Post-Abortive Healing: Found in Divine Mercy

This is the second of a series of posts exploring Our Lord’s Divine Mercy.

By: Office of Communications

This week, as we further examine the theme of mercy, we recall a particular community of people within the Church: the women (and men) silently suffering from the sin of abortion. In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Saint Pope John Paul II writes to encourage and extend mercy to women who have had an abortion:

“…The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and She does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope…” (no. 99).


Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing ministry in the Diocese of Arlington, is open to anyone who seeks healing after abortion. They offer:

  • A confidential phone line
  • Priest, sensitive to your needs, who can help you to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance and/or answer questions
  • Professional counseling
  • Written material with healing resources

“… Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child…” (no. 99).

All post-abortive women are invited to attend a weekend retreat for healing May 1-3. This retreat offers women who have struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of abortion time to experience the mercy and compassion of God. It offers a supportive and confidential environment where they can begin the process of healing. One retreat attendee shared: “I struggled with the pain and suffering of an abortion before I attended a retreat…It was here on this retreat that I have found closure of my past regretful choices. I have come through the darkness into the Light of the Holy Spirit.”

For more information or to register please call (888) 456-HOPE or email

We all have a baptismal call to extend God’s mercy to others, just as Christ has extended it to us. Consider contributing to a spiritual bouquet (prayers or devotional acts offered from one individual for the needs of another) that will be given to the retreat attendees. Spiritual bouquets and/or letters of encouragement can be submitted online or by email through April 30.

“…With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life” (no. 99).

On the second Tuesday of each month, Project Rachel sponsors a holy hour, held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., at St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church, 5612 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station, VA 22039, as an opportunity to pray for and save a soul weighed down by the burden of abortion.

Consider attending tonight’s holy hour to offer prayers for an end to abortion and the healing of our world through Our Lord’s Divine Mercy.

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