Saturday, July 22, 2017
Entering Canaan: Weekend for Siblings of Aborted Babies, Sept. 22-24, 2017
Theresa Bonopartis, Director
Lumina – Hope & Healing after Abortion
I often wonder if things would change if the true impact of even just abortion could be seen. Since 1973 there have been almost 60 million abortions in our country alone. Imagine that impact!
The detrimental impact on women has finally been recognized in many places and thankfully, men have also now come forward seeking healing. One area that still needs much work, however, is the effect of abortion on living siblings.
For the past seven years, Lumina has been offering “Entering Canaan” retreats for siblings. People have attended the sibling retreats from all over the country and Canada. As far as we know, we are the only ones holding specialized retreats just for siblings.
As each year passes, we come to recognize more and more the devastation abortion causes. We have had people as old as eighty who have been suffering alone for decades, as well as teens living in pain because of the knowledge of a sibling lost to abortion. (One woman in her 70’s drove to the retreat from Florida, she was so happy to finally find a place to come).
Many people have multiple lost siblings. Perhaps a mom aborted in high school, and then again in college, and dad also had an abortion in college. Maybe they then also aborted a child in their marriage. There often are several lost children only adding to the grief and guilt felt by the surviving sibling.
Sure, there are some who say it does not impact them. They argue that siblings are even grateful because they may not be here if their brother or sister was alive. But, deep inside there is that lingering hole that only the bond of siblings can bring.
Yet, as with healing from abortion, we have been blessed to see God work in the lives of those who have participated in the retreats. As we acknowledge their pain and bring them relationship in recognizing the dignity of their sibling while at the same time acknowledging their own dignity and worth, the balm of God’s grace begins to take hold.
Siblings are also able to express their feelings in regard to their parents by understanding why the abortion may have happened without condoning the act itself. Forgiveness is then able to begin freeing them to love and trust in their parents’ love for them.
This September we will hold our eighth sibling retreat. We pray that, as before, we will be blessed to experience with them, the mercy, and love of God as He reaches out to touch them with His grace and peace.
If you know anyone who is suffering as a sibling of an aborted baby, please tell them about our upcoming retreat, September 22-24, 2017. Fr. Fidelas Moscinski, CFR, will be the Spiritual Director. For more information or to register, please call Theresa at Lumina at 866-586-4621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Scholarships are available.