Archive for the ‘Silent No More Awareness Campaign’ Category

Silent No More Awareness Campaign will share message that abortion hurts women at Women’s March on Washington

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will gather at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW at 10 a.m. Saturday to share the message that abortion hurts women.

“It’s ironic that the Women’s March on Washington aims to speak for all women, when half of those killed in abortion are baby girls,” said Janet Morana, co-founder of the Campaign and executive director of Priests for Life. “We also need to stop treating the women killed or injured in abortion as collateral damage.”

Campaign co-founder Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, said the Women’s March “has embraced a pro-abortion stance, betraying its mission of non-violence, by letting Planned Parenthood and NARAL serve as partners for the event. Therefore, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has decided that our counter-witness also needs to be present. We do not want people to think all women embrace abortion so we will stand on the sidewalk sharing the truth, ready to offer ministry and help to the hurting.”

Holding signs that say “I Regret My Abortion,” the women will provide a powerful visual contrast to the pro-abortion marchers, as they did in 2004 at the March for Women’s Lives during President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Noting that Saturday’s march is a protest primarily of the election of Donald Trump, Mrs. Morana said, “President-elect Trump is pro-life, has promised to nominate pro-life justices and judges to the Supreme Court and the federal bench, has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and protect babies in the womb past 20 weeks. We will not march against him.”
Mrs. Forney added: “Many of those participating in the March for Women’s Lives need to see the Campaign’s message and learn that there is help and healing for any one struggling with their abortion experience.”

The Campaign, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has been present at the March for Life every year since 2003. Dozens of women and men who regret their abortion experiences tell their stories in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, where Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided in 1973.

The Campaign began Nov. 11, 2002. As of January 2017, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,803 Gatherings in 17 countries and all 50 states, with 6,270 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 136 high schools and universities in the last seven years, 11 in 2016 alone.

There are 2,506 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 421 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,611 people registered with the Campaign, representing 77 countries.

People who are not ready to join the Campaign, are invited to register their regret. So far, 5,361 women and 625 men have said they regret their abortion or lost fatherhood. Also, 648 women and men have posted memorials to their children.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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December Shockwaves Focuses on Healing Available to Everyone Impacted by Abortion

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

SPACERHealing the Shockwaves of Abortion, an initiative to raise awareness of the various groups of people impacted by the loss of a child to abortion, in December calls on all priests, pastors and clergy members to preach about the healing power of the Lord in this season of Advent.

“December, and the Advent season, lead us to cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Aware as we are of the many wounds abortion brings, we are more deeply aware of our need for the Savior who comes with healing in his wings,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which launched Shockwaves nearly two years ago.

Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, noted that for mothers and fathers who have lost a child to abortion, December can bring about a melancholy tied to the awareness that someone is missing from the family celebration of Jesus’s birth.

“I often wonder what my baby’s First Christmas ornaments on the tree would look like, and what she would be doing now,” she said. “It is in these moments when I am most grateful that Jesus came to save a sinner like me.”

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, said that for Catholics, Pope Francis’s recent announcement that all priests throughout the world will continue to be authorized to bring people to full reconciliation after the sin of abortion dovetails nicely with the December Shockwaves theme, Come Lord Jesus!

“The international conversation sparked by the pope’s announcement raises awareness that abortion is a sin that impacts the Church as well as society,” she said. “Forgiveness is available to all who seek it, no matter how they may have been complicit in abortion.

Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and a Shockwaves architect, said “The Advent and Christmas seasons can be a time of abundant grace and new opportunities for spiritual growth, healing and joy, even for those harmed by the loss of a child to abortion. In fact, this loss can lead us to a deeper faith.”

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion is an international educational and pastoral effort, launched in January 2015 by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with the aim of raising awareness about and ministering to a wide variety of groups of people who are impacted when a child is killed by abortion. These groups include mothers, father, grandparents, siblings, survivors, friends, pro-life advocates and those who perform or advocate abortion.

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Fr. Pavone grateful for Pope Francis’s statement on abortion forgiveness

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 21, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and also Pastoral Director of the worldwide ministries of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, issued the following statement this morning:

“The announcement of Pope Francis that he is extending indefinitely the faculties of priests worldwide to absolve those who repent of the sin of abortion is something we at Priests for Life both expected and gratefully welcome.

“We are privileged to facilitate the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry about which Pope Francis has personally expressed to me his enthusiastic support and gratitude. Likewise, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life) is one of our projects which, through the power of testimony, invites people to take hold of God’s mercy after abortion.

“We who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have abortions. Rather, we embrace them with mercy and forgiveness. We have ministered to people who have had as many as 25 abortions, and we see that it impacts the entire family: parents, grandparents, siblings, and beyond.

“We will continue to provide training for clergy and laity alike regarding the wounds abortion brings and how to lead people to healing.

“Those who are looking for opportunities for healing and reconciliation after abortion can go to our special website www.AbortionForgiveness.com.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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The Trauma of Pro-Life Advocates on the Front Lines

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 1, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Shockwaves recognizes pain, offers healing to pro-life activists

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion in November will focus on understanding and healing the wounds incurred by pro-life advocates when the children they try to save from abortion are killed despite their efforts.

Sidewalk counselors, pregnancy center workers and other pro-life advocates are on the front lines of the abortion battle. They save many lives by accompanying mothers and fathers facing unplanned pregnancies and praying and intervening with women and their unborn babies at abortion businesses.

Despite their best efforts they are often unable to prevent the child’s death. Being so closely associated with this loss can be a painful and even a traumatic experience. Trauma can have a cumulative effect over time, especially for those active for many years in this movement.

Pro-life advocates can experience some of the same symptoms common to those who experience other kinds of emotional trauma such as depression, anxiety, anger issues and sleep disturbance that can lead to burn-out and a withdrawal from pro life activism.

“The safe and healthy grieving process found in post-abortion recovery programs can be a great resource for those who have been impacted by this vicarious trauma in their pro life ministry” said Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and one of the architects of the Shockwaves initiative.

“Programs such as Rachel’s Vineyard and Forgiven and Set Free have experienced staff and volunteers who create an atmosphere to facilitate the grieving process for those impacted by abortion loss. As you progress through the healing process, and participate in the exercises and scripture meditations, the wounded heart and soul are opened up to God’s grace. The Lord can cleanse us of any anger, bitterness, despair, anxiety, and depression that can result from front line pro life ministry. “

“Pro-life advocates, in every type of pro-life work, are deeply aware of the thousands of lives lost each day in America despite their best efforts to save them. The Shockwaves initiative, and its November theme, helps us realize that we, too, have to grieve the loss of these children, and that this grieving, both on a personal and community level, has to be very deliberate and intentional,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and National Director of Priests for Life.

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion is an international educational and pastoral effort, launched in January 2015 by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with the aim of raising awareness about and ministering to a wide variety of groups of people who are impacted when a child is killed by abortion. These groups include mothers, father, grandparents, siblings, survivors, friends, pro-life advocates and those who perform or advocate abortion.

Silent No More co-founders Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, said the pro-life movement has been battered by recent court decisions and is facing the possibility that a pro-abortion candidate could be elected president.

“We know that this work can get discouraging, even heart-breaking,” Mrs. Forney said. “People in pro-life need to know this is normal and can be overcome.”

Mrs. Morana added: “Some life advocates have been in the trenches for 30 years or more, and the only way they can carry on is to give themselves a spiritual recharge. We want to make sure every pro-lifer knows where to find help.”

To learn more about Shockwaves, go to www.AbortionShockwaves.com. To arrange media interviews with Silent No More leaders or pro-life activists, call Leslie Palma at 347-286-7277 or email her at leslie@silentnomore.com.

The Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,582 Gatherings in 17 countries & 48 states with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last 5 years, 14 in 2015. There are 2,405 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life.

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Silent No More Founders Blast Results of Biased Study on Abortion Certainty

Friday, October 14th, 2016

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Georgette Forney and Janet Morana, co-founders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, today took issue with a study published in the journal Contraception that shows most women are sure of their decisions to have an abortion.

Mrs. Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, pointed out that four of the study’s five authors are affiliated with the pro-abortion University of California, San Francisco, and its Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) center.

“Has ANSIRH ever produced a study that showed abortion in a negative light,” Mrs. Morana asked. “I have never seen one. Also, the study selected 500 predominantly white women over 25, which is not a representative sample of women having abortions in the U.S.

“I know from my work in pro-life since 1989, with Silent No More and Rachel’s Vineyard, that coercion and uncertainty are prevalent among women who have abortions. This study does a disservice to women and to the unborn.”

Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, also noted the authors’ studies “always affirm their theories,” but said this study is virtually worthless, because even those women who were sure of their decisions report feeling regret afterward.

“When we talk about the pain and remorse that we feel after our abortions, we are told there is no such thing as after-abortion regret, and chances are ANSIRH has a biased study about that, too,” she said. “Those of us who have had abortions know the truth. Even if it seemed like an easy decision to make – because of what we saw as a lack of options – it was the worst decision, and it was irrevocable. This study is invalid and meaningless.”

To read what real women feel about their abortions, go to www.abortiontestimonies.com

The Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,582 Gatherings in 17 countries & 48 states with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last 5 years, 14 in 2015. There are 2,405 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion Travels to Rome

Monday, July 11th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Priests for Life leaders to teach a bioethics course on the ways
abortion wounds families, communities

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, will travel to Rome this week for various meetings at the Vatican, and to teach a class on “Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion” at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum during its 15th annual International Bioethics Summer Course.

Regina Apostolorum is one of the pontifical universities established by and operated directly under the authority of the Vatican.

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion is an initiative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign that aims to raise awareness of all the different groups of people impacted by abortion.

“Every abortion is an explosive event in the lives of the mother and father and those closely connected to that decision,” said Father Pavone. “But the shockwaves deeply touch all those who are part of abortion decisions and procedures — grandparents, siblings, extended families, friends, pro-life advocates, and even abortion providers and clinic workers. The heartache and remorse felt by these people reaches deeply into our society — our schools, our health care and legal systems, our economy and our communities.”

Mrs. Morana noted that this year, the theme of the bioethics course is “Family, Education and Society,” and the message of Shockwaves dovetails precisely with this focus.

“Abortion leaves an indelible mark on the family,” she said. “But what we try to do with Shockwaves is to show how healing is available for anyone who has taken part in or been impacted by the death of a child.”

Father Pavone added, “This really is a wound for the whole family and healing has to be for the whole family.”
The Shockwaves campaign was launched in January 2015 at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. For the first time ever, a former abortionist and former clinic workers marched alongside the women and men who chose abortion and later regretted it.

“Abortion is not an American anomaly,” Mrs. Morana said. “Children are being killed all over the world and their families and communities are being impacted. Our hope is that this international class of students will bring the message of Shockwaves home with them.”

Those who minister to individuals and families will gain insight into how abortion grief affects those with whom they work, Father Pavone said. “An awareness of the Shockwaves will help them in their ministry.”

While in Rome, Father Pavone and Mrs. Morana will connect with Priests for Life staff at their Rome office, and will meet with Vatican officials involved in pro-life work, including Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life and an architect of St. Pope John Paul’s 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” – the Gospel of Life.

“Cardinal Sgreccia is one of the key voices in the Church for pro-life,” Father Pavone said.

Meetings also are planned with Rome-based media outlets, Father Pavone said. “Priests for Life continues to collaborate with these outlets to disseminate pro-life news and commentary to an international audience.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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ExposeAbortion.com Effort Launched in Response to Supreme Court Decision

Monday, June 27th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 27, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that his organization is re-launching and intensifying ExposeAbortion.com, by which the abortion industry will be exposed to the light of day and the conscience of the American public.

“Obviously, the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt demonstrates that not enough people know and care about the fact that the abortion industry is an unscrupulous, unregulated industry that cares no more for women than for the children it kills and throws away,” Fr. Pavone explained.

“Consistent with our approach to abortion over the last 25 years, we will increase our efforts to expose it. ExposeAbortion.com will be the central focus for efforts, both online and in the streets, in legislators and in courts, in churches and in classrooms, to expose abortion on several levels:

a) the procedure itself, via photos, diagrams and videos (www.Unborn.info);
b) the impact on women, men, and families via the testimonies of our Silent No More Awareness Campaign (www.SilentNoMore.com); and
c) the corruption of the abortion industry, via testimonies of former and current abortionists and undercover investigations.

“We will call upon all people of good will to join us in this effort, which is not based on religious arguments, but simply on the facts of what abortion is and what it does,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Mom and Daughter to Share Pain of Abortion Loss at March for Life Canada

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

OTTAWA, Ontario — The day Allison Pollard learned about the abortion her mother had before giving birth to her, things started to make sense.

“I was 23 years old and the single mom of a 3-year-old daughter,” she recalled about the day 15 years ago when her mother, Anita Sonntag, told her and her younger sister about the abortion.

“We all cried. My sister and I hurt for our mother and we mourned our brother,” she said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling but it’s like we gained and lost a brother in the same sentence.”

Both mother and daughter will give their testimony at this year’s National March for Life Canada on May 12 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Angelina Steenstra, National Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Canada, said 13 women and men will speak about their abortion regret during a gathering at 2:45 p.m.

Last year, Allison stood with her mom, holding a sign that says “I Mourn My Aborted Sibling.” This year she will speak up for her brother.

Anita also remembers the day she told her daughters about their aborted brother, although she doesn’t know why she chose that exact moment to reveal the secret she kept buried for so long. She hadn’t been through healing yet, nor had her pro-life activism begun.

“I think at first they didn’t want to believe it,” Anita said of her daughters. “Then they came and hugged me. I think we were all crying.”

That day began a healing journey for both Allison and Anita. For Allison, things began to make sense.

“I wouldn’t say that I was always aware that I had an older brother but I did feel that I didn’t belong in the role of oldest sibling,” she said. “Someone was missing.”

Anita has been active as the Regional Coordinator for Saskatchewan for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign since 2008. In 2015, the campaign launched a new initiative called Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion, an effort to reach out to all the different groups of people impacted by an abortion. When Anita read some of the work of Dr. Philip Ney on sibling survivors that was included on the Shockwaves website, she discovered “it was like Allison’s life story.”

When Allison went to a Rachel’s Vineyard healing retreat at a site where Anita was on the team, both thought it would be best if Anita did not attend Allison’s sessions.

“Knowing she was in there, it was like, what did I do to this child of mine,” Anita said. And now that Allison is sharing her story in public, Anita said, “I thought it would bother me, because I’m responsible – the cause – of a lot of her pain. But it’s OK, I’m glad she’s doing it.”

Janet Morana and Georgette Forney, who co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in the U.S. in 2002, will be joining the March for Life gathering once again this year.

“Like the U.S., Canada has no limits on abortion,” Mrs. Steenstra said. “But unlike the U.S., the Canadian government pays for abortion. Through the Campaign, we hope to reach those who have not yet made the choice for abortion, to help them change their minds. And we also want to reach men and women, like us, who did make that choice and deeply regret it. Healing is available for everyone impacted by abortion.”

The Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,582 Gatherings in 17 countries & 48 states with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last 5 years, 14 in 2015. There are 2,405 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Silent No More Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Texas Abortion Case

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life, has filed an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt.

The case concerns legislation enacted in Texas in 2013 that call for abortionists to have admitting rights in hospitals within 30 miles of their abortion clinics, and for those clinics to be regulated as ambulatory surgical centers.

Last month, female attorneys signed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, who seek to have the law overturned on the claim that it interferes with a woman’s right to have an abortion. The attorneys said they would not have been able to pursue their educations and careers if they had not aborted their children.

But the approach of using personal testimonies in the abortion battle has for a much longer time marked the efforts of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, the world’ largest mobilization of those who have had abortions and speak about it. The brief which the Campaign submitted includes samples of the thousands of testimonies that it has disseminated around the world from those who were harmed, physically and emotionally, by their abortions.

According to the brief: “It is imperative that this Court hear their voices because these testimonies demonstrate that what is needed is more regulations like those enacted by Texas, not less. Striking down Texas’s regulations will make it harder to protect women such as these. Make no mistake, abortion is not only fatal to the unborn; it is exceedingly harmful to women, as these testimonies vividly illustrate.”

One woman describes the clinic where her child was aborted: “The walls behind the privacy screen were splattered with blood. There were pools of blood on the floor.”

Another woman describes an abortion that left her hemorrhaging, with clinic personnel instructing her to go to the hospital. They wouldn’t even call an ambulance.

“These are the real-life experiences that women are having every day,” said Georgette Forney, co-founder of Silent No More and president of Anglicans for Life. “People need to know the truth about abortion and how it impacts us, the mothers, for the rest of our lives.”

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, noted that the testimonies clearly show many abortion clinics are unregulated and sub-standard, and that places women’s lives in jeopardy.

“Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia was far from the only example of the kind of shoddy care that women find at abortion clinics,” she said. “And by the time Jennifer Morbelli was rushed to the hospital after the third-trimester abortion that would kill her, her abortionist was on a plane and off to another state. A physician who can’t get hospital admitting privileges should not be performing an invasive procedure on any woman.”

“As I have been saying for decades, what happened when abortion was legalized was that back-alley abortionists took their name off the back door and put it on the front door,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “But they remained unscrupulous and dangerous people. States have both the right and the duty to protect women from substandard practices in any aspect of their health care. That’s what this case is about — meeting basic health and safety standards.”

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Campaign has held 1,582 gatherings in 17 countries and 48 states, with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last five years. There are 2,411 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video, Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries. People who are not ready to join the Campaign are invited to register their regret. So far, 5,123 women and 604 men have said they regret their abortion or lost fatherhood, and 597 women and men have posted memorials to their lost children.

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Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More Play Key Role in the Year of Mercy

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Phones started ringing at Rachel’s Vineyard headquarters in Pennsylvania as soon as Pope Francis announced that as part of the Year of Mercy, every priest throughout the world would have the faculties to reconcile to the Church those who have had an abortion. Some had buried their guilt for decades.

As the Year of Mercy begins Dec. 8, Rachel’s Vineyard will play an important role in helping women who committed abortions in the past to find forgiveness and healing. So will the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, co-founded by Janet Morana and Georgette Forney. This Campaign enables those who have found healing to give public witness to the mercy of God by sharing their stories.

Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More even have the pope’s seal of approval: In greeting Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard, in Rome, the Holy Father said: “Rachel’s Vineyard is very good. It is an excellent work! Go forward with that!”

And in meeting Janet Morana, the Pope similarly praised the work of Silent No More around the world.

Reporters, editors, talk show hosts and news producers looking for story angles for the Year of Mercy, and Pope Francis’s offer of forgiveness for those who have lost children to abortion, can localize their stories by interviewing a Rachel’s Vineyard or Silent No More team leader in their coverage areas.

To discuss interview possibilities, please contact Leslie Palma, director of communications for Priests for Life, at 347-286-7277 or email her at leslie@priestsforlife.org

As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis first became acquainted with Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry active in 49 U.S. states and more than 70 countries, including Argentina. It has touched the lives of more than 250,000 people; even prisoners in a maximum-security prison in Florida are benefitting from Rachel’s Vineyard’s unique approach.

“Pope Francis stresses forgiveness and inclusion, and these are both hallmarks of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard. “It is very encouraging to know how enthusiastic he is about our work.”

His representative in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, also expressed strong support of our work when he joined the gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in front of the Supreme Court in January 2015. The papal nuncio addressed the gathering of men, women, and families who had been healed through Rachel’s Vineyard and were now sharing their testimony publicly. He said,

“I am glad to be here in the name of Pope Francis, representing him and the mercy of God to each one of you who are taking part in this March for Life. I want to share with you the joy that God has put into our hearts, because we love Him and we want to share with you the mercy He’s given to each one of us, especially those who ask for mercy. Pope Francis said that we should ask for mercy.”

Rachel’s Vineyard founder Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph. D., discovered how deep the need for healing after abortion is while leading a support group for women with eating disorders as part of her training for degrees in psychology and counseling. An impromptu discussion of abortion led several women to display signs of emotional trauma, but when Dr. Burke brought this up to her professor, she was advised not to talk to women about abortion. So, in 1986, she founded the Center for Post Abortion Healing, one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-abortive women.

Six years later she published Rachel’s Vineyard: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Post Abortion Healing, a unique support group model for counselors. In 1995, Dr. Burke expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats. Soon individuals seeking healing began to travel from other states to experience the healing process.

Without a budget, office or advertising, Rachel’s Vineyard became a grass-roots national outreach. By word of mouth only, the retreats began to spread across the country, from 18 retreats in 1999 to 35 a year later. In 2003, Rachel’s Vineyard became a ministry of Priests for Life. Since then, Rachel’s Vineyard has grown to more than 750 retreats annually, with many new sites in development. The retreat manual is available in 22 languages.

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