Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents

SAS-PietaThe Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents at St. Anthony Shrine is a spiritual program designed specifically for grieving parents whose child of any age has died by any cause, no matter how long ago.

The pain of grieving  parents is horrific, devastating, and unthinkable. However, through the help of other parents in the same situation and the Franciscan friars of St. Anthony Shrine on Arch Street, you may find some comfort and peace in our various programs focused on the spirituality of the grieving process.

I cannot tell you how many times I have stood in front of the Pieta here at the Shrine and other places—more than a thousand—and said, “Only you truly understand what this feels like.”  It was the grace of God and the Holy Spirit that the Friars started this ministry.  My prayers are with you.  I feel as though all of those children honored today were totally at peace and with us in spirit.

The ministry offers One-Hour, One-Day, and Weekend Spiritual Retreats, as well as Brown Bag Lunch Retreats and special events.   All are welcome.

The next Emmaus Ministry events will be held during Lent, 2018.  We will be offering a One-Day Retreat on Saturday, March 17, 2017 from 9:30am-7:00pm.  Give yourself the gift of getting away from everyday life  and focusing on where God–and your child–are right now.

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 12:15-1:15pm, we will be offering a Brown Bag Lunch Retreat.  It will feature Lauri Jacob, Dary’s Mother, who will offer “Mary Knows…”  A focus on Mary as Mother of God and grieving parent.  Using “Visio Divina,” reflect on images of Mary in art and how she surely understands our pain.  A lively discussion of… Who was God for Mary? Is Mary taking care of our children? How can Mary become our best friend?

On Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 12:15pm-1:15pm, we will be offering another Brown Bag Lunch Retreat:  “THEY ARE ALIVE!”  Presented by Emily Ketring, Angel’s Mother.  Author of An Angel of the Beatitudes: Finding Faith after the Loss of a Child, a beautifully written, recently published book offering Catholic theology and spiritual direction for those lost in a sea of despair after the death of a child.

“Our most important comfort is understanding that our children are still connected to us—now more than ever… We don’t have to wait until we die to be reunited.  They are alive and so is our connection.  Our connection with God can grow through our connection with our children.”

Because September is Suicide Prevention Month, on September 8, we will be celebrating the 5:30 pm Mass for the intentions of those affected by suicide.  Those lost to suicide will be remembered in a special way.  Please join us.

In addition, monthly One-Hour Sunday Retreats are offered the first Sunday of each month at the Shrine after the 10 am Mass.  These retreats include a Scripture Reading and Coffee Social.

The complete Emmaus Ministry  Program Schedule is constantly being updated.  Please check www.emfgp.org periodically.  Or call Diane Monaghan, mother of Paul, at 617-542-8057.  Currently we are offering programs in six states and two countries.

The Emmaus Ministry is a Partner in Ministry with the Archdiocese of Boston.  Charley and Diane Monaghan, two of the original founders of the ministry recently made a presentation to more than 100 parish personnel on the Emmaus Ministry.  In addition, they were interviewed on Catholic TV.

To read what parents who have attended the retreats have said, click here.

Incredible, just incredible…I am exhausted and teary, but so grateful to have participated in this weekend…. I can’t put everything into words right now, but all I can say is that this entire ministry is Spirit-filled and Spirit-inspired…. many lives were touched…beginning with the three of us…

St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center is the Spiritual Home of The Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents.  In addition, we help other parents, clergy, and diocesan personnel  introduce the ministry in their own locations.  To read about the ministry in the Archdioceses of New York, see Catholic New York.  For a complete list of Partners in Ministry and other Emmaus Ministry programs, see www.emfgp.org.  To talk about bringing this ministry to your area, call Diane Monaghan, mother of Paul, at 617-542-8057 or email her at [email protected]