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Rachel's Vineyard Healing Weekends
These week-ends offer a supportive, confidential, emotionally safe environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortion emotions and begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.
Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and anyone affected by abortion have come to Rachel’s Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing.
The weekend is a lot of work, but those who are willing to journey through their grief will experience the power of resurrection in their own lives. They will find meaning in what has happened and allow God to transform the experience into something that gives hope, liberation and peace.
Rachel's Vineyard retreats are held at private locations.
Retreat schedule for 2014
February 14th - 16th Knock, Co. Mayo
March 14th - 16th Belfast.
March 21st - 23rd Cork.
May 30th - June 1st Cork
July 4th - 6th Cork
September 12th - 14th Cork
November 21st - 23rd.
If you would like to find out more about Rachel’s Vineyard or about the Healing Weekends
" These week-ends are truly amazing , and women who have felt isolated, ashamed and alone, finally get a voice, and are allowed to tell their story in a safe accepting atmosphere and begin the process of healing. This all occurs in a non judgemental atmosphere, where they experience total acceptance,and are truly treated as princesses. They come from all denominations and none where they can safely talk, share, cry, and laugh together. The tears of the catholic, the former catholic, the protestant, the agnostic and the atheist are indistinguishable" (These beautiful words are from one of the wonderful priests who assist at these weekends)
"I had received previous counseling but nothing could prepare me for how I felt after attending the Rachel's Vineyard weekend. It was like a light had been turned on in my life again. I came out of the darkness and into the light. A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I was finally able to grieve for my baby without feeling the guilt that I had been carrying around for so long. My baby existed"
"Rachel's Vineyard has helped me to move on with hope. When I met other women who had abortions and had suffered just the same as I had, I didn't feel so alone anymore. The healing I experienced on the weekend was amazing and is still ongoing.
"Words could never be enough to explain the gratitude that I feel for having the opportunity to attend a Rachel's Vineyard weekend. For the first time in years, It feels good to be ME. I have a huge sense of peace and happiness with myself and also with Jesus. I met such lovely people who had the same experience as me, and who did not judge me. When I went back to work people told me that I looked different. I looked so at peace with myself. Rachel's Vineyard has saved my life".
"Before attending Rachel's Vineyard retreat I was secretly suffering from severe depression, because of my abortions. Making the initial phone call was difficult, but when Bernadette told me that she was post-abortive, I felt she would understand me and not judge me. Before the weekend I started to panic because I hadn't been totally honest with Bernadette. So I decided to tell her via e mail that I had two abortions. She e mailed me back and said that she was so looking forward to meeting me. I was very surprised because I felt sure that I would receive an email telling me that I would not be welcome.
During the first evening when the women began to share their stories, I was so amazed at the honesty of the women, they just bared their souls. When my turn came I was so eager to get it off my chest. I never thought I would have the strength to say it. The shame and the pain that I have felt for so many years is passing. I am hopeful for the future. The black cloud has lifted. Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place. I am so glad that I came".
"I really feel privileged to have done a Rachel's Vineyard weekend, and that God has led me there. I feel so much less burdened, and I feel that I can now let go of the past and live again. I wish I had heard of Rachel's Vineyard years ago".
"I took my daughter to England for an abortion. I thought that I was saving her from a life of misery. How wrong I was. My daughter has never been the same since. She began to drink heavily and take drugs. Her life is in a mess. When I heard of Rachel's Vineyard I knew that I had to come. I was allowed to share my pain in an emotionally safe environment. I was allowed to grieve the loss of my grandchild, and express the shame, the guilt and despair which have been such a heavy burden to carry. I now feel so much peace in my heart. I know that God has forgiven me. I have a new hope in my heart".
"I found out that my daughter had an abortion. I was devastated, and felt so guilty. Why didn't my daughter come to me when she was pregnant.? What had I done to prevent her from trusting me with her secret.? I watched her change before my eyes. She was not the same. I tortured myself with guilt. When I heard of Rachel's Vineyard I just had to give it a try. I was amazed at the kindness and compassion that I experienced on that weekend. I was allowed to share my pain and grieve the loss of my grandchild ".
Rachel's Vineyard is meant to help those who are trying to fit the very normal epiphany of grief into a world that would rather have them feel numb and blind, so as to maintain a safe distance from the truth.
Mourning and grieving are necessary milestones which must be passed so that our lives can continue. When this process is complete there is re-birth and resurrection. There is new life within our spirit which gives us hope in the future. There is an opportunity to explore our lives, and appreciate our human fragility. Through a very personal and intimate encounter with the Living God, we come to know that God knows and loves us despite our many weaknesses and human failures.