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VINE AND BRANCHES

The Monthly e-Newsletter of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries December, 2004

 Rachel's Vineyard is on the web at: www.rachelsvineyard.org

Our national toll-free hotline is (877) HOPE-4-ME.

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Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats for emotional and spiritual healing after abortion are held internationally.   Rachel’s Vineyard welcomes, women, men, couples, grandparents and abortion providers.  Our retreats are held in both Catholic and Interdenominational settings.  Rachel's Vineyard Ministries is a resource for clinical training, education, and healing models.

Rachel’s Vineyard is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization.  All contributions are tax deductible.

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Help us spread the Good News!  Pass along this newsletter to friends and colleagues. If you are receiving this newsletter because a friend forwarded it to you, details on subscribing (or unsubscribing) appear at the end.

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CONTENTS

A Message from our Pastoral Director

Celebrating The Greatest Gift

End-of-Year Donations welcome

Phenomenal New Film:  “Mother Theresa:  The Legacy”

With Gratitude to IBM

My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord

Christmas Gift for Children and Mommies

Upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Schedule (December - January)

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTORAL DIRECTOR

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

As we move more deeply into the Advent season, we can certainly appreciate the deep connections between this liturgical season and the work done through Rachel’s Vineyard. The prayer “Come, Lord Jesus!” is prayed most meaningfully by those who really feel the need for his coming. Dealing with the wounds of abortion helps us all realize that we need Him to come, and to come quickly. At each Mass we say, “we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Waiting can be filled with anxiety and sorrow, and it is all right for the Christian to experience these things. Yet Christian waiting is marked even more by “joyful hope,” because Christ’s coming is certain. He will return in glory on a day we do not know or expect. All evil, including abortion, will be conquered; all wounds, including those caused by abortion, will be healed. The words of the Christmas carol “O Holy Night” will be completely fulfilled: “Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name, all oppression shall cease.”

Continue, in word and action, to announce the coming of Christ. Happy Advent!

Fr. Frank Pavone
Pastoral Director, Rachel’s Vineyard
National Director, Priests for Life
 

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CELEBRATING THE GREATEST GIFT   

By Kevin Burke, MSS/LSW

Those that facilitate the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats often describe the visible transformation they see in the faces of persons who attend.  On Friday evening as they arrive for the weekend,  the pain, fear and anger is clearly evident on the participant’s faces.  By Sunday their countenance is transformed and the beautiful person that the Lord created is revealed, liberated from sin, and resurrected with the Lord Jesus.  Their faces beam with peace and joy reflecting the deeper transformation in their heart and soul!   

To all who support and participate in the work of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries we remember in a special way this Christmas the birth of new life in Christ that transforms those wounded by abortion, and all of us who labor in the Lord’s Vineyard. 

Mary gave her heart and womb to our Lord and cried out to the Holy Spirit,  “all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1, 48)  Because of the precious gift of her Son, Jesus, we are healed by His wounds and, together with Mary, are blessed both now and for all eternity. 

In the poverty of that manger was born the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

In the poverty of the pain of abortion we find the Savior born again in the manger of our hearts. 

We are transformed by His mercy and love, and reconciled to our precious children.   

Now that is something to celebrate this Christmas!  

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END-OF-YEAR DONATIONS 

2004 has seen exceptional growth in Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.  In order to support additional growth in 2005 and beyond, we are embarking on an ambitious campaign to seek funding to fuel the growth of our ministry.  If you would like to make a donation to help us grow and bring hope and healing to many souls, please send your donations to:   

Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
P.O. Box 195
Bridgeport, PA  19405

Join our efforts by clicking here: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/support/support.htm to contribute via credit card or PayPal or send an e-mail directly to me at tburke@nti4.com and I will forward a postage-paid envelope. I thank God every day for your prayers and support!

Thank you for your spiritual, physical, and financial support and God Bless you!

Theresa Burke

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PHENOMENAL NEW FILM:  "MOTHER TERESA: The Legacy 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A SPECIAL ORDERING PRICE FOR FRIENDS OF RACHEL’S VINEYARD

This film will touch you in the deepest places of your heart and soul.  It is the only film I have ever seen where Mother Teresa of Calcutta is sharing her teachings.  I felt like I was on a personally directed retreat with her, embracing the privilege of sharing in the depth of her prayerful wisdom, rooted in such humility and simplicity that the truth resonated powerfully, binding itself to my soul.  I highly recommend this beautiful film for inspiration and a personal encounter with this extraordinary woman who was genuinely imbued with the full life of the Holy Spirit.  It’s an invitation for all of us ordinary people to become extraordinary living examples of Christ’s love.    ~ Theresa Burke, Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries 

ORDER THIS GREAT CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!!!!

To order, click this link made especially for friends of Rachel's Vineyard:
    
http://www.motherteresafilm.com/pp/order.aspx?special=RVN


You can also call the toll-free number 1-888-923-1919 and mention Rachel's Vineyard or the code RVN, to get the special discount.
    
"Mother Teresa: The Legacy” a film by Ann & Jeanette Petrie

“Mother Teresa: The Legacy” (2004) is the dramatic story of Mother Teresa's last day, her sudden death and her moving state funeral which was attended by the poor, the powerful and the rich from around the world. At the heart of this film and, for the first time, we see and hear Mother Teresa reveal her simple but profound spirituality that, put into action, transcended religious, political and cultural boundaries and enabled her to open 500 homes for the poor in over 124 countries. The film includes intimate and never-before-seen footage of Mother Teresa's private burial. But it is Mother's words, finally, that reveal why she has captivated the hearts and admiration of the world.   

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WITH SPECIAL GRATITUDE TO IBM! 

Special gratitude and thanks to IBM’s Community Grant Program.  IBM recently donated a brand new Thinkpad R51 Laptop to Rachel’s Vineyard that will be perfect for travel and powerpoint presentations at our numerous clinical training seminars throughout the country.  Also special thanks to Michelle Mathis for her help in securing this wonderful gift for our ministry.  

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 Whoever loves much, does much.” 

 --  Thomas à Kempis, (From “The Imitation of Christ”) 

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“What we have been told is how we men can be drawn into Christ - can become part of that wonderful present which the young Prince of the universe wants to offer to His Father.  That present which is Himself and therefore us in Him.  It is the only thing we were made for. And there are strange, exciting hints in the Bible that when we are drawn in, a great many other things in Nature will begin to come right.  The bad dream will be over: it will be morning.” 

-- C.S. Lewis (From “Mere Christianity”)

 

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MY SOUL DOTH MAGNIFY THE LORD

By Maureen L. Moir-Barry 

Mother Mary, oh how I felt your fiat in an understanding I feel ashamed not to have had before.  You knowingly gave of yourself, trusting in God’s will for you and the child in your womb.  You trusted without questioning your betrothal, the disapproval, doubt, and question of your reputation by those you loved and your peers as well as strangers, your safety and security, your motherhood, your entire future (and that of your child’s), and then gave freely of your own will.  All this during a time in history when the consequences you were to face I can scarcely imagine.  I weep to think of such a selfless gift.  And I am grateful and humbled by the enormity of it, and my gross lack of acceptance and appreciation of it and as a true gift to be treasured.  I thank you, Blessed Mother, and our loving Father, from the deepest recesses of my soul.    

You know my pain, in a way I can barely begin to understand.  You bore your holy child, your only son, only to have him carry the weight of my sins, suffer and die a brutal death. My own child (my only daughter) was sacrificed to my own sins and the sins of others, through the brutal death of abortion.  My only chance to be saved from the death of my own sins came through you -- in your fiat.  My own child’s life sacrificed by my sins seems to bring an understanding of your sacrificing your child’s life for my sins.   We share in the loss of a child to sin, and in this we are bonded.  It is a bond that I shamefully claim to your Immaculate Heart. 

You know the gift God gave me in my children, (you know the gift of being a mother to all mankind), and you know my heart was wounded by my sins and the sins of others.  Oh Mary,  how can I begin to understand without understanding you?  I ask you to please find room for me in your Immaculate Heart as you have loved your son and suffered his sufferings for me.  It is only through His suffering that I have been saved and brought from a shameful to a loving bond with you.   

Dear Mother, I ask that we who shamefully claim a bond to you through a child lost to sins, be drawn ever closer to you and your Immaculate Heart in order to see more clearly the fullness of God’s love for us all.   

Holy God, Mighty God, I thank you from the depth of my heart and soul!  That You could turn my heart back to You and then bring me to such unknown corners of my very likeness to You  show me how small I am and how great You are!    

Thank you for Rachel’s Vineyard.  Continue to bless all of your laborers as they toil to shake the death from the branches and begin the growth of new fruits that You make so sweet!  You prune the death from our souls, which has made us ugly and shameful to behold to the outside world and ourselves, only to let us shine in the true beauty that is You and Your light within us. 

The bonds of holy matrimony are also being renewed and strengthened in Your vineyard. Help us as families on earth to know the love of Your eternal family which You so graciously have made us such welcome members.  You are so great, and great are all Your deeds, that You would serve me -- one very lost sheep from Your flock.  You led me to drink from Your everlasting water and You give life beyond knowing.  Help all of us to drink from Your everlasting waters. 

What do I have to fear?  I now know Your faithfulness.  Please grant my prayers that I may serve You better and for the sake of Your beloved Son’s sacrifice.  I ask this for myself, and for my brothers and sisters in Christ, with humble and contrite hearts, in the precious name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

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CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR CHILDREN & MOMMIES 

“Angel in the Waters” is a simple, non-confrontational book that affirms the dignity and beauty of a child’s life in the womb. It will fascinate children and convince many mothers contemplating abortion to keep their babies.  

Take two minutes to read “Angel in the Waters” online at http://www.angelinthewaters.com/onlinebook/coverpage.htm

For information or for bulk purchases, contact: orders@sophiainstitute.com 1-800-888-9344 Sophia Institute Press www.sophiainstitute.com 

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE OF RACHEL’S VINEYARD RETREATS

Click here for current Retreat Schedule

December 3-5, 2004 -- Sacramento, California
Contact: Kathy Conner 916 733 0140
December 3-5, 2004 -- Columbia / Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Contact: Joy Crimmins 717 993 5450
December 3-5, 2004 -- Lafayette, Louisiana
Contact: Karol D. Meynard 337 261 5607
December 3-5, 2004 -- Staten Island, New York
Mt. Manresa Retreat Center
Contact: Cheryl or Mary
Contact: Christa 1 888 735 3448
December 3-5, 2004 -- Bridgeport, Texas
Note: Interdenominational retreat
Contact: Betsy Kopor 817 923 4757
Contact: Kristie Smith
December 3-5, 2004 -- Raleigh, North Carolina
Note: Spanish retreat
Contact: Yaralitza Erives 336 495 0279
Contact: Gloria Maldonado 919 548 3671
December 3-5, 2004 -- Rochester, New York
Contact: Betsy 888 972 2435
December 6-8, 2004 -- Madrid, Spain
Contact: Pilar Gutierrez 34 916343741
Website: no mas silencio
December 10-13, 2004 -- Sydney, Australia
Contact: Julie Kelly 02 9440 7980
January 7-9, 2005 -- Amarillo, Texas
Note: Interdenominational Retreat
Contact: Gwen Johns 806 678-4673
January 7-9, 2005 -- Sonoma County, California
Contact: Monika 925 798 7054
January 14-16, 2005 -- Fort Worth, Texas
Contact: Betsy Kopor 817 923 4757
January 14-16, 2005 -- Linden, New Jersey
Contact: Michelle Krystofik 732 388 8211
January 14-16, 2005 -- Charlotte, North Carolina
                                     -- Rock Hill, South Carolina
Contact: Maria 704 467 0469
January 14-16, 2005 -- Youngstown, Ohio
Contact: Brenda Dama 330 519 8838
Contact: Br. Vit Fiala 330 799 1888
January 21-23, 2005 -- Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota
Contact: Nancy Blom
Contact: Gail Checco 888 329 3773
January 21-23, 2005 -- Fairfield County, Connecticut
Contact: Clarissa Cincotta 203 218 0291
January 21-23, 2005 -- Fresno Area, California
Contact: Jennifer Butcher 877 629 6626
January 21-23, 2005 -- Tulsa, Oklahoma
Contact: Mary Lee  918 585 8167 ext. 212
January 21-23, 2005 -- Camden, New Jersey
Contact: Mary Anne Serra 866 4 RACHEL
January 21-23, 2005 --Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Contact: Susan Lepak 405 721 8944
January 28-30, 2005 -- Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Contact: Lucie Tettamente 780 741 3863
Contact: Mary Laurene Bradley 780 424 4538 or 1 877 579 3223
 January 28-30, 2005 -- Monroe, Connecticut
Local host: Archdiocese of Hartford Project Rachel
Contact: Mary Hayden 203 882 1326
 January 28-30, 2005 -- Jacksonville / St. Augustine, Florida
Contact: Donna 904 221 3232

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To subscribe to this newsletter: Send an e-mail to Katie@rachelsvineyard.org

Type “SUBSCRIBE VINE & BRANCHES” in the subject line or body of your e-mail.

Publisher: Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
Editor: Theresa Burke, Ph.D.
Comments and questions: tburke@nti4.com
 

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Rachel's Vineyard ® All rights reserved © 2004

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org