PORTLAND — Rachel’s Vineyard retreats aim to offer solace, peace, and inner healing to any individual connected to an abortion, regardless of the role they played. The retreat aims to provide a safe place to grieve the loss and to understand how abortion has affected them, so they can grow beyond it, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

“We know abortion can cause intense emotional and spiritual pain. At Project Rachel, we do not judge or condemn,” said Judy Shaw, an organizer of the retreats.

The next Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in Maine is scheduled to be held in southern Maine starting at 6 p.m. Friday, April 22, and concluding on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24, at 1:30 p.m. The location will be known only to those involved, so ensure they feel secure.

The weekend will include Scripture meditations, the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation, a memorial service, Mass, and sharing with others personally affected by abortion.

“If things aren’t going right in your life and an abortion is part of your past, healing can help,” said Lori Dahlhoff, director of the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Lifelong Faith Formation. “The retreat is an opportunity to identify the ways the loss affected you and acknowledge any unresolved feelings before the healing begins.”

“Participants do not need to be Catholic to register for the weekend,” said Shaw.

The registration deadline is Friday, April 8.

To talk about attending a retreat, leave a confidential message at 207-321-7897, email [email protected], or visit portlanddiocese.org/projectrachel.

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