It's an old story...a man who has been away from the Church for a long time suddenly finds "religion" as he approaches his "Golden Years," and he feels the need to reconnect with God, thereby assuring that his "ticket" will be punched in the right box when his appointed departure time comes..."Heaven."
When I retired in 2008 after a 40-year career in Secondary Education, I finally had the free time to pursue different ventures, and I began to seriously ask God if He had other plans for me. The answer did not come quickly or easily. It finally appeared in a life-changing occurance in early January, 2009, when by chance (yet, is anything really by chance?), I read the obituary of a two-year old child, Joseph Allen Oglialoro "Joey," of Ottsville, PA.
Joey's memorial was one of the most simple, yet touching, pieces that I had ever read, showing the love and heartbreak of his parents, family, and friends, and it moved me to reach out to them and try, even as a stranger, to offer some words of comfort. And, even in their grief, they responded to that total stranger in a most kind and courteous way. And I knew finally what God had intended...a layman's bereavement ministry to those families that had lost a "Precious Angel." The "Prayer for Infants and Children" evolved shortly after, and is prayed daily for the happy repose of the souls of those little ones, and for the families and friends that are left behind to mourn.
As the list of infants and young children who passed on began to grow into the Spring of 2009, it struck me that a website project might be a way to reach out to many more bereaved families, offering them a place to share their thoughts, find some comfort, link to charities that their loss might aid, and, perhaps, even be connected with appropriate help and resources.
The creation of the website "Our Precious Angels" on May 8, 2009 is the first small step toward that end. Hopefully, this small flame will ignite a bigger fire...