Project Rachel . . . Post Abortion Ministry

Healing…Forgiveness…Hope….after the experience of an abortion.

Custom-Project-Rachel-LogoWithout a doubt, abortion is one of the most traumatic experiences for an individual, not only for the woman who undergoes the abortion, but also for the unborn child’s father, grandparents, relatives and friends. The pain of abortion can be intensified by a sense of alienation from God and Church.

There are several possibilities for those who have had an abortion to experience healing, forgiveness, and hope. The archdiocese offers Project Rachel, a confidential, one-to-one ministry, whereby the individual meets with someone who will walk with them through some steps toward healing.  If desired, Project Rachael includes the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the Catholic who wishes to receive it.

The archdiocese can also refer to neighboring dioceses in Kentucky for a weekend retreat experience, Rachel’s VineyardLittle Way Pregnancy Resource Center has recently begun offering a scripture study, “Forgiven and Set Free” which is a ten week, small group process for women.  Although the program is not specifically Catholic, the group will be facilitated by Catholic women who have been trained and volunteer at the Center.  Together, these ministries become part of a “menu” of healing ministries available to those who have experienced abortion.

One unspoken tragedy of abortion is that in many ways, the one who has experienced it, “loses” her own life as well, to feelings of shame and hopelessness. The first step on the road to healing is realizing the need for healing.  The Church stands ready to extend the Lord’s love and mercy to those who seek it.

To speak to someone confidentially about an abortion and to discern a healing option, please visit the Archdiocese of Louisville Family Ministries website or call 502-471-2155 or email ProjectRachel@archlou.org.

“Amoris Laetita” which translates as “The Joy Of Love”

Well, the wait is finally over and we have the newly released Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetita” which translates as “The Joy Of Love”.

The document is 264 pages so it requires some serious reading and rereading . . . the link to the official PDF of the document itself can be found HERE so everyone can download and read through it.

Archbishop Kurtz himself indicated one of the primary intended audiences are families themselves . . . so please enjoy!

Lots to come on this in the coming days . . . stay tuned!

God Hears Us: A Spiritual Adoption Miracle

From Amy Brooks at “PrayerWineChocolate” . . .

My nerves were on edge as I pulled into the parking lot near the Planned Parenthood clinic. As I got myself and my three-year-old son out of the car, I made sure to grab some rosaries. I had been told to have them in my hand so the PP escort wouldn’t think I was there for an appointment . . . which would have been slightly awkward, to say the least.

I felt like I was walking onto a spiritual battlefield. God loves us talking to Him. Prayers Matter and they do make a difference.Let me start from the beginning.  This is a true story about answered prayer.  And when I talk about prayer, I mean both the formal kind and the informal kind.  Both kinds were answered for me this year in such an incredible way!  I feel the need to tell the whole world (or anyone who will listen)!

Last year I started saying some prayers for women considering abortion.  As I laid down to to sleep at night, I asked God to give these women hope and a support network.  I asked God to help them not be afraid and to desire life for their unborn children.

Then one day I was walking up stairs with a load of laundry and a thought occurred to me.  “I know I don’t love these women as much as God loves them . . . how can my prayers help them?”

A short time later I found the Spiritual Adoption Prayer.  I printed it out.  My husband and I agreed to adopt a baby girl, and give her the name we have longed to give a daughter for years now.  It’s not a popular name, and we hesitated to share it.  This blog post will be the first time we allow our favorite name for a baby girl to go public.We named her Jaina Therese.The first day we prayed for Jaina was May 7, 2015 . . .

Read the rest HERE . . .

 

The Darkness of Porn and the Hope of the Gospel

When I suggested several weeks ago that our Monthly Family Ministries newsletter would be tackling the issue of pornography in April, I had no idea that Time Magazine was apparently listening at the time . . .

The ever awesome Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College has addressed the issue so perfectly on his blog, far better than I ever could. His words should be thoroughly “chewed, swallowed and digested” as Shakespeare would say, by anyone concerned with this issue . . . and that should be not only everyone who follows Christ but everyone who loves families and healthy, authentic human relationships . . .

TIME magazine has published one of the saddest, most horrifying cover stories I have ever read. It is not horrifying like the carnage of war. It’s horrifying like the carnage of a culture that is committing slow-motion suicide. The essay documents a civilization-wide calamity on a scale that we have not seen before. . .

This article is the latest evidence of our diminishing ability to speak about sex in moral terms. We are at a place in our culture in which sexual morality has been reduced to consent. Our society has embraced total sexual license. If anyone suggests any other moral norm beyond consent, they are dismissed as a puritanical, repressive throwback. And that is why Luscombe’s article—even after narrating the devastating consequences of porn use—cannot bring itself to condemn pornography as a moral evil. And that is what is so sad about this article. It documents a real problem in our culture, but it has very little to offer by way of remedy . . .

Read his entire article HERE . . .

It reminds us so well of the power that this has over so many . .  and of how we are all being systematically conditioned to think that this is okay . . . may God protect us always, for it seems we need him now more than ever.

Deacon Stephen Bowling

 

“Create in Me a Clean Heart” – The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Pornography Use

CreateInMeACleanHeart702Pornography addiction has been described as one of the greatest epidemics of modern times and with studies showing upwards of 50% of all males in the United States (some say as high as 70%) using porn on a regular basis, the dangers to healthy marriages, not to mention to simple human relationships in general, are critically clear.

The problem is staggering . . . and the US Bishops have recently issued a pastoral letter addressing it.

“Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” was approved and promulgated at the Bishops annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore on November 17th with near unanimous approval.

The formal statement provides a basic catechesis on human sexuality and chastity, an explanation of why the production and use of pornography is a gravely immoral act, an overview of its effects in our society, a closer look at its effects on men, women, children, young people, marriages and families, and a word of hope and encouragement to those who have been harmed by pornography use or in its production. The statement’s main audiences are Catholic leaders and parents, but it is also intended to be helpful for those who struggle with pornography use and all people of goodwill who want to work together for a culture of purity and respect for all women and men.

The full text of “Create in Me a Clean Heart” is available online at www.usccb.org/cleanheart along with a host of other articles and USCCB resources on pornography and how we can respond pastorally and effectively towards those involved with it.