October 6, 2014
This week’s episode:
“Blessed are They”: St Anna Schaffer
“Among Women” Guest: Mary Ellen Barrett
This week we look at the difficult subject of losing a child to death. My guest, blogger and Long Island Catholic columnist Mary Ellen Barrett, reflects on the fifth anniversary since the death of Ryan, her 14 year old son who died during a camping trip. The search for Ryan, who at first was thought to be lost, went on for many hours. Many, including myself, were glued to the internet for news of him during that time. Listeners familiar with this event will be encouraged by the musings and memories of Mary Ellen, his mother. Those uninitiated will be blessed by the faith of this Long Island family.
Since this is Respect Life Month, Mary Ellen and I celebrate the life of Ryan — his Christian devotion even as a young boy with special needs — as well as the ups and downs that he faced in family life and elsewhere. We discuss the outpouring of support from near and far for this grieving family, plus offer tips for helping others facing a similar grief.
In our saint segment, I once again look at the life of St Anna Schaffer, whose life of prayer and acute physical suffering offers a witness to us for how to make our heartaches and pains a path of redemptive suffering.
Links for this episode:
Walk Humbly with Your God by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR
Mary Ellen Barrett’s blog: Tales from the Bonny Blue House
Best blog posts or articles about Ryan:
Catholic Digest article on grief from Mary Ellen Barrett: “Grief: Does it Ever End?”
Seton Magazine article by Mary Ellen Barrett: “Life Gave Me A New Dream: My Autistic Son Ryan…”
LI Catholic articles from Mary Ellen Barrett
The Art of Loving God by St Francis de Sales
Other shows of related interest:
AW 167: More on the life of St Anna Schaffer
AW 172: Grief educator Cheryl Amari with advice we call “Good Grief, God”
AW 129: Dealing with Miscarriage with author Karen Edmisten
AW 65: Talking with Catholic Chaplain Patti Harrison