Care for parents and families who carry the pain of the loss of a child is a ministry that is getting renewed attention from the staff of Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services.

CFCS’ commitment to this segment of the Catholic community is now the focus of the monthly Masses that are held the first Saturday in September in each of its seven cemetery chapels.

Mass is regularly offered the first Saturday of every month in the chapels. In the case of Holy Cross Cemetery & Funeral Center in Antioch, the regular average Mass attendance of 70 mushroomed to approximately 150 for its new Special Children’s Mass remembrance held Sept. 7.

The effort to establish the annual Mass was a labor of love that was more than nine months in the works.

“I saw a deep hurt,’’ said Kindlen Robles, CFCS’ director of Catholic Funeral and Cemeteries Services, recalling the conversations he had with Marie and Joe Arce that started the process.

Robles noted there has been an increased recognition that they need to give more in the Catholic faith experience at the end of the life journey for those who the child leaves behind.

September was ultimately chosen for the annual Mass as it marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of Arce’s daughter, Caitlin, after her courageous battle with cancer.

After officiating the Beloved Children’s Memorial Mass at Holy Cross, Rev. Ramiro Flores of most Holy Rosary Parish blessed burial sites of children at the cemetery and doves were released by Modesto-based Special Moments White Dove Release to conclude the day’s remembrance.

Full story at The Catholic Voice.