Post Partum Depression Seminar

You are not Alone!  Coping Strategies for Baby Blues/Post Partum Depression & Anxiety

April 4th, 2017 from 7 PM – 9:00 PM 

Post-Partum-Depression-photo

Presented ByDiana Ayres, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor and Donna L. Crombie, Elizabeth Minister

Location:  St. Nicholas Church, 20675 87 Ave., Langley, BC

Will you be giving birth in the next few months?

Have you given birth recently?

Do you sometimes feel anxious or think you might be depressed or worry your spouse might be?

Have you suffered through infant loss and are pregnant again or recently had a baby?

Feeling lonely and need of support?

Post partum depression can greatly affect couples and their families.  Feelings being of worried, anxious or depressed are more common than we think.  Diana and Donna are new moms and would like to create more awareness about this important topic.

This seminar will go over signs and symptoms of perinatal and post partum anxiety and depression.  Diana will discuss ways to cope, gain support and thrive and Donna will share her story about infant loss and having subsequent children.

Pregnant couples, new parents, supporters and family members are encouraged to attend.  All are welcome!

Cost:  By donation

To register or for more info: 604.931.7211 - denisboyd.com

Elizabeth Ministry Launch – Vancouver, BC

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day

Please join us at these two events, we’d love to meet you!  More info. can be found on the events page.

Read Archbishop J. Michael Miller’s message for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  It is wonderful to have support from the Archdiocese of Vancouver and Catholic Cemeteries for Elizabeth Ministry, thank you!

Watch the promo video

Nov. 5, 2016 Infant & Child Remembrance Service

St. Nicholas R.C. Church - 20675 87th Ave., Langley, BC

Remembrance Mass Service: 9:00 am

“Teddy Bear” Tea Reception: 10:00 am hosted by St. Nicholas Parish/Elizabeth Ministry

*RSVP: A response is kindly requested, but not necessary:  info(at)littlelightofheaven.com

Families are welcome to bring a photo and/or mementos of their infants or children to share.

Prayers will be included for parents and family members who wish to honour the lives of all children gone-too-soon, including;

- Children of any age

- Infants & Toddlers

- Babies lost shortly after birth and through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- Pre-born babies and those who have died during pregnancy for any reason (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, complications and stillbirth)

Couples who are trying to conceive and those struggling with infertility; parents who are expecting and those on a waiting list to adopt; as well as parents who lovingly chose to give up and/or welcome children through adoption will also be remembered on this day.  We will also pray for families touched by abortion.

TEDDY BEAR TEA

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception immediately after the service.  Families will be offered a teddy bear in honour of their child/ren through Elizabeth Ministry.

Families can enter the name of their child in the “Little Book of Life” and light a candle for their little one.

This event is open to everyone from all faiths and backgrounds, especially bereaved parents and other family members including children, as well as those who support grieving families.

We will be collecting donated wedding/bridesmaid dresses and grad gowns (any colour) for BC Angel Dresses.  Please bring your dresses to the social and they will be lovingly sewn into burial garments for babies.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

*Elizabeth Ministry is a faith-based, peer mentorship volunteer organization that celebrates the sanctity of life and honours the lives of all children.

We’re looking for volunteers to assist!  Please contact:

info (at) littlelightofheaven.com

Apr. 26th Mass for the Unborn

Gardens of Gethsemani is offering a “Mass for the Unborn” on Sunday April 26th, at 2:30pm in the Evangelist Chapel. “We truly celebrate the gift of each child conceived and born, and fully mourn each miscarriage, abortion, stillborn and infant or child’s death at our Catholic Cemeteries”.

There will be a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard and procession to our new Children’s Memorial Garden and Rachel’s Garden as we pray the rosary. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

Infant & Child Memorial Service – June 13

Please join us on Sat., June 13, 2015 for the Infant & Child Memorial Service & Teddy Bear Tea at St. Matthew’s Parish - 16079 88 Ave., Surrey, BC (Canada).

TeddyBears

Shutterstock image

The Memorial Mass will start at 5:30 pm and the “Teddy Bear” Tea & Social hosted by St. Matthew’s Parish, Elizabeth Ministry and CWL will follow..  ALL are welcome, including children.

Please. email Ann, Elizabeth Minister at St. Matthew’s R.C. Parish annamsing@yahoo.com for more information.

Light of Life LLoH
“Light of Life” by Libby Dulac

Prayers will be included for parents & family members who wish to celebrate and honour the lives of children gone-too-soon, including toddlers and infants, as well as babies who have died during birth and pre-born babies lost during pregnancy.

*If anyone is interested in bringing snacks to share, that would be much appreciated!

Angel or Saint?

I’m guilty!  I’ve fondly identified myself as an “Angel Mom” even though what I meant was “Saint Mom”, but “Saint Mom” sounds awkward, it needs explaining – there is a certain connotation to the word “Saint”.   Not everyone will instinctually know what you are referring to, but maybe we should take the time to help others understand.  This is a great article that explains the difference, called Why Our Babies Aren’t Angels…And Why It Matters.

Infant & Child Loss Service Nov.15, 2014

*Infant & Child Loss Remembrance Service*

& Teddy Bear Tea

St. Nicholas R.C. Church - 20675 87th Ave., Langley, BC

Remembrance Mass Service: 9:00 am

“Teddy Bear” Tea Reception: 10:00 am hosted by St. Nicholas Parish/Elizabeth Ministry

*RSVP: A response is kindly requested, but not necessary:  info(at)littlelightofheaven.com

Families are welcome to bring a photo and/or mementos of their infants or children to share.

Prayers will be included for parents and family members who wish to honour the lives of all children gone-too-soon, including;

- Children of any age

- Infants & Toddlers

- Babies lost shortly after birth and through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- Pre-born babies and those who have died during pregnancy for any reason (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, complications and stillbirth)

Couples who are trying to conceive and those struggling with infertility; parents who are expecting and those on a waiting list to adopt; as well as parents who lovingly chose to give up and/or welcome children through adoption will also be remembered on this day.  We will also pray for families touched by abortion.

TEDDY BEAR TEA

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception immediately after the service.  Families will be offered a teddy bear in honour of their child/ren through Elizabeth Ministry.  These teddy bears have been kindly donated by individuals and organizations such as Signal Hill and Gardens of Gethsemani.

Families can enter the name of their child in the “Little Book of Life” and light a candle for their little one.

This event is open to everyone from all faiths and backgrounds, especially bereaved parents and other family members including children, as well as those who support grieving families.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

*Elizabeth Ministry is a faith-based, peer mentorship volunteer organization that celebrates the sanctity of life and honours the lives of all children.

We’re looking for volunteers to assist!  Please contact:

info (at) littlelightofheaven.com

Infant & Child Loss Remembrance Service – Nov. 2nd, 2013

*Infant & Child Loss Remembrance Service*

& Teddy Bear Tea

St. Nicholas R.C. Church - 20675 87th Ave., Langley, BC

Remembrance Mass Service: 9:00 am

“Teddy Bear” Tea Reception: 10:00 am hosted by St. Nicholas Parish/Elizabeth Ministry

*RSVP: info(at)littlelightofheaven.com

Prayers will be included for parents and family members who wish to honour the lives of all children gone-too-soon, including;

- Children of any age

- Infants & Toddlers

- Babies lost shortly after birth and through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- Babies who have died during pregnancy for any reason (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, complications and stillbirth)

Couples who are trying to conceive and those struggling with infertility; parents who are expecting and those on a waiting list to adopt; as well as parents who lovingly chose to give up and/or welcome children through adoption and fostering will also be remembered on this day.

TEDDY BEAR TEA

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception immediately after the service.  Families will be offered a teddy bear in honour of their child through Elizabeth Ministry.  These teddy bears have been kindly donated by organizations such as Signal Hill and Gardens of Gethsemani.

Families can enter the name of their child in the “Little Book of Life” and light a candle for their little one.

This event is open to everyone from all faiths and backgrounds, especially bereaved parents and other family members including children, as well as those who support grieving families.

*Please RSVP so that enough programs, candles & refreshments are available.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

*Elizabeth Ministry is a faith-based, peer mentorship volunteer organization that celebrates the sanctity of life and honours the lives of all children.

We’re looking for volunteers to assist!  If you are interested in donating a teddy bear or refreshments, volunteering or starting a chapter at your Parish, please contact:

Donna, Elizabeth Minister St. Nicholas Chapter – info (at) littlelightofheaven.com

Please note:  At this service, we will honour and celebrate the lives of our little Saints in heaven.  This Mass will be held on the Feast of All Souls’ Day.

 

Coming Together To Share Stories

Today, I attended day 1 of the Still Birth Conference, Coming Together to Share Stories organized by Still Life Canada.   Tears were shed and stories were told in an atmosphere of compassion and understanding.  This clearly was a safe place to speak the names of our precious babies who had gone-too-soon.   

It was amazing to hear Dr. Joanne Cacciatore speak about her work with bereaved families and the research she has conducted done in honour of her stillborn daughter Cheyenne.  Health care professionals who came to participate in the conference displayed a willingness to listen and learn from bereaved families.   The team of doctors, nurses, social workers and policy makers all seemed motivated to facilitate positive changes in the hospitals to help buffer the trauma of infant loss which was encouraging.    

A big part of Elizabeth Ministry is to listen to the stories of others and to also share our own.  Peer support can be a simple, yet powerful way to facilitate healing in many ways.  Knowing that you are not alone, that there are others who are on a similar journey can bring a lot of comfort.  I’m grateful that Still Life Canada organized this event. 

So where do we go from here?  I look forward to day 2 of the Coming Together to Share Stories conference and the action plan that comes of this gathering.  Kudos to the volunteers who made this conference happen.    

Celebrating the Brief Lives of Our Little Ones

An Infant and Child Remembrance Service and Teddy Bear Tea was held at St. Nicholas Parish in Langley on Feb.18th. Many families gathered at this Mass to honour babies and children gone-too-soon.

At the front of the altar, the Paschal Candle was lit and individual votives were carefully set out for the candle lighting ceremony. The hymns were beautifully led by two young women that made up the intimate choir and the music reflecting hope and healing set the tone for this meaningful service.

This special occasion was celebrated by Rev. John McCarthy, Pastor at St. Nicholas Parish to help support families suffering the loss of a young child. A bereaved mother involved with Elizabeth Ministry at the Parish approached Father about hosting this service and he kindly agreed. 

In the homily, Father talked about how our heavenly children are an important part of our families and actively praying for us. As a part of the Communion of Saints, may these little ones help us strengthen our faith as we seek eternal life. 

Meaningful Prayer Intentions

After the homily, the following prayers were included to acknowledge the various kinds of loss that guests may be suffering from:

1.       We pray for bereaved families mourning the loss of a loved one, especially infants and children; including babies who have died during pregnancy, and at birth.

2.      We pray for couples who are struggling with infertility and those trying to conceive.

3.      We pray for families who are expecting and those waiting to adopt; as well as families who lovingly chose to give up and/or welcome children through adoption and fostering.

4.      We pray for healing for the parents of unborn babies.  May they seek God’s peace and receive support in their journey. 

5.      We also pray for those in our community who may be estranged from others and their faith, may they be welcomed back home. 

Healing Flame of the Paschal Candle

Tapers were lit from the Paschal candle and walked to the back of the Church where one by one, the votives were ignited from the original flame. Father John explained that the Pascal candle was a “light in the darkness”, a symbol for hope by our Heavenly Father. 

Guests and Parishioners were invited to place the votives on the altar to represent their own personal prayer intention and everyone chose to participate. Many bereaved parents attended Mass and candles were specifically lit for babies who had died. 

One couple shared that they had learned about the service just the day before from a local infant loss support group.  They had just lost their son two weeks ago and understandably, their grief was still raw. A mother in her 90’s was there to honour three infants whom she had lost more than 60 years ago, “you weren’t to talk about it back then” she explained with tears in her eyes. 

Time for Tea…and Teddy Bears

Families were given the opportunity to meet with one another and share their stories in an informal setting at the reception which was decorated with flowers and teddy bears.  Guests were greeted by friendly volunteers and freshly baked home-made treats. 

To the surprise of many, tea was served in vintage bone china tea cups. This was a family-friendly event and young children happily played together running around with their new teddy bears in hand. 

For some, coming to the service was the first step towards healing, “you could just feel how the heaviness and grief lifted during Mass” a Parishioner told me with a warm smile, she herself a bereaved mother. Indeed, there seemed to be a lot of peace in the hearts of those that I met. Many expressed how thankful they were that the special service was offered.    

With a program, prayer card and a teddy bear tucked under his arm, a bereaved father asked when the next service will be scheduled, “I’m looking forward to it!” he said with a nod before leaving. 

If you are a bereaved family member, please visit littlelightofheaven.com for infant bereavement resources, information about future events and Elizabeth Ministry or email: info(at)littlelightofheaven.com. A Mass at Gardens of Gethsemani Cemetery and a Mother’s Tea in Fort Langley are coming up in March.  

Thank you to those that attended, Father John McCarthy and all the Parish volunteers who assisted in various ways at the Mass and Teddy Bear Tea. We would also like to acknowledge private donors, Gardens of Gethsemani Catholic Cemeteries, and Signal Hill for donating items such as teddy bears and treats for the teddy bear reception.

All your contributions made the event extra special and we couldn’t have done it without your support!