They gathered together on Saturday,in the Bronx—they came from far and near, from all races, and from differing educational backgrounds and vocations.
They differed in many other ways—but they had one thing in common—they were all suffering from the pain, anger and in some cases self-loathing that comes from being a post-abortive individual. Oh, they also had one other thing in common—they were all men!!
Some may ask how a man could possibly suffer from the aftermath of an abortion—after all it was not his child. How wrong that statement is because all one had to do was to sit and listen to their individual stories to know the answer to that question.
Some had actively participated in arranging for their abortions, some had tried to talk their girlfriend out of the abortion, some had “married into” their abortion (their wife had an abortion prior to marriage). So many differing stories but one common thread: his child was aborted,and he suffers from the abortion of his child no differently than a woman would suffer after the abortion of her child.
Under the guidance of Fr. Mariusz Koch,CFR and Theresa Bonopartis, one by one their stories started to unfold and for many, for the first time they were able to express the anger and pain they suffer from abortion.
They expressed themselves in a non-judgmental, loving atmosphere.
They started to experience the healing that comes from “getting a load” off ones chest. But more importantly they experienced the Mercy of God in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. There was another form of forgiveness that started to begin—the forgiveness of their children’s mothers who participated in the abortions with them.
At the end of the day the men were given a prayer card with the image of St. Joseph caressing his child,Jesus Christ. In part the prayer on the reverse reads:
Good Saint Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Guide and protector of the Holy Family,
You trusted God and opened yourself to receive
The graces you needed
To care for Jesus, your Son, our Merciful Savior.
We know our children are in your care.
Lead us to a life of love and fidelity
To the will of your Son,
So we may join you in heaven and share eternal life with our children,
Praising God forever for the Mercy and love He has shown us.
After the closing Mass I spoke with Fr. Mariusz and I do not think he would mind my relating this story.He said he was going to go home and have a “good cry” because of the pain expressed by these men, but also because of the witness they gave by being willing to come and seek God’s Healing Embrace, Mercy, and Forgiveness.
The healing has only begun. There are many more, women and men, who are in need of the healing Hand of God to embrace them.
– Ed Case
November 3, 2018
Contact: Theresa Bonopartis
Bridgeport CT, Diocese
November 10, 2018
Contact: Maureen Ciardiello
Contact: (419) 260-5811
(English & Spanish)
Contact: Project Rachel Ministry
“… And in the desert people of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive.”
Pope Benedict XVI,
Homily, Year of Faith , 2012
On January 29th, 2005, the “Entering Canaan” ministry held its first “Day of Prayer and Healing” for men at the Claremount Retreat Center In Mt. Arlington, New Jersey. Hosted by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and Father George Stewart, the group of eight men were led through the beautiful day by scripture, prayer, discussion, healing and the celebration of the Eucharist.
Following the same format as the “Days of Prayer & Healing,” but with different readings and a focus on fatherhood, a priest, along with post abortive men who have attended the ministry, lead the day which consist of a testimony by a post abortive man, talks by the priests, a film on post abortion, and a chance to share with one another.
The opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are also available. The results have been so blessed, as more and more men learn of the retreat and come forward to reclaim their fatherhood.
Quotes from some of our men:
“ I have been waiting for over twenty years to see something offered for men who have been involved in abortion!”
“ The men’s retreat saved my life. Thank you”
“I rode the subway back with a bunch of the other guys and I can tell that the day was a step towards healing for each of us, in our own unique way. We even exchanged emails and plan to stay in touch, and maybe have each other to reach out to when the days are tough. Thanks for all you do in your mission. You truly do the work of a saint.”
“I wanted to thank you for recommending that I come to the retreat. I think it was a very important step for me to work to try to get over my own pain in this situation, but more importantly to help love my fiance the right way going forward.”
“The day was a personal first for me as I shared my testimony after the morning scripture reading. The men gave so much of themselves to the day and all hearts made a connection in some way with each other and with Our Lord. The efforts of the team paid large dividends as even the hardest of hearts were soften by Our Lord’s grace.
We are looking forward to continued success.
"Words cannot explain how the retreat helped me… I have hope where there was none. It is time for me to let go of negative feelings. I thought that time would never come. My broken heart is healing.”
"I attended the first Entering Canaan, a day of prayer & healing for post abortion men.I learned how to begin forgiving myself and opening myself to God’s endless mercy.It was a day where I l discovered I am not alone and that there is a great need for this ministry to men and how we are effected by abortion."