PROVIDENCE — During her short time on earth, Angela Morales Aldana served as an inspiration for many.
Thanks to the attention her parents’ online postings and local news stories received documenting the seemingly against-all-odds life being lived by the young girl born with a severe brain malformation, she became known lovingly around the globe as “Baby Angela.”
Before Angela was born, she was diagnosed with anencephaly. Parents Rony Morales and Sonia Morales Aldana said that doctors told them that they expected the infant to die within minutes or hours after birth.
Without ever giving a thought to aborting their child, even given the extremely low chances of her survival after birth, Sonia gave birth to Angela on March 23, 2014. Defying medical odds, Angela thrived for more than three years, until she passed away in the arms of her parents, surrounded by family, on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Father James Ruggieri, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Providence, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial for Baby Angela on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at St. Patrick Church, with burial at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who had come to know Angela and her family during her time on earth, offered the final blessing during her funeral Mass — which the family shared access to online through their Facebook page — noting that it was fitting that her Mass would be celebrated during Christmas week, when God revealed his love by sending a child.
“And so he has also done with Baby Angela, now we can say Saint Angela to be sure,” Bishop Tobin said.
“I can’t help but think that Baby Angela is also one of God’s Holy Innocents because in her silent witness she also taught us so much. She taught us about God’s love, his providential care. She taught us about the dignity of each and every human life that God creates. She taught us about the importance of a beautiful, holy family like yours,” he said to the Morales family.
The Morales family first met Bishop Tobin in January 2013 at a pro-life event. When he first learned of Baby Angela’s diagnosis, he thanked the couple for choosing life. When Angela was only 11 days old, the bishop visited their home to offer a special blessing with a first-class relic of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
“She taught us the need to help and support one another in our journey of life,” Bishop Tobin said. “How blessed she is now that she has met Jesus and the Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints. So many of you have provided her with so much wonderful love and care during her time on earth. Now we know that she will love and care for us.”
As they continue to mourn, the Morales family continues to be a pro-life witness, giving hope and comfort to many other parents who have also been given poor prenatal diagnoses.
In a recent statement on the family’s Facebook support page “Baby Angela: A Miraculous Journey with Anencephaly,” Sonia Morales thanked everyone for their love and prayers. She honored her daughter by explaining Baby Angela’s life and powerful testimony touched thousands of people.
“She gave a voice to those babies deemed ‘incompatible with life,’” she shared. “Would you choose to love a child with all of your heart, with all of your soul, knowing your heart will be broken? That’s our story. We feel broken but we chose love instead of giving her up. Those memories we made with her will carry us.”
Angela is survived by her parents, sister Karen Elizabeth Morales Aldana, baby brother Alejandro Morales, grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins.