Post-Abortion Healing: Who We Are is How We Heal
Msgr. Mike Mannion
[Note: Msgr. Mike Mannion, a priest
of the Diocese of Camden, NJ, is a pioneer in the field of
healing after abortion. He authored some of the first books on
this topic and helped develop the Church’s understanding of the
wounds abortion brings and of the path to healing. In the
following article, Fr. Mike brings to our attention a new line
of thought he is developing that links the path of healing with
the traditional schools of spirituality in the Church. We at
Priests for Life are happy to have Msgr. Mannion more closely
connected to our work.]
If St. Thomas Aquinas was correct when he stated: “Grace builds
on nature, “ then we can learn much about the journey of healing
for those suffering from the aftermath of abortion.
When personality types are matched with Christian schools and
traditions of spirituality, a “healing guide” can be developed
as a significant resource in walking with one who is broken in
the journey toward wholeness.
Recognizing that our goal is psycho-spiritual, we seek not just
to help the post- abortive individual return to pre-abortive
attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and commitments, for they might
have actually predisposed and facilitated the abortion decision.
Instead, we seek to help the individual integrate the wound of
abortion into his or her life in a true Paschal Mystery sense,
identifying with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Christ has died. My baby has died.
Christ is risen. My baby will rise.
Christ will come again. And when he does, He will carry my baby
in His arms and hand him/ her to me.
The healing process is not just one of reconciliation, but
reunion and healing as well.
Perhaps the post-abortive woman or man is one who especially
values tradition and is inclined to “connect the dots” between
past, present and future. This is a person who would seek to
commemorate events in the life of Jesus and also to entrust
her/his child to the Child Jesus., the Healer Jesus, the
Merciful Jesus, the Consoling and Compassionate Jesus. This is
one whose healing process or journey, in a sense, parallels an
Ignatian spirituality, in the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola. The
seeker of healing would do well to learn more about the
spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, for it would complement
her/his journey to Jesus and His loving embrace.
Perhaps the post-abortive woman or man is drawn to action and
opportunity – a life centered in actively seeking to do God’s
will. Spontaneous prayer, informal prayer, and a special
openness to the Holy Spirit, as well as acts of loving service,
are all parts of this person’s “spiritual profile” and
inclinations. All these characteristics are common to a
Franciscan spirituality. Compassion for the “lepers” of our day
and a deep appreciation for the beauty, gift and goodness of
God’s creation, may lead a mournful mother or father to plant a
flower or a tree in memory of their aborted child. This is a
gesture, when combined with a sacramental and prayerful
experience, that may contribute significantly to healing.
Many schools or traditions of spirituality have emerged in the
2000 year tradition of the Catholic Church. In studying them,
one can easily see a beautiful “tapestry of life and faith,”
where many colors and threads intermingle with each other. The
soul who hungers for healing may, in the last analysis, draw
eclectically from aspects of many spiritual traditions. We have
look, briefly, at only a few in the preceding paragraphs. Though
we are all certainly made in God’s image and likeness, there is
a uniqueness and individuality to each of us that can help heal
all of us, especially those who carry the wounds of abortion in
the memories of their lives. At the center, there is always a
loving Jesus, ever seeking to lead us to the Father, through the
gentle power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Priests for Life Welcomes New Full-Time Priest on Pastoral Staff
Scott Daniels, OP, has joined the full-time Pastoral staff of
Priests for Life. A Dominican priest serving in Catholic
education in Memphis, Fr. Daniels explains, “ Over the past
several years, I have distinctly perceived God’s call to work
full time for the defense of the unborn. I find too little said
on the matter of abortion and less preached from our pulpits. …
Quite frankly, my mind and heart have been animated with the
reality of Judgment Day where all the innocents will be present
and they will ask us all—“Did love not compel you to come to our
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, said, “Fr. Daniels has what
it takes to advance the cause of life: a deep passion for what
is right, and an equally deep compassion for those tempted to do
wrong. We welcome him to our pastoral team with joy.”
Fr. Daniels will travel the country, preaching and teaching the
Gospel of Life, ministering to the pro-life movement, and
helping pro-life groups to develop strategies and relationships
with various ministries of the Church. Above all, he will
encourage his brother priests. “ I truly believe that priests
are especially invaluable to this ministry,” Fr. Daniels said.
“It is from priests at the altar offering the Mass, in the
Confessional reconciling souls to God and in the pulpit
proclaiming and preaching the Gospel that the Church hears the
Find out more about Fr. Daniels at
This summer, we invite you to participate in and promote two special novenas. The details, and the prayers for each, in English and Spanish, can be found at www.PrayerCampaign.org. Please mention these in your emails, on your websites, and in newsletters and parish bulletins.
Assumption Novena for Life: August 7-15
Novena to Blessed Mother Teresa: August 28-September 5
Two Crucial Areas of Outreach
African American Outreach
Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach now has
her own blog at www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog
Our Spanish outreach continues to grow. Fr. Victor Salomón,
Priest Associate and Director of Hispanic Outreach has filmed
our first Defending Life Series in Spanish! Defendiendo La Vida
will consist of 13 episodes and will begin airing on EWTN in the
Fall. For more details and for more Priests for Life resources
in Spanish, visit www.SacerdotesPorLaVida.org.
Order Key Pro-life Products!
www.priestsforlife.org/store or mail your order to: Priests
for Life, P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Or fax:
(718) 980-3900; Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pro-life Reflections for Every Day
Pre-order Fr. Frank’s new book, Pro-life Reflections for Every
Day, and enrich your daily prayer life with new vigor to stand
up for the unborn!
Homilies from the EWTN Live Televised
Pre-order two new CD’s (Volume 5 and 6) of Fr. Frank’s inspiring
homilies on EWTN are now available! These newest homilies were
given during his taping at the network earlier this year.