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Project Rachel

If you regret your abortion or are struggling with abortion's impact in your family and want help, contact us.

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We know there is much controversy in our society over the matter of abortion. We also know abortion can cause intense emotional and spiritual pain. At Project Rachel, we do not judge or condemn.

Through Project Rachel Ministry, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland offers hope, understanding, and healing to women and men whose lives have been affected by abortion. We do this through developing tools for parish leaders and hosting a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Weekend each fall and spring.

The next Rachel's Vineyard Retreat Weekend in Maine is scheduled for April 22-24, 2022.

Click to jump to the "Other Resources" section of the page for help in the meantime.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Weekend

The retreat includes two overnights and four meals.  Arrival time is 6 p.m. Friday, and departure is 1:30 p.m. after Sunday Mass.

The weekend is experiential, Scripture-based, and non-judgmental, with no more than eight participants.The retreat location is not publicized to provide a safe place for participants.

Anyone personally affected by an abortion, including women, men, relatives, and former abortion workers is welcome.  Pre-registration is required.

To talk about attending a retreat, please leave a confidential message by:

A member of the Project Rachel team with return your message within a day or two, usually in the evening or on the weekend

Benefits of attending a retreat

Encounter God’s unconditional love and forgiveness
Strive to forgive self    
Work to forgive those who contributed to the abortion experience
Build a spiritual relationship with the baby

Those who know said:

  • “This was a unique and profound experience. The Church doesn’t turn its back on you. There’s a great sense of sharing and solidarity among the retreat participants and team ...”

  • “This is a healing process that proceeds step by step and is well prepared and well organized ..."
  • “The sharing of stories in the small group, including our family of origin and the traumatic events of our life was a big help ... I never felt uneasy, and hearing other stories was positive. This retreat will help me a lot in my faith journey.”
  • “The retreat allowed me a most precious encounter with Jesus ... words alone can’t express the importance of this experience for me … Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for such a deep encounter…”

Already participated in a retreat weekend?

Click to learn about resources for continuing the healing

OTHER RESOURCES for further information about the weekend retreats, helpful resources there and comments from some retreat participants resources and information through national Project Rachel Ministry

How to Talk to a Friend Who's Had an Abortion

Zoe: A Women's Center provides post abortion emotional and spiritual support for both men and women. 

Visit the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Project Rachel site for parish resources and information, including suggestions on how to talk with someone who has had an abortion. You may also call their nationwide toll-free number at 888-456-HOPE (4673) during regular business hours (Eastern Time Zone) to speak with someone at the national office.

"The Language of Compassion" is a presentation that assists parishes and groups explore ways to minister to those who are post-abortive.  Call 207-321-7897 or email to request more information.

It's O.K. not to feel O.K. about an abortion.
There is hope, mercy and healing available

Those who know said:

  • “I’m told most women go on with their lives. Maybe I’m crazy. I made the biggest mistake in my life, and I can’t take it back ... I listened to all the reasons why I shouldn’t have the baby.” 
  •  “I now feel that, despite all the overwhelming outside pressure, I was pitiful in my inability to stand up against others’ reasoning, no matter how powerful.  I buckled under fear.”  (Jennifer O’Neill, actress)
  • “Abortion promised to free me from two crisis situations [not being able to finish college, and being with an abusive boyfriend] and instead, it has nearly destroyed me.”
  • “My ignorance, fear, and youth were used against us. If anyone had told me of the secret shame, fear, pain, and lifelong regret, my baby would be alive today.”
  • “Abortion does not just hurt women and their children. It hurts the fathers of the children. It leaves a gap in a family where a child should be, a child who was wanted, and already loved.  It is a pathway of destruction that no woman deserves.”     (A Grandmother)