"A Story of Loss, God's Plan and Connections" by Stephanie Stovall (CatholicMom.com) Photo by Sharon Brucker (2007) via Freeimages.com, CC0 Public Domain.

One year ago a close sorority sister of  mine gave birth to her stillborn baby girl, precious Kate Noelle.

It was a heart breaking time. So many tears and texts of sadness were shared between our group of friends.

When I received the first text from the mom’s sister (also a close sorority sister) letting us know that the baby wasn’t moving, my little boys and I rushed out of the gym and straight to the adoration chapel.

When you receive news like this, it’s the groans from deep within you, those Holy Spirit groans, that make for the deepest prayers. As my boys and I knelt in front of Jesus, that was all I had.

As that incredibly sad week passed on, it became obvious to all that Kate’s life was going to have a strong impact on anyone that heard about her time on earth.

Her parents’ faith ran strong and untouchable as pieces of the story crept out.  As Kate’s mom said, it was their deep faith that saw them through it all.

As well as their group of friends.

That’s the part that really stayed with me.

The protestant church they attend in Dallas had a ministry for adults, which is where they made their own community of believers within a huge church.  That group of couples their age challenged them to grow in their relationship with God. The solid little community they created for themselves really came to shine when my friends lost their little girl.

The stories of everything that faith community group did for them…you have never heard anything like it. Those friends took on their suffering to another level.

It was a beautiful and inspiring story of Godly friendships at their finest.

Before all of this happened, I had been praying for God to send my husband and me good Catholic friendships. I desperately needed it in my life and I wanted it so badly for my husband as well. Kate’s story shot those desires through the roof for me. How lucky were her parents to have a strong group from their church helping them survive a nightmare.

I wanted friends like that. I wanted a group at my church like that.

In the meantime, God had been at work in our parish. I just didn’t know it yet.

Of all people, another sorority sister of mine had been trying to start up a Mom’s Group at our church but wasn’t gaining much ground with the effort.

At the time, she was helping the Women’s group run Danielle Bean’s Momnipotent program, hoping this would lead to the creation of the Mom’s Group. She and I re-connected through Momnipotent and decided to team up. She was passionate about a group where moms could connect and support each other; I wanted a formation and social group for couples.

The Holy Spirit was all about it. It was in God’s good and perfect timing.

He gave us the green light and opened door after door after door for our groups, Mom’s of Young Children and Parents of Young Children to flourish. Total Holy Spirit moment.

[Tweet "When the Holy Spirit is just as hungry for Godly friendships as we are, doors open!"]

Little did we know, our parish was just as hungry as we were for ministries like these.

This fall MYC ran two studies with a solid showing of moms, and every play date and Mom’s Night Out has been a success. PYC began the program “Go Make Disciples” in the fall with 70 people placed in small faith groups for creation of friendships and a deepening of faith.

When bad things happen it is so hard to see that God will bring good from hard situations. Baby Kate has brought so much life to my life, to our parish’s life.

My heart still breaks that her parents don’t get to kiss her cheek every day, but I am so deeply grateful for what her life has brought to mine. I pray she sparks something in you, too.

Kate's Story 


Copyright 2016 Stephanie Stovall