The Australian Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats network has bid a sad goodbye to Dame Julie Kelly, whose bravery in encouraging the Catholic Church in Australia to find a compassionate and healing response to women and men who have been hurt by abortion, saw the establishment of the first International Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat site.
Julie had been receiving treatment for cancer for some time and on Thurs 17 October, she died, surrounded by family.
No doubt much will be recorded in the Australian Catholic media of her commitment to the establishment of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats in Australia and her prayerful support of this work now established in New Zealand, but to those who knew her, even a little, her graceful intelligence, elegant manner and quick wit are what many will miss most.
Our prayers are with our Australian Rachel’s Vineyard colleagues, and with Julie’s family who so generously shared her with us.
Suzanne O’Rourke, 19.10.13