Carol Kling and Susan Gunn, walking around Shadehill in Lemmon. The women who walked on behalf of Rachel’s Vineyard ranked first in the BH Pregnancy Center fundraiser. (Courtesy photo)
By Family Life Ministries Staff
“It broke our hearts to cancel our Rachel’s Vineyard retreat this year,” says Carol Kling, Team Leader of the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, “so finding another way to help other moms in crisis seemed to be a good way to keep our team united to our mission of caring for women in need.”
The Black Hills Pregnancy Center held their annual Walk for Life on Saturday, May 9, but unlike any other year, 2020 was a “virtual” walk. Participants still registered and pledged to raise donations, but they could walk wherever they wanted.
In a Facebook video to kick off the virtual walk, Fr. Adam Hofer of Blessed Sacrament Church, Rapid City, offered the opening prayer, asking that “we may perceive more and more the profound dignity and right to life of every human person from the moment of conception.”
Travis Lasseter, the executive director of the BHPC also shared the story of Baby Alaine, the daughter of a client who has been helped by BHPC. From pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, to prenatal vitamins, diapers and parenting classes, the BHPC assists pregnant and parenting moms by providing appropriate resources and support for all impacted by an unplanned pregnancy.
Rachel’s Vineyard is a ministry which brings hope and healing to the women and men who suffer from having made the choice of abortion when faced with a crisis pregnancy. Kling remarked, “Our hope is that women who are fearful or anxious about their pregnancies would find the courage to seek out Black Hills Pregnancy Center. If they could find those services in time, they would not need our ministry to heal their wounds of heartbreak and regret.”
Amy Julian, the director of Family Life Ministries for the Diocese of Rapid City, asked the Rachel’s Vineyard Team to consider participating in the Walk for Life as part of the USCCB initiative, “Walking With Moms in Need: A Year of Service.” “We hoped that we could remind women of the hope and healing that Rachel’s Vineyard offers, while we raised money for the moms who are currently in need,” Julian said.
The whole team agreed that asking for money was the most difficult part of the walk. But Kling recalled advice from Rachels Vineyard’s first chaplain, the late Fr. Will Prospero, SJ,over 20 years ago.
“I will never forget the lesson that he taught me when I was trying to raise the first monies for Rachel’s Vineyard. He said that by not asking for donations, it was on my soul that I was not offering the opportunity to people to receive graces from God by giving to his work. Wow! It was a lot easier to ask for financial support after that lecture!”
Father Will’s pep talk from two decades ago worked. As of the writing of this article, the Rachel’s Vineyard team of seven had raised over $1,200, ranking as the 1st place fundraising team for the Walk for Life, which inspired Kling to reflect “God is so good!”