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

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!

Infant & Child Memorial Mass June 1

Please join us on Sun., June 1, 2014 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 2:00 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!

Click here for more information about past Infant & Child Remembrance Services.

2nd Annual Feast of the Holy Innocents Infant Loss Service

For some, Christmas is about the joy of having family and little ones around and for this reason, the holiday season can be difficult for those whose infants have died.  Last evening, grieving parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends braved the cold, rainy weather and gathered in the warm atmosphere at St. Ann’s Parish for their 2nd annual Infant Remembrance Mass in Abbotsford.

This candlelight service was offered just a few days after Christmas on Dec.28th for the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Innocents and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  Pastor James Hughes noted that it was not by mistake that this date was chosen for this special Mass. 

During the service, families were invited to honour their infants by lighting a candle and placing the votives on a table in front of the altar.  As more and more candles were set beside one another, the lights emitted a peaceful glow and dancing shadows were seen on the white table cloth during the Mass.  Close by, the Infant Jesus was displayed in a manger with His arms stretched out to welcome us.

Well over 100 people attended this solemn event traveling from as far away as Washington State, the Sunshine Coast as well as parts of the Greater Vancouver area.  Many people of various ages, backgrounds and faiths attended.  “I wish we had a service like this in my community” a grieving mother said to me.  ”It is nice for our children to meet others who understand what it is like to lose a sibling,” another mom and dad shared.   

In his homily, Father openly shared that he has grown to appreciate the need to reach out to families suffering from infant loss due to ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, fatal diagnosis, pregnancy complications, stillbirth, illness and sudden infant death.  “These children are also considered ‘Holy Innocents’ and have the important role of praying for us” he explained.  Father James went on to say that the pain of couples struggling with infertility also needs to be recognized.  He also praised and prayed for bereavement support workers and professionals dedicated to assisting these families.  

At the reception, families were invited to sign a Book of Life and choose a hand-decorated pot of forget-me-not flowers.  It is important to note that when Devan Greenhouses heard what the plants were for, they insisted that the pots were to be donated as a gift from the nursery to bereaved families.  The evening was kindly coordinated by Fr. James and a number of families at the Parish.  We are thankful for so many blessings! 

It was comforting to meet other bereaved parents and families at this event.  I was happy to greet familiar faces and meet some new friends too.  Thank you to the team of ladies led by Jody at St. Ann’s  for organizing such a wonderful remembrance service for our children.  Special thanks to Father Hughes for your amazing support. 

Click here for a description of the 2010 Service.

Please see events page for future Infant Loss Services and other related events.        

Tears At Church

All children, every single one, are a gift.   In early days of my grief journey, seeing little ones had the power to take my breath away as I missed my baby boy with such raw intensity, but I always considered the children around me as blessings.

Other babylost moms just shook their heads when I told them that I was still able to go to baby showers and rarely declined invitations to play dates when my friend’s got the kids together.  I have always enjoyed being around children and did not stop loving those around me.

Just because Keaton was no longer here physically in my own arms, does not mean I resented that there were others who had healthy babies resting in theirs.  I love going to church and seeing young families there.  You may catch me cooing at babies and adoring infants, and watching with wonder toddlers who are around the age that my son would be.

What would Keaton be like?  Would he be charming the people in pews behind us during Mass and playing peek-a-boo?  Would he be smiling and laughing at other children and trying to break free from my loving embrace when we were supposed to be kneeling silently?  Most likely.

Admittedly, there are moments when I miss Keaton so much that it is almost too much to bear.  Innocent triggers that remind me of him tug at my emotions, and no matter how hard I try to be strong, the flood of tears are just too much to hold in and I have to simply let them flow freely.

One morning during Mass, every little voice, whimper and giggle of a child, even in the very back of the church, I was able to sense clearly.  No matter how hard I tried to tune out the faint cries of the hungry newborn, it stood out above the rest and that is all I could focus on.  All I wanted to do was to cuddle my son.

Being at church is my sanctuary, it is my time to open my heart to Jesus and to consciously wipe away any kind of mask that I find myself having to wear to protect “others” from seeing my grief.  Mass is also the time when I speak directly to my little boy and tell him how much he means to us and how much he is loved.  The peace I feel after talking to him is an incredible blessing that I wish I could share with all bereaved parents for them to also experience.

I am so grateful for these special moments during Mass that give me joy, they greatly outweigh the painful ones, like these 

Baby & Infant Memorial Service Details

*Baby & Infant Memorial Service & Teddy Bear Tea*

NEW date:  June 11

Where:  St. Matthew’s Parish, 16079 88 Ave., Surrey, BC

Memorial Mass Service:  5:30pm – 6:20pm celebrated by Pastor Augustine Obiwumma, with the Chorus Angelorum Choir

 “Teddy Bear” Tea:  6:30pm – 7:30pm (in the Fireside Room) hosted by St. Mattew’s Parish & local Elizabeth Ministry Chapters

*RSVP:  Ann & Donna – info@littlelightofheaven.com

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

- Toddlers and infants

- Babies lost during or after birth

- Babies who have died during pregnancy such as those who were miscarried and stillborn

Couples who are struggling with infertility and those trying to conceive; 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

Coffee & tea will be available at the social gathering immediately after the service in the Fireside Room.  Please consider bringing a new small teddy bear in honour of a baby or child which will be donated to bereaved families 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 Mass and social 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

NOTE:  The Teddy Bear Tea is the official launch event for Elizabeth Ministry in BC.  Future programs and events will be scheduled.  Contact Donna or Ann to receive updates. 

Elizabeth Ministry is a faith-based, peer mentorship volunteer organization that celebrates the sanctity of life and honours the lives of all children.  If you are interested in donating a teddy bear, volunteering or starting a chapter at your Parish, please contact us:

Ann, Elizabeth Minister St. Matthew’s Chapter – annamsing (at) yahoo.com

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

~~~ 

*SHORT DESCRIPTION* 

The following is a short summary of the service for email invites and church bulletins etc.

Baby & Infant Memorial Service & Teddy Bear Tea

Sat. June 11th 5:30- 7:30pm at St. Matthew’s Parish 16079 88 Ave. Surrey

Come celebrate the lives of all young children who have died including those miscarried, stillborn, lost during or after birth, infants and toddlers.  Bereaved parents, relatives and friends of all faiths and backgrounds welcome.  Families are invited to light a candle and enter the names of their children in the “Little Book of Life”.

Teddy bear donations to be distributed to bereaved families through Elizabeth Ministry (St. Matthew & St. Nicholas Chapters).  Please RSVP:  info (at)littlelightofheaven.com.  Visit littlelightofheaven.com for more info.