Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
Comments and Testimonials:
What people are saying about Rachel's Vineyard:
"I had my abortion 28 years ago. For the first few years after, I didn't think about it much, or think that it bothered me. But as I married, had 3 children and tried to teach my own family about God and practice our faith, a very real pain began to emerge. Each and every time I would think about it then, the pain, guilt and shame would surface and I would find myself in uncontrollable tears.
After seeing the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat in the church bulletin, I knew it was something I had to do for myself. It took me another 3 years later to actually get the courage to call and register.
I just recently attended the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat for the first time and feel it saved me from further emotional and spiritual deprivation. I stopped going to confession years ago. I felt nothing that I could say or do could change how badly and low I felt about myself. I believe that the best gift the Retreat gives you, is the ability to finally realize that God does forgive you, and you are able to walk away from that special weekend with the ability to start forgiving yourself. This was something I was never able to do before attending and experiencing the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat.
I was so grateful for experiencing such a supportive, peaceful, loving, healing process in that weekend, that I almost didn't want to leave! This healing process continues, well after the retreat is over, however, one leaves with a much stronger spiritual, peaceful and forgiving self. I will always appreciate and be thankful for finding Rachel's Vineyard Retreat for helping lighten a burden carried within my heart, mind and soul."
The Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat experience is hard to put into words because it was a true communion with the Lord. It’s that feeling you got as a child when you held a puppy or kitten in your arms. No words were needed nor could fully describe how it made your heart happy.
Although I did not feel the physical suffering that a woman endures, I shared the mental and spiritual agony and grieving over the abortion. It was my self-will, self-gratifying needs that led to the conception, and it was my fearful, self-center ness that rationalized my child’s death by simply not allowing his birth.
The best way to describe my experience is to look in Scripture to Luke 15:20, The Prodigal Son. When you make the decision to attend this retreat, it is like the prodigal son making the decision to go home to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with love and compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” This is what happened to me during the retreat. My brokenness was replaced by love for God, my unborn child and myself.
John B, East Haddam, CT
"The Rachel's Vineyard Retreat restored my life. I feel whole again, alive and capable of love."
"I never thought that I would be able to get over the pain I was feeling inside. No one seemed to understand. With every breath I took, I felt like my heart was being stabbed. This retreat restored my heart and soul. It gave me hope for my future and the future of those I love. This retreat was the best thing that I ever did. In forty-four hours, you come out with peace in your heart and knowing that your life can and will go on without pain."
"To any woman considering the need to reconcile her abortion, the retreat is a wonderful gift she could give to herself. You are able to experience the sadness, grief, and shame in the company of other women and men feeling very much the same. You are able to turn this pain into hope with the help of nurturing counselors and supportive caretakers. You are not rushed or hurried, but given time to reflect and become open to the healing process gradually. In the spirit of penance and reconciliation this retreat addresses the pain and suffering of women who feel their sin of abortion has (made them) outcasts from their church and their faith"
"Rachel's Vineyard offers women who have experienced the pain and suffering of having an abortion to seek healing and reconciliation with our Lord and the Church. Rachel's Vineyard leads these suffering women into a prayerful dialogue with Christ and may lead to profound conversion of heart."
Father Terry Walsh,
"The Rachel's Vineyard Retreat was as powerful an experience of my Priesthood as I have had. Engaging the sin, sorrow, heartache and healing of these heroic women's lives deepened my appreciation of the gift of this vocation."
Father Peter Cipriani,
"As The effects of abortion manifest themselves in so many ways, so the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat addresses the need for healing on many levels. Spiritually, the individual is given an opportunity to receive Christ’s forgiveness. The presence of a priest on the entire weekend emphasizes the Church’s desire to welcome back all those who seek the Lord. Socially, the women benefit tremendously to be in a friendly and warm environment with others who have suffered from the effects of abortion; they are no longer alone in their pain. The presence of the staff that have themselves been touched by Rachel’s Vineyard, encourages well-founded hope that the healing that occurs on the weekend is maintained beyond the weekend. Psychologically, the weekend includes evidence-based healing exercises that allow the individual to explore their thoughts and feelings, and work through the pain that the abortion has caused. A psychotherapist is available on the entire retreat for general or individual professional support. Physically, the setting and atmosphere of the weekend are relaxing and nurturing. The volunteers go through great lengths to shower the retreatants with beauty, emphasizing the dignity of each person, in a private and confidential setting. Without reservation, I recommend that women who have had an abortion and men who have assisted their wives/girlfriends in procuring an abortion attend this retreat and experience God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. "
Dr. Timothy Lock, Clinical Psychologist, Brookfield, CT