relatively new ministry is offering men the opportunity to heal after
an abortion. Project Joseph is a Catholic Charities ministry offered to
men who have experienced abortions. The ministry is groundbreaking in
that it cuts through the stereotype that only women suffer the effects
This stereotype is false, Pat Klausner told Kansas City’s diocesan newspaper, The Leaven.
“Men are deeply affected,” attested Klausner, the coordinator of Project Joseph. “I’ve had grown men cry in my office.”
One of the reasons some men feel guilty over an abortion is because they have sometimes pressured their partner into intercourse and then to abort when their partner got pregnant. They might also feel guilty because they may not have wanted an abortion, but felt unprepared for fatherhood. And while these men find themselves initially relieved when their partner chooses abortion, they are later beset by feelings of guilt.
However, regardless of their initial reaction, Klausner told the Leaven, men inevitably experience regret, remorse and guilt.
Project Joseph was launched in 2002 by Klausner and Fr. Peter Jaramillo, then-pastor of St. Paul Parish in Olathe, Kansas. Both had attended conferences designed to promote healing for women who had experienced an abortion, and both had observed that there were always some men in attendance, seeking healing as well. They decided there was a need to address the pain of post-abortive men as well.
Project Rachel, geared toward the healing of post-abortive women, originated 25 years ago in Milwaukee and has spread to more than 100 U.S. dioceses in the United States.
But, to date, Project Joseph is unique to Kansas City. It offers Catholics and non-Catholics four to five weekly sessions that consist of group discussions, exercises and Scripture readings — all designed to begin the healing process.
Klausner estimated that 20 men have gone through the sessions. Part of the reason for the low turnout is that many men involved in abortion remain in denial.
“Many men want to bury the issue,” Klausner told the Leaven. “But it’s such a deep wound that you can’t help but experience trauma. We fail to realize God has wired us in a certain way. Men are programmed to procreate and women to nurture. Abortion goes against the very fiber of our being.”
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