St. Augustine Catholic
The Long Goodbye
Hope After Abortion
Katie's Gift of Life
in this issue... 
saint of the month
editor's notes
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
work life
theology 101
your marriage matters
the parenting journey
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
catholic news from around the world
calendar of events
2005 diocesan financial report
editor's notes
forgiveness on all levels

Father Joseph Krupp, in his column “Ask Father Joe”, reminds us that we are called to forgive always and everywhere. But as many of us know, forgiveness is not always easy – especially when it comes to forgiving ourselves.

Our cover story addresses self-forgiveness, healing and hope after abortion. Three women in our diocese have bravely come forward to tell their story of abortion. They have suffered in silence for many years because of a decision they made when they were young. But they are breaking their silence, hoping their story will encourage other women to seek help.

The Catholic Church has long recognized abortion’s impact on women and their families. The Diocese of Saint Augustine supports two ministries that reach out to women who have had an abortion: Rachel’s Vineyard and Project Rachel.

Donna Augustine, Suzanne Nicholas and Mary Lopez Huston all participated in Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry that provides a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts that were broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer women a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where they can express their feelings and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.

Project Rachel operates as a network of professional counselors and priests, all trained to provide one-on-one spiritual and psychological care for those who are suffering because of an abortion. Contact information for each of these ministries can be found here. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life, reminds us that what happened [abortion] remains terribly wrong. “But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.”

Seeking forgiveness on a different level is Joe D’Arienzo in “The Long Goodbye”. He has spent the last 11 years lovingly caring for his wife Gertrude who has Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible form of dementia affecting 4.5 million Americans and there is no cure.

Joe admits that he sometimes questions his faith in God and he often seeks forgiveness for feeling angry and resentful about his wife’s illness. To help cope with his unexplainable emotions and with the strain of care giving, Joe has learned to seek the help of health care professionals and he takes time at least once a year to go on retreat at Marywood in Jacksonville.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. Click here to view a list of ways you can observe the penitential season of Lent, including a reminder about days of fasting and abstinence. Father Bill Ashbaugh leads us on a spiritual exercise for Lent, meditating on the last seven words of Jesus. (Read Story)

I want to thank Donna, Suzanne, Mary and Joe for courageously sharing their stories with us. If you too suffer in silence please seek the loving mercy of our Lord. Keep in mind that God’s forgiveness is effortless and instantaneous.

- Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor

In The Next Issue:

- It’s impact on participants and how they enrich our faith community.

Amazing Grace - A Lost Boy’s escape from genocide in Africa.

Your Marriage Matters - He wants a new business and she wants to save for retirement. What do they do?

Father Joe - Where was Jesus’ soul while he was in the tomb?