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Couples with miscarriages or infertility are not alone

Bishop Alan Hopes plans to celebrate two special Masses this autumn to support couples affected by miscarriage or infertility. Dr Jess Beckett reports.

The two Masses will take place at Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda’s Church in Newmarket, as part of the Year of St Joseph. 

There will be a Mass for those who have experienced miscarriage, on Sunday October 10 at 12 noon. This marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week, a national week to enable those affected by pregnancy loss to share their experiences and know they are not alone. One-fifth of pregnancies sadly end in miscarriage. This will be an opportunity to remember the lives of the babies lost and entrust them to the Lord. Those affected by ectopic pregnancies or stillbirths are also welcome, as are families. There will be refreshments afterwards.

There will also be a Mass for those affected by infertility, on Saturday November 6, at 11 am. Due to the sensitive nature of this event, we respectfully ask that children do not attend. Mass will be followed by refreshments and a talk, for those who wish to stay, about treatment options for Catholic couples with infertility. 

Our speaker, Dr Phil Boyle, is President of the International Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine and founder of NeoFertility, in Dublin. We are blessed to have a global expert share his knowledge from decades of experience and research. Due to the Covid pandemic, Dr Boyle will join us live virtually. Freda McMahon, NeoFertility Advisor, will be present in person to explain how treatment works in the UK.

This Mass takes place during European Fertility Week, which raises awareness of infertility and the issues faced by those affected by it. Infertility affects one couple in six. Many feel isolated in their experience. Catholics may feel particularly isolated and confused, as IVF is not endorsed by the Church.

We want couples affected by infertility to know they are not alone in their struggles and have the opportunity to share some of their experiences with others who understand. We want them to have spiritual support and know the options that the Church does endorse when it comes to treating infertility. 

Please spread the word about these events. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with me, Dr Jess Beckett, Diocesan Fertility Awareness Methods Coordinator, on famc.eastanglia@rcdea.org.uk