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Ministry Aims to Help Women, Men Heal After an Abortion, Archbishop says


PHILADELPHIA (CNS) – Healing the guilt and regret women and men experience after an abortion is the goal of a new Project Rachel ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, announced by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput October 3 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Philadelphia. Post-abortion ministry has existed for some 30 years in the archdiocese in the form of Rachel’s Vineyard, a national program that invites men and women to a weekend retreat featuring prayer and sharing of experiences. Project Rachel, as described by the archbishop and archdiocesan officials, will reach out especially to inner-city residents who may not be able to travel to a retreat center far from the city, nor be able to take time off from work. “We lose people because they’re not available for a retreat,” said Steven Bozza, director of the archdiocesan Office for Life and Family, who, along with archdiocesan Catholic Social Services, is collaborating on Project Rachel. While such Rachel’s Vineyard retreats will still be offered locally, the new ministry offers individualized services for women and men who call a toll-free telephone number or are referred by a parish priest. Project Rachel coordinator Estela Reyes Bugg can speak in fluent English or Spanish with anyone who is referred to the program. For more information regarding Rachel’s Vineyard please visit, www.rachelsvineyard.org.