Cardinal DiNardo Pledges Continued Support for Those Suffering from Post-Abortion Loss
The General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets this week, November 14 – 16. It is one of two annual meetings for the bishops to gather together and meet as a full body. For those interested in learning more about what the bishops are discussing, the staff at the USCCB is doing a terrific job of pushing out information via tweets, live streaming and news updates on their website, and status updates on Facebook.
This morning Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Prolife Activities, addressed his fellow Bishops and discussed Project Rachel, the post-abortion healing ministry of the Catholic Church.
According to Cardinal DiNardo’s address, 35 million or more American women may have had abortions in the past 40 years, including 10 million Catholic women. As he stated today, “Many feel they cannot be forgiven after an abortion. It is false and dangerous to say they cannot be forgiven…The bishops recognize that those involved in abortion require special sacramental and pastoral needs.”
With those statistics, most of us likely know someone who has been affected by abortion. And for many of these impacted individuals, while their sins may have been reconciled and forgiven, the pain in their hearts will never leave. Many priests shy away from even discussing the topic of abortion during homilies as they know parishioners who are struggling with the aftermath of their decisions are sitting in the pews. So it made my heart glad when Cardinal DiNardo was joined by two brother Cardinals, Wuerl and O’Malley, and they pledged their continued dedication, promotion, and advancement of the good work that Project Rachel has been doing over the past 27 years.
Project Rachel is a program that reaches out to women experiencing grief from the loss of a child by abortion and to offer them reconciliation and healing. It was founded in 1984 in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Vicki Thorn. At this time, Project Rachel is in more than 110 dioceses in the United States with more ministries forming. This diocesan-based ministry is composed of a network of specially trained clergy, spiritual directors, and therapists who provide compassionate one-on-one care to those who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion.
While an outreach of the Catholic Church, Project Rachel is open to anyone who is struggling after an abortion loss. It helps women and men; parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and others whose lives have been impacted. For more information and to locate the Project Rachel nearest to you, visit Project Rachel’s website: Hope After Abortion or call the nationwide toll-free number 888-456-HOPE (4673).
“Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.
Thus says the LORD:
Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes.
The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward…
There is hope for your future,” (Jeremiah 31:15-17).