Photos and roses left on the altar for children who will never be forgotten


Photo by Alan M. Dumoff 

healingmass-webPhotographs and remembrances of loved ones are in front of the altar as Msgr. Michael Mannion celebrates a Mass of remembrance and healing May 11 at St. Joseph Church, Sea Isle City. Also pictured are, from left, Father Michael Romano, Deacon Liam O’Clisham and Father Joseph A. Perreault. 

Those suffering the loss of a child found comfort in prayer and fellowship at the 11th annual healing Mass at St. Joseph Church in Sea Isle City, on Monday, May 11.

Over 160 individuals, representing close to 100 families, came to remember children, of any age, lost through miscarriage, abortion, illness, disease or other cause of death. 

Betty Pearce, one of the organizers of the annual Mass, called the night “a tremendous healing. Those coming for the first time, when they walk in and see all the people (hurting like them), they are in awe of themselves,” getting a sense of “companionship, a great sense of walking this journey together.”

Participants were invited to speak about their children, light a candle in front of the altar for them, and leave a picture of their loved one. For those who lost a child before birth, a rose was left in their memory.

Msgr. Michael Mannion, in-residence at St. Cecilia Parish in Pennsauken, concelebrated the Mass with Father Joseph Perreault, pastor of St. Joseph. Deacon Liam O’Clisham assisted.

“It’s powerful, humbling, to be welcomed into the lives of those who are grieving the loss of their children,” remarked Msgr. Mannion.  “It’s a privilege to serve them, offer them Eucharist, and see how significant it is to them during their grieving and healing journey.”