Grace and healing after miscarriage or infant loss
Mass for Miscarriage & Infant Loss is Dec. 4 at St. Dominic’s Church
Miscarriage is a loss that until recently was ignored, often happening before anyone knew the mother was pregnant. But as those who have lost children in pregnancy can recount, it is a grief. Therefore, the Archdiocese of San Francisco Respect Life Ministry has begun an annual Memorial Mass & Healing Service for Miscarriage & Infant Loss.
Catholic San Francisco interviewed Maria Martinez-Mont, coordinator of the Respect Life Ministry of the Office of Human Life & Dignity.
What is the reason for the Mass for Miscarriage & Infant Loss?
The Catholic Church and the archdiocese know it is important to walk alongside those experiencing grief. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offers the healing of the Eucharist and the community of Catholic Christians sharing a graced time with Our Lord. The Mass is a way the Office of Human Life & Dignity can support parents during this difficult time in their lives. The Mass is an acknowledgement of our belief that all lives count, from conception to natural death. This baby, unborn or born, is a human being, and the loss brings the grief of losing a son or daughter. The Church can be present to offer emotional and healing support. By offering a healing Mass, we provide grieving parents a way to heal and get closer to Christ.
How many parents suffer this loss, estimated?
It is estimated that one out of four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. This loss can have a profound effect on the mothers, fathers and families of the children who pass away, and many of us may be unsure how best to respond to those who are hurting.
What are some of the ways miscarriage and infant loss affect mothers and fathers?
It can take a few weeks to a month or more for your body to recover from a miscarriage. Depending on how long you were pregnant, you may have pregnancy hormones in your blood for one to two months after you miscarry. Most women get their period again four to six weeks after a miscarriage.
However, miscarriage includes emotional, relational and spiritual suffering that requires assistance from family, friends and church leaders. The Mass is one way to do that.
Do you have any personal experience with this that you would like to share?
My husband and I personally suffered four miscarriages and it was very hard to experience. We know our first miscarriage was a boy because you can find out if you have the opportunity to test the remains. It was helpful for us to bury our children in the cemetery and have a priest in some instances join us.
Memorial Mass & Healing Service for Miscarriage & Infant Loss
December 4, 2021
Celebrant: Father Vito Perrone, COSJ
St. Dominic’s Catholic Church
2390 Bush St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
More info: Maria Mont Martinez