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Newly Bereaved

 “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:35  

Dear Parent,


Our deepest condolences on the loss of your dearest child ; as bereaved parents ourselves, we know the deep sorrow you feel in your heart and the emptiness in your being.  


At such a time, God seems very far away and we sometimes we even  feel abandoned.  There are many questions and regrets, even anger and confusion.  These are natural responses to our loss as grief overwhelms our heart.  Take all these to Jesus and lay them at his feet, as his mother did.  Then sit quietly with Him, invite Him into your heart, and allow Him to fill you with His consolation and love.


The gift of God’s peace will surely lift your spirit - slowly, gently and deeply - in faith and hope.  


God bless,


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:6-7 

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Turning to Mother Mary in Prayer

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Mary stood at the foot of the cross as her Son died.  His last words commended us to her care. This mother suffered the darkness of grief when the dead body of Jesus was taken down from the cross.  


In our grief we can call on her, cry with her.  We may quietly stay with her in contemplation of the love that God has given us and that can never be taken from us.  She is with her Son in glory now and is a sure sign of hope and comfort for every one of us. 


Recite one decade of the Rosary for each Contemplation - allowing your thoughts to enfold you for each of the ten reflections (we have chosen two contemplations which relate to Mother Mary's bereavement, adapted from the Ignatian Contemplation on the Passion of our Lord).  Bring yourself into each scene as you remember your child and let Mother Mary lead you. She knows your pain; Jesus knows the depth of your love. Surrender all to our loving God.

Jesus is taken down from the cross

Our Father...

  1. Mary says: The crowd has gone, the noise has stopped, and now I stand and gaze at my dead son. (Hail Mary ….)

  2. Why, why did he have to suffer so? My heart is broken. (Hail Mary ….)

  3. Two men take my son’s body from the cross and place him in my arms. (Hail Mary ….)

  4. I remember the cradle in Bethlehem. (Hail Mary ….)

  5. What have they done to my child? (Hail Mary ….)

  6. Other women come closer to mourn with Mary. (Hail Mary ….)

  7. Mary wonders how her life will be without Jesus. (Hail Mary ….)

  8. After some time, Joseph of Arimathea comes forward and touches Mary gently. He removes the thorns from Jesus' head. (Hail Mary ….)

  9. A sad procession begins as they carry Jesus to the place of his burial. (Hail Mary ….)

  10. Mary feels the earth vibrate as the stone is rolled in front of the tomb and drops in place with a gentle thud. (Hail Mary ….)

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Mary after Calvary

Our Father ….

  1. After they laid my son in the tomb, John took me to his home. (Hail Mary ….)

  2. His mother and family cared for me, but I could not sleep that night. (Hail Mary ….)

  3. Images of Calvary keep flashing into my mind. My garments were soiled by his wounded body when I held him. (Hail Mary ….)

  4. The next day was the Sabbath so we could not leave the house. (Hail Mary ….)

  5. That night I was so exhausted I must have fallen into a deep sleep. (Hail Mary ….)

  6. As the morning light came into my room, I felt something touch my cheek, then it went away. (Hail Mary ….)

  7. I opened my eyes and Jesus was there. He kissed and embraced me. (Hail Mary ….)

  8. I thought I was dreaming, but then he called me “mother.” (Hail Mary ….)

  9. I threw my arms around him and held him closely. He looked so different. (Hail Mary ….)

  10. Then he said: Later, the others will see me too, but I wanted you to be the first one I visited. (Hail Mary ….)

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

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“Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.”

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Kirk Durston

- Thoughts about God, Truth and Beauty

There is no glossing over the fact that death is a brutal reality of this fallen world. But … we must remember that from God’s perspective, our real potential is in eternity, not here.... There are many, it seems, who are ready for eternity at a very young age; their mission in this life is complete. From God’s perspective, it would be wrong to leave them here any longer in this world of pain and sorrow.

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Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

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