Can Miscarriage and Abortion Grief Coexist Peacefully?

In Memory of the Unborn Children

To be perfectly honest, we were feeling pretty good about things. As part of the diaconate formation in our diocese, each candidate is required to develop an Icon of Christ the Servant ministry project.  Essentially, each man or couple is to ascertain a genuine need in the community and undertake a personal outreach ministry to fill it. This directive doesn’t mean a new ministry must be developed. For example, some fellow deacon candidates are visiting shut-ins in hospitals and nursing … [Read more...]

Helping Heal Hearts Wounded by Miscarriage


"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. Cardinal Seán O'Malley, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following call to action in his Respect Life Sunday statement, "Let us open our hearts and reflect on how God might be calling each of us to … [Read more...]

Pregnancy/Infant Loss Healing Retreat

A Mother's Love Couples Retreat

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. It's a one-day retreat held at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Peoria on July 27, … [Read more...]

This Week on Catholic Women Now: A Discussion on Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Mourning the Loss of a Child

Studies by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicate that approximately 1 in 6 “clinically recognized” pregnancies result in miscarriage. Accordingly, most of society has either direct or indirect experience with a miscarriage. Indeed, the topic touches a nerve with people who knew others who had suffered miscarriages but didn’t know how to help them. Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic … [Read more...]

The Importance of Grieving Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Mourning the Loss of a Child

Does your diocese or parish offer a healing Mass for those who have suffered perinatal loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death)? Beginning this Thursday, thanks to the efforts of our diocesan Marriage and Family Life Office, ours will. The first annual Des Moines Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Richard Pates this Thursday, October 11, 7:00 PM at St. Augustin Church (42nd St. & Grand Ave., Des Moines). A commendation … [Read more...]

6 Things I’ve Learned Since Dumping the Pill


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. * * * "This is just the rhythm method and everyone knows that doesn’t work." "Everyone who follows natural family planning … [Read more...]

Follow-Up: Resources for Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Perinatal Loss

Perinatal Casket

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 … [Read more...]

Have you Experienced Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Perinatal Loss?

Healing from 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 … [Read more...]

The Infertility Companion for Catholics

Author Headshot

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 … [Read more...]

Healing After Perinatal Loss: How Can You Help?

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 … [Read more...]