BOSTON — The Pieta Ministry of St Anthony Shrine, for grieving parents who have lost a child through illness, accident, suicide or violence, is expanding.
On Sept. 5, the ministry launched the first in a new series of monthly Masses and coffee get-togethers for parents and families, and debuted a new website.
Twelve parents, along with John Maganzini, OFM, attended the Mass, where David Convertino, OFM, shrine director, gave the homily. They then met for scripture reading, commentary, discussion, prayer and fellowship.
Special Mass and Discussion
At the gathering following the Mass, John reread the Gospel of the day and the group discussed it. John called the experience “powerful and blessed.”
Pieta Ministry member Charley Monaghan said that he believed the Gospel was saying that “if grief is holding us back from God, we need to find a way to use our grief to become closer to God, not farther away.”
“This short, one-hour session felt like a mini Pieta Ministry retreat,” said parent Lisa Picard. The Pieta Ministry offers two retreats per year, in November and March.
Parent Claire Michlovitz added: “It was so helpful to be able to come together — even for a short time — and feel comfortable talking with other parents.”
Pieta Ministry monthly Masses and coffees will be held the first Sunday of every month at the shrine. Parents will alternate offering commentary.
The new website offers information about the ministry and its programs as well as an opportunity to request discussion with a parent or spiritual director. Web visitors can fill out a form requesting “Talk to a Parent,” or “Talk with a spiritual director,” or call the shrine directly.
The ministry is named for Michelangelo’s sculpture, “The Pieta,” “The Deposition of Christ.” Its logo shows the sculpture depicting four figures carved by Michaelangelo: the dead body of Jesus Christ, Nicodemus (or Joseph of Arimathea), Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary.