“Open your hearts to life!” has become a recurring theme in Pope Francis’s pontificate. It’s also the theme for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2013-14 Respect Life Campaign that kicked off in parishes across the nation on Respect Life Sunday. The phrase “Open your hearts to life” can be a difficult one for many couples who are quite open to life yet find their hearts overflowing with grief due to pregnancy/infant loss or infertility. This is one area that seems to be a bit off the radar screen and weighs heavily enough on our hearts to call us to action. . . . → Read More: Helping Heal Hearts Wounded by Miscarriage
Several months ago, Joel and I were put into contact with RyAnne Carr, a Catholic wife, mom, and Peoria, IL citizen who understands well the pain of pregnancy loss. She has developed a ministry for others experiencing a pregnancy or infant loss, and now together with her husband, RyAnne has organized A Mother’s Love Couples Retreat for parents who have experienced a pregnancy, stillbirth, or early infant loss. . . . → Read More: Pregnancy/Infant Loss Healing Retreat
Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death)? This week on Catholic Women Now, Julie and I welcome my husband Joel Schmidt who has been working hard with Adam Storey, director of our diocesan Marriage and Family Life Office, to initiate such a Mass. Julie and I also welcome Maria Campbell, parishioner at All Saints Catholic Church, Des Moines, who discusses her experiences with pregnancy and infant loss. . . . → Read More: This Week on Catholic Women Now: A Discussion on Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Holy Mother Church has a duty to be there with comfort, mercy, healing, and hope every time a member of her flock suffers the loss of one of our Holy Innocents. Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death)? We walk through why it’s important to grieve the loss of a pregnancy. . . . → Read More: The Importance of Grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Editor’s Note: In honor of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, please welcome Renee McGuire to The Practicing Catholic. Renee and husband Kerry are parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines, Iowa, where they teach Natural Family Planning classes. This is Part 1 of Renee’s testimony. Part 2 is 5 Steps to Embracing Natural Family Planning.
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“This is just the rhythm method and everyone knows that doesn’t work.”
“Everyone who follows natural family planning has big families and we can’t afford that.”
“NFP is too hard to learn.”
“Catholics don’t really follow this anyway. It’s so . . . → Read More: 6 Things I’ve Learned Since Dumping the Pill
We recently asked for input given Joel and I are working on developing a new miscarriage/stillbirth/perinatal loss support group for our diocese. Wow, ask and you shall receive! I shouldn’t be surprised. 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many of us have been emotionally jolted by the loss of a child (or grandchild/niece/nephew, etc), and feel passionate about helping others who find themselves in the throes of it, too. Joel and I are grateful for the heartfelt and emotional comments and suggestions provided. (You can still provide input here.)
There are two particularly powerful resources that were brought to my attention.
1. The Diocese of Saskatoon Miscarriage Awareness Webpage
. . . → Read More: Follow-Up: Resources for Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Perinatal Loss
We are seeking your input in order to help others
My husband Joel and I are collaborating with others to form a diocesan-wide support program for families experiencing the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or other type of perinatal loss (more info here).
Joel is currently in deacon formation, and this work is an extension of his diaconal studies. We have felt called to develop such a ministry given our personal experience with miscarriage and the lack of support we received — medical, physical, and spiritual.
Question: If you have experienced a loss, what type of helpful support did you receive? (If you didn’t receive much support, . . . → Read More: Have you Experienced Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Perinatal Loss?
Keep reading to learn how to win a copy of this terrific book!
Given we have recently developed a miscarriage ministry for Joel’s deacon formation requirements, we have become more attuned to the acute need for healing in this area. Joel and I have learned there is a lack of awareness of the resources available to those experiencing miscarriage and infertility. There is a lot of suffering in this area, and it is often silent.
Are you surprised to learn that one in every six United States couples experiences infertility? Catholic couples face additional confusion, worry, and frustration as they explore the medical options available to them. Filling a major void . . . → Read More: The Infertility Companion for Catholics
Do you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or ectopic pregnancy?
Many of our lives, either directly or indirectly, have been touched by miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, or other such perinatal loss. As with any death, the need for healing in these situations is great. However, many of us fail to reach out to those suffering around us, because we simply don’t know how to help.
Mercy Perinatal Hospice Nurse and Bereavement Coordinator Ann Valdez will present How Can You Help? on April 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall at St. Augustin Church. In this talk, Ann will discuss practical guidelines for helping . . . → Read More: Healing After Perinatal Loss: How Can You Help?
People don’t often talk about miscarriage. When experiencing one, women and men often don’t know who to connect with, where to turn for help; the resources that are available remain unknown.
Our regular readers know Joel and I have experienced two miscarriages. After both, our experience in receiving medical care and spiritual counsel was less than ideal, leaving us with many questions and unfortunately some regrets about how we journeyed through the process. Joel is now in deacon formation with the Diocese of Des Moines and has created a miscarriage ministry as part of his studies. When we stumble upon great resources to add to our ministry library, we . . . → Read More: After Miscarriage