Catherine, 41, lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband, three kids (4, 6 and 9) a pound dog, and a stray cat. A former middle school English teacher, she spends her time driving all day to dentist's appointments, flag football games and Girl Scouts. She had an abortion at the age of 24 and rarely spoke of it again until she attended a Rachel's Vineyard weekend. Catherine attended the Rachel's Vineyard Leadership Conference training this past summer and has helped bring the first RV retreat to Tennessee. When not spending time with her kids, she volunteers at Catholic Charities' Pregnancy Help Center and is the Project Rachel program coordinator. Besides her husband, kids and Rachel's Vineyard, she's passionate about scrapbooking, reading (Anne Tyler books), music (Stevie Nicks) and professional football, especially Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
John is 45. He and his wife live with two of their children in Virginia, and their oldest son is in the United States Marine Corps. He is a regional vice president of service within the office products industry. John and his wife have been married for 25 years. They had an abortion together 28 years ago in 1975. After 25 years of silence between them about their abortion experience (not one word of it spoken for 25 years), John dared to break the silence after seeing a notice for a Rachel's Vineyard retreat. They discovered a shared desire to break the silence and to seek understanding of why. Together, they experienced the healing Grace of God's reconciling love for them and felt the love between them grow in the truth and fullness of acknowledged life. Today, they share a vocation together in post-abortion ministry.
Shelley is 47. She and her husband of 22 years have four children and four grandchildren. Shelley works full-time as a registered nurse and volunteers with Pregnancy Helpline. She had two abortions, at ages 17 and 21. Shelley has attended the Rachel's Vineyard national leadership conference and is now a retreat team facilitator. "My favorite thing to do is spend time with my children and grandchildren. I relax with needlepoint, ceramics, books, and a beautiful view of the mountains." She recommends "The Greatest Miracle in the World" by Og Mandino, "Entertaining Angels" (the movie based on the life of Dorothy Day), the Divine Mercy chaplet, and is devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Kathryn is a doula -- a person who attends births to support the laboring mother. She is also a certified labor doula trainer and a certified postpartum doula trainer. Her special interest and experience is in supporting women through high risk pregnancies. Kathryn has lost children through abortion, miscarriage and premature birth. She and her husband are licensed ministers and attend Covenant Bible Church in North Carolina. Kathryn also designs jewelry, writes, composes, sings, and loves cooking dinner for friends. Kathryn has attended the Rachel's Vineyard retreat weekend, and the Rachel's Vineyard national leadership training.
Scott is 45 years old is married and has one daughter. He is an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies and operates a soup kitchen on skid row in a major city. He does some construction work on the side in the summer time. He experienced an abortion in his life 25 years ago when he allowed his girlfriend to abort their child without resistance. The ensuing guilt, anxiety and grief drove him to seek healing from the God of his fathers. The forgiveness and help he received lead him to follow his God into the ministry. He enjoys going on hikes with his daughter who is four years old.
Graham is 56 years old, twice married, and lives near Portland, Oregon. More than 30 years ago, he did not stop the abortion that cost him his only biological child and eventually the relationship with that child's mother. After the abortion, Graham told no one, not family, not friends, not his first wife, nor his current wife of 20 years. He suffered alone in denial of the grief and shame caused by the abortion. Through God's Grace and Love, Graham was led, in mid-2006, to Calvary Chapel, a non-denominational Christian fellowship, where a series of events began that led him to a Rachel's Vineyard retreat in 2007 where his healing journey began in earnest. Since that retreat, Graham has been active with the Oregon Rachel's Vineyard team, and has participated in several radio and television interviews discussing the importance of a man's acknowledgement of his abortion and the necessity for healing the grief and other emotions that linger long after the event.