a Catholic seminary that belongs to the diocese. Sometimes dioceses send seminarians elsewhere to study (Rome, for example) but after their studies they almost always come back and serve that diocese.
A religious priest, on the other hand, is a priest of a Catholic religious order. A Catholic religious order is an association of priests, brothers, monks, friars, sisters or nuns (or combination of these) that is dedicated to a particular mission for the sake of God and the Church. Each order varies in its origin, mission, activities and size (from dozens of members to multiple thousands). Religious orders also have a global scope and are typically segmented into “provinces” throughout the world. Religious orders first arose in the Church about a thousand years ago and there are still hundreds of them today. Collectively they have had a major impact on world history, particularly in the area of education. At the risk of sounding corny, I like to think of them as a garden of full of flowers, no single flower alike, some huge, some small, some wilting and some growing.
Religious orders frequently work in partnership with dioceses but are not directly under their authority. Members of religious orders have an immediate chain of command that runs up to the superior general of the order, who in turn is under the obedience of the Pope (bishops, of course, are also under the obedience of the Pope). Religious orders also decide where to send their seminarians and often run the seminaries themselves.
Catholic religious orders show up fairly often in popular culture and the media. Some of you may have seen the 1986 movie “The Mission” with Jeremy Irons, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson, which depicts the activities of the Jesuit religious order in South America during the 1700s (I highly recommend it!). Another well-known (though very young) religious order is the Missionaries of Charity, which was founded by Mother Theresa in 1950.
I began having feelings for the priesthood in the spring of 2007, and by fall of 2007 I had discerned the religious order track as more appropriate for me. I feel this is mostly due to the way my spiritual journey has evolved. Since I was not baptized into the Catholic faith and didn’t grow up with it, I didn’t feel any ongoing connection with a particular diocese. In addition, the majority of experiences through which Catholicism impacted me occurred when I lived and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile during my university years. I came to know people from several religious orders during those times and was very inspired by them.
I began my discernment with the Congregation of Holy Cross, which is a French religious order best known for founding the University of Notre Dame. I had attended Notre Dame as an undergrad and Holy Cross priests were the first priests I had ever met. But the direction of my discernment changed in late 2008 when I discovered the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, a Polish religious order founded in 16. Almost immediately after I attended their vocations retreat and visited their seminary in early 2009 I decided it felt right to apply...
I arrived in Ohio on July 31st where I am now studying philosophy at Franciscan University until mid-May. I am officially a postulant, which is technically not yet a seminarian. Postulancy lasts for a year and intended to test whether one is cut out for religious life. I wouldn’t call it spiritual boot camp, but it approaches that I suppose. There are four of us postulants: Joe, 32, a former banker from Iowa: Abel, 44, a former computer programmer from Texas: Chris, 26, a former home builder from Michigan: and me, 29, a former too-many-random-jobs-since-graduation-to-merit-mentioning from Minnesota.
Almost immediately after arriving in Ohio, we left for Washington, DC, which is where the Marians have a large residence on the campus of Catholic University of America. I met many Marian priests and seminarians, including some from Poland and Brazil (nossa!). All of us also did a five-day silent retreat, which was a great experience though I was still somewhat restless given the novelty of everything. I had the pleasure of seeing an old college friend ... while I was in town. I spent about 10 days there.
From DC we left for Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which is the site of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, which is operated by the Marians. This shrine receives tens of thousands of pilgrims every year and might be the most-visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the Northeast. “Divine Mercy” is a very important phenomenon in the Catholic Church and is very connected to the Marians...
After arriving in Stockbridge we rookies were promptly put to work in order to help prepare for Encuentro Latino, a major pilgrim event for Hispanic Catholics from the region. About 4,000 pilgrims came for it, many from as far away as Chicago. My duties consisted of weeding, cleaning toilets, parking lot duty, crowd control and preparation of a few Spanish translations for the Mass. The Mass refers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is the highest and most important form of worship that Catholics offer to God. To plagiarize from Wikipedia, “It is also Catholic belief that in objective reality, not merely symbolically, the wheaten bread and grape wine are converted into Christ's body and blood, a conversion referred to as transubstantiation, so that the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”
The Marians also asked me to read general intercessions during the Mass. That’s a part of the Mass where prayers are offered to God on behalf of everyone present for specific intentions. I had never spoken in front of several thousand people before and was quite nervous! But when I got up to the podium I felt strangely at ease. I had prayed to God to calm me down but didn’t expect Him to actually do it! Encuentro Latino was a very powerful and special day for all of us. I encourage you to read this write-up of the event from the Marians’ website, which captures the beauty of the day much better than I could.
Immediately after Encuentro Latino we returned to Steubenville to begin classes (and for us postulants, begin religious life). It felt good to finally get settled into the rhythm of religious life, which I must say I have really grown to like.
My new routine basically consists of studying, praying, eating and sleeping. What’s not to like? On a typical weekday I get up at about 5:30 or 6 and do morning prayers in the chapel in the house I’m in (there are 9 of us living in the two houses in the attached picture: two priests, two seminarians, one brother and four postulants). Morning prayers refer to the Liturgy of the Hours, which is an ages-old tradition in the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours refers to a series of hymns, scripture readings and prayers that are prayed at different times throughout the day. In our community we pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning and in the evening.
Immediately after morning prayers we offer certain prayers that are specific to the Marians. The prayers vary by day, but they are prayers for us, our loved ones, our benefactors, the deceased, and many others. These prayers are quite beautiful. Many of them are composed by priests who were instrumental in the founding (and survival) of the Marians...
Immediately after these prayers we jump right into the Holy Mass, and then have breakfast.
At noon we gather in the chapel and perform an examination of conscience, in which we contemplate where we’ve fallen short in our behavior (in comparison to the Ten Commandments, etc) and resolve to improve our conduct with God’s help where we’ve fallen short.
At three in the afternoon we gather to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a fairly recent Catholic devotion that is deeply connected with the Marians. It is a prayer of supplication to God the Father asking for mercy on the whole world while invoking and meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ. This devotion is primarily intended for the dying.
At 5:20 pm we gather to pray a rosary together, which is the most popular Catholic devotion. It is a prayer to the Virgin Mary asking for her intercession before God while simultaneously meditating on one of eighteen key events in the life of her Son (and two events that having to do with her). So for example, on Tuesdays and Fridays we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, which focus on five events: the agony suffered by Jesus in Gethsemane, the scourging of Jesus ordered by Pilate at the pillar, the crowning of Jesus with thorns, the ascent up Calvary with the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus at Golgotha. We Catholics believe that powerful graces for the conversion of sinners are released by God in response to this devotion (dido for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and dido most of all for the Holy Mass).
In between those times I study, go to class, spend time praying by myself or play bubble hockey with Chris in the basement on breaks. The closest skating rink is in Pittsburgh, so that’s the best this former hockey player can do!
On Sundays I visit the elderly at a hospital in West Virginia with a group of Franciscan students but other than that, my schedule doesn’t deviate much from the routine I outlined above. Friday and Saturday evenings we’ll watch a movie or play hockey together.
I have class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All my classes are philosophy classes: metaphysics, ethics and philosophy of the human person. I really enjoy them. The Vatican requires a boatload of philosophy classes before one is able to begin the theology classes that major seminary consists of. There are a few different reasons for this (which I won’t go into since this is turning into a book of an email). Many people view philosophy strictly as an ivory-tower profession but that’s nonsense. Vladimir Lenin and Pope John Paul II were both former philosophy professors.
Ah, almost forgot to mention the dress code (we dress up in black and whites every day as shown in the attached picture). So by the third year a guy gets to wear the collar that Catholic priests are recognized by worldwide, but until then we are dressed as you can see, all the time except for evenings. The classic Catholic school dress code I never had! Yes, that’s been a big adjustment. My first week, a delicate little freshman philosophy classmate stared at us postulants as we walked into class together. “Excuse me…excuse me…EXCUSE ME…who ARE you guys?” Her consternation was hilarious. I almost said, “We’re invading Mormons.”
The impact of all of these changes has been pretty profound. Overwhelmingly positive. I’m surprised and a little disappointed in how difficult it’s been for me to settle down and study for extended periods. It’s as though my attention span is completely shot. It’s been over six years since I’ve been in school. At my last job I became decent at completing many tasks in a day as rapidly as possible so I’m sure that’s part of the reason behind the adjustment. Philosophy is a different cup of tea, to be sure…
It wasn’t hard to give up my Blackberry..., but it has been hard to cut back on Internet and email checking. I now check my email once a day and allow myself maybe 20 minutes or so a day to catch up on news at my favorite sites. That’s down quite a bit from before.
I feel completely confirmed in my decision to join the Marians so far. I’m 99% positive that I want to move onto the next stage, which is novitiate. My discernment thus far has been full of what-the-heck-do-I-do-now-God moments, but God has proven again and again that He will take care of me. My trust in Him (and wonder) continues to grow.
I want to thank those who have supported me in this endeavor, and give a special thanks to all who have offered prayers for my sake. They are precious to me and I constantly draw on them for inspiration.
I've attached a picture of a bunch of us when we were in Stockbridge at the National Shrine.
If you’ve received this email, you are in my prayers! I will send another update in six months.
God bless you!
Please keep John and all the young men discerning the priesthood in your daily prayers.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Fr. Frank Pavone's coming to Honolulu is a great success. He leaves the island today, Tuesday. The mission, however, never leaves; it is never over. We continue to support him and all his work, because, his work is God's work. Preservation of human life is God's work from the onset of life. Culture of Life is God's making and doing.
Once again, we post the following events for those who are in need of spiritual renewal and healing from abortion. We urge you to join, or to pass on the information.
Weekend Retreat for Healing After Abortion
September 25-27. Three days / two nights at a private retreat center, meals & materials provided. $100 cost, but scholarships are available.
Clinical Seminar on the pain of abortion: Pregnancy Loss & Unresolved Grief.
Tues. Sept. 29th: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For the General Public, psychologists, counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, educators, & clergy/religious. Presented by Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreats for healing after abortion, and author of "Forbidden Grief" and the "Contraception of Grief." St. Stephen's Diocesan Center (6301 Pali Hwy.) - in the Hall. Continental breakfast & lunch provided. Registration fee $30, $40 at door.
For either event, look at website www.rachelsvineyard .org. To register: e-mail RVhawaii@gmail. com or call Lisa Shorba at 349-5071. A ministry of Priests for Life, sponsored by the Respect Life Office, Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The rest of the test can be found here at Zenit
Spanish Bishop Composes Test
PALENCIA, Spain, SEPT. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Year for Priests isn't just an internal celebration among the clergy, but rather an opportunity for all the faithful to assess their appreciation for the priesthood, says Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Palencia.
"Do we appreciate the priesthood and love our priests?" the bishop asked in a posting on the Web site of his dioceses.
To answer this question, the bishop composed -- "with a bit of humor" -- the following test titled "Priestly Appreciation." The test is complete with instructions to evaluate your answers and your level of appreciation for the priesthood.
* * *
1. Have you prayed recently for your parish priest, your bishop or the Pope?
a. I don't even know their names.
b. At Mass there is usually prayer for them, and I add myself in that petition.
c. I do so every day in my personal prayer.
Today's Gospel is one that every spiritual mother should take to heart. The women mentioned in above passage, as our priest told us in his homily, were not looking to become rabbis. Instead, they were conscious of the fact that Jesus had given up his work as a carpenter and that the apostles had given up their work as fishermen, to follow God's calling. These women therefore, as the Gospel tells us "provided for them out of their resources."
There are a few ways we can support our priests, especially the one we have spiritually adopted.
- The most important way is through prayer. Remember praying daily for our priest's intentions is so very vital. One suggestion is to pray the way the it has been recommended to us during the Year for Priests: 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and 5 Glory Be's for them to live a holy life and carry out in a holy manner the offices entrusted to them.
- Financially is another way if one can afford to do so or if one wants to make a special sacrifice. This is particularly important if you are spiritually adopting a retired priest, an elderly priest or a seminarian.
- Preparing and providing meals. A couple of spiritual mothers in the Prayers for Priests e-group suggested that since they do not have a cook on the weekends, providing a weekend meal for them would be a good thing to do, especially during the Year for Priests.
If you have other suggestions on how we could support our spiritual sons, please leave a comment.
As a member of the Priests for Life family, you are invited to join me on Sunday, Sept 20 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1701 Wilder Ave., Honolulu, HI 96822, where I will preach at the 7am, 9am and 11am Masses. On Sept 20 at 6pm, join me at the Hawaii Right to Life Banquet at Hale Koa Hotel, 2055 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815. Call Hawaii Right to Life for more information at: (808) 585-8205. Thank you for your continued support of our work!
Fr. Frank Pavone
Follow me at Twitter.com/frfrankpavone
Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Toll Free: 1-888-735-3448
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Being a member of the Cathedral parish, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, I am proud to relay this message:
Rev. Herman Gomes, SS.CC. of St. Ann Parish, Kaneohe, will present a special video and lecture on Blessed Fr. Damien, following the Noon Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace on September 29, 2009.
The presentation focuses on the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church in relation to the life of Blessed Damien of Molokai. Read more here.
Place: Kamiano Center at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace
Time: 12:00 p.m. Noon Mass; 12:45 p.m. Fr. Damien Video Presentation/Lecture
Source: Catholic Hawaii
"The world of politics and of the press knows few comparable to Fr. Damien of Molokai.It would be very worthwile to discover the source inspiring so much heroism.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
St. John the Baptist School Cafeteria, 2324 Omilo Lane
For more information, contact Dave Tom at 384-0667
Fr. Vincent Inghilterra was born in Paterson , New Jersey , and was commissioned as a U.S. Army Chaplain in 1970. He served with the New Jersey National Guard from 1972 through 1984. He entered active duty in October 1984 at Fort Hood , Texas . He has deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Somalia , and Bosnia . Fr. Inghilterra will retire from the U.S. Army on November 1, 2009.
He has completed post-graduate work at Ohio State University , University of Indiana, and University of California at Los Angeles and received a Doctorate of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Fr. Inghilterra was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on May 20, 1972. He made his profession as a Franciscan of San Damiano on November 21, 2008.
Fr. Inghilterra will share the history of the Rosary, his personal experiences with the Rosary for soldiers in combat, and the request of our Blessed Mother today--which is really a continuation of her messages at Lourdes and Fatima . Finally, he will invite people to attend the upcoming Marian Conference on Nov 6-7 at the Dole Cannery Ballroom. Following Fr. Inghilterra's talk, we will recite the Rosary together.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My children and I had gone to the early Mass today. One of the blessings of going to Mass in the morning is the gift of starting a day energized with God's presence through the Eucharist. Our day starts fresh and anew, an incredible mixture of feeling and truth.
After Mass we said hello to Fr. Khan Hoang, vicar for clergy, and thanked him for saying Mass. We said hello to Jesus in Blessed Sacrament, said our goodbyes to the wonderful servers at the sacristy, and even left with a bag of cookies from them. More blessings.
God's blessings are endless. God's blessings through our Church are abundant; they are ready for us to receive, make use of, and give thanks and praise to God for.
Do you know anyone who might be in need of God's blessings? Do urge them to come home. Refer a priest to them. The Catholic Church is home for all.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last week’s liturgical observance of the memorial of St. John Vianney served as a wonderful reminder that this has been designated as a Year for Priests and offers the opportunity to once again encourage prayer and even sacrifice for our priests. It is no secret that priests are quite imperfect and often even seriously flawed. Some may manifest character flaws or even personality disorders. They are, after all, taken from among men for the service of God and so bring to the priesthood many of the same flaws and faults present in the general population. “Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.” (Hebrews 5:1-3)Read the rest of Bishop Robert Vasa's Pastoral letter here
Despite these shortcomings, however, I have every reason to believe that practically every priest, with very few exceptions, possesses a strong desire to be in proper relationship to God and offer himself as a living sacrifice for the sake of the people entrusted to his pastoral care...
The following is from Prayer for Priests Yahoo Group:
"What is a priest!
A man who holds the place of God - a man who is invested with all the powers of God. 'Go,' said Our Lord to the priest; 'as My Father sent Me, I send you. All power has been given Me in Heaven and on earth. Go then, teach all nations. He who listens to you, listens to Me; he who despises you despises Me.'
When the priest remits sins, he does not say, 'God pardons you'; he says, 'I absolve you.'
At the Consecration, he does not say, 'This is the Body of Our Lord;' he says, 'This is My Body.'
If we had not the Sacrament of Orders, we should not have Our Lord. Who placed Him there, in that tabernacle? It was the priest.
Who was it that received your soul, on its entrance into life? The priest.
Who nourishes it, to give it strength to make its pilgrimage? The priest.
Who will prepare it to appear before God, by washing that soul, for the last time, in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest - always the priest.
And if that soul comes to the point of death, who will raise it up, who will restore it to calmness and peace? Again the priest. You cannot recall one single blessing from God without finding, side by side with this recollection, the image of the priest."
Saint Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary; and we may also say that everything has come to us through the priest; yes, all happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts.
Go to confession to the Blessed Virgin, or to an angel; will they absolve you? No.
Will they give you the Body and Blood of Our Lord? No.
The Holy Virgin cannot make her Divine Son descend into the Host.
You might have two hundred angels there, but they could not absolve you.
A priest, however simple he may be, can do it; he can say to you, "Go in peace; I pardon you. " Oh, how great is a priest!
The priest will not understand the greatness of his office till he is in Heaven.
If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love. The other benefits of God would be of no avail to us without the priest.
What would be the use of a house full of gold, if you had nobody to open you the door!
The priest has the key of the heavenly treasures; it is he who opens the door; he is the steward of the good God, the distributor of His wealth.
Without the priest, the Death and Passion of Our Lord would be of no avail. Look at the heathens: what has it availed them that Our Lord has died?
Alas! they can have no share in the blessings of Redemption, while they have no priests to apply His Blood to their souls!
The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary Father and I were to go away, you would say, "What can we do in this church? there is no Mass; Our Lord is no longer there: we may as well pray at home. " When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice there is no religion.
When the bell calls you to church, if you were asked, "Where are you going?" you might answer, "I am going to feed my soul. " If someone were to ask you, pointing to the tabernacle, "What is that golden door?" "That is our storehouse, where the true Food of our souls is kept. " "Who has the key? Who lays in the provisions? Who makes ready the feast, and who serves the table?" "The priest. " "And what is the Food?" "The precious Body and Blood of Our Lord. "O God! O God! how Thou hast loved us! See the power of the priest; out of a piece of bread the word of a priest makes a God.
It is more than creating the world.... Someone said, "Does St. Philomena, then, obey the Cure of Ars?" Indeed, she may well obey him, since God obeys him.
If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place.
St. Teresa kissed the ground where a priest had passed.
When you see a priest, you should say, "There is he who made me a child of God, and opened Heaven to me by holy Baptism; he who purified me after I had sinned; who gives nourishment to my soul. " At the sight of a church tower, you may say, "What is there in that place?" "The Body of Our Lord. " "Why is He there?" "Because a priest has been there, and has said holy Mass. "
What joy did the Apostles feel after the Resurrection of Our Lord, at seeing the Master whom they had loved so much! The priest must feel the same joy, at seeing Our Lord whom he holds in his hands. Great value is attached to objects which have been laid in the drinking cup of the Blessed Virgin and of the Child Jesus, at Loretto. But the fingers of the priest, that have touched the adorable Flesh of Jesus Christ, that have been plunged into the chalice which contained His Blood, into the pyx where His Body has lain, are they not still more precious?
The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus. When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The following is from Easter at A Tribute to Our Priests and Father John Speekman.
SAN DIEGO, CA (JUNE 19, 2009) - The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (a national association of 600 priests and deacons) has joined Pope Benedict XVI’s inauguration of a “Year for Priests” by launching a new web site and announcing, an international convocation for English speaking priests and deacons to take place in Rome [...]
Please click on Catholic Clergy to read the rest of the article.
I have been encouraged by our dear priest from Australia, Fr. John Speekman, to post this. Please read his letter below and post the event on your blogs. Do send me an email at email@example.com so I can forward to you the graphics. Please also send the information to your bishops, vicars for clergy, all priests, and deacons you know. Much mahalo. God bless you all abundantly!
I have been asked to advertise the Year of the Priest Clergy Conference for English-speaking priests in Rome in 2010 so I've had some graphics of varying sizes produced hoping one of them might find an appropriate place on your site. You might put a banner at the top of your blog or something in the column, it's up to you. It is important that those who read the ad are directed to the official website: here either by clicking on the graphic or on a link beneath it.
It's a big ask but I'm hoping you will do this for me and for all those priests who would benefit from a conference such as this. Many thanks. (It's my pleasure, Fr. John!)
By the way, if you want to send this email on to other bloggers .. do it! Again, I would be most grateful.
Fr John Speekman
Homilies and Reflections from Australia
If possible please post on your own blogs and spread the word. Mahalo!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Weekend Retreat, Clinical Training and TV Interview.
Friday, September 25, 2009 to Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Giving this retreat is Dr. Theresa Burke, Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life and Founder, Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.
What is Rachel's Vineyard and what can it do?
Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.
Rachel's Vineyard can help you find your inner voice. It can help you experience God's love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety.
Rachel's Vineyard is therapy for the soul. Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is finally re-discovered.
Source: Rachel's Vineyard from Priests for Life website.
Contact person: Lisa Shorba