Children's Memorial Garden Ministry

Twice each  year, those who have experienced the death of a child gather in the Children’s Memorial Garden on the North side of the church to remember the joy, talent and mischief their child brought into this world.  Each family is offered an opportunity to present a crystal glass tear, provided by the Children’s Memorial Garden, to be placed on the corona of the memorial as a loving tribute.

The garden at St. Joseph Church was the beginning of linking over fifteen hundred isolated gardens dedicated to children scattered across the United States.

We invite everyone to visit this place of peace and seek the healing presence of God.

For more information please contact the Parish Office (941.756.3732 or [email protected]). 


The Story of the Children’s Memorial Garden

When Christ sought quiet time in prayer with God, He seemed to prefer nature. No matter how challenging His life became, He found peace and direction (in spite of the chaos) in the garden and when we begin to feel like no one understands the pain of our grief, all we have to do is think of Mary.

In the following weeks, we’re looking forward to sharing our garden’s remarkable history with you. It has a profound beginning and over the years has touched many people during their darkest hours. So much good has come from this tiny oasis at the northwest corner behind our Church. We hope these weekly posts called, “Did You Know?” by Jo Ann Glim, CMG founder and historian (1995-2008) will expand your love for our Parish and bring you closer to your Parish family.

Who . . . Me???
My legs barely held me that blustery cold winter morning in a tiny town an hour away from Chicago. My husband held the tiny white casket of my daughter’s newborn as we prepared to bury this sweet child; each of us caught in the pain of our own unimaginable grief. This is not what was meant to be.

There were so many errors and horrors that happened in the past month that had nothing to do with our granddaughter’s death, but contributed to our pain and suffering. Things that needed to be changed, should be changed to offer families, especially those who were poor or indigent, a modicum of peace while their broken hearts healed.

My muscles tightened as this thought crossed my mind, and I groaned a prayer through my tears that no other family ever suffer what we had just endured.

When I opened my eyes, all I saw was a flurry of white. In the middle was a tree with tiny tears. When the wind moved them and they touched, a beautiful, melodic sound spanning octaves filled the air.

Now . . . I had never experienced a vision before, but there was no doubt in my mind where this came from and that I was expected to do something. What? I didn’t know. How? I had no clue. Where? Only God was privy to that.

I was terrified and spent the next two years bargaining with God. You see, I knew myself pretty well, and I did not have the skills to accomplish what was being asked, or so I thought.

(To Be Con’t.)