October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, and the Center for Women of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital will hold a special memorial service to provide comfort and support to families coping with the loss of a baby. The service will take place oat 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 500 Riverdale Ave., Lewiston.
The service, which is open to anyone who has experienced an infant loss, will include readings and a special message from Mount St. Mary’s Hospital’s spiritual care program. The Center for Women will be giving keepsake angel ornaments to those in attendance.
“This service is an opportunity for families to honor and remember their baby in a sacred, meaningful way,” said Maryann Cogdill, director of maternity at the Center for Women. “It is held at the cemetery’s butterfly monument, which provides a comforting and solemn backdrop for this gathering.”
Two years ago, Carmen Colao, director of cemeteries for the Diocese of Buffalo, donated the plot of land at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, while the butterfly monument was donated by Stone Memorial Art. The setting serves as an area of remembrance for those who have experienced the loss of a child.
The service is a part of Catholic Health’s Footprints on the Heart Program, which helps families cope with the loss of a baby caused by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death.
A press release said, “While no one ever wants to experience the loss of a child, Footprints on the Heart was established to provide comfort and support to any family member experiencing such a sad loss.”
For more information about the program or the memorial service, call the Center for Women at 716-298-2932.