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Training planned for post-abortion ministry

The founder and former director of Project Rachel will lead workshops on post-abortion healing May 5-6 at St. Patrick Parish in Gretna.

Vicki Thorn will cover topics including biochemistry of pregnancy and sex, assisting women who recently had an abortion, teen decision making and abortion, the impact of abortion on fathers, siblings and others, and the process of healing.

The workshops will cover introductory topics on the first day, then delve more deeply the second day into issues of counseling and healing, organizers said.

Thorn founded Project Rachel in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1984, and the post-abortion ministry has grown to include efforts in dioceses across the country, including the Archdiocese of Omaha and dioceses of Lincoln and Grand Island through the Nebraska Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, which is sponsoring the workshops.

A training session also will be held May 4 in Grand Island diocese’s Holy Spirit Parish in North Platte.

Anyone may attend, including priests, counselors, others involved in ministry and the mental health professions, said Tom Venzor, director of pro-life activities in his role as associate director for pro-life and family with the bishops’ Nebraska Catholic Conference. The workshop qualifies for continuing education hours for mental health professionals.

"The training workshops are part of our regular efforts to provide education on post-abortion healing," Venzor said. "Most especially, we wanted to highlight this effort during this Year of Mercy as the church invites all to experience the healing of Christ, especially those who have experienced the physical, emotional, and spiritual hurt and trauma of abortion."


WHAT: Post-abortion healing workshops.

WHERE: St. Patrick Parish Center, 508 W. Angus Road, Gretna

WHEN: May 5-6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

WHO: Presenter is Vicki Thorn, founder and former director of Project Rachel

COST: $35 for a single session; $55 for both sessions. Includes lunch.

REGISTER: Mail to Nebraska Catholic Conference c/o Tom Venzor, 215 Centennial Mall S., Suite 310, Lincoln NE 68508; or email at

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