1. We resurrected our parish’s Elizabeth Ministry program and started doing pregnancy blessings almost a year ago. We do after all the Masses the weekend of the second Sunday of the month in front of the statue of Mary. The EM rep for each blessing gives the women a small gift – usually a holy card or prayer relevant to the calendar month and relevant to pregnancy or motherhood. (I am the one who chooses these each month – it’s kind of fun.) Then women just chat for a few minutes with Father finishes greeting people at the back of church, and then he comes up to do the blessing.

    When a woman shows up for the first time, she fills out a little sheet so that we can put one of our Ministers in contact with her. We check in throughout the pregnancy, and when the baby is born we bring a gift from Elizabeth Ministry and two meals.

    I hope yours is a big success!

    Also, the Catholic hospital here and one of the cemetaries have regular memorials for infant loss. I’m actually not sure if the diocese is directly involved with either of these. A good friend of mine also runs an annual healing retreat open to all faiths. Peoria is coming around to recognizing that this affects so many women and families.

    • What a great tradition at your parish with the blessing. I’m curious, how many moms do you average per month? Even if it’s just one mom who shows up, I can see the value in the regularity to help reach more moms and provide them EM prayer support. Great ideas!

  2. I’ve seen the baby blessings done 2 ways. The first was a part (or maybe at the very end?) of a Sunday Mass – very nice and a great way to reach the women who maybe aren’t involved in parish life in other ways. The second was a gathering at someone’s house. All kinds of kids running around, nonpregnant moms brought snacks, the priest came and visited for awhile, did the blessing, and retreated with a cele-booster. :) It was fun and beautiful.

  3. Ah…I LOVED our running stroller! It was a beast and we used it until it was literally falling apart…all 4 kids! Enjoy!!
    How funny about the written vs. spoken prayer….happens to me ALL the time, I’m certain God understands and appreciates our efforts ;-)

  4. Meeting you was such a gift. How awesome that the Holy Spirit used social media to connect two kindred spirits. Tell Joel to get ready. The Whitaker may be invading sooner than you think ;)

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