It was organized by Marilyn Day, Respect Life Coordinator and their parish Respect Life Ministry. Celebrated by Father Edward J. Molumby, S.T., and concelebrated by Father Santos Ortega, Pastor, the Mass was to honor these babies who are now saints in heaven, “let the little children come to me…” (Matt 19:14).
The Mass consisted of a beautiful liturgy, music and poems. Parents were then asked to light a candle representing their loved ones and place them on the altar, lighting up the sanctuary with a sea of love.
The Precious Baby Mass was originated locally at Sacred Heart Parish in Rancho Cucamonga several years ago by Joy Newburn, wife of then Pastoral Coordinator, Dr. Peter Newburn. Since then the Mass has been adopted by St. Mary Parish in Fontana and now at St. Frances in Yucaipa.
These Masses speak to the heart of those in mourning. It serves as a tangible reminder of the love and tenderness that parents have for their child, even in their earliest stages of life. It is an opportunity to honor these little ones in a very special way, while embodying a joyful celebration, knowing that this temporal separation by death is not for eternity.
Mary Huber is Director of the Ministry of Respect Life and Pastoral Care in the Diocese of San Bernardino.