Joy on their faces

What is it like to meet with a group of women and men who have been through a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat?  Joy on their faces — that is what I saw last week when our Kentucky Rachel’s Vineyard team had a little “reunion” meeting for our past retreatants.   It was a small group — just […]

Why Rachel’s Vineyard (Part VII): Healing of our Emotions

The philosopher Aristotle and his greatest disciple, St. Thomas Aquinas, discerned that our human emotional life can be broken down into eleven basic emotions: Love, Desire and Joy are three emotions that we experience toward things that we perceive as good for us. Hatred, Aversion and Sadness are three emotions that we experience toward things […]

Why Rachel’s Vineyard (Part VI): Spiritual Flow of the Retreat

A spiritual retreat should have a certain “flow,” an orientation, in which the retreat moves toward a certain spiritual climax. Fr. Jean-Baptiste Rauzan (the founder of the Fathers of Mercy) said that in the parish missions of our community, the priests preach so as to bring people to the Mercy of God in the Sacrament […]

Why Rachel’s Vineyard (Part V): We are Social Beings

When a woman finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy, she often feels that she is alone, and must “deal with it” alone. Sometimes, the father of her baby tells her to “deal with it” or “get rid of it” – he leaves her to shoulder the burden of pregnancy alone. Some women find that they […]

Why Rachel’s Vineyard works (Part IV) — Not Talk Therapy

Part IV: Not talk therapy:   Many women (and men) who have suffered traumatic experiences have been in “talk therapy” for years, and while some may have benefited, a number of people have found that “talking it out” just doesn’t work for them. Rachel’s Vineyard retreats for healing after abortion use an approach that is […]