Pastoral Care

Scroll down for a summary of all RLA Pastoral Care Programs and then click "Learn More" for further details. 

Abortion Healing Ministry

Is there a Hole in Your Heart? God Is Ready To Fill It With His Forgiveness, Healing, And Hope.

“The Father of Mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Understand that nothing is definitely lost and you will be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.” - St. Pope John Paul II in 1995, The Gospel of Life

Are you Feeling:

  • The heavy weight of shame, guilt, or isolation?
  • Grief for the children lost?
  • The inability to forgive yourself or others?
  • Unworthy to receive forgiveness, help or love from God or the Church?

At the time, abortion may have seemed like the only answer. Pressure may have come from everywhere and support from almost nowhere. It was legal. It seemed sensible. But now it hurts. This pain comes in part from unresolved grief and loss. Abortion also causes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wounds that can be healed. 

In Christ, There Is Always Hope. You are not alone.

Research tells us that 24 percent of U.S. women have lost a child to abortion before age 45 and the same percentage identify as Catholic. In addition, over 320,000 women, men, couples and families have sought healing from abortion internationally since the 1990’s.

Please contact us for healing and support by clicking the link below if you:

  • Have lost a child to abortion
  • Are a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend of someone who has
  • Have worked in the abortion industry
  • Are a helper of the wounded, including clergy, educators, youth ministers, social workers, and counselors  

Learn more  

walking with moms - resources for pregnant & parenting moms & families

The local resources inside the Walking with Moms brochure and Walking with Families brochure are designed to provide life-affirming support for pregnant and parenting mothers, couples, and families with children pre-born through five years. A wealth of emotional, financial, housing, material and spiritual support are available through our coalition of local (St. Louis Metro East) ministry partners, agencies and organizations.

In addition, the respect life parish coordinators of the Archdiocese of St. Louis share nearly 40 different ways to walk with pregnant and parenting moms and their children in their parishes and schools. Click here to download the flyer.

learn more


adoption resources

Adoption is a life-giving option and the Respect Life Apostolate is blessed to partner with two other archdiocesan agencies to raise awareness about adoption opportunities available in our area. 

Good Shepherd Children & Family Services

The RLA and Good Shepherd Children & Family Services unite in several initiatives each year to help this agency fulfill its mission: "in response to the call of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, to help those in need, we connect children with families and keep families connected." These initiatives include the Adoption Mass each November, Deacon Diaper Drive during Lent, and the Lifeline Coalition drive each January.

learn more

Office of Natural Family Planning - Archbishop's Adoption Fund 

Since 2009, the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Fund has helped 50 families adopt children with over $250,000 in grant fundsthis grant, offered through the Archdiocesan Office of Natural Family Planning, is available to couples who want to build their family through this loving choice. for more information about the grant, contact the office of natural family planning at 314-997-7576 or click the link below.

learn more


Rite of Naming & commendation

"I am the resurrection and the life." - John 11:25

Jointly developed by the archdiocesan Office of Worship and the RLA, this rite is designed to meet the needs of parents whose child(ren) died prior to birth because of miscarriage, accident, or abortion.

The ritual emphasizes the Church's respect for the sacredness of all human life from the moment of conception – regardless of a child’s age or stage of development, acknowledging that all life, even the lives of those who are never born, impacts families and individuals. The prayer rite also helps bring peaceful closure after a great loss, helping families and friends place the infant's death in the context of faith and to unite them to the merciful love of God.

Our next Naming & Commendation Rites are: 

In November 2021, the St. Louis Review did a feature on this very powerful healing service for preborn loss. Click here to read the full storyNamingCommendationPhoto2

In October 2022, the Review did another feature about Naming & Commendation and a new parish-based ministry for couples and families facing preborn loss. Click here for the article

if your parish would like to host a Naming and Commendation Rite or Mass, please contact the 314.792.7555 or [email protected]. if you would like to be notified when the next one is scheduled, sign up for our event updates by clicking here.


Rachel's Healing garden

"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise!" (Jeremiah 17:14)

Rachel's Healing Garden is a refuge for anyone wounded or touched by abortion loss, providing comfort, spiritual support, and God's peace in the middle of His splendid creation. This beautiful garden, originally dedicated in 1998 by Justin Carinal Rigali and rededicated in its 25th anniversary year in 2023, is maintained by the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) of the Archdiocese of St. Louis through its Abortion Healing Ministry. 

Rachel's Healing Garden, located within a special section of Resurrection Cemetery in Affton, MO, is maintained by the dedicated volunteers and gardeners of the Laudato Si Garden Club. Thanks to their time and talent throughout the year, this beautiful refuge will bring hope and healing for many years to come. 

25th Anniversary Garden Rededication, October 2023