Grief Ministry

St. Benedict Grief Ministry ([email protected])

What is grief? What is mourning? Are they the same?

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, a deep sorrow following the death of a loved one. Grief has been described as a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion stemming from this major loss.

What is mourning?

Mourning is the open expression of thoughts and feelings regarding the death of a loved one.

Are grief and mourning interchangeable terms?

Mourning refers to the outward expressions of a grief which is internal and unique for each person who grieves.

What is a Grief Ministry?

Grief Ministry is way of serving others by offering loving support and comfort at times of loss. These ministers offer their gifts of time and talent to support others in a variety of ways.

Our Grief Ministry provides comfort and support in a number of ways.

We SUPPORT and we SERVE through PRAYER

Prayer helps support each of us. We pray for our deceased, for those grieving, and for our ministry daily and join in a rosary one day each month in our chapel. All are welcome to pray with us.


When we mourn, we have a variety of emotions, doubts and worries. Often we don’t want to share these thoughts with our family and friends. Our ministry offers trained, non-judgmental companions to walk beside a griever. It’s never too late to ask for this support or to train to be a companion.


Understanding the grief process can often help answer questions. This ministry can provide information through Care Note brochures, the parish bulletin and website, and guest speakers. We are a resource. Volunteers research and collect materials to help grievers and their families and to educate our parish at large about topics related to grief.


Joining with other grievers in a guided format is offered three times per year in a support group setting. Meeting weekly for 12 weeks fostering sharing where those with a loss can support one another with the help of trained, caring leaders. Our support group focuses on the Companioning Model of grief support which is based on the work of Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. In our support group, we use his book entitled Understanding Your Grief and the associated materials for sharing. We value confidentiality in all that we do. Contact our ministry for future dates to participate or for information about training to be a leader.

We SUPPORT and we SERVE OTHERS with the ongoing efforts of a COMMUNICATIONS/TECH team of volunteers who help us spread our messages. If you have talents in these areas, do think about volunteering.

CONTACT Grief Ministry by email at [email protected] or call our ministry leaders: Mary Helen Gammon 843-345-9776 and Jane Talbot 843-442-3371

What is the “companioning” model of grief support?

The Companioning Model is about walking with those who are grieving. Grief support is not about “leading” or “fixing” the griever. Companioning is about ears that can listen and a heart that cares. Companioning is about honoring another's pain by being alongside them, respecting their journey but not taking charge of it. Companions are friends, not experts. Using the companioning model one can support another in reaching a point of reconciliation with grief. With that reconciliation, life continues and the griever is able to move from a relationship based on the physical presence of the loved one to a relationship based on memories. The companioning model is flexible and flowing, gentle and loving. In the end the companioning model honors the fact that each griever's journey is his/her own and is unique.

Would you like to join the St. Benedict Grief Ministry?

Our mission is to support those who are suffering grief from the loss of a loved one and to “companion” with them as they walk the road of bereavement to a “new normal.”

Volunteer for one of five teams and use your time and talents to help others. Our teams include: Prayer Team, Communication/Tech Team, Education Team, Visiting Team and a Support Group Team. St. Benedict has avenues for parishioners to help (in little ways and bigger ways) and to make a difference for those who have lost a loved one to death. 

If you feel called to this ministry, want to learn more about the teams, want to join the grief support group or would like to talk with ministry leaders, contact Mary Helen Gammon and Jane Talbot by sending a message at [email protected]




 Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope

And Healing Your Heart

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D

ISBN: 978-1-879651-35-7

Gentle Keeping: Prayers and Services for Remembering Departed Loved Ones Throughout the Year

by Mauryeen O’Brien, O.P.

ISBN: 978-1-59471-130-5

When Someone Dies: A Child-Caregiver Activity Book

by the National Alliance for Grieving Children

ISBN: 978-0-9963804-0-9

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen

ISBN: 0-9615197-6-2

The Wilderness of Suicide Grief: Finding Your Way

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-879651-68-5

An Empty Cradle, A Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers after Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death

by Christine O’Keeffe Lafser

ISBN: 13-978-0829411737



A listing of grief-related websites, books and articles compiled by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

A discussion of the challenges of grief, important things to remember about the process, and helpful things to do

Offers books and bereavement resources

Source for helpful articles, books and resources

National Alliance for Grieving Children

LOSS – Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide

Contact Emily Tegenkamp at [email protected]