On Saturday, May 14, the Billings Ovulation Method Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOMA-TT), in association with the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC), invited those affected by infertility, difficult pregnancy and/or pregnancy-loss to ‘A Time for Hope & Healing’ from 1.30 to 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain.
Individuals, families, and friends came to experience hope and healing with others who were journeying these difficult paths.
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song,” stated by St Pope John Paul II was the theme for the afternoon. Pauline Phelps, Coordinator of BOMA-TT, opened the afternoon with prayer and an address about loss and hope, including her own.
In this year of the Amoris Laetitia Family, she shared inspirational words from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love) which gave much hope to the attendees who have experienced loss of fertility, challenging fertility, or loss of pregnancy.
In point #178, Pope Francis pointed out that “Some couples are unable to have children. We know that this can be a cause of real suffering for them. At the same time, we know that ‘marriage was not instituted solely for the procreation of children… Even in cases where, despite the intense desire of the spouses, there are no children, marriage still retains its character of being a whole manner and communion of life and preserves its value and indissolubility’.”
So too, “motherhood is not a solely biological reality, but is expressed in diverse ways”.
For women and couples who had experienced difficult pregnancy, the miraculous results of asking St Gianna Molla for her intercession were discussed, reminding the listeners that miracles as in biblical times are not common visible occurrences nowadays and we are not to always expect a miracle every time we ask for one, but sometimes they do happen. All were encouraged to live in hope and to accept God’s will.
Recordings from last year’s ‘Hope and Healing’ event were then shared. Joseph and Joan Ryan’s testimonial about how they overcame their loss and Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor’s presentation about healing were well received.
The Ryans and four counsellors were present, in-person, to the attendees in the break-out workshops afterwards where they had a time to journey together.
During the proceedings, all were invited to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which were heard by Archbishop Jason Gordon, Frs Martin Sirju, and Peter Aduaka.
The afternoon concluded with Holy Mass, where His Grace reminded all to live in Easter hope and to trust God. He asked all present to pray “not my will, but Yours be done Lord”. Follow-up group support sessions have been scheduled for men and women separately.
BOMA-TT is grateful to the AFLC for their collaboration and promotion of this event and all who attended, particularly the selfless volunteers who gave of the time and talent to support this event.
“Thank you, this was so good”,
“I had not been to Confession in years and went today”,
“I have put this to rest, thank you”.
“Thanks to everyone. This was well organised and many more should utilise it,” —Wendy Jeremie
“It was an invaluable experience. God bless!” —Renee-Ann Roach
For more information about our annual ‘Hope & Healing’ event or group support associated with this event, please contact BOMA-TT at billingstt.com or 384-1659.