This past week, the Church marked two important occasions among the many activities and feasts going on within the Church around the world. The first took place last Sunday, October 13 when Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was canonized a saint. St. John Henry Newman was one of the most beloved and well-known preachers of his time. Originally, an Anglican priest, Newman converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest and cardinal. Known for his beautiful prose and captivating preaching, Newman has long been a source of inspiration to many both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Newman's masterful knowledge of the lives of the saints, Catholic doctrine, and, above all, Sacred Scripture, has helped many Catholics deepen their faith, and appreciation of the bible and the liturgical seasons. His writings are numerous and varied; and, since he wrote in English, they are very accessible. An interesting bit of trivia about Cardinal Newman is that the miracle attributed to his intercession, which led to his beatification (step just before canonization), was the healing of a local Permanent Deacon, Deacon Jack Sullivan, who lives in Hanson. You can learn more about this miracle by visiting www.deaconjacksullivan.com.
The other occasion the Church marked this past week occurred on Tuesday, October 15, which was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Many have extended it to the whole month of October. It recognizes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and the death of a newborn. To lose a child is perhaps one of the most painful types of grief. Although death is always difficult, one can accept it more readily when it comes at the end of a long and well-lived life. However, to lose a child after a number of years, or a baby merely hours, days, weeks or months old is devastating. To suffer a stillbirth or a neonatal death, after carrying a child for months in the womb, whether the result of a spontaneous abortion, an ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage, is also a difficult and complex tragedy. Less recognized sufferers are those parents who experience delayed grief over a past abortion. I invite you to pray for all who have lost a child under any circumstance, and together, let us entrust their dear children to the Father's tender love and mercy, confident that He holds them close to His heart. A special Mass of Remembrance for Pregnancy & Infant Loss will take place on Tues., Nov. 5 at 7:00 pm in Bethany Chapel at the Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree. All are welcome! For more information, contact Project Rachel at 508-651-3100.
God bless you!