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Thanksgiving Greetings
to our English-speaking friends...

from the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission!

After a summer that seemed to never end in southern Italy, November finally ushered in the Fall, bringing autumn's grape and olive harvest:

"Primitivo" grapes being picked in the vineyards just a few kilometres from our home and Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission office in Puglia, Italy.

Domenico's cousin just this week gave us a bottle of fresh-picked olive oil from his small plot of land outside the city.

As I write we are preparing for our next retreat to be held on what in the States is Thanksgiving weekend. The calendar offers a fitting coincidence as Gratitude is one of the principal sentiments that our participants (both women and men) express for the companionship and community they find in the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission, as they embark on or continue their journey toward healing after abortion.

Is the Italy Mission New to you?
As you consider supporting our work, click here to read the brief history of how we began!


The Year 2017 has been about much more than just healing retreats, though!

Summer was a time of particularly intense activity, not only with a full July retreat, but with our first-ever participation in 2 marvelous outreach opportunities carried out at a national level:

June 2017, Rome
Italy Mission leaders Monika and Domenico with priest d. Rito and former participants,
a married couple, after our workshop given at the June 2017 "Mistero Grande"
Marriage Preparation and Enrichment National Conference

A couple attending the workshop that day, thanks to their priest's invitation, participated in our July retreat after a late-term "therapeutic" abortion.
Our November retreat will have married participants who also learned of our ministry through our presence at that Conference.


In late June Domenico and I had a much-visited info table and gave a workshop with a married couple (past retreat participants) at the annual conference of the "Mistero Grande" marriage ministry. The name is taken from St. Paul's "great mystery" referring to marriage as an ongoing incarnation called to symbolize and make present in the world the love relationship between Christ and his Church. This pioneering marriage preparation and enrichment program is an Italian inculturation of an Anglican initiative started in Britain. It has strongly ecumenical ties, which are a unique blessing for Italy! One of our clergy collaborators works not only with us, but with this ministry and with Retrouvaille (for marriages in crisis). We are so very encouraged to have these gifted clergy collaborators!!

Italy Mission founder and director Monika Rodman Montanaro with our Franciscan collaborator, fra Daniele
September 2017

In late September, thanks to one of our clergy collaborators (a Franciscan friar in Bologna) and the Poor Clare sisters in Bologna's city center, together with over 15 past participants who came from all over Italy we did a 3-day outreach Franciscan Festival in Bologna's Center Square, the Piazza Maggiore. For this event we developed new materials to reach the many many people in this, Italy's most prominent university city (think Berkeley back in the 70's!) . To this day the ethos there is strongly communist, and while many reject "the Church", almost all love St. Francis as a symbol of a "different" sort of Christianity.

Our exhibit (twice this size on a highly visible corner) offered not only printed materials
but also a chance to be cared for with a drop of handcream or a spray of rosewater.

Our ambassadors in this way had time to offer a lovely postcard created for the event,
and often ended up speaking at length with passers-by,
who often were stunned that our volunteers had been through this experience themselves.

Monika and Domenico with past-participant ambassadors at Bologna's Franciscan Festival
(individuals, 2 married couples and a father-daughter team)
September 2017

Aerial view of Bologna, Italy

Monika and Domenico before the July retreat at the Poor Clares convent in downtown Bologna
The sisters helped sponsor our outreach at this Fall's Franciscan Festival.
"Grazie, sorelle!"

The cloistered sisters who took a collection for us at one of the new sisters' celebration of vows, (see above) are by no means "removed" from the world! They know and love God's wounded world, and the younger sisters personally have friends wounded by abortion. Thus their interest that led to our 2-hour meeting and their assistance in sponsoring our presence at the Franciscan Festival! Thank you, Poor Clares! Pray with us and for us! 

"We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way."
- St. Francis of Assisi

The Year 2017 review continues:


The month of May marked our 3rd annual mission trip to Rome for a day of outreach at Italy's March for Life was undoubtedly a success! Several religious sisters (two of whom have also participated in our retreat) joined past participants in distributing materials before, during and after the walk. One of our former participants, whom we'd not seen for 6 months, remarked that since the retreat her personal physician, whom she used to visit frequently with various problems, had run into her and joked she must have changed doctors because he'd not seen her for months! Such can be the amazing effects of releasing and resolving old hurts such as abortion wounds, and we rejoice to hear such stories! This single mom radiates joy and tranquillity and is continuing with diligence the spiritual path on which she's embarked.

March 2017 Rome seminar "The Experience of Abortion"
Italy Mission founder and director Monika Rodman Montanaro with 2 collaborators.
Several former participants of our program attended this public event and spoke of their experience.

In March 2017 a former retreat participant and one of our collaborating psychologists joined Monika on a 4-hour public event discussing "The Experience of Abortion", sponsored by Rome's John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family. Under a newly appointed president, the Institute is in a stage of transition, so this event represented an opportunity to continue cultivating our 5-year relationship with this graduate school that trains clergy and laity from Italy and other countries.

In February Monika was in California helping her father with medical treatments and took advantage of the opportunity to join Rachel's Vineyard foundress Dr. Theresa Burke, who came from Philadelphia to give two talks at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The three days spent together offered a long overdue chance to share experiences and exchange ideas.

February 2017, Anaheim, California
Dr. Theresa Burke and Monika Rodman Montanaro meet at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, 
where Dr. Burke gave two workshops on abortion trauma and healing.

A rare quiet moment during the 3 days Dr. Burke and Monika Rodman were together at the Anaheim Convention Ceter.
There Dr. Burke also met with two Southern California Rachel's Vineyard retreat teams.

In 2017 we've continued to welcome an increased number of participants who've arrived less than a year after their abortion experience,
as well as some younger women.

The Year- End 2017 Response Form details how to make a tax-deductible Gift to the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission any time this year, to be sent by check to my father, who will forward all gifts to Colorado. (PLEASE NOTE THIS CHANGE: My stateside assistant these past years, Tara Somerday, has recently moved from Fremont, CA to Texas and is presently unable to process our gifts, so my father has graciously agreed to do so at present.)

Those who wish to make a credit card donation (and our few English-speaking friends here in Europe) may instead make a (non-tax-deductible) donation to the Italy Mission by PayPal. Such a gift will be deposited in Euros directly into our Italian account dedicated exclusively to this apostolate.

In short, I hope that as the Year of Grace 2017 ends and Year 2018 prepares to unfold, you will renew - or begin - your partnership in the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission!

Is the Italy Mission New to you?
As you consider supporting our work, click here to read the brief history of how we began!

Mini-POSTER: a 1-page summary of our work! (PDF)

Italian women and men share their abortion stories
Meet some of those we've served in these first years of the Italy Mission....

Year 2016 summary:

The Jubilee Year of Mercy allowed us to focus in 2016 on clergy outreach, and we are continuing to build up this element of our apostolate in 2017. We plan to
disseminate even more widely the materials we've developed to boost confidence in the clergy who aren't always sure of the best way to help a penitent with the often difficult process of post-abortion recovery and reconciliation. An Italian priest in his 50's wrote to us: "I'd like to take part in your retreat to better be able to help the many women who confess this sin, this wound, this problem. With the Pope's authorization many people are deciding to confess it - here at our church (NB: a Marian pilgrimage site in N. Italy) we are seeing greatly increased numbers, including penitents who aborted 50 years ago and those who'd never confessed this before. I realize confession alone isn't sufficient, though. And I feel I don't know how to really help them because I see they need something more, something deeper that I can't offer them."

We are encouraged by the fact that Bologna's new Bishop met with us shortly after taking office in early 2016 and affirmed his appreciation of our apostolate. In 2017 we hope to translate this admiration into more active support beyond the collaboration we enjoy with Bologna's Family Life Office. Bologna, with its central location, remains in many ways an ideal hub for our ministry, whose team members live in various regions of Italy. There we offer at least three retreats a year, consisting of a 3-day experience followed two months later with the 4th day of retreat.
After years of welcoming predominantly those who found us searching the internet, in 2016 we welcomed a higher proportion of participants via direct church referrals (a priest in the confessional, an invitation posted on a church bulletin board, a flyer included among materials given as part of a diocesan marriage preparation curriculum). We're working to continue this trend.

Our fabulous all-volunteer team contines to grow! We now have 5 past participant leaders accompanying women before, during and after the retreat, as well as a new priest collaborator who brings youthful energy and is gifted in many areas. A newly retired psychotherapist served on our last retreat and is discerning possible longer-term collaboration with us. A nun-psychologist will serve on our February 2017 retreat. Another priest (a Franciscan friar), who for 3 years has come for  Saturday evening of the retreat, including confessions, is ready to intensify his collaboration after having participated in the entire 4-day process this summer.

Our 2 new priests are helping us strategize outreach events to raise awareness of post-abortion issues and to train those in a position to respond. 
The teamwork inherent to the Rachel's Vineyard model of care is more and more revealing itself one of the strengths of this apostolate. 

In Summer 2017, Monika celebrated the Italy Mission's 7th birthday with a missionary speaking engagement in San Diego (her birthplace):
As part of the Diocese of San Diego's "Mission Co-Op" program,
in August 2016 and 2017 Italy Mission Founder Monika Rodman Montanaro
gave the reflection at all Masses at two different parishes.
On both occasions there was opportunity to also promote the diocese's own poast-abortion minstry.

"Thank you" to the diocesan Missions office for allowing the message of the Rachel's Vineyard to be shared!

Clergy and ushers gave Monika a warm welcome at all 5 liturgies celebrated that Sunday.

The following Monday Monika joined missioners from Nigeria, India and Mexico for lunch at the diocesan Missions Office, under the leadership of Fr. Joe Miller, SVD.

What Pope Francis has said of "mission" work is certainly truly of the Italy Mission:

"Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual.
Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven.
Mission is born of a constant experience of God's merciful anointing..."
- Pope Francis, 23 Sep 2015 Homily at the Canonization of Junipero Serra, father of the California missions

Our active participation in the Year of Mercy concluded with a November speaking engagement at Rome's John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family:

Nov. 2016 ROMA: Mons. John Cihak is a priest from the Archdiocese of Portland
who has worked in Rome for the past 8 years. His extensive experience in post-abortion pastoral care
included participation in numerous Rachel's Vineyard retreats in Oregon.
Monika is annually invited to join him in speaking to Italian and international clergy
doing ongoing formation in family life ministry.

Nov. 2016 MILANO: Monika and Domenico visit one of their collaborating priests, Dominican fra Cristiano, op.
That weekend we 3 all participated in the marriage liturgy of a former retreat participant, who
persevered in a 2-year journey from a cohabitating relationship to sacramental marriage.

In a confessional at this very church, in July fra Cristiano met another woman we are presently companioning: Elena was a 53 year-old penitent dealing with the trauma of an abortion at age 16 plus the realization that the fertility clinic (in Spain) that had more than once used donated eggs to produce her 5 year-old daughter had also discarded multiple embryos. Now a breast cancer diagnosis and 2 years of treatment was leading her to reflect on all this in a new light.

Elena hadn't practiced the faith since her teen years. Her husband of 10 years was nearing the end of his patience with her emotional outbursts and psychological fragility, so Elena's only hope was to return to her psychotherapist (which we certainly didn't discourage).

She recalls: "I entered Father Cristiano's church totally at the end of my rope. I was a wreck and I thought they were going to take my daughter from me. My husband didn't know how to help me - he was losing his patience for my yelling and other erratic behaviors. We were both exhausted and didn't know where to turn."

Fra Cristiano spoke at length with Elena and told her about Rachel's Vineyard. She called us immediately and I had several lengthy phone conversations with her during the summer. Another post-abortive team member, who's also dealt with infertility, companioned her as well.

One month after participating in the retreat with her husband, Elena wrote:
"The days in Bologna were a marvelous grace that has given me a new way of looking at my entire life.
If the Lord has taken me by the hand and brought me to to point of being able to meet all of you, it means that maybe I deserve another chance and I want with all my heart to seize it.
Alfredo and I feel very close and it seems to me we're finally looking in a common direction.
It's so beautiful to go to Mass on Sunday with our daughter, who, we've discovered, goes there with joy!
We'll soon try to figure out in what parish we feel most at home."

Shortly before Christmas 2016 Monika was interviewed by Vatican Radio and by the Italian Bishops' newspaper - both fabulous occasions to illustrate our work as an expression of the universal Church's call to pastorally care for those who are hurting after abortion. 

Why the media interest? You may recall that the Jubilee Year of Mercy included
Pope Francis' conferring to all clergy of the world the priestly faculties to deal with any abortion excommunication and absolve this sin "in one sitting". (Formerly it was Franciscan, Dominican, Carmelite and other mendicant order clergy who had that authority, together with Jesuits and the bishops' penitenzieri, i.e. priests hearing confessions at cathedrals.)

On November 21, 2016 Francis extended his new policy permanently. In the United States this changes practically nothing in pastoral practice, but Francis' move is truly big news for post-abortion pastoral care in countries like Italy, where longstanding restrictive policies had created a tremendous silence and led many to perceive a miserliness in the invitation to seek God's Mercy after abortion. At least some clergy sometimes found themselves preoccupied about how to proceed with a penitent confessing abortion. That preoccupation has had a chilling effect on the Italian Church's ability to respond pastorally to this tragedy which has touched so many individuals, couples and families. We're delighted to help Italy move into a new era in this regard.

Monika is also helping mentor a new retreat site, the first in Slovenia (in the former Yugoslavia, next to Croatia and Austria, near Italy's northwest border). Our relationship with Slovenia begain 3 years ago when we welcomed on our retreat a participant from there. She then returned and over time found a Jesuit priest with whom to collaborate, with whom Monika has already spent many hours consulting by Skype. This mentoring relationship will require further Slovenian program and team development before a 2nd retreat will be held.

NOTE: While Facebook shares are appreciated, all communications to Italy Mission director Monika Rodman Montanaro should be sent via email to: mimmont@hotmail.com

In short:
Six years after the launching of this Mission, we remain Italy's first and only Christian post-abortion healing ministry approved by the Catholic Church. While we operate with the blessing of one of Italy's most important dioceses (that of Bologna), no Italian diocese, religious community, pro-life or other organization has yet stepped up to sponsor this Mission. We are still a very small seed planted in a field of vast need, yet we are resolved to help this seed continue to grow, with your prayers and assistance!

PRAYER for the Italy Mission
Please share with friends and family!

 Europe's Down Syndrome "Thought Police"
In recent years we've had increasing requests for help from women and couples who aborted a child with health problems, most often Down Syndrome. It's truly "open season" on these children, ironically in a time when "disability rights" are gaining visibility everywhere but in the womb. This news report shows how far Europe will go to censor any message that might touch on the post-abortion trauma many of these moms and dads carry inside.

Choosing forgiveness, even when it comes to abortion
A mother recalls being a senior in college, pregnant and tempted to abort her now 8 year-old child. Written in light of
Pope Francis' permanent expansion of priestly faculties to life any abortion excommunication 

What Happens When People Share Their Abortion Stories

Cullen Herout, June 9, 2016 The Federalist
Written by a mental health professional who for 5 years has served in Rachel's Vineyard

Italy: First in the Historic Reversal of Populations
Joseph Chamie, former Director of the U.N. Population Division (August 9, 2016)
In 1995 Italy became the world's 1st country with fewer children than elderly in the population.

Recommended reading:
Reaching "Rachel" in Italy: The Cultural Context

Italian women and men share their abortion stories

My burden lifted forever
Released in Advent 2015, this post-abortion conversion story is by a British author who overcame a difficult childhood (parents divorced and mother turned Buddhist, uncle in the British Humanist League) to become a Catholic apologist, now equipped with a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. Her story also points to the need of so many women and men to continue a journey of inner healing even after celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Media and event highlights from our Italy Mission Archives:

Testimony of Brother Evagrio
(given May 2015, Rome March for Life)

The 2 courageous women who shared testimonies are:

      Pina                                     Daniela
                                                          (Story not translated here but published in an Italian Catholic family life magazine)

7 Things We've Learned these first 7 Years:

1) As our faithful Dominican priest collaborator Fr. Cristiano often marvels, "the method works!"
It's not just the American-style self-help program many Italians imagined when we began our activities in 2010, but an internationally tested instrument for helping deeply wounded souls - women, men and couples together - open up to the truth of their own life story and the grace of God's saving power within that story. A particular strength of this "method" is the intense collaboration of former particpants (now leaders) from various regions of Italy,
who exercise a critical, complementary role alongside Domenico and me, our priests and team psychologist.

2) The Holy Spirit is working powerfully through the internet!
At least 80% of our inquiries come directly from that source. We marvel at the deep degree to which many women and men open up in email correspondence and phone appointments. Our team members are always ready to talk with someone who might express desire for a contact in his or her area or with a particular experience. (One of our team members is available particularly for those who've been through late-term "therapeutic" abortion as she has.) This is essentially a new, itinerant model of pastoral care, which makes multiple offices unnecessary and yet allows us to quite closely companion individuals all over Italy in the months before and after retreat participation. Help is offered over time even to those who haven't yet committed to a retreat.

3) Bologna, with its central location, remains in many ways an ideal hub for us.
The women and men who travel from near or far to make a Rachel's Vineyard retreat in Bologna experience the sacrifices involved in that journey as a true "pilgrimage", which is already a strong element of Italian spirituality. Recently retired bishop Cardinal Carlo Caffarra more than once reaffirmed his appreciation of Rachel's Vineyard, noting in a meeting with his Clergy Council our apostolate's activities as one of the highlights of his years as bishop there.  We will work to earn similar trust, as well as the beginnings of some local financial support, as we cultivate a relationship with the new bishop.

The Rachel's Vineyard model of post-abortion care is particularly well-suited to a country like Italy, where the Church has not yet found a voice to publicly issue a reconciling invitation to Her many sons and daughters who've participated in abortion.  After 35 years of legal abortion (which the Italian populace voted for by referendum), there are still no diocesan post-abortion pastoral programs such as those active in the United States and elsewhere. Furthermore, in the States almost all clergy have the faculties to deal with the canon law aspects of abortion during a normal confession. In Italy the matter is more strictly treated and generally reserved to the Bishop and his collaborating penitenzieri (confessors in the cathedral), to the clergy in Rome, as well as the mendicant clergy (Franciscans, Dominicans, etc). Some of our participants have literally rung the doorbell at the Bishop's office, or have had their parish priest tell them to come back in a week or at the end of the month to receive absolution. Others have been "welcomed" in confession with the words, "You're very fortunate to have come to me.... this is an extremely grave sin and not all priests can absolve it."  In such a context, our patient listening over weeks and months, with an invitation to be fully reconciled through a program that carries the universal Church's blessing, is truly "GOOD NEWS"!

5) While some naysayers continue to assert that "the family" and "the confessional" remain the only appropriate places to reveal an abortion experience, those who request our assistance often say they are unable to reveal their true struggles in the family (or their effort to do so hasn't been fruitful), and that even multiple confessions haven't yielded the deeply felt sense of forgiveness and reconciliation they need. Our team's support, sometimes including local clergy or psychotherapist referrals and ideally culminating in the 3-day retreat experience, fills that gap.

6) One element of our work remains particularly challenging: the difficulty in finding mental health professionals to volunteer with our team on the 3-day retreats. The mutual alienation and prejudices (sometimes downright hostility) between "faith" and "psychology" are much stronger in Italy than what I encountered in the U.S. In addition, Italian socialism has thwarted the development of a vigorous spirit of unpaid volunteerism like that which is still strong in the States. Here, the psychologist who collaborated with us in our first 6 years is getting married this summer and has decided to step away from retreat service for at least a year as she transitions into marriage. Please pray for us as we search for another mental health professional with whom to collaborate!

7) There is NO substitute for the precious personalized "companioning" (Pope Francis and the Italian Church would say "accompaniment") that our team members who are former participants can give to those newly arrived in Rachel's Vineyard. We thank God every day for our team and for you who pray for and support this apostolate!

It's been your prayers and financial support, together with the remarkable commitment by our Italy retreat team (priests and past-participants) that have allowed us to pioneer this ministry!

We are so very grateful to those of you who have been able to count
the Italy Mission among those worthy initiatives that benefit from your charitable giving. We must still fully self-finance our activities, and our ongoing stateside relationship with the 501(c)3 organization Rachel's Vineyard of Colorado continues to facilitate your active role in helping meet that need.

To make a donation to the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission, simply click on the Response Form and mail your check to my stateside collaborator who records and forwards all gifts to our sponsor agency.

Or to Donate by credit card click below:

(NOTE: Transaction will be executed in Euros and is not tax-deductible)

Read John Paul's "Special Word to Women" who have had abortions

These words
, by now well known in American Church and pro-life circles, remain largely unknown here in Italy. So much so that we continue to distribute a lovely postcard designed for posting on bulletin boards at parishes and hospital chapels.

I encourage you to check out the YouTube channel we pioneered in 2014 and continue to build. It now includes 25 videos including Italy's first-ever testimonies of abortion hurt and healing, together with videos (ranging in length from 1 to 30 minutes) by clergy and psychotherapists who explain the abortion wound, invite those affected to reach out for help, and encourage steps toward recovery and reconciliation:

"La Vigna di Rachele" YouTube channel 

Additional reading for Italy aficionados:

2015: the year when Italy's demographic malaise become apparent (26 February 2016, MercatorNet.com from Australia)

Italy is a "dying country" (13 February 2015, The Guardian)
More articles on Italy's demographic crisis below...

More Italian Women are Choosing to Have No Children (22 April 2014, Wall Street Journal)
While this article naturally focuses on economic forces leading to the choice of childlessness, we hear the very personal stories of past abortions contributing to a sense of unworthiness to become a mother. Imagine the pain as women hit age 45 realizing they aborted the only child they will ever carry. And imagine the family wound as others approach 35 or 40 still living with the mother who years ago encouraged them to abort and now continually asks when they will produce a grandchild. One of our women reponded to such a mother, who'd twice convinced her (at age 24 and 26) she was "too young" to have a child: "I gave you two grandchildren but you sent them away."

Photo by lapresse.it

May 2014 and 2015 Rome Mission: March for Life
PHOTOGALLERY click here!

Photo by lapresse.it

The "Nonna" State (15 June 2012, Wall Street Journal)
In the beaten-down economies of Italy and Spain, the force to reckon with is the army of grandparents who form an invisible safety net helping young people make ends meet.

Why We Should Welcome Abortion Narratives (30 April 2014, First Things)
A society growing toward greater maternal support and respect for the dignity of all human life needs these narratives, even the ones that do not end in remorse. By giving women narrative, they are empowered in precisely the way their pregnancies left them feeling powerless. And they encourage those of us in the pro-life movement to view the woman with full sympathy.

Get to know the recent history of the Italy Mission:

 Spring 2014 Mission Update: Reaching out to ecclesial and pro-life leaders (Easter 2014)

Thanksgiving 2013 Mission update: Meet our team! (November 2013)

Spring 2013 Mission Update: Pope Francis and Mission in the 21st Century (Pentecost 2013).

Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission founders Monika Rodman Montanaro (California, USA) and Domenico Montanaro (Puglia, Italy)

The Origins of the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission

In 2007 Monika Rodman, former coordinator of Respect Life Ministry and Post-abortion Healing Ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, CA, married her Italian husband Domenico Montanaro and moved to Italy. It was Domenico's encouragement that led the couple in 2010 to pioneer Italy's first Christian ministry for healing after abortion, a ministry active since the 1980's in the United States (both in Catholic and other Christian communities) but truly a novelty in Italy.

Together with our Italian collaborators, we labor in this Mission in the spirit of the New Evangelization called for by St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis.  However you discovered the Italy Mission, we welcome you!

"Abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressures of a secular culture which devalues God’s gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn.”

- Pope Francis, 25 April 2014, ad limina visit from Southern Africa's bishops


Maybe you recently visited Italy and took home our Prayer Cards from the U.S. Bishops Visitors Office in Rome.

Perhaps you have a heart for proclaiming in a non-traditional missionary context the Good News of God's saving Mercy. Post-Christian Europe is certainly one such mission land and the experience of abortion is a wound that often leads to what our women and men often call a "spiritual divorce" from God and from the Christian community.

You may be of Italian heritage and are pained to learn that marriage, traditional family life and practice of the Christian faith are quickly dying out in this, Europe's most rapidly aging nation, where single child families have become the norm.

Perhaps you have a strong commitment to human life, and a deep desire to offer healing balm to those carrying the pain of motherhood lost and fatherhood aborted. It may be through 
the Knights of Columbus, the Italian Catholic Federation or another Italian-American association that you learned of our Mission. We would be so very grateful to welcome you as partners!

And some of you have personally benefitted from Rachel's Vineyard, having found there your own deep healing after the experience of abortion.  In learning how unique the Church's post-abortion healing ministries are to the United States, you now desire to extend the same healing opportunity to women and men in a post-abortion Mission country.

Looking for a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat in the U.S.??
Click here!

Italian HOME page / Sito italiano click here.  

Your Partnership in the Italy Mission

Whatever has led to you to this Italy Mission, know that we are grateful for your interest in our apostolate. We hope you will become a fellow gardener in this Vineyard, whether through prayer, a financial gift or telling others about our work.

Each Rachel's Vineyard site, including ours, must be financially self-sustaining. Your donations make our work possible as they help defray infrastructure costs we are not yet able to cover through program fees and Italian donations. While the outgoing Cardinal of Bologna (where we offer the retreats) has personally reaffirmed his blessing of our ministry, that blessing has not yet included any form of financial support. Those Italians who do financially support this ministry are most all former participants joined by a few clergy.

Since 2009 Rachel's Vineyard of Colorado, while not directing any of its own funds to the Italy Mission, has graciously assisted us by facilitating our friends' restricted giving for this Italy Mission. It has been the sacrificial gifts of individuals, families and Knights of Columbus Councils that have helped make possibile our first five years of activity. 

To clarify: We receive NO FUNDING from Rachel's Vineyard of Colorado, nor from Rachel's Vineyard headquarters in Philadelphia, nor from Rachel's Vineyard's parent organization Priests for Life.

We would be honored to have you join our family of supporters! To make a tax-deductible donation in the United States, through the registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization "Rachel's Vineyard of Colorado", click here.

From 2012 through 2015 our American family of financial supporters averaged an annual total of 23 households and two Knights of Columbus Councils (Council 5300 Goleta Valley, CA and Council 6143, Pleasanton, CA).

Our goal for 2017 is to grow our number of American supporters to 35 familiesWe would welcome your personal participation to help us reach this goal. Our family of supporters, while predominantly Catholic, includes Christian believers of various denominations, and we are grateful for those mission partners who, like us, believe Christ is honored when His Body, the Church, reaches out ecumenically with the Good News.

In 2018 we also hope to add 2 new organizations (including at least one new Knights of Columbus Council) to our family of supporters. 

Our hoped-for partnership with one or more Italian-American organizations has thus far remained elusive. If you are involved in the Italian American community, might you be able to help us form one such partnership in 2017?

To make a donation to the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission, simply click on the Response Form and mail your financial gift to Tara, my stateside collaborator (and former Oakland RV team member) who records and forwards all gifts to our sponsor agency.

Questions? Please email Italy Mission coordinator Monika Rodman Montanaro at mimmont@hotmail.com.

Good Shepherd Prayer for the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission
Prodigal Prayer for the Rachel's Vineyard Italy Mission

Additional Articles:

ZENIT interview, "Healing Italy's Abortion Survivors" (Oct. 22, 2010)

Diocese of Oakland Voice article,"East Bay link nurtures ministry to Italian Catholics" (June 6, 2011)

Reaching "Rachel" in Italy: The Cultural Context (updated June 2013)


Saint John Paul II's "Special Word to Women" who have had abortions (from Evangelium vitae, 1995)

To Donate by credit card click below:

(NOTE: Transaction will be executed in Euros and is not tax-deductible)

Click here for:

Knights of Columbus information

Italian-Americans interested in this Mission

Q&A with testimonies for others thinking about joining as Italy Mission partners

Blessing of Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino,

President Emeritus, Vatican Congregation for Justice and Peace:

Cardinal Martino's Italian letter

English translation of Cardinal Martino's endorsement

Personal recommendation of Monika and the Italy Mission
addressed in 2007 to the Italian Bishops by

Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, presently Archbishop of Detroit

(Bishop Vigneron was pastor of the Diocese of Oakland, CA during the final years of Monika Rodman's 12-year full-time tenure there)

Each Rachel's Vineyard site, including ours, must be financially self-sustaining. It is your financial support that makes our apostolate possible!

To make a tax-deductible donation through our Stateside sponsor, the registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization "Rachel's Vineyard of Colorado", click here.

American and friends and those from other countries may
instead make a (non-tax-deductible) donation to the Italy Mission by PayPal. Such a gift will be deposited in Euros directly into our Italian account dedicated exclusively to this apostolate.

To receive a copy of our current Business Plan, entitled "Promoting the New Evangelization in Italy through Post-abortion Healing," email Monika Rodman Montanaro at mimmont@hotmail.com.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the Italy Mission!

© 2009-2017 Monika Rodman, Vigna di Rachele/Rachel's Vineyard Ministries™. Tutti i diritti riservati.