By Nadia Maria Smith
CS&T Staff Writer

A retreat for healing from post-abortive trauma will be held at Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown Feb. 20-22. Pauline Father Tadeusz Lizinczyk, the prior of the shrine, requested that a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat be offered there after he realized the need for post-abortion healing through the confession ministry, said Susan Fetta, the retreat’s site leader.

Rachel’s Vineyard, a King of Prussia based, nonprofit organization providing weekend retreats and support groups for spiritual and emotional healing after abortion, has been treating the emotional repercussions of abortion for the past 14 years.

A recent study by Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research confirms what retreat organizers know anecdotally: that women who have abortions are at a higher risk for mental health disorders such as suicide, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, agoraphobia, panic attacks and other problems.

Rachel’s Vineyard retreats create a place where inspaniduals can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion experiences. They are able to dismantle toxic secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety, Fetta added.

“We meet participants where they are,” she said. “We concentrate on the trauma, forgiveness and healing. It’s Christ-centered and geared to the senses. It is an incredible retreat.”

The retreat is not just for post-abortive women. Fathers, grandparents, siblings of aborted children and persons who have been involved in the abortion industry have sought peace and healing through Rachel’s Vineyard retreats.

“Abortion touches every single one of us in our society,” Fetta said.

Today, 600 Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are held annually in 47 states and 17 countries. More than 60,000 women and men have experienced healing through the organization’s work, Fetta said.

The retreat in Doylestown will be facilitated by Theresa Burke, who founded the organization with her husband, Kevin. It is a special treat, Fetta said, because Burke has been so busy training healthcare professionals, counselors and priests, she hasn’t been able to facilitate a retreat in close to 10 years.

For more information or to confidentially register for the retreat, visit or call Susan Fetta at (267) 880-3631.

CS&T staff writer Nadia Maria Smith may be reached at or (215) 965-4614.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat

Feb. 20 – 22
Shrine of Our Lady
of Czestochowa
Ferry Road
Doylestown, PA 18901