Our Stories

Leslie Brunolli, Director

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 also received her certificate of completion from Dr. H. Norman Wright’s Institute of Grief, Crisis & Trauma Response.

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.”

Patti J. Smith, Asst. Director

Patti lives in Defuniak Springs, FL.  She has an Associates Degree in Applied Science and received her certificate of completion from Dr. H. Norman Wright’s Institute of Grief, Crisis & Trauma Response.  She is Co-Regional Coordinator for ACTheals (formerly Association of Christian Therapists) and a member and speaker for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.  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.  She writes Christian Devotionals which are available on this site and has published articles in the National Catholic Register, Southern Cross, Live Action News and Catholic365.

Patti 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.”


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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E-mail us at rachelshope@outlook.com