Sept. 28 Mass & Memorial Service Celebrates Mercy of God

PERRYSBURG, OH—One of the greatest losses a parent can face is the death of a child. Have you or someone you love experienced a loss due to a stillbirth, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, early infant death or abortion?

Please join us for a Mass & Memorial Service Celebrating the Mercy ofbaby God, on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., at St. Rose Parish, 215 E. Front Street, Perrysburg, OH. The Mass will be celebrated by Rev. George Wenzinger.

Testimonies from those who have experienced infant loss and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will follow the Mass at 7:30 p.m. Fellowship to follow in St. Rose’s Church Cafeteria. All are welcome.

For more information, call Clarissa Lapinski at 419-583-6817, or email her at clapinski@toledodiocese.org.

This event is sponsored by Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo Project Rachel ministry and the St. Rose Respect Life Committee.

 

Project Rachel Healing Retreat for Women Saturday, Aug. 26

Suffering from a past abortion? You’re not alone. Connect with local support and resources and explore other women’s experiences.

Begin your healing journey and experience God’s mercy on Saturday, August 26, 2017! Join our day-long “Entering Canaan” Day of Prayer and Healing Retreat for women, hosted by Project Rachel, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo. 

For morProject Rachel Logoe information and confidential reservations, please call 1-888-456-HOPE or 419-260-5811. Or email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org. Cost of retreat is $25.

The next Project Rachel Healing Retreat for Women will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018. A Project Rachel Healing Retreat for Men will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018. Visit hopeafterabortion.com 

Project Rachel Sponsors July 29 Life Runners Kickoff

SWANTON—Join us at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 29 at Oak Openings Metro Park, 4139 Girdham Rd., Swanton, OH. Come and see what this new family-friendly ministry’s all about! Open to all ages, 1 – 101!

Walk/RuLife Runnersn/Pray for the Unborn. Fr. Jeff Smith, from St. Joseph Parish, Maumee, will lead us in prayer as the Group’s Chaplain. Parking at Buehner Center.

Check out Toledo – NW OH LIFE Runners on Facebook!

To learn more about this event or the Toledo Diocese’s Life Runners Chapter, contact Clarissa Lapinski, Project Rachel Coordinator, at 419.583.6817; email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org.

 

Men's Day of Prayer & Healing - Feb. 18

Men suffer from abortion too!

If you are carrying the pain and sorrow of losing a child to abortion(s), you are not alone. Find support from other men who are suffering during our “Entering Canaan Men’s Day of Prayer and Healing,” on Saturday, February 18.

This day retreat is hosted by Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo’s Project Rachel ministry.

For more information and confidential reservations, please call Project Rachel Coordinator Clarissa Lapinski at 1-888-456-HOPE or email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org.

Come and experience the mercy of God!

Mass Celebrating the Mercy of God & Memorial Service

babyHave you or someone you love experienced a loss due to a stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, early infant death or abortion?

Join us for a 7 p.m. Mass Celebrating the Mercy of God, on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at St. Rose Parish, 215 E. Front Street, Perrysburg, OH. The presider at the Mass will be Bishop Daniel E. Thomas.

Testimonies from those who have experienced infant loss will follow the Mass during the 8 p.m. Memorial Service. All are welcome. Babysitting will be available. (more…)

Accepting Forgiveness and Forgiving Myself

“Twenty-two years ago, at the age of 16, I had an abortion.  For many years following my abortion I suffered greatly.  I struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, troubled relationships, among many other things.  The greatest struggle was being able to accept God’s forgiveness and forgiving myself for what I had done.

ClarissaI turned to my Church for help by contacting Project Rachel, and it changed my life.  After completing a recovery program, I felt God’s call to share my testimony and minister to the post-abortive.  Since then, I have shared my testimony at high schools, colleges, pregnancy centers and other pro-life events and groups.  I have also volunteered at Heartbeat of Toledo where I helped guide post abortive women through a Scripture-based recovery program.  After going through the healing process, I have gone on to have a wonderful marriage of 18 years, 5 children and a life of freedom through Christ Jesus.

On the day I called the Project Rachel Help Line, I was at my lowest point in my life. I had remembered seeing information throughout my life in different parish bulletins, and because of this, I knew my Church was here to help. Many men and women have said it took them years to finally make that call.

If you are hurting after an abortion, I invite you to reach out for help by contacting us at Project Rachel. You will have the opportunity to talk with post-abortive women and to be guided through the healing process.  Please call our local confidential help line at 1-888-456-HOPE or email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org.”

~ Clarissa Lapinski, Project Rachel Coordinator

 

Standing Tall and at Peace

At 22-years-old, I was pressured into having an abortion. I was a strong, good, Catholic young woman. I was not the kind of girl that found herself in this sort of situation. I lost hope, and I lost faith. I felt alone in the world. After months of struggling with the heartbreak of my loss, I looked for help. The first place I found was the last place I thought it would be – the Catholic Church. From my initial contact, I was respected, comforted and uplifted by the team at Project Rachel. I quickly met a wonderful, strong woman who had been through similar experiences. To this day, she is still an active influence in my life. After the creation of Fountain of Mercy, a support group for post-abortive women, I began to forgive myself and find my faith again.

I have learned that once done, abortion is something that can never be undone. However, with my faith, the support of Project Rachel, meeting other women with similar experiences, and finding the power to forgive – my life can be happy. I will always remember the life that was taken from me. I will always miss what I will never have with my child, but I have faith that through my life I can stand tall and at peace.

The healing I have done with the help of Project Rachel has been invaluable. I thank God everyday that I found the support I have and so quickly after my own experience. Too many women wait to find love, support and healing. Too many women wait – afraid, ashamed and heartbroken. Through my own experience I will tell you, waiting isn’t worth it. There are people that will love, protect and help you heal.

Project Rachel is a healing ministry to help women and men struggling with feelings of sorrow, regret, grief, isolation or confusion after an abortion – whether the abortion was recent or many years ago. Local confidential help is available to anyone and trained volunteers are ready to help you find peace and healing.

To contact Project Rachel, please call the local confidential Help Line at 1-888-456-HOPE or projectrachel@toledodiocese.org.

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

“My husband was on and off from his job. I was at home with my youngest son when he came home and wanted out of our marriage.”

Frightened and scared of what would happen, Rose didn’t tell her husband that she was pregnant with their third child. She was a stay-at-home mom. If her husband left, she had no other options.

Rose thought her husband had a difficult time at work and that it was a temporary phase. Eventually, he would calm down and everything would be fine. Rose kept quiet about the pregnancy and waited.

Project RachelWeeks later, there was no sign of a change from her husband. He still wanted a divorce. Rose was faced with telling her husband her secret.

“I don’t want to be married, and I don’t want the kid,” were the words Rose remembered after a final plea to her husband. Things took a sharp turn, and Rose was faced with several tough decisions.

“I knew I had to get out, get back to work and find a house. I had two sons at home. My oldest was finishing high school and my youngest was in kindergarten. My mother was very ill. Everything was falling apart. I wanted a quick way out.”

“I decided that I was going to have an abortion. I told my husband about my decision, and he said, ‘Fine. We’ll go together.’”

Rose was 10 weeks pregnant when she and her husband drove to the abortion clinic. After the procedure was done, Rose was on her own. Her husband left her that day.

“I got to the point where I was in such depression. If a baby sat next to me, I couldn’t handle it. I kept dealing with this over and over. My family knew about the abortion, but I never talked about it. I even thought about suicide.”

In the midst of the chaos, it was the voice of a sweet angel who turned things around for Rose.

“My oldest son came to me and said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t do anything crazy.’”

With those inspiring words, Rose started to seek help and understanding for the pain that she was feeling.

It would be over two decades before Rose could finally let go of her pain. Rose saw an announcement about the Project Rachel retreats in her parish bulletin, but it was a final push from her therapist that made her decision clear.

“I went to a Project Rachel retreat and thank God!”

“I met people who were able to put a name on that shame. They knew what I felt, and they knew what I had been through.”

Project Rachel is a post-abortive healing ministry offered by Catholic Charities. Project Rachel provides confidential help for those struggling with issues of grief, isolation, confusion, and regret after an abortion.

“At the retreat, I found hope, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, love and friendship. They all accepted me, and they encouraged me.”

As a result of her healing experience through Project Rachel, Rose is now a sidewalk counselor for Catholic Charities’ Respect Life program. Rose currently volunteers and prays outside of Toledo’s last abortion clinic and has allowed God to transform her pain into a testimony for the protection of the unborn.

“Let go and let God. Go to Project Rachel to get healing. God works in strange ways, and He has given us Project Rachel for help.”

“God has his arms wide open. Don’t walk, run. Run towards the Lord.”

Hurting after an abortion? Find local confidential counseling at 1-888-456-HOPE or visit our Project Rachel page.

I had my abortion over thirty years ago. I never talked to anyone about it, I just pushed it further and further inside of myself but it would come out and slap me in the face and surface as anger and insecurities. I looked at myself as a nothing, not having any worth and I ended up hating myself for all the anger inside of me and how it took a toll on my life. Finally eight years ago I turned to God and cried out for help. He embraced me with his love and introduced me to Jesus whom I’d never talked with before. I committed myself to him and he directed me to a spiritual director who taught me to pray and through those prayers Jesus introduced me to my son, Jeff. It was such a beautiful experience as Jesus and Jeff both told me that they had forgiven me and I believed them but I had to take the long walk to forgiving myself and to healing from all the years I lived in silence. I became involved with Project Rachel and finally after years of never talking to anyone about my abortion I met woman who felt exactly the same way I did about taking the life of their child. It was amazing to know that I was no longer alone with my secret but was able to talk with someone who knew how I felt. I went through the bible study and learned of all the people of the past who had sinned against God yet God called them by name to repent and he forgave them and they went on to become the Saints that we can turn to and learn from as they know too how we feel as our stories are very similar. I found that God doesn’t want us to hold onto our sins but to let them go, to free us from our pain so that we can be open to his Hill and where he needs us in our life. When we carry around the burden of our sin we cannot hear God and accept his forgiveness. It takes time and patience with yourself to forgive and to heal. It took me six years to find peace with my abortion but there are times when something will occur to bring it back but now I know God, his son and the Holy Spirit are with me and I can find peace again with them very quickly.

I had an abortion my senior year in high school. I found out I was pregnant and was petrified to tell my family, so I didn’t. My boyfriend at the time said maybe I should have an abortion.

I was so scared and felt so alone in my decision. I called an abortion clinic and skipped school to meet with them. They assured me that I would be alright, and that I had bright future ahead of me, this was just not the right time to have a baby. I trusted them because they were older than me, I really even thought they cared about my well being.

They told me I didn’t have to tell my parents even though I was a minor, as long as I could get it approved through the court system. I skipped even more school and went in front of a judge with my case. He granted that I could have my abortion without my parent’s consent, and I had it the next week.

I was in the recovery room after they finished the abortion and I remember feeling like I was dead inside. I felt lost, suicidal, and not like me anymore. I lost my self esteem, my confidence, I lost Molly!

The adults at the clinic told me I would have a bright future, when in reality I did not want to live at all.

When I couldn’t bare the pain anymore I screamed out to God to forgive me for what I did, and soon after God converted me to Catholicism. Through the ministry of the church I had found hope, guidance, and strength.

Soon I found out about Project Rachel and joined them on a retreat. Here I was surrounded by other women that had gone through an abortion. I was not alone anymore. I left the retreat with a new outlook on myself and the world around me. I loved myself again.

I still have sad times concerning my abortion, but I learned that my baby was with God, and I asked my child to forgive me for what I had done. I named my baby and began praying for him.

Today I am still healing, I still cry, but I can honestly say I love life. I am driven to be pro-life, and I can only hope to make a difference in the world.

Abortion not only took my baby’s life, but it almost took mine. I am thankful for the Church and Her ministry, for teaching me to love myself, and to live for God.

“A friend told me about La Posada. I came and I was surprised because it doesn’t look like a shelter. It looks just like a home. I was so glad when they told me we could stay. They’ve been so good to me. Honestly, none of this would be happening if I hadn’t been here. They’ve helped me so much.” – Marquita, La Posada resident

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio

 

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