SONS of ADAM
In every abortion, there is always a father.
Whan a man's life story includes an abortion experience, there will be a pain in need of healing. As with mothers, this pain often becomes evident to the man years after the event. There can be stresses, anger, helplessness, guilt, regret, relationship problems, grieving to be done, and forgiveness to be entered. Healing is part of God's plan for us all.
What is Sons of Adam?
While pastor at St. Stephen Catholic Community in Old Hickory, Tennessee, groups of courageous women with abortions in their past were meeting to seek healing from the long-term suffering they themselves experienced. They asked me (Fr. Steve Wolf) to join them at their last meeting to celebrate the Sacraments of Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick.
The women suggested that a similar opportunity should be available for men. In 2007 Sons of Adam began with a Catholic flavored faith-sharing format as a companion to the best book on the subject, Men and Abortion, by Catherine Coyle, Ph.D.
One very small group was formed, and it became clear that few men wished to do this in a group. I have since been approached by men for one-on-one meetings, similar to spiritual direction, and using the same materials. This material is available as a paperback book, and e-book, and as a pdf file:
WHAT DO I NEED TO BEGIN?
Sons of Adam is a prayer and companion workbook
for the outstanding book by C.T. Boyle, Ph.D.,
Men and Abortion: A Path To Healing.
There can be many ways God is bringing a man to healing, but the central need is a safe place where he can tell his story honestly with neither complacency nor condemnation. This approach offers short scripture readings, some traditional prayers, reflection on other men's stories, questions for reflection, and simple blessing prayers.
A pastoral counselor or spiritual director need not have a personal experience with abortion to effectively help a man seek healing. However, since every story is unique and the hurt can be deep, patient nonjudgmental listening is essential. Some men are able to use Sons of Adam and Men and Abortion on their own with the assistance of a pastor or spiritual director. The 10th chapter includes a closing prayer service, which can be a Liturgy of the Word, with or without Anointing of the Sick and/or Mass.
2013, paperback, 5" X 8", 10 chapters, 68 pages, $5.95. Ebook $0.99
This 68 page pdf file can be used freely by any individual or parish.
Simply print it as a "booklet," "both sides," copy "1-side to 2-sides,"
and staple. A copy shop can do this. Or you can buy it:
Adobe Acrobat document [1.0 MB]
THE HEALING PROCESS FOR (SOME) MEN:
1. Acceptance of God's complete love
2. Practicing awareness of self, feelings, and all of creation
3. Prayerful reflection on the communion of saints, all of whom now hold nothing unforgiven
4. Admitting the objective truth of any injustice done to me
5. Confession of the immorality of any injustice done by me
6. Sitting with feelings in grief, especially anger, sadness, fear, loneliness, shame, pride...
7. Honest appraisal of culpability, the extent to which one acted without freedom, or the possibility that others may have
8. Asking for the charity to see all involved with God's eyes of love, compassion and mercy
9. Naming the child, even if one has to guess the gender
10. Holding a private memorial service or a Mass for the Dead, and perhaps receiving the Anointing of the Sick
11. Making a significant memorial donation to an agency trying to relieve suffering in the world that does not have to be happening
12. Continued generous giving to people who help other people
WHEN ANGER IS IN THE ROOM:
Anger the Jesus Way is a compilation of conversations and prayer of a parish priest aware of an anger affliction, centered around a story in the Gospel of Mark, the only place where the gospel writers applied the word anger to Jesus of Nazareth. Inheriting his mother's temper, the author has found solace in the awareness that in his humanity Jesus experienced anger, and understanding in the way Jesus models what to do with it. Anger can lead to toxic violence, or it can be where God's compassion touches the need for healing of our core wound. The story is the healing of the man with a withered hand in Mark 3:1-6, a story for all who are made in God's image and called to grow into the likeness of the Risen Christ. The six chapters (The Story, Watched in the Sabbath Assembly, Invited by Jesus, Riddle Silence, Anger-Grief, Turning to Freedom) are used by the author in ministering to groups of parishioners caught in an anger cycle, and includes helpful discussion questions and prayers for experimenting. It is updated from Anger-Grief the Jesus Way published in 2009.
2016, paperback, 5"X8", 6 chapters, 75 pages, $6.95
WHEN GOD'S HEALING WORD IS CALLED FOR:
In Health And In Healing is a collection of short readings of psalms, canticles, and other sacred scripture, plus songs from the Christian tradition, arranged for mornings and evenings of the seven days of the week. It is rooted in a summer chaplaincy internship at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, during the '96 Olympic games: a Catholic seminarian offering short readings from the Psalter, and watching faithful Baptists, Methodists, Jews and so many others taking in the sacred word with reverence resembling a Catholic receiving holy communion. This experience deepened a future parish priest's appreciation of the sacramentality of the word. These passages gave great consolation then, and are still helpful in pastoral care. On the occasional day of depression, Stephen Joseph Wolf uses this as his breviary.
2012, 5" by 8", 47 pages, Hardback Gift Edition, $12.95
Paperback Editon, $5.95
WHEN AN ADDICTION IS UNCOVERED, A START:
Twelve Step Spirituality For Christians is a parish-tested introduction to a vibrant spirituality of honesty, designed for personal exploration or in groups of 5 to 15 people. The main goal of this little book is to expose 12 step spirituality to Christians who may not be familiar with it. Behind this is a conviction that our culture, leaning to addiction, is called to be a culture of life, vocation, and freedom. Some familiarity with these 12 steps will most certainly enrich the life and prayer of every woman and man on any faith journey. Stephen Joseph Wolf, the compiler, is a parish priest and spiritual director in Nashville, Tennessee. The six chapters are When I Am Weak, Let Go And Let God, Sick As Our Secrets, Progress Not Perfection, Let It Begin With Me, and One Day At A Time.
2010, paperback, 5"X8", 6 chapters, 75 pages, $6.95
Why the name, "Sons of Adam"?
The name Sons of Adam is based on
Abel, whose sacrifice was pleasing to God,
Cain, who did violence to his own brother, and
Seth, in whom God renews the goodness of life.
There is in every man
a little of the innocent trust of Abel,
the fear and rejection of Cain,
and the desire of Seth to be generative.