A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss: Compassionate Answers to Difficult Questions

A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss: Compassionate Answers to Difficult Questions

by Abigail Jorgensen
A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss: Compassionate Answers to Difficult Questions

A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss: Compassionate Answers to Difficult Questions

by Abigail Jorgensen


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Losing a child is devastating. For Catholic parents who lose a child before or shortly after birth, this profound grief often comes with distinctive, sudden, and difficult questions about God, the Church, and who they are now as parents to the child they have lost. Why did God let this happen? Where is my baby? Can the Church help me make sense of this? What do we do now?

In A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss, Abigail Jorgensen serves as a companion and guide through perinatal loss in light of Catholic teaching. She addresses difficult medical, theological, and practical questions asked by loss parents and the friends, family, pastors, ministers, and medical professionals who support them.

Jorgensen has first-hand experience, both as a mother who has lost children in miscarriage and as a Catholic bereavement doula—someone who walks with families through early child loss. Through her own experiences, she discovered how hard it can be to find adequate answers and spiritual help from the within the Church, so she wrote the book that she and her clients have needed.

This first-of-its-kind resource blends Jorgensen’s professional expertise with the wisdom of the Church to provide an essential guide through the most pressing concerns that arise during this difficult time. Drawing on the Bible, the Church’s prayer traditions, the saints, sacraments, official teaching documents, and grief support research, Jorgensen offers comfort, hope, and compassionate responses to tough questions, including:

  • Why does perinatal loss happen?
  • Will I be with my baby again?
  • What are normal emotions, and when should I seek extra support?
  • How should we grieve as parents?
  • What saints can I turn to as a loss parent?
  • How do I approach God with these painful questions?
  • Why would God allow such a short life?
  • How can I honor my baby’s memory?
  • What if I say the wrong thing to someone who is grieving the loss of their child?
  • How do I support someone who experiences anger during their grief?

Through easy-to-navigate question and answer sections, helpful definitions, and practical takeaways, A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss provides parents and their support networks a crucial lifeline through this heartbreaking experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646802395
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 04/19/2024
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Abigail Jorgensen is an assistant professor of sociology and health care ethics at Saint Louis University, as well as a certified doula and childbirth educator. She teaches grief-informed, research-based trainings for those supporting families through perinatal loss.

Jorgensen earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. She is a member of DONA International, Lamaze International, and the American Sociological Association. Jorgensen also facilitates a bereaved parents community group.

She has spoken at conferences for the American Sociological Association, the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, DONA International, and FemCatholic. She has appeared on Kresta in the Afternoon and been featured in Today’s Catholic and the National Catholic Register. Jorgensen has written for FemCatholic, the Young Catholic Woman, and Notre Dame Magazine.

Jorgensen received a number of awards from Notre Dame for her writing and teaching, including being named a Richard and Peggy Notebaert Premier Fellow.

She lives in the St. Louis, Missouri, area with her family.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Thank you, Abigail Jorgensen, for writing this book. We have made many circles and highlights in the manuscript already, and if there was a love button to click for the book, we’d be clicking that! We cannot wait to add this book to our Good Shepherd program to provide more formation and education both for Catholic parents who experience perinatal loss and also for the whole Church. Bravo!” --Kelly and Ryan Breaux, founders of Red Bird Ministries

“When the call comes—and it will—you’ll be glad you read this book. Whatever the circumstances, when a child is suddenly lost, the pain and confusion is immediate and intense. In the case of miscarriage, often the pressure to suffer in silence only increases the pain. Stillbirth or infant death is unspeakably tragic. Yet, for those involved—from the mother and father to family, friends, and the Church—words and deeds of love, instead of silence and isolation are precisely what’s needed. Anyone in pastoral ministry, anyone involved in caring for others, knows what I mean. I’m grateful for this book and recommend it highly. From a depth of experience and compassion, and from genuine spiritual depth, Abigail Jorgensen has brought much needed practical wisdom to light. That’s why I beg you to read this book. It will help you help others when the call comes.” --Fr. Joshua. J. Whitfield, pastoral administrator at St. Rita Catholic Community and School in Dallas, Texas

“The pain of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss are felt throughout the body of Christ and often not spoken about because parents aren’t sure who to speak to and many in the Church simply don’t know how to respond. Abigail Jorgensen helps us wade through those deep and traumatic waters. She gives us not only answers but practical guidance, and, most of all, comforting words of love and encouragement.” --Rachel and Jason Bulman, cohosts of Meet the Bulmans

“Abigail Jorgensen provides a comprehensive and essential guide on perinatal loss for both parents and support persons, addressing its theological, scientific, ethical, and pastoral implications. She shares her rich, diverse background as a bereavement doula, a sociologist, a Catholic, and a mother who has experienced loss and provides clear advice, important resources, and beautiful prayers. Parents will find comfort. Chaplains and support people will find a treasure trove of wisdom, a necessary tool, and a wonderful gift for accompanying those who are grieving perinatal loss.” --Erica Cohen Moore, executive director of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains

“Abigail Jorgensen’s writing brings much-needed clarity and compassion into a mission field full of grief and uncertainty. We know, as parents who have grieved miscarried children, this book will be a consoling resource for many, as it was for us.” --Jackie and Bobby Angel, authors and evangelists

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