By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
A phone helpline for women and men dealing with the aftermath of abortion will begin operation Aug. 18.
The Diocese of Davenport has been working to re-establish Project Rachel for more than a year. The helpline will be answered personally Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Voice messaging will be available at all other times, said Loxi Hopkins, a volunteer in the Social Action office. All calls will be returned promptly and discreetly, she noted.
The first few weeks will serve as a time to gauge when calls come in, with a possible readjustment of hours to try to get more calls answered personally.
Staff trained specifically for this ministry will answer and return calls with resources such as a priest or mental health professionals to talk to, prayer groups, retreats or other options, Hopkins said.
“We have good coverage throughout the diocese,” noted Hopkins, who is completing a resource list of mental health professionals including their costs, sliding scale fees or whether they’re volunteers. She said where available, the helpline staff will provide callers with more than one name of someone available to talk to.
Callers’ identities will remain confidential and the lists of counselors, priests and other resources are not being published. Hopkins hopes to continue to add more providers to the list as they are trained specifically for Project Rachel. All mental health professionals must provide the diocese with their licensing information, she noted.
To help support Project Rachel, Hopkins reminds people that Angel Honey is sold at the diocesan offices. Cases of honey are also available for parishes to sell by calling Kent Ferris, diocesan director of Social Action and Catholic Charities at (563) 888-4211 or emailing him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial donations also are welcome for Project Rachel.