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Find Calm for Your Mind & Peace for Your Soul

A confidential, therapeutic weekend retreat for anyone impacted by an abortion experience.

Rachel's Vineyard Retreats - Kelowna

  • What time does the retreat start and end?
    The retreat starts at 1:00 pm on Friday and ends at 4:00 pm on Sunday.
  • What are the accommodations like?
    Our venue, the peaceful Seton House of Prayer is nestled in the hills above Kettle Valley in Kelowna and offers simple yet comfortable accommodations.
  • What if I have dietary restrictions?
    We are able to accommodate dietary needs – just let our team know ahead of time.
  • How do I know if this retreat is for me?
    Contact our site leader to learn more about our Retreat and if it would be helpful for you. Call Vicki at (250) 762-2273 for a confidential conversation.
  • How do I refer a friend who is suffering after an abortion?
    Share our website with your friend who may need support after an abortion and encourage them to contact us for a confidential conversation about the retreat.
  • Why is there a need for post abortion healing?
    Often, post abortion symptoms don’t fade over time, but can persist for long periods. Putting off the healing process can make these feelings intensify and become hard to handle. It can become easy to feel isolated and alone. Seeking help to process and integrate emotions in a confidential, non-judgmental space is a positive step toward healing and restoration.
  • What is post abortion stress syndrome?
    Post abortion trauma is presently understood to be a type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • How do I know if I have post abortion trauma?
    Post abortion trauma symptoms and severity will vary with the individual but can include; guilt, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol and drug abuse, low self-esteem, insomnia, inability to forgive oneself, spiritual divorce, anger, nightmares, flashbacks and triggers. The cardinal features are denial and suppression, meaning most women and men do not consciously connect the problems they are experiencing with their abortions.
  • What are some common effects of abortion on men?
    Men may experience the following: excessive anger, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, feelings of powerlessness, worrying, sadness, fear of failure, depression, confusion, guilt, shame, numbness, sense of worthlessness, objectifying women and suicidal thoughts.
  • Is it normal to feel affected by an abortion years or decades later?
    Abortion grief/ trauma tends to (but not always) have a delayed onset (months/ years) that is often precipitated by a triggering event.
  • Who can I talk to about the retreat?
    The site leader/ coordinator would be happy to speak with you. Additionally, former participants are available to chat and provide information about their retreat experience.
  • Will it be uncomfortable to be with a group of strangers?
    Many retreat participants acknowledge experiencing some anxiety and uncertainty upon their arrival to Seton House, but share that over the course of the weekend they become relaxed and comfortable with the team and other candidates as they come to know and help one another.
  • What if I can’t afford the retreat fee?
    No one will be turned away due to a lack of finances. Payment can be made in installments. Also, financial assistance may be available. Our site leader will be happy to discuss this with you while registering for the retreat.
  • Can I attend a retreat with my partner?
    Yes, couples who attend a retreat report an increase in communication, intimacy and trust in their relationship areas negatively impacted by abortion. We understand that each couple is different. There are situations where attending as a couple is not possible or desirable, and sometimes each person can be at a different stage of their healing journey. However, don’t be afraid to ask your spouse/ partner to accompany you on the retreat, especially if you are both parents of an aborted child. Even if your partner was not involved in the abortion(s), there is still a great benefit to attending the retreat together.
  • Why is it called Rachel’s Vineyard?
    The name comes from Jeramiah 31:15-17, “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, because they are no more. Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes, the sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord… There is hope for your future, says the Lord”. Dr. Theresa Burke feels that this particular scripture expresses the hearts of those who grieve for their lost children.
  • Who can attend?
    Couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as those who have been involved in the abortion industry, have come to Rachel’s Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing.
  • How did Rachel’s Vineyard get started?
    Dr. Theresa Burke of Philadelphia, PA is the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard. She began offering weekend retreats in 1995. Without a budget, office or advertising, Rachel’s Vineyard became a grassroots outreach. By word of mouth only, the retreats began to spread across the country due to their dramatic effectiveness. From 18 retreats in 1999, to hundreds now held annually worldwide, it is estimated that over 250,000 people around the world have participated in a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat.
  • Do I have to be religious to attend?
    Rachel’s Vineyard Kelowna is a Catholic retreat however everyone is welcomed and invited to come. Our retreat is open to all faiths. Those with no particular faith expression also do well on the retreat. No one is ever asked to do or participate in anything they are not comfortable with.
  • What if I feel afraid or reluctant to attend and open up?
    You may be able to relate to the following question addressed to Dr. Theresa Burke… “I am looking into attending a retreat but am reluctant to do so because I have had more than one abortion. I am afraid that I may be the only one and will be judged differently or singled out in some way, given my experience. I feel horrible about what I have done; I struggle to forgive myself and am growing weary of trying to live with this burden. Can you help?” Response from Dr. Burke… “Thank you for visiting our website. You may be surprised to learn that multiple abortions are very common. It is not unusual to have retreats where most of the participants have had more than one abortion. In fact, repetition is one of the greatest indicators and most reliable demonstration that you have experienced trauma. This tendency to enter patterns of repeat pregnancies and abortions is often related to unresolved feelings, unhealed events, memories and feelings that have never been processed or integrated into your life. Many times, they are related to your first abortion experience. Without healing from this initial painful and traumatic experience, many women go on to have repeat abortions, and with each abortion there can be an intensification of the painful feelings and reactions associated with each loss. The flip side of intensification is complete numbing. A robotic type of repetition which feels dissociated from all feeling and emotion. If you’d like to read more about these types of trauma response patterns, you will find extremely helpful information in the book Forbidden Grief - The Unspoken Pain of Abortion. The inability to forgive oneself is also a very common reaction to participation in abortion. This is often related to the need to go through a healing process that allows one to safely, but effectively, enter into the grieving process as you surface and release buried emotions. The grief work makes room in our hearts so we can receive the grace of forgiveness. Until that is done, many people struggle to forgive themselves. I encourage you to attend a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. Even if it requires some travel, it would be well worth it. Rachel’s Vineyard is especially helpful for those who have tremendous difficulty forgiving themselves or being able to embrace the forgiveness of God. I guess you could say that this is our specialty!” You will find you are not alone, that there will be no judgment or condemnation, and you will find healing and peace. The retreat will help your soul open like a flower, and your heart will be able to receive and really feel the forgiveness of God in that deep place where you need to experience it. The grief work is the hardest part, but Rachel’s Vineyard will provide a very safe, structured, tried and true process that will support you in getting to the other side of your grief. I can assure you that it is very unlikely that you will be the only one on Rachel’s Vineyard retreat with a history of multiple abortions. In the most heartbreaking cases, we’ve had women with 12-15 abortions attend, so don’t be afraid. You will not be judged. All of us are here to help you heal."
  • I had a medical abortion. I can’t get the image of my aborted baby out of my mind. Is there hope for me to recover from this trauma?
    Yes, on the retreat you will be supported, cared for and helped with the trauma you have experienced. Those who have experienced a surgical or a medical abortion report that the retreat has helped them deal with their trauma immensely.
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