Pro-Life Works of Mercy: Every life matters
Pro-life pastoral care focuses on the most vulnerable.
The culture of life will grow as long as we are each willing to play our part. While not everyone is called to full time pro-life ministry or advocacy, we are all called to help build the culture of life within our families and communities—to walk with those who are vulnerable or hurting; to speak up on behalf of the innocent; to bear witness to the truth about abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and other key pro-life issues. What is God calling you to do? Browse “21 pro-life ideas for building a culture of life” to find ideas that work for you.
Post Abortion Healing
It is estimated that one in three adult women have had an abortion. Studies have found women who have had an abortion have an 81 percent higher risk of subsequent mental health problems compared to those who have not; a 55 percent higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with an “unplanned” pregnancy who have given birth; higher rates of anxiety, depression, alcohol use/misuse, marijuana use and suicidal behavior compared to those who have not had an abortion.
Often the shame and guilt of having participated in an abortion prevent individuals from seeking help dealing with its aftermath. Many Catholics carrying such grief and remorse stay away from the Church, erroneously thinking they have committed an unforgivable sin. The Project Rachel and Rachel’s Vineyard ministries were developed precisely to help such individuals come to terms with the memories and circumstances surrounding their decision to abort and to lead them to God’s mercy.
Rachel’s Vineyard offers an opportunity for healing to anyone struggling with the emotional and spiritual pain of abortion — mother, father, sibling or grandparent. This weekend retreat is a chance to get away from the daily pressures of work and family and to begin healing through a supportive and non-judgmental process. Spiritual exercises focusing on God’s forgiveness, compassion and mercy help participants work through grief, anger and other emotions that may be unresolved. The retreat is grounded in the Catholic faith and welcomes men and women of all denominations.
Retreats available through the Diocese of Burlington:
There are currently no retreats scheduled in the Diocese of Burlington, but in order to ensure everyone who can benefit from one of these healing retreats is able to do so, the Diocese of Burlington offers financial assistance for travel to one of the neighboring Dioceses’ retreats listed below.
- Saranac Lake, New York: Diocese of Ogdensburg
- Stockbridge, Massachusetts: Diocese of Springfield
- Manchester, New Hampshire (Non-denominational)
- Rachel’s Vineyard New Hampshire (Sponsored by New Hampshire Right to Life)
Crisis Pregnancy Care
Looking for resources to help with an unplanned pregnancy? Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. offers counseling services and emergency aid including financial assistance. Call 802-658-6111 or (toll free) 877-250-4099 for more information.
Other nonprofit organizations offering free pregnancy testing, support, referrals, a 24-hour hotline and other services:
Catholic Advance Directives: an important part of end-of-life planning
An advance directive is a legal document witnessed in advance of a serious illness or injury to address your end-of-life medical care and/or your medical care in the event you are temporarily unable to speak for yourself. Executing an advance directive exercises good stewardship over the gift of life.