Sean Vincent Goes Home
The Luna family faced one of the worst what-if scenarios in life when they were told that their unborn son had a fatal chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 18. Suddenly, the Luna’s were faced with one of the hardcase examples usually given to justify the need for abortion.
When the rhetoric became real and a choice for life was made, grace and love poured into their lives abundantly.
The desperate feeling of being unable to find the words to discuss what was happening with their young children inspired the family to share their experience in a book to help other families facing a similar struggle.
About The Authors
Anthony and Anne Luna live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with their children Luke, Olivia and Maggie. The Luna’s fourth child, Sean Vincent, their “tiny little hero,” was born into their lives on April 23, 2012 and shortly thereafter was born into eternal life with God.
Sean Vincent Goes Home - CatholicPhilly.com
by Elena Perri
Sean’s parents, Tony and Anne Luna, had already been blessed with three children, Luke Aedan, 7, Olivia Rose, 5, and Maggie Grace, 2. So when Tony and Anne learned they were expecting their fourth child, they looked forward to preparing for the new addition to their family.
This was the first time the couple decided to learn the gender of their baby, and at the 20-week ultrasound, they found out they were having another boy. After three previous pregnancies, ultrasounds were routine experiences for them.
A Fathers Eulogy
On the Feast of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Good morning. On behalf of my wife, Anne, and our children, Luke Aedan, Olivia Rose, Margaret Grace, and Sean Vincent, thank you for honoring us with your presence at this very special Mass to celebrate the life of our little boy.
When Anne and I first learned of Sean’s diagnosis, we were truly devastated. We had prayed and hoped that our children could have a little baby brother to share all of their love, faith and hope. I will never forget the words of our doctor who said, “Mr. and Mrs. Luna, I am sorry, but your baby’s diagnosis is incompatible with life.”
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
"If you must decide between me and the child...do not hesitate. Choose the child. I insist on it." -St. Gianna
In our sorrow we were held up by the prayers of family, friends and saints. One particular saint we had heard of, but were not very familiar with, was St. Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of mothers, physicians and unborn children. However a good friend of ours had a devotion to St. Gianna and reached out to the Society of St. Gianna Beretta Molla to ask them to pray and ask for intercessory prayers on behalf of baby Sean.
Be Not Afraid
Be Not Afraid (BNA) is a private non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide comprehensive, practical, and peer-based support to parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term. In addition, BNA encourages development of new services so more parents find support at diagnosis by offering training, consulting and technical assistance as well as materials to other organizations and individuals committed to service development.
CaringBridge website gives you one centralized, private place to share health updates and request help. With so many concerned family and friends Caringbridge helped us streamline our communication. Making any aspect of the journey easier is a huge relief.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Along our journey someone told us about “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” They are an all-volunteer group of professional photographers that share their time and talent to photograph the precious fleeting moments of family and child. I will never forget the day Sean was born, I called the photographer and introduced myself and told him Sean was on the way. I asked if he was free to come and take photographs. He replied - “I had something scheduled but it is not nearly as important as your time with Sean.” Incredible really. I am only sorry that I cannot recall his name but I am so grateful for the precious memories he gave us. If you or someone you know is walking this journey right now, consider contacting Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. They truly were God’s gift to us in our “‘hour of need.”
National Catholic Bioethics Center
When we first received Sean’s diagnosis, we were truly heartbroken, sad and confused. We were told Sean’s symptoms included cysts on his brain, clubbed hands and foot and a severe heart abnormality. There was a strong possiblity that Sean would be stillborn. Given all of these symptoms we wondered how much medical intervention we should request if Sean came to term. Some friends suggested the we seek advice from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. We reached out to them and there response was clear and compassionate. If you or someone you know is in this journey and has questions, you can contact them here.
A few months before we learned of Sean Vincent’s diagnosis, we had planned to host a “Cat.Chat” Catholic kids’ music concert at our church. When we initially e-mailed the Cat.Chat family, they weren’t going to be traveling to Pennsylvania for a few years.
But miraculously -- shortly before Sean Vincent’s birth, the Cat Chat family’s plans “suddenly” changed and they contacted us about hosting a concert at our children’s Catholic school. In May 2012, just a few weeks after Sean Vincent went home to Jesus, more than 275 people attended the concert, which was dedicated to Sean Vincent and all mothers and their children. The Cat.Chat concert and the Cat.Chat family brought us so much joy. They were a ray of light at a dark time for our family, especially for our kids, who love the Cat.Chat family and music. Today the Cat.Chat family remain dear friends and we are honored to support and promote their grace-filled ministry and we hope you will too!