The “Reclaiming Fatherhood” conference, a national gathering focusing upon the effects of abortion on men whose children have been aborted, is scheduled to take place near Chicago in Oak Brook, Illinois on Sept. 8 and 9. There, several therapists as well as several fathers who have lost children to abortion will discuss topics such as men’s healing after an abortion, abortion’s effects on men’s spirituality, and fatherhood and abortion.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Evangelization, is being organized by the Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation, which is headed by Vicki Thorn.
Thorn, who also founded the post-abortion ministry Project Rachel, said the conference aims to bring to light what she calls the “invisible” issue in society and the Church: the effect that abortion has on fathers whose children are aborted.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson explained the reasons for Knights of Columbus’ involvement with the “Reclaiming Fatherhood” conference.
“As an organization of lay men that has a strong history and commitment to life, we think it is very important to highlight the issues faced by those fathers whose children are aborted,” Anderson said in a statement. “There are three victims of every abortion, the child and both of his or her parents, and it is our hope that this conference will be the beginning of a ministry within the Church to these fathers, who grieve the death of their unborn child in isolation and silence.”
Anderson and Thorn said the conference could help men deal with post-abortion trauma similar to the way Project Rachel has helped women who have had abortions deal with emotional and spiritual damage.
In 2007 the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of San Francisco co-sponsored a similar conference, also organized by the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. The first U.S. conference of its kind dealing with the effects of abortion on men, more than 175 people from nine countries attended.
More information on the upcoming conference is available at www.kofc.org/abortion