Last September we delivered identical twin sons at 18 weeks. The Catholic Church's stand on the issue is to not baptize babies who are born still. Sadly, they were not baptized and did not receive a funeral. Instead a prayer service was held at the local mortuary. To add insult to injury the Catholic cemetary charged us a double internment fee since both twins were buried in the same plot.
In August we ended up having William baptized by a new priest at our old church, St. James. He was kind enough to let us baptize William on the date we wanted at the Mass of our choosing. The other priests were more rigorous in their scheduling. So we planned the baptism without even meeting with the new priest.
When we arrived for the baptism we chatted briefly with the Fr. Ed, mostly about the process during the baptism and who would say what. He seemed very nice, personable, and a good speaker. This was confirmed as he started the homily.
Now remember, we have never met this man before. Our only exchange thus far had been pleasantries 5 minutes before Mass began. But his homily was absolutely perfect.
He began by telling a story about his sister from 20 years ago. She delivered twins still. The church would not baptize them and she struggled with her faith. He, the brother and uncle, became a priest and she spent a lot of time before returning to the church. I was shocked. The other parishoners, who did know our story, all asked - "did he know?" The answer was "no".
He spoke of being sad at this new church because he had served at 10 funerals in just a few weeks. He thanked us for having William and getting him baptized. He said it gave him hope. He must have thanked us a dozen times, each time he walked to our pew and looked us in the eye and said a sincere "thank you." And then each time he thanked us for having William I would just begin to cry. Because if we hadn't lost our sons we would have never been pregnant again so soon with William. It just seemed that it was all happening for a reason and that God's plan was in place.
I have come to accept the death of my sons, but it just solidified my conviction each time he thanked us for having a baby. The homily was so perfect for our family and situation. Especially since he didn't know about the twins. It felt like a sign of hope and promise.