April 24, 2024 at 11:26 a.m.

Project Rachel proves ‘you are not alone’

To contact the Project Rachel Ministry, call (518) 312-3825 or email rachelp@rcda.org. Mary Fay is the Coordinator of Respect Life Ministries.
To contact the Project Rachel Ministry, call (518) 312-3825 or email [email protected]. Mary Fay is the Coordinator of Respect Life Ministries.

By Mary Fay | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Project Rachel is a diocesan-based ministry of specially trained priests, religious, counselors and laypersons who provide a team response of care for those suffering in the aftermath of abortion. Locally this ministry is facilitated through a phone line and email where confidentiality is guaranteed to anyone who reaches out for help. Project Rachel Ministry was launched here in the Diocese of Albany in 2019. 

Recently the phone has been ringing a bit more than usual and the inbox is more active also. I believe this is because people in pain are being triggered. New York state funds many promotional campaigns about the unlimited statewide access to abortion services. Our political leaders speak about it publicly almost daily. None of those press conferences or promotional ads ever mention what happens to the people after accessing the services. No matter the circumstances or method used, a loss of a life has occurred, and emotional and physical healing will be needed by all those involved. As Pope Francis has continually reminded us, that is where our churches can become the “field hospitals” to tend to the trauma wounds and offer hope for healing.

The tagline of Project Rachel is “No matter what you are feeling, you are not alone.” This is a good place to start with anyone who is struggling with an experience of abortion. The journey of healing is often long and challenging. It is the hope of Project Rachel that a comprehensive approach of options and resources can help each person know that God loves them. For many, part of that healing will be dependent on the ability to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our local ministry is blessed to have a list of priests who are “on call” for each geographic area of the 14 counties of the Diocese. In addition to referrals for sacramental Reconciliation, the ministry provides an integrated network of services, including pastoral counseling, support groups, retreats and referrals to licensed mental health professionals. We need to ensure people are aware there are opportunities for healing. Although the Catholic Church fully rejects abortion, we do not reject those people who have had abortions. Those feeling condemned or judged may not see the Church as a place for mercy. We are blessed to have this ministry to bring the compassionate love of God to those who have not been able to see past the trauma and loss they have experienced. In the six years Project Rachel has been present in our Diocese, we have seen those in pain find their way back into the arms of God.

Information and promotional materials are available to parishes if requested. The brochures and small information cards have proven to be a great way to invite someone to consider reaching out for help. Sharing information on social media, through parish pages and flock note messages can be an easy way to help spread the message of hope. 

To contact the Project Rachel Ministry, call (518) 312-3825 or email [email protected]. Check the site https://www.rcda.org/life/post-abortion-care. Mary Fay is the Coordinator of Respect Life Ministries. You can email her at [email protected].


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