October 2018

Dear Theresa,

 

Thank you for sharing the prayer service with us!  We had a beautiful Afternoon of Prayerful Remembrance & Intercession on Respect Life Sunday, October 7, in Warrensburg, Missouri.  Our team helped out, as did the Knights of Columbus, and the parish was wonderful.  Two priests offered the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the service, and we were also able to pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in conjunction with the Rosary Coast to Coast.  A young man played the piano and sang beautifully for the service, which adds so much!

 Thank you for sharing this with us… We are so blessed!  And thank you for keeping us in prayer!  Please feel free to share any of the pictures from the service, and any of my comments too, except the one about the Knight.  We do want to protect his privacy... thank you!

 Also, there was an article about the prayer service in our diocesan paper, The Catholic Key.  You may want to link to the article.  It is well written and powerful, I believe…

      https://catholickey.org/2018/10/12/hope-healing-and-forgiveness-after-abortion/.

 

Thank you for your work in sharing (literally!) hope and healing after abortion.  You are helping many people… May our Lord bless you!

Teresa Hoeppner
Project Rachel, Diocese Kansas City

 

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On Sunday October 12th Holy Rosary Church located in Cleveland, Ohio, offered “An Afternoon of Prayerful Remembrance & Intercession”. It was reverent, beautiful and powerful!

The inspiration to offer a prayer service in our parish, for all of those touched by abortion, first came to us in 2009. We knew from personal experience both in ministry and in life that many people were suffering adversely from abortion.

Some people felt no one would attend such a service at the parish level due to privacy issues. But the desire to pursue this inspiration remained with us, always. Then, as if our
Blessed Mother said “Now! Now is the time.” – in the winter of 2013 a friend sent us a copy of a flyer regarding a prayer service for those touched by abortion that was being held in Newark, NJ. We were led to Theresa Bonopartis who had created the service with the help of the Family Life Office in the Archdiocese of NY. After speaking with Theresa, we wereconvinced that Mary had led us directly to the program we had been envisioning for 6 years, already up and running!

The reality of our experience planning and participating in the Afternoon really operated on two levels. First, just by initiating this program in our diocese many people became
aware, for the first time, of the long shadow that is cast by abortion. Of course, they knew of its impact on the mother and more recently the father’s suffering has also been more widely recognized. But they had not thought about the mother who may have taken her daughter for the abortion, or the friend who counseled and or took her friend for the abortion. What about the doctors and/or nurses or the siblings of the aborted child who now have many questions.

The conversation has now begun or continues in the hearts and minds of all those to whom we spoke, emailed or just saw our posted flyers.  Secondly, the Afternoon itself touched those who were present deeply and profoundly. The power of the testimonials – the solace of the Intercessory Prayers – the quiet time of Adoration, broken only by the recitation of the Rosary and interspersed with moving instrumentals from the choir loft –
the blessed forgiveness and healing received in Reconciliation to the source and summit of our faith, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – the presence of Christ that afternoon was real, tangible and consoling. Everyone knew with an absolute certainty that though they had been in some way touched by abortion, they had this moment been definitively touched by Christ, who is the only one who can heal the brokenhearted and console those who mourn!

Our feedback at the end of the Afternoon was overwhelmingly positive… “Powerful!” – “Awesome!” – “I never thought about counselors and therapists being affected by abortion.” – “I felt like I have been touched by the hand of God” – “It was an honor to participate.” – “Please do this again.” – “There is no reason other parishes cannot do this.”

And this is our hope and our prayer, that other parishes will take this program and present it to their communities and it will bring the love of Christ to more and more people throughout our diocese. It was a humbling experience to see how God used us through this program to bring His desire for healing and mercy to all of us who have most assuredly been in some way touched by abortion! Thank you ,Theresa for following your own inspiration from the Holy Spirit and along with the Family Life Office bringing An Afternoon of Prayerful Remembrance & Intercession to our world.

 Sue Andrews & Tammy Moor

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Theresa as others have noted in their reviews….all of our Bethesda family, affiliates, retreat attendees, priests and seminarians were deeply moved by the most beautiful Inspired “Afternoon of Prayer and Intercession”. On my part, the residual graces continue to flow into my spirit and the joy of having shared and received this gift

Through you remains a treasure to me and to us all. Thank YOU for saying “YES” to Jesus Christ and being open to the Holy Spirit. We so wish you lived closer that

These few holy hours in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord and all components of your retreat could be repeated in parishes throughout Columbus. You have been so kind and gracious to not only share with us…but travel to be with and to guide us through the journey of family healing. Thank you.

Judy Schlueter
Bethesda Healing Ministry

 Theresa,

I just wanted to thank you for developing the Prayerful Remembrance service. The service we hosted last month was moving and beautiful.  I was pleased to have around 85 people attend.  I also invited local Christan organizations with post abortion reconciliation programs to have a table afterwards with information.  Thank you again for developing the prayer service and for sharing it so that others may experience its prayerfulness and powerfulness.
Rebecca Neimerg
Diocese of Austin, Texas

 On Saturday, January 21, as our second “An Afternoon…” was about to begin, Fr. Geno Sylva, Director of St. Paul Inside the Walls, asked what I thought.  My feeling was that if one person arrived, we should have the 3 hour time of prayer.  Father smiled a radiant smile and quietly said that’s how he felt too! (“Wherever two or more are gathered…”).  Everyone left the service with changed hearts, some with tears in their eyes, all expressing thanks for the experience.  May God be praised!

Marie Ryan
Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey

I want to thank you again for giving me the info about the Prayer Service on Saturday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  What a beautiful and inspirational program!  You did a great job, as did everyone, in getting the message across.  It was a very moving and emotional experience for me relating to all of the stories.  Again, thank you and God bless you and all of the people at Lumina.
Bob
Archdiocese of New York, New York

I simply thought the prayer service was beautiful! The testimonies were powerful.  The prayers of petition were powerful as well.  Beautifully inspired and written, they struck at the heart of deepest pain in each of those person’s experiences.  The whole service was filled with sacramental grace… all those sacraments going on!  It was a powerful morning of prayer for all of us, any of us, who have been affected, wounded, and scarred by abortion.  God’s mercy was tangible in those hours.
Terri
Diocese of Rockford, Illinois

The morning of prayer at St. Patrick’s was wonderful.  I couldn’t be there, but I watched it on EWTN.  I have to say, both my husband and I cried throughout most of the service.  The grandparents could have easily been us and after almost 25 years, we still find it very difficult to talk about.  God bless you and the Sisters for the good work you are doing to bring about an awareness of the need for healing and forgiveness.
Anne
Archdiocese of New York, NY

 

 Theresa, As you may be able to guess, I have a story I am simply not able to tell.  The word ‘choice’ is the last one I could use to describe abortion. As we prepared for the prayer service I thought it would be difficult for me. What I found the service to be was liberating. An energy returned to me. Having the “hidden stories” shared gave my own soul a new found freedom. God does write straight with wavy, broken  lines. 🙂 

 

May his peace envelope you today!