Leslie has a Masters of Science degree in counseling with emphasis in marriage, family and child therapy. She has worked with clients with addictions and duel diagnosis along with those from the California AB109 population which allows for current non-violent, non-serious, and non-sex offenders, who after they are released from California State prison, are to be supervised at the local County level. Leslie helped clients complete requirements for court ordered addiction prevention requirements.
She is a Co-Regional Coordinator for ACTheals (formerly Association of Christian Therapists), served on the board of Holy Spirit ministry with the late Father Jerry Bevelaqua. She was a member of the healing and deliverance ministry for over ten years. Leslie has worked with Jim and Rosemary Benefield since 2005 helping lead and direct Rachel’s Hope Retreats. She has publicly shared her abortion experience at the Walk for Life in San Francisco, pro-life fundraisers as well as youth confirmation retreats and appears in the documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles.”
Leslie is currently the Director of Rachel’s Hope Healing Ministry. This ministry expands healing retreats that address not only abortion but also miscarriage and other losses. A newly developed miscarriage retreat will debut early 2018, and our other programs are estimated to start up in the Fall using Dr. H. Norman Wright’s “Helping Others Recover from Loss and Grief” curriculum.
Patti has an Associates Degree in Applied Science, serves as Assistant Director of Rachel’s Hope Healing Ministry, Co-Regional Coordinator for ACTheals (formerly Association of Christian Therapists), and Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. She is being certified as a grief/trauma counselor through Dr. H. Norman Wright. She worked for the federal government as an auditor for the Department of Labor and Veteran’s Administration Offices of Inspector General, served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserves and is a retired background investigator.
Patti was baptized into the Catholic faith in 2006. In 2008 she attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar where she heard Leslie’s abortion testimony which led her to healing and a calling to post-abortion healing. She writes Christian devotionals, light romance, and suspense. Her published work is available at www.amazon.com/author/pattijsmith. One of her devotionals “Redeemed – Rosary Meditations for Post-Abortive Women,” is used at healing retreats and written in a way to be used by all denominations and her most recent release is “And God Still Loves Me – A Story of Hope and Healing.” She has also had articles published in the National Catholic Register and the Southern Cross.
She has shared her journey from a life of sinful excess to redemption at conferences, youth confirmation retreats, pro-life fundraisers as well as on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., San Diego Walk for Life, and West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco. She has been a guest on Immaculate Heart Radio, Radio Maria and the Cradle My Heart and Abortion Hurts/God Heals radio shows. She also appears in two documentaries, “The Sidewalk Chronicles” and “Hush.”
Phyllis Capossere is a leader for Rachel’s Hope and has an Associate’s Degree in Psychology. She kept her abortion secret for 25 years unaware of the impact it had on her life. She reached out to God for help which led her to Rachel’s Hope where she was able to heal from the guilt and shame. He provided her a calling … to be involved in Rachel’s Hope by facilitating retreats in San Diego, Escondido, and the Los Colinas Detention Facility. In addition to her abortion trauma, she suffered from abandonment. At the age of one her mother, who was suffering from mental illness, abandoned her and five siblings. Years later she found her mother on a street corner. That God-given opportunity not only allowed Phyllis to reconnect, but also heal the relationship and hold her mother’s hand as she passed away. Phyllis hopes to help others heal, see the grace in the midst of grief, pain, and loss and provide a ray of hope. We all have a story … Let’s help each other heal.
Maya Angelou once said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
A seed was planted many years ago by our dear friends and mentors, Rosemary and the late Jim Benefield, who founded Rachel’s Hope After-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation retreats for Catholic and Catholic-friendly women in San Diego, CA. If it weren’t for the love, guidance and support from Rosemary and Jim, we would never be on this wonderful journey of reaching out to women in need of healing, not just from abortion but other traumatic losses as well.
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