COMMENTS FROM THE UNITED STATES
"I lost my daughter Faith Elizabeth
to complex congenital heart disease on August 20, 1997--she was five days
old. During my subsequent pregnancy, MORNING LIGHT
MINISTRY was a tremendous help to me: providing prayer and a listening
ear for my concerns with the next baby. I was also sent lovely mementos
in memory of my daughter Faith."
J., Nebraska, U.S.A.
"When we lost our baby to miscarriage
I was devastated. I searched everywhere for answers and acknowledgement
of our loss. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY provided
support within my own faith, support I couldn't find any other place. The
gifts sent to me in memory of our baby are something I will always cherish.
MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY acknowledged our loss,
validated my feelings and continues to remember our baby as we do."
L., Wisconsin, U.S.A.
"Since my baby's death was
so sudden, to know there was telephone help was wonderful. It was wonderful
to have a contact with someone who had been through a baby death, who could
reflect back to me concepts that I had been feeling but had been
unable to articulate. It made me feel more grounded mentally and emotionally.
The Christian perspective was essentially important to me. MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY has a strong Christian foundation that was missing
in other groups. Also, the help from MORNING LIGHT
MINISTRY was personalized and non-judgemental."
L (Messianic Jew)-Connecticut, U.S.A.
LIGHT MINISTRY has given me the spiritual comfort that I could just
not find in the secular realm. Since I am a spiritual person secular answers
are empty and hollow. Services such as the Prayer Service in the MORNING
LIGHT book (which I found to be
very helpful) are difficult to obtain elsewhere. MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY picks up where the secular groups leave off. The
telephone help is unique and fills in the gap amongst the various self-help
methods. The mementos given by MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
and the personal attention given, supercedes any other compassion displayed
by any other organization/group so far."
L., Virginia, U.S.A.
"I related to the articles
about others' experiences with infertility and miscarriage in the
FERTILITY CHALLENGES FROM A CATHOLIC
PERSPECTIVE booklet. The crosses sent
in memory of my two babies who died through miscarriage proved a
thoughtful touch to my life. This compassionate and necessary ministry
reaches infertile couples with these and other wonderful resources. May
God continue to use MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of those dealing with infertility
S.,(Baptist-Christian),South Carolina, U.S.A.
COMMENTS FROM CANADA
LIGHT MINISTRY is a beautiful ministry, a real witness to the awesome
gift of each child, no matter how
C., Nova Scotia, Canada
"It's very touching that there
is a ministry that recognizes our grief at the loss of an unborn child
whereas most of society doesn't today. It was heartwarming to receive the
mementos in memory of our child James Peter."
C., Prince Edward Island, Canada
"I received a copy of the MORNING
LIGHT book after I experienced two miscarriages.
The stories of other women were comforting, but it was this year when another
baby died in utero at 4 1/2 months that the book proved invaluable. Despite
the deep sorrow we were feeling, but armed with the experience of others
and the Prayer Service from the book, we were able to choose the
time for delivery of our baby instead of being rushed into anything.
We delivered our baby, arranged for cremation and held a private memorial
service (for all three of our unborn babies) with the help of our priest.
I am especially thankful that the book enabled me to insist that our baby
be treated with dignity by the hospital and that gave me the opportunity
to see this beautiful creation of God. Having this baby being treated as
fully human and recognized by the Church finally brought peace."
K., Alberta, Canada
"It's helped me knowing there
is a ministry that can help parents who have lost a baby. From MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY there are many resources available such as information
and support, phone calls, a listening ear, to know someone has shared a
like experience who I can share with, knowing someone cares and is available
A., British Columbia, Canada
"When people lose a child they
don't know who to talk to or where to go for comfort and how to deal
with this grieving. The MORNING
LIGHT book is a place to find a
reference of how to go about grieving in a healthy fashion."
B., Rural Alberta, Canada
"Since I've been in contact
with MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY I have been more
able to accept the life of our daughter. I was able to establish that our
daughter was very much a part of our lives. Sadly, my husband passed away
recently but I felt somewhat comforted to finally be able to state that
he was 'pre-deceased by a daughter in 1964'. Before that every family
tree was missing this connection. I thank MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY for the support which I hope I can pass on to
L., Alberta, Canada
LIGHT MINISTRY has helped me in ways I could hardly put into words.
The telephone support alone was very helpful. It let me express my feelings
about my loss with someone who knew exactly what I was going through. The
MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY Annual Mass that was
held for my babies who died through miscarriage was a way for me to put
my children to rest and for that alone I am truly grateful to MORNING
L., Ontario, Canada
"It has been over 32 years
since our first son, Michael, died shortly after birth. It was a complete
shock, and also didn't get to see or hold him. The funeral took place while
I was still in hospital; and most difficult of all, there was no support
for us or any acknowledgement that Michael had ever been brought into existence,
certainly not from our family members. He was completely ignored. Even
the doctor didn't want to explain why he had died. The deep wound has festered
in my heart all these years, though I told no one. I truly believe we will
be reunited with Michael one day--a soul for all eternity. Thank you MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY so much for the gift of, at last, acknowledgement
of our beloved son."
Y., Ontario, Canada
"Our daughter Erin was born
prematurely at a gestational age of 24 ½ weeks. She lived for only
a few hours after birth but touched our hearts forever. It is difficult
for others to understand our sadness over this loss. About a year after
her birth I was put in touch with MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
and attended the Autumn Series with other bereaved parents. I found there
an understanding and empathy beyond words as we shared our stories and
our pain. Since that time I have continued to be supported by MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY through the Lending Library, the beautiful Annual
Mass and the handcrafted mementos that are part of our home's memories
of Erin. Our 6 year old daughter has also benefited from attending
the Annual Mass as she meets other bereaved siblings and sees that other
families have shared such losses as well. "
B., K. & M., Ontario, Canada
"I've had three miscarriages
each at around 12 weeks in 1986, 1993 and 1995. Life kept on and I was
successful in many ways but an emptiness dragged at my heart and soul...By
chance I saw the notice for MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
and saw myself needing someone to hear the sadness at the loss of my children.
There is little opportunity in our world to acknowledge babies who died
by miscarriage. There seemed even less so for a single woman in our Catholic
religion-because weren't you supposed to be married? There were just a
lot of blank walls and doors, and no way out. MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY gave me a voice and an avenue to acknowledge my sweet
children whom I named after my contact with MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY (Lauren Christian, Hazel Marie, Michael Noel), children
I would have taken care of as they were God's little ones. I rarely
cry about it any more. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY's
acknowledgement has given me some joy when I tell them good morning or
good night, believing they are together in God's love."
G., Ontario, Canada
LIGHT MINISTRY has helped me by having a Mass and baptismal candle
lit for my two babies who died due to miscarriage and early infant
death. The MORNING LIGHTbook
also really helped me by just knowing other women have felt the same feelings
and thought the same things I have. This is the only ministry I've
found and it is definitely a
L., Ontario, Canada
(**Lise and her husband Mike drove four hours-after arranging for childcare for their other children-to come to the MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY Annual Mass in 2000. Another bereaved couple generously "put them up" for that night before their four hour return journey the next day.)
"We believe that the reality
of Katie's life in the womb became real to us from our contact with MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY. We became aware of God's care and love for her life.
Finally there was a Christian acceptance of this life. This was a healing
experience for us both. The beauty and the inclusiveness of the Annual
Mass touched us deeply."
C. & A.(Anglican-Christian), Ontario, Canada
THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM A BEREAVED
MOTHER'S TESTIMONY TO TWO PRIEST PRESENTATIONS-ONE IN MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO
IN 1999, ONE IN OSHAWA, ONTARIO IN 2000:
"I am no longer married and became a Catholic in 1996...It was because my faith had become such a strong guide and support that when I saw a small notice in our local bulletin about the 7 week MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY Series, I called unsure whether my situation would be covered. After all I hadn't lost (to use the words of the notice) a baby. I had just had two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. I knew the Church's belief was that life began at conception but these weren't really babies after all. That's what I had been told. That's what I told myself for 14 years...But not now. My participation in the Series changed that way of thinking...I told you that MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY was a marvelous gift. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY actually gave me many gifts. Most importantly, MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY gave me my babies. The out and out dismissive nature of everyone from my doctors to my husband...refuse to recognize my babies...The focus was on the failure to succeed in being pregnant not that a human being had been conceived and was now gone to the Father...Not only did MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY recognize and acknowledge my babies but it helped me to remember them and to honour them. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY gave me mementos to remember and honour my babies. Due to the early loss and lack of recognition of my babies I didn't have anything that I could look at or hold to remember them...all mementos to cherish and hold my babies near in faith each day...MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY gave me validation as a mother. It wasn't that I didn't have children, I didn't have any surviving children. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY gave me healing. I could acknowledge my babies even though they weren't here for long. I could acknowledge my love for them...Just because I can't show you a picture of my babies' faces, just because my babies don't have names (I have not chosen names yet), my loss is no less important. The Annual Memorial Mass was such a wonderful experience of this and of spiritual healing...I urge you to share MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY with your parishioners. Don't let one of your parishioners carry this buried inside of them for 14 years. Allow these people to be freed from the binds of grief...When everyone else is saying, 'It's not a big deal', MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY through sharing, mutual comfort, guidance, acknowledgement and prayer says it's okay if it is. Please share this gift."
J., Ontario, Canada
"I lost five babies many years
ago always at 6 months gestation. MORNING LIGHT
MINISTRY enabled me to bring Light and Love into my heart where
there had been buried pain for 30 years. The Love I experienced at MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY moved the pain that I was holding into the Light.
MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY clarified for me the
relationship between God and grieving and brought me Peace."
S., Ontario, Canada
"We heard about MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY from our midwife in 1998 who left the MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY brochure with us at the most traumatic time in our
lives after an adverse prenatal diagnosis. At the time I put the brochure
away thinking-I'm not going to need a group like this! It was in thinking
back, a coping mechanism hoping all would be alright! At this point you
are going through many emotions. You are going through the grieving process
even before your baby is born and still you are desperately hoping all
will be well. Since that time I've read the HOPE
IN TURMOIL booklet. I would have appreciated
having it available to me at the time because I was desperately wanting
to hear other stories of how people coped who brought their babies to term
with a fatal condition. Our baby Joseph was stillborn. I received the MORNING
LIGHT book from the Funeral Home. We
found it helpful in reinforcing our need to plan a proper good-bye. We
used parts of the MORNING LIGHT
book's Prayer Service for different parts of the Mass. Our children wrote
good-bye letters to Joseph and picked a special toy to go in the casket-all
suggestions that we got from the MORNING
J., Ontario, Canada
LIGHT MINISTRY has helped the Catholic Church to finally recognize
a need for bereaved parents to come to a place and share their grief and
faith in one. They have an annual Mass that celebrates the lives and the
loss of our children. This Mass has so much meaning spiritually, it truly
fulfills me. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY is a place
that is filled with God's love for us to come together and be there for
one another through our grief journey."
A., Ontario, Canada
"I would like to thank MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY very much for the beautiful MORNING
LIGHT book that you sent me last
year. The remembrances and the white crocheted cross mean so much to us.
As I read the stories in the MORNING
LIGHT book I cried for ourselves and
our little girl Ann, and for all the people who must endure such sadness.
Our little girl Baby Ann was born Nov. 4, 1982. She was full-term and we
were informed on Oct. 30 that our baby had died in the womb...The MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY that you offer to bereaved parents was exactly
what I was looking for in 1982. We received information from the hospital
and although I read every word it lacked a religious perspective. Since
husband and I were practising Catholics I was hungry for spiritual healing as well. We felt so alone with our grief and I truly felt that people didn't understand the loneliness and sadness that we felt as parents. We had also suffered a miscarriage just before my pregnancy with Ann and a miscarriage one and a half years later. It was such a bleak time for us and I was desperate to contact others in similar situations. I felt very isolated. We also felt that God had forsaken us and it was a long time before I retained my relationship with God. We were then blessed with three wonderful sons. They know that they have a sister and we do visit her grave as it is located behind the church that we attend in D., Ontario."
P., Ontario, Canada
"I went to a priest for some
spiritual guidance after my miscarriage in November, 1999. He referred
my phone number to MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
with my permission. Upon my first conversation with Bernadette she
made me feel comfortable. As we talked she made me feel a little bit better
about myself and what I had been through. I was afraid of getting more
deeply depressed than what I already was experiencing, as I have a surviving
child and a husband to care for. If it weren't for Bernadette's kindness
and soft encouraging words, I would have been driven deeper into my depression.
She invited my husband and myself to attend MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY monthly meetings where there would be others
who have suffered a loss of a child. This helped me the most because I
really didn't want to be around others much because all I had been doing
lately was crying. I had felt a little relieved to know and see others
that had been through a similar situation as we had. The information
that was given to Rob and I was so helpful and needed. The music that Bernadette
had chosen for the topics that we were discussing were so sweet as well
as uplifting (to a point since some of the music was sad but they fit the
topic at hand). Bernadette did a lot of things out of the kindness of her
heart and to help others in need. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
sent numerous items to us in memory of our child we lost which has helped
us in a way that we can put a kind of closure/memory to our baby.
We won't ever forget about our baby but in the whole picture we don't want
to stay focusing on what happened and the awful feelings we were
feeling about losing her. It is really hard for me to put in words how
MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY has helped my family
and myself. All I know is that deep in my heart and soul I truly thank
Bernadette and the beautiful ministry that has helped me to survive
one of the most difficult times in my life, losing a baby."
C. & R., Ontario, Canada
"We found MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY to be tremendously helpful to us once we received
the fatal diagnosis for the baby I was carrying. With the help of MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY we were able to prepare for the birth and death of
our son in almost every way. From the HOPE
IN TURMOIL booklet we were able to be
reassured by other families stories and connect with a family through a
resource group listed in the booklet whose baby had exactly the same fatal
condition as our son. We were, on a practical level, able to make the necessary
arrangements regarding his birth (Baptism, having pictures taken, handprints
& footprints, holding and talking to our son) and death (funeral and
burial arrangements etc.). On a spiritual level we were encouraged to pray
and trust that the Lord did not 'do this' to our son, but that the Lord
has a unique plan for all of us. The ongoing telephone support and the
written resources available to us helped make our baby's birth and death
the most positive experience possible, in that we were able to prepare
(as much as we were able) for his birth and death, and we are very much
at peace with our decisions with the help of MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY. We are grateful to MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY for being there for us through such a difficult trial."
P. & M., Ontario, Canada
"I find that the book MORNING
LIGHT is really from a Christian perspective
rather than just a Catholic perspective. It deals with the raw emotions
and spiritual confusion of bereaved parents in a very honest and real way.
I personally found it enhanced my spiritual journey. Even though it's been
several years since the death of my son, I found it comforting and helpful
to re-visit the Old Testament references to baby loss. I found the suggestion
of using lamentation as a form of prayer to be an exciting idea."
P. (Christian From Another Denomination), Ontario, Canada
"I found the MORNING
LIGHT book to be a perfect combination
of religious support, helpful information and personal stories that continue
to help me through the many rough days and help calm my sense of
isolation. Bernadette Zambri has written a 'personal friend' for
each of us who have lost a child so we don't have to journey alone."
M., Ontario, Canada
LIGHT MINISTRY gave me an opportunity to set aside some time from
my busy schedule to reflect on our lost babies in a caring, prayerful environment.
We shared a bond of love for our babies whose fleeting lives took a firm
emotional hold on our hearts."
M. (bereaved father), Ontario, Canada
"Even though I didn't attend
a MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY meeting, knowing
the help was available meant a lot to me. The ministry was particularly
helpful in providing me with further resources in my subsequent pregnancy."
G., Ontario, Canada
"I felt that the monthly support
group and the 7 week Series of MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY
were very good learning experiences especially from the husband's point
of view in order to understand the grieving process of his wife. It also
helped me to understand my own grieving process. I got to understand other
couples' experiences regarding the uniqueness of their babies and the events
surrounding their babies' deaths. Also, I became aware that each couple
D., Ontario, Canada
"The death of my babies due
to miscarriage has been devastating. I am grateful that love, support and
compassion from MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY are
only a phone call away."
K., Ontario, Canada
"After losing our baby boy
with anencephaly whose life was not valued by anyone, I felt like I was
travelling on a very lonely road. Then, one day in September, 1996, I got
a phone call from Bernadette at MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY.
She immediately expressed that she valued my son's life. What a blessing
it was to know that Bernadette and other parents at the monthly support
group and the Series could better understand my loss because they all had
experienced the loss of their babies who are all now in heaven."
L., Ontario, Canada
"Five months after Sara's death,
the 7 week Series gave us a great opportunity to unite together to listen,
share, and connect in a spiritual way. Understanding and expressing my
sorrow and grief, within the context of my Catholic faith was very important
to me. MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY's spirituality
of unity and love has helped me find the Peace of Christ. Praise God!"
C., Ontario, Canada
"I am a bereaved mother who
is experiencing difficulty in conceiving other children. I found the FERTILITY
CHALLENGES FROM A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE
booklet very interesting and informative, but most of all that there are
places to go and resources from a Christian perspective. Reading the stories
of other couples relieved the feeling of isolation that I had experienced
J., Ontario, Canada
"Carrying a sick child to term
is not an easy journey, but parents in this situation need to know the
beauty there is in life, no matter how brief, and the joy and peace from
making the decision to continue the pregnancy. The parents can only know
this through the positive experiences of those who have walked this path.
Reading HOPE IN TURMOIL
gives the parents this opportunity. As a Catholic ministry, MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY offered comfort we could not find anywhere else.
The affirmation and support for our child's precious life (that we also
received from our priest), the understanding and compassion of a parent
who had survived the loss of a child were together in one ministry. For
us, it was the perfect
J. & D., Ontario, Canada
LIGHT MINISTRY has helped me in many ways with my journey back to
God after losing my three week old son. Whenever I needed to talk, help
was just a phone call away. The many conversations helped me realize I
was not alone in my anger towards God, and that lamenting was indeed a
form of prayer. Two years after I lost my son, I still felt very disconnected
to the Church and God. Attending the MORNING LIGHT
MINISTRY Autumn Series and Annual Mass has helped me restore my
M., Ontario, Canada
"When I had the first miscarriage
I was 10 1/2 weeks pregnant and we were on vacation. My husband called
in a priest (not mentioning the age of our baby) . When the priest did
come he said, 'I don't usually come when the baby's this young.'
It made me feel that my loss was less significant because of my baby's
age. With my second miscarriage everyone's expectations were for us to
get on with our lives and so I never grieved. With MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY (the Series and the Annual Mass) I was finally able
to grieve the loss of my two babies, receive acknowledgement for their
lives and reaffirm that all life begins at conception. It allowed me to
question and eventually this strengthened my faith."
L., Ontario, Canada
"If I can articulate the difference
between MORNING LIGHT MINISTRY and other groups
that offered assistance it is the personal aspect-it truly felt like a
person reaching out to you in understanding and compassion. MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY is founded in Christ unlike other groups. MORNING
LIGHT MINISTRY has a true appreciation of Derek's life."
L., Ontario, Canada
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l This site was designed by
Michele - Gabriela Lael's Mommy
for Morning Light Ministry