From the St. Louis Review:
The Archdiocese of St. Louis is launching a new ministry to reach out to men affected by abortion.
Project Joseph will provide free, confidential professional counseling, spiritual direction and retreats for men who either have been directly involved in an abortion experience, or affected by a loved one’s previous abortion experience. The first daylong retreat will take place in St. Louis next month.
Project Joseph is being coordinated by the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate, in cooperation with the permanent deacons of the archdiocese.
Read the rest here.
This is absolutely wonderful news! What the healing ministries such as Lumina, Project Rachel, Rachel’s Vineyard, and others have done for post-abortive women, I believe Project Joseph will do for men. There is a whole story not yet told about men that is soon to be revealed through project Joseph, and that is the tender hearts of men. I’ve known many men who panicked when their girlfriends became pregnant and lived to regret, deeply regret, pushing them into abortion. They eat their hearts out and suffer mostly in silence.
For men and women both, guilt and shame borne in silence begins to leak out sideways through failed relationships, drugs, alcohol, depression, violence, and often, suicide. These healing ministries are vital to men and women in helping them with a framework for mourning the death of their children, for mourning lost motherhood and fatherhood, for coming home to God and accepting His love, mercy, and forgiveness. They open the way to reclaiming lost and battered dignity, and help people to LIVE, fully live life for the first time in a long time.
The loss of a baby is only the first of many, many losses for the parents. May God, through the intercession of the Holy Family-Jesus, Mary and Joseph, abundantly bless this new ministry and all who call upon Him through it. And may its success spread like wildfire!
UPDATE: Many thanks to Theresa Bonopartis of Lumina for reminding me that Lumina has been reaching out to men with programming for three years, and to Martha Shuping, M.D. for reminding me that Rachel’s Vineyard has been ministering to men as well for some time now. Dr. Shuping’s book, The Four Steps to Healing (A must read!) is listed on the side bar under “Essential Books”. Lumina (along with the other healing ministries) is listed on the side bar “Healing Post-Abortion”. Please see both of their comments below, for more info. I think that I’ll now have two panels in the side bar for Healing Post-Abortion– one for women and one for men. How wonderful that men’s resources have grown that much. Many thanks to Dr. Shuping and to Theresa Bonopartis for your life’s dedication to healing post-abortive women and men.
UPDATE #2: Speaking today with the folks at Project Joseph, they tell me that the retreats are based upon the Entering Caanan model developed by Theresa Bonopartis and the Sisters of Life Community. Way to go Theresa!
.H/T Deacon Greg Kandra