Loading
Project Rachel founder 'delighted' with new bishops' staff position
By Hillary Senour and Michelle Bauman
Vicki Thorn.
Vicki Thorn.

.- The founder of Project Rachel says she is extremely pleased by the U.S. bishops’ decision to create a full-time staff position to work with the post-abortion healing ministry.

“To oversee the ministry and keep on top of things that need to be done, you really need a full-time person,” Vicki Thorn told CNA Nov. 18. “I’m just delighted that they’re going to have one.”

“This is an important ministry of the Church,” she said, “and it is really key to the evangelization of our times.”

Thorn founded Project Rachel in 1984 as a healing ministry for those who have suffered the devastating consequences of abortion. The program is present in the majority of Catholic dioceses in the United States.

By a vote of 225-9, the U.S. bishops at their recent fall assembly approved the creation of a new full-time position to work with the ministry. The new staff person, who will be funded by the Knights of Columbus, will serve as a resource for diocesan directors who offer retreats, support groups, models and training resources for priests.

Project Rachel has always had a very “open” relationship with the bishops, Thorn said, explaining that it is designed to be a diocesan program, under the authority of a local bishop.

Post-abortion healing is vital, she said, pointing out that it was one of the major elements in the first Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities issued by the bishops' conference in 1975.

“The bishops had called for education on the sanctity of all human life, getting people involved in the legislative process, and pastoral care – first for those facing a crisis pregnancy and secondly a call for a ministry to help those who have had abortions,” she said.

Those who tend to be the strongest advocates for healing after abortion are bishops and priests “who are confessors,” because they have seen so much of the pain that comes with abortion, she added.

In addition to openly professing how harmful abortion is to men, women and children, pro-lifers must also work to make healing possible for those who have been wounded, Thorn stressed.

“Many women leave the Church or are away from the Church and have an abortion, and don’t know they can come home,” she said. “And when they do, there’s this incredible experience of God’s mercy.”

The Church must work to facilitate this healing, she explained, and Project Rachel helps to do that.

Thorn noted that Pope John Paul II accurately predicted the devastating aftermath of abortion in his 1960 work, Love and Responsibility.

Pope Benedict XVI later took these ideas one step further, she said, by admonishing the Church to fulfill its obligation to be a Good Samaritan and to “go and find the wounded and bring them to the Church for care.”

Now, she reflected, Pope Francis’ image of the Church working in the field hospital “really applies to this ministry.”

“We’re taking care of the walking wounded and enabling them to come to a new spiritual relationship with God to really encounter his mercy,” she said.

Tags: Abortion, Project Rachel, Abortion healing


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: