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July-August 2003 - Volume 2, Number 7
The Monthly e-Newsletter of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
Welcome to Rachel’s Vineyard
Our national toll-free hotline is (877) HOPE-4-ME.


Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries holds weekend retreats for emotional and spiritual healing after abortion.  Our National Office is supported as a project of American Life League


Publisher: Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
Editor: Leslie Graves
Associate Editor: Catherine McHugh
Comments and questions:,


"I will find you", says the Lord, "and I will bring you back from captivity."  Jeremiah 29:14



1. Media coverage and upcoming appearances
2. First two Rachel’s Vineyard retreats in Africa
3. Reflections on the recent RVR International Conference.
4. Short news notes
5. Post-abortion trauma: research and activism
6. Upcoming retreat schedule



On Monday, July 28, Theresa Burke will be a guest with Norma McCorvey on the Johnette Benkovic radio show, "Living His Life Abundantly." The show airs live at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Please check your local listings or

On Friday, August 1, Theresa will appear on "Morning Air with Jeff Cavins" at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Please check for local listings.

The West Tennessee Catholic recently published a beautiful article about Rachel’s Vineyard, located at

Theresa Burke was a guest on the Duffy & Co. show in Los Angeles on KKLA 99.5 on June 30, and was also a featured guest on the Pamela Christian radio show on July 20 in a special two-hour show devoted to post-abortion trauma. See link here: The Pamela Christian Radio Show - KBRT 740 AM

Cheryl Riley, Mary Kominsky and Theresa Burke will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 1-2 to film a sixty-minute documentary about post-abortion trauma with local news anchor and hostess Kalley Yanta. Look for information about when it willair and how you can get a copy for your local station in upcoming issues of "Vine and Branches."


"Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts."
Rick Warren, author, "The Purpose Driven Life



Fr. John Gibson, from the Rachel’s Vineyard team in northern Indiana and Denise Pumphrey who serves on the Rachel’s Vineyard team of Abortion AfterCare Healing and the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of Dallas will be traveling to Cameroon, Africa in August to facilitate their first two Rachel’s Vineyard retreats. The New Era Clinic is hosting both retreats. The first retreat will take place in Tiko for the people of Buea and Mamfe on August 21 to 23, 2003. The second retreat will be offered for those in the Archdioceses of Bamenda and Kumbo on August 28th to 30th.

Please take a moment to pray for Fr. John and Denise as they prepare and also, please pray for the men and women in Africa who will be attending these retreats and preparing to spread the good news of the Gospel: forgiveness and mercy. May they all experience the deep healing of Jesus and a restoration of human dignity.

A fund has been set up to pay for the traveling costs (nearly $5,000) and the supplies needed for these retreats. If you or your group is able to contribute, that would be greatly needed and appreciated. Please contact RV administrative assistant Katie D’Annunzio at if you are able to pledge a donation to this tremendously important effort.


"Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word...The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—You’re the message." 1 Thessalonians 1:8



Rachel’s Vineyard team members from four countries joined with those seeking an introduction to the retreat and clinical training about post-abortion trauma in Oklahoma City on June 24-29. Overall, over 200 people attended one or more talks, workshops or seminars at the Fourth Annual Rachel’s Vineyard leadership conference and First Annual Servants’ Retreat.

Here are some comments from participants:

"What a great week of community building, fellowship and sharing."

"Rachel’s Vineyard for sure goes forth as a great Springtime work fulfilling our Holy Father’s voice and call for a new evangelization for the building of a civilization of love. The conference gave me new eyes to see the amazing planting all over the world of vineyards and oak trees. The highlight of the conference for me was the Living Scripture on ‘The Seed’ and catching the vision, in sharing with others, of the great happenings all over the world."

"I really enjoyed meeting so many of you and being with like-minded people working in the area of post-abortive grief. I came home fully convinced of the power of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat after seeing first hand how the program works and getting feedback from those who had attended a weekend."

Our thanks go to Susan Lepak and the team of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma for organizing this conference, and to Archbishop Beltran and the Knights of Columbus for their support, involvement and interest.

The Fifth Annual Rachel’s Vineyard conference and retreat will be held in June 2004. Location and exact times will be announced in September. Plan on being there!


"What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul."—Jewish proverb



A two-day Rachel’s Vineyard Introductory and Clinical Training with Kevin and Theresa Burke will be held in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area on October 15-16. CEU credits are available. Catholic Charities of Western Washington and the Archdiocese of Portland Oregon are sponsoring the event. For information, please contact ( Valerie Jacobs, MA at 800-822-4673 or Paula Lang, LCSW at 503-238-5196, ext. 226.

A one-day clinical training will be held on October 9, 2003 in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Contact John McDonald (780) 469-2323 e-mail: for more information.

A one-day clinical training will be held on October 10, 2003 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Contact Julie Kohler at 403 218 5506 e-mail:


Rachel’s Vineyard started offering monthly teleconferences for team members and those interested in learning about the retreat this past May. For a schedule of the teleconferences, the special guests, the topics to be discussed, and instructions on how to access the teleconferences, please send an email to teleconference coordinator Jeanne Mirabella at There is no charge to participate in these teleconferences.


--(")Ramah International, headed up by Sydna Masse, offers many supportive resources for women who have experienced abortion and for people who are active in post-abortion ministry. Sydna ( publishes a regular hard-copy newsletter, "Ramah’s Voice", which we recommend for anyone involved in post-abortion ministry. Contact phone: (941) 473-2188.

John Michael Poirier has released a new CD, "Healing After the Choice", ("). The seventeen songs on this CD are powerful, beautiful and touching in turn. The CD can be ordered through the website or bycalling 1-800-566-6150.



by Emily Peterson of After abortion

The Canadian Medical Association is the Canadian equivalent of the AMA. In May 2003, they published in their prestigious Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) an article by David Reardon, et al. that indicated that women who abort an unexpected pregnancy are 2.6 times as likely to require psychiatric hospitalization later on compared to women who carry an unexpected pregnancy to term.

This article attracted many letters-to-the-editor of the CMAJ. Celia Ryan, MSSW, a Rachel’s Vineyard facilitator in Washington, DC, wrote an especially powerful letter which was published on the CMAJ’s website eCMAJ—eLetters for Major, 168 (10) 1257-1258 here.

In the July 22 edition of the CMAJ, their editorial board writes a lively lead editorial, ably defending their decision to print this important research. See "Unwanted Results: The ethics of controversial research" at eCMAJ -- 169 (2): 93 .

In other important news, Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v Wade) filed a Rule 60 Motion on June 17, asking that Roe v Wade be overturned because of new evidence and law since the original decision. Her motion was accompanied by the affidavits ofnearly 1,300 women, expressing the difficulties that occurred as a result of their abortions. See Operation Outcry at for additional information.

Finally, two groups have come forward to encourage men and women who have been harmed by abortion to speak out. Silent No More Awareness at is sponsoring awareness gatherings in September and prayer services in October. The Silent No More Campaign at offers a speaker’s bureau, help with filling out affidavits, and training.


"For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.’" Hebrews 13:5



July 25-27, 2003-Dallas, Texas
Note: Spanish retreat
Contact: Jackie 972 679 4760

August 1-3, 2003-Fort Worth, Texas
Contact: Betsy Kopor 817 923 4757

August 1-3, 2003-Atlanta, Georgia
Contact: Mary Ann McNeal 404 896 6521

August 8-10, 2003-Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact: Nancy Blom or Gail Checco 888 329 3773

August 8-10, 2003-Wichita, Kansas
Contact: Janice 316 269 4673 or 800 456 HOPE
Contact: John

August 15-17, 2003-Notre Dame, Indiana
Contact: Sue Brazo 616 683 4958 or 616 683 7831

August 15-17, 2003-Corpus Christi, Texas
Contact: Desda 361 949 1251
Contact: Fr. Tom Goodwin 361 882 7912

August 22-24, 2003-Sacramento, California
Contact: Christine 916 733 0140

August 22-24, 2003-Clearwater, Florida
Local host: Project Rachel, Diocese of St. Petersburg
Contact: Emma Boe 813 631 4370

August 29-31, 2003-San Angelo, Texas
Contact: Nan Goodwin 915 550 9040

September 5-7, 2003-Falls Church, Virginia
Contact: Myriam Perez 703 729 7998

September 5-7, 2003-Cincinnati, Ohio
Local host: The Pregnancy Center West, Inc.
Contact: Gloria Santoro 513 244 5700

September 5-7, 2003-Long Island, New York
Contact: Frank and Lorraine Gariboldi 516 523 0586

September 12-14, 2003-Fairfield County, Connecticut
Contact: Clarissa Cincotta 203 372 4301 ext 314

September 12-14, 2003-Montello, Wisconsin
Local host: Pregnancy Helpline of Janesville
Note: Interdenominational retreat
Contact: Cheryl Ryan 608 754 0309

September 12-14, 2003-Portland, Oregon
Contact: Lori Eckstine 800 249 8074 or 541 521 5186

September 12-14, 2003-Miami, Florida
Note: Spanish retreat
Contact: Sr. Maria José 305 653 2966

September 19-21, 2003-Youngstown, Ohio
Contact: Brenda Dama 330 797 8951
Contact: Br. Vit Fiala 330 799 1888

September 19-21, 2003-Richmond, Virginia
Contact: Kay Marie Geiger 804 330 3137

September 19-21, 2003-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Contact: Susan Lepak 405 721 5651 ext 107

September 19-21, 2003-Linden, New Jersey
Contact: Michelle Krystofik 732 388 8211

September 26-28, 2003-Fort Wayne, Indiana
Contact: Sue Brazo 616 683 4958 or 616 683 7831

September 26-28, 2003-Gaylord, Michigan
Note: Interdenominational retreat
Contact: Beth Bauer 800 727 5147 ext 3533 or 989 705 3517

September 26-28, 2003-Jackson, Mississippi
Contact: Judy Lindsay
Contact: Kim Hardeman 601 624 0015


"Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works."  Rick Warren, "The Purpose Driven Life"


Comments about Vine & Branches may be directed to the Editor, Leslie Graves, at


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