The Diocese of Ogdensburg is an accredited Rachel’s Vineyard site. The retreat location is now listed on the national website: www.rachelsvineyard.org.
This accreditation comes after the Diocese has met the requirements established by National Rachel’s Vineyard. Each retreat team member had their own Rachel’s Vineyard retreat experience, attending retreats in New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The retreat coordinator and facilitator have served as helpers on a retreat as well. Three team members attended the National Leadership Training Conference in June.
Two priests are trained for this ministry in our diocese, Fr. Mark Reilly and Fr. Bryan Stitt. Dale Barr, Eastern Ontario Silent No More Awareness Coordinator serves as the retreat facilitator. Vickie Agresta, a licensed clinician, serves as the retreat counselor. Colleen Miner, Respect Life director, serves as the retreat coordinator.
Rachel’s Vineyard is a three-day retreat program, open to mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children as well as those who have worked in the abortion industry. The weekend helps retreatants begin healing from their loss through group sharing, a memorial service and Mass. It is an intense weekend emotionally, mentally and spiritually but the results of God’s mercy & grace are amazing.
The retreat is offered each spring and fall at the Guggenheim Lodge in Saranac Lake. The retreat location is a private, Adirondack Great Camp style facility on the shores of lower Saranac Lake. Each room has two double beds, bathroom and shower facility. The $150 retreat fee includes all retreat materials, lodging and meals. Scholarships are available.
"I can't even begin to tell you the immensity and depth of the transformation of my relationship with Jesus and His Beautiful Holy Mother since the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat a year ago. Finally, I was freed by the Holy Spirit to receive the boundlessly generous forgiveness and mercy of Jesus, our Savior and King. I am so grateful for the retreat and for the long awaited peace in my heart.
"43% of women have had an abortion by the age of 45. ~ Alan Guttmacher Institute
Have you attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat and would like to stay connected with past retreatants? Join "Companions on the Journey", an online community exclusively for post-abortive women and men who have attended a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat. Visit this link to sign up!
(Written by 2008 Retreatant)
On that day so long ago You went to be with Jesus He welcomed you with open arms, All God’s creation is so precious. I was blind, I could not see, My life was dark and dreary. At times I felt I could not go on I was too sad and weary. Something began to stir in me, I needed to see the light. I began on a journey of healing From the darkness into daylight. I know now it was you, my dear Who nudged me on that day. You knew it was Jesus I needed to find, So you helped me on my way. You have been watching over me, With Jesus all these years. You were here with me this weekend, Holding my hand through all the tears. Theresa Mary I love you. I will pray with you each day. You are my guardian angel. Thank you for helping me find my way. You are a very special part of me. You’ll be in my heart forever. I have a special hug for you, The day we meet in Heaven.
Prayers pulse like waves in the ocean, Channeling, surging through me, A torrent of joy, A sweet rushing in my veins.
You’ve changed, you’ve changed – a life beat.
My heart is wide open, My heart burns within me, Lord – pour the newness into me, Immerse me in your glory, I wish to bathe in the rivers of life.
I soak you in – my tears change to wine. Accept them, transform them, Palms up to the sky, I surrender myself.
The balsam wind blows across the lake. Its breath settles into my heart. I let my sins drift apart like ashes falling.
By the crackling fire, I decide to be new. I throw the stone away.
I feel the old layers crumble - I see the world through new eyes, a lens of God.
Threads of water, wind and fire twine around my heart, and cascade into my spirit. A trinity baptism.
I have awakened
Rachel and Rose
There were two little girls named Rachel & Rose, Who had been lost so many years ago. Their mother had been searching for them, looking high and low. Then one day in the mountains, in a cabin, on a lake, The mom saw a great light and she knew the right road to take. She found them with Jesus and was happy as can be; He was holding them in His arms – oh so tenderly.
October 2007 First Diocese of Ogdensburg Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat