The loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth is a deeply difficult experience for any parent. Miscarriages are sadly common; 1 in 4 women have experienced a loss. You may feel scared or confused, angry or alone, deeply sad or resentful. Gianna’s Hope ministry, which operates out of Athens, is here to accompany you and your family through this time. We are a resource for parents made up of clergy and other parents who can offer peer support based on their own experiences of loss.
Ways we can help include:
·Providing peer support from other parents who’ve experienced similar loss.
·Give both emotional and spiritual support.
·Assistance arranging burial services, including selecting burial boxes.
·Arrange an annual memorial Mass and prayer vigil service.
You don’t have to walk this journey alone.
Who is Saint Gianna?
This ministry meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the upstairs conference room (old Religious Ed Office) at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Athens, GA
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 389-0024
Gianna’s Hope Ministry
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.” Jeremiah 1:5
The Church says, “Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2319
Therefore, the Church encourages a burial or memorial service following the loss of a child from a miscarriage. Acknowledging the baby’s life, no matter how short, affirms the dignity of that life and assists in healing from the loss. In addition, the Church has a special liturgical blessing for grieving parents.
Annual Masses and Memorials:
·Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows - September 15th
·Feast Day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart
·National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - October 15th
·Catholic Miscarriage Support - https://www.catholicmiscarriagesupport.com
A practical and spiritual support for Catholics who have lost a child through miscarriage.
“If you have found this page, chances are that you have had a miscarriage or are in the midst of one. We are so, so sorry for the loss of your child. It breaks our hearts that anyone would need this information, but we know that in reality, many parents are experiencing this pain every day and have many questions about what the Catholic Church teaches and what to do next. We hope we can help you find some answers.”
·Catholic Sprouts” Video- https://catholicsprouts.com/catholic-teaching-miscarriages
Catholic Sprouts brings a video response to some common questions you might have about your miscarriage and the Catholic Church’s teachings on these questions and topics. Take a look!
·National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC)
The NCBC employs professional bioethicists who are available to provide individual consultations for specific questions relating to ethical treatment plans and decisions.
·Be Not Afraid - benotafraid.net
BNA is a private non-profit organization supporting parents carrying to term following a prenatal diagnosis. Our staff and volunteers strive to develop relationships of trust while providing for the emotional and tangible needs of parents at diagnosis, during pregnancy, at birth, and during the post postpartum period for up to one year. We believe that every baby is a gift, and we support parents not only in advocating for basic care, but also in obtaining the treatment they deem appropriate for their child after birth no matter the diagnosis.
·Holy Family Counseling - Holyfamilycounseling.com
In an explanation of a faith-based practice, let it be understood that although our philosophy is based on our faith in God, this will never be imposed upon a client and it is contingent upon the client to decide how or if their own faith system will be incorporated explicitly into their therapy.
·Rachel’s Gift - https://www.rachelsgift.org/infant-loss-support-groups.html
We offer support groups led by caring, qualified counselors and social workers with years of experience to help moms and families move toward healing. Unlike general bereavement support groups, our groups are specifically designed for families enduring miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. Families are able to join a support group at any time. All our groups are free for families to attend, as they are generously funded by community donations.
·Email our priest to meet and talk with him, he is here for us!
Contact your pastor. Your parish can also celebrate a funeral Mass for your child, no matter when you’ve lost him or her. The Church encourages a funeral and burial or a memorial service following the loss of a child from a miscarriage. Acknowledging the baby’s life no matter how short, affirms the dignity of that life and assists in healing from the loss. In addition, the Church offers a special liturgical blessing for grieving parents.
·Unexpecting: Real Talk on Pregnancy Loss” by Rachel Lewis
·Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby” - Deborah L. Davis
·In Heaven We’ll Meet Again” - Francois Rene Blot
·The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” - Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
·Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart “ - Jacques Philippe
·Empty Arms: Hope and Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy” - Pam Vredevelt
·Befriending St. Joseph: Finding Faith, hope and Courage in the Seven Sorrows Devotion” - Deacon Greg Kandra
·Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss” - Heidi Indahl
·After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing & Hope” - Karen Edmisten
·Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage” - Fanucci
·Nursery of Heaven: Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss in the Lives of the Saints and Today’s Parents” - O’Hearn, Everts
·Praying with Our Lady of Sorrows: Meditations for Grieving Mothers” - Eileen Tully
Social Media Accounts:
·Napro_fertility_sergeon - NaPro Surgeon who talks about reproductive issues and suggests local doctors who can help - you!
Sisterhoodofthetravelingrelics - A St.Gianna ministry sending miscarriage care packages and 3rd class prayer cards, while keeping you in their prayers.
Coatneycraftingco - offers handsitched ultrasounds to remember your babies by
Clareyclayworks - offers handmade ceramics to remember your baby by
OBGYN and Fertility Needs:
·RHM Gynocology - https://www.rhmgyn.com
This Atlanta based OB-GYN office helps couples through infertility issues. Appointments are available in person and via telehealth.