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Posts Tagged ‘Sisters of Life’

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!
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.H/T Deacon Greg Kandra

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Saint Patrick's Cathedral

This morning I attended a three-hour prayer service and Mass in Our Lady’s Chapel of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The day was jointly sponsored by Lumina and the Sisters of Life.

Archbishop Dolan began the day by admonishing those in attendance to respond with love to those who have not yet come to the truth. He recounted a recent conversation with an abortionist who told him that the pro-life movement is winning because we are changing hearts. That’s true. But after the Archbishop spoke, we heard from several with broken hearts.

The older couple whose daughter was ashamed to say she was pregnant so many years ago and aborted. The husband was particularly poignant when he lamented that his daughter felt she needed to be perfect before she could be loved by them.

The husband who was the one to suggest abortion to his wife. The shared loss of dignity. He stated that there were no words to say “I’m sorry” in a manner that could encompass what he suggested and what they had done.

The friend who let her best friend go ahead with abortion for fear of sounding judgmental and losing a friendship.

The mother who spoke more to her baby than to us, telling her how very sorry she was, how the baby is never far from her thoughts so many years later.

The abortionist whose voice cracked as he recounted having to have talked himself into distancing emotionally from what he’d been doing. The obvious burden he bears, rejoicing in God’s mercy, but unable to shake off all of those deaths at his hands.

And so they came and went, a heart-wrenching procession of what some might derisively dismiss as ‘statistical noise’, which is to say an artifact in the numbers.

Unreality.

In truth, the sorrow was almost unbearable.

As I sat there, I silently asked for God’s forgiveness that I am so late to the table. I was also inspired by each presenter’s witness to God’s mercy; “An ocean of mercy,” as one presenter put it. That’s the beauty of Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular. We never stop proclaiming the love and mercy of our Father in Heaven, who is Love and Mercy. As I listened to the doctor speaking, I was struck by the thought that indeed God’s Love is infinitely greater than the worst sins of those among us.

It’s simply there for the asking. I thought of the older man lamenting how his daughter felt that she needed to be perfect in order to be loved by him. Now, if that man with all of his sins doesn’t require perfection as a precondition for love, how much less does God the Father expect us to do it all on our own before coming to Him? It’s impossible and even futile to try.

That was Jesus’ point in Matthew when He said, “If you with all of your sins know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks?”

Words to consider as we head into the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We ought not yield to despair over our particular failings, but drown them in the ocean of God’s Love and Mercy.

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