April 25, 2024 at 8:48 a.m.

RACHEL’S VINEYARD

Upcoming retreat for abortion healing offered May 3-5 in Niskayuna
Rachel’s Vineyard has been a healing staple in the Albany Diocese since 2010, offering retreats for women struggling with the after-effects of abortion or anyone whose life has been impacted by abortion. The next retreat is May 3-5 at the Dominican Retreat & Conference Center (1945 Union St., Niskayuna.)
Rachel’s Vineyard has been a healing staple in the Albany Diocese since 2010, offering retreats for women struggling with the after-effects of abortion or anyone whose life has been impacted by abortion. The next retreat is May 3-5 at the Dominican Retreat & Conference Center (1945 Union St., Niskayuna.)

By Emily Benson | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Hope, healing and redemption. This is the cusp of the upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. 

Rachel’s Vineyard has been a healing staple in the Albany Diocese since 2010, offering retreats for women struggling with the after-effects of abortion or anyone whose life has been impacted by abortion.

The next retreat is May 3-5 at the Dominican Retreat & Conference Center (1945 Union St., Niskayuna.) Cost is $195 and includes room, meals and materials. Financial assistance is available if needed. 

Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are offered in hundreds of locations throughout the United States and internationally. Founded by Dr. Theresa Burke and Kevin Burke, LSW, Rachel’s Vineyard has been a source of reconciliation and healing for thousands of women and men who have suffered from the pain of an abortion.

Pat Mousaw, facilitator for Albany’s Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, helped bring them to the Albany Diocese in 2010 after seeing a close friend struggle with depression after an abortion. Fourteen years later, Mousaw is still seeing the impact Rachel’s Vineyard has.

“It is really very healing to many people,” Mousaw said. “Many of the women who come are often 30 or 40 or 50 years out from the abortion experience, and they carry that pain for decades. Sometimes a trigger might be that one of their children is having their first grandchild and they see an ultrasound picture and all of sudden are like what did I do? ... We encourage them to come and deal with the pain, but also realize they’re not alone.”

Kathy, a previous retreat attendee, attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in Albany as a “last ditch effort to determine if I truly belonged in the Catholic church/faith.” She found it was just what she needed.

“My Rachel’s Vineyard retreat gave me healing and forgiveness, and I began my relationship with Jesus, Mary, God and the Holy Spirit,” Kathy told The Evangelist via email. “It has been 11 years since my retreat, and I have volunteered on the team whenever I could since I left my retreat.”

Kathleen, who attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in New Jersey, also worked with Mousaw to bring the retreats to Albany. Kathleen was 46 years old when she attended her retreat after having an abortion when she was 23. For years, she tried to make peace and find forgiveness, but nothing worked until Rachel’s Vineyard.

“It’s challenging I will say, but it’s the only thing that worked for me,” she said.

“What we want to do is walk with (attendees) and help them feel that they’ve reconciled with God,” Mousaw said. “One of the easiest things to do is recognize that God forgives them, but it’s harder sometimes to forgive yourself. The way the retreat is structured, they come to have a sense of God’s forgiveness, and then come to a place where they begin to forgive themselves.”

For information or to register, contact Pat Mousaw at (518) 222-1160 or Katie Bolibaugh at (518) 495-3574 or email [email protected]. Participation is strictly confidential.


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