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VINE AND BRANCHES

The Monthly e-Newsletter of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries

April 2005

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.

We work in close partnership with Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries.

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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

The Papacy of John Paul II – The Mystery of Divine Mercy

Join us in Spreading the Message of Mercy!

God - Author of new beginnings and the New Office!

Legatus’ John Cardinal O’Connor Hall of Fame Awarded

A Note from the Pastoral Director

In Concert "Tatiana" Live Benefits Rachel’s Vineyard

Book of the Month – You’re Not Alone

Alumni E-Group and Newsletter

Upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Schedule

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The Papacy of John Paul II - The Mystery of Divine Mercy

By J. Kevin Burke, MSS, LSW

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Papal Encyclical The Gospel of Life, composed by the late great John Paul II.

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.  (Pope John Paul II- Excerpts from Paragraph 99 of The Gospel of Life)

These words of John Paul II have been the source of great consolation and hope to those women and men who have suffered the loss of a child by abortion. As we reflect on the recent death of John Paul II, we can see within the words of this encyclical an anticipation of the great work of mercy unfolding over these last 10 years as thousands of individuals are being reconciled to the Lord and his Church.

It was truly providential that this beloved Pope would pass from this world as the Church began to celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II granted this Feast to the Universal Church on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. Jesus appeared to Saint Faustina and requested that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter:

Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.

My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. (Diary 699)

What a great consolation to those who live in shame and fear of judgment after abortion! We pray together with John Paul II that all of us involved in the work of Rachel’s Vineyard will do everything in our power to open wide the doors of the Church and our culture to those in the greatest need of Christ’s merciful healing.

In the first Encyclical of John Paul II’s Pontificate, Redemptor Hominis the Pope established the solid foundation of his papacy with a timeless truth that informed all his subsequent proclamation and teaching; the essential and intimate relationship between the fundamental dignity of the human person and the paschal mystery of Christ Jesus.

My wife Theresa shares that from the beginning of her work developing the Rachel’s Vineyard’s models for healing, she was given the grace to understand that the work of post abortion ministry can never fully heal the human person of the emotional and spiritual wounds of abortion without being intimately connected to the Paschal Mystery of Jesus.

The teaching of John Paul II, over the years, especially in the areas of abortion healing, human sexuality, and building up a culture of life, has inspired all of us involved in this movement of the Holy Spirit that is Rachel’s Vineyard. May we continue to benefit from his friendship and prayers and may his soul share the fullness of joy in his beloved Lord Jesus who he served so faithfully and powerfully.

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JOIN US IN SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF MERCY!

In your own life, you have experienced the power of God’s mercy. Perhaps, as Pope John Paul II recommended in The Gospel of Life, you even entrusted your child "with sure hope" to the Father. What a consolation it is to trust in repentance and God’s healing! Will you in turn help others find this consolation? Will you join Rachel’s Vineyard in spreading God’s message of mercy? Please pray for our work and contribute to our efforts by clicking here: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/support/support.htm to donate via credit card or PayPal. Alternatively, send an e-mail directly to me at t.burke@rachelsvineyard.org and I will forward a postage-paid envelope. I thank Our Merciful Father every day for your prayers and support!

Theresa Burke, Ph.D.
Founding Director, Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
PO Box 195
Bridgeport, Pa. 19406

P.S. If you would like to start receiving our new, expanded, color edition of the Vine & Branches newsletter in the mail, please send me an e-mail with your name, address and the words "Newsletter Subscription" in the subject line to newsletter@rachelsvineyard.org 

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Whatever task God is calling us to, if it is yours, it is mine, and if it is mine, it is yours. We must do it together -- or be cast aside together, and God in his absolute freedom goes on by other means to use His Church in hastening His Kingdom.

Howard Hewlett Clark

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God - Author of new beginnings and the New Office!

By Sharon Sellman

"Know that I am with you; and will protect you wherever you go"  Genesis 28:15

And so a new chapter in the life of Rachel’s Vineyard begins! Many of you would be as surprised as I was to learn that this worldwide ministry has been grown and cultivated by the working hands of two amazing individuals. I have been inspired as I engage in the mission of this ministry, to learn of the tremendous commitment to healing and the many people that they served and trained throughout the world. When I went to the home of Theresa and Kevin Burke, I couldn’t believe all they had accomplished from one small room in their home. It was from there that the vine has grown to international status, while healing and transforming countless hearts along the way.

What began in a borrowed room of a friend’s basement eventually took root in the home of Theresa and Kevin Burke and has been operating there for the past 12 years. Katie D’Annunzio (Theresa’s sister) has been serving as office manager, Webmaster, accountant, and technical computer consultant for many years. She has also helped with childcare for Theresa and Kevin’s five children while they traveled and trained others, managing both international office and home front in their absence. The expansion of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries has been increasing at a steady annual 40% growth rate.

At last, with support from Priests for Life, Rachel’s Vineyard has finally moved into an "official" office building as a new dwelling place. In order to respond to the challenging and increasing demands, along with the new office space, Rachel’s Vineyard finally has a place to begin building staff to serve its post-abortion healing ministry.

"…Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred to the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2:20-22

Along with new growth comes an increase in finances. The new offices are in need of many items such as a small refrigerator, computers, copier, chairs and conference table. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated and used to continuing the growth and outreach of this ministry.

Please join me in prayer and joy at the announcement of Rachel’s Vineyard’s new international office’s dwelling place.

Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
800 North Henderson Road
2nd Floor
King of Prussia, PA 19406

May their ministry and good works continue to inspire us all to reach out to those in need.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)

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"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed."

Booker T Washington

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John Cardinal O’Connor Hall of Fame Award

Theresa Burke, the Founder and author of Rachel’s Vineyard, was recently awarded the Legatus’ 2005 Cardinal John O'Connor Award.

The award was established in honor of the late New York prelate who was an advocate for the sanctity of human life.

Legatus is a Catholic lay organization of over 3,200 executives and their spouses committed to the ideals of fidelity, courage, and integrity. Legatus was founded by Tom Monaghan, former owner of Domino's Pizza and the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise. Hours before meeting Pope John Pall II in May 1987, the inspiration hit Monaghan like a 'lightning bolt'.

Legatus is the Latin word for "ambassador." The members of Legatus spread the faith through good example, good deeds and high ethical standards. The purpose of the organization is educating the faithful, translating the teachings of Christ into practical applications for people everywhere. It provides service to over 1,400 businesses in 44 chapters across America and on three continents. Its headquarters are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Part of the award reads: "The Legatus International Board of Governors recognizes and congratulates Theresa Karminski Burke for demonstrating outstanding courageous Christian witness in defending the sanctity of all human life, in keeping with the Legatus ideals of fidelity, integrity and courage."

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Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

Walt Disney

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A Note from the Pastoral Director

Dear Friends,

I’m sure many of you have followed the case of Terri Schiavo carefully. I want to assure you that your prayers and concern for her have been conveyed to Terri’s family, and they are very much consoled by that. I was at Terri’s bedside up to a few moments before she died. She was dehydrating to death, and next to her bed were beautiful flowers, immersed in water! Seeing that, I begged God for mercy on our nation.

The Culture of Death inflicts all kinds of wounds and damage. You know that well through the stories we hear in Rachel’s Vineyard. The compassion that we exercise in this work extends to our entire life, including those wounded by the attack on the disabled, like Terri. Please pray with me that the Lord’s mercy will continue to flood our world, will heal the wounded, and in the end will raise the dead!

God bless you!

Fr. Frank Pavone

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In Concert "Tatiana" Live Benefits Rachel’s Vineyard

Tatiana is a widely known singer in Europe and the United States who offered to perform a benefit concert for us after hearing of her brother-in-law, Fr. Ben Cameron’s experience on a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. Join us for this special evening with Tatiana, ~ a voice you will always remember and an evening you will never forget!

Tatiana will perform in concert at River of Life

3801 Blairs Ferry Rd., NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Friday May 13th, 2005 at 7 PM

Tickets are $ 11-available at the door, Lemstone, The Mustard Seed,

or contact Maria at 319-665-9588; maria.shores@rachelsvineyard.org 

A heartfelt special thanks is offered to Michelle Mathis for connecting us to Tatiana and to Maria Shores for organizing and promoting this wonderful event.

To learn more about Tatiana, visit http://www.cameronproductions.org/home.shtml 

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Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.

Mother Teresa

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Alumni E-Group and Newsletter

The email group Oaktrees has changed its name to "Companions On The Journey" to avoid confusion with the Oaktrees Monthly Newsletter for alumni of Rachel’s Vineyard.

"Companions on the Journey" is the new name for the e-group, which was formed in 2002, when we realized we also needed an interactive e-group for alumni.

If you’d like to be part of Companions on the Journey – the interactive e-group for those who have attended a Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreat to heal and grow, you are invited to subscribe by sending an e-mail to:

CompanionsOnTheJourney-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 

Let us know which Rachel's Vineyard retreat you attended and you can begin to fellowship and share in conversation with others who have journeyed through Rachel’s Vineyard.

To sign up to receive the monthly aftercare e-newsletter for alumni of Rachel’s Vineyard called "Oaktrees" please send a note to Oaktrees@rachelsvineyard.org.  It is specifically written for those who have completed a retreat. You will receive 12 issues for one year following your retreat. It discusses many issues and resources related to ongoing healing and reflections for personal and spiritual growth.

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Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

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Book of The Month:

Former Cover Girl and movie star Jennifer O’Neill has recently published a new book entitled "You’re Not Alone." Jennifer provides a dynamic model of compassion and conviction for hearts shattered by choice. Her intimate and candid disclosures in Your Not Alone provide moving accounts of the pain and anguish caused by abortion. Much more than this, it is a beautiful testimony that healing is not only possible, but also a gift that God is longing to grant us. This book has the ability to captivate readers, engage them in their own healing process and profoundly change lives -- Theresa Burke, Ph.D.

"You’re Not Alone" is available on Jen’s website at www.JenniferONeill.com 

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It is not in the gifts He received but in the virtues He practiced, that Christ is our model. That which is asked of you, so that you may resemble Him, is to make the same use as He did of the gifts of God, according to the measure in which you have received them.

Jean N. Grou (1731-1803)

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Mark Your Calendars:

November 13-18, 2005 is the week for the Rachel’s Vineyard Leadership Retreat

Upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Schedule (April – May) (click here)

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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: t.burke@rachelsvineyard.org 

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Rachel's Vineyard ® All rights reserved.
© 2005

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