Project Rachel ministers to those impacted by abortion

Stephanie Nemechek is program director for Project Rachel, a healing ministry of the Diocese of Wichita.

There is no stronger voice for the unborn than the Catholic Church. And there is no stronger advocate for forgiveness and healing for those who have been associated with an abortion than the Catholic Church.

Advocating for the Diocese of Wichita is Stephanie Nemechek, program director for Project Rachel, a healing ministry for those who have been impacted by abortion.

Project Rachel, coordinated nationally by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a network of specially trained priests, religious, counselors, and laypersons who provide care for those suffering from the aftermath of abortion.

Works with individuals

Nemecheck, a licensed clinical psychotherapist, said she is able to work with people individually. “We also have mentors, women that are post-abortive, who are willing to work with women, talk with women. This is often really helpful. It gives people the opportunity to talk with someone who’s already experienced what they’re going through.”

The diocesan ministry also offers group support through Hope Lives, which meets monthly from September through May. A related group, a Hope Lives Bible Study, is also available.

“These are extremely beneficial for people who have been impacted by abortion,” she said. “The women that are in the group are amazing. They’re very supportive of one another. They are very accepting as new people come into the group. I’ve seen so much growth in the women that are a part of the monthly support gathering.”

Retreats aid in healing

Many women have found Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats to be very helpful in their healing.

“It’s a weekend-long, that allows for spiritual healing as well as an emotional healing,” Nemechek said. “During that time, women and men are allowed to really develop the closeness with the child that they lost.”

Many women have shared how phenomenal that weekend was for them, she said. “The experience that they’ve had of developing a closeness with Christ – feeling true forgiveness. A major part of post-abortive healing is experiencing God’s mercy.”

All services are free and confidential, Nemechek said. “Many, many times the people who have reached out to us have been suffering in silence for years with this secret that culturally they didn’t feel safe to disclose. Project Rachel provides people with an opportunity to safely open up about this deep-seated issue.”

Prayer is essential

Prayer is an important component of the ministry, she added.

“I truly believe prayer is essential in the healing of post-abortive women and men. It involves such spiritual healing as well as emotional healing. So we have a large group of women and men that are praying for us, praying for the ministry, praying for women and men that have started the healing process, praying for those who have not yet begun on that journey.”

The ministry also has priests available for confession, Nemechek said. “We always have priests that are interested in helping people to heal spiritually.”