Diocesan Support

Loss families, you’re not alone.

Welcome to the home page for the National Study of Diocesan Support regarding Perinatal Loss.

We know how difficult it can be for Catholics experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss to find the resources and policies of your diocese.

Here, you will soon find a searchable database of every Catholic diocese in the United States, so you can get quick answers to your questions about what is available to you and other Catholics in your area.

The Project

The National Study of Diocesan Support regarding Perinatal Loss (NSDSPL) is a research project that began in 2023 in order to combat four challenges Catholic loss families in the United States face:
1. what the Church offers families differs from diocese to diocese (for example, parents of a child who dies before birth may be able to have a full funeral mass in one diocese but not in another).
2. not all diocesan resources or policies are available online.
3. not all diocesan resources or policies that are available online are easy to find (sometimes they are located with social services information; sometimes with information on Natural Family Planning; sometimes with funeral ministry requests; etc.).
4. when diocesan resources or policies are not available online, it is not always clear whom families should call for help and support.

We work to combat these challenges by making resources and point people easy to find.

We also work to meet the Church’s pastoral need for more information and guidance regarding loss support in the United States. In our initial preparation for this project, we found that many of the priests and diocesan representatives we spoke to expressed confusion about what resources existed and what other resources should be created. Some explicitly ask for recommendations from loss families known to them; while others hesitate to do so because they wish to avoid putting a burden of “work to help the Church” on a grieving family. Without knowing what families need or how other dioceses meet those needs, these representatives of the Church are left floundering. Our project is oriented toward providing those pastoral leaders with the information they need to confidently minister to those who grieve.

Project Timeline

We have collected data on every diocese in the United States and are currently in the 8-week process of verifying that data.

An amazing website engineer is working on our searchable directory, so you will be able to put in your address and find all the resources close to you, even if you don’t yet know which dioceses are nearby or how far you may have to travel to get to a resource you need.

The NSDSPL Research Team

This project is brought to you by the following team members:
Gwendolyn Loop, University of Notre Dame J.D. Candidate
Dr. Abby Jorgensen, Saint Louis University Assistant Professor

A. B.

F. R.


The payment for research assistant hours, the project’s IRB recognition as non-HSR, and access to an institutional email account have been provided by Saint Louis University. Otherwise, this project has been personally funded by Dr. Abby Jorgensen. We have applied for grants and are waiting to hear back, but regardless of outcome, we are committed to keeping this project freely available to the public. If you would like to contribute to the costs of this project (whether in directory design, website maintenance, or research upkeep), please reach out to nsdspl@slu.edu.