"How could I have the right to grieve?"
November 20, 2014
For one day, fourteen men who didn’t know they had the right to grieve, the hope to be forgiven or the ability to forgive came together to find healing at a Proyecto José Retreat for men suffering from the loss of a child through abortion. It was only the second of its kind in the Diocese of Dallas (and the first in Spanish!).
Before they arrived, the men were blanketed in prayer by several groups including the ever-faithful Knights of Columbus.
At the beginning of the day, a caravan of fourteen pick-up trucks slowly made their way into the retreat facility parking lot, representing fourteen men who had made the very difficult decision to acknowledge the great loss they had suffered and to open their hearts to God. They had participated in different ways in the loss of their child to abortion, with one universal connection. The pain was stuffed deep inside where no one could go… no one except God. Some of them had participated actively in the abortion decision, some participated with their silence, while others simply married into the story. All fourteen men, with different stories were united in a common prayer of hope for forgiveness and reconciliation. They came with curiosity to see if this was all really true… a place of healing for men and by men where God would open His arms wide to receive them.
One man shared his disbelief: “I didn’t carry the child within, so how could I have the right to grieve? I had heard about Proyecto José but I kept telling myself it was not for me. But then, at my parish, I saw the flyer hanging there inviting me to Proyecto José. I realized that the time had come. God wanted this healing for me too.”
Over the course of the day, a new brotherhood was formed -- in a place where these men could share what had never been shared before with those who would understand them the most. There was no judgment. No barriers. No limitations to the sharing or the acceptance. They were invited to empty themselves and then be filled by God’s healing love. Together they reclaimed what was lost the day their child was aborted -- their natural instinct to protect and provide for their children ... there manhood ...there fatherhood.
At the end of the retreat, fourteen trucks headed back into the world, this time carrying fourteen reconciled hearts full of joy! These men returned to their families as renewed heads of their home, parish groups and pillars of the community. Proyecto José, under the protection of its patron St. Joseph, brought fourteen men into one room where God could remind them who He had created them to be: Men of God!
Praise God for the healing that has taken place!! And as we return to the vineyard to prepare for next Rachel's Vineyard and Project Joseph retreats, we continue with our prayers for all those who found healing on Proyecto José 2014. St. Joseph, pray for us.
By Eileen KuhlmannAbortion AfterCare-Healing / The Rachel Ministries Director
Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas
Are you or someone you know suffering from an abortion? We can help.
For information about weekend retreats for women and men, visit www.racheldallas.org.
For informaiton about one-day retreats for men only, visit www.projectjosphedallas.org.
All inquiries are strictly confidential.
Tags: Project Joseph