UP Catholic 10 07 2016 E Edition Page 10

BY DENISE FOYE DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE Maria had an abortion in her teens and stopped receiving the Eucharist. When her daughter was preparing for First Holy Com- munion, she asked Maria why she did not go to Communion. Maria did not know what to say because she thought she had committed an unforgivable sin. She didnt know she could receive forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation by confessing the abortion. (USCCB Bridges of Mercy Bulletin Insert). This is just one example of how many in our churches, both men and women, have been touched by abortion. Its aftermath can manifest itself in many ways such as troubled marriages, engaging in risk-taking behaviors, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, etc. To help people with the devastating effects of abortion, Vicki Thorn founded Project Rachel in 1984 in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Its mission is to provide compassion to anyone women, men, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and others whose lives have been touched by an abortion loss. It is estimated that more than 58 million abortions have taken place since the Supreme Courts Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Many people includ- ing those in our diocese are dealing with the aftermath of an abortion. Project Rachel has been in the Diocese of Marquette since 1985, not just helping peo- ple like Maria know they are not condemned by the Church and can find peace, but also helping priests and counselors learn how to help them. In a Sept. 9, 1989 Associated Press article, Steve Lynott, director of Catholic Social Ser- vices in the Diocese of Marquette at the time, is quoted as saying prior to Project Rachel one or two women a month would come to the agency seeking help following an abortion. If the counselors didnt know the client was trou- bled due to an abortion, it could leave them not knowing how to begin treatment. Deacon Don Christy and his wife Donna of St. Joseph & St. Mary Parish in Iron Moun- tain have been actively involved in Project Rachel for more than 20 years. Over the years, they have ministered to many who have suffered from the experience of abor- tion. Father Paul Nomellini, also trained as a Project Rachel counselor, often assists them by hearing the confession of those seeking post-abortion healing. While it is a gut-wrenching experience it is also a joy to help those in pain to recognize Gods mercy. Truly they are comforting the afflicted as they minster to those seeking to be reconciled to Jesus and his Church. To learn more about Project Rachel, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com or call the nation- wide toll-free number (888) 456-HOPE (4673). 10 October 7, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC RESPECT LIFE www.upcatholic.org Mercy Corner: Project Rachel offers comfort to the afflicted March for Life registrations due Oct. 31 The Yoopers 4 Life will make their annual pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, Tuesday, Jan. 24 through Sat, Jan 28, 2017. The pilgrimage includes the opening Mass for Life at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Youth Rally and Mass at the D.C. Armory, the March for Life and a tour of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Reserve your spot on the bus today. Registration closes on Oct. 31, 2016. Registration Information and forms are available on the St. Peter Cathedral website at http://stpetercathedral.org/ upcoming_events.html and through your faith formation or parish offices. To learn more about March for Life and the national pro-life movement, visit www.marchforlife.org. Jesus made the following promises to those who have a devotion to His most Sacred Heart: #2: I will give peace in their families. #9: I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored. For more information on a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, visit dioceseofmarquette.org/sacredheart or call Deacon Steve Gretzinger at 906-863-7460 PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS, DO YOU NEED HELP RAISING THE CHILDREN GOD LENDS YOU?

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