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After Kelly and Ryan Breaux endured the deaths of three of their four children, they were surprised to find little support for grieving parents. They didn’t know anyone who had experienced a loss similar to theirs.
“We felt so broken, alone, and abandoned,” Kelly Breaux said in an interview with Aleteia. “We felt abandoned by the Church.”
They wanted to help other couples grieving the loss of a child, no matter the age of the child. So they started Red Bird Ministries, a Catholic grief-support non-profit ministry.
Now this support is even more accessible, with the launch of the new Red Bird Ministries app.
“Technology has given us the opportunity to create an app that will connect families of child loss with others heart to heart from any place in the world,” Breaux said. “Regardless of our time zone, regardless of our distance, the Church can reach out to families like ours.”
The Red Bird Ministries app provides a safe place for bereaved parents to express their grief. And with the support of their community, they receive encouragement to invite God into even the hardest parts of grief.
“Supporting families who experience child loss is such important work that the Church is invited into,” Breaux said. “Everyone will, at some point, be affected by grief. Having the opportunity to meet them on their journey of healing has been the greatest gift that the Lord has asked us to give.”
We had the chance to talk to Ryan and Kelly Breaux about their ministry and the new app. Here’s what they shared with us about how they developed the app and their mission to help other grieving parents.
What inspired you to launch the Red Bird Ministries app?
Red Bird Ministries launched this Catholic grief support app, the first of its kind, as a haven for families of child loss to find solace and community. The app was made possible through the generous gift from the Our Sunday Visitor Innovation Challenge.
The Church has been making sense of death and dying for more than 2,000 years. Through the app, we aspire to obey God’s directive to cast our nets into the deep and walk broken and hurting families back into community and full communion with God.
What resources are in the Red Bird Ministries app?
Inside the app, you will find a community of peers, mini-courses for bereaved parents, family and friends, and parochial leaders. Referrals to find trusted Catholic counselors and spiritual directors. Weekly check-ins, family support office hours, prayer plans, monthly webinars, quarterly retreats, and more.
Families of child loss now have a safe haven and community platform to connect with families going through similar situations. It’s easy and effortless to navigate different resources, watch videos, and connect during weekly check-ins, one-on-one comfort calls, prayer plans, monthly webinars, quarterly retreats, and more.
How can families use the Red Bird Ministries app?
The app offers a free version with the option of a monthly subscription for premium content. It is now available for iOS and Android on the App Store and Google Play Stores by simply searching for Red Bird Ministries.
The app has content for families of child loss from pregnancy through adulthood, their families and friends, and parochial leaders including clergy. As the app community grows, our loss groups will as well, so that we can minister more directly to specific ages of loss.
How did you decide what to include in the Red Bird Ministries app?
The process of grieving is painful and involves so many different angles and layers. After reflecting on our own healing journeys, rather than focusing only on one aspect of healing, we wanted to offer our families a holistic approach by looking at grief through the lens of the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of grief.
Grievers who understand and speak the language of grief are better able to express themselves and connect with other grievers. Also, to invite God into the space of grief as they witness the power of healing that others have found.