Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing. The retreats run worldwide and happen 3-4 times each year in Scotland.
Sr Andrea and her team will be leading a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat this weekend. Please pray for the team as they prepare and for all the participants – that God’s grace and healing will be present to each one of them.
In the autumn of 2016, Sr Andrea trained a group of women in Scotland to speak in churches about how awful it can feel for a woman to have had an abortion and the secrecy that so often surrounds this experience for the rest of her life. Also to explain the Church’s merciful and compassionate teachings for those who have had an abortion and to make people aware that Rachel’s Vineyard retreats exist and are an amazing source of grace and healing to those brave enough to reach out for it. Here is an extract from the “Rachel’s Vineyard appeal”:
“Do not imagine that people opt for abortion because they think it’s a good idea. The vast majority present at our hospitals because of emotional, financial, material pressures that have them totally trapped in a corner so that the only viable option seems to them to be abortion. The challenge for us as a society is to help her deal with those emotional, financial, material difficulties so that she can have her child in peace. If we love the mother, then the child will be fine, because no one is more prolife than the mother.
Since very often it’s not something she actively wanted but did, in the end, agree to, the sense of regret and loss is immense. She is suffering a genuine bereavement but no one comes up to her and says, “I’m sorry for your loss.” No one consoles her in her grief. And she doesn’t look for consolation either because she doesn’t think she deserves it. And so she remains silent. She’s silent, too, because she’s terrified that the people she loves will reject her and that others will judge her. She’s silent because she thinks that to look for healing is to say she’s alright with what happened, she’s over it, she’s forgotten the life that was lost. But that is a mistake! There’s a bad way of remembering, that intensifies pain and destruction; and there’s a way of remembering that gives life. Pope Francis said, ‘Our infinite sadness can only be cured by an infinite love.’ It’s that love that gives us hope.”
For more information about Rachel’s Vineyard, please see the website: www.rachelsvineyard.org.uk
If you or someone you know has been affected by abortion and you are interested in going on a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, please get in touch with Sr Andrea on 07816942824