Catholic Church

Grief Ministry

GRIEF MINISTRY 

St. Benedict Grief Ministry ([email protected])

What is a Grief Ministry?

Grief Ministry is a way of serving others by offering support and comfort to those grieving a loss. Ministry volunteers use the gifts of time and listening, to hear the thoughts and share the tears of those who are mourning.

Care can be expressed in a variety of ways - through prayer opportunities (Prayer Team), through participation in a grief support group (Support Group Team), and through small group and one-on-one companioning (Visiting Team). Communication Team volunteers support all the ministry with their behind-the-scenes efforts to share the mission, and maintain communications with those grieving, the ministry, the parish and the community. This ministry also offers grief materials, literature and speakers/presentations to help inform everyone about the grief process.

The St. Benedict Grief Ministry formed in 2019. That September the first grief support group began meeting for 12 weekly group sessions. During the pandemic, the ministry continued daily prayer and a monthly Rosary via Zoom. Another support group also met via Zoom. We expect to offer three sessions per year depending on need. Our support group uses the Companioning Model of grief support which is based on the work of Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. In our ministry, we use his book entitled Understanding Your Grief with both our support groups and our volunteers.

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. loss like the death of a loved one.

Mourning is the open expression of thoughts and feelings regarding the death of a loved one. Mourning refers to the outward expressions of a grief which is internal and unique for each person who grieves.

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. 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 volunteer with 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 with a team and use your tme and talents to help others. Our teams include: Prayer Team, Communication Team, Visiting Team and a Support Group Team. 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]

RESOURCES

BOOKS TO READ

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

 

WEBSITES TO EXPLORE

www.phillycatholiclife.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ 

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

www.ascensioncatholic.net/Dealing-with-the-Loss-of-a-Loved-One

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

www.avemariapress.com/topic/Death-and-Dying

Offers books and bereavement resources

www.centerforloss.com/grief

Source for helpful articles, books and resources

www.childrensgrief.org

National Alliance for Grieving Children

LOSS – Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide

Contact Emily Tegenkamp at [email protected]