Traveling through the storm to a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat

Traveling through the storm to a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat: a reflection by Mary Lee Weaver

StormLast night, dark somber clouds filled the evening sky and resulted in strong winds and rain.  In Eastern Oklahoma, that can mean hail, trees being blown down and perhaps a tornado. For some, the storm is like the winds of anguish felt inside after an abortion.   Then there is an invitation and they hear the offer to attend a retreat for healing….and wonder, “Could I make it? Could I really attend a retreat after all of these years and deal with all of this?”  It’s an invitation and reminder of what God has to offer and how He will provide everything needed to get through this storm. “Will I simply trust Him?”

On each retreat, God brings those whom He has been calling. He lovingly touches each wound and embraces each person as they discover their voice and often share what no ears have heard before.  Some have been away from the Church and their faith, and others have been hiding their pain in secret in the pews.  With sharing and tears, each woman and man will find a transforming and radiant light and peace. They will see new hope. The storms after abortion have driven them to the retreat, complete with hail and winds of anger, pain, or regret, that have been carried inside for so long.  At the retreat, this is left behind as forgiveness of self begins. The winds calm and the radiant light shines through.

-Mary Lee Weaver, Coordinator of Healing after Abortion Services

The next Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for healing after abortion is September 29 through October 1. Register now:  or contact Mary Lee: 918-508-7142,

Special needs volunteer gives hope to client

Braedon and Donald

Kimberly, Linda, and Braedon meet longtime volunteer, Donald and job coach, Rebecca.

A young mother, Kimberly, and her son, Braedon, received a special kind of hope through Catholic Charities. Kimberly was attempting to move from Tulsa to California for special medical care for Braedon, who is autistic.

When Emergency Assistance coordinator Todd Sleazak met with Kimberly and her son, he noticed that Braedon had similar behavioral characteristics as longtime volunteer, 52 year-old Donald. Todd mentioned this to Kimberly, and she seemed surprised. Kimberly worried that it might not be possible for Braedon to function successfully in a work place later in life. Todd encouraged Kimberly to meet Donald and his job coach, Rebecca.  She loved the idea.

As Donald and Rebecca met with Braedon and his mother, Kimberly expressed excitement to witness Donald respond to questions with his hand signals.  The group sat down together for lunch, provided by our San Pascual hot lunch program, during which Rebecca and Kimberly exchanged notes and ideas.  Many times in the conversation, they would comment to each other, “Yes, he does the exact same thing! They really are similar in many ways.” Later, Kimberly told her mother, Linda, “I am so encouraged!  This gives me hope with Braedon.”

Kimberly thanked Catholic Charities for the assistance, and said she wished she had discovered our organization earlier before their move. In response, Todd told Kimberly that Catholic Charities programs exist all over the nation. Kimberly replied, “Yes, but it is not the Catholic Charities in Tulsa.”

Considering volunteering? Learn more here.

Tulsa moms welcome refugees

Emily and Carrie collected items and filled 33 bags to welcome refugees coming to the Tulsa area. Those coming from other countries often are traveling with minimal personal belongings. At Catholic Charities, often with the help of family members already here, we set up apartments with furniture and supplies for them to begin their new lives. Donors like Emily and Carrie help make the transition to a home so far from their own easier by providing beautiful bags filled with supplies like hangers, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. Thank you, Emily and Carrie, for heading up such a special project.

Learn more about our Refugee Services.

Crafting with Claudia at the Madonna House

Have you “Crafted with Claudia” yet? Moms and young children in the Tulsa area are invited to join our Madonna House and St. Elizabeth Lodge residents for great activities like crafting or Library-sponsored story time. If you’re interested in joining us for a future crafting project or other great activities for Moms and babies, contact Sharisa.

We had a ball at our Adoptive Family Picnic

This past Tuesday evening, we had a ball celebrating with our adoptive families at “Go Ballistic.” Here are just a few moments of our fun!

Learn more about our Adoption program

Emergency Assistance program helps man return home

When Stephen missed his transfer bus on his way to a job, he ended up stranded in Tulsa for over a week. With no place to go and no family in the area, he was feeling broken, despondent, and desperate. Mounting medical and family issues, including a death in the family, meant he needed to get home! Stephen had been staying in a park trying to figure out his options when he was directed to Catholic Charities’ Emergency Services.

Because of the generosity of our community, we were able to help Stephen with a ticket back home to Wisconsin, food for the trip, and bus tokens to get him to the Greyhound station to begin his journey. When you choose to volunteer your time, your talent, and your treasure, you enable Catholic Charities to serve many brothers and sisters in need that reach out to us for assistance each day.

Fr. Solanus Casey inspires donor

Recently, a friend of Catholic Charities explained how a Friar from Michigan inspires her to be a donor. Her mother lived by the teachings of Fr. Solanus Casey (whose beatification is pending sometime in 2017).

Fr. Solanus Casey cemented his reputation for holiness and compassion as the porter or doorkeeper of St. Bonaventure Monastery. He greeted those who came to the monastery’s doors, conducted services for the sick, and helped establish the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929 to feed the hungry during the Great Depression. Fr. Solanus Casey encouraged others to “thank God ahead of time.”

Our friend and donor adopted Fr. Solanus Casey’s philosophy, and when something good happens to her, she sends Catholic Charities or other non-profits a donation.

With joy in her voice, she told us that she avoided power outages during some poor weather that could have affected her refrigerated medicine. She was also injured in an accident, but it could have been worse, so she is thankful. She was inspired to turn her gratitude in these moments into help for others, so she sent Catholic Charities a check.

This friend has passed on over 145 gifts to us over the past 21 years. We love that her “thanks to God” moments spread to benefit so many others as she donates towards our mission.

Learn more about Fr. Solanus Casey and Pope Francis’s recent declaration on his journey to Sainthood:  Pope Francis announces Fr. Solanus Casey to be declared ‘blessed’

Interested in donating to Catholic Charities? You can HERE.