History of Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities

The Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat program was developed in 1994 by Dr. Theresa Burke. As of 2020, there are over 1,000 retreats annually at 375 sites worldwide in 49 states and 70 countries, in 27 languages, with over 501,000 total volunteers.

Our site, Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities, was formed as a ministry under Rosaries for Life and held our first retreat in November of 1999. We were blessed to have Bishop Paul Dudley serve with us as our chaplain for this weekend.

About the Retreats:

  • Since 1999, we have offered 60 retreats, serving 603 participants and honoring 1,062 babies.
  • Our participants include people from many backgrounds and abortion experiences:
    • 83% are Catholic
    • 12% are men
    • 34% need financial assistance
    • 27% of retreat attendees hear about us from family/friends, 23% from a church bulletin, 14% from an internet search, and 12% from a priest or pastor.
  • In addition to our retreat site leader, we have 15 volunteer team members and 9 board members.
  • An average of 40 volunteers assist with each retreat in the areas of prayer and preparation for the retreat.
  • The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.
  • Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as persons who have been involved in the abortion industry have come to Rachel’s Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing. The weekend is a lot of work but yields a fruitful harvest for all who are willing to labor there.

Important Dates:

  • In 2010, Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities became a 501(c)3 non-profit entity.
  • In 2020, we celebrated 20 years of ministry with several events. We are thankful for the Faith, Hope, Healing, and Love that Jesus provided to hundreds of women and men over the past years through the retreats.
      • November 2019 – a Mass of Thanksgiving with Father James Livingston.
      • January 2020 – a panel presentation with Victoria Johnson, Fr. Marcus Milless and Nancy Blom on Harm, Healing and Wholeness: The Rachel’s Vineyard Healing Process. Watch video.
      • November 2020 – a Mass of Thanksgiving with Bishop Andrew Cozzens.
        Watch homily.
        Watch full mass.
  • In 2021, thanks to your support and donations, we increased our ministry outreach by partnering with Relevant Radio and KTIS.
  • In 2022, we launched a refreshed website designed to speak more directly to post-abortive women and men, and to make it easier for people to discover Rachel’s Vineyard online.


Rachel's Vineyard Twin Cities - History

Champions for Life 2018

In October 2018, Nancy Blom received the Archdiocese’s “Champions for Life Award” in the Professional category.

It has been Nancy’s commitment to this ministry, her organizational and artistic skills, her manner of leadership, her gift of hospitality (making room in her heart for whoever is before her), and her many other gifts that have made the Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities retreats work so very well and dependably. Nancy herself is not post-abortive. But at some point she became familiar with this retreat and felt called by the Lord to make it happen here in the Twin Cities.

Nancy has been with the Twin Cities site for Rachel’s Vineyard ministry from the very beginning in 1999 and still organizes it today. The ministry helps post-abortive women and men heal from abortion and find God’s forgiveness.

Rachel’s Vineyards Twin Cities would have not existed all these years without Nancy’s dedication and commitment. She is a bright light to all those who encounter the ministry of Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities.

Rachel's Vineyard Twin Cities - History

Champions for Life 2011

In October 2011, the Archbishop presented Nancy Blom and the Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities team members with the “Champions For Life” award. The award recognizes the efforts of pro-life volunteers throughout the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

In sharing the recognition for the “Champions For Life” award with all the members of the team, Nancy wrote:

“The team members are the ones whose own healing has brought them from a place of shame and grief to a journey of hope and giving life to others who are still hurting.

Jesus stated that the one “who has been forgiven the most, loves the most”.

These team members of Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cites are the ones who love the most.

They are the ones that Pope John Paul II talked about in his Evangelium Vitae letter, who are the most eloquent defenders of life.