Catholic Church

Grief Ministry


St. Benedict Grief Ministry ([email protected])

Co-leaders Mary Helen Gammon and Jane Talbot will assist you in learning more about Comfort Cafes and Support Groups or how to help others as a ministry team volunteer. Send a message with your name and contact info to [email protected] . You will receive a call back.

If you are visiting this site because you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, we encourage you to contact us. We are here to love and support you. You are already in our prayers as our Prayer team prays daily for those who are grieving. You can learn about this ministry by reading below. A request through the email address will initiate a phone call from one of our ministry leaders.

If you have come to this site because you wish to volunteer with us then, please, read about how we are supporting those with a loss and contact us to discuss how you can be involved. We need both behind-the-scenes helpers and those working directly with mourners.

What is a 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.

Grief Ministry is a place for people to find support on their grief journeys as well as a way for volunteers to serve others by offering support and comfort. Ministry volunteers use their gifts of time and listening, to hear the thoughts and share the tears of those who are mourning.

Care is expressed in a variety of ways – our Companion Team volunteers meet in person with those who have a loss due to death. This support can be experienced in two different ways - by attending monthly small group Comfort Cafes or by joining in a 12-week grief support group. All of our ministry efforts rely on the prayer support offered by Prayer Team volunteers and the ongoing work of the Communication Team volunteers. Both of these teams support the ministry behind-the-scenes in sharing the grief ministry mission. This ministry also offers grief materials, resources and speakers/presentations to help inform everyone about the grief process.

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.

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.

Grief and mourning are different in that the first is internal and the later is external, more visible to others.

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 caring supporters, not experts or professionals. Our Companioning Model honors the fact that each griever's journey is his/her own and is unique. We hold confidentiality as a must in all our interactions.



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]