Deacon Ordinations took place here yesterday morning. Mr. J. Michael Van Dyke, Mr. Aaron Poyer, Mr. Fred Billotto and Mr. Alfredo Guardiola Jr. became Deacon J. Michael Van Dyke, Deacon Aaron Poyer, Deacon Fred Billotto and Deacon Alfredo Guardiola Jr. While this is excellent news for the Church at large and the Archdiocese overall, it is especially great news for us here at The Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I am very, very happy to announce that Deacon Mike Van Dyke has been assigned to serve with us here at the Mother Church. He is a wonderful man who has shared his gifts in the Church in numerous ways. He is an open, prayerful 3rd degree Knight of Columbus. Deacon Mike and his wife Juanita, who works at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, will be joining us in a few weeks. We will have an “official” welcome when that happens. In the meantime, please keep them both in prayer!
WHY THIS LITURGY AND HOW CAN WE HELP?
Perhaps we are not even aware that in the United States the loss of a child is tragically too common. In fact, approximately a million pregnancies end each year in either early loss (before 20 weeks), stillbirth (after 20 weeks), or with the death of the newborn. This loss stays with the family members forever. This weekend we celebrate a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Mass here at the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Since 1988, October has been designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. We participate in this liturgy to empathize, offer hope, and support parents who have lost a child. I encourage you to continue to offer support after this liturgy. We can assist those who are grieving. How?
First, you most likely know someone who is experiencing this loss. Don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to someone who is grieving. Prepare yourself by trying to understand the grieving process. The better our understanding of grief and how it is healed, the better equipped we’ll be to help a bereaved friend or family member. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, nor is there a set timetable for grieving, so don’t judge their grief. While many of us worry about what to say to a grieving person, it’s actually more important to listen. Simply being there and listening to them can be a huge source of comfort and healing. While we should never try to force someone to open up, it’s important to let your grieving friend or loved one know that you’re there to listen if they want to talk about their loss. Be genuine in your communication and express your concern. Ask how your loved one feels and accept your loved one’s feelings. Remember, never try to minimize their loss, provide simplistic solutions, or offer unsolicited advice.
Second, pray for them. Make extra effort in this month of remembrance and come to daily Mass (8am). Come to the office and have a Mass offered specifically for your loved ones’ intention or offer it for their deceased loved one. Prayer is an amazing healing conversation.