Remembrance Garden

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Jennifer Mele under Memorial Masses, Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Special Event

Dedicated in 2013, the Remembrance Garden is a memorial for those who have experienced the devastating loss of a baby, whether it was years ago or a more recent loss. It has blossomed into a place of peaceful reflection for families who have experienced a miscarriage or the death of a baby, either before it was born or shortly after birth.  It is a space to meditate; a place where the existence of a baby is affirmed even if the baby was never acknowledged. This garden of healing is where families can openly grieve the loss of their child, and mourn their shattered hopes and dreams. It is a place to memorialize a life that ended far too soon, and is intended to bring comfort to those whose empty arms bring such heartache.

The contemplative setting by the water, where families can gaze upon the garden or the beautiful bronze statue of Rachel mourning, is the perfect setting for the Remembrance Garden service held each spring around Mother’s Day. In inclement weather, the service is held in the new Adirondack themed mausoleum chapel, Mary Immaculate, Patroness of America; in front of a breathtaking 16’ x 18’ stained glass window depicting the Tree of Life with the Risen Christ.

“Our babies lived. Our babies were loved. We had hopes and dreams shattered. We cannot forget.”  Lori Biskup, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries Family Service Representative.

Annual Remembrance Garden Prayer Service

Thursday, May 21, 2020- Canceled due to the pandemic

Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, 2501 Troy Rd. (Rte. 7) Niskayuna, NY 12309

Capital Region families are invited to gather for a special prayer service to honor the memory of babies who were born into the arms of angels- daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

In 2019, we were honored to have Maureen L. Walsh, Ph.D., a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at  Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri attend the prayer service as part of her research for a book she is writing “Ritual and Re-narration: Commemorating Pregnancy Loss in American Catholicism and Japanese Buddhism”. Ms. Walsh discovered the Remembrance Garden and Prayer Service and wrote to us about attending. “Based on what I’ve come across in my research in places like Chicago, Santa Cruz, CA, Kansas City, and among others, your memorial is part of a new and growing movement within the Catholic church to find ways to commemorate prenatal and neonatal losses, especially those deaths that otherwise may have been ignored or overlooked in the past.” 

Some of the families who attended spoke to Ms. Walsh about their own experiences and what the Remembrance Garden means to them.

We will post information about the book’s release within the next few years, and look forward to reading it!

2 thoughts on “Remembrance Garden

  1. Dawn Nasters says:

    I look forward to the remembrance service each year. My baby Peter was born in 1962 at 6 1/2 months & lived for only 1 day, something I will never forget!! He is buried in St. John’s cemetery @ the foot of his deceased Grandmother’s grave. This is so comforting to know he has never been alone. I visit his plaque at Holy Redeemer frequently & his father is buried in the mausoleum very close by, my parents are also buried there. Looking forward to May 21st once again this year! It is so comforting!

    1. Jennifer Mele says:

      Ms. Nasters,
      It is lovely to hear that the Remembrance Garden Prayer Service is a comfort to you. We look forward to seeing you again this year, in remembrance and celebration of the all-to-brief life of your son and all other babies taken too soon.

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