Resources for Priests/Deacons/Pastors
Do you find it difficult to talk to your members about abortion? You may find these suggestions helpful.
From the Pulpit
- Sometimes it might feel like walking into a field of landmines trying to address the topic of abortion on Respect Life Sunday or the anniversary of Roe vs Wade. Know that you have parishioners who have lost children to abortion: moms, dads, grandparents, and other relatives.
- Speak from a place of reassurance and compassion. Sharing love and forgiveness reinforces your message of God’s love and mercy to each person.
- Some things you might say are:
- “If you’ve had an abortion, come and see me. I will help you.”
- “God cannot stop loving you.”
- See our quotes page for testimonials.
- In addition to the petition for an end to abortion, offer prayers for the moms, dads, and grandparents who have lost children to abortion.
Face to Face
- Be aware that confession and counseling is not always enough.
- Abortion is very traumatic and healing often requires more than talk therapy.
- Be prepared to offer information on healing ministries and refer them to Rachel’s Vineyard. Contact us for brochures or business cards.
Healing the Pain
- With the help of the Holy Spirit, Rachel’s Vineyard retreats provide a process of healing abortion trauma through scripture, prayer, discussion, and action.
- Those who have been healed of the shame and trauma of abortion return to God. In turning back to God, they return to the church. And they often bring their spouse and children with them.
- Healing the wounded heals the body of Christ, the Church.
- Jesus has said, “Those who have been forgiven the most, love the most.” These healed parishioners will become some of the most vibrant life-giving members of your church!
- Consider serving on a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, for all or part of a weekend. The experience will give you greater insight into the complex trauma of abortion loss and the confidence to walk with moms and dads in their healing journey.
- Recommended book: Sharing the Heart of Christ; for Clergy, Counselors, and Laity in Post Abortion Ministry by Kevin Burke.
What Others Say
“Don’t be afraid to ask God for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving us. God is pure mercy.” ~ Pope Francis
“Many women and men carry the wounds and scars of an abortion from their past. God’s desire for them is that they would know his merciful love and healing. Rachel’s Vineyard retreats offer women and men a safe, confidential, powerful, opportunity to receive the healing love of Christ into the painful experiences of their past. Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities makes present the compassion of Christ to all who come at whatever stage they find themselves in processing their past. This apostolate performs an essential part of the Church’s pro-life, pro-woman, care for those who have been wounded by abortion.” ~ Bishop Andrew Cozzens
“Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the sacrament of Reconciliation.” ~ Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, paragraph 99
“You are put in touch with the mystery of suffering, redemption and healing of the soul… You can see Christ working in the retreat, in the people and in yourself. It is a jolt of faith.” ~ Father Jim Livingston
“The healing achieved through the outpouring of God’s mercy and compassion is extraordinary…. one person at a time, souls are rehabilitated and forever grateful.” ~ Father Michael Becker