Salina — Abortion and its aftermath has a more prominent spot in the limelight lately, due to the recent release of the “Unplanned” movie in March.
Abortion touches the lives of many, and the Salina Diocese offers an opportunity for healing Rachel’s Vineyard retreats. The next retreat weekend is May 17-19.
“Anyone that has been touched by abortion can attend,” said Tina Schrick, who coordinates the retreat. “We have had women who are post abortive, fathers of the baby, grandparents of the baby aborted.”
While the retreat is hosted by the diocese, she said those of other religious affiliations are welcome to attend. Mass and Reconciliation are offered for the Catholics, and spiritual direction is offered to the non-Catholics.
The retreat began in the Salina Diocese in September 2002. Since its inception in the diocese, 24 retreats have been conducted. In all, 106 women have attended and memorialized 162 babies.
“This ministry is important for women that need the healing from abortion,” Schrick said. “Often the women feel as if a part of their very selves has died. This ministry starts the healing.
“The weekend is a very special process designed to help the women experience the mercy and compassion of God. It is also an opportunity to surface and release repressed feelings of anger, shame, guilt and grief. The weekend provides a confidential and nonjudgemental safe environment.”
The retreats are held once or twice a year, depending on the number of referrals.
“There are many broken souls needing help from the decision of abortion,” Schrick said. “They need the grace from God, they need to feel the love Christ.”
Often, the weekend brings healing to attendees.
“During the weekend I have seen a dynamic change happen with the participants; beginning as closed participants to very opened and healing,” Schrick said. “We offer a reunion time with the participants and they share how their lives are different and better. Many have shared how the weekend healed relationships.”