Shrine Dedicated to Children Who Died Unborn

Shrine Dedicated to Children Who Died Unborn

The Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City has a beautiful shrine dedicated to children who died unborn that I hope to visit one day. You can click the link in the menu at the left of their page to take you to pictures of the shrine and of the Book of Life:

Often children who have died before birth have no grave or headstone, and sometimes not even a name. At The Church of The Holy Innocents, we invite you to name your child(ren) and to have the opportunity to have your baby’s name inscribed in our “BOOK OF LIFE”.

Here, a candle is always lit in their memory. All day long people stop to pray. On the first Monday of every month, our 12:15pm Mass is celebrated in honor of these children and for the comfort of their families.

              We pray that you will find peace in knowing that your child(ren) will be remembered at the Shrine and honored by all who pray here.

I submitted the following to be entered into the Book:

Name: Francis Bettinelli

Francis/Frances miscarried on February 25 2007 at 11 weeks.

Some time during the night, I woke up and the cramping was getting worse. Expecting a miscarriage, I put my hand on my belly and asked the Lord to grant baptism to the child in my womb and, not knowing if I was carrying a girl or a boy, chose the name Francis/Frances.

May my baby be cradled in the loving arms of Mary, the mother of us all.
We hope to meet face to face in heaven one day.

God grant rest to all these innocent children who have died before birth and consolation to all parents who have experienced this loss.

Melanie and Domenico Bettinelli

Link thanks to Leticia at cause of our joy who posts a picture of her girls (one of whom is also an Isabella!) praying at the shrine where their three brothers are memorialized and a beautiful reflection on her own miscarriages.


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  • A dear friend of mine belonged to that parish before she recently moved from Minneapolis. She loved the family formation program there. I’ve seen the materials, and I’d love to see that model happen everywhere.

  • I grew up with Family Formation and it’s awesome!  Feel free to e-mail me if you want to know more from a student’s point of view.  I did Family Formation Kindergarten through 6th grade and I liked it so much that now I’m a volunteer classroom teacher at the monthly sessions!

  • My home parish in Manchester, NH offers a family program for Catholic education.  The program is to be published in conjunction with the Fransican University at Stubenville.

    The family program gives instruction and support to the parents and the parents in turn instruct their children.

  • I’m glad to hear favorable reviews of family education programs and excited to hear that model is spreading. Unfortunately, I don’t look for it to hit a parish near us any time soon.

    I am curious, though, how effective are such programs at reaching out to adults who do not have school age children? To singles, old people, empty-nesters? I know there is no such thing as a one-sized fits all program, but I think parishes should strive for ways to reach and educate everyone.