A Cape Breton church community is mourning the loss of the youngest of an eight-member Syrian refugee family.

Owen Fitzgerald of the St. Marguerite Bourgeroys Parish was recently told a two-month-old baby boy born premature died before reaching Canada. 

“We haven't seen them,” said Fitzgerald. “We haven't met them, they haven't met us. But then a week ago we get a message the youngest of the family has died.”

Fully-furnished bedrooms for kids aged two to 11 and the parents were made possible with the help of volunteers in the community.

“We had a crib in here, a new rocking chair for the mother, car seats for the baby. The closet was full of clothes, but it had to be taken down,” said Fitzgerald.

Sid Larusic has been one of the volunteers lending a helping hand. Despite the loss, he says the family will have a warm welcome and the support they need when they arrive.

“I know it's been very difficult for the, with the fact they are coming here with the loss of a son,” said Larusic. “We will never get to meet him as well, but you know, God love them.”

There is no word on when the family will arrive in Sydney, but Fitzgerald says the group is ready and eagerly awaiting what should be an emotional welcoming.

“Now we're just waiting for this family and hope to be able to make them feel safe and welcomed, and give them a new life to start,” said Fitzgerald.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.