Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

April 4, 2024

The Bereavement Ministry of Catholic Cemeteries will sponsor one-day spiritual retreats for grieving parents on May 4 and December 7.

The retreats will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Convent of St. Birgitta in Darien and will be conducted by the Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents to help anyone who has lost a child.
“We are willing to take on the most difficult topics, especially to support those who have suffered the tremendous loss of a child. These parents often feel they are totally alone,” said Carolyn Killian, Director of Bereavement of the Diocese of Bridgeport. “If you are willing to walk with us, we want to take the steps that may help you find a place of peace.

Emmaus logoThe retreat will offer time with other grieving parents, she said, and an opportunity to see where God is in their lives.

For more information or to register, call Carolyn Killian at (203) 404-0023 or visit ctcemeteries.org/emmaus

Since space is limited, early registration is encouraged; there is no fee for the retreat.

Killian said the retreat is for “parents who have lost a child of any age by any cause, no matter how long ago.”

“This is a retreat run by grieving parents for grieving parents,” she said. “We want to reach out and support people who are in pain. Grieving parents suffer a lifetime of pain. We also recognize that signing up for this retreat may be an incredibly difficult thing for people to do, but we are here to support them.”

Research has shown the loss of a child is “one of the greatest and most enduring stresses a person can experience.” Parents can suffer from emotional, health and social challenges even up to 20 years later, and they have a higher incidence of “prolonged grief.” By age 70, more than 15 percent of parents in the United States have experienced the death of a child.

“I know the healing power of grieving with others who have experienced a profound loss,” a participant in a previous Emmaus retreat said. “By sharing and listening, we help slowly heal each other. Everyone is in a different stage of their personal grief process. There have been many angels who have accompanied me along the way…and I hope to be there for others who may not have learned to ‘breathe underwater’ quite yet.”

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