Catholic cemeteries offer dignified burial of fetal remains
KIOWA. The Respect Life Apostolate seeks to inform us how to understand, value, and become engaged in the myriad of the Church’s activities that support the God-given dignity of every person — which naturally leads to protecting the gift of every person’s life. All human life is sacred, spanning life from the womb to the tomb (i.e., from the beginning of life at human conception until one’s natural death).
Many people are unaware that Catholic cemeteries typically have dedicated sections reserved for the burial of fetal remains. In some cemeteries, it is called the Holy Innocents Section and was created solely to provide a dignified place of remembrance and prayer to all families that have experienced the tragic loss of a child before its full-term birth. It offers an opportunity for bereaved families to memorialize a beloved child and a very special place for prayer and reflection.
In this regard, on October 27, 2016, Bishop Michael Sheridan promulgated a Policy for the Burial of Fetal Remains within the Diocese of Colorado Springs. This policy encourages fetal remains (i.e., miscarriages, stillborns, etc.) be given a proper, dignified and reverent burial. With this in mind, our diocesan Catholic cemeteries typically offer burial options for fetal remains.
For example, the Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery (dba: Our Lady of the Visitation Catholic Church) in Kiowa has a section called Holy Innocents for the interment or inurnment burial of fetal remains.
Parent(s) in such a devastating situation are asked to please contact their local, parish priest to begin the funeral and/or burial process within the Church.
(Father Robert Newbury is pastor of Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Kiowa.)