1. God bless you both in this mission. We are blessed to have met you because of it and are thankful for your friendship and support in this area. As I have mentioned to Joel before, if there is anything we can do to help, you know you can count on us.

  2. Jennie Stanbro

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of the loss of your babies. My daughter also has babies in heaven. She miscarried her first child at 10 wks, her second child was ectopic and to peacefully allow her child to pass on in order to save her life, she had her fallopian tube removed as well. Through the grace of God her 3rd child was born healthy, a baby boy she named Noah Matthew, her “rainbow” baby. This year she suffered the loss of her 4th child at 9 wks and as I type this she has been blessed again with her 5th child and is 7 wks. pregnant. Of course it is so hard to revel in the joy of this new life as she wonders if she will get to meet this little one. I try to encourage her to take it one day at a time, enjoying each moment she has with her new baby and of course….we pray… I share all of this because a few months back after the loss of her 3 baby, we talked about how the Church is failing in reaching out to parents who have suffered the loss of children in utero. So much exists for the healing of mothers who have suffered abortion but it is silent when it comes to miscarriage. You are so right that society does not acknowledge this tremendous loss and couples are often left to grieve alone. Even well meaning family members and friends declare that “it is better now than later” or “you will have another” but the one place where comfort should be found is in the Church. I thank God that my daughter has a strong faith that has grown stronger due to her sufferings but it would have been nice for her to have had the services available that you are starting. Joel I want to express my deepest sympathies in the loss of both your children who are with God. Though we do not know each other, I will give a prayer of thanks for your “rainbow” baby, for indeed God is good. My sincere thanks for bringing attention to this very needed ministry. When my daughter is ready, I will share this with her as I know what you wrote will reach her heart deeply and who knows, maybe someday with your inspiration she will start a similar ministry in her parish. It is how it all starts! God bless you. Lisa and your little one!

  3. Renee

    Great article. I have long thought we need this ministry and one for couples suffering from infertility or sub-fertility. We have experienced miscarriage and fertility struggles in our marriage and it is stunning how paralyzing of an effect these experiences can have on couples. I am in the omaha area and would be interested in helping with a ministry like this. We need to educate and provide tools for those suffering and for family and friends to support them.

  4. Barbara Abbate

    Since you mention stillbirth & infant loss, I am wondering if you know about Alexandra’s House (www.alexandrashouse.com)? They have been amazing helping our dear friends whose precious baby girl died at birth. Alexandra’s House started helping them from the moment that they had an ultrasound that showed problems. It is a wonderful Catholic organization.

  5. My friend Lisa and I started a ministry called Embrace in October of 2012 it is for pregnancy and early infant loss in our Fresno Diocese. We currently hold three main events every year. Our Healing and Rememberance Mass near Mother’s Day, our Memorial walk in October and our Christmas ornament making in December. we are looking to add a summer retreat to the list soon. we also hold support group meetings in the off months. we hope our ministry can continue to grow and help families.
    [email protected]

  6. Lisa M. Barton

    Thank you for this! I am preparing to meet with a representative in my own diocese very soon to propose just this ministry in the City of Pittsburgh, which I have named Song of Simeon in honor of my own precious son never born. I have been searching high and low for inspiration. But more than anything… I need prayers!

    • Hi Lisa. Thank you for reaching out and leaving a comment here. Please know we are and will continue to pray for you and this ministry. Please keep in touch and don’t be afraid to drop us a private message if you simply need to brainstorm.

      • Timothy

        Hello Joel and Lisa Schmidt,

        Thank you for sharing all that you have done, all that you will do, most especially who you are, and in a special way thanks for praying for my beloved Lisa and Song of Simeon, your prayers and experience will be invaluable and help us to launch hopefully something similar here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Also, be assured of our prayers for you and yours!

        your brother in Christ,
        Timothy Barton

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