Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Healing after Abortion

"Therefore I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her heart.
There I will give her back her vineyards and transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope." ~Hosea 2:16-17

Rachel's Vineyard Weekend Retreat Dates:
May 21-23, 2010 and October 1-3, 2010
Honolulu, Hawaii

Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats offer a beautiful opportunity for healing to any woman or man who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion.

The retreat is a chance to get away from the daily pressures of work and family, to focus on a painful time in life, and to begin healing through a supportive and non-judgmental process.

Spiritual exercises focusing on God’s forgiveness, compassion, and mercy are shared through psychological exercises which help participants work through repressed grief and anger that may exist.

Many preconceived fears of condemnation are transformed into blessings; memories of abandonment, pain, and confusion are replaced by peace and reconciliation.

Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, written by Theresa Karminski Burke, PhD with Barbara Cullen, focuses on God’s love and forgiveness in a nonjudgmental environment. Based in Catholicism, the retreat is open to and welcomes individuals of all denominations.

Comments from past participants:

“I hesitated to come (to the retreat) because I knew it was going to be intense and I wasn’t 100 percent committed to the religious concepts (or I was leery of them). The retreat far surpassed all my expectations. I have never witnessed so much healing and relief from anything else I have observed or experienced.”

“The most profound impact of my second abortion was what it did to my relationship with my husband and children. I withdrew, participated way less in family activities, and found it hard to be emotionally connected to them. My husband seemed to have something gnawing at him, and I was afraid it was hatred for me. We went to the retreat three years ago. It’s amazing to look back at where we were then and where we are now. We are a healthy, thriving family with much love freely shared all around.”

“For 18 years, I have been haunted with heavy guilt that no one could take away, tormented by thoughts of what my child would have been like. Through participating in Rachel’s Vineyard, I was finally able to forgive myself. I know that God has given me a peaceful mind, cleansed my heart, and has washed away my guilt.”

“I experienced a great inner healing. I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone who has felt the void and shame of the abortion experience. It is a wonderful way to forgive yourself, find the completely unconditional love of Christ, and grieve your loss.”

“No words can explain the healing that I experienced on this weekend retreat. It was conducted with love and gentleness in an area of my life that was war-torn, raw, and bleeding. God’s mercy and love was behind this retreat. It was so important for me to dig deep and release the pain of the past. I believe this made room and God, then, filled that room with genuine love for lost children, family, friends, and especially ourselves.”

“It was the best weekend of my life. I was able to share my grief, my guilt, my anger. I was able to mourn the loss of my baby. But most important, I was able to believe that she now lives with Jesus. For a short time I could almost touch her and hold her and see her. For this, I will always be grateful.”

General Information

Registration: The retreat weekend is designed for twelve participants; a minimum of six registrations is necessary to hold the retreat. Registrations and fees must be received by the Tuesday prior to the scheduled retreat. (Registrations will be conducted by phone to address and answer any questions about the retreat.)
  • Contact: Lisa Shorba at (808) 349-5071 or

Participants will receive a letter of confirmation with driving directions and a map to the retreat center.

Schedule: The weekend begins on Friday evening (5:00 pm) and concludes Sunday evening (6:00 pm)

Cost: The $100 registration fee includes accommodations for two nights, meals, and materials. Financial assistance is available.

Confidentiality: Rachel’s Vineyard strictly respects confidentiality and privacy. If you or someone you know is hurting, please call today.

Information: For more information, call the toll-free national hotline at 1-877-HOPE-4-ME or visit the website at

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