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I was going to try to keep my LJ up and running, but... I feel like I never have anything interesting to post here any more.

I'm going to keep it, at least for a while, mainly so I can keep up with my LJ friends. And I think I will make it accessible to LJ friends only. I promise that visitors from outside LJ will not be missing anything.

Remember my other blog. Also remember you can always email me. Email is nice.

Post-abortion healing: it is possible

[I posted this to my other blog, but thought I would put it here as well... just in case it could help somebody in need.]

I attended a meeting of my parish pro-life group this morning, and our guest speaker was a wonderful lady named Caryn, who is the director of our local Abortion AfterCare-Healing ministry (an affiliate of the international Project Rachel and Rachel’s Vineyard ministries). She spoke about the after-effects of abortion, including Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS)–a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve heard of how abortion affects women–and everybody close to them. But Caryn’s presentation really moved me and brought the issue home for me. I struggled to hold back tears as I listened. I just didn’t fully realize how many forms of suffering abortion causes, and the degree to which so many people suffer alone and in silence.

I also felt so blessed to know that our Church provides wonderful and realistic opportunities for healing for women and men who have been harmed by abortion. I remember the first time I saw a little spot about the Rachel ministries in my parish bulletin. It was when I had very recently returned to the Church, and still had not worked through my pro-choice stance. I was shocked that the Catholic Church, of all things, provided care for women who had had abortions. I had always thought of the Church as being very judgmental toward anybody involved with abortion. But as I have learned time and time again since then, the Church is really about mercy and healing. About being able to get up again and start living anew.

Sadly, as Caryn said, many women likely feel the same way. They don’t realize that they can turn to the Church without facing judgment and an “I told you so,” “you made your bed, now lie in it” attitude. They don’t know who they can turn to. They suffer alone, in silence. Having experienced grief of my own, I can’t imagine the pain and torment of that. My grief was not abortion-related, and I had plenty of good people to turn to for help. I was never completely alone and consigned to silence.

To be fair, there are no doubt some Catholics and people within the pro-life movement at large who also don’t realize that these women need–and deserve–their love, compassion, and assistance. And that if we are pro-life, then mercy and healing must be part of our stance and our way of life.

The Rachel ministries, and their local affiliates, really do provide options for healing. They work with all kinds of women–and men–people of every age, race, walk of life, and religion. It is a Catholic ministry, but it is not only for Catholics. They provide one-on-one assistance with therapists and/or priests, they provide weekend retreats with small groups, they help address after-effects such as the severe depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and sexual or relational problems. They can help Catholics who have had or provided abortions to be freed of their sin and guilt, to be reconciled with God, and to be fully restored to communion with the Church. They can tailor services to meet the needs of each person who contacts them.

They clearly do outstanding work. And I just wanted to put this out there in case it could help somebody. If you or somebody you know is suffering the often literally unspeakable grief of abortion, please seek out your local Rachel ministries. Or if not ready, then at least remember that they are there.

Tribute to a hero

In Memoriam
Thomas E. Sabella

New York Fire Department, Manhattan, Div. 03, Ladder 13
Died at the World Trade Center, North Tower
September 11, 2001


44-year-old Thomas Sabella was already a hero on September 11, 2001. He had been a New York City firefighter for 18 years, risking his life every day in service to his fellow man and to his city. In November 1998, he had lowered himself from the roof of a burning 6-story building in order to rescue someone trapped on the 5th floor. On the morning of September 11, 2001, he and his FDNY unit--one of the first to arrive at the Twin Towers--had already rescued scores of people from inside the North Tower.

And, despite warnings that the building was faltering, they were on their way to rescue more people when the immense tower collapsed, trapping Thomas and eight of his colleagues inside a stairwell.

The man responsible for these courageous deeds was family-oriented, humble, generous, spirited, and very talented. Thomas was born in Brooklyn, but a resident of Staten Island from the age of 5. Born to Edward and Ann Sabella, Thomas also had a brother, Charles, and a sister, Loretta. He graduated from Susan Wagner High School, and married his high school sweetheart, Diana (nee Cerda). They had two children, Nicole and James, aged 10 and 6 at the time they suffered the loss of their devoted father. He was dedicated to spending plenty of time and energy with them.

Thomas was skilled at construction work and welding, and had worked as a welder before joining the FDNY. He didn't forget his skills, and took pride in rebuilding and adding onto an old home. He enjoyed growing his own vegetables, cooking, and making his own wine. He was a passionate man, and always up for trying new things. If he didn't succeed, he kept trying, never getting discouraged.

May our hero and brother Thomas rest in peace and eternal light, and may his family be always consoled with peace and comfort. Let us never forget our American brothers and sisters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Let us take courage from them, and love the nation they loved. May they watch over us and our nation in these uncertain times. ~Amen~

Read more about Thomas E. Sabella
Find other tributes to 9/11 victims via The 2,996 Project

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